The Patron-Client Relationship in the Ancient World | Truth Or Tradition?
of personal patron-client relationship, above all in tribal settings or in small rural communi- ties. Among the best-known studies are S.W. Mintz and E.R. Wolf, 'An. Relationship in which a patron provides services, rewards, or protection to a number of clients in return for their personal allegiance. The patron controls the. Second, key concepts of patron-client state relationships and the 6 types of Patron-client relationship is not a fresh concept in the eyes of anthropology.
However the relationship is perhaps more obvious in the system of servitude known as serfdom that was widespread in Europe in the Middle Ages.
Patronage in ancient Rome
The various systems of tenancy that followed the fall of the ancient societies of Greece and Rome had a common factor in that a large number of those who worked the land were unfree. They were tied to both land and landlord by bonds of service.Patron Client System in Ancient Rome
The system of servitude in Europe was as much a system of authority as it was an economic adaptation. Prestige for the lord lay in the protection of as many serfs and dependent tenants as possible: These set up a relationship between a politically and economically powerful patron, usually a landlord, and a weaker client.
While the relationship may be regarded as socially necessary and honourable by both parties, its inequality makes it a potent source of exploitation.
The ties established may link two families over many generations and may be reinforced by accumulated debts that make the client fundamentally unfree.
The economic means of establishing patron—client relationships nearly always have their basis in systems of landholding, such as share-cropping.
- The Patron-Client Relationship in the Ancient World
- patron-client relationship
That is a good example of reading our culture and ideas back into the biblical text. The huge difference between the rich and powerful and the poor and needy in the ancient world set the stage for another cultural aspect of the patron-client relationship, which is that patrons were honor bound to help their clients.
The first-century Christians would not have had the same problem. They understood that God was honor-bound to support them, and especially so since He was love, and they were doing what He asked them to do.
Patronage in ancient Rome - Wikipedia
On the other hand, like any ancient patron, those who are proud and arrogant will not get the blessings from God they could have otherwise received. Once we understand the patron-client relationship, it seems to be everywhere in the pages of the Bible. It is why the centurion a Gentile did not consider himself worthy to have Jesus come to him, but sent Jews to him with the message Luke 7: Parrhesia was used of the Greeks in the marketplace who were called upon to speak about political issues with complete openness.
Rather, he would see God as the Ultimate Patron, before whom we should come with respect but without fear, being totally open and honest with Him, neither flattering Him nor hiding our true feelings, but laying before Him our genuine needs and concerns, in order that we can obtain the mercy and grace we need to meet our needs.
We Christians can have faith in a loving God who wants to help and support us, and who will do so if we ask Him. We can trust that He always has our best interests at heart. The truth is that it is sometimes unconditional, and sometimes conditional. Scripture makes this clear, as we see in James 4: This is one of the underlying factors in systems of debt bondage sometimes called bonded labour that are widespread in India, although forbidden by both national and international law.
The ties of patron-clientage were basic to the system of land tenure and agricultural production in feudal Europe, where they still persist in Northern Mediterranean countries.
Clienteliamo is the basis of the varied contractual relationships throughout Southern Italy, for example. Its essence is not the fixed and contractual but rather the informal and flexible.
It is a face-to-face relationship, and many writers stress its importance in giving clients a degree of political power, through their support of the patron in his external political activities. The conquerors and colonists of Latin America imported many of the values and legal institutions of feudal Europe, including patron-client relationships.
The pre-dominance of Roman Catholicism in Latin societies links this system of asymmetrical political and economic relationships to the system known as compadrazgo, or godparenting. The godparent-godchild relationship established in baptism is actually a link between two sets of parents, the biological and the spiritual.