Kings and Regime Change in the Roman Republic

Olivier Hekster

in Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199600755
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738791 | DOI:
Kings and Regime Change in the Roman Republic

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This chapter analyses the ways in which political circumstances in Republican Rome were exploited by foreign kings to strengthen their positions. It argues that kings consciously used the increasingly public lack of cohesion within the Roman senate to boost their own standing, but that the lack of cohesion also made it more difficult to anticipate how Rome would react. Taking Numidia and Egypt as diachronic case studies, it highlights the importance of personal patronage in Republican foreign policy, and suggests that the clarity of obligations which client kings had towards Rome became more problematic as 'Rome' was increasingly difficult to define. Finally, it notices the somewhat biased position of Cicero in describing this process in the Late Republic.

Keywords: client kings; regime change; patronage; foreign clientele; Ptolemy XII Auletes; Numidia; Roman Egypt; Cicero

Chapter.  8595 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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