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Throughout the centuries kings of Poland were elected by the nobility in the fields outside Warsaw

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Aristocracy (Greek ἀριστοκρατία aristokratía, from ἄριστος aristos "excellent," and κράτος kratos "power") is a form of government that places power in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class.<ref name=OED>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best".<ref>The Oxford Companion to British History, John Cannon (Editor), Oxford University Press, 1962, ISBN 978-0-19-866176-4</ref>

At the time of the word's origins in Ancient Greece, the Greeks conceived it as rule by the best qualified citizens—and often contrasted it favourably with monarchy, rule by an individual. In later times, aristocracy was usually seen as rule by a privileged group, the aristocratic class, and was contrasted with democracy.<ref name=OED/>


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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}}

Throughout the centuries kings of Poland were elected by the nobility in the fields outside Warsaw

{{#invoke:Sidebar|sidebar}}

Aristocracy (Greek ἀριστοκρατία aristokratía, from ἄριστος aristos "excellent," and κράτος kratos "power") is a form of government that places power in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class.<ref name=OED>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best".<ref>The Oxford Companion to British History, John Cannon (Editor), Oxford University Press, 1962, ISBN 978-0-19-866176-4</ref>

At the time of the word's origins in Ancient Greece, the Greeks conceived it as rule by the best qualified citizens—and often contrasted it favourably with monarchy, rule by an individual. In later times, aristocracy was usually seen as rule by a privileged group, the aristocratic class, and was contrasted with democracy.<ref name=OED/>


Aristocracy sections
Intro   Concept   See also  References  Further reading  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Concept
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