Guest Post by Laura Gill: Mycenaean Kingship, Matrilineal Succession, and Female Power

In a guest post Laura Gill argues against the matrilineal tradition of kingship among the Mycenaeans. “In the absence of solid documentary evidence, proponents of the matrilineal tradition of kingship turn to the legends themselves to support their theory, and point to royal heiresses such as Helen of Sparta and Penelope, wife of Odysseus, as kingmakers. Let us look at the same legends, as well as further examples where Mycenaean royal women seem to hand power to men, to demonstrate that those women were the instruments rather than the wielders of political power.”

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