Roman Social Classes
The most powerful class in Rome consisted of the elite upper class of aristocrats, government officials, and their families. Most men inherited their prestigious position within the upper class. Government positions including senators, consuls, and nobles, were usually handed down from generation to generation and those men who were the first in their family to be elected consul were called "new men" . The members of this top class in the Roman Republic were called Patricians and included all political and top military positions in society.
The equestrian class was also included in the lower parts of the upper class division and were considered Patricians. The basis of power was economic and a man could be enrolled as an equestrian if he could prove that he had a stable minimum amount of wealth and land ownership. By extension, his family members were also considered equestrians. If an equestrian gained position in the senate, then he moved up to the senatorial class, along with his family, although this was uncommon.
Women of the upper class were born into and inherited their social position through their father. Women were arranged to
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