Roman Social Classes

1834 WordsMay 2, 20068 Pages
Ancient Rome was one of the most influential historical societies on our world today. From architecture to the basic way that the government was set up, they created a new era of thinking that set the standard for countries in the future, including how social classes were organized. Rome was an empire that was built upon its social classes with clearly defined roles that allowed for limited social mobility. There was a large gap between the wealthy upper class and the lower classes as well as slaves. Three main factors decided one's class, including wealth, freedom, and Roman citizenship. A person's social class determined what education, pastimes, and occupations were available to them. These classes included the elite upper class, a…show more content…
Therefore, little written evidence exists about working conditions and job requirements. Freed workers often bought their way out of slavery, saving little up at a time. They then worked along side many of the slaves as farmers or other low wage jobs, saving up to buy the rest of their family out of slavery. Freedmen were not considered Roman citizens and therefore not allowed to vote, however the children of freedmen did gain this status. Slavery was the most bottom level class of Roman society. Slaves played an important part in production and formed a high proportion of the population. Slaves were not considered Roman citizens and therefore were granted minimum rights. Much is unknown about early Roman slavery; however it is believed to have started when Romans conquered or attacked other empires and took their enemies as "prisoners of war", and forced them to work and observe complete obedience. Other slaves were taken in through debt slavery, or were even born into the practice. Roman slavery was much different then the American practice of slavery in that it was not racially based, nor was ownership reserved for the wealthy, but was also popular among the lower class. Slaves were considered a sign of wealth and boosted one's standings in society. The extremely wealthy, including elite members of the empire, often owned upwards of 500 slaves, while many lower class members were known to
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