* [[patrijarh (Stara Grčka)|starogrčki patrijarh]], u smislu oca porodice ili porodičnog, a kasnije i državnog vođe
* [[patrijarh (jevrejstvo)]] je jedan od trojice patrijarha starog [[jevrejstva]]: [[Abraham (
Originally a patriarch was a man who exercised autocratic authority as a pater familias over an extended family. The system of such rule of families by senior males is called patriarchy. This is a Greek word, a composition of "πάτερ" (pater) meaning father and "άρχων" (archon) meaning leader, chief, ruler, king, etc.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are referred to as the three patriarchs of Judaism, and the period in which they lived is called the Patriarchal Age.
The word has also taken on other meanings. In particular, the highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Assyrian Church of the East are called patriarchs. The office and ecclesiastical conscription (comprising one or more provinces, though outside his own (arch)diocese he is often without enforceable jurisdiction, unlike the Pope of Rome) of such a patriarch is called a patriarchate. Historically, a Patriarch may often be the logical choice to act as Ethnarch, representing the community that is identified with his religious confession within a state or empire of a different creed (as Christians within the Ottoman Empire).