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Wednesday 4 April 2018 11.00 - 13.00
D-2 - ANT04 : Ancient Social Structures: Patronage and Labour
MAP/OG/005 Maths and Physics
Network: Antiquity Chair: Arjan Zuiderhoek
Organizers: -Discussant: Arjan Zuiderhoek
Simone Ciambelli : 'The Roman Patronage, the Potlatch Ceremony and the Gift Theory by Marcel Mauss
The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that roman patronage, as antiutilitarian phenomenon, fairly follow the gift theory by Marcel Mauss.
In the first part of the paper, I will briefly explain the evolution of the patronage phenomenon inside the roman society. Following the studies of Richard Saller we can ... (Show more)
The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that roman patronage, as antiutilitarian phenomenon, fairly follow the gift theory by Marcel Mauss.
In the first part of the paper, I will briefly explain the evolution of the patronage phenomenon inside the roman society. Following the studies of Richard Saller we can observe that the Roman patronage is a dependence relationship between people, in which there is a reciprocal exchange of goods and services that persist through the time. Furthermore, this relation must be absolutely asymmetric, in the sense that the two parties must come from two different social classes and they must offer appropriate goods and services according to the position that they occupy in the society. If we assume this definition, we can identify four different kind of patronage rapports in the roman society: patronus-cliens, patronus-libertus, the juridical patronage and the collective patronage. Therefore, in this first part I will explain all of these different kind of relationships.
In the second part, I will try to define the social role of patronage in the Roman Empire with the help of the histoire comparée postulate, inter alia, by Marc Bloch. This method also permits an anthropological approach to the topic, since dependant relationships are inborn in every human society. Here, for example, I will compare the social role of potlatch in the Kwakiutl communities of the North America, well described by Franz Boas, and the patronage relationships in the Roman society. I will explain the similarity of the both systems: for example they are strongly based on the idea of reciprocity and they are mainly out of the codified laws of the two societies.
In the third and last part, I will conclude that different phenomena regulate the role of the people inside the human societies, but all this phenomena mainly follow the guidelines postulated by Marcel Mauss in his work essai sur le don: give-receive-reciprocate. In this paper, I choose to compare the Roman patronage with the potlatch system, but we can find similar phenomena in every societies for example in the feudal system or in the Mafia model or even more in the kula ceremony. In this way, I will try to define the important social role that the patronage relationships had in the Roman society. Maybe this approach could be advantageous also to inspect the general human behaviours. (Show less)

Uiran Gebara da Silva : Late Roman Colonate, Patronage and Rural Labor Legislation
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, most of the scholars who dealt with the late Roman colonate usually addressed it from the point of view of aristocratic control of rural work force, stressing the oppressive character and the similarities to slavery that could be glanced from the Late Roman legislation ... (Show more)
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, most of the scholars who dealt with the late Roman colonate usually addressed it from the point of view of aristocratic control of rural work force, stressing the oppressive character and the similarities to slavery that could be glanced from the Late Roman legislation on land tenancy. At the end of the 20th century, the previous consensus was undone and scholars begun to favor an alternative hypothesis: the tying of peasants to the land was from then on mainly understood as a direct response from the Roman government to the problem of tax evasion, acting at the expense landowners’ and tenants’ interests. Only recently, scholars proposed that the colonate laws could be rather seen as some sort of labor legislation. The paper aims to follow the tracks of the latter approach and to question whether one should understand the Roman colonate as some sort of rural labor legislation that presents the ground rules for work relations in a Mediterranean-wide Roman countryside. In order to do that, first I briefly address the historiographical problems regarding the late Roman colonate, focusing on many Late Roman social and economic rural factors previously assumed as non-problematic and now seen as much more uncertain. Next, I deal with the legal nature of the sources and the challenges incurred when one tries to compare it with the sources from the Early Imperial period. Then, I present some cases in which one could identify the colonate legislation acting as labor legislation and establishing universal rules regarding the tenancy contracts and limiting the power of landowners. Finally, I conclude the paper with some remarks regarding the modernist view of rural patronage (Imperial or aristocratic) and how it affects our understanding of the late Roman colonate (or any other form of pre-capitalist legislation on rural labor). (Show less)

Charlotte Van Regenmortel : The Labours of War: Soldiers as Wage Labourers in the Late Classical and Early Hellenistic World
The issue of wage labour in the ancient world remains contested, despite excellent scholarly contributions on the presence of wage labour in the Roman economy. Moses Finley (in)famously viewed wage labour in the ancient world as a theoretical impossibility, and this remains a common view among scholars of the ancient ... (Show more)
The issue of wage labour in the ancient world remains contested, despite excellent scholarly contributions on the presence of wage labour in the Roman economy. Moses Finley (in)famously viewed wage labour in the ancient world as a theoretical impossibility, and this remains a common view among scholars of the ancient Greek world especially. G.E.M. de Ste. Croix, on the other hand, allowed for its existence, but as a casual occurrence and small scale, but singled out mercenary soldiers as potential ‘labourers’ in the ancient world. Soldiers as labourers, furthermore, is a contested issue in itself, but scholarship has increasingly moved towards seeing war as a ‘productive’ activity.
My paper will consider soldiers of the late classical and Hellenistic periods – whose numbers were unprecedentedly high, and who also fought at an unparalleled frequency – and I will argue that the military can indeed be characterised as a clear example of (proto-) wage labour. I will offer an overview of how these soldiers fit the following criteria: freedom of choice of labour and mobility; the character of the relation between employer and employee; and the reimbursement and other labour incentives in place. I will demonstrate that the soldiers’ service became increasingly contractual, while their service became their sole form of employment, thus signalling a prominent early instance of wage labour. (Show less)