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  • Do the Poems of Martial and Juvenal offer Us Any Insights into the Workings of Patronage in Roman Society?


    Essays4 Literature

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ID number:860852
Published: 13.01.2004.
Language: English
Level: Secondary school
Literature: n/a
References: Not used

In order to answer the question fully it is important to first establish the official system of patronage in Roman society. The patron-client system was a feature of Roman society in which citizens (clients) of inferior status formed political and social relationships with citizens of a superior status (patrons). The client would depend upon the patron for protection, legal help, advice, money, food and business opportunities. The client also had duties to fulfil. Every morning he would go to his patrons house (called salutatio) and receive his daily gift (a sportula) of food or money. He had to accompany his patron to the forum and support his political career by voting for him and perform other vital services. This was very important as shown by Cicero,
"When several candidates are campaigning and men see that there is one who really appreciates the services of his attendants [i.e. clients], they frequently desert the other candidates and pledge themselves to him . . . " 1

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