Amici Populi Romani

Prosopography of the Foreign Friends of the Romans (3rd Century BCE–4th Century CE)

Interpersonal ‘friendship’ relations played a major role in the establishment and development of the Roman Empire: its power was not solely based on its military prowess, but also on the loyalty and voluntary support of external kings or elites, who often held the official rank of amici populi Romani. The main targets for inclusion into the APR collection are all individuals outside of Italy that were made friends of the Romans either on the official level or less formally with an individual Roman aristocrat. Some female dynasts are also listed, either by virtue of their own status as amicae, or, more often, to clarify genealogical uncertainties of their more prominent male counterparts. In the same vein, other close relatives who are known to have played important roles are included as well. Further entries on successors or even rivals of such amici are included, in the hope that detailed knowledge of them may help us better understand the extent but also limitations of diplomatic friendship with Rome. Most entries fall into the period stretching from the Hannibalic War (218-201 BC) to the Flavian period (AD 69-96), but these are not strict temporal limits. At one end, the kings of Egypt have been included as far back as Ptolemy II Philadelphos, who entered into friendly relations with Rome in 273 BC; at the other, the Bosporan kings boast the longest continuous amicitia relations with Rome, attested as late as the 4th or 5th century AD.

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