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547C - 548D So much for the origin of Timarchy. In character, it will resemble Aristocracy on the one hand, and Oligarchy on the other; partly also it will have peculiarities of its own. The aristocratical features of Timarchy are respect for the ruling class and so forth; its own distinctive peculiarity is the love of war and warlike matters; in cupidity and avarice it is like Oligarchy. On the whole Timarchy is a mixture of good and evil; but the one conspicuous feature of this polity is the love of victory and honour. Plato's description of ‘timocracy’ is, as he says himself, a sketch (548 D), but one in which hardly any feature of first-rate importance is wholly ignored. He regards ‘timocracy’ as primarily and essentially the political embodiment of θυμοειδές (548 C), and consequently a sort of half-way house between aristocracy and oligarchy, as θυμοειδές is between λογιστικόν and φιλοχρήματον. It is, however, at the same time a ‘mixed’ constitution (548 C note), and partakes in the characteristics of both its neighbours. The portrait of timocracy is drawn in the main from Sparta, as the notes will shew, but it represents the Sparta of the fifth rather than of the fourth century, during which the oligarchical element in the Spartan constitution began to acquire an undue predominance, owing to the temptations of empire and other causes: cf. Isocr. de Pace 95—103. Plato's sketch may be filled in from the sources enumerated in Hermann-Thumser Gr. Staatsalt. pp. 176—191, 251—260. The student of Greek history and political science should read Aristotle's account of the Lacedaemonian and Cretan polities (Pol. Β 9, 10) in connexion with Plato's description of the timarchical constitution and the timarchical man. See also Schoemann-Lipsius Griech. Alterthümer pp. 196—323.
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