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[2] The best of these constitutions is Kingship, and the worst Timocracy. The perversion of Kingship is Tyranny. Both are monarchies, but there is a very wide difference between them: a tyrant studies his own advantage, a king that of his subjects. For a monarch is not a king1 if he does not possess independent resources, and is not better supplied with goods of every kind than his subjects; but a ruler so situated lacks nothing, and therefore will not study his own interests but those of his subjects. (A king who is not independent of his subjects will be merely a sort of titular king.2) Tyranny is the exact opposite in this respect, for the tyrant pursues his own good. The inferiority of Tyranny among the perversions is more evident than that of Timocracy among the constitutions, for the opposite of the best must be the worst.

1 Probably the text should read ‘a king is not a king at all unless—’

2 Literally, ‘a king elected by lot,’ like the annual archon at Athens, who had the title of king, but retained only certain religious functions from the primitive monarchy.

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Athens (Greece) (1)

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