Occupations and Jobs in Ancient Rome for Kids Illustration

Occupations and Jobs

The Kingdom: When ancient Rome was just beginning, everyone was a farmer. Everyone was a warrior. Everyone had to fight when necessary.

Under the Republic: As Rome developed, jobs became more specialized. By the time of Republic, jobs included farmers, doctors, engineers, architects, teachers, shopkeepers, craftsmen, soldiers, sailors, fisherman, writers, poets, musicians, statesmen, bankers, traders, merchants, accountants, government officials including tax collectors, smiths, jewelers, construction workers, temple workers, entertainers, artists, and slaves.

Under the Empire: By the time of the Empire, jobs also included gladiators, charioteers, firemen, and welfare workers.

Some jobs were paid in food and shelter or other goods. Some were paid in Roman coin. 

Plebs:  Some merchants and craftsmen were quite wealthy and had slaves to do their work for them. Most plebs were very poor and worked all the time, either in the city or on the farms.

Patricians:  Mostly, it was the patrician class who had the option of leisure. Some spent their time in leisure. Some were politicians. Some managed their country estates. Some invested in various businesses. Some were officers in the Roman Legion. A patrician woman's job was to take care of the family and the home, and often had slaves to help her. During the Empire, women could own businesses, and even work outside the home.

Rome was a busy place.



Roman Legion