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What today we would call a philanthropist, in ancient Rome it was the evergeta, but with self-serving purposes, even indirectly: to earn money and political titles by being "generous".
What did they get? Favors and authority, both before politicians and among the population, demonstrating their "generosity" regardless of the cost.
It was very frequent that they distributed bread, brought from any part of the empire, among the poorest population, just as it was possible to see them in the horse and chariot racing, a very powerful weapon to win over the people, especially by identifying with one of the team "colors" and financing it regardless of the results.
Remember that Rome is famous the phrase «bread and circus», and not in vain has it been created.
But nevertheless, evergetism should not be confused with clientelism. We could consider clientelism a mafia system whereby, when something was given to you, you had to remain at the service of whoever offered it to you.
The evergeta On the contrary, he did not expect anything in return, because he knew that his simple act gave him the necessary authority before those who received his favor, counting on unconditional followers for his own cause.
It is important not to be confused with a patron.
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