“Sine legem fide”: clientage in ancient Rome from the Punic Wars to the Social War
By Molly Ann Rosser Dauster
PhD Dissertation, Texas Tech University, 2001
Abstract: Recent field studies in anthropology, historical examinations of client-patron systems in various countries and times, and the development of more sophisticated social models have all resulted in fundamental changes in current perceptions of the nature of client-patron relations. Steep social or economic verticality is no longer seen as an essential characteristic of the relationship. The rhetoric of the exchange has been found to be relational and situational rather than categorical. It has been recognized that both parties are more active in initiating the relationship than was once thought. Client status is no longer seen as a hindrance to the formation of horizontal affiliations. “Evolutionary” models of political patronage have been challenged. In short, the relationship is now understood to be much more complex and dynamic than was once assumed.