We have a worksheet for history, where we need to guess an ancient Roman person's class depending on their point of view in a piece of text they wrote. I have searched the internet for help in one of the pieces of text, about a son of a freed slave, but I found nothing. My question is- Is the biological or adopted son of an ancient Roman Freedman a Freedman or a Freeborn? Thanks!
According to Roman Law, the child of a male slave or of a free man and a slave woman was a slave like his/her mother - the status of slave passed from mother to child. Thus the child of a freedman would be either born free or born a slave depending on the status of his/her mother.
Freedmen had the status of Roman citizens - though second class citizens still partially dependent on their former masters. A male child born to a freedman and a free mother - even if she may once have been a slave - was a free born Roman citizen, though usually of low status.
As I remember, Emperor Publius Helvius Pertinax Augustus, was born to a freedman Helvius Successus and rose in society to be a military officer, a senator, a governor, a consul, and finally emperor.
Emperor Marcus Opellius Severus Macrinus Augustus is also said to have been the son of a freedman according to some sources.