'Bread and Circuses': Euergetism and Municipal Patronage in by Tim Cornell

By Tim Cornell

Towns within the historic international depended on inner most generosity to supply many easy facilities, in addition to awaiting best voters to pay for 'bread and circuses' - loose nutrients and public leisure. This selection of essays through top students from the united kingdom and united states explores the $64000 phenomenon of benefaction and public patronage in Roman Italy. starting from the past due republican interval to the later Roman Empire, the contributions conceal a variety of issues, together with the influence of benefactions and benefactors at the city improvement of Roman Italy, on cultural and financial job, and at the altering function of video games and fairs in Roman society. in addition they discover the connection among groups and their benefactors, even if those have been neighborhood notables, senators, or the emperor himself, and consider how the character of benefaction replaced below the Empire.

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Extra resources for 'Bread and Circuses': Euergetism and Municipal Patronage in Roman Italy (Routledge Classical Monographs)

Sample text

11 Far more typical was the Younger Pliny’s plan to raise the 3,000,000 sesterces needed to buy an estate in Umbria by calling in loans he has made to others, and calling on the resources of his mother-in-law’s arca. 12 As in Renaissance Florence, dowries head the list of concerns: ‘qui aes alienum suscipiunt amicorum, aut in filiarum collatione adiuvant aut opitulantur in re vel quaerenda vel augenda’ (Cic. Offic. 56). 15 Loans were required to cover the costs to members of the elite of electoral campaigns and of the vastly expensive spectacles which many magistrates were obliged to present, not always with the support of public funding.

Apart from being kept back against a possible particular crisis, or celebration, savings may also be built up with a view to financial protection over the longer term: against illness or old age. There is no need to document the extent to which in the Roman world, as in most other agrarian societies which are not controlled by the market, it was assumed that the normal source of material and emotional support in illness or old age would be the family. Columella said that that was the reason for taking a wife, and there is a wealth of literary and epigraphic evidence explicitly stating that that was the primary reason for having children.

The impetus behind this apparent change in the conceptualisation of what a city should be is difficult to define, but examination of euergetic behaviour may provide some way into the problem. The change broadly coincides with the beginnings of a shift from publicly-funded building projects controlled by civic magistrates to a greater degree of privately-funded buildings. It is notable that theatres and other structures connected with leisure and entertainment were the types of building which were most frequently paid for as an act of private benefaction (Jouffroy 1986: 96–108; Cébeillac-Gervasioni 1998: 128–33).

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