Male Patrons Pyramids
Next Previous Index Tellout Home

Roman Empire Power 183

Honor and Shame

Medal of HonorOne important element of male honor and shame in the Roman Empire is the function of the male patrons pyramids. It was the duty and expected role of the powerful male patrons to protect and support the less powerful. To fulfill this role is honorable, for the powerful to take advantage of the weak is despicable. Male patronage functions as a kind of surrogate fatherhood, and the patronage system is a way of replicating kinship systems. Male patrons must provide some material benefits to clients, but most important, benefits for social advancement.✞

Little Pyramids

PyramidsIn "Families in the New Testament World - Households and House Churches," Carolyn Osiek and David L. Balch write that the complementary role of the client is proper deference towards male patrons, the pouring on of attributed honor, and the performance of certain actions that contribute to the support of the patron, especially help in any way that the patron might need. Because male society held all political power and because it was heavily structured along patronage lines, it "resembled a mass of little pyramids, each headed by a major family, not the three deck sandwich of upper, middle and lower classes familiar to us from industrial society in Britain."

"Male Patrons Pyramids
by Ron Meacock © 2017

^Top Page Next Previous