Chapter 5 studies the social and ethnic set-up of the group of courtiers who constituted the inner court surrounding the royal family: largely old Macedonian nobility and Greek philoi. It is argued, contrary to a now popular view, that the ethnic identity of the philoi was predominantly ‘Greek’ (or rather: Aegean). Exceptions to this rule were either not philoi, or outsiders who rose to power as ‘favourites’. The chapter begins with an analysis of the genesis of Hellenistic court society from the conflicts at Alexander the Great’s court. Conflict remained a Leitmotiv of Hellenistic court history. The loyalty of the philoi was a matter of constant concern for kings. Controlling them was never easy.
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