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pentarchy

[pen-tahr-kee] /ˈpɛn tɑr ki/
noun, plural pentarchies.
1.
a government by five persons.
2.
a governing body of five persons.
3.
a federation of five nations, each under its own government or ruler.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; < Greek pentarchía. See pent(a)-, -archy
Related forms
pentarch, noun
pentarchical, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pentarch

pentarchy

/ˈpɛntɑːkɪ/
noun (pl) -chies
1.
government by five rulers
2.
a ruling body of five
3.
a union or association of five kingdoms, provinces, etc, each under its own ruler
4.
a country ruled by a body of five
Derived Forms
pentarchical, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for pentarch

pentarchy

in early Byzantine Christianity, the proposed government of universal Christendom by five patriarchal sees under the auspices of a single universal empire. Formulated in the legislation of the emperor Justinian I (527-565), especially in his Novella 131, the theory received formal ecclesiastical sanction at the Council in Trullo (692), which ranked the five sees as Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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