The toga was the characteristic garment of the Roman citizen. Roman women (who were not considered citizens) and Non-citizens were not allowed to wear one.It is very difficult to offer meaningful generalities across the entire Roman period, as the nature and availability of citizenship was affected by legislation, for example, the Lex Iulia. In the
Slaves were considered property and had only certain very limited rights as granted by statute. They could essentially be sold, tortured, maimed, raped and killed at the whim of their owners. It was the exceptional feature of ancient
The natives who lived in territories conquered by
A Roman citizen enjoyed the full range of benefits that flowed from his status. A citizen could, under certain exceptional circumstances, be deprived of his citizenship.
Women were a class apart whose status in Roman society varied tremendously over time. While Roman citizen women would come to enjoy many of the rights accorded to male citizens, Roman women could not vote or stand for office, and were, at least in theory, subject to the almost complete power of their paterfamilias.
the various methods to obtain Roman citizenship:
Roman citizenship was granted automatically to every child born in a legal marriage of a Roman citizen.
People who were from the Latin states were gradually granted citizenship.
The children of freed slaves became citizens.
A Roman legionary could not legally marry, therefore all his children were denied citizenship, unless and until the legionary married their mother after his release from service.
Some individuals received citizenship because of their outstanding service to the Roman republic (later, the empire).
One could also buy citizenship, but at a very high price.
Auxilia were rewarded with Roman citizenship after their term of service. Their children also became citizens and could join the Roman legions.
Rights given (please notice that all these rights varied over time)
The right to vote in the Republic.
The right to make legal contracts.
The right to have a lawful marriage.
The right to stand for public office.
The right to sue (and be sued) in the courts.
The right to appeal from the decisions of magistrates.
The right to have a trial (to appear before a proper court and to defend oneself).
Citizens could not be subjected to torture.
A Roman citizen couldn't be sentenced to death unless he was found guilty of treason. If accused of treason, a Roman citizen had the right to be tried in
Even if sentenced to death, no Roman citizen could be sentenced to die at the cross. (Despite being found guilty of the same crime,
Roman citizenship was required in order to join the Roman legions, but this was sometimes ignored.
All these rights were (as everywhere down the ages, and even today) sometimes ignored. The definition of the crime "treason" varied largely from time to time.
The governorship of Gaius Verres is perhaps the most blatant example how all these rights could simply be ignored by the State. Apparently, Verres (then governor of Sicilia) being informed that a local Roman citizen would travel to
The granting of citizenship to the conquered and the allies was a vital step in the process of Romanization. This step was one of the most effective political tools and (at that point in history) original political ideas (perhaps one of the most important reasons for the success of
Alexander the Great had tried to "mix" his Macedonians and the Persians, Egyptians, Syrians, etc in order to assimilate the people of the conquered
The idea was to assimilate, to turn a defeated and potentially rebellious enemy (or his sons) into a Roman citizen. Instead having to wait for the unavoidable revolt of a conquered people (a tribe or a city-state) like
The Social War (in which the Italian allies revolted against
After 212 AD, all freemen in the Empire were granted citizenship by an imperial edict (the Constitutio Antoniniana) of Emperor Caracalla.
"The Complete Roman Army" by Adrian Goldsworthy edited by Thames & Hudson ISBN 0-500-05124-0
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