Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
The distribution of money as small handouts is a practice, which is attested in both the Eastern and Western provinces of the Roman Empire. These gifts can, in the East, be seen as a development of Hellenistic euergetism, but they were also influenced by a parallel practice in the West. The groups in the East which received the handouts of money, διαvoμαí, correspond in general to the groups in the Roman West which received sportulae, divisiones and congiarii. Thus, the distribution of individual gifts of money in the Greek cities of Asia Minor can be studied as a measure of Romanization.
However, the manner in which the distributions themselves were conducted also serves as a measurement of Romanization, as there is evidence that διαvoμαí were provided on different occasions and to different groups of individuals before the advent of Roman control. Thus, distributions in the East were provided on the same occasions as those in the West, and, what is most important for the study of Romanization, the gifts were given in accordance with social rank: the higher an individual stood in the social hierarchy, the more he generally received. Such a stratification does not appear in Hellenistic distributions of meat, so that it is possible to attribute stratified gifts to the Romans.
To measure Romanization is not he only value of the διαvoμń-inscriptions, though. They provide an important perspective into the workings of individual cities, on both a public and a private level. Thus, they show us the efforts of wealthy individuals on behalf of their cities and regions, as well as their efforts on behalf of themselves.
Bailey, Colin, "ΔiavoμaÌ: Distributions of Money in the Greek Cities of Roman Asia Minor." (2002). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6762.
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