In the ancient times ,there was periods they changes the ruler of a kingdom or empire by assassination him .
what do we call that? changing the king in a quick time through assassination? do we call it a coup ? overthrown ?
Then, what is the term when the army take a step and take the command of the empire or kingdom and throw the king in jail.

  • If you mean when the ruler is ousted and the people ousting him take the throne, it would be a 'coup'. If you mean a practice by which assassins ALWAYS take the throne...no such practice existed in history. There may be a more appropriate term for the individual who takes the throne though, but I am not aware of any such term. – Zibbobz Sep 18 '13 at 17:53
  • ...changing the king in a quick time through assassination... I'm not sure if there's an existing term, how about "Revolving-door Monarchy"? Is there a specific episode in history that you are thinking of? – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Sep 18 '13 at 18:07
  • @FrustratedWithFormsDesigner I want to say in proper English about an emperor who was killed by a knife from his enemies, while he was at his kingdom not in a war.It is an assassination, from inside followers who made a deal with the enemy. the episode is roman empires. Do we call that a coup or there is a better word for that? – MMD Sep 18 '13 at 18:16
  • I guess you could say violent accession to the throne. – user49727 Sep 18 '13 at 18:22
  • Both of your scenarios constitute a coup (coup d'état, putsch, overthrow). Coup can be accomplished via assassination or without it. (Some say the JFK assassination was an ordinary coup d'état.) It can also be bloody or bloodless. – Talia Ford Sep 18 '13 at 18:23

The transition period from one ruler to another is often referred to as a succession period.

In a period where there is a rapid succession of rulers, you are indicating that the turnover rate at the top, for whatever reason, is swift.

The means by which a succession is forced - be it by ouster (generic term for any overthrow), coup (typically via a military overthrow, short for coup d-etat), or assassination (referring to the killing of the leader) - is irrelevant to the idea of a rapid succession or a series of successions. An ouster or a coup begins at the moment the leader is no longer in charge.

When Oliver Cromwell overthrew King Charles II, for example, the ouster began the day the King abdicated. When he was executed, the regicide was complete. To claim he was assassinated would be an overreach. He was executed after a trial, not assassinated. Had he been killed in battle, it would be referred to as such and called out as such. In contrast, if the leader is murdered without due process, it is an assassination.

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  • I like your explanation – MMD Sep 18 '13 at 18:29
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    You shouldn't have limited coup to a military overthrow. Even though military is most often involved, sometimes it isn't. – Talia Ford Sep 18 '13 at 18:32
  • @TaliaFord Updated. Good point. Honduras was an example of a civilian coup d'etat. – Affable Geek Sep 18 '13 at 18:33
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    Usurpation is often used for unconventional means of succession. including violent ones. But only bad rulers usurp the post -sometimes the true ruler is compelled to kill the false one to regain his throne, but that would never be usurpation. (And yes, 'good','bad', 'true' and 'false' here depend on where you are standing; "Treason never doth prosper. What's the reason? If it do prosper, none dare call it treason.") – Tim Lymington Sep 18 '13 at 19:40

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