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Unformatted text preview: Lecture notes for 11/3/09: intro to Unit III: Blood Sports! City and country: Roman mobility--your book points out that the Roman elite spent a great deal of time away from Rome and traveling between Rome and “the country” (which could mean the suburbs of Rome, an elite person’s hometown, some resort town like Pompeii, or someone’s country villa)--rich men would travel with their entire households – wife, children, slaves, important animals; the roads weren’t safe and robbery was common--people would travel for certain occasions, like religious festivals, the beginning or end of certain seasons (like the winter business/political season or the summer sailing/military season), for vacations, to visit friends – lots of reasons – but travel was risky and difficult--the movements of the rich mean business for local merchants in Rome and in “the country”, and these movements could mean prosperity or hardship for people left behind in Rome who depended on a rich person for part or all of their livelihood The Roman year: festivals, holidays, work rhythms--the year was divided broadly into 2 touring seasons and 2 working seasons: • November-February: working • March-April: touring (weather improves, sailing and fighting seasons begin) • May-July: working (harvest usually in July) • August-October: touring (end of sailing and fighting seasons, weather worsens)--religious festivals were often tied to beginnings or ends of these “seasons” – this is usually the case in pre-industrial (i.e. farming) societies--for example, the Ludi Romani , the Roman Games – the biggest public ludi of the year – took place in mid-September, at the end of the hot summer, when many elite families might be moving back into Rome after spending the hottest months at some resort, and when the traditional annual fighting season was over--there were so many festivals and holidays in the Roman calendar that by the 2 nd century CE the emperor Marcus Aurelius passed a decree limiting the number of holidays to 135 a year!--these holidays were important for mass and elite alike: the masses got to go to shows sometimes, at which they’d receive door prizes like food and wine, and the elites got to see and be seen, and (in the Republican period) to curry favor with the plebs by sponsoring the shows The patron-client relationship--rich people and poor people in Rome had developed a traditional, symbiotic (that is, mutually beneficial) relationship known as the patron-client relationship--the rich person was the patron; the poor person was the client--the client supported the patron with his labor, his money, his time, his vote, and whatever other resources he had--in return, the patron supported the client with gifts and loans of money, with food (the...
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This note was uploaded on 11/30/2010 for the course BIOS 101 taught by Professor Plantz during the Spring '08 term at UNL.
- Spring '08