What Are The Differences Between The Patricians And Plebeians?
Topics: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Plebeian Council / Pages: 4 (830 words) / Published: Dec 19th, 2017


The Patricians and Plebeians were inhabitants of the Roman state, yet each enjoyed completely different privileges. The Patricians descended from the old Roman families, who were the original inhabitants of Rome and were therefore superior in terms of the authority they possessed and the power they wielded. The Plebeians on the other hand were Roman subjects. People who were not members of the old Roman families, and therefore had no say in governmental affairs. The Plebeians had come to inhabit Rome, largely as conquered people or being escapees from other cities (Morey, 1901).

Although Tarquinius Priscus, the first Etruscan king, took it upon himself to introduce plebeians into the state, it was still a great number of years
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Rome had succeeded in abolishing the tyrannical rule of the kings and became a republic, yet she was more of an aristocratic republic. Her power rested more in a particular class than in the whole people (Morey, 1901).

This difference in political power between the classes subtly boiled over into what would become a plebeian revolt. At first the conflict was based more on the fact that the Patricians were a wealthier class, and the Plebeians seeked an equal distribution of wealth (Morey, 1901).

Due to the fact that the homes of the plebeians were in the country, they were much more prone to being destroyed by the enemy during the war, or being neglected as they would be away to war. During these times their families were driven away, and thus they were reduced to extreme poverty. (Morey,
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Another unfair circumstance that the Plebeians found themselves in, was in the unjust distribution of land acquired during the war. The Patricians who were in charge of the government would hold it and rent it out to their own.

Because it was public land, and could not be sold by the occupants, the occupants would look at it as if it belonged to them. In this way the Plebeians were deprived of land they also fought for.

It was especially the law regarding debt that ultimately drove the Plebeians to revolt. They decided that they would not fight in the army anymore. They marched to the Sacred Mount and wanted to form an independent city.

This action by the Plebeians put the Patricians in a vulnerable state, as they could not fight their battles by themselves. Therefore they had to concede to some demands of the Plebeians.

As a result of the revolt Plebeian debt of all who were insolvent was cancelled, and those imprisoned because of debt were released. However, most importantly, a new office was created, called the tribune of the people (Morey,

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