Ancient Rome's Patrician And Plebeian Citizens

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Introduction This paper examines some of the economic and political differences between ancient Rome’s patrician and plebeian citizens in post 509 BCE, and discusses the changes that came about following the first plebeian secession in 494 BCE. Historical background In 509 BCE, Rome transitioned from a tyrannical monarchy into a republic, setting the stage for a class struggle between the patricians, Rome’s aristocracy who were said to be descendants from the city’s original three clans; and the plebeians, a varied group that included the poor, tradesmen, farmers, refugees, and much of the Republican army. Both patricians and plebeians were Roman citizens, but without equal Roman rights (Wasson, 2014). Control of Rome’s new Republic government…show more content…
Patricians controlled religious law, claiming as Wasson puts it, “to have special knowledge of the gods (2014, para. 5). William Morey suggests that a majority of plebeians had suffered great economic loss following “The late wars” (1901, p. 31). I would assume he was referring to the fighting that took place during Tarquinius Superbus’ multiple attempts to regain his throne in Rome. The majority of wealthy patricians lived within the walls surrounding the city of Rome and had not suffered the…show more content…
Following the revolt, the Concilium Plebis (plebeian assembly) was given the power to pass resolutions, what Morey calls, “pledicita” that had binding power over plebeians, but not patricians. A public office was created and held by two elected plebeians, who acted as, “tribunes” with absolute veto power (except to dictators and military commanders), were unaccountable for their actions, and untouchable by pain of death. (Kries, 2009; Morey,

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