Roman Society during the Republic Rome was a hierarchical or “vertical” society,[1] both in the sense that there were wide gaps between powerful and powerless and/or rich and poor people and families,

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Discussion Week 3: Roman Society during the Republic Rome was a hierarchical or “vertical” society,[1] both in the sense that there were wide gaps between powerful and powerless and/or rich and poor people and families, and in the sense that for both privileged and poor inhabitants of the city of Rome, its Italian allies and the provinces conquered by Roman armies during the Republican period, the most important human relations were vertical, between people who were politically, economically or socially unequal. Although one of the greatest legacies of Republican (and Imperial) Rome was the equality of citizens in terms of legal rights, as reflected in the Lex Hortensia of 287 BCE, which enfranchised the plebians, day-to-day life in Rome and its provinces was one in which individuals had to depend upon people more powerful than themselves for prosperity – and perhaps survival. Oppressing people weaker or poorer than himself while toadying to his superior, the bully was a ubiquitous feature of Roman life, as he/she is in other hierarchical societies.[2]

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