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Martial and his patrons::Martial

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Martial and his patrons Martial was dependent on his wealthy friends and patrons for gifts of money, for his dinner, and even for his dress, but the relation of client to patron had been recognized as an honourable one by the best Roman traditions. No blame had attached to Virgil or Horace on account of the favours which they received from Augustus and Maecenas, or of the return which they made for these favours in their verse. That old honourable relationship, however, greatly changed between Augustus and Domitian. Men of good birth and education, and sometimes even of high official position (Juv. i. 117), accepted the dole (sportula). Martial was merely following a general fashion in paying his court to "a lord," and he made the best of the custom. In his earlier career he used to accompany his patrons to their villas at Baiae or Tibur, and to attend their morning levees. Later on, he went to his own small country house, near Nomentum, and sent a poem, or a small volume of his poems, as his representative at the early visit.


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Martial and his patrons
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