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Hidden Lives, Public PersonaeWomen and Civic Life in the Roman West$
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Emily Hemelrijk

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190251888

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190251888.001.0001

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Civic Patronage and ‘Motherhood’ of Cities and Associations

Civic Patronage and ‘Motherhood’ of Cities and Associations

Chapter:
(p.226) (p.227) Chapter 5 Civic Patronage and ‘Motherhood’ of Cities and Associations
Source:
Hidden Lives, Public Personae
Author(s):

Emily A. Hemelrijk

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190251888.003.0006

Patronesses and ‘mothers’ of cities and collegia are the subject of Chapter 5. Patronage and metaphorical motherhood were formal institutions allowing women of different classes an official role in the cities and collegia that co-opted them. Patronesses (but not ‘mothers’) received a bronze tabula patronatus recording the co-optation decree. Most patronesses, especially those of cities, were of elite rank and also received a public statue. Apart from bestowing benefactions, their high rank lent fame to the cities and collegia they patronized. Whereas patronesses were mostly outsiders to the city or collegium they patronized, ‘mothers’ were meritorious local citizens or fulfilled duties within the collegium that elected them. Since most ‘mothers’ were of the same class as the members of the association, a public statue was beyond them. Instead, they were honoured within the collegium, for instance, by the prominent record of their names in the alba collegii (membership lists).

Keywords:   patroness, mother, tabula patronatus, collegium, benefaction, co-optation, album collegii, mater patriae

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