Aspects of Hellenistic kingship

Aspects of Hellenistic kingship. Edited by Bilde, Per Aarhus ; Oakville, Conn: Aarhus University Press, 1996.

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Title Aspects of Hellenistic kingship
Place of Publication Aarhus ; Oakville, Conn
Publisher Aarhus University Press
Publication year 1996
Sub-type Other
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Series Studies in Hellenistic civilization ; 7
ISBN 8772884746
Language eng
Editor Bilde, Per
Total number of pages 147
Subjects 210306 Classical Greek and Roman History
Formatted Abstract/Summary

Hellenistic Royal Symposia /​ Oswin Murray
Hellenistic Royal Iconography on Coins /​ Robert Fleischer
The Seleucid Kings and Babylonia: New Perspectives on the Seleucid Realm in the East /​ Amelie Kuhrt
"King of Kings" and "Philhellen:" Kingship in Arsacid Iran /​ Josef Wiesehofer
"This Contributes in no small way to one's Reputation:" The Bithynian Kings and Greek Culture /​ Lise Hannestad
Hasmonean Kingship and the Invention of Tradition /​ Tessa Rajak
Hellenistic Kingship: Puzzles, Problems, and Possibilities /​ Erich S. Gruen.


Aspects of Hellenistic Kingship is the seventh volume in the series Studies in Hellenistic Civilization published by the Danish interdisciplinary research project on the Hellenistic period launched in 1989 by the Danish Research Council for the Humanities. The contents of the volume originate in the project's fourth international working seminar held in January 1994 on the subject of Hellenistic Kingship -- The Royal "Parousia": Royal Power and its Symbolic Manifestations. About thirty foreign and Danish scholars took part, among whom were the contributors to this volume.

Kingship was perhaps the most important single institution in the Hellenistic period. The Hellenistic world itself was established by the military, political and cultural efforts of Alexander. The enormous territories conquered by him were organized, not as a more or less democratic republic or a Greek type of 'tyranny', but as a monarchy inspired by both the Macedonian Kingdom and the Persian Empire. After Alexander's death the institution of kingship was taken over and carried on by the Diadochs.

In Greece, the monarchy of Alexander and his followers was an innovation. Though an age old phenomenon in the Near East and in the tribal societies north of Greece such as Macedonia and Thrace, monarchy was not a a political fact in the Greek world of the classical period. Characteristically, Philip II (356-336 BC) was "king" of the Macedonians but only hêgemôn of the Corinthian League. In most Greek city-states kingship had been abolished centuries ago, and it survived only as a public office, such as the archôn basileus ("magistral king") and the phylobasileus ("tribal king"). The two kings of Sparta did not really count as kings, because their powers were restricted in several ways. Pindar is said to have coined the phrase nomos ho pantôn basileus, thanatôn te kai athanathôn ("the law is the king of everyone, man and god"). The same attitude is found in proverbial sayings such as nomos despotôs ("the law is lord") and nomos tyrannos ("the law is master"). Most likely, the very word "king" gave many Greeks an association to Homer's description of the overlord Agamemnon surrounded by a number of smaller kings. Furthermore, the Greeks were accustomed to see kings such as Kreon, Oidipus, Jason and Pentheus on the stage.   ....................

Keyword Hellenism -- Congresses
Kings and rulers, Ancient -- Congresses
Monarchy -- Mediterranean Region -- Congresses
Mediterranean Region -- Kings and rulers -- Congresses
Q-Index Code AX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

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