Usurper

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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[edit]

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

Politics[edit]

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[edit]

  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[edit]

See also[edit]