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The Court and Court Society in Ancient Monarchies


Tony Spawforth, Maria Brosius, Josef Wiesehöfer, Jeremy Paterson, Rowland Smith, Hans van Ess, Kate Spence
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  • Date Published: June 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521290135

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About the Authors
  • Monarchy was widespread as a political system in the ancient world. This volume offers a substantial discussion of ancient monarchies from the viewpoint of the ruler's court. The monarchies treated are Achaemenid and Sassanian Persia, the empire of Alexander, Rome under both the early and later Caesars, the Han rulers of China and Egypt's Eighteenth Dynasty. A comparative approach is adopted to major aspects of ancient courts, including their organisation and physical setting, their role as a vehicle for display, and their place in monarchial structures of power and control. This approach is broadly inspired by work on courts in later periods of history, especially early-modern France. The case studies confirm that ancient monarchies created the conditions for the emergence of a court and court society. The culturally specific conditions in which these monarchies functioned meant variety in the character of the ruler's court from one society to another.

    • Was th first comparative study of ancient courts
    • Covers an unusually broad geographical range taking in Rome, Alexander the Great, Egypt, the Near East and China
    • Of interest not just to scholars of antiquity but also to scholars of modern court studies
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521290135
    • length: 374 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Tony Spawforth
    1. New out of old? Court and court ceremonies in Achaemenid Persia Maria Brosius
    2. King, court and royal representation in the Sasanian empire Josef Wiesehöfer
    3. The court of Alexander the Great between Europe and Asia Tony Spawforth
    4. Friends in high places: the creation of the court of the Roman emperor Jeremy Paterson
    5. The imperial court of the Late Roman Empire, c.AD300–c. AD450 Rowland Smith
    6. The imperial court in Han China Hans van Ess
    7. Court and palace in ancient Egypt: the Amarna period and later Eighteenth Dynasty Kate Spence.

  • Editor

    A. J. S. Spawforth, University of Newcastle upon Tyne


    Tony Spawforth, Maria Brosius, Josef Wiesehöfer, Jeremy Paterson, Rowland Smith, Hans van Ess, Kate Spence

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