Patricians


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Patricians

 

in ancient Rome the term seems originally to have encompassed the entire native population of the clan commune that constituted the Roman people (Populus Romanus Quiritium), as opposed to the plebeians. After the separation of noble aristocratic families from the tribe, the patricians became a clan aristocracy.

Beginning in the sixth century B.C., in the period of the formation of class society and the state, the patricians became the ruling class-estate of the Roman Republic. The economic foundation of their power was the exclusive right to use public lands (the ager publicus). After the plebeians were included in the Roman people and were granted equal rights with the patricians (the beginning of the third century B.C.), the top strata of the patricians—the patriciate—and plebeians merged to form the nobility. Under the empire, a new patriciate developed, consisting of the privileged members of the senatorial estate and natives of Italy and the provinces who were elevated to patrician status by the emperor.

References in classic literature ?
Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.
She was like a queen in the midst of her court; she paid no attention to the profound silence that reigned among the patricians, and passed before their camp without pronouncing a single word.
Hunsden, that patrician descent may be read in a distinctive cast of form and features?
Melville, on the other hand, was of distinctly patrician birth, his paternal and maternal grandfathers having been leading characters in the Revolutionary War; their descendants still maintaining a dignified social position.
Sir Leicester receives the gout as a troublesome demon, but still a demon of the patrician order.
In order to confine the dignity of Hadji to gentlemen of patrician blood and possessions, the Emperor decreed that no man should make the pilgrimage save bloated aristocrats who were worth a hundred dollars in specie.
A natural gentleman finds his way in, and will keep the oldest patrician out who has lost his intrinsic rank.
Towards the end of his career, at the moment of reaching the goal, like the patrician Fuscus, he had made a false step upon a plank, and had fallen into the sea.
Little or nothing of those romances, with their swelling prefaces about the poet and his function, their glittering criminals, and showy rakes and rogues of all kinds, and their patrician perfume and social splendor, remained with me; they may have been better or worse; I will not attempt to say.
Tarzan's mouth watered and a low growl escaped his patrician lips.
patrician sense of humor and tapped the tank of royal tears.
The knoll was there, but the Hunnish brambles had overrun and all but obliterated its effete grasses; and the patrician garden-violet had capitulated to his plebeian brother--perhaps had merely reverted to his original type.