Strukturen der Spätantike
Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft
In G. W. Bowersock / P. Brown / O. Grabar: Late Antiquity. A Guide to the Postclassical World (1999, p. 637f.) erläutert Christopher Kelly den Begriff patrocinium:
"Late antique society was significantly shaped by a complex web of personal relationships between patrons and clients. These ties, between individuals of often greatly differing social status, were important factors in the allocation of political and economic resources, in securing preferment in office (civil, military, or ecclesiastical), and in obtaining access to – or protection from – those in power. (...) Under an arrangement sometimes known as patrocinium, "patrons" demanded ownership of the peasants' land before offering their "clients" any protection at all (Codex Theodosianus 11, 24)."