Published: Sept. 7, 2023
Event poster featuring imagery from Ancient Greece

Patronage and Clientelism in Archaic & Early Classical Greece: A Hypothesis

Monday, October 16, 5:00 p.m.
Eaton Humanities Building, #125

Speaker: Marek Weçowski, University of Warsaw
Sponsored by CU Boulder's Center for Humanities and the Arts (CHA), the Bruce D. Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization, and the Department of Classics

Free and open to the public

As John K. Davies observed in 2005, ‘the informal networks of influence’ and ‘social control,’ in other words, Greek and especially Athenian ‘patronage’ (broadly conceived), ‘has only recently begun to attract the attention it deserves.’ To this date, ‘interpersonal relations between unequal parties’ and, in particular, political ‘clientelism’ in archaic & classical Greece seems a deeply understudied issue. The locus classicus in this respect is the much-discussed passage of Theopompus (FGrHist 115 F 89), the anecdote referred to also in Plutarch's Life of Cimon (10.1-2; cf. AP 27.3), about Cimon's magnanimity towards his (most probably) fellow-demotai and Athenian citizens at large. In this paper, I will argue that several strangely neglected episodes of the Persian Wars and its aftermath, such as Herodotus 8.17, may serve as a good starting point for reassessing our scattered pieces of historical evidence regarding archaic and classical Greek history - on the basis of sources ranging from Hesiod to Athenaeus.