Lastly civic equality was in a certain sense undoubtedly attained
or rather restored by the reform of 387, and the development of its
legitimate consequences. As formerly, when the patricians still in
fact formed the burgesses, these had stood upon a footing of absolute
equality in rights and duties, so now in the enlarged burgess-body
there existed in the eye of the law no arbitrary distinctions.
The gradations to which differences of age, sagacity, cultivation, and
wealth necessarily give rise in civil society, naturally also pervaded
the sphere of public life; but the spirit animating the burgesses and
the policy of the government uniformly operated so as to render these
differences as little conspicuous as possible. The whole system of
Rome tended to train up her burgesses on an average as sound and
capable, but not to bring into prominence the gifts of genius.