The Ancient Library

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master to his liberated slave (libertus) was also, ex­pressed by the word patronus, and the libertus was the cliens of his patronus. Any Roman citizen who wanted a protector, might attach himself to a patronus, and would thenceforward be a cliens. Strangers who came into exilium at Rome might do the same (jus opplicationis9 Cic. de Or. i. 39). Distinguished Romans were also sometimes the patrorii of states and cities, which were in a cer­tain relation of subjection or friendship to Rome (Sueton. Octavian. Caesar., 17) ; and in this re­spect they may be compared to colonial agents, or persons among us, who are employed to look after the interests of the colony in the mother country ; except that among the Romans such services were never remunerated directly, though there might be an indirect remuneration. (Cic. Div. 20, Pro iSulla, c. 21 ; Tacit. Or. 36.) This relationship between patronus and cliens was expressed by the word Clientela (Cic. ad Att. xiv. 12), which also expressed the whole body of a man's clients. (Tacit. Ann. xiv. 61.) In the Greek writers on Roman history, patronus is represented by irpoffrd-T7]s: and client, by TreAd-r^s. (Plut. Tib. Gracch. 13, Marius, 5.)

The clientela., but in a different form, existed as far back as the records or traditions of Roman history extend ; and the following is a brief notice of its origin and character, as stated by Dionysius (Antiq. Rom. ii. 9), in which the writer's terms are kept:—

Romulus gave to the euirarpiScu the care of re­ligion, the honores (ctpxetz/), the administration of justice, and the administration of the state. The 8r)fj.oriKoi (whom in the preceding chapter he has explained to be the TrATjgeioi) had none of these privileges, and they were also poor ; husbandry and the necessary arts of life were their occupation. Romulus thus entrusted the b'rjiJt.oTiKoi to the safe keeping of the TrarpiKioi (who are the evTrarptdai)^ and permitted each of them to choose his patron. This relationship between the patron and the client was called, says Dionysius, patronia. (Compare Cic. Rep. ii. 9.)

The relative rights and duties of the patrons and the clients were, according to Dionysius, as follow (Dionys. ii. 10, and other passages) : —

The patron was the legal adviser of the cliens ; he was the client's guardian a.nd protector, as he was the guardian and protector of his own children ; he maintained the client's suit when he was wronged, and defended him when another complained of being wronged by him: in a word, the patron was the guardian of the client's interest, both private and public. The client contributed to the marriage portion of the patron's daughter, if the patron was poor ; and to his ransom, or that of his children, if they were taken prisoners ; he paid the costs arid damages of a suit which the patron lost, and of any penalty in which he was condemned; he bore a part of the patron's expenses incurred by his dis­charging public duties, or filling the honourable places in the state. Neither party could accuse the other, or bear testimony against the other, or give his vote against the other. The clients accom­panied their patroni to war as vassals. (Dionys. x. 43.) This relationship between patron and client subsisted for many generations, and resembled in all respects the relationship by blood. It was a 'connection that was hereditary ; the cliens bore the gentile name of the patronus, and he and -his de-


scendants were thus connected with the gens of the patronus. It was the glory of illustrious families to have many clients, and to add to the number transmitted to them by their ancestors. But the clients were not limited to the Sri/j-oriKoi: the colonies, and the states connected with Rome by alliance and friendship, and the conquered states, had their patrons at Rome ; and the senate fre­quently referred the disputes between such states to their patrons, and abided by their decision.

Dionysius gives a tolerably intelligible statement, whether true or false, of the relation of a patron and client. What persons actually composed the body of clients, or what was the real historical origin of the clientela, is immaterial for the purpose of un­derstanding what it was. It is clear that Dio­nysius understood the Roman state as originally consisting of patricii and plebeii, and he has said that the clients were the plebs. ,Now it appears, from his own work and from Livy, that there were clientes who were not the plebs, or, in other words, clientesand plebs were not convertible terms. This passage, then, has little historical value as ex­plaining the origin of the clients. Still something may be extracted from the passage, though it is impossible to reconcile it altogether with all other evidence. The clients were not servi: they had property of their own, and freedom (libertas). Con­sistently with what Dionysius says, they might be Roman citizens in the wider sense of the term civis, enjoying only the commercium and connubium, but not the suffragium and honores, which belonged to their patroni. [CiviTAS.] It would also be con­sistent with the statement of Dionysius, that there were free men in the state who were not patricii, and not clientes; but if such persons existed in the earliest period of the Roman state, they must have laboured under great civil disabilities, and this also is not inconsistent with the testimony of history. Such a body, if it existed, must have been powerless ; but such a body might in various ways increase in numbers and wealth, and grow up into an estate, such as the plebs afterwards was. The body of clientes might include freedmen, as it certainly did: but it seems an assumption of what requires proof, to infer (as Niebuhr does) that, because a patronus could put his freedman to death, he could do the same to a client; for this involves a tacit assumption that the clients were originally slaves ; and this may be true, but it is not known. Besides, it cannot be true that a patron had the power of life and death over his freedman, who had obtained the civitas, any more than he had over an emancipated son. There is also no proof that the clientela in which liberti stood was here­ditary like that of the proper clients. The body of clientes might, consistently with all that we know, contain peregrini, who had no privileges at all ; and it might contain that class of persons who had the commercium only, if the commercium ex­isted in the early ages of the state. [civitas.-] The latter class of persons would require a patronus to whom they might attach themselves for the pro­tection of their property, and who might sue and defend them in all suits, on account of the (here assumed) inability of such persons to sue in their own name in the early ages of Rome.

The relation of the patronus to the cliens, as re­presented by Dionysius, has an analogy to the patria potestas, and the form of the word patronus is consistent with this.

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