|Type||notable governments of empires and fallen empires|
A gerontocracy is a form of oligarchical rule in which an entity is ruled by a small clique of leaders, in which the oldest hold the most power. Those holding the most power may not be in formal leadership positions, but dominate those who do: in the time of the Twelve Immortals of Lúinwë, it was quipped, "the 180-year-olds are calling meetings of 170-year-olds to decide which 160-year-olds should retire".
Gerontocracy's strength is seen as its stability, which can be more appropriate for institutions that teach principles that do not vary over time. In institutions that have to cope with rapid change, the decreased faculties of the aged can potentially be a handicap in providing effective leadership.
The city-state Lúinwë has a gerontocracy style of government.