Rolf Strootman brings together various aspects of court culture in the Macedonian empires of the post-Achaemenid Near East. During the Hellenistic Period (c. 330-30 BCE), Alexander the Great and his successors reshaped their Persian and Greco-Macedonian legacies to create a new kind of rulership that was neither ‘western’ nor ‘eastern’ and would profoundly influence the later development of court culture and monarchy in both the Roman West and Iranian East. Drawing on the socio-political models of Norbert Elias and Charles Tilly, After the Achaemenids shows how the Hellenistic dynastic courts were instrumental in the integration of local elites in the empires, and the (re)distribution of power, wealth, and status. It analyses the competition among courtiers for royal favour and the, not always successful, attempts of the Hellenistic rulers to use these struggles to their own advantage. It demonstrates the interrelationships of the three competing ‘Hellenistic’ empires of the Seleukids, Antigonids and Ptolemies, casts new light on the phenomenon of Hellenistic Kingship by approaching it from the angle of the court and covers topics such as palace architecture, royal women, court ceremonial, and coronation ritual. ; Rolf Strootman brings together various aspects of court culture in the Macedonian empires of the post-Achaemenid Near East. ; Acknowledgments; List of Illustrations; Abbreviations; Introduction: Court and empire in the Hellenistic Near East; PART I: SETTING THE STAGE; 1. The court as an instrument of power; 2. The theater of royalty; 3. The royal palace: A stage for royal rituals; PART II: THE COURT AS A SOCIO-POLITICAL SYSTEM; 4. The royal household; 5. Court society; 6. Royal pages; 7. Social dynamics; 8. Hierarchy and conflict; PART III: CEREMONIAL AND RITUAL; 9. Ceremonial and protocol; 10. Death and resurrection: Inauguration ritual; 11. The royal entry; 12. Royal processions: Enacting the myth of empire; Conclusion; Bibliography; The Macedonian dynasties.
Enquiries about specific language/territory rights are welcomed.
Rolf Strootman tells the fascinating story of the Hellenistic Near East as seen through the eyes of those in power. Theoretically informed and brilliantly written, this is a masterly biography of a political institution.
- Michael Sommer, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
Rolf Strootman graduated in ancient history and archaeology at the University of Leiden. In 2007 he received his PhD for a study of court culture in the Hellenistic period. He is currently a lecturer at the History Department of the University of Utrecht. His research and teaching focus on empire, monarchical ritual and cultural encounters in the Near East, Iran and Central Asia, and on modern western perceptions of the Middle East.