The use of the clientela model, which for a long time was and indeed still is controversial, is a suitable starting point to show Rome’s perspective on the officially friendly and allied princes who in Roman eyes constituted a part of the Empire. Many previous treatments concern themselves with the terminological differentiation between amicitia and clientela; what would ultimately be gained even if a valid resolution was to be found to the question is let unanswered, as it were. This article therefore pleads for a more relaxed approach to be taken to the debate, emphasizing the specific heuristic value of the transfer of the concept of clientship to imperial politics – just as the Roman sources of course also resort to clientela and related terms to illustrate the relationships to the reges amici et socii populi Romani. Consequently, clientela and amicitia do not exclude each other. They complement each other perfectly as models.