Macquarie University
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Persians, politics and patronage: Roman conceptions of a diplomatic relationship with Sasanian Persia

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posted on 2022-03-28, 21:53 authored by Sean P. Commons
This thesis' aim is to explore how Roman authors and their portrayed subjects conceived of Rome's political relationship with Sasanian Persia. In particular, to what extent these conceptions were influenced by Roman notions and practices of 'patronage', at both a personal level and as transposed onto foreign relations as so-called 'client' or dependent kingdoms. The interrelationship between these and previously explored elements of the Romano-Sasanian relationship shall be examined through a study of examples of both Roman internal political relations and existing foreign relations. It will be argued that shared practices and notions of patronage and amicitia could act as a cross-cultural mediator and have a demonstrable effect on the practice of diplomacy. This will be accompanied by an exploration of the persistence of dependent relationship well into Late Antiquity, demonstrating their continued pervasiveness and relevance in the period despite processes such as ‘provincialisation’. Ultimately, examining the influences of interpersonal relationships like patronage and amicitia will provide a more nuanced understanding of Rome and Persia’s political relationship.


Table of Contents

I. Introduction -- II. Literature review and methodology -- III. Reconciling patronage and amicitia -- IV. The impact and influence of historical conceptions -- V. Arab allies : a continuation of imperial client management -- VI. Dependent kingdoms : the persistence of 'patronage' and amicitia -- VII. Interpersonal and interstate relations, intertwined -- VIII. Conclusion.


Bibliography: pages 66-77 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ancient History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Pete Edwell


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1 online resource (iii, 77 pages)

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