“Heirs and Spares: Dynasty and Succession in Antiquity” is a panel of the 2019 Celtic Conference in Classics, which will take place in the University of Coimbra, Portugal, on 26-29 June 2019.
Conveners: Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Eve MacDonald, Alex McAuley, & Shaun Tougher, School of History, Archaeology, and Religion, Cardiff University, Wales
This panel reflects the revived interest in the subject of ‘dynasty’ in current historical studies, witness Jeroen Duindam’s Dynasties: A Global History of Power, 1300-1800 (2016), and several recent conferences on ‘dynasty’ and its meaning in the modern and medieval periods. The panel is distinct by addressing the subject in the ancient world, and by embracing a broad
chronological and cultural span, from ancient Mesopotamian societies to the Byzantine world and the early Islamic East.
It aims to be interdisciplinary and diverse in nature, seeking speakers of differing specialisms, levels of academic activity and cultural backgrounds. The chronological scope of the panel, roughly defined, is from the Ancient Near East until c. AD 1000.
Comparative approaches to dynasty, succession, family, and legitimacy are warmly invited as well.
We invite abstracts of up to 300 words on any of the following questions or related topics of interest to colleagues of diverse research backgrounds:
– What principles of succession existed?
– How common was primogeniture, and what other systems of succession
– What was the role of, and attitude to, siblings of rulers?
– What was the role of, and attitude to, other family members of
rulers (e.g. mothers, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins)?
– What is the interaction between gender and dynasty, in particular
what are the roles of dynastic women and female courtiers as well
as eunuchs and other marginalised peoples?
– What was the relationship between royal and imperial families
and other members of society in relation to succession?
– How were changes in dynasty effected and justified?
– What are the benefits and problems of utilising a comparative
approach to the question of dynastic succession?
– How valid is the use of the term ‘dynasty’?
The deadline for submission of abstracts is 10 March, 2019.
Participants will need to cover their own travel and accommodation
expenses. A potential publication is envisaged following discussion
among panel participants.