Aristotle’s unease appears visi­bly when he deals with monar­chy.1 He esta­bli­shes five kinds ; he dif­fe­ren­tia­tes them not by their form of cons­ti­tu­tion, but by inci­den­tal things like the prince’s vir­tues or vices, or by foreign things, like the usur­pa­tion of tyranny or the suc­ces­sion to tyranny.

Aristotle pla­ces among the monar­chies both the Persian empire and the king­dom of Lacedæmon. But who does not see that one of them was a des­po­tic state, and the other a repu­blic ?

The Ancients, who were unfa­mi­liar with the dis­tri­bu­tion of the three powers in the govern­ment of one man alone, could not conceive a clear notion of monar­chy.

Politics, book III, ch. xiv.