How Did The Munera Influence Roman Society

The munera were an integral component of Roman society, both for the common people and for ambitious politicians. Unlike the annual state sponsored games held strictly in honour of the gods (ludi), the munera were funded by private individuals and were associated with funerary celebrations for the majority of the Republic period . For the spectators, these games provided entertainment, as well as reaffirmed the social order, power and authority of Rome. For the sponsors, the games were an opportunity to gain the favour of the people and compete with political rivals.

Individuals who funded the munera dedicated them as a gift to the people, and they became more frequent and detached from funerary events during the imperial period1. Before
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In both the temporary seating erected in the fora for early games, as well as the permanent amphitheatres constructed later, spectators were designated seats based on social status1. This physical organization of Roman social hierarchy not only reminded each individual of their place in society, but also that they were part of the social community, in contrast to slaves, criminals and other outcasts.

For the munera sponsors, these games were an opportunity to gain favour with the people by providing entertainment, as well as allowing their collective voice to be heard regarding the fate on gladiators and convicts. The peoples approval of the events reflected positively on the sponsor, while discontent reflected negatively. Sponsors competed with each other through public support, which was related to the amount of money spent to fund the games, since more extravagant events helped generate public approval. This public endorsement and willingness to fund public events increased a sponsor’s profile for political

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