Notes on the dynamics between kingship and tyranny in Xenophon

Rodrigo Illarraga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Happiness is involved in Xenophon's reflections about politics since happiness of the whole community appears to be the ultimate goal of a good government, so that the ruler must observe what is beneficial to the people under his power, and not just consider his personal interests. This leads to the distinction between kingship and tyranny. However, under certain exceptional circumstances, Xenophon justifies that violence and tyrannical measures could be used by a good ruler as a means to ensure the happiness of the whole community, without implying the conversion of the kingship into a tyranny. This article deals with this problem.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationXenophon, the Philosopher
Subtitle of host publicationArgumentation and Ethics
PublisherPeter Lang AG
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783631891773
ISBN (Print)9783631890059
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Peter Lang GmbH Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften Berlin 2023 All rights reserved.


  • Happiness
  • Kingship
  • Tyranny
  • Violence
  • Virtue
  • Xenophon


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