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Flashcards in Social Structre Deck (36):

Identify the three broad categories?

- freeborn (ingenui)
- freedmen and women (libertus and liberta)
- slaves (servi)


Identify further catagories within the 3 main ones

- upper class - patricians and equites
- middle class - free or freed citizens, living thru business
- infames - underclass inc. actors, undertakers, gladiators, prostitutes, rent boys
- Slaves - within it a hierarchy of urban master of country side farms
- illegitimate - adulterers


Who are the freeborn?

ranged form elite (land owning family), to what Pliny referred to as 'plebs media' - those rich but outside the elite, and humble freeborn (plebs humilus)
- extremely rich, network of social ties with friends, clients and dependents (political support)


what are the 2 stratas of freeborn?

Senatorial elite - had holiday houses/visited from Rome or wealthy landowners/traders and involved in local politics

Ordinary citizens - majority artisans, traders, craftsmen, businessmen and farmer


What were the freeborn engaged in?

form of commerce, concerned with selling the agricultural produce of country estates and renting part of town houses to small businessmen.


What evidence found for freeborn?

In P, sources form public notices, electoral advertisements, epigraphic evidence.


What can the freeborn become and what did they have?

prospective candidates of the office.
had full legal rights as citizens and vote in municipal election in each town.


What did the no. of people who sought them out as patrons in their house during morning represent?

enhanced their social standing


Source for evidence of freeborn?

honorary statue of Marcus Holconius Rufus, prominent businessmen and in local polities


who are freedmen/women?

former slaves manumitted, many of them became wealthy and influential - funery inscriptions


What were freedmen/w associated with?

crafts, trade and commerce


What did freedmen/w do as jobs?

ran small shops - workshops, taverns, bars, built into facade of wealthy houses, often run by freed dependents of owner of house
others ran their own enterprise e.g. brothels and inns and became quite wealthy
wives of freedmen helped husband in business, e.g. bakeries.


What evidence do we have to prove that freedmen/w could hold alot of power/influence?

wax tablets at H tell Poppaea Note, freedwomen of Priscus who has slaves of her own.

luxury of houses owned such as Brothers of Vetti rivalled those of Pompeian elite.

paid for own grave to show newfound status


What did the freedmen/women tend still have despite manumitted?

tied to his/her former master and patron in rel/ship of gratitude and loyalty, performing services for him
- epitaphs in necropolis revel patrons paid for graves of deserving freedmen/women within their household.


How many slaves were there?

sig portion of population (men and women), in both P and H
Approx 40%/


how did they become slaves?

thru capture and auction, or offspring of slave mother, belonged to master


What were slaves employed as?

washers, sewers, cooks, entertainers, tutors and nurses in upper class household.
in agricultural estate : tending vine, picking grapes, ploughing , harvesting and hay making.


Rights of slaves and what were they? (edu.)

many literate and engaged in responsible roles for master
- male slaves with education highly privileged.
- females: not allowed marriage, if offspring belong to master


How could slaves be freed/manumitted?

by master or save enough money to buy their liberty = pay freedom tax equal to 5% of assessed valuation. Then permitted to assume master's name.


What evidence is there that former slaves and their masters often continued to have a relationship?

former female slaves, instead of being freed may have been kept as lovers by their masters. Evidence of remains of couple sheltering from eruption in P. On women wore gift bracelet from a master, idea that is entirely new.


What could slaves become involved in?

legal disputes, evident in H wax tablets showing a court case between a slave and master's household.


What kind of influence did women have?

evidence for written and archeological sources suggest strong female influence in P and H.
-> paintings/inscriptions and graffiti suggest women were active in economic, religious and political roles, and generally held in high esteem.


What rights and freedoms did free women enjoy?

- inherit share of their father's estate and make will on same basis as brother, but cant freely dispose of their inheritance
- own property in own right and carry out business transactions e.g. H tablets record deal between freedwoman Poppae Note.
- individually/in partnership with husband, ran shops and engage in crafts and trade and earn profits


Rights and freedom women couldn't access

- right to vote = no political rights
- become political candidates
- freely dispose of their inheritance


What did women of lower status work in?

work in fulling industry, making clothes, food business, tavern/inns, bars.


What high role can women play/work in?

valuable member of medical profession (midwives and physician)
played prominent role in public life, e.g. public priestess responsible for contrusction and dedication of public buildings, (Eumachia and Mamia), while others supported political candidates through promotion (graffiti)


Why is believed that upper class women were educated in home by slave tutor?

- fresco showing women holding men and tablet/book in hand suggest literacy was a mark of status and made desirable marriage partner.
- Pliny the Younger describes his third wife, Calpurnia, as being highly intelligent


How many women were literate?

possible small percentage of women in other classes had basic knowledge of reading/writings, esp. wives of rich freedmen, but for majority of population would not have been priority.


Name 3 upper class women prominent citizens?

Julia Felix
Poppaea Sabina


Who was Julia Felix?

- wealthy widow, property owner and businesswoman
- inherited landowning and money from family and villa occupying entire insulae in P.
- her house combined private living and commercial activity


Who was Poppaea Sabina?

- from prominent Pompeian family
- popularity when marry Emperor Nero in AD62.
- owned two property: House of Meander and House of Golden Cupid.
- famous for getting Nero to lift ban on games in ampitheatre, evident from Graffiti.


Who was Eumachia?

- inherited fortune from father, Lucius Eumachia
- public priestess of Venus in P, as well as matron of imperial cult, The concordia Augustus
- known as matron of fullers ( very influential in P): donated building she paid for in forum for the guilds, Building of Eumachia
- to increase social status, married into of P's oldest and wealthiest family, using this and status as priestess to be involved in public affairs
- possible son running for office of duoviri
- Statue in her honour erected by the fullers in response to her generosity = symbolise her power and social status


What indicates the 4 wealthiest family from P?

inscription in P, such as Holconii and Lucretii, who dominated political office for generaitons


What did the upper class consist of and how identified?

patricians and equites - achieved this rank by holding office, which was subject to wealth qualifications.
identified by purple bordered togas that was symbol of their rank and the equites wore a gold ring.


what were infames seen as by the upper and middle class?

as entertainers


illegitimate status:

in highly stratified society, reputation and family lineage important, laws severe for adulterers,e.g. an adulterous woman could be exiled from home and excluded form family tomb, but Pompeian's wills show the tolerant attitude towards illegitimate children, allowing them to stay in household without any inheritance though.