The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.

Related Content

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Science and technology
  • Earth Sciences and Geography


Show Summary Details



Quick Reference

Literally, a community of related families under the authority of a male head called a patriarch; applied more generally to any form of social organization in which men have predominant power. Compare matriarchy. patriarchal adj. [From Greek patria a family + Greek arche a rule]

Reference entries

View all reference entries »