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Transcript of Ancient Rome
The word 'Patrican' comes from the latin word 'patres', which means 'father'.
Although they only made up around 5% of the population, they were the highest class in society and had the most political power. Only patricians were allowed to become senators or consuls.
Patricians alone could hold priesthoods at the beginning of the Roman Republic because they believed that they could communicate better with the gods.
Many of them would own a house in the city and a villa in the country, which was run by slaves. Some lived in large townhouses which surrounded a central courtyard called an 'atrium'.
The Patricians would have large feasts and would eat lying down, on low couches.
"Dinner might begin with shellfish, hardboiled eggs, olives or smoked fish, washed down with plenty of wine sweetened with honey. The meal then went on to include several meat courses, all heavily spiced with herbs or smothered in sauces, and ended with cakes, pastries, fruit and nuts."
- Growing Up In Ancient Rome by Brenda. R Lewis
Children would have their own rooms, as well as slaves to look after them. Women in the house would also have slaves to tend to them.
By Rohan Harrington 8Y
The Patricians and Plebeians
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The Plebeians were the working class of Ancient Rome and made up around 95% of the Roman population.
They usually worked as merchants, artisans, peasants, shopkeepers and common laborers. Marriage between a Plebeian and Patrician was never allowed and they rarely mixed socially with them. They were not allowed to have any major roles in government or worship the gods with same rights as the Patricians.
However, they were still required to serve in the roman army and to pay taxes. Plebeians could not afford to send their children to school and would work in the family business when they were old enough.
The Etruscan kings from Northern Italy ruled the
city of Rome from 616 and 509 BC. Society was divided into 2 main classes, Patricians and Plebeians. Social rank was a birthright and the people could not move between classes.
The Plebeians (also known as plebs) were the lower class, they included anyone that wasn't a Patrician.
Patricians were the higher class, the wealthy land owners.
In 509 BC the Patricians overthrew the Etruscan monarchy and formed the Roman republic. The word
' comes from the latin word
' which means
'affairs of the people'
. They created a senate of 300 men and chose 2 consuls to be their leaders, they did this so that the government would serve to look after the people's needs rather than their own. However, the Patrician's wouldn't allow for the Plebeians to have any major roles in the government.
Lucas Tarquinius Superbus, popularly known as Tarquin the proud. Reign: 535-509 BC
Conflict of the Orders
Livy, a Roman Historian wrote a description of Rome during the time the Plebeians had left it:
"There was great panic in the city, and through mutual fear, all was suspense. The people left in the city dreaded (feared) the violence of the senators: the senators dreaded the people remaining in the city, uncertain whether they should prefer to stay quiet or to depart: but how long would the multitude (crowd) which seceded (left) remain quiet What were the consequences then, if, in the meantime, any foreign war should break out?"
Over time tension grew between the Plebeians and the Patricians. After so many years of being forced to work, pay taxes and serve in the army while being denied their rights of power in the government. In 494BC the Plebeians left Rome and refused to serve in the army. The Patricians came to realise how much they depended on the Plebeians for military protection.
As a result of this, it was decided that the Council of Plebs and the Tribunes of the Plebs would be formed. The Tribunes of the Plebs were 10 Plebeians elected to protect the Plebeians rights in government. They were allowed to deny any law that they found to be unfair.
The Council of Plebs also consisted of Plebeians and they were allowed to pass laws that affected themselves, but not the patricians.
Rise of Christianity
Unlike the Patricians, who lived in large houses, the Plebeians lived in apartment blocks, often above the shops they worked at. They couldn't afford proper furniture, like chairs beds and tables. Many Plebeians would door-knock at the Patrician's houses to offer their trades.
Typical meals for a Plebeian would have included garlic, cabbage, flour, herbs, chickpeas, cheese and sausages.
There is no exact date for when the rise of Christianity began in Ancient Rome. However, it is estimated that the birth of Jesus Christ was somewhere between 1 BC and 4 BC.
To historians he was a Jewish leader and religious teacher. To the Christians, he was the Messiah, the son of God. He began his ministry at around 30 years of age, after he was baptized by John the Baptist. The news of Christ was spread everywhere he went.
The Roman Priests viewed him as a threat to their power because he claimed to be "The King of Jews". He was captured and crucified later on, but instead of stopping his teachings, Jesus' followers continued to spread Christianity.
Before Christianity rose, the Ancient Romans worshiped a large number of different gods. They had different gods for almost every aspect of daily life. As well as these gods they worshiped their ancestors and previous emperors.
Ancient Roman Religion was impacted greatly by the cultures and beliefs of the people they conquered. They adopted many of the gods from ancient Greece, Asia Minor, Egypt and many other european civilizations.
"We Romans owe our supremacy over all other peoples, to our peity and religious observances and to our wisdom in believing in the spirit of the gods rules and directs everything."
Ceirco, 1st Century BC
The Romans found it hard to accept the new religion because the Christians would only worship one God, and refused the state religion. This showed disloyalty to the rulers.
Persecution began in 64 AD with the reign of the Emperor Nero and the Great Fire, which he blamed on the Christians.
Bust of Emperor Nero:
Christianity continued to spread and in 303 AD the emperor Diocletian decreed the great persecution. Many Christians were captured and sacrificed to the Roman gods, their churches were burned down and scriptures destroyed.
Constantine the Great
In 312 AD, the night before emperor Constantine went into battle against emperor Maxentius, Constantine had a vision of the "chi-rho" symbol, which was the sign of Christ. After they won the battle, emperor Constantine claimed that the God of the Christians helped to give him victory.
He built great monuments to the Christians and banned all pagan sacrifices. On his death bed, Constantine was baptized and Christianity became the official religion of Rome.
Emperor Diocletian: 245-313 AD