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On this page: Patrimi Et Matrimi – Patronomi


first Punic war, by which the expenses for the pnblic games were no longer given from the aera-rium, out were defrayed by the aediles ; and as their office was the first step to the great offices of the republic, that measure was a tacit exclusion of the poorer citizens from those offices. Under the emperors the position of the patricians as a bod}*-was not improved ; the filling up of the vacancies in their order by the emperors began more and more to assume the character of an especial honour, conferred upon a person for his good services or merely as a personal favour, so that the transi­tion from this period to the third had been gra­dually preparing.

Respecting the great political and religious privi­leges which the patricians at first possessed alone, but afterwards were compelled to share with the plebeians, see plebs and the articles treating of the several Roman magistracies and priestly offices. Compare also gens ; curia ; senatus.

In their dress and appearance the patricians were scarcely distinguished from the rest of the citizens, unless they were senators, curule magis­trates, or equites, in which case they wore like others the ensigns peculiar to these dignities. The only thing by which they appear to have been dis­tinguished in their appearance from other citizens, was a peculiar kind of shoes, which covered the whole foot and part of the leg, though they were not as high as the shoes of senators and curule magistrates. These shoes were fastened with four strings (corrigiae or lora patricia) and adorned with a lunula on the top. (Senec. De Tranquil. Anim. 11 ; Pint. Quaest. Rom. 75 ; Stat. Silo. v. 2, 27 ; Martial, i. 50, ii. 29.) Festus (s. v. Mulleos) states that mulleus was the name of the shoes worn by the patricians ; but the passage of Varro \vhich he adduces only shows that the mullei (shoes of a purple colour) were worn by the curule magis­trates. (Compare Dion Cass. xliii. 43.)

Third Period: from the time of Constandne to the middle ages. From the time of Constantine the dignity of patricius was a personal title, which conferred on the person, to whom it was granted, a very high rank and certain privileges. Hitherto patricians had been only genuine Roman citizens, and the dignity had descended from the father to his children ; but the new dignity was created at Constantinople, and was not bestowed on old Ro­man families ; it was given, without any regard to persons, to such men as had for a long time dis­tinguished themselves by good and faithful services to the empire or the emperor. This new dignity was not hereditary, but became extinct with the death of the person on whom it was conferred ; and when during this period we read of patrician families, the meaning is only that the head of such a family was a patricius. (Zosim. ii. 40 ; Cassiodor. Variar. vi. 2.) The name patricius during this period assumed the conventional meaning of father of the emperor (Ammian. Marcellin. xxix. 2 ; Cod. 12. tit. 3. §5), and those who were thus distinguished occupied the highest rank among the illustres ; the consuls alone ranked higher than a patricius. (Isidor. ix. 4. 1. 3 ; Cod. 3. tit. 24. s. 3 ; 12. tit. 3. s. 3.) The titles by which a patricius was dis­tinguished were magnificentia, celsitudo, eminentia, and magnitude. They were either engaged in actual service (for they generally held the highest offices in the state, at the court and in the pro­vinces), and were then called patricii praesentalesy



or they had only the title and were called patricil codidllares or honorarii. (Cassiod. viii. 9 ; Savaron ad Sidon. Apoll. i. 3.) All of them, however, were distinguished in their appearance and dress from ordinary persons, and seldom appeared before the public otherwise than in a carriage. The emperors were generally very cautious in bestowing this great distinction, though some of the most arbitrary despots conferred the honour upon young men and even on eunuchs. Zeno decreed that no one should be made patricius who had not been consul, prae-feet, or magister militum. (Cod. 3. tit. 24. s. 3.) Justinian, however, did away with some of these restrictions. The elevation to the rank of patricius was testified to the person by a writ called diploma. (Sidon. Apollin. v. 16 ; Suidas, s. v. TpafAj-LctTeiSiov ; compare Cassiodor. vi. 2, viii. 21, &c.)

This new dignity was not confined to Romans or subjects of the empire, but was sometimes grant­ed to foreign princes, such as Odoacer, the chief of the Heruli, and others. When the popes of Rome had established their authority, they also assumed the right of bestowing the title of patricius on eminent persons and princes, and many of the German emperors were thus distinguished by the popes. In several of the Germanic kingdoms the sovereigns imitated the Roman emperors and popes by giving to their most distinguished subjects the title of patricius, but these patricii were at all times much lower in rank than the Roman patricii, a title of which kings and emperors themselves were proud.

(Rein, in Erscli und Gruber's Encyclopedic^

s. v. Patritier, and for the early period of Roman

History, Gottling's Gesch. der Rom. Staatsverf.

p. 51, &c., Becker's Handbuch. 1. c., and p. 133,

&c.) [L.S.]

PATRIMI ET MATRIMI, also called Fa-trimes et Matrinws, were those children whose parents were both alive (Festus, s. v. Flaminia ; Matrimes ; called by Dionysius, ii. 22, a,u</>{0aAe?s); in the same way as pater patrimus signifies a father, whose own father is still alive. (Festus, s. v. Pater Patr.) Servius (ad Virg. Georg. 31), how­ever, confines the term patrimi et matrimi to chil­dren born of parents who had been married by the religious ceremony called confarreatio : it ap­pears probable that this is the correct use of the term, and that it was only applied to such children so long as their parents were alive. We know that the flamines majores were obliged to have been born of parents who had been married by con­farreatio (Tac. Ann. iv. 16 ; Gains, i. 112) ; and as the children called patrimi et matrimi are almost always mentioned in connection with religious rites and ceremonies (Cic. de liar. resp. 11 ; Liv. xxxvii. 3 ; Gell. i. 12 ; Tacit. Hist. iv. 53 ; Macrob. Saturn. 6 ; Vopisc. Aurel. 19 ; Orelli, Inscr. n. 2270), the statement of Servius is rendered more probable, since the same reason, which confined the office of the flamines majores to those born of parents who had been married by confarreatio, would also apply to the children of such marriages, who would probably be thought more suitable for the service of the gods than the offspring of other marriages. (Rein, Das Rom. Privatrecht. p. 177 ; Gottling, Gesch. d. Rom. Staatsv. p. 90.)

PATRONOMI (Trarpoj/^uoi), were magistrates at Sparta, who exercised, as it were, a paternal power over the whole state. Pausanias (ii. 9. § 1) says, that they were instituted by Cleomenes III«

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