Consuls were government officials elected for one year terms by the higher classes. They conducted official government business, and made all the major decisions in the government until imperial rule. They were greatly influenced by the senate, and usually were under the senate's control as well. Although Consuls were usually of higher class, however in the 4th century B.C.E. plebeians were allowed to run for office and were soon integrated into the consuls as well. The consuls were still mainly populated by patricians and continued to be a position only higher-ups could potentially obtain. The senate was a meeting of the highest ranking members of society. Although the senate had no official political authority they did hold considerable influence. The Senate consisted 0f former equestrians and former equestrians. The Senate did manage to survive the transition to empire. Family's of Patricians were not considered Patricians, instead they were recognized as the highest tier of Equestrian. The patricians left behind a legacy of government that
Equestrians were business men who were extremely wealthy. Any common folk could become a equestrian if he accumulated enough wealth. Some Equestrians became Senators, although this did not happen often. Equestrians were often involved in business Senators could not participate in, causing some Equestrians who could have become senators to choose against it. The Equestrians held considerable influence and owned many of the latifundia found throughout Rome. Equestrian's families were also considered equestrians as well, and they also held considerable influence over affairs as well. The equestrians were one of the most influential classes in roman society.