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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

Court Society

Court Society

(p.111) 5 Court Society
Courts and Elites in the Hellenistic Empires

Rolf Strootman

Edinburgh University Press

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.

Keywords:   Courtiers, Social identity, Redistribution

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