The Arrogance of Sitting (like a king?!)


This curious episode is from Plutarch’s Life of Sulla comes shortly after Plutarch’s meditation on Sulla’s potentially inappropriate relationship with Bocchus including his choice of signet ring design.  On that signet ring Sulla sits in the the chair of a quaestor, Bocchus and Jugurtha kneel.  Here there seems to be a circle of three equal chairs but with Sulla’s in the dominant position.   So why did this episode create so much controversy?  Perhaps the Parthian King thought Orobazus was acting like a king by accepting the chair?  The Romans did send stella curulis to kings as an honorific giftEarlier post on this topic.

But what from a Roman perspective had Sulla done wrong?   Was it letting the foreign king and representative of foreign king sit at all?  Was it that in this context his sitting seemed regal?

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