Michael Peachin

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780195188004
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History


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This article introduces the social relations of Romans in the ancient Roman Empire. It notes that the most basic driving force in these social relations involved a strong desire to rank people socially and to establish constantly finely tuned hierarchies. Scholars have proposed that this habit is present at all social levels of the Roman community. The article also notes that Romans needed to establish their social auctoritas—their authority, esteem, prestige, influence, and ascendancy—in order to relate to others in the Roman social fashion.

Keywords: social relations; driving force; social rank; hierarchy; social levels; social auctoritas; social fashion

Article.  18578 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Roman History

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