Commoner


The Plebeians are the people belonging to the marginalized social class of ancient Rome “LA PLEBE”. (Plebeian – Plebeian, singular adjective of masculine and feminine) comes from the Latin “Plebeius” which means “Those who are not part of the people”. The reality of the commoners is that their origin was not known, they did not belong to a founding family of Rome or “Gens” as determined at the time. The commoners for being of a lower and denigrated social class (not belonging to the nobility or the patriciate) were excluded from political acts and in general were deprived of exercising various civil rights reserved only for the other social classes, which at the time were well defined as: the nobility, the religious, the military and finally the commoners.

As it has been said that the commoners were not part of a founding family of ancient Rome, it can be concluded that the commoners were foreigners, that is, they came from the cities that surrounded Rome, they were attracted to this city for its wealth and abundance in different aspects; It was known that most of the commoners had the occupation or profession of being shoemakers, potters, carpenters, flutists, traders or merchants, free craftsmen, among others, so we cannot deduce that they were all the same, it is known that some commoners were very rich and therefore they were the ones with the greatest social influence and there were others who were very poor and had no property, some of the latter came from another social sector, the proletarians (proletarii), who were born in Rome but were denigrated for living in extreme poverty.

As time passed there was a lot of struggle on the part of the plebeians to demand equal treatment, their battle was against the patricians, this situation characterized the first centuries of the Roman Republic. In the evolution of the commoners, they stopped seeing themselves as foreigners and began to position themselves as Roman citizens and the way to do it was by giving them greater obligations in military service (belonging to the army) and some political rights that were not previously granted to them. All this was achieved through the creation of “The Law of the XII Tables”.