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Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius$
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Christopher Smith and Liv Mariah Yarrow

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199600755

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600755.001.0001

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Kings and Regime Change in the Roman Republic

Kings and Regime Change in the Roman Republic

Chapter:
(p.184) 10 Kings and Regime Change in the Roman Republic
Source:
Imperialism, Cultural Politics, and Polybius
Author(s):

Olivier Hekster

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600755.003.0011

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

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