Ancient Roman Hierarchy

Rome used to exist as hierarchical society being fully Class Conscious. This Class System was also called the Plebeian and Patrician Distinction. The people were majorly divided among two classes namely Upper Class and Lower Class in the Ancient Roman Hierarchy and there was a huge distinction between both the Classes in terms of wealth, position as well as their roles in this Hierarchy. Wealthy were under Upper Class where as Poor people were considered among Lower Class.

The Upper Class was further categorized as the Senatores and the Equites and the Lower Class was divided into sub divisions as the Commons, the Latins, the Foreigners, the Freed People and finally the Slaves. The detailed description of these Classes and the Sub Classes is provided as follow:

Ancient Roman Hierarchy
Ancient Roman Hierarchy

Patricians/ Upper Class: The people who were born in Rome and having Roman Blood and having numerous wealth and property came under the category of Upper Class in the Ancient Roman Hierarchy. The Upper Class was further divided into two divisions namely the Senatores and the Equites which is described briefly as below:

  • Senatorial Class/ Senatores: This Class was also referred as Noble Class and all the Political and Royal families came under this category of Ancient Roman Hierarchy. The Head of the family was the Leader and everyone has to bow before his decisions and orders. Senatores were not even allowed to do works like trade business, non-agricultural works, public contracts and even day to day tasks. These tasks were done by their Slaves. Having Slaves was like a Status Symbol for the Senatorial Class.
  • Equestrian Class/ Equites: The Economic Class was considered in this category among the Ancient Roman Hierarchy. This Class was below the Senatorial Class and they were bound to perform the tasks which were prohibited for the Senatorial Class to do. If someone from Equestrian Class used to become able of possessing a minimum wealth or property which was worth of four hundred thousand sesterces, he was allowed to enter Senatorial Class.

Plebeian/ Lower Class: The Lower Class belongs to the Poor Class. They were further categorized as below:

  • The Commons: The Commons also referred as the Vulgus or the Plebs were those Roman citizens who were born free. Their recognition was their dress which was the toga. They were allowed to marry another Roman citizen and have kids who were further Roman citizen.
  • Latins: The people who were born free but in Italy and some other Roman areas but were not fully citizen of Rome came under this category.
  • Foreigners/ Peregrini: Freeborn from outer areas were among this category.
  • Freed People/ Libretti: All the people who were once Slaves to Roman people and then got their freedom by any reason were among this category. But they still had limited rights as compared to other freeborn.
  • Slaves: The human beings who were born Slaves or were sold as Slaves due to any reason were categorized among this sub division. They were the sole property of their owner and did not possess any right.

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