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Courting Intercession: Amici, Allies, and Advocacy

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Chapter Summary

Intercessory relationships existed between structurally unequal parties. Intercession, however, was a practice defined just as much by the kinds of horizontal ties included under the broad rubric of amicitia ties between friends, kinfolk, colleagues, and allies. While these relationships sometimes can be discerned in the diplomatic sources, the diplomata only rarely offer us any indication of how intercessors were sought out, the nature of the affective ties between intercessors and petitioners, and the strategies that informed the intercessory process. As a result, this chapter relies far more upon epistolary sources, which despite their shortcomings provide the most revealing indication of how the recruitment and cultivation of advocates took place, and how that process wove together rhetorics and performances of subordination and equality, humility and intimacy.

Keywords: advocacy; allies; amicitia; cultivation; diplomatic sources; humility; intercessory relationships; recruitment; subordination



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