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comment How Was Roman Military Equipment Created and Distributed
Thanks for the answer. Do you know anything about how the craftsmen were organized? Did they contract with a person/group that was then expected to produce a certain amount of goods? Or was it more military in nature, with the state directly running the production facilities? Also, can you point me to any decent sources for learning more about these sorts of logistics?
comment What were the rights of various classes of people in the Roman Republic?
It's also probably worth mentioning that the late republic had a somewhat murkier division between classes. By that point, there were a lot of rich plebeian families, and it wasn't all that uncommon to see them in high offices. While some positions still depended on pleb/patrician status, it wasn't really a clear cut common vs aristocracy issue in the late republic.
comment Was the Roman Empire based on a 'plunder economy'?
The Romans did try to do that at least once. In general, though, Parthia was rather strong, and the Romans probably weren't in a position to seriously consider it until the very late republic after the Mithridatic Wars were concluded. Crassus, of course, died trying his hand at Parthian conquest, and Caesar was supposedly planning one when he was killed.