Patrician (ancient Rome)  

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The term patrician (Template:Lang-la, Template:Lang-el) originally referred to a group of elite families in ancient Rome, including both their natural and adopted members. In the late Roman Empire, the class was broadened to include high council officials, and after the fall of the Western Empire it remained a high honorary title in the Byzantine Empire. Medieval patrician classes were once again formally defined groups of elite burgher families in many medieval Italian republics, such as Venice and Genoa, and subsequently "patrician" became a vaguer term used for aristocrats and elite bourgeoisie in many countries.

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