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(1,491 words)

Author(s): Zingsem, Vera | Kuhlmann, Helga
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy of Religion; Ethics I. Religious Studies The term matriarchate is an artificial modern coinage based on Latin mater and ancient Greek archḗ, the latter in the double sense of “beginning” and “rule.” It first appeared in ethnological works and studies of the history of law toward the end of the 19th century. Writers of that period (J.J. Bachofen and others; see II below) used such terms as gynecocracy or Mutterrecht (“mother ¶ law”) (Matriarchy). Since pure matriarchates are few and far between, other terms have also g…