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876

PATRICII.

patres legit, Liv. i.^30), viz., the Tullii (Julii?), Servilii, Quinctii, Geganii, Curiatii,. and Cloelii, to "which Dionysius (iii. 29) adds the gens Metilia. Ancus Mareius admitted the Tarquinii (Dionys. iii. 48), Tarquinius Priscus the Tullii (Dionys. iv. 3), Servius Tullius the Octavii (Sueton. Aug.

3. &c.), and even Tarqninius Superbus seems to have had similar intentions. (Dionys. iv. 57 ; Sueton. Vitell. 1.) We do not hear that the num­ber of gentes was increased by these admissions, and must therefore suppose that some of them had already become extinct, and that the vacancies "which thus arose were filled up with these new burghers. (Gb'ttling, p. 222.) During the time of the republic, distinguished strangers and wealthy plebeians were occasionally made Roman patricians, e. g. Appius Claudius and his gens (Liv. x. 8 ; compare ii. 16 ; Dionys. v. 40 ; Sueton. Tib. 1), and Domitius Ahenobarbus. (Suet. Nero, 1.) As regards the kingly period the Roman historians speak as if the kings had had the power of raising a gens or an individual to the rank of a patrician ; but it is evident that the king could not do this withouf the consent of the patres in their curies ; and hence Livy (iv. 4) makes Canuleius say, " per cooptationem in patres, aut ab regibus lecti," which lectio, of course, required the sanction of the body of patricians. In the time of the republic such an elevation to the rank of patrician could only be granted by the senate and the populus. (Liv. iv.

4. x. 8, compare especially Becker, Handb. der ftom. Altertli. ii. 1. p. 26. &c.)

Since there were no other Roman citizens but the patricians during this period, we cannot speak of any rights or privileges belonging to them exclu­sively ; thejr are all comprehended under civitas (roman) and gens. Respecting their relations to the kings see comitia curiata and senatus. During this early period we can scarcely speak of the patricians as an aristocracy, unless we regard their relation to the clients in this light. [cliens.]

Second Period : from the establishment of the plebeian order to the time of Constantine. When the plebeians became a distinct class of citizens, who shared certain rights with the patricians, the latter lost in so far as these rights no longer belonged to them exclusively. But by far the greater number of rights, and those the most im­portant ones, still remained in the exclusive pos­session of the patricians, who alone were cives optima jure, and were the patres of the nation in the same sense as before. All civil and religious offices were in their possession, and they continued as before to be the populus, the nation now con­sisting of the populus and the plebes. This dis­tinction, which Livy found in ancient documents (xxv. 12), seems however in the course of time to have fallen into oblivion, so that the historian seems to be scarcely aware of it, and uses populus for the whole body of citizens including the ple­beians. Under the Antonines the term populus signified all the citizens, with the exception of the patricii. (Gains, i. 3.) In their relation to the plebeians or the commonalty, the patricians now were a real aristocracy of birth. A person born of a patrician family was and remained a patrician, whether he was rich or poor, whether he was a member of the senate, or an eques, or held any of the great offices of the state, or not: there was no power that could make a patrician a plebeian, ex­cept his own free will, for every patrician might j

patricit;

by adoption into a plebeian family, or by a solemn transition from his own order to the plebs, become a plebeian, leaving his gens and curia and re­nouncing the sacra. As regards the census, he might indeed not belong to the wealthy classes, but his rank remained the same. Instances of re­duced patricians in the latter period of the republic are, the father of M. Aemilius Scaurus and the family of the Sullas previous to the time of the dictator of that name. (Suet. Aug. 2 ; Liv. iv. 16; Plin. //. N. xviii. 4 ; Zonar. vii. 15; Ascon. Ped. in Scaur, p. 25, ed. Orelli.) A plebeian, on the other hand, or even a stranger, might, as we stated above, be made a patrician by a lex curiata. But this appears to have been done very seldom ; and the consequence was, that in the course of a few centuries the number of patrician families be­came so rapidly diminished, that towards the close of the republic there were not more than fifty such families. (Dionys. i. 85.) Julius Caesar by the lex Cassia raised several plebeian families to the rank of patricians, in order that they might be able to continue to hold the ancient priestly offices which still belonged to their order. (Suet. Caes. 41 ; Tacit. Annal. xi. 25 ; Dion Cass. xliii. 47, xlv. 2.) Augustus soon after found it necessary to do the same by a lex Saenia. (Tacit. I. c.; Dion Cass. xlix. 43, Iii. 42.) Other emperors followed these examples : Claudius raised a number of sena­tors and such persons as were born of illustrious parents to the rank of patricians (Tacit. /. c.; Suet. Otli. 1) ; Vespasian, Titus, and other emperors did the same. (Tacit. Agric. 9 ; Capitol. M. Antonin. 1 ; Lamprid. Commod. 6.) The expression for this act of raising persons to the rank of patricians was in patricios or infamiliam patriciam adligere.

Although the patricians throughout this whole period had the character of an aristocracy of birth, yet their political rights were not the same at all times. The first centuries of this period are an almost uninterrupted struggle between patricians and plebeians, in which the former exerted every means to retain their exclusive rights, but which ended in the establishment of the political equality of the two orders. [plebs.] Only a few insigni­ficant priestly offices, and the performance of certain ancient religious rites and ceremonies, remained the exclusive privilege of the patricians ; of which they were the prouder, as in former days their re­ligious power and significance were the basis of their political superiority. (See Ambrosch, Studien und Andeutungen, &c. p. 58, &c.) At the time when the struggle between patricians and plebeians ceased, a new kind of aristocracy began to arise at Rome, which was partly based upon wealth and partly upon the great offices of the republic, and the term Nobiles was given to all persons whose ancestors had held any of the curule offices. (Com­pare nobiles.) This aristocracy of nobiles threw , the old patricians as a body still more into the shade, though both classes of aristocrats united as far as was possible to monopolise all the great offices of the state (Liv. xxii. 34, xxxix. 41); but although the old patricians were obliged in many cases to make common cause with the nobiles, yet they could never suppress the feeling of their own superiority ; and the veneration which histori­cal antiquity alone can bestow, always distinguished them as individuals from the nobiles. How much wealth gradually gained the upper hand, is seen from the measure adopted about the time of the

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