In the hands of able captains, like Francesco Sforza or Piccinino, these mercenary troops became moving despotisms, draining the country of its wealth, and always eager to fasten and found tyrannies upon the provinces they had been summoned to defend.
Under the fully-developed despotisms of the East a real nobility is impossible; the prince raises and thrusts down as he pleases.
In time, notwithstanding a certain inherent individualism and impatience of control, veritable despotisms arose in the Semitic world, although such organizations were invariably liable to sudden collapse as the old forms of life broke down with changing conditions.'
His foreign policy was essentially one of peace and non-intervention, and in pursuing it he was accused of favouring the despotisms of Europe.
The Macedonian kingdoms, strained by continual wars, increasingly divided against themselves, falling often under the sway of prodigals and debauchees, were far 12 sign from realizing the Hellenic idea of sound govern- of ment as against the crude barbaric despotisms of the older East.