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date: 26 November 2022



  • Rosalind Thomas


Genealogy, the enumeration of descent from an ancestor. Legendary pedigree was particularly important in Greece. Before fighting, *Homeric heroes boast of their ancestry, citing between two and eight generations of ancestors (e.g. Il. 6. 145–211, Glaucus (3)). *Hesiod's poetry is preoccupied with legendary ancestry (Theogony, Catalogue of Women); even aristocrats in Classical Athens (which put more stress on recent achievements) claimed descent from important local and Homeric heroes, and thence from the gods: cf. the Philaid genealogy (Marcellin.Life of Thucydides 3; see cimon; miltiades); *Andocides was descended from *Odysseus and therefore *Hermes (Hellanicus, FGrH 323a F 24), *Alcibiades from Eurysaces (and *Zeus) (Pl.Alc. 1. 121a), *Plato (1) from *Solon and *Codrus (Plut. Sol. 1. 2). Other groups, cities, colonies, or tribes (see ethnicity), might trace descent from a single legendary figure (see founders, city), and genealogies were sometimes akin to king-lists (e.


  • Greek History and Historiography
  • Reception

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