• Ancient Rome
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

Linked to The Kingdom Period initially, The Patrician was the Ruling Class of Ancient Rome. King Romulus originally instituted “100 Men” as the first Nobility. By the time of The Republic Era, Patricians held complete dominance over Roman Society. It was The Patricians who held most Positions of Government and attained high ranks within Rome’s Armies.
A common belief in Rome that as a result of their privileged status, The “Gods” of Rome “heard and answered” their prayers above all. As a result Roman Patricians held Positions as Priests and Priestess as well. Despite their status, The Roman Senate (also mostly Patrician) to have complete control of Roman Law (see “Tribune”). Checks and balances were originally put forth to keep Roman Law in check, especially when it related to the lower “Plebian” Class.
Family “Name” was of utmost important in Ancient Rome. Even though a “lowly” Plebian may attain wealthy and stature within Society, if one was not born into a Wealthy Patrician Family – one could never quite attain their status. This changed slightly in Roman Provinces when a general lack of Patricians allowed “wealthy” Plebians to conduct themselves as “Patricians”.
By The Late Republic Era, The Patrician Class slowly declined so that their numbers were never as great as in The Late Kingdom/Early Republic. With the growth of The Plebian Class, they began to generally outnumber The Patricians. Later Laws and Customs were relaxed (mostly due to the inception of more wealthy Plebians to Government positions). Those surviving Patrician Families clung to their few Positions, often at the cost of Civil War and general changes in the direction of The Empire. Seen sparingly in The Eastern Empire, The Patrician Title evolved into that (as did the responsibilities) of Prefect. They were used regularly to enforce Law under Constantine.