Did you know? What does Homo Novus means?


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Roman leadership (administrative authority) during the years of the Early Republic was restricted to the Patrician class (aristocracy) and certainly at no time in the Roman Empire do we ever see a complete eradication of the caste system, although at times advancements were indeed made. The years of 494 to 287 BC brought a great civil struggle between the Patrician class and the Plebians (commoners) which did eventually result in the granting of rights of Plebians to run for public office.

Of course, running for office and achieving office were two entirely different things and it was a rare event for a commoner to break in to the world of Roman politics. It was not until the passage of Lex Gabinia in 139 BC that secret ballots allowed Roman citizens to vote their conscience instead of being required to vote for the candidate of their patron’s choice. Still, even in the wake of this new legislation only the rare plebian was able to climb his way to the top echelon of government power – the Consul, which gave a man automatic entry into the Senate.

Such men who achieved this were called novus homo – ‘new men’ – the first in their families to achieve Senatorial status.  There were two types of novus homo – the first came from well-connected equestrian (or greater) families and the second came from families on the outside – the aforementioned plebians. Here’s the catch, they were Senators (called ‘small senators’) but they weren’t in the ‘in crowd’ – the caste system that made it so hard for them to achieve success still held them back. They had the elected position, they had the recognition, they had the authority – but they were still treated like second class citizens for a few generations.




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Rico Cortes

I am a teacher of Scriptures, Torah follower, and believer in Messiah Yeshua. I have been given the opportunity to share the Word of God with many believers around the world. My work as a servant of the Most High God has allowed me to be a voice to spread the good news of the New Testament, unveiling its truth through context and the obedience to the Almighty through his Torah.

2 thoughts on “Did you know? What does Homo Novus means?”

  1. So, what was the purpose of Yeshua sending out messengers, and bringing gentiles into Common Wealth of Israel; when He supposedly knew Jerusalem destroyed in 70 AD?

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