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The office was probably open in quite early times to both patricians and plebeians.
Five of the decemvirs were patricians, and five plebeians.
This governing oligarchy was known as " the patricians."
The patricians, patres, housefathers, goodmen - so lowly is the origin of that proud name - were once the whole Roman people, the original inhabitants of the Roman hills.
Only the Roman commons, great and small, never shut out the patricians from office; they were satisfied to share office with them.