The social stratification was such a demon that hit the world with a huge drift especially in the earlier period. Roman Republic society, like the majority of ancient societies, was greatly stratified. Roman people never created people equal. According to them, some were inferior while some were superior. But there were some contrasts in this social stratification of Roman Republic society when compared to other societies.
The social division in Roman Republic society was on the basis of money, power and authority. The major factor in Roman Republic social hierarchy always remained the wealth that distinguishes the people of Roman Republic in various classes. The more a person was wealthier more powers & authorities he & his family could enjoy. The Roman Republic social hierarchy is explained in this article in a down sliding pattern means starting with the highest social class and moving on further describing all the lower level social classes in brief.
The Royal Class
The highest social class in the Roman Republic social hierarchy was the royal class. This class included the royal king and his family. The king was the supreme head of the people. He was the leader of the war. No one was allowed to deceive the orders of the mighty king. After the royal king, the royal family was authorized second utmost power in the kingdom.
The Upper Class / The Patrician
The upper class which was also referred to as the patricians were second on the hierarchy. They were originally the blood related relatives of the ancient ‘fathers’ (the heads of the families) of the ancient Roman tribes. The mighty Vestal virgins were necessary to be from some patrician family unit. These patricians were provided some special marriage rituals.
The Middle Class
The middle class further incorporated following two levels:
- The Equestrian – The Equestrian formulated the upper middle level social class. These people were rich Roman knights or Roman horsemen. Later on this social class formulated the Rome’s most flourishing & successful businessmen class.
- The Roman Plebeian – These people were involved in manual working for the kingdom.
The Lower Class
This was the lowest class in the Roman Republic social hierarchy. It was further divided in two parts –
- The Roman Proletariat – These were wage earners who used to be involved in manual lower level work for wages.
- The Freedman of Roman Republic Society – These were slaves who got freed by any mean.
The lowest most level in the Roman Republic social hierarchy. These were not even considered a part of the social system but they did formulate a crucial role in this hierarchy. These were actually powerless people. They were never provided any right or authority. There were many reasons to be a slave. Some were born slaves while some were bought or taken possession through a war result.