There was a settlement at Rome by the mid-8th century BC. In the 6th century BC it was ruled by Etruscan kings. The kings were advised by the senate, a body that consisted of Roman aristocrats or patricians. However in 510 BC the Romans rebelled and expelled the last king Tarquinius Superbus.
Afterwards Rome was ruled by two officials called consuls who were elected from among the Senators. The consuls served for a period of one year.
Middle and working class Romans were called plebeians. In the 6th century there was antagonism between the two classes. Finally in 494 BC the plebeians left Rome and founded their own settlement on the Aventine Hill. The patricians were forced to make concessions to win them back.