In the Archaic Period, before everything is submerged in the single empire of Gehennum, monarchs of monarchial Gehennese states might have any one of four titles with different significances.

The hereditary monarchs of traditional monarchies, quasi-religious in nature, and recognised as possessing a mystical quality of royalty, are called anaxoi. They tend, more than other monarchs, to delegate functions to others, often appointing a [[polemarkh]]] to organise and lead the army, an anakrites to supervise the judicial system, and a hierarkh to govern religious matters.

The title basileos is used by the elective monarchs of aristocratic states, is appropriated by political bossmen, robber barons, and jumped-up bandits, and is inherited by the successors of the latter types. It signifies a monarch not possessing any innate royalty. Basileoi are often not secure enough in their grasp on power to dare delegate important functions to anyone else, except, possibly, to let a vigorous heir-apparent command the army when personally too infirm.

Populist dictators are called ‘tyrants’. This term becomes a title, and is inherited by their successors. Tyrants include popular revolutionary heroes, harsh military dictators, and some monarchs who ‘just happened’. Depending on character and circumstances, they may appoint no chief magistrates, appoint only relatives and trusted cronies, or allow free elections. Some tyrants adopt the strategies of radical democracy, and pay salaries to magistrates and other public officials.

Rarest and least successful are arkhons. Leaders who refuse all other titles than ‘arkhon’ are either soon recognised as tyrants is disguise, or see their monarchy collapse in anarchy as they attempt to apply leshy political theory to human communities.

In most cases the office of monarch combines functions as a warrior, magistrate, and priest, and is therefore in many ways above the Four Lives. The tradition of the Four Lives sometimes re-asserts itself when monarchs appoint delegates to handle affairs they feel ill-suited to by age, or when monarchs abdicate at about the age of sixty or eighty.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.