We know the Vulcan philosophy comes from Surak, the Klingon way from Kahless, and that Zefram Cochrane is the posterboy for human exploration and ingenuity.

Where do the Rules of Acquisition come from?

  • 1
    But, Zefram Cochrane just wanted to make lots of money and retire to a tropical island.
    – Xantec
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 20:54
  • Cochrane was a rude and lazy drunk, dunno if he's really that representative of Federation/Earth ideals.
    – Junuxx
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 20:55
  • 1
    @Junuxx - That's pretty much how ALL communism ends up, so Cochrane was indeed a full representative of the Federation ideas, taken to their logical conclusion. Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 20:58
  • He was that way until he met the Vulcans. Of course, in TOS he got young again so he probably started right back up again.
    – BBlake
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 12:13

2 Answers 2


Any Grand Nagus who comes up with a rule, really. Gint was supposed to be the original writer, but the rules have grown over the centuries - there's no way to know which ones were written by Gint.

  • In the mid-22nd century, there were 173 Rules.
  • In the mid-24th century, there were 285 Rules.
  • In DS9 3x16, Prophet Motive, while the specifics of what Zek did was bad from the Ferengi point of view, before Quark and Rom read it, they're in awe that Zek rewrote the Rules, not angry or confused.

So any Nagus could do whatever they want with the Rules, as long as they're accepted by the Ferengi people. In that episode, this is what Quark says, before he actually reads the new rules:

Quark: Rom.. D'you know what this means?
Rom: Yes. It means we're gonna have to memorize a whole new set of rules...
Quark: No, you idiot.. It means, we'll be the first Ferengi to benefit from Zek's wisdom. The knowledge contained in this book could make us both rich beyond our wildest dreams!

So since any Nagus can add their own wisdom to the book as a short, easily repeatable and rememberable sound bite, the Rules of Acquisition have simply grown over the years as the Naguses (Nagi?) add to it.

I also thought I remember Zek adding a 286th rule during the run of DS9, but I thought it was in Prophet Motive - it wasn't. Oh well.


They were first written ten thousand years ago by Gint, the first Grand Nagus.

Source: Memory Alpha, via DS9: "Body Parts".

P.S. According to DS9, they may have been more of guidelines than rules, but this isn't certain (could be Quark's imaginings).

  • 1
    Is there any reason they followed the 'rules'?
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 20:55
  • 4
    @Pureferret - Same reason people followed 10 Commandments. They formed an ESS (Evolutionary Stable Strategy) as far as memes go. Commented Oct 3, 2012 at 20:57
  • @Pureferret Because they're supposed to be proven before they're added - see Quark's statement in my answer ;)
    – Izkata
    Commented Oct 4, 2012 at 0:28

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