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Courts and Elites in the Hellenistic EmpiresThe Near East After the Achaemenids, c. 330 to 30 BCE$
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Rolf Strootman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748691265

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748691265.001.0001

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The Royal Entry

The Royal Entry

(p.233) 11 The Royal Entry
Courts and Elites in the Hellenistic Empires

Rolf Strootman

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 11 studies rituals of entry. The main question that is addressed, is how ritual was used to accommodate imperial monarchy within the values and practices of the city state. It is argued that Hellenistic rituals of entry were sometimes modelled on religious rites of divine epiphany, at least in Greek poleis. In all cities, independent of their ethno-cultural identity, Hellenistic kings performed a sacrifice, usually in the city’s principal sanctuary. By participating in local, civic cults upon entering cities, the king became a citizen. And because within that local cult almost the king personally performed the crucial act of offering the sacrificial animal on the altar, he became the most highly honoured citizen. So although especially in the Seleukid Empire rulers gave the impression to respect local ‘traditions’, the pattern of consistent patronage and manipulation of local religious cults probably could actually enhance the integration of cities and civic elites into the empire.

Keywords:   Imperialism, Ceremonial entry, City states, Deification, Dionysos, Babylon, Jerusalem, Athens

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