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in ancient Italy, a form of protection that in practice established the dependence of poor citizens and citizens with less than full rights upon wealthy citizens.
In the period of the disintegration of the clan system, members of impoverished clans, as well as some plebeians, placed themselves under the patronage of influential fellow citizens. In the period of the late Roman Empire, petty landowners or even whole villages, communities, and towns placed themselves under the patronage of various senators. By transferring their land to a patron and receiving it back in the form of a precarium (property held at the will of the grantor), petty landowners attempted to avoid burdensome taxation and protect themselves from oppression by officials, judges, and usurers. The patronage system is discussed by F. Engels in The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 21, page 149).
(release on surety), in Soviet criminal law, one of the forms by which a person is freed from criminal responsibility when his actions did not have serious consequences and he does not present a great social danger. Upon petition of an organization or workers’ collective, the offender is turned over to that organization or collective for reeducation and correction by decision of a court or procurator or by decision of an investigator or agency of inquiry with the consent of a procurator. Release on surety is not possible for recidivists and persons who have been released on surety earlier. If a person so released does not justify the trust of the collective in the course of one year, the collective’s decision to terminate its patronage is sent to the court or procurator and the question of criminal responsibility is then reviewed (art. 9 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the RSFSR).