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date: 22 May 2018

Summary and Keywords

Romans not only gave gifts to express emotion and build relationships; a long-standing tradition of mutual aid gave rise to more intensive exchange of gifts and services (or reciprocity), among relatives, friends, and business associates; from the wealthy to the public in the form of public benefactions; and in legally sanctioned relationships between patrons and clients. Roman gift culture, distinctive among its contemporary Mediterranean societies, became increasingly transactional from the middle Republic to early Empire.

Keywords: benefactions, bribery, favours, friendship, gift exchange, hospitium, liberalitas, patronage, reciprocity

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