MH 2

Eva Orthmann/Anna Kollatz (edd.), The Ceremonial of Audience. Transcultural Approaches (Macht und Herrschaft 2), Göttingen 2019.

MH_002This volume contains contributions to a workshop of Eva Orthmann's sub-project that took place on June 16 and 17, 2017 [follow-up report in German].


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Audiences are among the dominant elements of courtly life and may be referred to as a central aspect of representation of power in many societies. Audiences also served as a stage for negotiation and political decision-making. Beyond that, the ceremonial of audience acted as an integrative factor, strengthening the connections between the ruler and his subjects, the élite and his dynastic background. The ceremonial of audience thus reflects the structure, or at least the intended structure of rule. It thus allows us to get insight into the perception of the ruler in the respective society.

The volume offers an interdisciplinary approach to forms and structures of audiences in different epochs and regions. Choosing a transcultural and diachronic perspective, it aims at delineating similarities and differences as well as possible lines of development of the ceremonial on a broad basis of case studies.



  • Eva Orthmann/Anna Kollatz, Introduction, 9–18.
  • Alexander Pruß, Robes of honor and blindfolded petitioners. Audiences in the Ancient Near East, 19–36.
  • Alexander Beihammer, Ceremonies and court rituals in Byzantine Imperial Audiences in the time of the First Crusade, 37–61.
  • Dittmar Dahlmann, “Not much was eaten, but they were rowdy drinkers.” Reports by foreigners on receptions and audiences at the Tsar's Court in the 16th and 17th centuries, 63–91.
  • Eva Orthmann, “It was a day of great splendor.” Audiences at the Ghaznavid court, 93–111.
  • Anna Kollatz, Where is ‘the audience’? Who is ‘the audience’? Approaching Mughal spaces of social interaction, 113–141.
  • Ebba Koch, The Mughal audience hall. A Solomonic revival of Persepolis in the form of a mosque, 143–168.
  • Hedda Reindl-Kiel, Audiences, banquets, garments and kisses. Encounters with the Ottoman Sultan in the 17th century, 169–207.


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