What is a patron?
*unique feature of Roman society
*citizens formed relationships that acted as an important link in the political and social systems
*Patrons would provide ëclientsí with advice, money, business opportunities, or representation in court
*In turn, clients would help their patron by providing certain services: working on political campaigns, appearing in public as part of a group of faithful retainers, or using their specialized skills or training to enhance their patronís status.
What is a client?
*Clients could be freedmen, businessmen, artists and writers.
*Common practice in Republican Rome for a patron-politician to either ally himself with prominent writers or patronize them publicly
For the writer, this alliance provided financial support and a market for his work; for the politician it would promote his own personal celebrity.
How does Catullus use the Patron-Client System in 63?
*The relationship between the mistress and the poet represents the obligation of the inferior poet-client to the superior mistress-patron
*Poet is a slave to love
*Being a patron gives you status in the eyes of the community
Juvenal on the decline of the patron-client system:
. Clients were guests in those days,
But now Roman citizens are reduced to scrambling
For a little basket of crumbs on their patron's doorstep.
. (Juvenal, Satire I, 93-101)