Thus there grew up by the side of the burgesses a second community
in Rome: out of the clients arose the Plebs. This change of name
is significant. In law there was no difference between the client
and the plebeian, the "dependent" and the "man of the multitude;"
but in fact there was a very important one, for the former term
brought into prominence the relation of dependence on a member of
the politically privileged class; the latter suggested merely the
want of political rights.
As the feeling of special dependence
diminished, that of political inferiority forced itself on the
thoughts of the free μέτοικοι; and it was only the sovereignty
of the king ruling equally over all that prevented the outbreak of
political conflict between the privileged and the non-privileged