Commoner , which comes from plebeius (a Latin word), is an adjective that applies to that or that which belongs to the plebs . The plebs, meanwhile, is the social class that occupies the lower zone in the pyramid of the society .
The term was frequent in antiquity, when social classes were well differentiated and mobility between them was impossible. At that time, it was easy to distinguish between noble , the religious , the military and the commoners .
According to the terminology used in classical Roman historiography, the commoner did not have gens, social system or civil group of Ancient Rome, comprised of a number of families who shared a surname; in other words, this figure of society (the plebs) did not have its origin in the patrician families, those who were responsible for founding Rome and, at least initially, were not considered part of the Roman people or their curias (subdivision of people similar to a tribe).
Continuing with this conception of the term plebeian, its etymology suggests for certain scholars the connotation of "son of the land ", without a definite ancestor; this opposes the patricians, who were linked to the Olympic gods, belonging to ancient Greece, among which were Zeus, Poseidon, Ares, Apollo, Heracles and Athena.
It is important to clarify that the condition from foreign ceased to be valid over time, and commoners were considered part of Rome, citizens with political rights (although not as many as other classes) and obligations (mainly, to fulfill military service).
Traditionally, the inscription of this social class in public records is attributed to Servio Tulio, the sixth king of the Empire, who ruled between 578 and 537 a. C., until his daughter, Tulia, took his life so that his son-in-law, Tarquinio the Superb, occupied his throne. For this reform, Servio relied on an old classification which recognized, among others, the following offices, which became part of the ancient world people: merchants, flutists, artisans, shoemakers, potters, orifers, carpenters, tanners and bronchists.
One of the main characteristics of commoners was that they could not exercise certain civil rights that were reserved exclusively for the rest of the classes. This led, over time, to various revolts and struggles through which commoners demanded more rights and equal treatment.
It should be noted, however, that not all commoners were equal. Some members of the plebs were rich and had a great social influence; others, however, did not have any property and they lived in absolute poverty. Within the plebs, it is possible to distinguish between the following four groups:
* homines novi : There were not many but they had a great influence and important capitals. From this group emerged successful military and politicians;
* equites : they had him capital enough to fulfill military service in cavalry;
* adsidui : small owners with the obligation to enroll in the infantry regiments, for which they used to incur too many debts and become, as a consequence, clients of a rich;
* proletarii : They had no good.
At present, the notion of commoner is sometimes used to mark an opposition between the people that lack noble titles and those that are part of the monarchy or the nobility. When Argentina Max Zorreguieta he married Prince Guillermo , the union between a commoner and a member of the monarchy of the Netherlands . The same happened when the commoner Letizia Ortiz she married with him Prince Philip , the son of King of Spain .