Published Humanitas, Volume XXXIII, Nos. 1 & 2, 2020

Aristocratic Souls in Democratic Times, edited by Richard Avramenko and Ethan Alexander-Davey. Lexington Books, 2018. 324 pp. $120 hardback.

The concept of a trifunctional society, a society composed of three orders or three estates, is very old. It was even old when Plato famously organized his ideal polity into the philosopher-kings, guardians, and producers in The Republic. This threefold division was present in Athenian law from the earliest days; and, according to one philologist, it can be traced deep into the traditions and cultures of prehistoric man. Medieval society was likewise organized into those who pray, those who fight, and those who labor. This is all to say that for most of human history there were clear distinctions among classes…

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