Polygamy, Prostitutes and Death. The Hellenistic Dynasties
by Daniel Ogden

ISBN 0-7156-2930-1, hardback, xxxiv+317 pp., 1999, GB £45.00

 

The author: Daniel Ogden is the author of Greek Bastardy (Oxford, 1996), The Crooked Kings of Ancient Greece (London, 1997) and Greek and Roman Necromacy (Princeton, 2001). He has taught at New College in Oxford and at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York State, and been Junior Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C. He is now Professor of Ancient History at the University of Exeter.

The hellenistic royal families, from Alexander the Great to the last Cleopatra, took part in dynastic in-fighting that was vicious, colourful and instructive. In this they anticipated by centuries the better-known excesses under Roman potentates such as Claudius and Nero. This major new study explores the intricate quarrels and violence within the ruling hellenistic families. A main theme is the role of 'amphimetric' disputes, competition between a ruler's offspring from different women, and especially between the women themselves. The book also includes a full exploration of the role of courtesans in the political and sexual intrigues of the hellenistic courts.

 

CONTENTS
List of illustrations
Acknowledgements
Argument
PART I. POLYGAMY AND DEATH IN THE MACEDONIAN AND HELLENISTIC COURTS
1. Argead Macedon
2. Alexander
3. Cassander and Lysimachus
4. The Ptolemies
5. The Seleucids
6. The Antigonids
7. The Attalids
PART II. HELLENISTIC ROYAL COURTESANS
8. Methodology and evidence
9. Status and career
10. Courtesans at work
Appendix 1. Women's quarters in hellenistic royal palaces
Appendix 2. Repertorium of sources for hellenistic royal courtesans
Appendix 3. King lists of the Argead and hellenistic dynasties
Bibliography
Index

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