What was the most opulent royal court in history?

What was the most opulent royal court in history?

  • Ancient Egypt court under various pharaohs (eg, Amenhotep III)

    Votes: 6 15.4%
  • Gupta imperial court (especially under Vikramaditya)

    Votes: 2 5.1%
  • Ancient Babylonian imperial court

    Votes: 2 5.1%
  • Han dynasty imperial court

    Votes: 2 5.1%
  • Tang dynasty imperial court

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • Tokugawa shogunate, especially the Genroku era

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Court of the caliphate at Baghdad, especially Harun al Rashid

    Votes: 3 7.7%
  • Incan imperial court at Cusco

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Roman imperial court, from Augustus to Constantine

    Votes: 3 7.7%
  • Byzantine imperial court, from Constantine to the Angelid dynasty

    Votes: 4 10.3%
  • Persian imperial court, especially Xerxes I and Khusrow the Great

    Votes: 5 12.8%
  • Turkish sultanate court, especially Suleyman the Magnificent

    Votes: 6 15.4%
  • Ptolemaic royal court

    Votes: 4 10.3%
  • Papal court from Alexander VI through Innocent XII

    Votes: 4 10.3%
  • Habsburg imperial court

    Votes: 2 5.1%
  • Bourbon royal court

    Votes: 16 41.0%
  • Tudor/Stuart royal court, Henry VIII through Charles II

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Russian imperial court, especially Peter the Great through Catherine II

    Votes: 2 5.1%
  • Court of Venetian doge

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • Napoleonic imperial court

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • Other

    Votes: 6 15.4%

  • Total voters
    39
May 2012
657
Los Angeles, California, USA
#1
What was the most opulent, lavish, wealthiest, most decadent royal court in history?

Factors to consider include: overall wealth of the ruler, lavishness of palaces, largesse of monuments, patronage of the arts, pursuit of pleasure (sex, cuisine, gardens, pools, etc), prodigal extravagance, general decadence, and enduring legacy. This should be limited to the consideration of the royal courts only, not the general welfare of the civilization at the time.

I posted this as a poll to stimulate ideas and spur debate, so I have probably left off worthy contenders. Feel free to add any you wish below!
 
Feb 2011
13,540
Perambulating in St James' Park
#6
Tutenwatchacallit got 400 women for his 14th birthday.

I got a shirt...

Louis the XIVVXVIVIX or whatever number the sun king was in the late 1600s was also pretty extravagant. The rule of law was whatever he wanted and plenty of obscene rumours abound regarding the debauchery of Parisian high society. Almost like an early Hellfire Club.
 
May 2012
657
Los Angeles, California, USA
#7
Tutenwatchacallit got 400 women for his 14th birthday.

I got a shirt...

Louis the XIVVXVIVIX or whatever number the sun king was in the late 1600s was also pretty extravagant. The rule of law was whatever he wanted and plenty of obscene rumours abound regarding the debauchery of Parisian high society. Almost like an early Hellfire Club.
I figured this would be enough to garner your vote for the Sun King. In the OP I almost put "most debauched court" with a nod to your signature...:zany:
 
Jun 2012
148
Sarasota, FL
#9
I would say other: the modern English court. No empire in history ever matched the great wealth of the British Empire, which at its peak was the largest and wealthiest empire the world had yet known. Look up the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II on youtube and you'll see what I mean.
 
May 2012
657
Los Angeles, California, USA
#10
I ended up voting for the Gupta royal court, the Persian imperial court, the Byzantine court, the Ptolemaic court, and the Bourbon court.

The Gupta court was fabulously wealthy, conducted extensive building projects, and was a major patron of the arts and sciences. Its wealth and opulence easily rivaled the other contemporary Classical civilizations.

The Persian imperial court was flush with beautiful gardens, exotic palaces, fine cuisine, vast wealth and ridiculous royal pomp: Khusrow's crown was too heavy for him to safely wear.

The Byzantine court was famous for its luxurious imperial palace, which was remarkably lavish with all sorts of courtyards and vast ballrooms. The Byzantine emperors fashioned a magnificent array of monuments, baths, and statues, churches, and of course, the hippodrome.

The Ptolemaic court was extremely wealthy with a magnificent city and palaces that defined luxury. They loved food, sex, and wine, and there was all sorts of sexual, and even orgaistic, intrigue in the Ptolemaic court.

The Bourbons might just take the cake (see what I did there?), with their monumental buildings, their lavish palaces, their absolute rule, their love of food and sex (Louis XIV might as well have had a revolving door installed in his bedroom), and their insanely prodigious spending. They also patronized some fabulous art in all forms.
 
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