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Wilson's Ancient Rome Website
Wilson's Ancient Rome Website
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Founding of Rome and the Early Monarchy
The Roman Republic
SPQR and the Twelve Tables
Caesar vs. Pompey Civil War
Octavian vs. Marc Antony Civil War
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Patricians in Ancient Rome
Start of the Patricians
The legend of the start of Rome began with Romulus and Remus. Eventually, Remus was overthrown and Romulus became king. In his era, the few chief landownders were called "patres", meaning fathers. Their families soon grew and they came to be known as the patricians. This time period became oligarchy.The strongest member of this new generation was nominated king. Throughout their ages, these people made up ten percent of the Ancient Roman population.
If you were born to two patrician parents you were valued as a patrician and a respected member of Roman society. If you were born to both a plebian and a patrician you were considered a plebian. During the first stages of childhood, patrician children remained at home. Upon turning the age of six, boys attended school. In seldom occassions, girls were allowed to attend school with their father's permission. Sholars studied poetry and literature, history, geography public speaking, law, and military skills; most students had a private tutor. Boys graduated at twelve years old and were given a ceremony upon turning fourteen to celebrate adulthood.
Patrician Class Citizens
Basically, the patricians were the wealthy class of the Ancient Rome social class system. Owning most of the land, they held most of the power. These
citizens held the luxury of living in grand villas and estates. These homes were vast and held plenty of valuables. They also contained extremely elaborated art and decorations with intricate designs. These patrician class citizens were almost at the top of the social class system, ranking just below the emperor and his family. They kept good relations amongst each other; the patricians provided the emeror's military, political, and military relationship. Pertaining to this group also granted certain priveleges that the plebians could not be part of; only they could participate in the senate and consul or become a praetor, quaestor, or emperor. Expoiting commoners and everyday citizens was an event that happened quite often, the citizens of this class thought themselves to be superior to non-patricians. Supposedly, patricians could communicate better with the Roman Gods. Patrician men, when married, also had to marry for life. Unlike the plebians who could change wives whenever, they had to stay married to the same person forever, regardless of other wishes.
Slaves were the main form of labor for patricians. Having little furninture and many banquets required a lot of work, so slaves were needed in order to keep the patrians from ever working. During these "parties", people greatly enjoyed music and dancing and ate a great deal; these large meals were more often than not two courses. In fact, the patricians were viewed as the only "real Romans"; all the other plebians had to work enof ludless hours just to make ends meet. As for the children, they were as much accomodated as the patrician adults. They had big rooms full of many expensive toys and had their own personal slaves to carry their books to school and meet personal needs; indeed, these children grew up in the lap of luxury. Some favortie pastimes bsidesthe banquets were music, poetry, hunting, and horse racing.
Patricians wore clothes made xury fabric and very expensive material. Of these women, the ones who could afford it dressed in lavish styles. Blonde hair and pale skin was also considered beautiful in Ancient Rome, so patrician women powdered their faces and wore blonde wigs made from slaves' hair. Not only did women curl their hair, but men did as well.The traditional attire was a distinctive tunic and shoes with a trademark ivory crescent.
End of the Patricians
When Rome became an empire, Caesar and Augustus promoted some of the plebians to the patrician class. Eventually, the patricians lost power. Around 476 A.D., plebians overthrew the patrician government. A few of these business men gained great wealth and formed a non-landowning aristocracy.
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