The Classical Quarterly (New Series)


Royal Succession in Heroic Greece*

Margalit Finkelberga1

a1 Tel-Aviv University

This article is about the rules of succession in Bronze Age Greece as reflected in Greek tradition. The question as to whether or not the figures dealt with by this tradition are historical is of little relevance to the present discussion: what I seek to recover is not the history of one royal house or another but rather the recurring patterns according to which the members of these houses – no matter whether real or fictitious – were expected to behave when it came to the question of accession to the throne and transmission of the kingship to their successors.


* The first version of this paper was read on 13 April 1988 at a seminar on Historiography in the Ancient World held by the Faculty of Humanities of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I am grateful to the participants in that seminar, and especially to David Asheri, for their encouragement. I also wish to thank the referee and the Editor of CQ for their help in preparing the final version.