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ARKUTH - Primogenitures In Arkuth

Primogenitures In Arkuth


Creative Notes
In the case of this world, Arkuth uses various primogenitures that have existed on earth in the past. Some discrepancies have been noted and changed according to how I understand or want my fantasy world to work. I have also provided alternate names or new primogenitures to fill appropriate voids for the campaign. When making reference to the term "primogeniture", one should note that (although very accurate), these are not definitive.

Primogeniture (Male Primogeniture):

Primogeniture is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn male child to inherit the family estate, in preference to younger sons (see ultimogeniture below), daughters and siblings. In the absence of children, inheritance passed to collateral relatives, exclusively or preferentially males, in order of seniority of their lines of descent. The eligible descendants of deceased elder siblings take precedence over living younger siblings, such that inheritance is settled in the manner of a depth-first search.

In primogeniture (or more precisely male primogeniture), the monarch's eldest son and his descendants take precedence over his siblings and their descendants. Elder sons take precedence over younger sons, but all sons take precedence over all daughters. Children represent their deceased ancestors, and the senior line of descent always takes precedence over the junior line, within each gender. The right of succession belongs to the eldest son of the reigning sovereign, and then to the eldest son of the eldest son.

Male primogeniture accords succession to the throne to a female member of a dynasty if she has no living brothers and no deceased brothers who left surviving legitimate descendants. A dynast's sons and their lines of descent all come before that dynast's daughters and their lines. Older sons and their lines come before younger sons and their lines. Older daughters and their lines come before younger daughters and their lines.This was the most common primogeniture practiced in western european feudalism.

Notes For Clarity
The House Lord's eldest son becomes heir, followed by his eldest son, followed by his second eldest son etc. Then the eldest daughter, followed by next eldest daughter etc.
If the eldest son dies, his line takes precedence over all others, even if the king had a second son. If he is childless, the next eldest sibling takes hold of the throne and then his line.
Daughter's take precedence over male uncles and cousins. (This is the main difference between male primogeniture and semi-salic law).
If the King/Lord dies without siring a heir, the Queen (Consort) is completely passed over and the crown in most instances of male primogeniture passes to the nearest male heir, said queen becomes "queen dowager" or in the instance where her child becomes king or queen, she becomes "queen mother".
Woman can inherit and pass titles through their line, so long as no males are ahead of them, directly in the line of succession.

Absolute Primogeniture (Equal, Lineal) :

Absolute primogeniture is a form of cognatic primogeniture where no preference is paid to either gender for order of precedence. Absolute primogeniture, meaning that the first child born to a monarch inherits the throne, regardless of the child's sex.

Absolute preference is given to the direct descending line over the collateral and ascending line, and, within the same line, the closest degree takes precedence over the more remote and, within the same degree, the elder over the younger, combined with the principles of firstborn and representation.

Agnatic Primogeniture (Salic Law or Semi-Salic Law):

Agnatic aka patrilineal primogeniture is the succession from father to son, then to brothers, uncles, cousins in the male-line only. There are different types of succession based on agnatic primogeniture, all sharing the principle that inheritance is according to seniority of birth amongst the agnatic kin, firstly, among the sons of a monarch or head of family, with sons and their male-line issue inheriting before brothers and their issue. Under agnatic primogeniture, the degree of kinship (of males and females) is determined by tracing shared descent from the nearest common ancestor through male ancestors: Those who share agnatic kinship are termed "agnates", those who share descent from a common ancestor through males and females or through females only are "cognates".

Salic law:

Salic law excludes females from succeeding to a crown or inheriting other titles or property. When an agnatic primogeniture system altogether excludes females from inheritance of the family's main possessions, it is known as an application of the Salic law.

Semi-Salic law:

Another variation on agnatic primogeniture is the so-called semi-Salic law, or "agnatic-cognatic primogeniture", which allows women to succeed only at the extinction of all the male descendants in the male line.

Notes For Clarity
When a childless king holds the throne, the next eldest male sibling becomes heir. If no brothers exists, the nearest male relative becomes heir, such as an uncle and then his line.
Once a male child is born however, that son (the eldest) becomes heir automatically, followed by any additional brothers by age and their son's by age.
If the eldest son dies, his line take precedence over all others, even if the king had a second son. If he is childless, the next eldest sibling takes hold of the throne and then his line.
The king's own direct bloodline always takes precedence over his own siblings, unless again, no male children exist.
If the family bloodline is totally extinguished (all males), the throne becomes open for new rule. This includes all relatives (uncles, cousins etc).

Uterine Primogeniture:

Under uterine primogeniture, accords succession to the throne or other property to male most closely related to the previous titleholder through female kinship: A male may also inherit a right of succession through a female ancestor or spouse, to the exclusion of any female relative who might be older or of nearer proximity of blood. In such cases, inheritance depends on uterine kinship, so a king would typically be succeeded by his sister's son.

Matrilineal Primogeniture:

Matrilineal primogeniture, or female-preference uterine primogeniture, is a form of succession practiced in some societies, in which the eldest female child inherits the throne, to the total exclusion of males. The order of succession to the position of the Rain Queen is an example in an African culture of matrilineal primogeniture: not only is dynastic descent reckoned through the female line, but only females are eligible to inherit.


Ultimogeniture, also known as postremogeniture or junior right, is the tradition of inheritance by the last-born of the entirety of, or a privileged position in, a parent's wealth, estate or office.

Agnatic Succession (Semi-Salic/Patrilineal) :

Agnatic succession, is the restriction of succession to those descended from or related to a past or current monarch exclusively through the male line of descent: descendants through females were ineligible to inherit unless no males of the patrilineage remained alive. Agnatic succession gives priority to or restricts inheritance of a throne or fief to heirs, male or female, descended from the original title holder through males only. Traditionally, agnatic succession is applied in determining the names and membership of a dynasty.

In this form of succession, the succession is reserved firstly to all the male dynastic descendants of all the eligible branches by order of primogeniture, then upon total extinction of these male descendants to a female member of the dynasty. If a female descendant should take the throne, she will not necessarily be the senior heiress by primogeniture, but usually the nearest relative to the last male monarch of the dynasty by proximity of blood.

Agnatic seniority is a patrilineal principle of inheritance where the order of succession to the throne prefers the monarch's younger brother over the monarch's own sons. A monarch's children (the next generation) succeed only after the males of the elder generation have all been exhausted. Agnatic seniority essentially excludes females of the dynasty and their descendants from the succession.

Patrilineality, also known as the male line or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship system in which an individual's family membership derives from and is traced through his or her father's lineage. It generally involves the inheritance of property, rights, names, or titles by persons related through male kin. A patriline ("father line") is a person's father, and additional ancestors, as traced only through males.


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World of Arkuth (The Sundered Lands) - Copyright © 2010-2012
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