| Share
 

patrician

patrician (pətrĭshˈən) [key], member of the privileged class of ancient Rome. Two distinct classes appear to have come into being at the beginning of the republic. Only the patricians held public office, whether civil or religious. From the 4th cent. B.C. the plebeians struggled constantly for political equality until, by the 3d cent. B.C., the only offices reserved to the patricians were the civil office of interrex and some priestly offices. The increasing number of plebs in office together with patricians gave rise to the nobiles, an aristocracy of ruling families of both classes. Caesar and Augustus promoted plebeians to the patrician class. External marks of a patrician were a distinctive tunic and a shoe adorned with an ivory crescent.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on patrician from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Ancient History, Rome


Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring