Roman citizens were divided into two
classes, Plebeians and Patricians.
plebeians were the lower class. They included everyone who was not a
patrician. They were sometimes just called plebs.
The patricians were the upper
class. They were the wealthy land owners.
All free adult males were citizens, no
matter what their class. In both classes, the oldest male was the
paterfamilias or head of the family. Old age was honored, and
women had no rights. If you could afford them, both classes owned
slaves. The houses of both classes were designed the same way
unless you were too poor to own your own home. Everyone worshipped
the same gods, and observed the same festivals and holy days.
Everyone spoke Latin and everyone went to the baths and enjoyed the
Patricians rarely mixed socially, although occasionally, a pleb might
marry a patrician. It was unusual though, and prior to the
Republic, it was against the law for a pleb to marry a patrician.
Patricians and Plebeians
- Why were they called plebs?