By Arjan Zuiderhoek
Within the first centuries advert, the jap Roman provinces skilled a proliferation of elite public generosity unrivaled of their prior or later heritage. during this research, Arjan Zuiderhoek makes an attempt to respond to the query why this could were so. targeting Roman Asia Minor, he argues that the surge in elite public giving was once now not because of the vulnerable fiscal and monetary place of the provincial towns, as has frequently been maintained, yet via social and political advancements and tensions in the Greek towns created by way of their integration into the Roman imperial approach. As disparities of wealth and gear inside of imperial polis society persevered to widen, the trade of presents for honours among elite and non-elite electorate proved a superb political mechanism for deflecting social tensions clear of open conflicts in the direction of communal celebrations of shared citizenship and the legitimation of energy within the towns.
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Extra info for The Politics of Munificence in the Roman Empire: Citizens, Elites and Benefactors in Asia Minor (Greek Culture in the Roman World)
These are only the distributions recorded in IGR iii 801. In fact, Menodora made three consecutive distributions. For a reconstruction of Menodora’s family background see van Bremen (1994). 31 Whatever the symbolic and ideological function of such schemes, they clearly made but little difference to the situation of the poor. ‘The poor’, moreover, as Peter Brown has recently and convincingly argued, did in fact not exist as a social category in the pagan, Greco-Roman, civic world view. It required a complete shift in the social imagination, the development of a totally new, revolutionary model of society, constructed precisely in opposition to the pagan idea of euergesia, for charity and love of the poor to become dominant themes in civic discourse.
Whichever way, the tentative conclusion would seem to 35 36 For shipwrecks see Hopkins (1980) 106, and the same data rearranged with a clear peak in the period ad 1–150 in MacMullen (1988) 9, based on Cornell and Matthews (1982) 93. Public buildings: Jouffroy (1986), with Duncan-Jones (1996) 127 (Figs. 10–11). Meat consumption as attested by animal bones deposited per century: Jongman (2006) 245–6; (2007) 613–14, working with data collected by King (1999). Wilson (2002) 26–7. See now also de Callata¨y (2005).
In reality, there was much socio-economic differentiation among councillors. The presence of much senatorial landownership in our town’s territory would have put annual elite income rather nearer to the upper limit of the suggested range. MacMullen (1974) 142–5. 28 The Politics of Munificence in the Roman Empire one area of euergetism, albeit by far the most expensive one. Members of the elite would also finance games, festivals, distributions and so forth. Money would also have to be spent on the activities associated with some of the buildings once the buildings themselves were in place.
The Politics of Munificence in the Roman Empire: Citizens, Elites and Benefactors in Asia Minor (Greek Culture in the Roman World) by Arjan Zuiderhoek