Roman citizenship

Roman Citizenship

Roman citizenship

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Citizenship in ancient Rome was a privileged political and legal status afforded to certain free-born individuals with respect to laws, property, and governance.

In the Roman Republic and later in the Roman Empire, people resident within the Roman state could roughly be divided into several classes:

  • A male Roman citizen enjoyed a wide range of privileges and protections defined in detail by the Roman state. A citizen could, under certain exceptional circumstances, be deprived of his citizenship.
  • Roman women had a limited form of citizenship. Though held in high regard, they were not allowed to vote or stand for civil or public office. The rich might participate in public life by funding building projects or sponsoring religious ceremonies and other events. Women had the right to own property, to engage in business, and to obtain a divorce, but their legal rights varied over time. Marriages were an important form of political alliance during the Republic.
  • Client state citizens and allies ' of Rome could receive a limited form of Roman citizenship such as the Latin Right. While such citizens could vote in Roman elections, it was impractical
  • Slaves were considered property and had only very limited rights as granted by statute after the establishment of the Principate. Under the Republic, a master could dispose of his slaves as he did any other property, and while excessive cruelty toward slaves was considered a sign of bad character, killing one's own slave was not a crime....... ...
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