Published online by Cambridge University Press: 29 September 2022
This chapter discusses the members of foreign royal families who moved in court circles at Rome. In general, these fell into two groups: princely children who were raised at the Roman court and spent time there as adults; and members of royal houses from semi-independent states who found refuge at the Roman court. The chapter suggests that the Roman court was a ‘contact zone’ – a social space in which disparate cultures met and interacted. The argument develops chronologically, highlighting how Republican practices were adapted under the Julio-Claudians, how a new phase of integration started under the Flavians, and how the phenomenon developed in the second and third centuries. Two functions of the court emerge: the court as a meeting place where foreign royals were integrated into transnational networks; and the court as a platform for the pursuit of power, where foreign royals attempted to gain the emperor’s favour.
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