Brill’s New Pauly

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Blood feud
(326 words)

[German version]

A. Greek law

According to the oldest Greek traditions, the relative of someone who had been killed had a religious duty to obtain revenge with the blood of the killer. As the polis grew stronger, in Athens at any rate from the time of  Dracon (7th cent. BC), the relatives were limited to judicial pursuit of the killer through a δίκη φόνου (díkē phónou: action for homicide). Even in the Classical Period this remained a private action. In Dracon's time the blood feud (BF) could be brought to an end by p…

Cite this page
Thür, Gerhard (Graz) and Schiemann, Gottfried (Tübingen), “Blood feud”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 20 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e218290>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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