Everyone knows that patrons are people who contribute on a voluntary and gratuitous basis to the development of science and art, providing them with material assistance from personal funds. Millionaire billionaires, show business stars and richer politicians love to flaunt this business. But most of them do it for show in order to maintain interest in their person and increase ratings. Do you know that the first philanthropist lived more than 2, 000 years ago and patronized art without any self-interest, he had enough popularity, and show business had not yet been invented. Therefore, he did this simply from the breadth of his soul and love for beauty.
His name was Gaius Cilny Maecenas (Mekenat), and he lived in the 1st century BC. One of the first people in the Empire, a friend of the Emperor Octavian Augustus, a noble patrician was the patron of the arts in Rome. The best poets of that time found an attentive and caring friend and protector in the Maecenas. He helped Virgil in the litigation for the return of his unjustly taken away estate; he presented his Sabine estate to Horace.
In addition, the patron is an excellent politician and warrior. Convinced of the need for monarchical rule in Rome and considering Octavian the most appropriate to the ideal of a ruler, during the civil war, he became the right hand of the future emperor and shared with him all the hardships in the struggle for power. Later he lived in Rome and in the absence of Octavian Augustus was in charge of state affairs. not holding any official position, but being the most influential and trusted friend and assistant of Augustus and taking an active part in all the emperor's actions to build the state and consolidate power. In his relations with Augustus, he was free from groveling and ingratiating himself and expressed with complete freedom his views, often completely opposite to the plans of the emperor.
He used his proximity to Augustus in order to restrain passionate impulses that often drove the emperor to cruelty. The words transmitted by Dion Cassius have become historical: "Surge tandem, carnifex!" (Oh, it's enough for you, butcher!), With which Maecenas once kept Augustus from signing many death sentences.
An admirer of the foundations of Epicurean philosophy, Maecenas was not only a broad-minded man, but also lived on a grand scale, indulging in pleasures to such an extent that even the Romans of that time seemed excessive. From which he died at 62, leaving a good memory of himself, as it turned out later - for centuries. The name of the Patron later became a household name, denoting people who provide disinterested patronage and assistance to science and art.