What Is Timocracy?

To define timocracy, it is nothing but a form of government. Here only property owners can participate in the government activities and formation.

Timocracy – A Medieval Government

The timocracy government was defined and formed during the era of Aristotle. In the Aristotle’s era it is a state where the property owners will handle the day to day affairs of the government and people’s affairs. Of course, there is a more extreme form of timocracy. It is where the power is derived from the wealth irrespective of the social and civic responsibility. Also, it might shift in terms of the form and sometimes become plutocracy where the wealthy people rule.

Timocracy – An Unjust Government

In the Republic, Plato often talks about the basic five regimes. Among them four are the most unjust. Timocracy is termed as the first unjust regime. Why? Well, Aristocracy often degenerates timocracy when there is a miscalculation in the part of the governed class.

In addition, the next generation of auxiliaries and guardians consists of people of inferior nature (here it means individuals having souls made of bronze or iron which is opposed to the auxiliaries and guardians whose soul is made of silver and gold).

Choosing A Leader In Timocracy

In timocracy, selecting leaders is inclining rather to a high simple minded and spirited type. Here they are more suited for war. Frankly, the city-state of the Sparta gave Plato with the original world model for such a kind of government. Some of the modern observers feel and describe Sparta as one-party or totalitarian state.

However, the details of this kind of society is exclusively from the enemies of Sparta. The basic idea of something like a militarism kind of stratocracy reflects the basic and fundamental values that the Spartan society followed. Now monarchy, communism, democracy, and socialism are the most common as well as popular form of government. However, not many people know a lot about them.

History Of Timocracy

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Keep in mind that there are a various kind of government which are theoretical. Of course, some of them have not happened yet and even chances of them ever happening is nil. Now certain theoretical governments are just controlled by people who have developed the civilization’s tech. While others are controlled by researchers and scientist who are governing the technology that they have built.

In this regard, timocracy is created by those individuals who have or are the owners of wealth and land. They often rule due to honor or ambition. The timocracy kind of government was just an idea. This was conceived by the Athenian ruler Solon somewhere in the 6th century BC. He created timocracy and gave powers to rulers into his own timocracy.

As per hierarchy, there are four tiers inside the civilization’s population. For example, if you are a manual laborer, you were considered to be the member of the ‘thethes’ tier of the timocracy. Here the thetes are considered to be the lowest rung of the ladder and they won’t get to be elected to the office. But just being a member of the poorest class had one major benefit that most Americans would like. These people never paid any taxes.

Now the next tier present in the ladder is called as the zeugitae. They were nothing but tillers of the land. Frankly, their class was defined in few different manner, and all of it was very much applicable. For being a member of this tier, one needs to be at least a proud owner of the pair of pack animals. Also, one needs to produce at least about two hundred bushels of produce each year (this was the major requirement).

Even though you end up paying taxes, still you could hold minor offices which no one in the higher tiers would ever want. In addition, you can even purchase armor, making it easy for the zeugitae to serve in armies as hoplites.

Now if you are producing only about hundred more of barrels each year, say about three hundred, then you are considered to be the member of the knight class or the hippies. Here you would be able to get weapons and armor along with cavalry all due to the extra money. Frankly, members of this tier would get huge amount of respect and be able to hold offices just above the ladder (higher the ladder).


Now even though democracy won’t suggest having a tier system with regard to the amount of wealth and property you have in exchange for the government qualification. The chances of getting office will simply increase if you have both in the timocracy government.