It may therefore be assumed that long before the clients obtained the right to hold land in their own names and appear in the courts in their own persons there was a free plebs existing alongside of the patricians enjoying limited rights of citizenship. But it is equally certain that before the time of Servius Tullius the rights and duties of citizenship were practically exercised only by the members of the patrician clans.
The statements in ancient authorities as to the changes in the number of the equites during the regal period are very confusing; but it is regarded as certain that Servius Tullius found six centuries in existence, to which he added twelve, making,' eighteen in all, a number which remained unchanged throughout the republican ' period.
Perhaps the most important of these popular thinkers was Marcus Tullius Cicero - no great philosopher, but a graceful and effective man of letters.
The aim of the reforms associated with the name of Servius Tullius appears to have been the imposition of the duties of citizenship upon the plebeians.