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The Politics of Munificence in the Roman Empire By Arjan Zuiderhoek (Universiteit Gent, Belgium)

The Politics of Munificence in the Roman Empire by Arjan Zuiderhoek (Universiteit Gent, Belgium)

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Summary

In the first two centuries AD, the eastern Roman provinces experienced a proliferation of elite public generosity (gifts of buildings, festivals, distributions in exchange for public honours) unmatched in their previous or later history. This is a study of the motivations behind those public benefactions.

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The Politics of Munificence in the Roman Empire Summary

The Politics of Munificence in the Roman Empire: Citizens, Elites and Benefactors in Asia Minor by Arjan Zuiderhoek (Universiteit Gent, Belgium)

In the first two centuries AD, the eastern Roman provinces experienced a proliferation of elite public generosity unmatched in their previous or later history. In this study, Arjan Zuiderhoek attempts to answer the question why this should have been so. Focusing on Roman Asia Minor, he argues that the surge in elite public giving was not caused by the weak economic and financial position of the provincial cities, as has often been maintained, but by social and political developments and tensions within the Greek cities created by their integration into the Roman imperial system. As disparities of wealth and power within imperial polis society continued to widen, the exchange of gifts for honours between elite and non-elite citizens proved an excellent political mechanism for deflecting social tensions away from open conflicts towards communal celebrations of shared citizenship and the legitimation of power in the cities.

About Arjan Zuiderhoek (Universiteit Gent, Belgium)

Arjan Zuiderhoek is a lecturer in ancient history at Universiteit Gent, Belgium.

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Introducing euergetism: questions, definitions and data; 2. The size and nature of gifts; 3. The icing on the cake?; 4. The concentration of wealth and power; 5. The politics of public generosity; 6. Giving for a return: generosity and legitimation; Conclusion; Epilogue. The decline of civic munificence; Appendices.

Additional information

NLS9781108994033
9781108994033
1108994032
The Politics of Munificence in the Roman Empire: Citizens, Elites and Benefactors in Asia Minor by Arjan Zuiderhoek (Universiteit Gent, Belgium)
New
Paperback
Cambridge University Press
2021-02-11
204
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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