The Roman Society Essay Research Paper The

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The Roman Society Essay, Research Paper The Roman Society The changes in the Roman government affected the social classes and rights gradually became more equal among the people of Rome. New laws and new leaders tried to make society become closer in equality through reforms. It was a long and difficult process to be freed or to become a citizen of Rome and not many accomplished it. Plebeians and woman were thought of as worthless citizens in society, but through time they gained more rights. To show that this is true, I will be addressing four topics: plebeians versus. patricians, women, merchants and artisans, and slaves and non-citizens. When Rome established a republic in 509 B.C., two major classes developed. The patricians controlled the government with a Senate, made

up of 300 elected officials. The senate chose two consuls to administer the laws of Rome. The only power that plebeians had in the government was with a popular assembly, which approved the choice of consuls. Plebeians could not hold public office or marry into a patrician family. During the time of the Republic to the time of the empire, plebeians, who fought in many wars to help Rome gain power, demanded more rights. The government slowly began to change to appeal to plebeians who out-numbered everyone else in population. Around 494 B.C., an Assembly of Centuries and an Assembly of Tribes rly of Centuries and an Assembly of Tribes replaced the popular assembly. The Assembly of Centuries represented the Roman Army and all the classes that were included in it and they elected the

consuls. The Assembly of Tribes was made up of ten elected plebeians and spoke for the plebeians interests, but had little influence on the government. In 445 B.C, plebeians won the right to marry patricians. The Assembly of Tribes gained the right to pass laws and veto any government action that threatened the rights of the plebeians. By about 300 B.C., plebeians had earned the right to hold all major political and religious posts. In 366 B.C., they won the right to consulship. When Rome took over the control of an empire, the discrimination between the classes became indistinct. Julius Caesar was one of the many emperors that tried to bring the rich and poor closer tothe poor by limiting the wealthy peoples’ land ownership. During the early republic, the woman of Rome had few

legal rights. A male was always responsible for the care and support of the family’s women. The question of women as heirs was irrelevant. Like all plebeians, even women patricians could not vote or hold public office. They were usually married off around the age of 14 to be housewives. Even though women didn’t have many rights, thethe poor by limiting the wealthy peoples’ land ownership. During the early republic, the woman of Rome had few legal rights. A male was always responsible for the care and support of the family’s women. The question of women as heirs was irrelevant. Like all plebeians, even women patricians could not vote or hold public office. They were usually married off around the age of 14 to be housewives. Even though women didn’t have man Rome,

especially if their husbands or fathers held public office. Examples of these women would be Messalina (wife of emperor Claudius), Livia (second wife of Augustus), and Julia and Julia (daughter of Augustus and granddaughter of Augustus). During early Rome, the Merchants and artisans were included among the common people. But, as the republic changed to an empire, it helped them out a lot. With the empire expanding and the need to spread the Roman culture, merchants and artisans became more important than ever. The artisans spread the Roman culture by sending their many crafts and “masterpieces” to the newly conquered lands. The merchants, with all of this new land under Roman power, were free to trade along any route as Rome controlled most of them. Most of this rising of the