Despotism and Tyranny

Tyranny is a form of government (not to be confused with the later Byzantine court title) is a variation on the theme of monarchy, the difference being that a monarch rules by set laws and customs, whilst a tyrant or despot rules by his own will and caprice and gains power through illegitimate means. Aristotle even going so far as saying tyrants rule without law, look to their own interests and use extreme and cruel tactics. Many Ancient Greek states were tyrannies or despotates. It is generally considered a corrupted form of monarchy; it has also been remarked that it is difficult to find old tyrants, indicating that they generally do not last long. Arguably, tyranny is the worst of the four predominant government systems in Ancient Greece, often going both against the popular view and the national interest; yet many tyrants worked to the good of their cities, such as Hiero of Syracuse and Cypselus of Corinth.

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