Now the word
‘senate’ means literally a Council of Elders, and the councillors were called
‘patricians,’ as some say, because they were fathers
of lawful children1
; or rather, according to others, because they could tell who their own fathers
were, which not many could do of those who first streamed into the city; according to others still, from
‘patronage,’ which was their word for the protection of inferiors, and is so to this day; and they suppose that a certain Patron, one of those who came to Italy with Evander, was a protector and defender of the poor and needy, and left his own name in the word which designates such activity.