The Oligarchical temper, Theophrastus
Statue of Theophrastus, Palermo Botanical Garden
c. 371 – c. 287 BC
XXVI. The Oligarch (xxix)
The Oligarchical temper would seem to consist in a love of authority, covetous, not of gain, but of power.The Oligarch is one who, when the people are deliberating whom they shall associate with the archon as joint directors of the procession, will come forward and express his opinion that these directors ought to have plenary powers; and, if others propose ten, he will say that ‘one is sufficient,’ but that ‘he must be a man.’. Of Homer’s poetry, he has mastered only this line, —No good comes of a manifold rule; let the ruler be one:
of the rest, he is absolutely ignorant.
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story