Royal Courts in Dynastic States and Empires

A Global Perspective


In recent decades the history of premodern states and empires has undergone major revision. At the heart of this process stood the court, encompassing the household as well as government institutions. This volume for the first time brings together the fruits of research on royal courts from antiquity to the modern world, from Asia to Europe. The authors are acknowledged specialists in their own fields, but they address themes relevant for all courts: the inner and outer dimensions of court architecture as well as staff organizations; the connections between court, capital, and realm; the relationship of the ruler with relatives and other elites. This volume pioneers comparative history combining a rich empirical orientation with a critical assessment of theoretical perspectives.

This title is available online in its entirety in Open Access

Contributors: Tülay Artan, Gojko Barjamovic, Peter Fibiger Bang, Jeroen Duindam, Sabine Dabringhaus, Nadia Maria El Cheikh, Ebba Koch, Metin Kunt, Paul Magdalino, Rosamond McKitterick, Ruth Macrides, Rolf Strootman, Isenbike Togan, Maria Antonietta Visceglia, and Andrew Wallace-Hadrill.
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Jeroen Duindam is Professor of Modern History at Leiden University. Duindam studies dynastic centres and elites in a comparative perspective. His publications include Myths of Power. Norbert Elias and the Early Modern European Court (Amsterdam 1995) and Vienna and Versailles. The Courts of Europe’s Dynastic Rivals 1550-1780 (Cambridge 2003).

Tülay Artan is Profesor at Sabanci University, Istanbul. Artan’s research focuses on the Ottoman elite in Istanbul, the lives of its members and material culture that surrounded them in the eighteenth century. She is the author of a section on “Art and Architecture”, in : Cambridge History of Turkey, vol. 3, Suraiya Faroqhi ed. (Cambridge 2006) and numerous other publications.

Metin Kunt is Professor of History at Sabanci University, Istanbul. Kunt previously taught at Bogazici University, Istanbul, and at Cambridge University; he also held visiting positions at Harvard, Yale and Leiden. His main areas of research are Ottoman political sociology and sociology of knowledge. His publications include Sultan's Servants (Columbia, 1983) and The Age of Suleiman the Magnificent, co-edited with Christine Woodhead (London 1995).

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Royal Courts in Dynastic States and Empires, Jeroen Duindam


Pride, Pomp and Circumstance: Palace, Court and Household in Assyria 879 – 612 BCE, Gojko Barjamovic

Hellenistic Court Society: The Seleukid Imperial Court under Antiochos the Great, 223-187 BCE, Rolf Strootman

The Roman Imperial Court: Seen and Unseen in the Performance of Power, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill

Court and State in the Roman Empire – Domestication and Tradition in Comparative Perspective, Peter Fibiger Bang


Court and Capital in Byzantium, Paul Magdalino

A King on the Move: The Place of an Itinerant Court in Charlemagne’s Government, Rosamond McKitterick

Court Historiography in Early Tang China: Assigning a Place to History and Historians at the Palace, Isenbike Togan

To be a Prince in the Fourth/Tenth-Century Abbasid Court, Nadia Maria El Cheikh

Ceremonies and the City: The Court in Fourteenth-Century Constantinople, Ruth Macrides


The Pope’s Household and Court in the Early Modern Age, Maria Antonietta Visceglia

The Monarch and Inner-Outer Court Dualism in Late Imperial China, Sabine Dabringhaus

Turks in the Ottoman Imperial Palace, İ. Metin Kunt

The Mughal Audience Hall: A Solomonic Revival of Persepolis in Form of a Mosque, Ebba Koch

Royal Weddings and the Grand Vezirate: Institutional and Symbolic Change in the Early Eighteenth Century, Tülay Artan

Versailles, Vienna, and Beyond: Changing Views of Household and Government in Early Modern Europe, Jeroen Duindam

List of Contributors

All those interested in ancient, medieval, and early modern history, comparative history, court studies, state formation, social elites, urban history, architecture. Arabic, Chinese, Ottoman, Byzantine, European history, and anthropology.