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 payment …
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 21 January 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e218290>