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  • freedmen/ libertini
    • manumission restrictions
      • former slaves freed by masters- those freed were usually the most trusted and intelligent.
      • there was a tax on manumissions and other discriminatory legislation was passed by Augustus to restrict their numbers, proportion of freedmen to free-born was very high.
        • once manumiteed they took citizenship of former master but still were not regarded as fully privileged Roman citizens.
    • there had been riots and unrest due to the issues of the Plebs Rustica (peasants from Italian countryside) and Plebs Urbana- (those who recieved grain dole).
      • Plebs Rustica- shortage of land and debts
      • plebs urbana- food shortage and unemployment.
      • most unrest ceased under augustus due to better policing of the city (3 urban cohorts, 7 cohorts of vigiles)
        • efficient management of corn supply after AD6
        • numerous games given
        • public works- led to steady employment
        • lots of members of peasant families joining the armies.
        • veteran colonies- providing land- other veterans receiving cash to buy lands elsewhere.
    • status of freedmen
      • advantages
        • ex master protected freedmens legal interest
        • admitted to guilds which they often organised.
        • permitted to intermarry with freeborn.
        • could serve in vigiles.
        • monopolised priesthoods of non-roman deities- 7BC wardmasters for lares.
        • prominent part in cult of worshipping rome and augustus.
        • could obtain freeborn status- presentation of gold ring by A. made them eligible for equestrian class.
      • disadvantages
        • continued to woe former masters obligations
        • unable to hold magistracy
        • forbidden to serve as priests
        • could not serve as soldier in praetorian guard, legions or urban cohorts.
        • expected to wear a special cap.
        • forbidden to intermarry with senatorial class.
    • careers available
      • could be artisans, messengers for magistrates, attendants, clerks and shopkeepers.
      • could perform secretarial jobs in household of master.
      • some became wealthy in business- especially those from Syria.
      • more fortunate were those who were part of Augustus' household. personal freedmen used to manage finance. they became influential civil servants.


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