This paper focuses on the justifications for feeding Rome as a case study for evaluating the transition from a classical model of civic euergetism to one of Christian charity. Civic euergetism, which customarily entails public philanthropy publicly directed toward one's city or fellow citizens, was a social transaction intended to gain personal glory. In Christian charity, the poor were now supposed to be the objects of acts of public giving. Based on my analysis, I propose that scholars who view this transition as either continuity or novel change are adopting flawed models. I offer an alternative model for this transition that stresses the dynamic, on-going interaction of civic euergetism and Christian charity. These two sets of ideas influenced one another even as they remained distinct components of justifications for the feeding of Rome well into the late sixth century.

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