Social class in ancient Rome
Social class in ancient Rome was hierarchical, with multiple and overlapping social hierarchies. An individual's relative position in one might be higher or lower than in another, which complicated the social composition of Rome.
The status of freeborn Romans during the Republic was established by:
- Ancestry (patrician or plebeian);
- Census rank (ordo) based on wealth and political privilege, with the senatorial and equestrian ranks elevated above the ordinary citizen;
- Gender; and
- Citizenship, of which there were grades with varying rights and privileges.
The different Roman classes allowed for different rights and privileges, including voting rights, marriage rights, and more.