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Bread and Circuses: Historical Sociology and Political Pluralism

Bread and Circuses: Historical Sociology and Political Pluralism

by Paul Veyne, Oswyn Murray (Abridged by), Brian Pearce (Translator)

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Library Journal - Library Journal
Veyne, a distinguished French scholar and editor of A History of Private Life, Vol. 1: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium (LJ 2/15/87), explores in this monumental and prodigiously learned work acts of patronage--gift giving in the ancient world--from the time of the Greek city-states to the coming of Christianity. Veyne defines individual giving to the community as ``euergetism,'' and he focuses on three types: by wealthy, influential notables; members of the Roman senatorial aristocracy; and the Emperor, who gave the populace bread and circuses. Why did they give? Not for purposes of power--to control the less fortunate through bribery; nor to conceal the exploitation of the proletariat, as Marxists would argue; nor to avoid taxation; nor because of moral guilt. Rather, and here Veyne offers a new non-economic theory of economic history, they gave out of a sense of privelege and duty. Veyne calls for a return to this sense of public responsibility. For larger libraries. --Bennett D. Hill, Georgetown Univ., Washington, D.C.

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Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
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7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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