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The Public Sphere- Patronage, Politics, and Government.docx

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Rob Mc Cutcheon

The Public Sphere Patronage Politics and GovernmentPatronageThe distinctive and formalized relationship between an individual of higher Socioeconomic status the patronus and an individual of lower status cliensIt is a largely instrumental friendship and an important and defining social structure and experience for RomansFour defining characteristics o It is reciprocal involving exchanges of services over time between two parties o It involves a personal relationship of some duration as opposed to commercial transactionHowever there are economic benefits to this relationshipNeeds to have the allusion that it is a long standing relationshipo It is asymmetrical that is between parties of different status o It is almost always voluntary and not legally enforcable Multiple possibly competing networks of patrons and clients o An individual may have several patrons and a patron himself might have a patron o Usually patronage was hereditaryo Letters of recommendations from patrons usually used to help clients o Patrons also helped financially with loans o Access to resources usually impossible without a patron o Benefits for patronsGained status They competed amongst each other to see who had the most clientsWould go into the city with their trail of clients to display how powerful they are Could also gain more wealth Because they were banned from trade they could use their clients to participate in tradeWould pay back a percentage to the patrono Foreigners could become clients however they still could not become citizens of Rome o Sometimes a general would be a patron to an entire city The most conspicuous manifestation of the patronclient relationship is the salutatio o A formal greeting which took place in the atrium in which the clients would greet their patron in the morning and escort him to the roman forumo Patron would sit in his chair and greet his clientso If a patron was running for office we would use his clients to trail along him to display his wealth and powerused as a political toolo Social equals would be kissed by the patron to display their equality not clientso Nb The sportulaA little basket of food that replaced a meal or a direct donation of money Was generally seen as a cheating of a bond between patron and clientThe relationship was much more economic Women as patrons o Some cases in which people went to wealthy roman women for protectiono Roman women from the most part however were totally excluded from politcal life Freedmen were automatically clients of their former masters This is the only legally enforcable form of patronage o Delivered letters businesssexual services etc Patronage is a form of social control since it inhibits solidarity at the horizontal level of societyo Magistrates that helped conquer cities and towns often became the patron of that city
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