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Word Count: 2,273
Did patronage still serve a useful purpose in first century Rome In the old days clients were guests But now Roman citizens in togas wait in crowds and scramble on their patrons doorway for their tiny allowance Patronage in its original form benefited both patron and client One important part of patronage was the salutatio where clients paid their respects to their patron in order to a dole sportula Patrons expected their clients to arrive at their doorway at dawn and there is evidence from Martial that even the journey to his patrons doorstep was difficult I must ascend the steep path up the hill from the Suburbia and the filthy pavement of the slick stepsThen at the end of these thousand labours something even more annoying happens Paulus your doorman tells me though I am thoroughly exhausted that you are not at home This is the outcome of my futile exertion and drenched little toga Martials account shows how frustrating the ceremony could be for a client in the first century AD and how some patrons did not care about their clients Clients who were higher up in the social hierarchy of Rome were normally first to be seen by their patron Patrons were also very keen to make sure that their clients do not cheat them out of more money than they are entitled to He peers into each face first scared stiff that some impostor may give a false name and cheat him you must be identified before you get your ration The patron in this Satire is either a miser or he is used to being careful about clients trying to take more than their fair share of sportula Clients then had to greet their patrons with a greeting of my lord this demonstrates the subordinate status of the client Only after this greeting did the patron give their clients their
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