We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Select Bible Use this Lookup to open a specific Bible and passage. Start here to select a Bible.
Make selected Bible the default for Lookup tool.
Book: Ch.V. Select book from A-Z list, enter chapter and verse number, and click "Go."
:
OR
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result

The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Levels of Status

There were two classes in Roman society: those few who had wealth, power, public offices, education, eloquence, and manners and the vast majority who did not. There was no middle class in our sense of the words. Legal codes of the second century distinguished the “more honorable” from the “more humble,” formalizing older practice. The difference determined not only who had to swallow insults from whom, but what one could expect from a court of law. The same crime could bring crucifixion to the “insignificant” person, exile to one “more honorable.” Dream manuals and divination texts give quite different interpretations of the same omens depending on whether the dreamer is rich or poor, slave or free, of a high or low occupation.

Within each class, there were further sharp divisions. At the very top were the formally defined “orders”: the Roman senators, next the knights, below them the decurions or councilors of provincial cities. Superimposed on these old orders were the emperor and his household, who both manipulated the orders by patronage and limited their power. The “household of Caesar” under some of the emperors acted as almost the civil service of the empire—competing with the prerogatives of the knights and the decurions and even undermining the prestige of the senators. It especially galled members of the old aristocracy that a freed person (former slave) of the emperor might, as a member of the household, sometimes exercise power and influence greater than that of many a senator. The household of Caesar afforded one of the few opportunities for upward social mobility in ancient society.

  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result
Oxford University Press

© 2018. All Rights Reserved. Privacy policy and legal notice