Envisioning Audiences at the Roman Imperial Court

Caillan Davenport*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines how the emperor and his court were portrayed between the first and sixth centuries in accounts written by, or featuring, individuals who had audiences with the emperor, either as petitioners and ambassadors or as accused criminals committed to stand trial. These individuals were representatives of different religious, political, and cultural communities, or ‘interest groups’, including sophists, philosophers, the Greek community of Alexandria, Jews, and Christians. Despite their different time periods, genres, and cultural backgrounds, the narratives all share a common focus on the interaction between a representative of the interest group and the emperor at court, and the individual courtiers (women, slaves, officials) who help or hinder their encounter with the emperor. This shows that in the Roman world, the court was primarily envisioned in terms of people and personalities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Roman Imperial Court in the Principate and Late Antiquity
EditorsCaillan Davenport, Meaghan McEvoy
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9780191955686
ISBN (Print)9780192865236
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2023


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