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9 Roman Gaia and the Discourse of Patronage: Retrograde C in cil vi

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Chapter Summary

In order to establish the socio-linguistic and cultural resonances of the signifier, the author intends first to survey literary attestations of retrograde C in the canonical tradition. Then, in the context of a broader overview of epigraphic traces of "Ɔ"., the author examines three inscriptions, one from the city of Rome (CIL 6.37156), the other two set up outside Ostia (CIL 14.299, 1808), with a view to illustrating the implications arising from the designations of female patronage which exist in the ancient epigraphic landscape. It should be noted that any expansion in the conceptualization of republican and imperial patronage networks incorporates the recognized types of exchange relationship in Roman society, namely, that of benefactor and recipient, who were of sufficiently similar status to make competition for social prestige conceivable; and that of unequal partners, in no way implying that an inferior's beneficium to her/his social superior proved the former's ascendancy.

Keywords: CIL 6.37156; female patronage; inscriptions; retrograde C; Roman Gaia



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