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Secondary II • 2yr.


Who were the Roman citizens and what was it like to be considered a Roman citizen?

Thank you ! :)


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 2yr. edited October 2021

    Hello ! :)

    Thank you for your question :)!

    To answer the first part of your question, Roman citizens were patricians and plebeians.

    The patricians constituted the upper social class of Roman society and this status was usually transferred by birth. They were mostly wealthy landowners and nobles, and they had a lot of power over society, and sometimes even over the Emperor.

    The plebeians, for their part, made up the majority of the Roman population. So there were artisans, traders and peasants. Unlike the patricians, they had very little influence on society and the same amount of wealth.

    To answer the second part of your question;  being a Roman citizen gave individuals privileges in Roman society that others did not have. For example, they could participate in political life and use the services of the court of justice to accuse and defend themselves. They could also own land and had the right to marry the daughter of a male citizen. In return for these privileges, citizens had the duties following: participate in censuses, pay taxes and do their military service.

    It was possible to obtain the status of Roman citizen. There were three ways to do this:

    • Serve for 25 years in the Roman army;
    • Buy your citizenship (you then had to be very rich);
    • May the Emperor, by choice, grant you Roman citizenship.

    I hope that this will have answered your questions. Let us know if we can help you with anything else! :)

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