Grievances of the Plebians

Topics: Ancient Rome, Law, Roman Republic Pages: 2 (714 words) Published: July 29, 2011
The grievances of the plebeians and their attempt to gain equality with the patricians in the internal history of the Early Roman Republic lasted for over 200 years. The plebeians and the patricians were two classes of citizenship can Ancient Rome, though they had very significant differences in their status. These variations came in the form of Political, religious, legal, social, economic and military status. Through 200 years these statuses began to blur as Ancient Roman laws were changed due to the increasing population of plebeians and wars that surrounded Rome. One of the many grievances the plebeians experienced was in the political sense, they were exposed to the authority of the Consuls, who had control of the lives of the citizens, and whose decisions there was no appeal for. Plebeians had no right to hold public office and were excluded from the Senate (an aristocrat body). In assembly, those who were not clients of a patrician were outvoted by patricians and their clients. For religion, plebeians were excluded from any part of the administration of the state religion and from significant priesthoods. With matters involving legal status, all the civil and criminal law was in the hands of one’s patrician. The plebeians had no knowledge of the laws or access to the administration of the legal system. With social matters plebeians even had their own form of marriage. In the beginning they could not intermarry legally with patricians and if they had a child then that child will be automatically classed as a plebeian. In the economic sense, plebeians were only granted land to work for patricians; they also had to give economic and political support. A lot of plebeians were in debt because of the wars which they had to fight. They also had to play tributum (military tax) in times of war, however patricians didn’t have to pay this tax. Plebeians also received no share in the distribution of public land and were also excluded from the use of public grazing...
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