The Roman Republic

The Roman Republic
Notes over Chapter 8,
Section 2
1. There were
two main
classes of
people during
Patricians and
the Plebeians.
2. The patricians were the upper
class, the nobility and wealthy
land owners, while the
Plebeians were the lower
class. Nicknamed "plebs", the
plebeians included everyone
else in Ancient Rome.
Things that were the same
in both classes
Pater Familias: The family was
structured in the same way in
both classes. The head of the
family was the oldest male.
That could be the father, the
grandfather, or perhaps even
an uncle. Everybody in one
family lived under one
roof. Women had no authority
except in the home. Old age
was honored.
Atrium: Life in the home of
wealthy tradesmen and
patricians centered around the
atrium, the central courtyard.
Slaves: If they could afford it,
both classes had slaves to do
the work.
Citizenship: The citizens of
Rome were adult freemen from
both classes - plebs and
patricians. Women, children,
and slaves were not citizens.
People from all classes
considered themselves
Religion: Both classes
worshiped the same gods and
attended religious festivals.
Language: Both classes spoke
the same language, Latin.
Forum: Both classes enjoyed the
activities in the Forum,
including the many free
activities such as jugglers.
Forum = town square or
downtown area
Remains of Roman Forum
Things that were different
Social Life: A wealthy plebeian
family and a wealthy patrician
family did not meet socially.
Under the kings, it was illegal
for a pleb and a patrician to
marry. In 445 BC, about 60
years after the Roman Republic
was formed, a new law was
written that said it was no
longer illegal for plebs and
patricians to marry.
Apartment Houses: Many
plebeians lived in apartment
houses called flats. Some of
the apartments were above or
behind their shops. Even fairly
wealthy tradesmen might
choose to live in an apartment
over their store, with perhaps
renters on the upper stories.
Their own apartments might be
quite roomy, sanitary and
pleasant, occasionally with
running water.
Others were not that nice.
The Poor, Unsanitary Living
Conditions: In the poorer
apartment houses, an entire
plebeian family (grandparents,
parents, children) might all be
crowded into one room, without
running water.
They had to haul their water in from
public facilities. Fire was a very real
threat because people were cooking
meals in crowded quarters, and many
of the flats were made of wood. They
did not have toilets. They had to use
public latrines (toilets). The lower
class Romans (plebeians) might have a
breakfast of bread, dry or dipped in
wine, and water. Sometimes olives,
cheese, or raisins were sprinkled on
the bread.
Rich and Poor Life Style: The
rich had beautiful mosaics on
the floors of their home. They
wore lots of jewelry made of
gold and gemstones. They had
beautiful clothing. They
enjoyed a great deal of leisure
time. The poor wore shabby
clothing. Their jewelry was
made of painted clay. They
worked all the time.
3. Plebeians challenged the
class system by going on
In other words, they got plain fed
up and decided to something.
What is a strike?
We will revisit this strike
with an in-class activity in
the near future.
Now, read pages 274-276
finish the rest of your notes.
Where was Carthage located?
On the coast of North Africa
The first Punic War began as a dispute
between ___Rome______________ and
What were they fighting for?
Over control of the island of Sicily
How long did the war last and who
The First Punic War lasted for 20 years
before Rome won.
Who was Hannibal?
A great general from Carthage who fought in
the Second Punic War.
What happened to Carthage
during the Third Punic War?
Rome destroyed Carthage during the Third
Punic War.
What new lands did Rome acquire
during the Punic Wars?
Rome took all of Greece and Macedonia and
parts of Africa during the Punic Wars.