During the reign of the Etruscan kings in Rome, the quality of life among the Romans grew to new levels of wealth and education. The most wealthy and educated of these Roman citizens were known as the patricians.
After the Etruscans were overthrown, the people looked to the patricians for guidance in running the affairs of their city-state. These patricians declared that a new form of government would rule in Rome. This new form of government was called a republic. Republican government was first outlined by the Greek Philosopher Aristotle. A republic is a type of government where a small group of elite leaders are elected as rulers.