Brill’s New Pauly

Get access

Cliens, clientes
(844 words)

[German version]

Lat. name for free dependants of powerful Roman citizens of higher social status. Although this kind of dependancy was a widespread phenomenon in antiquity (Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 2,9 mentions the pelátai of Athens and the penéstai of Thessaly), Rome can be regarded as a special case in that here rights and duties of the cliens were precisely defined and his status in respect of his patronus was protected in Twelve Tables law (8.21). The cliens was in a relationship of allegiance (in fide) to his patronus, or, put another way, under his protection. There is no indica…

Cite this page
Lintott, A. W. (Oxford), “Cliens, clientes”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 24 July 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

▲   Back to top   ▲