Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 30 June 2022

client kingslocked

client kingslocked

  • David C. Braund


The term ‘client kings’ is conventionally used by scholars to denote a range of monarchs and quasi-monarchs of non-Roman peoples who enjoyed a relationship with Rome that was essentially harmonious but unequal. These were rulers under the patronage of the Roman state, but the less abrasive language of friendship was the norm. In fact, there is very little ancient authority for the term ‘client king’: the Roman state called such kings rex sociusque et amicus, ‘king and ally and friend’, in a formal recognition by the senate (appellatio). Grand ceremony seems often to have accompanied such recognitions, under republic and Principate alike. Although the practice of such relationships varied according to the relative power of the ‘client king’, Rome seems to have drawn few distinctions in theory.From the 3rd cent. bce at the latest Rome developed such relationships with a view to the consolidation or expansion of her empire in Italy and beyond. *Hieron (2) II of Syracuse is often regarded as the first client king (c.


  • Roman History and Historiography
  • Roman Law

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription