Sir Robert Filmer (1588-1653) was an English political theorist. His best known work, Patriarcha; or, The Natural Power of Kings, published in 1680, was a defense of the divine right of kings to rule. His theory is founded upon the statement that the government of a family by the father is the true origin and model of all government. Filmer was a severe critic of democracy. In his opinion, democracy of ancient Athens was in fact a "justice-trading system".