Talk:Roman citizenship

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Miscellaneous[edit]

Please don't punish me. I used the info from the website at the bottom of the page. I tried to keep it simple without breaking copyright laws. What I was doing was trying to include info on what had to happen to become a Roman citizen, since few websites would have that kind of info.- B-101 18:16, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

This page is a good start but could use a lot of work. Perhaps I can find the time soon. cpro 18:19, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I welcome all improvements. What are you planning to include? Flamarande 18:53, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I think some of your revisions border on non-NPOV, with respect to the editorial comments. Ultimately the problem is that we are trying to encapsulate 1000 years of roman history in a few paragraphs. cpro 16:25, 10 February 2006 (UTC)


They border on non-NPOV? Your added info is very good and the vast majority of it remains there, but sometimes you were simply repeating yourself and the edicts about slavery by emperor Claudius while known to me, are simply not mentioned in his article. I don´t deny that we are trying to encapsulate 1000 years in a few pargraphs, but to write various articles with this small amount of data is a bit of exageration and will lead to no-where. Flamarande 15:35, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

something small. It's a good article, but needs some tidying up. I'm changing it that only under certain circumstances could a person lose their citizenship (by adding the word not), sorry if I'm mistaken in that edit. To the orginal person, please do keep trying. Gbinal 10:47, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Historical Development of Roman citizenship[edit]

I know that Roman Citizenship developed over time, but don't have the knowledge or resources to expand it. There was also development after the Edict of Milan

Expansion and Levels[edit]

I've added (some?) of the various levels of citizenship and rights, listing citizenship based on what rights they have, and some of the Latin names for the given rights. The listing is not complete, and I haven't yet expanded to include "bundles" of rights (such as jus privatum and jus publicum. I'd recommend that anyone who wants to tinker with this look at Civitas in A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities as a starting point. - Vedexent (talk) - 11:32, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Explanation Of Latin States[edit]

This article has the potential to be very interesting, especially to US readers as the debate over immigration from Latin America becomes so heated. As a novice to the topic, this article needs a definition of what "Latin states" are. thanks. Scarykitty (talk) 23:47, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Merging Civitas & Roman Citizenship[edit]

I think it would be a great idea to merge these two articles because then you can read about the full history of Roman Citizenship without having to jump to another article so I say go for it.. Agent008

Just spotted this discussion, as someone doing work on a specific civitas - that is, an administrative area or centre. My immediate thought (I am not an expert) is that the parts of the civitas article which refer to the general concept of citizenship could be merged with this article, but that there needs to be a separate article on civitas in the sense of an area of local government administration. Ghmyrtle (talk) 18:15, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Patria Potestas[edit]

Should it be mentioned? I noticed it was mentioned in the context of women, but as some Roman Jurists noted it was a very unique aspect of Roman society, because it applied to all of your children.--ScriptusSecundus (talk) 01:49, 12 January 2010 (UTC)


There seem to be some doubts about slavery in ancient Rome.

  • It is known that a slave could by his own freedom. However could someone else do it for him? I mean the more specific details. Someone paid the owner of a slave. Was he specifically buying the freedom or was he buying the slave (who de jure became his slave) to release him afterwards?
  • How do you think Romans treated their slaves? Do believe that they always treated all house slaves fairly and only punished them if the slaves did something wrong? AFAIK:
  • If the Roman master wished he could sleep with a slave if the slave wanted or not (and that is rape). I don't believe that a slave could refuse this.
  • A Roman master could beat his slave whenever he wanted (beat, whip, maim).
  • A Roman master could even kill his slave whenever he wanted (I vaguely remember that Claudius passed some laws about this issue).
  • Many slaves seem to have suffered from maltrunition (they eat poorly).

Don't be afraid to correct me (with proper sources) if I'm wrong in any of this. Flamarande (talk) 08:07, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

This article is on Roman citizenship, but as this includes a brief paragraph on slavery we have to get to the point without overbloating the article with info on slavery. Slavery in Rome evolved over a very long period but it is sufficient to say that slaves were by and large at the mercy of their owners until certain clauses were slowly brought in under the emperors, that they could attain their freedom and that their experiences varied massively.
To your questions:
  • 1 ylou have to be free and asn also you have to have sex with your mom so go fuck her!!
Yes slaves could be bought and given their freedom, for example a male slave becoming a freedman could then buy the freedom of a family member/friend who had been also enslaved while a Roman could buy the freedom of a valued slave from another family and give them freedom thereby gaining them as a 'client' freedman.
How was the specific procedure? Was the freedman legally the owner of the family member until he released him, or not? could you buy the fredom of someone else or could you buy a slave from the original owner and then release him? Flamarande (talk) 09:21, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
  • 2/3/4/5
Slaves were property, and good house slaves (educated, skilled or even just trusted) a commodity that the owner would not want to destroy. It is easy to see that a degree of pragmatism and a touch of propriety would have been enough for most owners to not abuse the slaves in their household unless they believed it necessary. Good slaves could be very expensive and thus the owner would not want to see this money wasted, while much needed skills could and did erode boundaries between owner and slave. Tombs and literature show the surprisingly close relationships that some Romans had towards their slaves and ex-slaves (freedmen) (look at Cicero and Tiro for example).

They were expensive to buy and maintain and therefore it was simply not good business for them to be abused to the point where they would not or could not do the tasks set to them. Alongside this we have the occasional glut of slaves taken in conquests lowering the value of the labourer and thus removing from the least moral of owners a reason for decent treatment. However, just because one can be brutal does not mean one will, look to today's world for comparison and how we treat our animals, most people are humane or even doting on their pets and work animals while a minority are repulsively inhumane. The same must be said of Romans and slaves.
We are not talking about pets which we keep simply for our company or otherwise (and there are lots of ppl out there who beat their pets), we are talking about human slaves in a slave-holding society 2000 years ago. Don't forget that a minority of Romans had several slaves by the dozen (and by the hundreds) and that AFAIK were not afraid to have them punished. There is a diff if you write: "slaves could be punished" or "slaves were at the mercy of their owners". The first insinuates that the slaves were only be punished if they did something wrong and had a relatively fair treatment. The second is way more honest description. Flamarande (talk) 09:21, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Take gladiators for an example of value halting excess (to be differed from condemned criminals sent to die), also slaves, but who enjoyed fame, food and the best medical care available alongside the dangers of wounding or death. Contrary to popular belief gladiatorial fights did not inevitably end in death, with most fights going until one was defeated either by being knocked down, disarmed or wounded. Owners could gain a fortune from good gladiators but nothing from a dead one. We know that some citizens actually sold themselves into slavery to fight as gladiators for a fixed period in order to make money.
We are not talking about experienced gladiators which form a minority which has to be trained. We are talking about "common" house slaves. Flamarande (talk) 09:21, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
The degree to which a slave was abused or not and the existence he/she led depended on a range of factors including: what they did (how they were used), where they did it (farm/mine/house/army servant ETC), who they did it for (temperament and mentality of owner), their intelligence or special skills (education, crafts, physical strength) and a host of other differentials. Some slaves lived better lives than poor free citizens eventually becoming free themselves while others laboured in godawful conditions till death.
  • 6
As to food, it is far too vague and broad a question. Some slaves would have eaten well, some would not. Some owners (even on the farms) would have ensured they were sufficiently fed to work while others would have not, this involves a lot of guesswork and could take an entire thesis to pin down (obviously way beyond the limits of this short article). Gaius Octavius Princeps (talk) 01:30, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Face it: slaves could be beaten, raped, whipped, maimed, starved and even killed by their Roman owners without any problems (for the owners). It was not forbidden. Flamarande (talk) 09:21, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Latin Right citizens and Right to vote[edit]

Currently the article states the following: Client state citizens and allies (socii) 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

However, Latin Right citizens didn't have the right to vote in Roman elections, impractical or not. Gugganij (talk) 23:41, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Hm, yes, this has been somewhat muddled, hasn't it? There were citizens eligible to vote for whom it was impractical to travel to Rome to do so, and provincial areas (as in the Narbonensis or Cisalpina) tended to be placed in certain voting tribes. But you should feel free to sort this out. Cynwolfe (talk) 00:07, 9 July 2011 (UTC)