About Autocracy

An autocracy is a system of government in which a supreme political power is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of coup d'tat or mass insurrection). The word autocracy is derived from the Greek : ('self') and ('rule'), and may be translated as 'one who rules by himself'. It is distinct from oligarchy ('rule by the few') and democracy ('rule by the people'). The term autokratr is employed in antiquity to translate the Latin imperator into Greek. It was the primary word used by grecophones to the Roman Emperor during the later Roman Empire through the seventh century CE and continued to be used in the Byzantine period, although it lost favor to Sebastos ('augustus') and Basileus (obscure: prob. 'chieftain;' later 'king') as synonyms for 'emperor'.

Contributions by Ultramarine, Chelentano, and Cwolfsheep.

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