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Encyclopedia > Patrician
This article is about the social and political class in ancient Rome. For other uses of the term, see patrician (disambiguation).

Patrician originally referred to the elite caste of ancient Rome, the term was a specific title given to high court officials during the time of the late Roman Empire. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... The term patrician originally referred to the privileged class of ancient Rome (see patrician). ... Elitism is the belief or attitude that the people who are considered to be the elite — a selected group of persons with outstanding personal abilities, wealth, specialised training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are the people whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously, or... Caste systems are traditional, hereditary systems of social stratification, enforced by law or common practice, based on classifications such as occupation, race, ethnicity, etc. ... Area under Roman control  Roman Republic  Roman Empire  Western Empire  Eastern Empire Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a city-state founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

The term is derived from the Latin word patricius (plural patricii), which comes from patrēs, the plural of pater ("father"). Pater was the term applied to the original members of the Roman Senate. The word comes down in English as "patrician" from the Middle English patricion, from the Old French patrician. In modern English, the word patrician is generally used to denote a member of the upper class, often with connotations of inherited wealth, elitism, and a sense of noblesse oblige. Latin was the language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... The Roman Senate (Latin: Senatus) was the main governing council of both the Roman Republic, which started in 509 BC, and the Roman Empire. ... Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 1066 and the mid-to-late 15th century, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the... Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories corresponding roughly to the northern half of modern France and parts of Belgium and Switzerland from around 1000 to 1300 A.D. It was known at the time as the langue doïl to distinguish it from the langue... In French, noblesse oblige means, literally, nobility obliges. Noblesse oblige is generally used to imply that with wealth, power and prestige come social responsibilities. ...

The patricians formed the upper class of Roman citizenship. Patricians have been referred to as the Senatorial class, but not all patricians held positions in the Roman Senate. The other classes of the period were the Equites, which formed the middle class, and the working class plebs. An Equestrian (Latin eques, plural equites) was a member of one of the two upper social classes in the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire. ... In Ancient Rome, the plebs was the general body of Roman citizens, distinct from the privileged class of the patricians. ...

Patricians were distinguished by a purple band on the white toga of adult males. A similar purple band was worn on the white togas of the tribuni militum and the minors of all classes. Roman clad in toga The toga was a distinctive garment of Ancient Rome. ... Tribune (from the Latin: tribunus; Greek form tribounos) was a title shared by several elected magistracies and other governmental and/or (para)military offices of the Roman Republic and Empire. ...


Patricians vs. Plebeians

The distinction between patricians and plebeians in ancient Rome is not clearly defined in the ancient historical sources. Patricians are often portrayed as the rich and powerful families who managed to secure power over the less fortunate plebeian families, though some historians argue that this is too simplistic a view. By the time of the late Republic the identification of the two groups had become less definite, as many plebeian families had attained wealth and power while traditionally patrician families had fallen into poverty and obscurity. In Ancient Rome, the plebs was the general body of Roman citizens, distinct from the privileged class of the patricians. ... See also Roman Republic (18th century) and Roman Republic (19th century). ...

Historian Richard E. Mitchell states that patrician families were initially those who held positions within the priesthoods, and that the ancient Senate, comprised of patricians, was a religious advisory body. The Senate, acting as a council of religious elders, had political power because it was necessary to have their assent on new laws. The priestly class would confirm that the new laws were in keeping with mos maiorum and would give their auctoritas to the measures that could then be enacted. Bust of a flamen, 3rd century, Louvre A flamen was a name given to a priest assigned to a state supported god or goddess in Roman religion. ... The mos maiorum were the ancestral traditions, an unwritten code of laws and conduct, of the Romans. ... Auctoritas is the Latin origin of English authority. According to Benveniste [citation?], auctor (which also gives us English author) is derived from Latin augeó (to augment): The auctor is is qui auget, the one who augments the act or the juridical situation of another. ...

Patrician caste

By the early days of the Roman Republic, the patrician class formed a hereditary ruling group within the state; patrician status could only be attained by birth. The patricians claimed to trace their family lineage to the original populace of Rome, before the reign of Ancus Marcius, and to the earliest members of the Roman Senate. Plebians were not allowed to serve in magistrate positions, intermarriage between patricians and plebeians was forbidden, and trade between patricians and plebeians was forbidden. See also Roman Republic (18th century) and Roman Republic (19th century). ... Inheritance is the practice of passing on property, titles, debts, and obligations upon the death of an individual. ... Ancus Marcius (r. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not include all significant viewpoints. ...

Patricians were forced to gradually relinquish their power to the plebeians during the period known as the Conflict of the Orders. As patrician status was granted solely by birth, the total number of patrician families decreased with each generation. In 494 BC, the office of tribune was created to safeguard the interests of plebeians; no patrician was allowed to hold this office. By the 320s BC, all magistrate positions were open to plebeian candidates, and the importance of the distinction between patricians and plebeians began to fade. The Conflict of the Orders, also referred to as the Struggle of the Orders, was a political struggle between the plebeians (plebs) and patricians (patricii) of the ancient Roman Republic, in which the plebeians sought political equality and achieved it in 287 BC, after two centuries of strife. ... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 540s BC 530s BC 520s BC 510s BC 500s BC - 490s BC - 480s BC 470s BC 460s BC 450s BC 440s BC Years: 499 BC 498 BC 497 BC 496 BC 495 BC - 494 BC - 493 BC 492 BC... Tribune (from the Latin: tribunus; Greek form tribounos) was a title shared by several elected magistracies and other governmental and/or (para)military offices of the Roman Republic and Empire. ... Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC 330s BC - 320s BC - 310s BC 300s BC 290s BC 280s BC 270s BC Years: 329 BC 328 BC 327 BC 326 BC 325 BC 324 BC 323 BC 322 BC...

During the first century BC and the last days of the Roman Republic, wealthy plebeian families had become an integral part of the Roman elite, and patrician status came to offer little more than prestige. Integration of the classes was highlighted in 59 BC, when the patrician Publius Clodius Pulcher arranged to be adopted by a plebeian who was a year younger than he, so that he would be allowed to stand for the office of Tribune. One of the few positions that remained reserved to patricians was the office of Rex Sacrorum, King of Sacred Rites. The office of Rex Sacrorum was theoretically the highest ranking postition of the priesthood and was responsible for carrying out the religious duties established by the early kings of Rome. The authority of the Rex Sacrorum was superseded by that of the Pontifex Maximus, who was not required to be a Patrician. (2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century - other centuries) The 1st century BC starts on January 1, 100 BC and ends on December 31, 1 BC. An alternative name for this century is the last century BC. (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) Events The Roman... Prestige means good reputation or high esteem. ... Centuries: 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century Decades: 100s BC 90s BC 80s BC 70s BC 60s BC - 50s BC - 40s BC 30s BC 20s BC 10s BC 0s BC Years: 64 BC 63 BC 62 BC 61 BC 60 BC 59 BC 58 BC 57 BC 56... Publius Clodius Pulcher (born around 92 BC, died January 18, 52 BC), was a Roman politician, chiefly remembered for his feuds with Titus Annius Milo and Marcus Tullius Cicero and introducing the grain dole. ... A sacred king, according to the systematic interpretation of mythology developed by Sir James George Frazer in his influential book The Golden Bough, was a king who represented a solar deity in a periodically re-enacted fertility rite. ... Alternate meanings: see Pontifex (disambiguation) In Ancient Rome, the Pontifex Maximus was the high priest of the collegium of the Pontifices, the most august position in Roman religion, open only to a patrician, until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post. ...

Patrician position

Patrician status still carried a degree of prestige at the time of the early Roman Empire, and Roman Emperors routinely elevated their supporters to the patrician caste en masse. The prestige and meaning of the status gradually degraded, and by the end of the third century crisis, patrician status, as it had been known in the Republic, ceased to have meaning in everyday life. The emperor Constantine reintroduced the term, and Patrician became an honorific title bestowed to those who demonstrated faithful service to the Empire. There were often only a few patricians in the Empire at any given time, and sometimes only one. By the 5th century, the title generally denoted a man, commonly a general of the Roman army, who held the power behind the imperial throne. Patricians of this era included Stilicho, Constantius III, Aëtius, Boniface, and Ricimer; Constantius III would later become co-emporer. The patrician title was occasionally used in Western Europe after the end of the Roman Empire; for instance, Pope Stephen II granted the title "Patrician of the Romans" to the Frankish ruler Pippin III. In the Eastern Empire, where the Emperors maintained their hold on power, the title retained its meaning as an honorific. The term fell out of use as the Greek language replaced Latin as the language of the court. A member of the plebeian class could be elevated by showing great support towards the Senate, by living a life of pure dedication, and having no criminal history with members of the groups. Patricians could be demoted to plebeian status if they failed to fulfill their duties as a husband, or by mmurdering another member of the patrician society. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Constantine. ... Europe in 450 The 5th century is the period from 401 - 500 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... Flavius Stilicho (occasionally written as Stilico) (c. ... Costantius on a solidus. ... Flavius Aëtius or simply Flava Flav, ( 396–454), was a Roman general of the closing period of the Western Roman Empire. ... Count Boniface (in Latin, Comes Bonifacius) (d. ... Ricimer monogram on the reverse of this coin by Libius Severus. ... Stephen, elected pope in March of 752 to succeed Pope Zacharias, died of apoplexy three days later, before being consecrated. ... Pepin III (714 - September 24, 768) more often known as Pepin the Short (French, Pépin le Bref; German, Pippin der Kleine), was a King of the Franks (751 - 768). ...

Use in fiction

In the satirical fantasy series Discworld by English author Terry Pratchett, the city of Ankh-Morpork is run by a Presidential figure who is akin to the old Roman nobility. The ruler takes the title of Patrician, but is in all respects a tyrant. In most of the novels, the Patrician in office is named Havelock Vetinari and though he often puts up a democratic facade, he is a de facto dictator, albeit a relatively benign one. Fantasy is a genre of art that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. ... // This article is about the novels. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London (de facto) Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ... Terence David John Pratchett OBE (born April 28, 1948, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England[1]) is an English fantasy author, best known for his Discworld series. ... Ankh-Morpork is a fictional city-state which prominently features in Terry Pratchetts Discworld series of fantasy novels. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Lord Havelock Vetinari is the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, the head of the fictional city state of Ankh-Morpork in Terry Pratchetts Discworld series. ... De facto is a Latin expression that means in fact or in practice. It is commonly used as opposed to de jure (meaning by law) when referring to matters of law or governance or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without... Dictator was the title of a magistrate in ancient Rome appointed by the Senate to rule the state in times of emergency. ...

In the science fiction 'Foundation' trilogy of Isaac Asimov, Ducem Barr is referred to as a Patrician of the Empire in 'Foundation and Empire' volume. Within the story it is an inherited noble title, clearly derived of the Roman Imperial definition, which was used as a model for Asimov's Galactic Empire. Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Psychohistorian: Hari Seldon Foundation is the first book in Isaac Asimovs Foundation Trilogy (later expanded into The Foundation Series). ... Dr. Isaac Asimov (January 1, 1920 – April 6, 1992, IPA: , originally Исаак Озимов but now transcribed into Russian as Айзек Азимов) was a Russian-born American author and professor of biochemistry, a highly successful and exceptionally prolific writer best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. ... Ducem Barr is a fictional character, part of of Isaac Asimovs Foundation Series. ... Scholars debate what exactly constitutes an Empire (from the Latin imperium, denoting military command within the ancient Roman government). ... Foundation and Empire is a novel written by Isaac Asimov in 1952. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Galactic empires are a fairly common theme in science fiction. ...

List of definite and possible patrician families


Fabius Maximus coin, issued under Augustus. ... Sergius can refer to: Pope Sergius I Pope Sergius II Pope Sergius III Pope Sergius IV Saint Sergius Sergius of Radonezh Sergius Paulus Marcus Sergius This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Julius (fem. ... Cornelius (fem. ... Aemilius (fem. ... Valerius was a Roman nomen of the gens Valerii, one of the oldest families of the city. ... Servilius is the name of an illustrious Roman family. ... For places with this name, see Manlius, Illinois, Manlius Township, Michigan, and Manlius (town), New York, Manlius (village), New York. ... Sulpicius was a Roman nomen. ... Papirius is the name of several Romans: Papirius (pontifex), 509 BC Gaius Papirius Carbo, consul 120 BC Gaius Papirius Carbo, son of the consul, tribune c. ... Furius was the nomen of the ancient Roman gens Furia, an old family of uncertain origin. ... Gaius Flaminius was a politician and consul of the Roman Republic in the 3rd century BC. He was the greatest popular leader to challenge the authority of the Senate before the Gracchi a century later. ... Junius is the nomen of the gens Junia, an important and very ancient family of ancient Rome, with both Patrician and Plebeian branches. ... The gens Cassia, nomen Cassius, was one of the oldest families of ancient Rome. ... Marcius was a Latin family name (nomen gentile). ... The gens Claudia was one of the oldest families in ancient Rome, and for centuries its members were regularly leaders of the city and empire. ...


  • Livia
  • Junia (later republic)
  • Cassia (later republic)
  • Domitia
  • Calpurnia
  • Caecilia
  • Scribonia

List of Patricii

Flavius Julius Constantius (d. ... Events November 7 - Athanasius is banished to Trier, on the charge that he prevented the corn fleet from sailing to Constantinople. ... Events February 6 - Julius is elected pope. ... Flavius Stilicho (c. ... Events September 6 - Battle of the Frigidus: The christian Roman Emperor Theodosius I defeats and kills the pagan usurper Eugenius and his Frankish magister militum Arbogast. ... Events Theodosius II succeeds his father Arcadius as Emperor of the Eastern half of the Roman Empire In the summer of this year, the usurper Constantine III captures Spain, destroying the loyalist forces defending it. ... Magister militum (Latin for Master of the Soldiers) was a top-level command used in the later Roman Empire, dating from the reign of Constantine. ... Costantius on a solidus. ... Events January 1 - Constantius III marries Galla Placidia, sister of Honorius. ... Events February 8 - Constantius III becomes Co_Emperor of the Western Roman Empire June 7 - Roman Emperor Theodosius II marries Aelia Eudocia, formerly known as Athenais. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Flavius Castinus held the position of patricius in the court of Roman Emperor Flavius Augustus Honorius at the time of his death, and most likely for some time before. ... Centuries: 4th century - 5th century - 6th century Decades: 370s - 380s - 390s - 400s - 410s - 420s - 430s - 440s - 450s - 460s - 470s Years: 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427 428 429 Events: Saint Augustine of Hippo publishes The City of God Validity limit for the information on Western Roman Empire in... Count Boniface (in Latin, Comes Bonifacius) (d. ... Events July 31 - Sixtus is elected to succeed Celestine as Pope. ... Flavius Aëtius or simply Flava Flav, ( 396–454), was a Roman general of the closing period of the Western Roman Empire. ... Events Petronius Maximus becomes Roman Consul John of Antioch and Cyril of Alexandria sign the Formula of Reunion, thus ending their conflict over the Nestorian controversy and the Council of Ephesus. ... Events September 21 - Roman Emperor Valentinian III assassinates Aëtius in his own throne room. ... Petronius Maximus on a coin. ... Events Attila murders his brother and co-king Bleda. ... Events June 2 - Gaiseric leads the Vandals into Rome and plunder the city for two weeks. ... Ricimer monogram on the reverse of this coin by Libius Severus. ... Events Emperor Marcian quells disturbances on the Armenian frontier. ... Events Relations between the Roman Emperor Anthemius and the general Ricimer deteriorate completely. ... Gundobad, Patrician of Rome (472-473) also became King of the Burgundians (473-516), after his father, though he had to fight off three brothers to seize his title. ... Events Relations between the Roman Emperor Anthemius and the general Ricimer deteriorate completely. ... Events Glycerius is named Western Roman Emperor. ... The following is a list of the Kings of Burgundy // Kings of the Burgundians Gebicca (late 4th century–407) Godemar Giselcar Gundicar (413–436) Aetius moves the Burgundians into Sapaudia (Upper Rhone Basin) Gunderic/Gundioc (436–473) opposed by Chilperic I (443–c. ... Events Glycerius is named Western Roman Emperor. ... Sigismund becomes king of Burgundy. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Events August - The usurper Basiliscus is deposed and Zeno is restored as Eastern Roman Emperor. ... Events February 25 - Odoacer agrees to a mediated peace with Theodoric the Great, and is later killed by him personally. ... The following is a list of barbarian kings of Italy: Maximinus Thrax (235-238) Odoacer (476-493) Ostrogothic Kings of Italy Theoderic (493-526) Athalaric (526-534) Theodahad (534-536) Witiges (536-540) Heldebadus (540-541) Totila (541-552) Teias (552) Teias was killed by the Byzantine general Narses, and... al-Harith ibn Jabalah was a king of the Ghassanids, an pre-Islamic Arab people who lived on the eastern frontier of the Byzantine Empire. ... For other uses, see number 529. ... Events The Nubian kingdom of Alodia is converted to Christianity, according to John of Ephesus. ... language|Arabic]]:الغساسنة) were [[Arab Christian|Arab it is assumed that the Ghassanids adopted the religion of Christianity from the native Aramaeans and Romans. ... Kubrat (Bulgarian: Кубрат, Greek: χουβρτου) became the first bulgar BaltAvar in 632 by uniting under single rule all the Bulgar tribes and defeating the Avars. ...

See also

Patricanships are titles acknowledged by senators of major towns in Italy, that provided to those landed gentry and the nobility hereditary status of Patricans of such cities. ...


  • Kurt Raaflaub, ed. Social Struggles in Archaic Rome: New Perspectives on the Conflict of the Orders (Blackwell Publishing, 2005)

  Results from FactBites:
Patrician - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (881 words)
The patricians claimed to be able to trace their family to the original populace of Rome before the reign of Ancus Marcius and strong ties to the earliest members of the Roman Senate.
Patrician status was inherited, and intermarriage between patricians and plebeians was forbidden.
In modern English, the word patrician is generally used to denote a member of the upper class, often with connotations of inherited wealth, elitism, and a sense of noblesse oblige.
Patrician - definition of Patrician in Encyclopedia (210 words)
Patricians (Patricii) were the uppermost elite class of ancient Rome.
The word patrician, or patricius, is partly based on the Latin word Pater, which means father.
By the end of the fifth century, it had become the title of the man who held the power behind the Imperial throne, usually a general of the Roman army, such as Stilicho, Aetius, Boniface, and Ricimer.
  More results at FactBites »



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