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[1313a] [1] one when those who participate in it quarrel, and another when the kings try to administer the government too tyrannically, claiming to exercise sovereignty in more things and contrary to the law. Royal governments do not occur any more now, but if ever monarchies do occur they are rather tyrannies, because royalty is government over willing subjects but with sovereignty over greater matters, but men of equal quality are numerous and no one is so outstanding as to fit the magnitude and dignity of the office; so that for this reason the subjects do not submit willingly, and if a man has made himself ruler by deception or force, then this is thought to be a tyranny. In cases of hereditary royalty we must also set down a cause of their destruction, in addition to those mentioned, the fact that hereditary kings often become despicable, and that although possessing not the power of a tyrant but the dignity of a king they commit insolent outrages; for the deposition of kings used to be easy, since a king will at once cease to be king if his subjects do not wish him to be, whereas a tyrant will still be tyrant even though his subjects do not wish it.

These causes then and others of the same nature are those that bring about the destruction of monarchies.

On the other hand it is clear that monarchies, speaking generally, are preserved in safety as a result of the opposite causes to those by which they are destroyed. But taking the different sorts of monarchy separately—royalties are preserved by bringing them [20] into a more moderate form; for the fewer powers the kings have, the longer time the office in its entirety must last, for they themselves become less despotic and more equal to their subjects in temper, and their subjects envy them less. For this was the cause of the long persistence of the Molossian royalty, and that of Sparta has continued because the office was from the beginning divided into two halves, and because it was again limited in various ways by Theopompus,1 in particular by his instituting the office of the ephors to keep a check upon it; for by taking away some of the kings' power he increased the permanence of the royal office, so that in a manner he did not make it less but greater. This indeed as the story goes is what he said in reply to his wife, when she asked if he felt no shame in bequeathing the royal power to his sons smaller than he had inherited it from his father: “Indeed I do not,” he is said to have answered, “for I hand it on more lasting.”

Tyrannies on the other hand are preserved in two extremely opposite ways. One of these is the traditional way and the one in which most tyrants administer their office. Most of these ordinary safeguards of tyranny are said to have been instituted by Periander2 of Corinth, and also many such devices may be borrowed from the Persian empire. These are both the measures mentioned some time back to secure the safety of a tyranny as far as possible—the lopping off of outstanding men and the destruction of the proud,—and also the prohibition of common meals and club-fellowship and education and all other things of this nature,

1 King of Sparta circa 770-720 B.C.

2 See 1284a 26 n.

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