Usurper

A usurper is an illegitimate or controversial claimant to power, often but not always in a monarchy. In other words, a person who takes the power of a country, city, or established region for himself, without any formal or legal right to claim it as his own.[1] Usurpers can rise to power in a region by often unexpected physical force, as well as through political influence and deceit.

Etymology

The word originally came from the Latin word usurpare (“to seize" or "to use”).[2]

Politics

The Greeks had their own conception of what a usurper was, calling them tyrants.[3] In the ancient Greek usage, a tyrant (tyrannos in Greek) was an individual whom rose to power via unconstitutional or illegitimate means, usually not being an heir to an existing throne.[4] Such individuals were perceived negatively by political philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle.[5][6]

Usurpers often try to legitimize their position by claiming to be a descendant of a ruler that they may or may not be related to.

References

  1. "Definition of USURPER". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  2. "Usurp definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary". www.collinsdictionary.com. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  3. Kagan, Donald (October 1998). Pericles Of Athens And The Birth Of Democracy. Simon and Schuster. p. 250. ISBN 9780684863955.
  4. Kagan, Donald (October 1998). Pericles Of Athens And The Birth Of Democracy. Simon and Schuster. p. 250. ISBN 9780684863955.
  5. "The Republic, by Plato". www.gutenberg.org. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  6. Aristotle (2010-02-15). The Politics, Book 5, chapter 10. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226026701.

Further reading

See also

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