What do we know of the Republic's formative years and the means by which it gradually extended its reach? How did the social and political structures of the Republic evolve? ‘The Republic takes shape’ examines the conquests and alliances which enabled Rome to transcend the limitations of a city-state. Throughout the years of Italian expansion, the social and political structures of the Republic continued to evolve as plebeians demanded a greater role and challenged the patrician monopoly on positions of power. The Republic's ruling class eventually widened to contain both patrician and plebeian nobles.