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

antocya

Ad Honorem
May 2012
5,688
Iraq
#21
I was thinking maybe Nero but he's just one emperor. I don't know enough about all of different royal courts to say. Also some historians may have exaggerated Nero.
 

Guaporense

Ad Honorem
Mar 2011
5,045
Brazil
#23
Perhaps, the best preserved great palace of a Royal Court would be Versailles. At 67,000 square meters and 2,300 rooms, it was among the largest "houses" ever build.

The architecture of the palace is perhaps the most decadent and luxurious ever:



 
#26
Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor. At one time, India under the Mughals controlled something like 40% of the world's wealth, and needless to say he partook of it to a rather large extent. His throne was encrusted with rubies, sapphires and emeralds, and the koh i noor, at the time the world's largest diamond. He also commissioned some of the most beautiful works of architecture in history, notably the Taj Mahal, the Shalimar gardens, and the Red Fort in Delhi.
 
Nov 2010
4,253
3rd rock from Sol
#27
No Moghuls in the poll? Come on....! They come second to none in these matters ;)

The "Peacock Throne" may make all your doubts evaporate in an instant -
According to an article by the Sunday Tribune,
It was, accordingly, ordered that, in addition to the jewels in the imperial jewel house, rubies, garnets, diamonds, rich pearls and emeralds in all weighing 230 kg should be brought for the inspection of the Emperor and they should be handed over to Bebadal Khan, the superintendent of the goldsmith’s department. There was also to be given to him 1150 kg of pure gold... The throne was to be three yards in length, two-and-a-half in breadth and five in height and was to be set with the above mentioned jewels. The outside of the canopy was to be of enamel work with occasional gems, the inside was to be thickly set with rubies, garnets and other jewels, and it was to be supported by 12 emerald columns. On the top of each pillar there were to be two peacocks, thick-set with gems and between each two peacocks a tree set with rubies and diamonds, emeralds and pearls. The ascent was to consist of three steps set with jewels of fine water". Of the 11 jewelled recesses formed around it for cushions, the middle one was intended for the seat it for Emperor. Among the historical diamonds decorating it were the famous Kohinoor (186 carats), the Akbar Shah (95 carats), the Shah (88.77 carats), the Jehangir (83 carats) and the second largest spinel ruby in the world — the Timur ruby (283 carats). A-20 couplet poem by the Mughal poet-laureate Qudsi, praising the Emperor in emerald letters was embedded in the throne. On March 12, 1635, Emperor Shah Jahan ascended for the first time the newly completed Peacock Throne. The French jeweller and traveller, Jean Baptiste Tavennier, who had the opportunity to examine the throne at close quarters, confirms the court chronicler’s description... Its place in the two fortress-palaces of Delhi and Agra was usually at the Hall of Private Audience known as Diwan-I-Khas, although it was kept at the Hall of Public Audience known as the Diwan-I-Am when larger audience were expected.
You make a good point. I actually had the Mughal court on the list at first, then I think I switched it with the Turkish sultanate to keep an even 20 on the list. But you're right, the Mughal court was undoubtedly splendid. It probably should be on this list.
That would be like excluding the Romans in a poll of "Most professional armies in history" ;)
 
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Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,057
#28
No Moghuls in the poll? Come on....! They come second to none in these matters ;)

The "Peacock Throne" may make all your doubts evaporate in an instant -


That would be like excluding the Romans in a poll of "Most professional armies in history" ;)

You are right, the Moghul court certainly belongs there, more than many of the courts on that were on the list. Perhaps some people voted for it in the "Other" category, but still, it should have been on the list.
 
Apr 2009
514
#29
After reading this description of the Fatimid Court in Amin Maalouf's "The Crusades through Arab Eyes", I might be tempted to think that was the most opulent:

Shawar led them to a superb, richly decorated palace, which they walked through quickly, ringed by a phalanx of armed guards. Then the cortege crossed a vaulted hallway that seemed interminable, impervious to the light of day, and finally came to the threshold of an enormous sculptured gate leading first to a vestibule and then to another gate. After passing through many ornamented chambers, Shawar and his guests emerged into a courtyard paved with marble and ringed by gilded colonnades, in the centre of which stood a fountain boasting gold and silver pipes. All around were brightly coloured birds from the four corners of Africa. Here the escort guards introduced them to eunuchs who lived on intimate terms with the caliph. One again they passed through a succession of salons, then a garden stocked with tame deer, lion, bear, and panthers. Then, finaly, they reacached the palace of al-‘Adid. Barely had they entered an enormous room, whose back wall was a silk curtain encrusted with gold, rubies, and emeralds, when Shawar bowed three times and laid his sword on the floor. Only then did the curtain rise, and the caliph approached, his body draped in silk and his face veiled. The vizier went to him, sat at his feet, and explained the proposed alliance with the Franj.
If not that then maybe the court of the Ptolemies in Alexandria for it's great library, lighthouse, museum, zoo, etc. The Ptolemaic kings were supposedly the richest men in the Ancient World, and all of the resources of Egypt was technically their personal property.
So both my choices are from Egypt. Which was perhaps the nation that invented true decadence!