Brill’s Companion to Bodyguards in the Ancient Mediterranean


Volume Editors: and
Brill’s Companion to Bodyguards in the Ancient Mediterranean is the first scholarly volume solely dedicated to understanding bodyguards of the ancient Mediterranean world. From the Pharaohs of Egypt through to the emperors of the Early Byzantine Empire, this volume not only identifies who served as bodyguards for rulers and other political powerbrokers, but also details the symbolic role bodyguards played in the maintenance of power. The volume also highlights the political, religious, and social significance of bodyguards to individual regimes, and the important role bodyguards played in the projection of power and legitimacy to key interest groups within a particular society.

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Conor Whately, Ph.D. (2009), Warwick University, is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Winnipeg. He has published monographs, textbooks, and edited volumes on warfare, frontiers, and historiography in the Roman and Byzantine worlds, including Battles and Generals and Procopius on Soldiers and Military Institutions in the Sixth-Century Roman Empire, both published by Brill (2016, 2021).
Mark Hebblewhite completed his PhD at Macquarie University, Australia in 2012. His research interests centre on the ideology and politics of the later Roman Empire, with particular reference to the role of the army. His published work includes The Emperor And The Army In The Later Roman Empire and Theodosius and the Limits of Empire, both with Routledge. He currently works at the Australian Catholic University.

Contributors are: Jeremy Armstrong, Michael Charles, Maxime Emion, Matt Gibbs, Mark Hebblewhite, Carol J. King, Gwynaeth McIntyre, Christian Rollinger, Jeffrey Rop, Michael Stewart, Susan Thorpe, Emily Varto, Conor Whately, Shana Zaia.
"Given the fact that the phenomenon of bodyguards has rarely been the focus of scholarly work, this volume is a welcome collection for all those interested in ancient military history, elites, and power relations. All the essays are well written, richly sourced and footnoted, each with its own bibliography. Sources come from ancient literature, iconography, and archaeology." Theo van den Hout, University of Chicago, in BMCR 2024.02.52.

1 Bodyguards in the Ancient Mediterranean World
Conor Whately

2 Bodyguards in Ancient Egypt: Their Role as Protectors of the King
Susan Thorpe

3 Protecting the King in Mesopotamia in the First Millennium BCE: Perspectives from the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Empires
Shana Zaia

4 Bodyguards and the Connecting Ideology of Early Greek Warfare
Emily K. Varto

5 Apple Bearers and Kinsmen Cavalry: Guards Units of the Kings of Achaemenid Persia
Michael Charles

6 The Four Hundred and the Ten Thousand: The Politics of Greek Bodyguard Service in the Achaemenid Empire
Jeffrey Rop

7 Guarding the Macedonian King: Royal Servitude, Political Jockeying, and Regicide
Carol J. King

8 The Lictores: Guarding the Body and the Body Politic in Republican Rome
Jeremy Armstrong

9 “Bodyguards” and Their Responsibilities in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt
Matt Gibbs

10 Making and Breaking Emperors: The cohors praetoria and the Transition of Imperial Power
Gwynaeth McIntyre

11 Specie Dominationis: The ‘Ceremonial’ Uses of Imperial Bodyguards Under the Principate
Christian Rollinger

12 Guarding the Emperor in an Age of Chaos
Mark Hebblewhite

13 Protectors and Assassins: Armed Eunuch-cubicularii and -spatharii, 400–532 CE
Michael Edward Stewart

14 Epilogue on Bodyguards
Maxime Emion

Academic libraries, specialists on pre-modern bodyguards, and both undergraduate and graduate students for all eras of ancient history in the Mediterranean world.
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