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Open Access Court And State In The Roman Empire—Domestication And Tradition In Comparative Perspective

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Court And State In The Roman Empire—Domestication And Tradition In Comparative Perspective

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Chapter Summary

One of the main charges brought against Alexander by posterity was that he had allowed himself to be lured by the splendour and rituals of the Persian court and had forgotten about his Greek and Macedonian roots. The rise of an imperial court entailed, in Elias' terms, a domestication and disciplining of the old senatorial, republican elite. The Roman aristocracy had not primarily been defined by hereditary titles and rights, but through office-holding, renewable in each generation, in the service of the republic. To be a successful instrument of rule, the imperial court could not merely be applied to discipline or destroy the aristocracy. Such a course was decried as murderous tyranny and lacked legitimacy. The obvious inspiration for Elias' concept of domestication and its effects on aristocratic personalities is, of course, modern psychology.

Keywords: Alexander; aristocracy; domestication; imperial court; Macedonian; Persian court; Roman



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