Social aspect of romans
A family’s typical day;
Guyus Julius freedman of asstiana his wife cassia Minerva who wore jewlery, had two
sons and a daughter. He taught children and acted as tutor/ nanny. The two freed slaves
get married. She has lost many babies, they are not roman but their children are roman.
He works as a teacher in a small school.
His wife is a midwife. Obstetrix is latin for midwife.
Class structure in rome
Free citizens were divided in 2 classes: patricians and plebeians (plebs)
The patrician are the rich, the 1% the plebs are the other 99% These classes were
hereditary. The name will be plebeian or patrician. It has no bearing on what your status
is as a citizen. These old fashion terms became pointless replaced by a political and
military definition. Equites is a business class who are self made and joined cavalry to
show off their wealth. The only way to get money was to get land. Senators were people
who would do more of the political career. Sesterces is a unit of roman money.
Quaestor, is someone who has fulfilled one year political power.
All this new money made it prohibited for the senators to trade and lend money etc…
The senators set up these small shops to launder money etc..
The equestrians couldn’t be in politics because theyd have to give up their money .
The equestrian who wants to do politics is called a novus homo
Many jobs opened up in working with the emperor for the equestrians. There are now 2
separate governing systems.
Patroni is when a rich and powerful person gives a poor person their wealth the clientes
The patroni would give legal advice, food, or other things to help their cliente.
Clients were expected to do errands for the patrons and to act on their behalf’s during an
election. The bigger the posy, the more important you are. These are all free people. Half
of the population are slaves. Where do these slaves come from?
People are captured from many different places and wars / battles Ceasers gallic conquest
brought back 1 million slaves
People can be condemmed to slavery, victims of crime etc can be sent to slavery.
There is a place that will take unwanted babies, often the baby dies but sometimes the
people will take the baby and sell it.
Then there are homegrown slaves that are the children of slaves, roman law saw these
people as property like a machine. Once the empire took over as oppose to the republic
slaves were treated more as employees. They were given a pecullium which was like an
allowance, it could be spent or saved to be invested so they could free themselves.
Anyone who was a barbarian was fair game for being a slave.
LAtifundia is a giant estate. Lecture 4
Slaves: The master will free slaves with good skills and they will hire them back for pay.
The slave owner will often make sure the children are separated from their parents.
Consul is the maximum level in the roman political system and a political career only last
about 7 years
The consul is elected they are like mayors but 2 of them are electe