Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Client. This term is supposed to be derived from the Latin word clues, but this is somewhat doubtful. In ancient Rome there existed the relation of patronage (patronatus) and clientship (clientela). The cliens was a dependent of the family of the patron, and the relation was kept up between their descendants. Dionysius gives a summary of the relation of patron and client. "When a man manumitted a slave he became the patron (patronatus) of the person, who thus became a free man (libertus), and he had certain rights with respect to such freedom. The relationship existing at Rome between patron and client facilitated the formation of similar relations between foreigners and Roman citizens; the foreigner thus obtained a protector and perhaps a friend, and the Roman increased his influence by becoming the patron of men of letters and of genius. Under the Empire the clients were mere hangers-on of rich people, who called daily upon them and received a small present for doing so. As a Roman client was defended in law-suits by his patron, the word "client" is used in modern times for any one who is represented by a solicitor or barrister.