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date: 14 June 2024



  • Arjan Zuiderhoek


In the sense most commonly encountered in our sources, munus (pl. munera) means a public service rendered by a citizen to his community, in the form, for instance, of a (financial) donation, military service, or holding public office. Under the empire, munera was the term for those civic public contributions or services carried out by citizens that did not necessarily bring prestige (dignitas), unlike magistracies (honores), which did. The term munera covered an extraordinarily wide range of public duties. Best known among these are the financial contributions, often tied to particular offices, made by members of the city councils (decuriones, curiales). An especially notable munus was the organizing and financing of gladiatorial shows, for which the term munera became shorthand.


  • Ancient Economy

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Article rewritten to reflect current scholarship.

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