What Were The Main Jobs In Ancient Rome


The Roman Empire was an incredibly influential period in the history of the world. As a result, it is important to understand the main jobs in Ancient Rome. This article will discuss some of the most important occupations of the era, the skills and tasks needed to perform the job, and how the jobs compared to modern-day counterparts. Furthermore, it will provide insights into the roles of the Roman lower classes and the significance of gender roles in the workplace.

Everyday Life as a Roman Professional

The Roman jobs were divided into four different categories: professionals, freedmen, slaves, and children. The most prominent occupations included lawyers, orators, physicians, and teachers. These professionals were highly respected, and many were of the upper class. All of these professions required specialized skills, such as literacy and rhetorical speaking, that were specifically acquired through the Roman education system. Moreover, many professions also required a formal apprenticeship period, in which the individual would learn the necessary skills to become an expert in the field.

Furthermore, it is important to note that the citizens of Rome typically specialized in one skill. For instance, professionals tended to perfect just one aspect of the lawyer profession, such as writing wills or preparing lawsuits. This setup made it possible for a professional to excel in a specific role, rather than attempting to complete all of the necessary tasks. This specialization is evident in many of the modern professions today.

Roman Lower Classes in the Workforce

While the professionals of the Roman Empire held great power, what of the lower classes? Regular citizens would likely have engaged in the same occupations as today. These jobs would include manual labor, such as stone masonry, carpentry, and leatherworking. In addition, there would likely have been many taverns, inns, and taverns that served wine and food. These establishments provided a welcome place for citizens to socialize and socialize.

It is important to note that while lower-class citizens did not have access to the same privileges and resources as the upper-class, they still had some degree of autonomy. Despite having no formal education or training, many citizens could still perfect a craft over time and eventually become masters at their job. This is evidenced by the many master craftsmen of Ancient Rome.

Gender in the Roman Workplace

It is important to consider the role of gender in the Roman workplace as well. This is especially true in regards to upper-class Roman men and women. Women were not permitted to enter politics and held a subordinate role in society. However, women could still enter the professions associated with their class and undertake occupations such as teacher or nurse. In addition, women could become merchants, doctors, and even lawyers if they were of the upper-classes. This demonstrates that, while women in ancient Rome were largely excluded from public life, there were some opportunities for them to reach a high level of success.

Furthermore, it is also important to note that gender also played a role in the lower-class occupations. Women were typically not allowed to engage in manual labor, such as stone masonry or carpentry. Women were typically assigned tasks such as spinning, weaving, and loomwork. Women also typically worked in the taverns and inns to serve food and drink.

Significance of Roman Jobs

Overall, the jobs in ancient Rome had a major impact on the society and culture of the time. The upper-class professions provided stability and respect, as well as a sense of identity. The lower-class jobs provided a means of survival, as well as opportunities to develop different skills. Finally, gender roles played a major part in the kinds of opportunities available to different classes.

Overall, the jobs in ancient Rome were an integral part of the society and culture of the time, and continue to be a major influence on modern day life. Through this brief discussion, it is apparent that the major jobs in ancient Rome were varied and important to the culture and society at the time.


In conclusion, it is clear that the major jobs in Ancient Rome were varied and important to the culture and society at the time. From lawyers and physicians to manual labor, gender roles and lower classes had a major impact on the way people lived and the opportunities available. This article has provided an overview of some of the major roles in ancient Rome and how they continue to influence modern day life.

Moshe Rideout is a professional writer and historian whose work focuses on the history of Ancient Rome. Moshe is passionate about understanding the complexity of the Roman Empire, from its architecture to its literature, political systems to social structures. He has a Bachelor's degree in classic studies from Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a PhD in classical archaeology at UMass Amherst. When he isn't researching or writing, he enjoys exploring ruins around Europe, drawing inspiration from his travels.

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