|In this paragraph we will explain on the basis of this pyramid how the population of the Roman Empire was divided into 5 different groups.|
Layer 1: Senators and large landowners
The senators stood at the top of the pyramid, in the first layer (the top of the society). They descended from the old nobility, and they were very rich and possessed large country-estates in the surroundings of Rome. The senators lived in the Rome and ruled the roost in the politics of the Roman Empire.
Layer 2: Rich businessmen, bankers and high military commanders
In the second group of the Roman society were the rich businessmen, the bankers and high military commanders located. This people came from high social circles too.
Layer 3: Small self-employeds
The small self-employed, like farmers and shopkeepers, came from this social group. This layer was group of the 'normal' citizens: schoolmasters, bakers, carpenters, butchers, artists and doctors. Sometimes the people from this layer had a rough time; it was often very difficult to keep your head above water. When this didn't succeed, these people landed in the 4th layer.
Layer 4: Proletarians (poor but free people)
The proletarians were in the 4th group. They had no regular job and no real property too. They lived in insulae, the flats in the poor neighbourhoods of the city. The living circumstances in those insulae were real bad. When the proletarians couldn't find a job (very often the only job was seasonal work), they were completely dependent on their patronus.
Layer 5: The non-liberts
At the bottom of the Roman society were the non-liberts, the slaves located. They had no rights, and they were property of their master, so they could be sold. There were even slave-markets!