The Appearance of Patrons in the Greek East
This chapter argues that there is no simple explanation for the introduction of Roman patronage in the Greek East. The causes (or, better, catalysts) that brought about its appearance may have ceased to be relevant. Patronage potentially offered significant benefits and no disadvantages. Once one city had patrons, it would be natural for others to follow its lead and co-opt patrons of its own. Presumably there were other factors contributing to the discovery of patronage that the poverty of our information has obscured. Several factors have been considered — a wave of immigration and an influx of Roman culture, the development of the equestrian order and their interest in the exploitation of Rome's provinces, the crisis in Asia that had developed in the decades after its annexation. In a sense these are the results of C. Gracchus' reforms. Perhaps the sudden appearance of patronage of cities was itself, therefore, in some sense an unforeseen by-product of the Gracchan programme.
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