Queens and Their Children: Dynastic Dis/Loyalty in the Hellenistic Period

Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)


In a well-argued book, Polygamy, Prostitutes, and Death: The Hellenistic Dynasties, Daniel Ogden attributes the instability of the Hellenistic dynasties to “amphimetric strife,” the divisive competition, murder, and ultimately war which resulted from the children of a monarch, born from different mothers, vying for the throne. In this essay, I demonstrate that there was also metric strife, that is to say conflict, murder, and war between mothers and sons. Metric strife can be attributed, in part, to the fact that Ptolemaic and Seleucid royal women obtained unprecedented power as regents, co-rulers, and even as sole rulers in several instances. Thus, Hellenistic queens played an increasingly central role in dynastic tensions, which led to internecine murder and even war.


Hellenistic Queens Royal Women Polygamy Seleucid King Hellenistic Egypt 
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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.San Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

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