Deciphering who the Plebeians were and where exactly they fit into Roman Society is not an easy task that has long challenged historians. There are several things that can be first laid out though. The Plebeians were much larger in number then the Patricians were and likewise consisted of a more diverse group of people that held different roles within the city. Most of them, though not all, were poor. Also during the Struggle of the Orders the Plebeians were able to provide their own leadership, so we can infer some of the members had to be well educated and financed. However it might be possible that those wealthier members of the Plebeians joined them later from other sects, such as Patricians’ clients who were dissatisfied with the Patricians, within Rome in response to the Patrician monopoly on control of the Republic (Momigliano).
An interesting explanation to where the Plebeians might have fit into Roman society is offered by Adriano Momigliano. He claims that by examining traditional writing and looking at traditional events we can infer that the Plebeians were not members of the average populus. Momigliano claims that they originally did not regularly serve in the army and instead were artisans, laborers, merchants, and smallholders too poor to qualify.
Another reason that he claims we can infer that Plebeians were not of the average populus. Is that there Tribunes and Comitia seemed to have been formed in a way that conveys that they were not included in the original existing Tribunes or the comitia centuriata. He makes the point that if the plebeians were already existing members of these groups than why did they not use these organizations instead to voice their demands?
One of the Plebeians greatest strengths that they would soon use was the value that they provided to Rome. The Patricians were reliant on the Plebs for the basic necessities of the Republic that they provided from farm work to skilled trades.