Free «Law of the Patricians» Essay Paper

Law of the Patricians

The Patricians were powerful and rich people in the ancient Roman Empire. They governed the Roman cities through the senate, a body that was responsible for ruling the country. Every year, the senate was elected into the office by an elite group of citizens and equites (men of property).

Total political and social power was bestowed upon a few select influential ancient families like Julii, also called ceasers family, the Aemilii, and the Cornelli. Although the senate ceded most power under the rule of emperors, the Patricians were still popular, at least in public opinion. 

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The Patricians led a prestigious lifestyle. Besides their palatial houses at Rome, they owned family ranches and villas in the best parts of central and southern Italy. The houses that were situated in the capital or in the countryside were ornamentally decorated and superbly designed for comfort and prestige.

The Patricians wanted their sons to be refined soldiers. After attaining Roman citizenship they would be absorbed into the military, and after graduation from the military academy they would plunge into politics and rise through the ranks. Further, they could be elected as city councilor (aediles). In this capacity, they were charged supervising the grain stores and public entertainment spots. The next was the office of quaestor (secretary to th treasury). The subsequent rank before attaining the powerful consulship was praetor (judge). The consuls, or magistrates, wielded so much power in Rome.

A patrician could vie for an elective post as a political leader, or tribunal, charged with the responsibility of championing for the rights of the commons against the senate. However, vying for tribuneship was risky since the holder was always in conflicts with the nobles. Nevertheless, the risk was worth taking, considering its prospects for the great success the office held.

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The daily routine of successful patricians involved waking up at dawn in the atrium and spending a couple of hours interviewing the needy people. They mainly included freed slaves and their families. A patrician was their lawyer in the law courts. He spent most of his time in the courts, accompanied by his peers. In the evening he took his main meals at his office. It means that he did not dine with his wife, but with men of his class.

Some of the historically recorded families of the Patricians are Aebutia, Furia, Aemilia, Aquillia, Atilia, Herminia, Fabia, Cornelia, Marnia, and Marcia among others.

The Patricians were rich people; they owned huge pacts of land and controlled the economy in virtually every sense. Furthermore, they controlled trade, had immense powers and privileges as compared to tthe working class plebeians.

The class emerged from the lineage of a powerful political class comprising of one hundred senators in ancient Rome. These senators, in a bid to preserve the status quo, initiated their sons into the political system of the day. Their influence was so strong that they virtually controlled the social, political and economic systems of Rome. Their main opposition came from the noble class of the great Roman Empire. However, the system was so deeply rooted in Rome, that it took several years to change something. The senators imposed their religion on other minor groupings in Rome.

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In several years of intervention by the working class, mainly the plebeians, who felt aggrieved with the social hierarchies of the day, there appeared a wide gap between the capitalistic and socialist Plebeians. The condition was further severed by the inclination of the noble class, the representatives of which were more connected with the capitalists. Most of the laws were not written and documented. The system of governance was aristocratic. Several years later, the Plebeians were able to move to the law courts and bargain for equal rights among them. It was done through the human rights activities. They were granted partial power, with at least of their members being posted in the consulship. Today, the aristocratic Patrician system continues to exist in various parts of the world.

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