The heredetary rulers of Emesa, present-day Homs in north-western Syria, counted amongst the most important allies of Rome on the eastern border of the empire. The necropolis at Tall Abu Sabun has produced grave finds representing first-rate source material for an appraisal of the situation and self-image of Oriental clientele princes. Amongst the grave goods from 22 graves of the early and mid-1st cent. A.D. found in the cemetery of Emesa, there is a predominance of dress accessories, jewellery, weapons, and remains of equipment of the deceased. While the funeral ritual, grave type, and burial mode are linked to local Mesopotamian traditions, the jewellery and insignia show striking connections with Central Asian steppe cultures. On the basis of the evidence from Emesa in combination with the literary sources, there is a detailed discussion of parameters generating a sense of identity and the change of identity amongst the Emesian clientele princes in interaction with Rome. The study makes quite clear that, for Rome, the significance of these clientele rulers went way beyond functions of security policy and can only be understood when considering the social, economic, and political context, too.