Social Structures Of Ancient Rome

By: Jasdeep Kaur and Julia Esposito

The upper class

The upper class consists of 2 Main groups, the Senatorial and the Equestrian. Senatorial: The basis for this class was political. It included all men who served in the Senate, and by extension their families. It could refer to an equesterian who was the first in his family to be elected to political office and thus join the senatorial class, or to a man from the senatorial class who was the first in his family to be elected consul and thus join the nobles, or most dramatically to an equestrian like Cicero who was elected consul.

Equestrian:The basis for this class was economic. A man could be formally enrolled in the equestrian order if he could prove that he possessed a stable minimum amount of wealth (property worth at least 400,000) by extension his family members were also considered equestrians. Equestrians were primarily involved in the types of business prohibited to senators. Equestrians wore the tunic with narrow stripes

The Lower Class

The lower class consists of the Commons, Latin's, Freed people, Slaves.

Commons: All other freeborn Roman citizens. The special mark of dress for citizen males was the toga. All Roman citizens had the right to contract a legal marriage with another Roman citizen and beget legitimate children who were themselves Roman citizens.

Latin's: were freeborn residents of Italy, and of certain other Roman municipalities.

Freed people: Men and women who had been slaves but had bought their freedom or been manumitted.

Slaves: system of chattel slavery where human beings were born into slavery or sold into slavery through war or piracy. Slaves were the property of their owners by law, but by custom some slaves might be allowed their own savings with which they might later buy their freedom, or their masters could manumit them, so some mobility into the previous class was possible.

Big image

Patronage in Ancient Rome

Public display of status was a very important feature of Roman society. It was not enough to belong to one of the upper classes—status and rank had to be seen, to be publicly recognized, in order to be meaningful. Hence the clothing of upper-class Roman males had distinctive features which made their rank immediately visible to all around them.The patron-client relationship was also a major instrument for the public display of status.