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BOOK II. - Aristotle, The Politics vol. 2 
The Politics of Aristotle, trans. into English with introduction, marginal analysis, essays, notes and indices by B. Jowett. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1885. 2 vols. Vol. 2.
Part of: The Politics 2 vols.
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ἔτι δὲ τὸ ζητεɩ̂ν τι παρ’ αὐτὰς ἕτερον μὴ δοκῃ̑ πάντως εἰ̂ναι σοϕίζεσθαι βουλομένων.
τὸ ζητεɩ̂ν is the nominative of μὴ δοκῃ̑: πάντως is to be taken closely with μή, ‘and that our object in seeking for a new state is not at all to make a display of ingenuity; but to supply defects in states which are known to us, both in those which are actually existing and also in theoretical states like that of Plato.’ μὴ δοκῃ̑ and δοκω̂μεν are dependent on ἵνα.
ἐπιβαλέσθαι τὴν μέθοδον.
‘To undertake’ or ‘take upon oneself,’ a curious and idiomatic use of the word, found also in Plato and Thucydides. See Bonitz (Liddell and Scott), s. v.
ὁ μὲν γὰρ τόπος εἱ̑ς ὁ τη̂ς μια̂ς πόλεως, οἱ δὲ πολɩ̂ται κοινωνοὶ τη̂ς μια̂ς πόλεως.
εἱ̑ς ὁ τη̂ς is required by the sense and is supported by the old Latin Translation. All the Greek MSS. however read ἰσότης.
ἐν τῃ̑ πολιτείᾳ τῃ̑ Πλάτωνος, either the title of the book (cp. iv. c. 4. § 11; c. 7. § 1), or ‘in the state which is described by Plato.’
The comments of Aristotle on Plato’s Republic and Laws, contained in this and the following chapters, can hardly be dealt with properly in single notes. They are full of inaccuracies and inconsistencies. But the nature of these comments, which throw great light on the character of ancient criticism in general, will be best appreciated when they are brought together and compared with one another in a comprehensive manner. I have therefore reserved much of what has to be said about them for an essay ‘On the Criticisms of Plato in Aristotle.’ Both in the essay and in the notes I have been much indebted to Susemihl.
δι’ ἣν αἰτίαν ϕησὶ δεɩ̂ν νενομοθετη̂σθαι τὸν τρόπον τον̂τον ὁ Σωκράτης, οὐ ϕαίνεται συμβαɩ̂νον ἐκ τω̂ν λόγων. ἔτι δὲ πρὸς τὸ τέλος ὅ ϕησι τῃ̑ πόλει δεɩ̂ν ὑπάρχειν, ὡς μὲν εἴρηται νν̂ν, ἀδύνατον. πω̂ς δὲ δεɩ̂ διελεɩ̂ν οὐδὲν διώρισται.
δι’ ἣν αἰτίαν, sc. unity.
‘The argument of Socrates does not show that these enactments are to be approved for the reason which he gives [viz. as tending to unity]; and, regarded as a means to the end which he attributes to the state, unless some new explanation of them is offered, they are impossible.’ Bernays places a comma after πρός, which he takes with ἔτι: cp. πρὸς τούτοις ἔτι (Meteorol. i. 8, 346 a. 10); πρὸς δὲ ἔτι (Herod. iii. 74). The construction is thus made simpler; but the adverbial use of πρὸς hardly ever occurs in Aristotle. ‘Moreover, the end, viz. unity, which he attributes to the state upon his own showing is impossible.’
The first of these propositions, τὸ μίαν ὅτι μάλιστα εἰ̂ναι τὴν πόλιν is discussed in the remainder of this chapter,—the second at the commencement of chapter 3.
ὡς μὲν εἴρηται νν̂ν, ‘as it is described in his book,’ or ‘as it is actually described.’ Cp. infra c. 5. § 23, νν̂ν γε οὐδὲν διώρισται.
πω̂ς δὲ δεɩ̂ διελεɩ̂ν. Sc. τὸ τέλος, or generally ‘what Plato means by unity.’
For the use of διελεɩ̂ν in the sense of ‘*to interpret,’ cp. Herod. vii. 16, εἰ δὲ ἄρα μή ἐστι τον̂το τοιον̂το οἱ̑ον ἐγὼ διαιρέω, ἀλλά τι τον̂ θεον̂ μετέχον, σὺ πα̂ν αὐτὸ συλλαβὼν εἴρηκας. διελεɩ̂ν may also be taken in the more common sense of ‘to distinguish,’ i.e. how we are to distinguish or define unity and plurality (cp. iii. 13. § 6: εἰ δὴ τὸν ἀριθμὸν εἰ̂εν ὀλίγοι πάμπαν οἱ τὴν ἀρετὴν ἔχοντες, τίνα δεɩ̂ διελεɩ̂ν τὸν τρόπον;).
οὐ γὰρ γίνεται πόλις ἐξ ὁμοίων.
The equality among citizens which is elsewhere (iii. 16. § 2; iv. 11. § 8; vii. 8. § 4) said to be the true and natural principle, is not inconsistent with a difference of character and of pursuits.
διοίσει δὲ τῳ̑ τοιούτῳ καὶ πόλις ἔθνους, ὅταν μὴ κατὰ κώμας ὠ̂σι κεχωρισμένοι τὸ πλη̂θος, ἀλλ’ οἱ̑ον Ἀρκάδες.
The clause ὅταν μὴ κ.τ.λ. may be a description either 1)* of the ἔθνος, ‘when the inhabitants of a country are not yet distributed in villages’; or 2) of the πόλις, ‘when they are no longer dispersed in villages.’ According to 1), the Arcadians are placed below, according to 2), above the ordinary condition of village communities.
1) Taking the first rendering, we may compare Plato’s Symposium, 193 A, νυνὶ δὲ διὰ τὴν ἀδικίαν διῳκίσθημεν ὑπὸ τον̂ θεον̂ καθάπερ Ἀρκάδες ὑπὸ Λακεδαιμονίων. But Arcadia was also the most backward state in Hellas, the type of primitive simplicity. Hence, without referring to the dispersion of the Mantineans by the Lacedaemonians (Xen. Hell. v. 2. 6) it is possible that Aristotle is speaking, not of their actual, but of their primitive and traditional state. 2) On the other hand he may be using the Arcadians as an example, not of the ἔθνος but of the πόλις, and contrasting their condition, when centralized in Megalopolis by Epaminondas, with the ruder life of earlier times. They would certainly have furnished the latest illustration of a συνοίκισις. We may paraphrase ‘When they are not scattered in villages, but, like the Arcadians, have a central city.’
It may be argued on the other side that Aristotle would not have used the Arcadians who were the most backward of Hellenes, as the type of a civilized, but of a semi-barbarous, nation.
To Aristotle the ἔθνος is a lower stage than the πόλις. He had no idea of a nation in the higher sense; nor did he see how ill adapted the Greek πόλις was to the larger order of the world, which was springing up around him, or how completely it had outlived its objects.
ἐξ ὡ̑ν δὲ δεɩ̂ ἓν γενέσθαι, εἴδει διαϕέρει.
The state like the nation is not a mere aggregate, but has an organic unity of higher and lower elements.
διόπερ τὸ ἴσον τὸ ἀντιπεπονθὸς σώζει τὰς πόλεις, ὥσπερ ἐν τοɩ̂ς ἠθικοɩ̂ς εἴρηται πρότερον.
Euclid in his 6th Book uses ἀντιπεπονθέναι to express the relation of reciprocal proportion. Probably the ethical significance of the term among the Pythagoreans was derived from its mathematical use. Cf. Nic. Eth. v. 5. § 1, and Alex. Aphrod. on Met. i. 5, τη̂ς μὲν δικαιοσύνης ἴδιον ὑπολαμβάνοντες τὸ ἀντιπεπονθός τε καὶ ἴσον, etc. (Scholia in Arist. Ed. Berol. 539 b. 12.)
ὥσπερ ἐν τοɩ̂ς ἠθικοɩ̂ς. Here, and in vii. 13. § 5, Aristotle quotes the Ethics in the Politics, as he quotes the Politics in the Rhetoric (i. 8, 1366 a. 21). But probably the references have been interpolated.
ὥσπερ ἂν εἰ μετέβαλλον οἱ σκυτεɩ̂ς καὶ οἱ τέκτονες καὶ μὴ οἱ αὐτοὶ ἀεὶ σκυτοτόμοι καὶ τέκτονες ἠ̑σαν.
These words are a reflection on the proposed arrangement, not unlike the satirical remarks of Socrates in the Memorabilia (i. 2. § 9), and in the Republic ii. 374. But the connexion is imperfectly drawn out:—Aristotle, while making this reflection upon the inconvenience of the practice, admits in the next sentence that the alternation of rulers and subjects is in some cases the only arrangement possible. To Plato it seemed essential that the division between rulers and ruled should be permanent, like the division of labour in the arts, between one craftsman and another. Aristotle says, ‘yes, if possible,’ but this permanence is not always attainable, for where there is equality and freedom among the citizens, they must rule in turn (vii. c. 9; cp. also infra, c. 11. § 13).
ἐν οἱ̑ς δὲ μὴ δυνατὸν . . ἐξ ἀρχη̂ς.
‘However desirable it may be that the same should rule, yet, if they cannot, but justice requires that all, being by nature equal, should share in the government, then they must rule by turns.’
ἐν τούτοις δὲ μιμεɩ̂σθαι τὸ ἐν μέρει τοὺς ἴσους εἴκειν ὁμοίως τοɩ̂ς ἐξ ἀρχη̂ς.
ἐν τούτοις, sc. among those who are naturally equal and have a right to share in the government.
μιμεɩ̂σθαι, ‘to imitate,’ i.e. to come as near as we can to ‘this principle of succession,’ dependent on βέλτιον.
τοɩ̂ς ἐξ ἀρχη̂ς, sc. εἴκουσιν. Like ‘the original rulers, who have yielded to them;’ or, without supplying εἴκουσιν, nearly the same meaning may be obtained. Cp. Book iii. 6. § 9, a passage which helps to explain this, διὸ καὶ τὰς πολιτικὰς ἀρχάς, ὅταν ᾐ̑ κατ’ ἰσότητα τω̂ν πολιτω̂ν συνεστηκυɩ̂α καὶ καθ’ ὁμοιότητα, κατὰ μέρος ἀξιον̂σιν ἄρχειν, πρότερον μέν, ᾐ̑ πέϕυκεν, ἀξιον̂ντες ἐν μέρει λειτουργεɩ̂ν, καὶ σκοπεɩ̂ν τινὰ πάλιν τὸ αὑτον̂ ἀγαθόν, ὥσπερ πρότερον αὐτὸς ἄρχων ἐσκόπει τὸ ἐκείνου συμϕέρον.
τὸν αὐτὸν δὴ τρόπον ἀρχόντων ἕτεροι ἑτέρας ἄρχουσιν ἀρχάς.
1) The equalisation of rulers and ruled is attained in two ways: a) by succession; b) by the variety of offices which the same person may hold,—that is to say, instead of going out of office, he may pass from one office to another, from higher to lower and conversely; the alderman may become a common councillor or the common councillor an alderman. Or, 2) the words are a passing thought suggested by ἄλλοι γενόμενοι, confirmatory of the view that the State consists of dissimilars. ‘There is a further variety; not only do they come into and go out of office, as if they were no longer the same persons, but they have different offices.’
εἰ μὲν ον̓̂ν ὡς ἕκαστος, τάχ’ ἂν εἴη μα̂λλον ὃ βούλεται ποιεɩ̂ν ὁ Σωκράτης . . . νν̂ν δ’ οὐχ οὕτω ϕήσουσιν κ.τ.λ.
‘When each man can speak of his own wife, his own son, or his own property, the clear conviction which he entertains may tend to produce unity, but this is not the meaning of those who would have all things in common; they mean “all,” not “each.” ’
τὸ γὰρ πάντες καὶ ἀμϕότερα καὶ περιττὰ καὶ ἄρτια διὰ τὸ διττὸν καὶ ἐν τοɩ̂ς λόγοις ἐριστικοὺς ποιεɩ̂ συλλογισμούς· διὸ ἐστὶ τὸ πάντας τὸ αὐτὸ λέγειν ὡδὶ μὲν καλόν, ἀλλ’ οὐ δυνατόν, ὡδὶ δ’ οὐθὲν ὁμονοητικόν.
The absolute unity of ‘all’ in the sense of ‘each’ is not what Plato intended, and is in fact impracticable. The unity of all in the abstract, i.e. of the whole state, excluding individuals, does not tend to harmony. Such a unity is really inconceivable; a state without individuals is a μάταιον εἰ̂δος. (Nic. Eth. i. 6. § 10.) The term ‘all,’ like the term ‘one,’ is ambiguous, and has a different meaning when applied to the state and to the individuals of whom the state is composed.
πάντες καὶ ἀμϕότερα. The fallacy is that these words may mean ‘all’ or ‘both,’ either in a collective or individual sense.
περιττὰ καὶ ἄρτια. The fallacy consists in assuming that odd and even are the same because two odd numbers when added together are even: e. g. the odd numbers, 5 + 7 = 12, which is an even number; or that five is both odd and even, because it is composed of three which is an odd and two which is an even number. See Arist. Sophist. Elench. c. 4. 162 a. 33. Cp. infra c. 5. § 27, οὐ γὰρ τω̂ν αὐτω̂ν τὸ εὐδαιμονεɩ̂ν ὡ̑νπερ τὸ ἄρτιον, κ.τ.λ.
καὶ ἐν τοɩ̂ς λόγοις κ.τ.λ. ‘For the word πάντες is fallacious, and indeed the use of this and other analogous terms is a source of contentious syllogisms in arguments.’ καί, ‘not only in this instance, but in arguments generally.’
The fallacy referred to is that of σύνθεσις and διαίρεσις, cp. Soph. Elench. c. 20. 177 a. 33 ff.
ἢ ὅσον ἑκάστῳ ἐπιβάλλει.
Either, ‘only so far as comes in the way of,’ or, ‘is the business of each,’ or, with a slight difference of meaning, ‘only so far as it touches or affects each.’ Cp. i. 13. § 8, διὸ τὸν μὲν ἄρχοντα τελέαν ἔχειν δεɩ̂ τὴν ἠθικὴν ἀρετὴν τω̂ν δ’ ἄλλων ἕκαστον ὅσον ἐπιβάλλει αὐτοɩ̂ς.
καὶ οὑ̑τοι οὐχ ὡς ἑκάστου.
‘Every man will have a thousand sons, and these do not properly belong to him individually, but equally to all.’
ἔτι οὕτως ἕκαστος ἐμὸς λέγει τὸν εν̓̂ πράττοντα τω̂ν πολιτω̂ν ἢ κακω̂ς, ὁπόστος τυγχάνει τὸν ἀριθμὸν ὤν, οἱ̑ον ἐμὸς ἢ τον̂ δεɩ̂νος, τον̂τον τὸν τρόπον λέγων καθ’ ἕκαστον τω̂ν χιλίων.
οὕτως*, ‘on this principle’; ἐμὸς = ἐμός ἐστι. ‘Further, on this principle [of common parentage], each one says of the citizen who fares ill or well, “he is mine,” whatever fraction he himself may be of the whole number; I mean that (οἱ̑ον) he will say, “he is mine,” or, “his,” and this will be his way of speaking about each of Plato’s thousand citizens.’ The words have a reference to Plat. Rep. v. 463 E, μάλιστα συμϕωνήσουσιν ἑνός τινος ἢ εν̓̂ ἢ κακω̂ς πράττοντος . . . ὅτι τὸ ἐμὸν εν̓̂ πράττει ἢ τὸ ἐμὸν κακω̂ς. The citizen speaks as one in a thousand of all the rest: he gives a thousandth part of his affection to each and all of the thousand persons who are the objects of it. Or, to put the matter in another way: we may suppose the citizens to be conversing with each other: they say, ‘my son is doing well,’ or, ‘is not doing well,’ being each of them a thousandth part of the whole, and those of whom they speak being likewise each of them a thousandth part.
A different view of this passage has been taken in the Text. More stress is laid on the words τὸν εν̓̂ ἢ κακω̂ς πράττοντα: the parent is supposed to appropriate the youth who is doing well, and to disown the one who is doing badly: ἐμὸς λέγει τὸν εν̓̂ ἢ κακω̂ς πράττοντα = ἐμὸς λέγει τὸν εν̓̂ πράττοντα, οὐκ ἐμὸς λέγει τὸν κακω̂ς πράττοντα. It must be remembered that, according to Aristotle, the true children are liable to be discovered by their likeness to their parents.
τω̂ν χιλίων, as if Plato had made his state to consist of a thousand citizens; cp. infra c. 6. § 5. This is only an inference from Rep. iv. 423 A, in which Plato says that the ideal state, even if consisting of no more than a thousand soldiers, would be invincible.
ὁ μὲν γὰρ υἱόν κ.τ.λ.
‘In Plato’s state they are all “mine”: in ordinary states there are many sorts of relationship, and the same person may be a father or a brother or a cousin of some one or other; there are likewise remoter degrees of affinity, and remoter still the tie of fellow wardsman or fellow tribesman. Even a distant cousinship is preferable to that shadow of a relationship which supersedes them all.’
ὁ δ’ ἀνεψιόν, ἢ κατ’ ἄλλην τινὰ συγγένειαν.
The variety of human relations as ordinarily conceived is contrasted with the monotony of Plato’s society in which the state and the family are identified.
κρεɩ̂ττον γὰρ ἴδιον ἀνεψιὸν εἰ̂ναι ἢ τὸν τρόπον τον̂τον υἱόν.
A resumption of πότερον οὕτω κρεɩ̂ττον; ‘Is not the present practice better? for it is better to have a cousin of your own than to have a son after Plato’s fashion.’
ϕασί τινες . . τω̂ν τὰς τη̂ς γη̂ς περιόδους πραγματευομένων εἰ̂ναί τισι τω̂ν ἄνω Λιβύων κοινὰς τὰς γυναɩ̂κας, τὰ μέντοι γενόμενα τέκνα διαιρεɩ̂σθαι κατὰ τὰς ὁμοιότητας.
Cp. Herod. iv. 180, τῳ̑ ἂν οἴκῃ τω̂ν ἀνδρω̂ν τὸ παιδίον, τούτου παɩ̂ς νομίζεται, who is speaking, however, not of Upper, but of Lower Libya.
ὡ̑ν οὐδὲν ὅσιόν ἐστι γίνεσθαι πρὸς πατέρας καὶ μητέρας καὶ τοὺς μὴ πόρρω τη̂ς συγγενείας ὄντας, ὥσπερ πρὸς τοὺς ἄπωθεν.
‘Crimes of violence are worse in the republic of Plato because they are attended with impiety, and they are more likely to be committed because natural relationships are undiscoverable.’ Aristotle here mixes up Plato’s point of view and his own. He does not remark that Plato having abolished family relations is not really chargeable with the occurrence of offences which arise out of them. Perhaps he would have retorted that the natural relationship could not be thus abolished.
καὶ γενομένων, τω̂ν μὲν γνωριζόντων ἐνδέχεται τὰς νομιζομένας γίνεσθαι λύσεις, τω̂ν δὲ μηδεμίαν.
τω̂ν δὲ is opposed to τω̂ν μέν, though not parallel with it = ‘but in the other case,’ as if τω̂ν μὲν without γνωριζόντων had preceded. Or a comma may be placed after τω̂ν μέν, and γνωριζόντων may be separated from it. ‘And when offences take place, in the one case men having knowledge of them, the customary expiations may be made, in the other case they cannot.’
ἄτοπον δὲ καὶ τὸ κοινοὺς ποιήσαντα τοὺς υἱοὺς τὸ συνεɩ̂ναι μόνον ἀϕελεɩ̂ν τω̂ν ἐρώντων, τὸ δ’ ἐρα̂ν μὴ κωλν̂σαι, μηδὲ τὰς χρήσεις τὰς ἄλλας, ἃς πατρὶ πρὸς υἱὸν εἰ̂ναι πάντων ἐστὶν ἀπρεπέστατον καὶ ἀδελϕῳ̑ πρὸς ἀδελϕόν· ἐπεὶ καὶ τὸ ἐρα̂ν μόνον.
The instance quoted, πατρὶ πρὸς υἱόν, shews that the reference is to Rep. iii. 403, but Aristotle has been hasty or forgetful in his citation. Plato does not say that he will allow the practice of lovers to prevail between father and son, or brother and brother, but that the endearments of lovers shall be only such as might be practised without offence between members of the same family. τὸ ἐρα̂ν evidently in the lover’s sense of the word.
ἔοικε δὲ μα̂λλον κ.τ.λ.
‘If the legislator desire to keep the inferior classes in a state of weakness, and communism is a source, not of strength, but of weakness, then it is better adapted to them than to the guardians’— that is, according to Aristotle’s view of communism, not Plato’s. Cp. vii. 9. § 8; c. 10. § 13 where he argues that the legislator should destroy as far as possible any tie of race among the slave population. And the traditional policy of slave-holding countries has been to deprive the slave of education and of family rights.
Sc. ἡ̑ττον ϕιλικοὺς gathered from ἡ̑ττον ϕιλία.
καὶ δι’ ἣν αἰτίαν ὁ Σωκράτης οὕτως οἴεται δεɩ̂ν τάττειν τὰ περὶ τὰ τέκνα.
Supply τοὐναντίον (from the preceding) τη̂ς αἰτίας δι’ ἥν, viz. unity. Cp. supra c. 2. § 1, καὶ δι’ ἣν αἰτίαν ϕησὶ δεɩ̂ν νενομοθετη̂σθαι τὸν τρόπον τον̂τον ὁ Σωκράτης οὐ ϕαίνεται συμβαɩ̂νον ἐκ τω̂ν λόγων.
δ καὶ δοκεɩ̂ κἀκεɩ̂νος εἰ̂ναί ϕησι τη̂ς ϕιλίας ἔργον, καθάπερ ἐν τοɩ̂ς ἐρωτικοɩ̂ς λόγοις ἴσμεν λέγοντα τὸν Ἀριστοϕάνην ὡς τω̂ν ἐρώντων διὰ τὸ σϕόδρα ϕιλεɩ̂ν ἐπιθυμούντων συμϕν̂ναι καὶ γενέσθαι ἐκ δύο ὄντων ἀμϕοτέρους ἕνα. ἐνταν̂θα μὲν ον̓̂ν ἀνάγκη ἀμϕοτέρους ἐϕθάρθαι ἢ τὸν ἕνα· ἐν δὲ τῃ̑ πόλει τὴν ϕιλίαν ἀναγκαɩ̂ον ὑδαρη̂ γίνεσθαι διὰ τὴν κοινωνίαν τὴν τοιαύτην, καὶ ἥκιστα λέγειν τὸν ἐμὸν ἢ υἱὸν πατέρα ἢ πατέρα υἱόν.
Socrates wishes to have the city entirely one: now such a unity is either attained or not attained: if attained like that of the lovers in the Symposium (called here ἐρωτικοὶ λόγοι), p. 192, it would be suicidal. But it is not attained, for he only succeeds in creating a very loose tie between his citizens.
ὡς τω̂ν ἐρώντων, a rare construction after λέγειν. Cp. Plat. Men o 95 E, ὡς διδακτον̂ οὔσης τη̂ς ἀρετη̂ς λέγει.
ἢ τὸν ἕνα. ‘If they are to be absorbed in one another, both individualities cannot subsist, though one may.’
οὕτω συμβαίνει καὶ τὴν οἰκειότητα τὴν πρὸς ἀλλήλους τὴν ἀπὸ τω̂ν ὀνομάτων τούτων διαϕροντίζειν ἥκιστα ἀναγκαɩ̂ον ὂν ἐν τῃ̑ πολιτείᾳ τῃ̑ τοιαύτῃ, ἢ πατέρα ὡς υἱω̂ν ἢ υἱὸν ὡς πατρός, ἢ ὡς ἀδελϕοὺς ἀλλήλων.
ἀναγκαɩ̂ον ὂν is to be taken with συμβαίνει, ἥκιστα with διαϕροντίζειν. The latter word has two constructions, 1) with τινὰ for subject, and οἰκειότητα as object; 2) with πατέρα, υἱόν for subjects, and the genitives υἱω̂ν, πατρὸς following, e. g. ἢ πατέρα διαϕροντίζειν ὡς υἱω̂ν.
τό τε ἴδιον καὶ τὸ ἀγαπητόν.
ἀγαπητόν, ‘that which is to be cherished or valued,’ like ἀγαπητὸς in Plat. (?) Alcibiades I. 131 E, οὔτ’ ἐγένετο, ὡς ἔοικεν, Ἀλκιβιάδῃ τῳ̑ Κλεινίου ἐραστὴς οὔτ’ ἔστιν ἀλλ’ ἢ εἱ̑ς μόνος, καὶ οὑ̑τος ἀγαπητός, Σωκράτης ὁ Σωϕρονίσκου καὶ Φαιναρέτης: and Rhet. i. 7, 1365 b. 19, οὐκ ἴση ζημία, ἄν τις τὸν ἑτερόϕθαλμον τυϕλώσῃ καὶ τὸν δύ’ ἔχοντα· ἀγαπητὸν γὰρ ἀϕῄρηται: also Homer (Odyssey ii. 365) μον̂νος ἐὼν ἀγαπητός. Compare the English ‘dear.’ Or, more simply, ἀγαπητὸν may also be taken as answering to ϕιλείν: ‘men love an object which is naturally to be loved.’
καὶ πάλιν οἱ παρὰ τοɩ̂ς ϕύλαξιν [εἰς] τοὺς ἄλλους πολίτας.
Aristotle is referring to the case of the citizens who pass from one rank to another. Those who are raised to the condition of the guardians and those who are degraded from it have both lost the natural relationships of brothers and sisters, parents and children. But the natural relations still exist although the names of them have disappeared; and therefore they are now less likely to be respected. Here again Aristotle is confusing his own point of view with that of Plato.
παρὰ τοɩ̂ς ϕύλαξιν must be explained as a confusion of rest and motion, lit. ‘those who [having been transferred from the other citizens] are now among the guardians.’ The words εἰς τοὺς ἄλλους πολίτας have been explained as a pleonasm = ‘in relation to the other citizens’ (οὐ προσαγορεύουσιν ἀδελϕούς, κ.τ.λ.), ‘they do not call them brothers.’ But the use of εἰς in a different sense in two successive lines is objectionable. It is possible that the words εἰς τοὺς ἄλλους πολίτας are an error of the copyist, who may have repeated the words of the previous line. The omission of εἰς (which is wanting in Moerbeke and in two good MSS., Ms. P1, but inserted as a correction in one of them, and found in all the rest) is the best way of amending the passage.
κἂν ᾐ̑ ἐκεɩ̂να χωρίς,
sc. τὰ περὶ τὰ τέκνα καὶ τὰς γυναɩ̂κας.
πότερον . . τάς τε κτήσεις κοινὰς εἰ̂ναι βέλτιον καὶ τὰς χρήσεις.
These words are a statement of the general question which is afterwards subdivided into three cases, though the carelessness of the language might at first sight lead to the inference that Aristotle is putting the third case only. Hence Bernays has been led, unnecessarily, to alter the reading. The change made by him of τε into γε and of καὶ into κατὰ impairs the parallelism of κτήσεις and χρήσεις (τάς γε κτήσεις κοινὰς εἰ̂ναι βελτιον κατὰ τὰς χρήσεις). The three cases are: 1) the soil divided, produce common: 2) soil common, produce divided: 3) soil and produce alike common.
ὅπερ ἔνια ποιεɩ̂ τω̂ν ἐθνω̂ν.
ἔθνη as in i. 2. § 6, a vague expression for βάρβαροι and generally opposed to πόλεις or Ἕλληνες: also any loosely organised people, ii. 2. § 3; applied to the more general divisions of Hellas, vii. 7. § 4. The cases of Sparta, infra § 7, and of Tarentum, vi. 5. § 10, are not in point, even if their practice could be regarded as communism.
ἑτέρων μὲν ον̓̂ν ὄντων τω̂ν γεωργούντων ἄλλος ἂν εἴη τρόπος καὶ ῥᾴων.
If the land were cultivated by serfs there would be no disputes among the cultivators, for having no property, they would have nothing to quarrel about.
τω̂ν συναποδήμων κοινωνίαι· σχεδὸν γὰρ οἱ πλεɩ̂στοι διαϕερόμενοι κ.τ.λ.
Either* ‘fellow-travellers’ or ‘fellow-settlers in a foreign city.’ Whether the κοινωνίαι were formed for the purposes of business or only of companionship is not determined. With the words σχεδὸν γὰρ κ.τ.λ. supply προσκρούουσι.
καὶ ἐπικοσμηθὲν . . διενέγκαι.
A condensed expression put for ὃν δὲ νν̂ν τρόπον ἔχει, διαϕέρει, καὶ ἐπικοσμηθὲν (‘when it has been improved’), οὐ μικρὸν ἂν διενέγκαι.
αἱ μὲν γὰρ ἐπιμέλειαι διῃρημέναι τὰ ἐγκλήματα πρὸς ἀλλήλους οὐ ποιήσουσιν.
Either 1), ‘for the division of labour will give rise to no complaints,’ i. e. will prevent complaints, ἐπιμέλειαι being taken as the nominative to οὐ ποιήσουσιν: or 2) regarding (as the words πρὸς ἀλλήλους and the following clause μα̂λλον δ’ ἐπιδώσουσιν seem to indicate) αἱ μὲν ἐπιμέλειαι as nom. absolute, or the construction of the sentence as changing, we may translate, ‘Every one having a distinct occupation, men will not complain of one another.’
δι’ ἀρετὴν δέ.
‘But where there is virtue there will be in practice community of goods among friends.’
‘Sketched out or faintly indicated.’ For ὑπογράϕειν, cp. De Gen. Anim. ii. 6, 743 b. 24, οἱ γραϕεɩ̂ς ὑπογράψαντες ταɩ̂ς γραμμαɩ̂ς οὕτως ἐναλείϕουσι τοɩ̂ς χρώμασι τὸ ζῳ̑ον.
οἱ̑ον καὶ ἐν Λακεδαίμονι τοɩ̂ς τε δούλοις χρω̂νται τοɩ̂ς ἀλλήλων ὡς εἰπεɩ̂ν ἰδίοις, ἔτι δ’ ἵπποις καὶ κυσίν, κἂν δεηθω̂σιν ἐϕοδίων ἐν τοɩ̂ς ἀγροɩ̂ς κατὰ τὴν χώραν.
χώρα as opposed to πόλις:—‘When on a journey in the country, they take the produce in the fields.’ The apodosis (i. e. some such words as χρω̂νται ἐϕοδίοις) is omitted. Cp. Xen. Respub. Lac. 6, §§ 1, 3, 4, Ἐναντία γε μὴν ἔγνω καὶ τάδε τοɩ̂ς πλείστοις. Ἐν μὲν γὰρ ταɩ̂ς ἄλλαις πόλεσι τω̂ν ἑαυτον̂ ἕκαστος καὶ παίδων καὶ οἰκετω̂ν καὶ χρημάτων ἄρχουσιν· ὁ δὲ Λυκον̂ργος, κατασκευάσαι βουλόμενος ὡς ἂν μηδὲν βλάπτοντες ἀπολαύοιέν τι οἱ πολɩ̂ται ἀλλήλων ἀγαθόν, ἐποίησε παίδων ἕκαστον ὁμοίως τω̂ν ἑαυτον̂ καὶ τω̂ν ἀλλοτρίων ἄρχειν. . . . . . ἐποίησε δὲ καὶ οἰκέταις, εἴ τις δεηθείη, χρη̂σθαι καὶ τοɩ̂ς ἀλλοτρίοις. Καὶ κυνω̂ν δὲ θηρευτικω̂ν συνη̂ψε κοινωνίαν· ὥστε οἱ μὲν δεόμενοι παρακαλον̂σιν ἐπὶ θήραν, ὁ δὲ μὴ αὐτὸς σχολάζων ἡδέως ἐκπέμπει. Καὶ ἵπποις δὲ ὡσαύτως χρω̂νται· ὁ γὰρ ἀσθενήσας ἢ δεηθεὶς ὀχήματος ἢ ταχύ ποι βουληθεὶς ἀϕικέσθαι, ἤν που ἴδῃ ἵππον ὄντα, λαβὼν καὶ χρησάμενος καλω̂ς ἀποκαθίστησιν, κ.τ.λ. Also Plat. Laws, viii. 845 A, ἐὰν δὲ ξένος ἐπιδημήσας ὀπώρας ἐπιθυμῃ̑ ϕαγεɩ̂ν διαπορευόμενος τὰς ὁδούς, τη̂ς μὲν γενναίας ἁπτέσθω, ἐὰν βούληται, με[Editor: illegible character] ἑνὸς ἀκολούθου χωρὶς τιμη̂ς, ξένια δεχόμενος, τη̂ς δὲ ἀγροίκου λεγομένης καὶ τω̂ν τοιούτων ὁ νόμος εἰργέτω μὴ κοινωνεɩ̂ν ἡμɩ̂ν τοὺς ξένους.
ὅπως δὲ γίνωνται τοιον̂τοι.
‘Of such an unselfish character as to place their property at the service of others.’
τὸ δὲ ϕίλαυτον εἰ̂ναι ψέγεται δικαίως, κ.τ.λ.
Cp. Nic. Eth. ix. 8; Rhet. i. 11. § 26; Plato’s Laws, v. 731 E.
‘Not only money, but anything towards which there can be an excess of love.’ Cp. note on i. 1. § 2.
ἀναιρον̂σιν ἔργα . . σωϕροσύνης περὶ τὰς γυναɩ̂κας.
Yet Plato in his Republic aimed really at an impossible strictness in the relation of the sexes, and is very far from allowing his guardians to indulge in sensuality.
Εὐπρόσωπος μὲν ον̓̂ν ἡ τοιαύτη νομοθεσία καὶ ϕιλάνθρωπος ἂν εἰ̂ναι δόξειεν· ὁ γὰρ ἀκροώμενος ἄσμενος ἀποδέχεται, νομίζων ἔσεσθαι ϕιλίαν τινὰ θαυμαστὴν πα̂σι πρὸς ἅπαντας, ἄλλως τε καὶ ὅταν κατηγορῃ̑ τις τω̂ν νν̂ν ὑπαρχόντων ἐν ταɩ̂ς πολιτείαις κακω̂ν ὡς γινομένων διὰ τὸ μὴ κοινὴν εἰ̂ναι τὴν οὐσίαν, λέγω δὲ δίκας τε πρὸς ἀλλήλους περὶ συμβολαίων καὶ ψευδομαρτυριω̂ν κρίσεις καὶ πλουσίων κολακείας.
The flow and regularity of this sentence remind us of the opening of Book vii, noticed by Bernays. Cp. for a similar regularity supra c. 1.
Mankind quickly become enamoured of socialistic theories, especially when they are interspersed with attacks on existing institutions. Cp. Plat. Rep. v. 464, 465; iv. 425.
ὡ̑ν οὐδὲν γίνεται διὰ τὴν ἀκοινωνησίαν ἀλλὰ διὰ τὴν μοχθηρίαν.
A similar unwillingness to ascribe to institutions what is due to human nature may be remarked elsewhere: e.g. c. 7. § 8, ἔτι δ’ εἴ τις καὶ τὴν μετρίαν τάξειεν οὐσίαν πα̂σιν, οὐδὲν ὄϕελος· μα̂λλον γὰρ δεɩ̂ τὰς ἐπιθυμίας ὁμαλίζειν ἢ τὰς οὐσίας κ.τ.λ.
The emphatic negative ὡ̑ν οὐδὲν γίνεται for ἃ οὐ γίνεται is curious.
ἀλλὰ θεωρον̂μεν ὀλίγους τους ἐκ τω̂ν κοινωνιω̂ν διαϕερομένους πρὸς πολλοὺς συμβάλλοντες τοὺς κεκτημένους ἰδίᾳ τὰς κτῄσεις.
To what Aristotle may be alluding is not very clear. He may have remarked that there were more quarrels among Pythagorean sects, as well as among friends who had become fellow-travellers, than among other men. A similar reflection has often been made on the religious communities of later times. Or he may be referring to disputes arising in ‘guilds’ or ‘clubs,’ or partnerships in business. διαϕερομένους is to be repeated with κεκτημένους. The meaning is that the owners of common property are comparatively few, and that therefore their quarrels, though relatively more frequent, do not so often come under our notice.
ἀλλὰ δεɩ̂ πλη̂θος ὄν, ὥσπερ εἴρηται πρότερον, διὰ τὴν παιδείαν κοινὴν καὶ μίαν ποιεɩ̂ν.
Aristotle takes up a position half way between the communism of Plato and the existing practice of states. He would have men lend or give to their neighbours more than they do, but he would not enforce by law a community of goods; he would unite them by education, but would not destroy family life.
ὥσπερ τὰ περὶ τὰς κτήσεις ἐν Λακεδαίμονι καὶ Κρήτῃ τοɩ̂ς συσσιτίοις ὁ νομοθέτης ἐκοίνωσεν.
This remark more truly applies to Crete, where the common tables were provided at the public expense (c. 10. § 7), than to Sparta, where he who could not afford to contribute to his mess lost the rights of citizenship (c. 9. §§ 30-32). Still in both there was a common mode of life; and an element of communism was introduced by the legislator. Compare also the remarkable description of the effect of Lacedaemonian training (iv. 9. §§ 6-9) in producing the same simple habits of life both among rich and poor; and Xen. De Rep. Laced. 6. §§ 1, 3, 4.
πάντα γὰρ σχεδὸν εὕρηται μέν, ἀλλὰ τὰ μὲν οὐ συνη̂κται, τοɩ̂ς δ’ οὐ χρω̂νται γινώσκοντες.
οὐ συνη̂κται, lit. ‘they have not been put together,’ implying that no comparison has been made of them, nor inference drawn from them. In other cases the inference has been drawn, but not applied to a practical use. As in Pol. vii. 10. § 7, and Metaph. xi. 8, 1074 b. 8 (ὡ̑ν εἴ τις χωρίσας αὐτὸ λάβοι μόνον τὸ πρω̂τον, ὅτι θεοὺς ἂοντο τὰς πρώτας οὐσίας εἰ̂ναι, θείως ἂν εἰρη̂σθαι νομίσειεν, καὶ κατὰ τὸ εἰκὸς πολλάκις εὑρημένης εἰς τὸ δυνατὸν ἑκάστης καὶ τέχνης καὶ ϕιλοσοϕίας καὶ πάλιν ϕθειρομένων καὶ ταύτας τὰς δόξας ἐκείνων οἱ̑ον λείψανα περισεσω̂σθαι μέχρι τον̂ νν̂ν), and several other passages, Aristotle supposes the inventions of arts and laws to have been made many times over. Compare Plat. Laws iii. 677 A foll.
μάλιστα δ’ ἂν γένοιτο ϕανερόν, εἴ τις τοɩ̂ς ἔργοις ἴδοι τὴν τοιαύτην πολιτείαν κατασκευαζομένην.
‘In the actual process of creation.’
Cp. Plat. Tim. 19 B, προσέοικε δὲ δή τινί μοι τοιῳ̑δε τὸ πάθος, οἱ̑ον εἴ τις ζῳ̑α καλά που θεασάμενος, εἴτε ὑπὸ γραϕη̂ς εἰργασμένα εἴτε καὶ ζω̂ντα ἀληθινω̂ς, ἡσυχίαν δὲ ἄγοντα, εἰς ἐπιθυμίαν ἀϕίκοιτο θεάσασθαι κινούμενά τε αὐτὰ καί τι τω̂ν τοɩ̂ς σώμασι δοκούντων προσήκειν κατὰ τὴν ἀγωνίαν ἀθλον̂ντα. ταὐτὸν καὶ ἐγὼ πέπονθα πρὸς τὴν πόλιν ἣν διήλθομεν.
μὴ μερίζων αὐτὰ καὶ χωρίζων.
αὐτὰ refers to some general subject gathered from τὴν τοιαύτην πολιτείαν. The neuter is supported by τὰ μὲν and τὰ δέ, which follow.
ὅπερ καὶ νν̂ν Λακεδαιμόνιοι ποιεɩ̂ν ἐπιχειρον̂σιν.
1)* ‘Which already,’ i.e. as a matter of fact, without having recourse to Plato’s ideal, the Lacedaemonians are actually carrying out; or 2), ‘which at this very time the Lacedaemonians are trying to carry out [as though they had fallen into desuetude]’ (Schneider). For the use of νν̂ν compare ii. 8. 6.
ἐπιχειρον̂σιν according to 1), (as often in Plato. See Ast’s Lexicon) is used pleonastically = ‘do carry out.’ So τω̂ν ἐπιχειρησάντων νεωτερίζειν (v. 7. § 13) = τω̂ν νεωτερισάντων. And Plato’s Phaedrus, 265 E, μὴ ἐπιχειρεɩ̂ν καταγνύναι μέρος μηδέν.
ποιεɩ̂ γὰρ τοὺς μὲν ϕύλακας οἱ̑ον ϕρουρούς, τοὺς δὲ γεωργοὺς καὶ τοὺς τεχνίτας καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους πολίτας.
1)* The emphasis is on τοὺς μὲν and τοὺς δέ. ‘He makes one class to consist of the guardians, who are a sort of garrison, and he makes husbandmen, [or, ‘to these he opposes the husbandmen’] and the artisans and the rest of the citizens.’ 2) Bernays translates, ‘For he makes the guardians a sort of garrison and the husbandmen and the artisans and the others, citizens [held in check by the garrison],’ making a pause at τοὺς ἄλλους. Cp. Rep. iv. 419. But the opposition between ϕρουροὺς and πολίτας is harsh. For the ϕρουροὶ or ϕύλακες had a special right to the name citizens, whereas the husbandmen, as is implied in §§ 23, 28, are hardly to be reckoned in the State at all. Cp. c. 6. §§ 2, 3. Yet it may be argued on the other hand, that Aristotle has only an imperfect recollection of Plato; that he ‘snatches’ at the word ϕρουρον̂ντας, and puts into the mouth of Socrates an objection which really proceeds from Adeimantus, though afterwards paradoxically admitted by Socrates himself. Nor is it possible to set any limits to the misinterpretations of Plato passing under the name of Aristotle. The first way of taking the passage is confirmed by c. 8. § 2 infra: ἐποίει γὰρ ἓν μὲν μέρος τεχνίτας, ἓν δὲ γεωργούς, τρίτον δὲ τὸ προπολεμον̂ν καὶ τὰ ὅπλα ἔχον.
ἀλλὰ γὰρ εἴτ’ ἀναγκαɩ̂α ταν̂θ’ ὁμοίως εἴτε μή, νν̂ν γ’ οὐδὲν διώρισται.
Here, again, the antecedent to ταν̂τα is to be gathered generally from the context, = ‘whether these communistic institutions are equally necessary for the inferior and for the superior classes,’ &c. Cp. note on i. 2. § 2.
‘As far, at least, as his book shows.’ Cp. supra c. 2. § 1.
καὶ περὶ τω̂ν ἐχομένων.
Sc. οὐδὲν διώρισται from the previous sentence. ‘And as to matters connected with these, what is to be their government, what their education, what their laws, nothing has been determined.’ A repetition of § 18. The emendation ἀρχομένων (Congreve) is unnecessary and out of place; for Aristotle has already disposed of the subject class in § 22, and at § 24 he returns to speak of the members of the state generally.
κἂν εἰ κοιναὶ αἱ κτήσεις καὶ αἱ τω̂ν γεωργω̂ν γυναɩ̂κες.
Sc. τίς οἰκονομήσει; or more generally, ‘What then’? Two cases are supposed: 1) what if wives are common and possessions private; and 2) what if possessions and wives are both common.
ἄτοπον δὲ καὶ τὸ ἐκ τω̂ν θηρίων ποιεɩ̂σθαι τὴν παραβολήν, ὅτι δεɩ̂ τὰ αὐτὰ ἐπιτηδεύειν τὰς γυναɩ̂κας τοɩ̂ς ἀνδράσιν οἱ̑ς οἰκονομίας οὐδὲν μέτεστιν.
The language is not exact; ποιεɩ̂σθαι τὴν παραβολὴν = to argue from the comparison of the animals. οἱ̑ς: sc. τοɩ̂ς θηρίοις.
‘The rulers must always be the same; for they cannot change the metal or quality which is infused into their souls by nature.’ But then Plato supposes the whole ruling class to be guardians, divided only as young and old into warriors and counsellors (as in the state described in vii. 9. § 5); and he provides for exceptional merit by the transfer from one class to another. The actual governing class are men advanced in years (Rep. vii. 536 ff.), and Aristotle himself acknowledges (vii. 14. § 5) that the division of functions between young and old is natural, and that the young wait their turn and do not rebel against such an arrangement.
ἔτι δὲ καὶ τὴν εὐδαιμονίαν ἀϕαιρούμενος τω̂ν ϕυλάκων, ὅλην ϕησὶ δεɩ̂ν εὐδαίμονα ποιεɩ̂ν τὴν πόλιν τὸν νομοθέτην. ἀδύνατον δὲ εὐδαιμονεɩ̂ν ὅλην, μὴ τω̂ν πλείστων ἢ μὴ πάντων μερω̂ν ἢ τινω̂ν ἐχόντων τὴν εὐδαιμονίαν.
This passage, like many others in the Politics, involves a misconception of Plato’s meaning. The literalism of Aristotle prevents him from seeing that Plato does not really take away the happiness of individuals in affirming that the happiness of the state must be considered first. He takes it away that he may afterwards restore a larger measure of it. He is only insisting that the doctrine of the priority of the whole to the part, which Aristotle holds in common with him (cp. Pol. i. 2. § 13), should be carried out in practice. Compare also Rep. iv. 420 B, C, and Politics vii. 9. § 7, (τὸ μὲν γὰρ εὐδαιμονεɩ̂ν ἀναγκαɩ̂ον ὑπάρχειν μετὰ τη̂ς ἀρετη̂ς, εὐδαίμονα δὲ πόλιν οὐκ εἰς μέρος τι βλέψαντας δεɩ̂ λέγειν αὐτη̂ς ἀλλ’ εἰς πάντας τοὺς πολίτας) where Aristotle appears to coincide with Plato in the doctrine which he here repudiates.
ὡ̑νπερ τὸ ἄρτιον, κ.τ.λ.
Aristotle means to say that the even number may exist in the whole though not always in the parts (cp. note on c. 3. § 3 supra); but happiness must always exist in both.
Socrates is here spoken of by implication (ὀλίγα δὲ περὶ τη̂ς πολιτείας εἴρηκεν, § 4) as if he were the chief speaker in the Laws, though he is not introduced at all. The Laws are quoted as Plato’s in c. 7. § 4.
καὶ γὰρ ἐν τῃ̑ πολιτείᾳ περὶ ὀλίγων πάμπαν διώρικεν ὁ Σωκράτης.
The list which follows is a very inadequate summary of the subjects contained in the Republic. Probably the metaphysical and imaginative portions of the work appeared to Aristotle ποιητικαὶ μεταϕοραὶ (Met. c. 9. 991 a. 22) and alien from politics.
τὸ δὲ εἰς τὸ προπολεμον̂ν μέρος· τρίτον δ’ ἐκ τούτων τὸ βουλευόμενον καὶ κύριον τη̂ς πόλεως.
‘And a third class taken from the warriors,’ (τω̂ν προπολεμούντων).
περὶ δὲ τω̂ν γεωργω̂ν καὶ τω̂ν τεχνιτω̂ν, πότερον οὐδεμια̂ς ἢ μετέχουσί τινος ἀρχη̂ς . . . ο[Editor: illegible character]δὲν διώρικεν.
Yet Plato has expressly foretold, emphasizing his words by the declaration of an oracle, ‘that when a man of brass or iron guards the State it will then be destroyed’ (Rep. iii. 415, and supra c. 5. § 26), by which he clearly means that the third and fourth classes are to be excluded from office. Nor would he have thought for a moment of a shoemaker, or agricultural labourer, exercising political rights. On the other hand, it is true to say that Plato has nowhere defined the position of the lower classes: he has thus evaded the question of slavery to which Aristotle was keenly alive. He acknowledges the difficulty of this question in the Laws v. 776 ff.
τοɩ̂ς ἔξωθεν λόγοις.
I. e. with digressions, such as the attack upon the poets (Books ii and iii), the theory of knowledge (v, vi, vii), the doctrine of immortality (x). To Aristotle these appear irrelevant, though naturally entering into Plato’s conception of the state, which includes philosophy and religion as well as politics.
τω̂ν δὲ νόμων τὸ μὲν πλεɩ̂στον μέρος νόμοι τυγχάνουσιν ὄντες, ὀλίγα δὲ περὶ τη̂ς πολιτείας εἴρηκεν.
This statement is far from accurate. The truth is that in the Laws of Plato a nearly equal space is given to the constitution and to legislation; the latter half of the fifth book, the sixth, seventh, eighth, and a portion of the twelfth book being devoted to the constitution; the ninth, tenth, eleventh and the remainder of the twelfth to legislation.
καὶ ταύτην βουλόμενος κοινοτέραν ποιεɩ̂ν ταɩ̂ς πόλεσι κατὰ μικρὸν περιάλει πάλιν πρὸς τὴν ἑτέραν πολιτείαν.
For a similar use of the word κοινοτέραν cp. c. 6. § 16, εἰ μὲν ον̓̂ν ὡς κοινοτάτην ταύτην κατασκευάζει ταɩ̂ς πόλεσι τω̂ν ἄλλων πολιτείαν, κ.τ.λ.
ἑτέραν πολιτείαν, sc. the Republic. The idea of good, the rule of philosophers, the second education in dialectic, the doctrine of another life, are the chief speculative elements, as the community of property, and of women and children, are the chief social or practical elements, of the Republic which vanish in the Laws (Laws v. 739). The spirit of the Republic is more ideal and poetical, of the Laws more ethical and religious. Plato may be said to ‘bring round the Laws to the Republic’ in the assimilation of male and female education, in the syssitia for women, in the assertion of the priority of the soul to the body and of her fellowship with the gods; in the final revelation of the unity of knowledge to which he introduces his guardians at the end of the work (Laws xii. 965 ff.).
τὴν μὲν χιλίων.
Cp. note on c. 3. § 5, supra.
τὸ μὲν ον̓̂ν περιττόν κ.τ.λ.
This and the noble passage in the Nic. Eth. i. 6. § 1 (προσάντους τη̂ς τοιαύτης ζητήσεως γινομένης διὰ τὸ ϕίλους ἄνδρας εἰσαγαγεɩ̂ν τὰ εἴδη. Δόξειε δ’ ἂν ἴσως βέλτιον εἰ̂ναι καὶ δεɩ̂ν ἐπὶ σωτηρίᾳ γε τη̂ς ἀληθείας καὶ τὰ οἰκεɩ̂α ἀναιρεɩ̂ν, ἄλλως τε καὶ ϕιλοσόϕους ὄντας· ἀμϕοɩ̂ν γὰρ ὄντοιν ϕίλοιν ὅσιον προτιμα̂ν τὴν ἀλήθειαν·) are a sufficient confutation of the idle calumnies spread abroad in later times respecting the quarrels of Plato and Aristotle, which only reflect the odium philosophicum of their respective schools. Cp. note, i. 13. § 10.
χώρας δεήσει τοɩ̂ς τοσούτοις Βαβυλωνίας κ.τ.λ.
A strange remark: Aristotle himself mentions, apparently without surprise, that according to the ancient tradition the Spartan citizens had once numbered ten thousand, and he has himself testified that the country could support thirty thousand hoplites and fifteen hundred cavalry (c. 9. §§ 16, 17). Nor were the 5000 or rather 5040 citizens to be maintained in idleness, for each of them had to cultivate his lot.
δεɩ̂ μὲν ον̓̂ν ὑποτίθεσθαι κατ’ εὐχήν, μηδὲν μέντοι ἀδύνατον.
Even the best state, according to Aristotle, is limited by the number of citizens who can readily act together and by other conditions. These conditions he accuses Plato of having disregarded. Cp. vii. 4. § 2, and 4. § 11.
Plato would not have admitted the impracticability of his ideal state. It might be hard to realise, but was not impossible, Rep. v. 471-474. In the Laws he resigns his ideal, though with reluctance, and acknowledging the conditions of actual life, he allows that there must be a second-best and even a third-best sample of states; Laws v. 739.
ἔτι δὲ καλω̂ς ἔχει προσθεɩ̂ναι καὶ πρὸς τοὺς γειτνιω̂ντας τόπους, εἰ δεɩ̂ τὴν πόλιν ζη̂ν βίον πολιτικόν.
Compare vii. 6. § 7, εἰ γὰρ ἡγεμονικὸν καὶ πολιτικὸν ζήσεται βίον κ.τ.λ. [sc. ἡ πόλις]. The two passages mutually confirm each other and the comparison of them shows that neither here, with Muretus, nor in vii. 6. § 7, with Bekker (2nd edition), do we need to substitute πολεμικὸν for πολιτικὸν which in both passages is used to express International Relations. The addition of μὴ μονωτικὸν or μὴ μονώτερον in some MSS. after πολιτικὸν appears to be a gloss, probably suggested by vii. 2. § 16.
The same criticism—that a state must have a foreign as well as a domestic policy, is made once more on Phaleas in c. 7. § 14. Nations and cities can no more get rid of other nations and cities than man (except by going into the wilderness) can tear himself from the society of his fellows. Cp. Mazzini’s forcible saying, ‘Non-interference is political suicide.’
εἰ δέ τις μὴ τοιον̂τον ἀποδέχεται βίον, μήτε τὸν ἴδιον μήτε τὸν κοινὸν τη̂ς πόλεως . . ἀπελθον̂σιν.
‘But if a person does not accept the life of action either for individuals or for states, still the country must be protected against her enemies.’ In modern language, ‘however much we may dislike war and the use of arms, there are cases in which the resistance to an enemy becomes a duty.’
ἀπελθον̂σιν, i.e. ‘lest they renew the attempt.’
καὶ τὸ πλη̂θος δὲ τη̂ς κτήσεως ὁρα̂ν δεɩ̂, μήποτε βέλτιον ἑτέρως διορίσαι τῳ̑ σαϕω̂ς μα̂λλον.
Literally, ‘Would it not be better to define the amount of property differently by defining it more clearly?’
ὥσπερ ἂν εἴ τις εἰ̂πεν ὥστε ζη̂ν εν̓̂· τον̂το γάρ ἐστι καθόλου μα̂λλον.
It is doubtful whether these words are to be taken 1) as an illustration of the want of clearness in Plato’s definition, or 2) as a correction of it; e.g. 1) ‘this is only saying, “enough to enable a man to live well.” ’ But this explanation seems to require that the following words τον̂το γάρ ἐστι καθόλου μα̂λλον should be translated ‘this however is too general’ (Bernays), giving a sense to μα̂λλον (= μα̂λλον ἢ δεɩ̂) which is doubtful unless suggested by the context, as in Rep. iii. 410 E, Phaedo 63 D. 2)* ‘By the confused expression “Enough to live upon with temperance,” he means only “enough to live upon well or virtuously; for this is the more general idea.” ’
The MSS. give ἀρεταί, corrected by Bekker from a marginal note in a copy of the Aldine edition into αἱρεταί. But the words ἕξεις αἱρεταί are unmeaning. It is possible that ἕξεις may be the true reading and ἀρεταὶ the gloss or vice versâ. See note on text.
ἀϕεɩ̂ναι τὴν τεκνοποιίαν.
Another inaccurate criticism. For Plato expressly provides that the overplus of population should be sent to colonies (Laws v. 740).
δεɩ̂ δὲ τον̂τ’ οὐχ ὁμοίως ἀκριβω̂ς ἔχειν περὶ τὰς πόλεις τότε καὶ νν̂ν.
‘But this matter ought not to be regulated with the same strictness then and now,’ i.e. it ought to be regulated with greater strictness in the imaginary state of the Laws than in existing states.
‘For whom there is no place at the banquet of life.’—Malthus.
τον̂το δὲ τιθέναι τὸ πλη̂θος ἀποβλέποντα πρὸς τὰς τύχας, ἂν συμβαίνῃ τελευτα̂ν τινὰς τω̂ν γεννηθέντων, καὶ πρὸς τὴν τω̂ν ἄλλων ἀτεκνίαν.
τω̂ν ἄλλων, ‘the sterility of others,’ i.e. of others than those who have children, implied in the word γεννηθέντων,—‘the death of some of the children and the sterility of some of the married couples.’
Φείδων μὲν ον̓̂ν ὁ Κορίνθιος, ὢν νομοθέτης τω̂ν ἀρχαιοτάτων, τοὺς οἴκους ἴσους ᾠήθη δεɩ̂ν διαμένειν καὶ τὸ πλη̂θος τω̂ν πολιτω̂ν, καὶ εἰ τὸ πρω̂τον τοὺς κλήρους ἀνίσους εἰ̂χον πάντες κατὰ μέγεθος.
ἴσους and ἀνίσους are here used in slightly different senses, ἴσους referring to the numbers of the families, ἀνίσους to the size of the lot. ‘He thought that the number of the families should be the same, even although the original size of the lot was different.’ That is to say he accepted the existing distribution of property among families, however disproportioned, and did not allow it to be afterwards altered.
Of Pheidon the Corinthian nothing is known; he has been identified with Pheidon the tyrant of Argos on the ground that Corinth lay in the Argive dominions (Müller, Dorians i. 7. § 15). But no evidence is adduced of this assertion. The word Κορίνθιος may have been a slip: (cp. for a similar or worse error, infra c. 11. §§ 2, 15; v. 12. §§ 12, 14); but such a slip would be remarkable in a writer who has elsewhere called Pheidon tyrant of Argos, v. 10. § 6.
περὶ μὲν τούτων . . λεκτέον ὕστερον.
There is no adequate fulfilment of this promise to resume the question hereafter. But cp. vii. 5. § 1; 10. § 11; 16. § 15.
ϕησὶ γὰρ δεɩ̂ν κ.τ.λ.
Aristotle is finding fault with Plato’s vagueness:—‘He says nothing but that the governors and governed should be made of a different wool.’
τὴν πα̂σαν οὐσίαν ἐϕίησι γίνεσθαι μείζονα μέχρι πενταπλασίας.
Cp. Laws, v. 744 E, where the proprietor is allowed to acquire (κτα̂σθαι) four times the value of his original inheritance. If we add in the original inheritance which was not acquired, the limit of property will be fivefold. There is no reason for supposing any mistake in this statement (Susemihl) or in c. 7. § 4.
καὶ τὴν τω̂ν οἰκοπέδων δὲ διαίρεσιν δεɩ̂ σκοπεɩ̂ν, μή ποτ’ οὐ συμϕέρῃ πρὸς οἰκονομίαν.
One of the homesteads is to be in the city, another on the border (v. 745 E), the first to be the dwelling of the elders, the second of the son of the house (vi. 776 A). A plan similar to the one which he condemns is adopted by Aristotle in vii. 10. § 11: cp. note on text, in which the inconsistency of the two passages is pointed out.
ἐκ γὰρ τω̂ν ὁπλιτευόντων ἐστίν.
The normal idea of a πολιτεία is that it consists of the free citizens who carry arms and are its natural defenders. Cp. iii. 7. §§ 3, 4, ὅταν δὲ τὸ πλη̂θος πρὸς τὸ κοινὸν πολιτεύηται συμϕέρον, καλεɩ̂ται τὸ κοινὸν ὄνομα πασω̂ν τω̂ν πολιτειω̂ν, πολιτεία· συμβαίνει δ’ εὐλόγως· ἕνα μὲν γὰρ διαϕέρειν κατ’ ἀρετὴν ἢ ὀλίγους ἐνδέχεται, πλείους δ’ ἤδη χαλεπὸν ἠκριβω̂σθαι πρὸς πα̂σαν ἀρετήν, ἀλλὰ μάλιστα τὴν πολεμικήν· αὕτη γὰρ ἐν πλήθει γίγνεται· διόπερ κατὰ ταύτην τὴν πολιτείαν κυριώτατον τὸ προπολεμον̂ν, καὶ μετέχουσιν αὐτη̂ς οἱ κεκτημένοι τὰ ὅπλα, and see also Ib. c. 17. § 4; iv. 13. § 7; and Nic. Eth. viii. 10. 6.
τὴν γὰρ πρώτην πολιτείαν.
The same as the ἑτέρα πολιτεία (§ 4), i. e. the Republic of Plato.
Here the Spartan is spoken of as a mixed constitution; in iv. c. 9. § 7, as a combination of aristocracy and democracy. So uncritical writers of the last century extol the English constitution as comprehending the elements of every other. It was thought by other nations as well as by ourselves to be an ideal which Europe should copy. But so far from being the fulfilment of a perfect design, it was really the growth of accident; the merit lay not in any wisdom of our ancestors, but in the willingness of the people to conform to circumstances which was so wanting among the Spartans…; With the criticisms of Aristotle on the Lacedaemonian constitution it is interesting to compare the very similar criticism of Plato in the Laws, iv. 712 D, E, καὶ μὴν ξυννοω̂ν γε, ὠ̂ ξένε, τὴν ἐν Λακεδαίμονι πολιτείαν οὐκ ἔχω σοι ϕράζειν οὕτως, ἥντινα προσαγορεύειν αὐτὴν δεɩ̂· καὶ γὰρ τυραννίδι δοκεɩ̂ μοι προσεοικέναι· τὸ γὰρ τω̂ν ἐϕόρων θαυμαστὸν ὡς τυραννικὸν ἐν αὐτῃ̑ γέγονε· καί τις ἐνίοτέ μοι ϕαίνεται πασω̂ν τω̂ν πόλεων δημοκρατουμένῃ μάλιστ’ ἐοικέναι. τὸ δ’ αν̓̂ μὴ ϕάναι ἀριστοκρατίαν αὐτὴν εἰ̂ναι παντάπασιν ἄτοπον. καὶ μὴν δὴ βασιλεία γε διὰ βίου τ’ ἐστὶν ἐν αὐτῃ̑ καὶ ἀρχαιοτάτη πασω̂ν καὶ πρὸς πάντων ἀνθρώπων καὶ ἡμω̂ν αὐτω̂ν λεγομένη. ἐγὼ δὲ οὕτω νν̂ν ἐξαίϕνης ἂν ἐρωτηθεὶς ὄντως, ὅπερ εἰ̂πον, οὐκ ἔχω διωρισάμενος εἰπεɩ̂ν τίς τούτων ἐστὶ τω̂ν πολιτειω̂ν. Cp. Cic. de Rep. ii. 23.
ἐν δὲ τοɩ̂ς νόμοις εἴρηται τούτοις ὡς δέον συγκεɩ̂σθαι τὴν ἀρίστην πολιτείαν ἐκ δημοκρατίας καὶ τυραννίδος.
This is not really said, though in Laws (iv. 710 ff.) Plato sketches an imaginary tyrant who is to mould the state to virtue.
ϕέρειν = ‘to vote for,’ used here as in Plato and Demosthenes with the accusative of the person.
αἱρον̂νται μὲν γὰρ πάντες ἐπάναγκες, ἀλλ’ ἐκ τον̂ πρώτου τιμήματος, εἰ̂τα πάλιν ἴσους ἐκ τον̂ δευτέρου, εἰ̂τ’ ἐκ τω̂ν τρίτων. πλὴν οὐ πα̂σιν ἐπάναγκες ἠ̑ν τοɩ̂ς ἐκ τω̂ν τρίτων ἢ τετάρτων, ἐκ δὲ τον̂ τετάρτου τω̂ν τετάρτων μόνοις ἐπάναγκες τοɩ̂ς πρώτοις καὶ τοɩ̂ς δευτέροις.
The general meaning is that the higher the qualification of the elected, the lower may be the qualification of the electors, or, vice versâ, the lower the qualification of the elected, the higher must be the qualification of the electors; they should balance one another.
There remain, however, some difficulties in reconciling the text of the Politics with the statements of Plato.
What Plato says in the Laws (756) may be shortly stated as follows: ‘For those who are to be elected out of the 1st and 2nd classes, all are compelled to vote and are liable to penalties if they abstain from voting: for those who are to be elected out of the 3rd class, only the three first classes are compelled to vote and are liable to penalties; for those who are to be elected out of the 4th class only the two first classes.
The text of the Politics as given by Bekker (which is that of all the MSS.) does not agree with the corresponding passage of Plato and in one place at least is corrupt.
1) The words ἐκ τον̂ τετάρτου τω̂ν τετάρτων can hardly be right if we are to get any sense out of the passage at all. Either τον̂ τετάρτου or τω̂ν τετάρτων must be omitted. Probably we should omit the latter, for τον̂ τετάρτου agrees best with τον̂ πρώτου τιμήματος and τον̂ δευτέρου antea, and τω̂ν τετάρτων may have crept into the text from the preceding τετάρτων. Either alternative is simpler than reading τεττάρων (for τετάρτων) as in 2nd Ald. edition.
But 2) if we are to make the passage agree with Plato, we should further omit τρίτων ἢ before τετάρτων. Cp. Laws, 756 D, where nothing is said about the third class.
Finally, we must allow that Aristotle may not have remembered or may have misunderstood the words of Plato. Such a supposition cannot be thought far-fetched, when we consider the numerous passages in which he has done unintentional injustice to his master, Pol. i. 13. § 10; ii. 4. § 2; ii. 5. § 27; ii. 6. § 5, etc. The words οὐ πα̂σιν ἐπάναγκες, sc. αἱρεɩ̂σθαι, do not imply that some of the class were compelled to vote. They are used as they are in Anal. Pr. ii. 15, 63, b 26 for the particular negative proposition, which is called by Aristotle indifferently τὸ οὐ παντὶ and τὸ οὐ τινί, from which of course we can logically infer nothing as to the particular affirmative.
ὡς μὲν ον̓̂ν οὐκ ἐκ δημοκρατίας καὶ μοναρχίας δεɩ̂ συνιστάναι τὴν τοιαύτην πολιτείαν, ἐκ τούτων ϕανερὸν καὶ τω̂ν ὕστερον ῥηθησομένων, ὅταν ἐπιβάλλῃ περὶ τη̂ς τοιαύτης πολιτείας ἡ σκέψις.
ἐκ τούτων. Whether the inference be true or false, it is difficult to elicit from the words which have preceded the grounds for maintaining that a polity should not be made up of democracy and monarchy. Strictly speaking they are only a more detailed statement of this proposition, not an argument in support of it.
In the passage which follows (ὅταν ἐπιβάλλῃ), Aristotle is looking forward to the discussion of what he calls πολιτεία, or ‘constitutional government,’ which like the constitution of the Laws, falls short of the ideal state, but is in advance of most existing forms.
τοιαύτης, ‘a state similar to that in the Laws.’
τω̂ν ὕστερον ῥηθησομένων.
Mixed constitutions are treated of in iv. cc. 7-9, but the promise seems hardly to be fulfilled in that place.
ἔχει δὲ καὶ περὶ τὴν αἵρεσιν τω̂ν ἀρχόντων τὸ ἐξ αἱρετω̂ν αἱρετοὺς ἐπικίνδυνον· εἰ γάρ τινες συστη̂ναι θέλουσι καὶ μέτριοι τὸ πλη̂θος, ἀεὶ κατὰ τὴν τούτων αἱρεθήσονται βούλησιν.
Cp. Mill’s Representative Government, chap. ix (Should there be two stages of election?), ‘The comparatively small number of persons in whose hands, at last, the election of a member of parliament would reside, could not but afford additional facilities to intrigue.’ The double election of representatives is thought to be a safeguard against democracy ; it is really a source of danger and suspicion, and weakens the national interest in politics. It seems often to supersede itself. Thus the election of the President of the United States by Electoral Colleges has passed into a mere form of universal suffrage. The only case in which such elections succeed is where the electors have other important functions (like the American State Legislatures, to which the election of the Senate is entrusted), and therefore cannot be appointed under a pledge to vote for an individual.
For the indefinite use of ἐπικίνδυνον cp. Thuc. i. 137, ἐπειδὴ ἐν τῳ̑ ἀσϕαλεɩ̂ μὲν ἐμοί, ἐκείνῳ δὲ ἐν ἐπικινδύνῳ πάλιν ἡ ἀποκομιδὴ ἐγένετο.
αἱ μὲν ἰδιωτω̂ν αἱ δὲ ϕιλοσόϕων καὶ πολιτικω̂ν.
ἰδιώτης is opposed both to philosophers and statesmen, as in Plato to δημιουργὸς (Laws 921 B) and to ποιητὴς (Phaedr. 258 D), and in Thucydides (ii. 48) to ἰατρός. ‘ἰδιω̂ται’ such as Phaleas and Hippodamus; ‘philosophers’ such as Pittacus or perhaps Pythagoras; ‘statesmen’ such as Solon or Lycurgus (cp. infra, c. 12. § 1).
διὸ Φαλέας ὁ Χαλκηδόνιος τον̂τ’ εἰσήνεγκε πρω̂τος.
A sentence apparently inconsequential but really a condensation of two propositions. ‘Therefore Phaleas the Chalcedonian introduced this, sc. the regulation of property, he being the first to do it.’
Nothing is known of Phaleas from other sources. The manner in which Aristotle speaks of him in this passage (§ 2 ϕησὶ γάρ, § 8 εἴποι ἂν ὁ Φαλέας, οἴεται γὰρ) would lead us to the inference that he was not a legislator but the writer of a book; and this inference is further confirmed by c. 12. § 1, in which Aristotle (?) places first, and in a class by themselves, the private individuals who had treated of laws, apparently meaning Phaleas and Hippodamus. Whether Phaleas was earlier than Hippodamus is uncertain. It is true that Hippodamus is described as the first of those not statesmen who treated of ‘the best state,’ c. 8. § 1. But the stress may be laid on the words περὶ τη̂ς πολιτείας τη̂ς ἀρίστης, ‘Hippodamus was the first, not of political writers, but the first who treated of the perfect state’ which would be consistent with the claim of Phaleas to be an earlier writer on the subject of politics in general.
We cannot argue with Grote (Pt. II. c. 6, vol. ii. p. 523) that because Phaleas was the first who wrote or speculated about the equal division of land, therefore the legislation of Lycurgus or the ancient Dorian institutions may not have anticipated him in fact.
κατοικιζομέναις, sc. ταɩ̂ς πόλεσι or πολιτείαις, an emphatic present, ‘when in process of settlement.’
τῳ̑ τὰς προɩ̂κας τοὺς μὲν πλουσίους διδόναι μὲν λαμβάνειν δὲ μή κ.τ.λ.
Cp. the Babylonian ‘marriage-market’ in Hdt. i. 196.
ἔργον γὰρ μὴ νεωτεροποιοὺς εἰ̂ναι τοὺς τοιούτους.
With this passage compare v. 12. § 17 where Aristotle criticizes rather captiously the remark of Plato ‘that loss of fortune is a source of revolutions,’ to which he replies that ‘it is only dangerous when it affects the leaders of the state.’
οἱ̑ον καὶ Σόλων ἐνομοθέτησεν κ.τ.λ.
Mr. Grote (iii. pt. ii. chap. 11, p. 179) thinks that these words refer only to the annulment of mortgages. But they clearly imply that Solon restricted or attempted to restrict the amount of land which might be held by individuals. Although there is no other evidence of this fact, the silence of antiquity cannot be taken as decisive against the statement of Aristotle, and is certainly no reason for explaining away the plain meaning of his words, whether he was correctly informed or not.
ἔτι δὲ τοὺς παλαιοὺς κλήρους διασώζειν.
Dependent on νόμοι εἰσί, gathered from the preceding sentence. The preservation of the lot tended to maintain the equality of property; hence the transition from the one subject to the other.
οὐ γὰρ ἔτι συνέβαινεν ἀπὸ τω̂ν ὡρισμένων τιμημάτων εἰς τὰς ἀρχὰς βαδίζειν.
The meaning is as follows:—Originally the Leucadian citizens had a lot which was their qualification for office. They were afterwards allowed to sell this lot, and still retained the right of holding office, when they had lost their qualification.
ἀλλὰ τήν τε παιδείαν ἥτις ἔσται δεɩ̂ λέγειν, καὶ τὸ μίαν εἰ̂ναι καὶ τὴν αὐτὴν οὐδὲν ὄϕελος.
So in modern times reflections are often made on the evils of education unless based on moral and religious principles. Yet it was a noble thought of an early thinker like Phaleas that there should be equal education for all.
καὶ τὸ μίαν κ.τ.λ. ‘Moreover there is no point in saying that it is one and the same, for it may be bad.’
τοὐναντίον δὲ περὶ ἑκάτερον· οἱ μὲν γὰρ πολλοὶ διὰ τὸ περὶ τὰς κτήσεις ἄνισον, οἱ δὲ χαρίεντες περὶ τω̂ν τιμω̂ν, ἐὰν ἴσαι.
The opposition here intended is between the inequality of property by which the many are offended, and the equality of honour which offends the higher classes.
περὶ ἑκάτερον, sc. τὰς κτήσεις καὶ τὰς τιμάς.
οὐ τοὶνυν διὰ ταύτην μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἂν ἐπιθυμοɩ̂εν, ἵνα χαίρωσι ταɩ̂ς ἄνευ λυπω̂ν ἡδοναɩ̂ς. Τί ον̓̂ν ἄκος τω̂ν τριω̂ν τούτων;
The words καὶ ἂν ἐπιθυμοɩ̂εν, though rather weak, are found in all MSS. and are therefore probably genuine. They are omitted however by Bernays, and have been variously corrected, καὶ ἄνευ ἐπιθυμιω̂ν (Bojesen), sc. ἀδικήσουσιν, an ingenious conjecture; ἂν μὴ ἐπιθυμω̂σιν (Schneider), too great a departure from the MSS.; ἀνεπιθύμητοι (also Bojesen), too rare a word.
The general meaning is plain: ‘And therefore, i.e. not only to still pain, but also to gain pleasure, they will desire pleasures to which no pains are annexed.’ The three motives are, 1) necessity, 2) desire of things not necessary, 3) desire of painless pleasures.
οὐκ ἂν ἐπιζητοɩ̂εν εἰ μὴ παρὰ ϕιλοσοϕίας ἄκος.
‘They will look for a cure from philosophy and go no further.’
οἱ̑ον τυραννον̂σιν οὐχ ἵνα μὴ ῥιγω̂σιν. Διὸ καὶ αἱ τιμαὶ μεγάλαι.
Cp. the Story of Jason, who said πεινη̂ν ὅτε μὴ τυραννοɩ̂, iii. 4. § 9 and note. So Daniel Manin (quoted by Stahr) used to say of himself that ‘he knew nothing except how to govern.’ ‘And as is the greatness of the crime, so is the honour given to the tyrannicide.’
δεɩ̂ δὲ καὶ πρὸς τοὺς γειτνιω̂ντας κ.τ.λ.
A favourite idea of Aristotle. Cp. supra c. 6. § 7.
ἀλλ’ οὕτως ὡς ἂν καὶ μὴ ἐχόντων τοσαύτην οὐσίαν.
= ἀλλ’ οὕτως ποιεɩ̂ν ὡς ἂν ποιοɩ̂εν καὶ μὴ ἐχόντων τοσαύτην οὐσίαν, the more general word ποιεɩ̂ν being understood from πολεμεɩ̂ν.
‘That your enemies should act as they would do if you had not so great an amount of property,’ i.e. that your wealth should be no temptation. Cp. Plat. Rep. iv. 422, where he argues that trained warriors will be always too much for wealthy citizens.
Eubulus, by birth a Bithynian, was the tyrant of Atarneus in Mysia, and was succeeded by Hermias his slave, whose niece or adopted daughter Aristotle is said to have married; Eubulus revolted from Persia, and was besieged by Autophradates, the Satrap of Lydia. See Strabo, xiii. 610, Suidas s. v. Ἀριστοτέλης.
The diobelia was the ordinary payment of two obols for attendance on the assembly and the courts, and also for theatrical entertainments. These payments seem in the later days of Athens, and even during the Peloponnesian war, to have amounted to three obols, and some of them to have been as high as a drachma. They were also made much more frequently than in ‘the good old times.’ Cp. Schol. in Aristoph. Vesp. 684, where it is said on the authority of Aristotle in [the] Politics that the sum given was originally three obols, but afterwards varied at different times: also cp. Lucian Dem. Encom. 36; Prooem. Dem. 1459, 27, a remarkable place; and other passages quoted by Boeckh, ‘Public Economy,’ Eng. Tr. vol. i. ed. 1, pp. 296 ff.
τω̂ν ον̓̂ν τοιούτων ἀρχή κ.τ.λ.
If ἀρχὴ be retained, τω̂ν τοιούτων refers to some idea of reform vaguely implied in the previous sentences. ἄκη conj. Scaliger, ἀρκεɩ̂ Coraes.
ἀλλ’ εἴπερ δεɩ̂ δημοσίους εἰ̂ναι, τοὺς τὰ κοινὰ ἐργαζομένους δεɩ̂ καθάπερ ἐν Ἐπιδάμνῳ τε, καὶ ὡς Διόϕαντός ποτε κατεσκεύαζεν Ἀθήνησι, τον̂τον ἔχειν τὸν τρόπον.
Bernays places a comma after εἴπερ, and omits the second δεɩ̂, placing a καὶ before καθάπερ. ‘But if this is so (i. e. if artisans are to be public slaves), those who are to be engaged in public works should be slaves.’ Nearly the same meaning may be got from the text, *if we place a comma after εἰ̂ναι and remove the comma after ἐργαζομένους: ‘But if artisans are to be public slaves, those who are engaged in public works should form this class.’
τον̂τον ἔχειν τὸν τρόπον, sc. δημοσίους εἰ̂ναι. This Diophantus, or ‘some one else of the same name, about whom nothing is known, was Archon at Athens in the year 395.
Stobaeus has preserved some fragments of a work περὶ πολιτείας, which bear the name of ‘Hippodamus the Pythagorean’ (Florileg. xliii. pp. 248-251, xcviii. p. 534, Mullach. Fragm. Philos. Graec. vol. ii. p. 11). But there can be little doubt that they are, as Schneider says, the pious fraud of some later writer. The portions cited by Stobaeus will be enough to show the character of such performances. These fragments disagree in several points with the statements of Aristotle; such as the threefold division of the citizens into councillors, auxiliaries, and artisans (cp. the Republic of Plato), and the subdivision of each class into three other classes; the three principles of honesty, justice, utility, and the three instruments by which civil society is knit together, reason, habit, law. Of all this and of a good deal else, there is no trace in Aristotle, although the triplets are also found in Stobaeus. Considerable differences are not however inconsistent with the genuineness of the fragments. A more suspicious circumstance is the character of the philosophical distinctions, such as the opposition of καλόν, δίκαιον, and συμϕέρον, which could hardly have existed before the time of Socrates, and a certain later tone of thought.
Hippodamus Περὶ Πολιτείας.
‘In my opinion the whole state is divided into three parts: one the “Good”—that is, those who govern the commonwealth by mind; another, those who rule by force; a third part, those who supply and furnish necessaries. The first class I call councillors; the second, “allies” or warriors; the third, artisans. To the two former classes belong those who lead a freeman’s life: to the latter those who work for their living. The councillors are the best, the artisans the worst, the warriors are in a mean. The councillors must rule, the artisans must be ruled, while the warriors must rule and be ruled in turn. For the councillors settle beforehand what is to be done: the warriors rule over the artisans, because they fight for the state, but in so far as they must be guided, they have to submit to rule.
‘Each of these parts again has three divisions: of the councillors there are 1) the supreme council; 2) the magistrates; 3) the common councillors. The first has the presidency, and deliberates about all matters before they are carried to the assembly. The second comprises all those who are or have been magistrates. The third, the common councillors, are the mass of senators who receive the measures which the upper council have prepared, and vote upon and determine matters which come before them for decision. In a word, the upper council refers matters to the common council, and the common council, through the general, to the assembly. In like manner there are three divisions of the warrior or military class: the officers, the fighters in the front ranks, and lastly the common herd of soldiers, who are the larger number. The officers are the class which furnishes generals and colonels and captains and the front rank of soldiers, and generally all those who have authority. The soldiers of the front rank are the whole class of the bravest, most spirited, and most courageous men; the common herd of soldiers are the remaining multitude. Again, of the class who work for their living, some are husbandmen and tillers of the ground; others mechanics, who supply tools and instruments for the needs of life; others traders and merchants, who export superfluous productions to foreign countries, and import necessaries into their own. The framework of the political community then is composed of such and so many parts; we will therefore proceed to speak of the harmony and unison of them.
‘Now every political community exactly resembles a stringed instrument, in that it needs arrangement and harmony and touch and frequent practice. Of the character and number of the elements which form the arrangement of the state I have already spoken. The state is harmonized by these three things — reason (λόγος), moral habit, law, and by these three man is educated and becomes better. Reason gives instruction and implants impulses towards virtue. The law partly deters men from crime by the restraint of fear, partly attracts and invites them by rewards and gifts. Habits and pursuits form and mould the soul, and produce a character by constant action. All these three must have regard to the honourable and the expedient and the just; and each of the three must aim at them all if possible, or, if this is not possible, at one or two. So will reason and habit and law all be honourable and just and expedient; but the honourable must always be first esteemed; secondly, the just; thirdly, the expedient. And generally our aim should be to render the city by these qualities as far as possible harmonious, and deliver it from the love of quarrelling and strife, and make it at unity with itself. This will come to pass if the passions of the youthful soul are trained by endurance in pleasures and pains and conformed to moderation;—if the amount of wealth is small, and the revenue derived from the cultivation of the soil; — if the virtuous fill the offices in which virtue is needed, the skilful those in which skill is needed, the rich those in which lavish expenditure and profusion are needed; and to all these, when they have filled in due manner their proper offices, due honour be assigned. Now the causes of virtue are three: fear, desire, shame. The law creates fear, moral habits, shame (for those who have been trained in right habits are ashamed to do wrong); reason implants desire. For it is a motive power, at once giving the reason and attracting the soul, especially when it is combined with exhortation. Wherefore also we must prepare for the souls of the young guilds and common meals, and places of living and meeting together, military as well as civil, and the elders must be harmonized with them, since the young want prudence and training, the old, cheerfulness and quiet enjoyment.’
Aristotle’s account of the character and attainments of Hippodamus may be compared with the passage in the Lesser Hippias of Plato(?) (368 A foll.), in which Hippias is described as acquainted with every conceivable art and science. The personal description of Hippodamus also bears an odd resemblance to the statement of Diogenes Laertius about Aristotle himself—τραυλὸς τὴν ϕωνὴν . . . ἀλλὰ καὶ ἰσχνοσκελής . . . ἠ̑ν, καὶ μικρόμματος, ἐσθη̂τί τε ἐπισήμῳ χρώμενος καὶ δακτυλίοις καὶ κουρᾳ̑ (v. 1. § 2 init.).
The quantity of the name Hippod[Editor: illegible character]mus, though unimportant, is a somewhat difficult question. In Aristophanes (Knights 327) the a is long, yet if the name be a compound of δη̂μος, it is hard to give any meaning to it. It has been thought that Aristophanes has altered the quantity for the sake of the joke.
Mention occurs of the Ἱπποδάμειος ἀγορὰ at the Piraeus in Andoc. de Myst. § 45, p. 7, Xen. Hell. ii. 4. § 11, and Dem.(?) adv. Timoth. § 22, p. 1190. A tradition is preserved by Strabo (xiv. 653, ὡς ϕασίν), that the architect of the Piraeus was the architect of the magnificent city of Rhodes. The scholiast on Knights 327 who supposes the Hippodamus of Aristophanes to be the person here mentioned, supposes him also to have designed the Piraeus at the time of the Persian War (κατὰ τὰ Μηδικά); but he had probably no special means of information and only ‘combined’ the two facts that Hippodamus was the architect of the Piraeus and that Themistocles was the original author of the proposal to improve the harbour. Hippodamus is also called ‘the Thurian’ in Hesychius. The city of Thurii was founded in 445 b.c. and Rhodes was built in 406 b.c. If therefore Hippodamus was a Thurian and also the builder of Rhodes he must have designed not the original works of the Piraeus, but the improvements made at a later date, such as was the middle wall in the age of Pericles, b.c. 444. This latter date is more in accordance with the half Sophist, half Pythagorean character which is attributed to Hippodamus. It is also more in accordance with the words of Aristotle in vii. 11. § 6, ἡ δὲ τω̂ν ἰδίων οἰκήσεων διάθεσις ἡδίων μὲν νομίζεται . . . ἂν εὔτομος ᾐ̑ καὶ κατὰ τὸν νεώτερον καὶ τὸν Ἱπποδάμειον τρόπον, where it is implied that the Hippodamean plan of arranging cities in straight streets was comparatively recent. Cp. for the whole subject C. F. Hermann de Hippodamo Milesio.
καὶ κόσμῳ πολυτελεɩ̂, ἔτι δὲ ἐσθη̂τος εὐτελον̂ς κ.τ.λ.
There is no reason for suspecting corruption. The eccentricity of Hippodamus consisted in combining expensiveness and simplicity: ἐσθη̂τος is dependent on some such word as χρήσει to be supplied from κόσμῳ.
διῄρει δ’ εἰς τρία μέρη τὴν χώραν, τὴν μὲν ἱεράν, τὴν δὲ δημοσίαν, τὴν δ’ ἰδίαν.
The division of the land proposed in the Seventh Book (c. 10. § 11) is nearly similar to that of Hippodamus.
δικαστήριον ἓν τὸ κύριον.
Plato in the Laws also establishes an appeal, vi. 767 C. ‘The final judgment shall rest with that court, which has been established for those who are unable to get rid of their suits either in the courts of the neighbours or of the tribes.’
τὰς δὲ κρίσεις ἐν τοɩ̂ς δικαστηρίοις κ.τ.λ.
See infra note on §§ 14, 15. Though the principle of Hippodamus is condemned by Aristotle as unsuited to the Athenian popular courts of law, it prevailed in the more advanced jurisprudence of the Romans in which the judges were allowed to give a sentence of n. l. or non liquet, whence the Scotch verdict of ‘not proven.’ The ideas of Hippodamus certainly show great legislative ingenuity in an age when such a quality was extremely rare.
ὡς οὔπω τον̂το παρ’ ἄλλοις νενομοθετημένον· ἔστι δὲ καὶ ἐν Ἀθήναις οὑ̑τος ὁ νόμος νν̂ν καὶ ἐν ἑτέραις τω̂ν πόλεων.
Aristotle intends to say that Hippodamus proposed this law as a novelty of which he claimed the credit, whereas it already existed at Athens and elsewhere. The meaning is clear, though the form of the sentence is not perfectly logical: ‘*But this law actually exists in Athens at the present day,’ and this is considered as sufficient proof that it existed at the time of Hippodamus. Or 2) without any opposition but with less point: ‘And this law now exists at Athens.’ Cp. Thuc. ii. 46.
τοὺς δ’ αἱρεθέντας ἐπιμελεɩ̂σθαι κοινω̂ν καὶ ξενικω̂ν καὶ ὀρϕανικω̂ν.
I. e. ‘They were to watch over the public interests and over the interests of persons who had no legal status.’
Aristotle, after his rather onesided manner of attacking an opponent, raises several ἀπορίαι respecting the three classes of Hippodamus. ‘How can the two inferior classes, who have no arms, maintain their independence? For many offices they are obviously unfitted: and if they have no share in the state how can they be loyal citizens? Granting that the artisans have a raison d’étre, what place in the state can be claimed by the husbandmen and why should they have land of their own? If the soldiers cultivate their own lands, there will be no distinction between them and the husbandmen; this, however, is not the intention of the legislator: if there are separate cultivators of the public lands, then there are not three, but four classes. The husbandmen are practically slaves who will be at the mercy of the warriors; and if so, why should they elect the magistrates? They will have no attachment to the state and must be kept down by force.’
To these ἀπορίαι he finds no answer. He adds one or two more: ‘How can the husbandmen produce enough for themselves and the warriors? And why, if they can, should there be any distinction between their lots and those of the soldiers?’
γεωργήσει δύο οἰκίας.
Either οἰκία is here used like οἰ̂κος in the sense of ‘property’ or ‘inheritance’; or γεωργήσει must be taken to mean ‘maintains by agriculture.’ (Cp. for a similar use of οἰκία Dem. de Falsâ Leg. καρπουμένη τὰς τω̂ν χρωμένων οἰκίας: and for another singular use of γεωργέω, i. 8. § 6, ὥσπερ γεωργίαν ζω̂σαν γεωργον̂ντες.) If neither of these explanations is deemed satisfactory, we must suppose a corruption of the text, which may be corrected by reading εἰς δύο οἰκίας (Bernays), or δύσιν οἰκίαις. The old Latin translation ‘ministrabit’ has suggested the emendation ὑπουργήσει. This is no better, or rather worse, Greek than γεωργήσει in the sense given above.
τον̂το δ’ ἐν μὲν τῃ̑ διαίτῃ καὶ πλείοσιν ἐνδέχεται.
‘This is an arbitration is possible, even although the judges are many.’
ὁ μὲν γὰρ εἴκοσι μνα̂ς, ὁ δὲ δικαστὴς κρίνει δέκα μνα̂ς, ἢ ὁ μὲν πλέον, ὁ δ’ ἔλασσον, ἄλλος δὲ πέντε, ὁ δὲ τέτταρας.
ὁ μὲν γὰρ clearly refers to the litigant, sc. ὀϕείλεσθαι οἴεται. But in what follows, the words ἢ ὁ μὲν πλ[Editor: illegible character]ον ὁ δὲ ἔλασσον may refer either 1) to the difference between the judges and the litigant or 2*) to the differences of the judges among themselves. In the first case ἢ ὁ μὲν πλέον ὁ δὲ ἔλασσον is a generalised statement of the words which have preceded, ὁ μὲν γὰρ εἴκοσι μνα̂ς, ὁ δὲ δικαστὴς κρίνει δέκα μνα̂ς. But in the second case the words are restricted to ὁ δὲ δικαστὴς κρίνει δέκα μνα̂ς, ἄλλος δὲ πέντε, ὁ δὲ τέτταρας. Anyhow there is a colloquial irregularity, the words ἄλλος δὲ πέντε κ.τ.λ. having crept in out of place, as an illustration of the general principle ὁ μὲν πλέον κ.τ.λ. already stated.
εὔόϕθαλμον ἀκον̂σαι μόνον.
A confusion of language: cp. εὐπρόσωπος (c. 5. § 11).
ἔχει γὰρ συκοϕαντίας.
That Hippodamus was speaking of political discoveries and not of inventions in the arts, is clear from the context. Hippodamus’ error was derived from the analogy of the arts, § 18. We can easily understand the danger of rewarding discoveries such as were made in the conspiracy of the Hermae at Athens or in the days of the Popish Plot in England. Aristotle admits that there have been and will be changes in government, but he advocates caution and insists that law should be based on custom.
αἱ τέχναι πα̂σαι καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις.
Every art and science is also a power to make or become; hence the word δύναμις being the more general term is constantly associated with both τέχνη and ἐπιστήμη.
ζητον̂σι δ’ ὅλως οὐ τὸ πάτριον ἀλλὰ τἀγαθὸν πάντες.
This statement goes beyond the truth. For the traditions of families or clans are very slow in giving way, as e.g. in the constitution of Lycurgus or Solon, to a sense of the common good. It is rarely and for a brief space that nations wake up to the feeling of their own nationality, or are touched by the enthusiasm of humanity.
ὁμοίους εἰ̂ναι καὶ τοὺς τυχόντας καὶ τοὺς ἀνοήτους, ὥσπερ καὶ λέγεται κατὰ τω̂ν γηγενω̂ν.
ὁμοίους has been altered by Bernays into ὀλίγους but without reason. It may be taken 1) as = ὁμοίους τοɩ̂ς γηγενέσι, or, 2)* ὁμοίους may be joined with καὶ τοὺς τυχόντυς = ‘no better than simple or common persons.’ Cp. Hdt. vii. 50, γνώμῃσι ἐχρέοντο ὁμοίῃσι καὶ σύ. Plat. Theaet. 154 A, ἄλλῳ ἀνθρώπῳ ἀ̑ρ’ ὅμοιον καὶ σοὶ ϕαίνεται ὁτιον̂ν.
ὥσπερ γὰρ καὶ περὶ τὰς ἄλλας τέχνας, καὶ τὴν πολιτικὴν τάξιν ἀδύνατον ἀκριβω̂ς πάντα γραϕη̂ναι.
1)* If we take πάντα as subject, τὴν πολιτικὴν τάξιν may be the remote object of γραϕη̂ναι, or the words may be governed by περὶ of which the force is continued from περὶ τὰς ἄλλας τέχνας. Or 2) τὴν πολιτικὴν τάξιν may be the subject of γραϕη̂ναι, in which case πάντα is to be taken adverbially.
οὐ γὰρ τοσον̂τον ὠϕελήσεται κινήσας, ὅσον βλαβήσεται τοɩ̂ς ἄρχουσιν ἀπειθεɩ̂ν ἐθισθείς.
Cp. Thuc. iii. 37, μηδὲ γνωσόμεθα, ὅτι χείροσι νόμοις ἀκινήτοις χρωμένη πόλις κρείσσων ἐστὶν ἢ καλω̂ς ἔχουσιν ἀκύροις.
κινήσας, sc. ὁ πολίτης gathered from the previous sentence.
ὁ γὰρ νόμος ἰσχὺν οὐδεμίαν ἔχει πρὸς τὸ πείθεσθαι πλὴν παρὰ τὸ ἔθος, τον̂το δ’ οὐ γίνεται εἰ μὴ διὰ χρόνου πλη̂θος, ὥστε τὸ ῥᾳδίως μεταβάλλειν ἐκ τω̂ν ὑπαρχόντων νόμων εἰς ἑτέρους νόμους καινοὺς ἀσθενη̂ ποιεɩ̂ν ἐστὶ τὴν τον̂ νόμου δύναμιν . . ἔχει μεγάλην διαϕοράν.
Cp. Plat. Laws i. 634 D, εἱ̑ς τω̂ν καλλίστων ἂν εἴη νόμων μὴ ζητεɩ̂ν τω̂ν νέων μηδένα ἐα̂ν, ποɩ̂α καλω̂ς αὐτω̂ν ἢ μὴ καλω̂ς ἔχει and Arist. Met. ii. 3, 995 a. 3, ἡλίκην δὲ ἰσχὺν ἔχει τὸ σύνηθες οἱ νόμοι δηλον̂σιν, ἐν οἱ̑ς τὰ μυθώδη καὶ παιδαριώδη μεɩ̂ζον ἰσχύει τον̂ γινώσκειν περὶ αὐτω̂ν διὰ τὸ ἔθος.
ἔχει μεγάλην διαϕοράν, lit. ‘makes a great difference.’
In this chapter Aristotle tacitly assumes or perhaps acquiesces in the popular belief that Lycurgus is the author of all Spartan institutions. He was supposed to be the founder of the Spartan constitution, as Solon of the Athenian, or as King Alfred of the ancient English laws. The Ephoralty is apparently attributed to him; yet elsewhere (v. 11. §§ 2, 3) Theopompus, a later king of Sparta, is said to have introduced this new power into the state.
εἴ τι πρὸς τὴν ὑπόθεσιν καὶ τὸν τρόπον ὑπεναντίως τη̂ς προκειμένης αὐτοɩ̂ς πολιτείας.
εἴ τι, sc. νενομοθέτηται: καὶ τὸν τρόπον following πρὸς τὴν ὑπόθεσιν. προκειμένης αὐτοɩ̂ς, i.e. 1)* ‘which is proposed to the citizens,’ πολίταις understood from πολιτειω̂ν supra; or 2) ‘which legislators set before themselves’ referring to νομοθέται implied in νενομοθέτηται: cp. ἡ ὑπόθεσις τον̂ νομοθέτου at the end of this chapter (§ 33).
τὴν τω̂ν ἀναγκαίων σχολήν.
‘Leisure or relief from the necessary cares of life.’ The construction is singular and rare in prose, yet not really different from ἔν τινι σχολῃ̑ κακον̂ of Soph. Oed. Tyr. 1286. So Plat. Rep. ii. 370 C ὅταν εἱ̑ς ἕν, σχολὴν τω̂ν ἄλλων ἄγων, πράττῃ.
ἥ τε γὰρ Θετταλω̂ν πενεστεία πολλάκις ἐπέθετο τοɩ̂ς Θετταλοɩ̂ς, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τοɩ̂ς Λάκωσιν οἱ Εἵλωτες· ὥσπερ γὰρ ἐϕεδρεύοντες τοɩ̂ς ἀτυχήμασι διατελον̂σιν.
Cp. Laws vi. 776 C, D: ‘I am not surprised, Megillus, for the state of Helots among the Lacedaemonians is of all Hellenic forms of slavery the most controverted and disputed about, some approving and some condemning it; there is less dispute about the slavery which exists among the Heracleots, who have subjugated the Mariandynians, and about the Thessalian Penestae.’ Yet in this passage of Aristotle the Penestae are spoken of as constantly revolting from their masters.
περὶ δὲ τοὺς Κρη̂τας οὐδέν πω τοιον̂τον συμβέβηκεν· αἴτιον δ’ ἴσως τὸ τὰς γειτνιώσας πόλεις, καίπερ πολεμούσας ἀλλήλαις, μηδεμίαν εἰ̂ναι σύμμαχον τοɩ̂ς ἀϕισταμένοις διὰ τὸ μὴ συμϕέρειν καὶ αὐταɩ̂ς κεκτημέναις περιοίκους· τοɩ̂ς δὲ Λάκωσιν οἱ γειτνιω̂ντες ἐχθροὶ πάντες ἠ̑σαν, Ἀργεɩ̂οι καὶ Μεσσήνιοι καὶ Ἀρκάδες.
The argument is that in Crete, where all the states had their Perioeci or subject class, no attempt was ever made to raise a servile insurrection when they went to war, because such a measure would have been contrary to the interests of both parties. The Cretans were the inhabitants of an island and there were no out-siders to encourage revolt among the slaves (cp. c. 10. § 15, ἀλλὰ καθάπερ εἴρηται σώζεται διὰ τὸν τόπον). Probably also a sort of international custom prevailed among them, arising from their common necessity, of not raising the slaves in their wars with one another. The Argives and the other Peloponnesian states, when at war, were always receiving the insurgent Helots. But the Argive subject population, like the Cretan, were not equally ready to rise, and indeed were at times admitted to the governing body (cp. v. 3. § 7, καὶ ἐν Ἄργει τω̂ν ἐν τῃ̑ ἑβδόμῃ ἀπολομένων ὑπὸ Κλεομένους τον̂ Λάκωνος ἠναγκάσθησαν παραδέξασθαι τω̂ν περιοίκων τινάς). We may also remark that in c. 5. § 19 supra, Aristotle incidentally observes that the Cretan slaves were comparatively well treated, although forbidden gymnastics and the use of arms.
The word ‘perioeci’ appears to have been used in Crete to denote generally an inferior class, who were not, as at Sparta, distinguished from Helots or slaves. This is confirmed by c. 10. § 5, γεωργον̂σί τε γὰρ τοɩ̂ς μὲν (sc. Λακεδαιμονίοις) Εἵλωτες, τοɩ̂ς δὲ Κρη̂σιν οἱ περίοικοι. But compare also Sosicrates [b.c. 200-128] preserved in Athenaeus (vi. c. 84. fin., p. 263), τὴν μὲν κοινὴν δουλείαν οἱ Κρη̂τες καλον̂σι μνοίαν, τὴν δὲ ἰδίαν ἀϕαμιώτας, τοὺς δὲ περιοίκους ὑπηκόους. The use of the term μνοία in Sosicrates is confirmed by the celebrated Scolium of Hybrias the Cretan (Bergk 27), τούτῳ (sc. τῳ̑ ξίϕει) δεσπότας μνωΐας κέκλημαι. Cp. also Athen. vi. 267, where the term μνῴτης is said by Hermon to be applied to ‘well-born’ serfs: εὐγενεɩ̂ς οἰκέται.
καὶ αὐταɩ̂ς κεκτημέναις περιοίκους. ‘Since they too have perioeci.’
With these criticisms we may compare Aristotle’s proposal (vii. 9. § 8 and 10. §§ 13, 14) in the description of his own state, that the husbandmen should be either slaves or foreign perioeci.
ὥσπερ γὰρ οἰκίας μέρος ἀνὴρ καὶ γυνή.
The singular μέρος is used by attraction with the singular ἀνήρ.
For the general subject, cp. Laws vi. 780 E ff.: ‘For in your country, Cleinias and Megillus, the common tables of men are a heaven-born and admirable institution, but you are mistaken in leaving the women unregulated by law. They have no similar institution of public tables in the light of day, and just that part of the human race which is by nature prone to secrecy and stealth on account of their weakness—I mean the female sex — has been left without regulation by the legislator, which is a great mistake. And, in consequence of this neglect, many things have grown lax among you, which might have been far better if they had been only regulated by law; for the neglect of regulations about women may not only be regarded as a neglect of half the entire matter, but in proportion as woman’s nature is inferior to that of men in capacity of virtue, in that proportion is she more important than the two halves put together.
Cp. also Rhet. i. 5, 1361 a. 10, ὅσοις γὰρ τὰ κατὰ γυναɩ̂κας ϕαν̂λα ὥσπερ Λακεδαιμονίοις, σχεδὸν κατὰ τὸ ἥμισυ οὐκ εὐδαιμονον̂σι: and supra i. 13. § 16; also Eur. Andr. 595,
ἐπὶ τη̂ς ἀρχη̂ς αὐτω̂ν.
Translated in the text, as by interpreters generally*, ‘in the days of their greatness,’ i. e. in the fourth century b. c. after the taking of Athens when Sparta had the hegemony of Hellas. But is not the passage rather to be explained ‘many things in their government were ordered by women’? (Schlosser). For why should women be more powerful in the days of their greatness than in their degeneracy? To which it may be replied that the very greatness of the empire made the evil more conspicuous. According to the latter of the two explanations ἀρχη̂ς corresponds to ἄρχειν in what follows.
This use of the genitive is not uncommon: cp. ἐπὶ στρατια̂ς Arist. Wasps 557; τοὺς ἐπὶ τω̂ν πραγμάτων, sc. ὄντας, Dem. 309. 10.
For the conduct of the Spartan women in the invasion of Epaminondas: compare Xenophon, himself the eulogist of Sparta, Hell. vi. 5. § 28, τω̂ν δὲ ἐκ τη̂ς πόλεως αἱ μὲν γυναɩ̂κες οὐδὲ τὸν καπνὸν ὁρω̂σαι ἠνείχοντο, ἅτε οὐδέποτε ἰδον̂σαι πολεμίους, and Plutarch, Ages. 31, who has preserved a similar tradition, οὐχ ἡ̑ττον δὲ τούτων ἐλύπουν τὸν Ἀγησίλαον οἱ κατὰ τὴν πόλιν θόρυβοι καὶ κραυγαὶ καὶ διαδρομαὶ τω̂ν πρεσβυτέρων δυσανασχετούντων τὰ γινόμενα, καὶ τω̂ν γυναικω̂ν οὐ δυναμένων ἡσυχάζειν, ἀλλὰ παντάπασιν ἐκϕρόνων οὐσω̂ν πρός τε τὴν κραυγὴν καὶ τὸ πν̂ρ τω̂ν πολεμίων.
χρήσιμοι μὲν γὰρ οὐδὲν ἠ̑σαν, ὥσπερ ἐν ἑτέραις πόλεσιν, θόρυβον δὲ παρεɩ̂χον πλείω τω̂ν πολεμίων.
Either 1)* ‘For, unlike the women in other cities, they were utterly useless’; or 2) ‘For, like the women of other cities, they were utterly useless; and they caused more confusion than the enemy.’
The employment of the men on military service, which rendered it more easy for Lycurgus to bring them under his institutions, is supposed to have caused the disorder of the women which made it more difficult to control them. Yet we may fairly doubt whether this notion is anything more than a speculation of Aristotle or some of his predecessors (ϕασὶ μέν), striving to account for a seemingly contradictory phenomenon. For there could have been no trustworthy tradition of the time before Lycurgus. It is observable that Aristotle, if his words are construed strictly, supposes Lycurgus to have lived after the time of the Messenian and Argive wars. Clinton, Fasti Hellenici, vol. i., p. 143 note w, considers the words καὶ Μεσσηνίονς in § 11 to be an interpolation. But this assumption of interpolation is only due to the exigencies of chronology. The testimony of Aristotle may be summed up as follows: on the one hand he favours the traditional date; for he connects the name of Charillus an ancient king with that of Lycurgus c. 10. § 2: and on the other hand it is very possible that he may not have known, or may not have remembered the date of the Messenian Wars.
Grote (p. 2. c. 6, p. 516, n. 3) defends the Spartan women against the charges of Aristotle and Plato (the ϕιλολάκων) Laws vii. p. 806, reiterated by Plutarch (Ages. c. 31), and even supposes that ‘their demonstration on that trying occasion (i.e. the invasion of Laconia) may have arisen quite as much from the agony of wounded honour as from fear.’ Yet surely Aristotle writing not forty years afterwards, who is to a certain extent supported by the contemporary Xenophon (vi. 5, 28 see above), could hardly have been mistaken about a matter which was likely to have been notorious in Hellas.
αἰτίαι μὲν ον̓̂ν εἰσὶν αὑ̑ται τω̂ν γενομένων.
Sc. the women:* or ‘these are the causes’ (αὑ̑ται by attraction for ταν̂τα). The first way of taking the words gives more point to the clause which follows.
τίνι δεɩ̂ συγγνώμην ἔχειν.
‘We have not to consider whether we are to blame Lycurgus, or to blame the women; but whether such a state of things is right.’
οὐ μόνον ἀπρέπειάν τινα ποιεɩ̂ν τη̂ς πολιτείας αὐτὴν καθ’ αὑτήν.
αὐτὴν καθ’ αὑτὴν must agree with πολιτείαν understood in ἀπρέπειάν τινα ποιεɩ̂ν τη̂ς πολιτείας, these words being equivalent to ἀπρεπη̂ ποιεɩ̂ν τὴν πολιτείαν: or αὐτη̂ς, which appears to have been the reading of the old translator (ipsius), may be adopted instead of αὐτήν.
μετὰ γὰρ τὰ νν̂ν ῥηθέντα τοɩ̂ς περὶ τὴν ἀνωμαλίαν τη̂ς κτήσεως ἐπιτιμήσειεν ἄν τις.
1)* The mention of avarice, or 2) the mention of women naturally leads Aristotle to speak of the inequality of property. The connexion is either 1) that avarice tends to inequality or 2) that inequality is produced by the great number of heiresses.
Plutarch (Agis, c. 5) apparently ascribes to the Ephor Epitadeus the law which enabled a Spartan to give or bequeath his property as he pleased. Either Aristotle has followed a different tradition. or the legislator is only a figure of speech for the institution (cp. supra, note at beginning of chapter).
τω̂ν τ’ ἐπικλήρων.
Cp. Nic. Eth. viii. 10. § 5, ἐνίοτε δὲ ἄρχουσιν αἱ γυναɩ̂κες ἐπίκληροι ον̓̂σαι.
ἢ καὶ μετρίαν.
‘Or even a moderate one.’ καὶ is here qualifying. ‘Better have no dowries or small ones, or you may even go so far as to have moderate ones.’
νν̂ν δὲ ἔξεστι δον̂ναι τὴν ἐπίκληρον ὅτῳ ἂν βούληται.
νν̂ν, not ‘now,’ as opposed to some former time, but ‘as the law stands.’ See note on c. 5. § 23 supra. δον̂ναι, sc. τινά.
‘A man may give his heiress to any one whom he pleases’: i.e. heiresses may be married by their relatives to rich men, and the evil of accumulating property in a few hands will thus be increased. Herodotus, vi. 57, says that the giving away of an heiress whom her father had not betrothed was a privilege of the kings of Sparta. There may have been a difference in the custom before and after the days of Epitadeus (cp. note on § 14), though this is not expressed by the particle νν̂ν.
οὐδὲ χίλιοι τὸ πλη̂θος ἠ̑σαν, sc. ἐπὶ τη̂ς Θηβαίων ἐμβολη̂ς, §§ 10, 16.
γέγονε δὲ διὰ τω̂ν ἔργων αὐτω̂ν δη̂λον ὅτι ϕαύλως αὐτοɩ̂ς εἰ̂χε τὰ περὶ τὴν τάξιν ταύτην.
τὰ περὶ τὴν τάξιν ταύτην, sc. their arrangements respecting property described in the previous sentence. For the use of ταύτην with a vague antecedent, cp. below ταύτην τὴν διόρθωσιν: also i. 2. § 2.
The battle of Leuctra (b.c. 371) at which, according to Xenophon, Hellen, vi. 4. § 15, one thousand Lacedaemonians and four hundred out of seven hundred Spartans perished. The population of Sparta was gradually diminishing. In the time of Agis IV. reg. 240-248 b.c. according to Plutarch (Agis, c. 5), the Spartans were but 700, and only about 100 retained their lots.
ἐπὶ μὲν τω̂ν προτέρων βασιλέων μετεδίδοσαν τη̂ς πολιτείας.
Yet Herodotus (ix. 35) affirms that Tisamenus of Elis, the prophet, and Hegias, were the only foreigners admitted to the rights of citizenship at Sparta. According to Plutarch, Dion was also made a Spartan citizen (Dio, c. 17).
καί ϕασιν εἰ̂ναί ποτε τοɩ̂ς Σπαρτιάταις καὶ μυρίους.
The ancient number of Spartan citizens is variously given: here at 10,000; in Herod. vii. 234, at 8,000; according to a tradition preserved by Plutarch (Lycurg. c. 8), there were 9,000 lots which are said to have been distributed partly by Lycurgus, partly by Polydorus, the colleague of the king Theopompus.
ὑπεναντίος δὲ καὶ ὁ περὶ τὴη τεκνοποιίαν νόμος πρὸς ταύτην τὴν διόρθωσιν.
At Sparta the accumulation of property in a few hands tended to disturb the equality of the lots. The encouragement of large families, though acting in an opposite way, had a similar effect. According to Aristotle, depopulation and overpopulation alike conspired to defeat the intention of Lycurgus. Yet it does not seem that the great inducements to have families were practically successful; perhaps because the Spartans intermarried too much.
Like Plato and Phaleas, the Spartan legislator is accused of neglecting population. (Cp. supra c. 6. §§ 12, 13, and c. 7. §§ 4-8.) It is clearly implied in the tone of the whole argument (against Mr. Grote, vol. ii. c. 6) that there was an original equality of property, but that it could not be maintained; cp. τὰς κτήσεις ἰσάζοντα, 6. § 10; τη̂ς χώρας οὕτω διῃρημένης, 9. § 19; and so Plato, Laws 684 D.
διὰ τὴν ἀπορίαν ὤνιοι ἠ̑σαν.
Cp. Thuc. i. 131, etc. where we are told that Pausanias trusted to escape by bribery, πιστεύων χρήμασιν διαλύσειν τὴν διαβολήν. Also Rhet. iii. 18. § 6, 1419 a. 31, Καὶ ὡς ὁ Λάκων εὐθυνόμενος τη̂ς ἐϕορίας, ἐρωτώμενος εἰ δοκον̂σιν αὐτῳ̑ δικαίως ἀπολωλέναι ἅτεροι, ἔϕη. Ὁ δέ, ‘οὐκον̂ν σὺ τούτοις ταὐτὰ ἔθου;’ Καὶ ὃς ἔϕη. ‘οὐκον̂ν δικαίως ἄν,’ ἔϕη ‘καὶ σὺ ἀπόλοιο;’ ‘οὐ δη̂τα,’ ἔϕη, ‘οἱ μὲν γὰρ χρήματα λαβόντες ταν̂τα ἔπραξαν, ἐγὼ δ’ οὐκ, ἀλλὰ γνώμῃ.’
καὶ νν̂ν δ’ ἐν τοɩ̂ς Ἀνδρίοις.
Ἀνδρίοι is a proper name, probably referring to some matter in which the Andrians were concerned. It is unlikely that Aristotle would have used the archaic word ἄνδρια for ϕιδίτια or συσσίτια. For this use of the word ἄνδρια cp. c. 10. § 5, καὶ τό γε ἀρχαɩ̂ον ἐκάλουν οἱ Λάκωνες οὐ ϕιδίτια ἀλλ’ ἄνδρια, καθάπερ οἱ Κρη̂τες, ᾐ̑ καὶ δη̂λον ὅτι ὲκεɩ̂θεν ἐλήλυθεν.
The event to which Aristotle refers is wholly unknown to us, though the strange expression which he uses indicates the great importance of it (ὅσον ἐϕ’ ἑαυτοɩ̂ς ὅλην τὴν πόλιν ἀπώλεσαν).
ὥστε καὶ ταύτῃ συνεπιβλάπτεσθαι τὴν πολιτείαν.
‘So that in this way, as well as by the venality of the Ephors, together with the royal office the whole constitution was injured.’
δεɩ̂ γὰρ τὴν πολιτείαν τὴν μέλλουσαν σώζεσθαι πάντα βούλεσθαι τὰ μέρη τη̂ς πόλεως εἰ̂ναι καὶ διαμένειν ταὐτά.
The nominatives which occur in the next sentence, οἱ μὲν ον̓̂ν βασιλεɩ̂ς, οἱ δὲ καλοὶ κἀγαθοί, κ.τ.λ. show that the corresponding words τὰ μέρη τη̂ς πόλεως are the subject of βούλεσθαι = δεɩ̂ πάντα τὰ μέρη τη̂ς πόλεως βούλεσθαι τὴν πολιτείαν σώζεσθαι καὶ διαμένειν ταὐτά.
ταὐτὰ is to be taken adverbially with διαμένειν = κατὰ ταὐτά.
ἀ̑θλον γὰρ ἡ ἀρχὴ αὕτη τη̂ς ἀρετη̂ς ἐστίν.
Nearly the same words occur in Demosthenes, c. Lept. § 119, p. 489, where speaking of the γερουσία, he says, ἐκεɩ̂ μὲν γάρ ἐστι τη̂ς ἀρετη̂ς ἀ̑θλον τη̂ς πολιτείας κυρίῳ γενέσθαι μετὰ τω̂ν ὁμοίων.
παιδαριώδης γάρ ἐστι λίαν.
It is not known how the Ephors were elected. Possibly in the same way as the γέροντες (vide note on § 27 infra), which Aristotle likewise calls παιδαριώδης. Plato, Laws iii. 692 A, says that the Ephoralty is ἐγγὺς τη̂ς κληρωτη̂ς δυνάμεως, by which he seems to mean that the election to the Ephoralty was almost as indiscriminate as if it had been by lot.
As in the funeral oration of Pericles, the Spartan discipline is everywhere described as one of unnatural constraint. There was no public opinion about right and wrong which regulated the lives of men. Hence, when the constraint of law was removed and they were no longer ἀρχόμενοι but ἄρχοντες, the citizens of Sparta seem to have lost their character and to have fallen into every sort of corruption and immorality. The love of money and the propensity to secret luxury were kindred elements in the Spartan nature.
τὸν τρόπον δὲ τον̂τον πεπαιδευμένων ὥστε καὶ τὸν νομοθέτην αὐτὸν ἀπιστεɩ̂ν ὡς οὐκ ἀγαθοɩ̂ς ἀνδράσιν, οὐκ ἀσϕαλές.
‘But when men are so educated that the legislator himself cannot trust them, and implies that they are not good men, there is a danger.’ The remark is resumed and justified in § 30 (ὅτι δ’ ὁ νομοθέτης, κ.τ.λ.), by the general suspicion of their citizens which the Spartan government always showed, and also (§ 26) by the circumstance that the Gerontes were placed under the control of the Ephors.
οὐκ ἀσϕαλές, sc. τὸ κυρίους αὐτοὺς εἰ̂ναι μεγάλων.
δόξειε δ’ ἄν κ.τ.λ.
The discussion about the Ephors and Gerontes is a sort of dialogue, in which objections are stated and answers given, but the two sides of the argument are not distinctly opposed.
ἔτι δὲ καὶ τὴν αἵρεσιν ἣν ποιον̂νται τω̂ν γερόντων, κατά τε τὴν κρίσιν ἐστὶ παιδαριώδης κ.τ.λ.
For the mode of the election cp. Plut. Lycurg. c. 26: ‘The election took place after this fashion: When the assembly had met, certain persons selected for the purpose were shut up in a building near at hand, so that they could not see or be seen, but could only hear the shouting of the assembly. For, as with other matters (cp. Thuc. i. 87, κρίνουσι γὰρ βοῃ̑ καὶ οὐ ψήϕῳ), the Lacedaemonians decided by acclamation between the competitors. One by one the candidates were brought in, according to an order fixed by lot, and walked, without speaking, through the assembly. The persons who were shut up marked on tablets the greatness of the shout given in each case, not knowing for whom it was being given, but only that this was the first or the second or the third in order of the candidates. He was elected who was received with the loudest and longest acclamations.’
δεɩ̂ γὰρ καὶ βουλόμενον καὶ μὴ βουλόμενον ἄρχειν τὸν ἄξιον τη̂ς ἀρχη̂ς.
Cp. Plat. Rep. 345 E ff., 347 D.
νν̂ν δ’ ὅπερ καὶ περὶ τὴν ἄλλην πολιτείαν ὁ νομοθέτης ϕαίνεται ποιω̂ν· ϕιλοτίμους γὰρ κατασκευάζων τοὺς πολίτας τούτοις κέχρηται πρὸς τὴν α[Editor: illegible character]ρεσιν τω̂ν γερόντων.
According to the view of Aristotle and of Plato nobody should seek to rule, but everybody if he is wanted should be compelled to rule. Yet this is rather a counsel of perfection than a principle of practical politics. And it seems hardly fair to condemn the work of Lycurgus, because like every other Greek state, Sparta had elections and candidatures.
διόπερ ἐξέπεμπον συμπρεσβευτὰς τοὺς ἐχθρούς.
συμπρεσβευτὰς does not refer to the kings, but is an illustration of the same jealousy which made the Spartans consider the dissensions of the kings to be the salvation of their state. διόπερ = ‘by reason of a like suspicion.’
It has been argued that Aristotle in this section is criticising the kings only. And we might translate (with Bernays and others) ‘they sent enemies as colleagues of the king,’ e.g. in such cases as that of Agis (Thuc. v. 63). But these could hardly be described as συμπρεσβευταί, any more than the Ephors who, according to Xenophon (de Rep. Lac. c. 13. § 5), were the companions of the king—not his active counsellors, but spectators or controllers of his actions.
Ancient historians are apt to invent causes for the facts which tradition has handed down. Cp. note on c. 9. § 11 supra; also v. 11. § 2; Herod. v. 69; Thuc. i. 11, &c. It may be easily believed that there were frequent παραπρεσβεɩ̂αι among Spartans, but that these were the result of a deeply-laid policy is the fancy of later writers. Still less can we suppose the double royalty which clearly originated in the ancient history of Sparta to be the work of the legislator. Compare the Laws (iii. 691 D) of Plato (who probably first suggested the notion of a special design), ‘A god who watched over Sparta gave you two families of kings instead of one and thus brought you within the limits of moderation.’
Either 1) the gathering for meals; or 2) the contribution, as in Hdt. i. 64.
βούλεται μὲν γὰρ δημοκρατικὸν εἰ̂ναι τὸ κατασκεύασμα τω̂ν συσσιτίων.
It may be admitted that the common meals had a sort of leveling or equalizing tendency; but this could hardly have been the original intention of them, whether they were first instituted at Sparta by Lycurgus or not (cp. vii. 10. § 2 ff.). They are more naturally connected with the life of a camp (§ 11) and the brotherhood of arms. They may also be the survival of a patriarchal life.
The remark that the office of admiral was a second royalty appears to be justified chiefly by the personal greatness of Lysander. Teleutias the brother of Agesilaus was also a distinguished man. It cannot be supposed that Eurybiades or Cnemus or Alcidas or Astyochus were formidable rivals to the king.
τούτου δὲ ἁμάρτημα οὐκ ἔλαττον· νομίζουσι μὲν γὰρ γίνεσθαι τἀγαθὰ τὰ περιμάχητα δι’ ἀρετη̂ς μα̂λλον ἢ κακίας· καὶ τον̂το μὲν καλω̂ς, ὅτι μέντοι ταν̂τα κρείττω τη̂ς ἀρετη̂ς ὑπολαμβάνουσιν, οὐ καλω̂ς.
‘The Spartans were right in thinking that the goods of life are to be acquired by virtue, but not right in thinking that they are better than virtue’ (cp. vii. c. 2. and c. 14). The ‘not less error’ is that they degrade the end into a means; they not only prefer military virtue to every other, but the goods for which they are striving to the virtue by which they are obtained.
τὴν μὲν γὰρ πόλιν πεποίηκεν ἀχρήματον, τοὺς δ’ ἰδιώτας ϕιλοχρημάτους.
It is quite true that many Spartans, Pausanias, Pleistoanax, Astyochus, Cleandridas, Gylippus and others were guilty of taking bribes. But it is hard to see how their crime is attributable to the legislator. Not the institutions of Lycurgus, but the failure of them was the real source of the evil.
The love of money to whatever cause attributable was held to be characteristic of Sparta in antiquity. The saying χρήματα χρήματ’ ἀνὴρ is placed by Alcaeus (Fr. 50) in the mouth of a Spartan, and the oracle ἁ ϕιλοχρηματία Σπάρταν ὀλεɩ̂ ἄλλο δὲ οὐδὲν is quoted in the Aristotelian Πολιτεɩ̂αι fr. Rei. Lac. 1559 b. 28.
πάρεγγυς μέν ἐστι ταύτης.
Polyb. vi. 45 denies the resemblance between Crete and Lacedaemon, Ἐπὶ δὲ τὴν τω̂ν Κρητω̂ν μεταβάντες (πολιτείαν) ἄξιον ἐπιστη̂σαι κατὰ δύο τρόπους πω̂ς οἱ λογιώτατοι τω̂ν ἀρχαίων συγγραϕέων Ἔϕορος, Ξενοϕω̂ν, Καλλισθένης, Πλάτων, πρω̂τον μὲν ὁμοίαν εἰ̂ναί ϕασι καὶ τὴν αὐτὴν τῃ̑ Λακεδαιμονίων, δεύτερον δ’ ἐπαινετὴν ὑπάρχουσαν ἀποϕαίνουσιν. ὡ̑ν οὐδέτερον ἀληθὲς εἰ̂ναί μοι δοκεɩ̂. He contrasts the two states in several particulars; 1) the equal distribution of land in Sparta did not exist in Crete; 2) the greed of wealth which existed in Crete is said, strangely enough, to have been unknown at Sparta; 3) the hereditary monarchy of Sparta is contrasted with the life tenure of the γέροντες; 4) the harmony which prevailed at Sparta is contrasted with the rebellions and civil wars of Crete.
τὸ δὲ πλεɩ̂ον ἡ̑ττον γλαϕυρω̂ς.
Compare what is said of Charondas in c. 12. § 11, τῃ̑ ἀκριβείᾳ τω̂ν νόμων ἐστὶ γλαϕυρώτερος καὶ τω̂ν νν̂ν νομοθετω̂ν.
According to this view the Spartan institutions are not Dorian but Pre-Dorian, having been established originally by Minos; received from him by the Lacedaemonian colony of Lyctus in Crete, and borrowed from the Lyctians by Lycurgus.
διὸ καὶ νν̂ν οἱ περίοικοι τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον χρω̂νται αὐτοɩ̂ς, ὡς κατασκευάσαντος Μίνω πρώτου τὴν τάξιν τω̂ν νόμων.
The connexion is as follows:—The Lacedaemonian Laws are borrowed from the Cretan. Among the Lyctians, a colony of the Lacedaemonians who settled in Crete and whom Lycurgus is said to have visited, these laws were already in existence, and he adopted them. And even at this day, the laws of Minos are still in force among the subject population or aborigines of Crete. διὸ is unemphatic; the logical form outruns the meaning.
Either the laws of Minos had ceased to be enforced among the freemen of Crete or the freemen of Crete had themselves changed (Bernays); and therefore any vestiges of the original law were only to be found among the ancient population. Thus communistic usages may be observed among the peasants of India and Russia, which have disappeared in the higher classes. Yet Aristotle also speaks of the common meals in Crete as still continuing. Does he refer only to the survival of them among the Perioeci? By Dosiades (b.c.?) the Cretan Syssitia are described as still existing (see the passage quoted in note on § 6). Aristotle supposes that Lycurgus went to Crete before he gave laws to Sparta. According to other accounts his travels, like those of Solon, were subsequent to his legislation.
Ephorus, the contemporary of Aristotle [see fragment quoted in Strabo x. 480], argues at length that the Spartan Institutions originally existed in Crete but that they were perfected in Sparta, and that they deteriorated in Cnossus and other Cretan cities; both writers agree in the general view that the Cretan institutions are older than the Spartan and in several other particulars, e.g. that the Lyctians were a Lacedaemonian colony, that the common meals were called Ἄνδρια or Ἀνδρεɩ̂α, that the Cretan institutions had decayed in their great towns but survived among the Perioeci; and also in the similarity of offices at Lacedaemon and Crete. The great resemblance between this account and that of Aristotle seems to indicate a common unknown source.
The existence of the same institutions in Sparta and Crete and the greater antiquity of the Cretan Minos may have led to the belief in their Cretan origin. Others deemed such an opinion unworthy of Sparta and argued plausibly that the greater could not have been derived from the less; Strabo l.c.
Δοκεɩ̂ δ’ ἡ νη̂σος καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἀρχὴν τὴν Ἑλληνικὴν πεϕυκέναι καὶ κεɩ̂σθαι καλω̂ς.
Aristotle, like Herodotus, Thucydides, Aeschylus, is not indisposed to a geographical digression; cp. vii. 10. §§ 3-5.
It may be observed that the remark is not perfectly consistent with §§ 15, 16. The ‘silver streak’ and ‘the empire of the sea’ are the symbols of two different policies.
Διὸ καὶ τὴν τη̂ς θαλάσσης ἀρχὴν κατέσχεν ὁ Μίνως.
Cp. Herod. iii. 122, Thuc. i. 4.
γεωργον̂σί τε γὰρ τοɩ̂ς μὲν εἵλωτες τοɩ̂ς δὲ Κρησὶν οἱ περίοικοι.
But if Sosicrates, a writer of the second century b.c., quoted by Athenaeus vi. 84 is to be trusted, Aristotle is here at fault in his use of terms; τὴν μὲν κοινὴν δουλείαν οἱ Κρη̂τες καλον̂σι μνοίαν, τὴν δὲ ἰδίαν ἀϕαμιώτας, τοὺς δὲ περιοίκους ὑπηκόους: see c. 9. § 3.
ᾐ̑ καὶ δη̂λον ὅτι ἐκεɩ̂θεν ἐλήλυθεν.
These words may be compared with the passage in Book vii. 10. § 2, ἀρχαία δ’ ἔοικεν εἰ̂ναι καὶ τω̂ν συσσιτίων ἡ τάξις, τὰ μὲν περὶ Κρήτην γενόμενα περὶ τὴν Μίνω βασιλείαν, τὰ δὲ περὶ τὴν Ἰταλίαν πολλῳ̑ παλαιότερα τούτων. In both passages Aristotle says that the common meals came from Crete to Sparta.
οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἔϕοροι τὴν αὐτὴν ἔχουσι δύναμιν τοɩ̂ς ἐν τῃ̑ Κρήτῃ καλουμένοις κόσμοις.
The office of the Cosmi is identified by Aristotle with that of the Ephors. But the resemblance between them is very slight. The fact that at Sparta there were kings, while in Crete the kingly power, if it ever existed at all, had long been abolished, makes an essential difference. The Ephors were democratic, the Cosmi were oligarchical officers. And although both the Ephors and the Cosmi were an executive body, yet the Ephors, unlike the Cosmi, never acquired the military command, which was retained by the Spartan kings. Aristotle observes that the Cosmi were chosen out of certain families, the Ephors out of all the Spartans, a circumstance to which he ascribes the popularity of the latter institution.
οὓς καλον̂σιν οἱ Κρη̂τες βουλήν.
Yet we are told that the term βουλὴ was generally used to signify ‘the council in a democracy.’ Cp. iv. 15. § 11 and vi. 8. § 17, also v. 1. § 10, [at Epidamnus] ἀντὶ τω̂ν ϕυλάρχων βουλὴν ἐποίησεν. In the Cretan use of the term βουλὴ there may be a survival of the Homeric meaning of the word.
βασιλεία δὲ πρότερον μὲν ἠ̑ν.
Probably an inference from the legendary fame of Minos. No other king of Crete is mentioned.
Dosiades, quoted by Ath. iv. c. 22. p. 143, gives the following account of the Cretan Syssitia: ‘The Lyctians collect the materials for their common meals in the following manner: Every one brings a tenth of the produce of the soil into the guild (ἑταιρία) to which he belongs, and to this [are added] the revenues of the city, which the municipal authorities distribute to the several households. Further, each of the slaves contributes a poll-tax of an Aeginetan stater. All the citizens are divided among these guilds which they call andreia. A woman takes care of the syssitia with three or four of the common people to help in waiting; and each of these has two attendants, called καλοϕόροι, to carry wood for him. Everywhere in Crete there are two buildings for the syssitia, one called the andreion, the other, which is used for the reception of strangers, the dormitory (κοιμητήριον). And first of all they set out two tables in the room for the syssitia, called “strangers’ tables,” at which any strangers who are present take their place. Next to these come the tables for the rest. An equal portion is set before every man: the children receive a half portion of meat, but touch nothing else. On every table a large vessel is set full of diluted wine: from this all who sit at that table drink in common; and when the meal is finished another cup is put on. The children too drink in common from another bowl. The elders may, if they like, drink more. The best of the viands are taken by the woman who superintends the syssitia in the sight of all, and placed before those who have distinguished themselves in war or council. After dinner their habit is first of all to consult about state affairs, and then to recount their deeds in battle and tell the praise of their heroes. Thus they teach the youth to be valiant.’
ὥστ’ ἐκ κοινον̂ τρέϕεσθαι πάντας, καὶ γυναɩ̂κας καὶ παɩ̂δας καὶ ἄνδρας.
ἐκ κοινον̂, ‘out of a common stock’; not necessarily at common tables. The syssitia or common meals of women are said by Aristotle in chap. 12 to be an invention of Plato in the Laws, and if so they could hardly have existed at Crete. Nor is there any allusion to them in the fragment of Dosiades (supra). The name ἄνδρια or ἀνδρεɩ̂α also affords a presumption against the admission of women to the public tables. But if the words ἐκ κοινον̂ are interpreted as above, there is no reason that with Oncken (Staatslehre der Arist. ii. 386) we should suppose the words γυναɩ̂κας καὶ παɩ̂δας on this ground to be spurious; nor is such a mode of textual criticism legitimate.
πρὸς δὲ τὴν ὀλιγοσιτίαν.
The connexion appears to be as follows: ‘And as there were so many mouths to feed,’ the legislator had many devices for encouraging moderation in food, which he thought a good thing, as well as for keeping down population.
τὴν πρὸς τοὺς ἄρρενας ποιήσας ὁμιλίαν, περὶ ἡ̑ς εἰ ϕαύλως ἢ μὴ ϕαύλως ἕτερος ἔσται τον̂ διασκέψασθαι καιρός.
If these words refer to this work, the promise contained in them is unfulfilled. Nothing is said on the subject in Book vii. c. 16, when the question of population is discussed. The promise, however, is somewhat generally expressed; like the end of c. 8. § 25 supra, Διὸ νν̂ν μὲν ἀϕω̂μεν ταύτην τὴν σκέψιν, ἄλλων γάρ ἐστι καιρω̂ν.
ἐνταν̂θα δ’ οὐκ ἐξ ἁπάντων αἱρον̂νται τοὺς κόσμους ἀλλ’ ἐκ τινω̂ν γενω̂ν, καὶ τοὺς γέροντας ἐκ τω̂ν κεκοσμηκότων. περὶ ὡ̑ν τοὺς αὐτοὺς ἄν τις εἴπειε λόγους καὶ περὶ τω̂ν ἐν Λακεδαίμονι γινομένων. τὸ γὰρ ἀνυπεύθυνον, καὶ τὸ διὰ βίου μεɩ̂ζόν ἐστι γέρας τη̂ς ἀξίας αὐτοɩ̂ς. . . τὸ δ’ ἡσυχάζειν, κ.τ.λ.
περὶ ὡ̑ν. Do these words refer to* the γέροντες (Susemihl, Bernays) or to the κόσμοι (Stahr)? The connexion would lead us to suppose the latter; for what precedes and what follows can only be explained on this supposition. Yet the Cosmi appear not to have held office for life (cp. γέροντας ἐκ τω̂ν κεκοσμηκότων), perhaps only for a year (Polyb. vi. 46), though nothing short of a revolution could get rid of them; see infra, § 14. It is better to suppose that Aristotle has ‘gone off upon a word’ as at c. 9. § 30, and is here speaking of the γέροντες, but returns to his original subject at τὸ δ’ ἡσυχάζειν. περὶ ὡ̑ν and γινομένων have also been taken as neuters: ‘about which things,’ i. e. the mode of electing: but this explanation does not agree with the next words, which relate, not to the mode of election, but to the irresponsibility of the office.
καὶ τὸ μὴ κατὰ γράμματα ἄρχειν, ἀλλ’ αὐτογνώμονας ἐπισϕαλές.
Cp. c. 9. § 23 where similar words are applied not, as here, to the Cosmi and elders, but to the Ephors. Another more general censure is passed on the γέροντες, § 25.
οὐδὲ γὰρ λήμματός τι τοɩ̂ς κόσμοις ὥσπερ τοɩ̂ς ἐϕόροις, πόρρω γ’ ἀποικον̂σιν ἐν νήσῳ τω̂ν διαϕθερούντων.
Yet to say that the Cosmi could not be bribed because they lived in an island appears to be rather far-fetched. Probably Aristotle is thinking of the bribery of Hellenes by foreign powers, and for this there was little opportunity because the Cretans were isolated from the world.
οὐ γὰρ ἀσϕαλὴς ὁ κανών.
The expression is not quite accurate, for the caprice of an individual cannot be called a κανών. He means that to make the caprice of man a rule is unsafe.
πάντων δὲ ϕαυλότατον τὸ τη̂ς ἀκοσμίας τω̂ν δυνατω̂ν, ἣν καθιστα̂σι πολλάκις ὅταν μὴ δίκας βούλωνται δον̂ναι.
The words ἣν καθιστα̂σι πολλάκις which follow and the preceding ἐκβάλλουσι συστάντες τινὲς show that the expression τὸ τη̂ς ἀκοσμίας τω̂ν δυνατω̂ν means not the insubordination of the notables, but the temporary abrogation of the office of Cosmi by their violence, or, possibly, their defiance of its authority.
ἔστι δ’ ἐπικίνδυνος οὕτως ἔχουσα πόλις τω̂ν βουλομένων ἐπιτίθεσθαι καὶ δυναμένων.
Translated in the English text: ‘A city is in a dangerous condition, when those who are willing are also able to attack her.’ More correctly, ‘A city which may at any time fall into anarchy (οὕτως ἔχουσα) is in a dangerous condition when those who are willing are also able to attack her.’
Διὸ καὶ τὸ τω̂ν περιοίκων μένει.
‘And this is also a reason why the condition of the Perioeci remains unchanged.’
οὔτε γὰρ ἐξωτερικη̂ς ἀρχη̂ς κοινωνον̂σι.
Either 1*) have no foreign domains; or 2) have no relation to any foreign power. The language is not quite clear or accurate; for although a nation may possess foreign dominions it cannot ‘share’ in them. The Cretans were not members either of the Delian or of the Lacedaemonian confederacy.
νεωστί τε πόλεμος ξενικὸς διαβέβηκεν εἰς τὴν νη̂σον.
The date of this event is said to be b. c. 343 when Phalaecus, the Phocian leader, accompanied by his mercenaries, crossed into Crete and took service with the inhabitants of Cnossus against those of Lyctus over whom he gained a victory, but shortly afterwards perished (Diod. xvi. 62, 63). This however is rather a civil than a ‘foreign war.’ Others refer the words to the war in the time of Agis II. (b.c. 330), or to the Cretan rising against Alexander.
νεωστί τε refers to σώζεται διὰ τὸν τόπον, ‘Quite lately [her isolation did not save her,] foreign mercenaries brought war into the island.’
καὶ πολλὰ περιττω̂ς πρὸς τοὺς ἄλλους.
‘And in many respects their government is remarkable when compared with those of other nations’ or ‘with the others of whom I have been speaking.’ For the use of περιττός, cp. c. 6. § 6.
αὑ̑ται γὰρ αἱ πολιτεɩ̂αι τρεɩ̂ς ἀλλήλαις τε σύνεγγύς πώς εἰσι.
Yet the differences are far more striking than the resemblances, which seem to be only ‘the common tables,’ the analogous office of kings at Sparta and Carthage, and the council of Elders. The real similarity to one another of any of these institutions may be doubted (see note on § 3 infra): while the entire difference in spirit is not noticed by Aristotle. The Semitic trading aristocracy has little in common with the Hellenic military aristocracy; the prosperity of Carthage with the poverty and backwardness of Crete. But in the beginnings of reflection mankind saw resemblances more readily than differences. Hence they were led to identify religions, philosophies, political institutions which were really unlike though they bore the impress of a common human nature.
σημεɩ̂ον δὲ πολιτείας συντεταγμένης.
‘And the proof that they were an organized state’ or ‘that they had a regular constitution.’ The insertion of εν̓̂ before συντεταγμένης (Schneider) is unnecessary. Cp. supra ii. 9. § 22.
τὸν δη̂μον ἔχουσαν agrees with some word such as πόλιν understood from πολιτείαν = ‘the city with its democracy.’ There is no need to change ἔχουσαν into ἑκόντα (Bernays) or ἑκούσιον (Spengel).
μήτε στάσιν γεγενη̂σθαι.
For the inconsistency of these words with another statement of Aristotle (v. 12. § 12) that ‘the Carthaginians changed from a tyranny into an aristocracy,’ which is also irreconcileable with the further statement in v. 12. § 14, that they never had a revolution, see note in loco.
ἔχει δὲ παραπλήσια τῃ̑ Λακωνικῃ̑ πολιτείᾳ τὰ μὲν συσσίτια τω̂ν ἑταιριω̂ν τοɩ̂ς ϕειδιτίοις, τὴν δὲ τω̂ν ἑκατὸν καὶ τεττάρων ἀρχὴν τοɩ̂ς ἐϕόροις . . τοὺς δὲ βασιλεɩ̂ς καὶ τὴν γερουσίαν ἀνάλογον τοɩ̂ς ἐκεɩ̂ βασιλεν̂σι καὶ γέρουσιν.
Yet there could hardly have been much resemblance between the common tables of guilds or societies in the great commercial city of Carthage, and the ‘camp life’ of the Spartan syssitia; or between the five ephors of Sparta and the hundred and four councillors of Carthage: or between kings who were generals and elected for life at Sparta and the so called kings or suffetes who seem to have been elected annually and were not military officers at Carthage, but are distinguished from them, infra § 9.
Is to be taken as an adverb agreeing with the sentence, ‘and this is an improvement.’
καὶ βέλτιον δὲ τοὺς βασιλεɩ̂ς μήτε κατὰ τὸ αὐτὸ εἰ̂ναι γένος, μηδὲ τον̂το τὸ τυχόν, εἴ τε διαϕέρον ἐκ τούτων αἱρετοὺς μα̂λλον ἢ καθ’ ἡλικίαν.
The true meaning of this rather perplexed passage is probably that given in the English text which may be gathered from the words as they stand. With διαϕέρον supply τὸ γένος ἐστί. The correction of Bernays, τυχόν, εἰς δὲ γερουσίαν ἐκ πλουσίων αἱρετοὺς is too great a departure from the MSS. Lesser corrections, εἰ δέ, ἀλλ’ εἴ τι, εἴτι have some foundation in the Latin Version, but are unnecessary. εἴ τε is to be read as two words and answers to μήτε, as διαϕέρον does to μηδὲ τον̂το τὸ τυχόν. ‘It is a great advantage that the kings are not all of the same family and that their family is no ordinary one, and if there be an extraordinary family, that the kings are elected out of it and not appointed by seniority.’
μεγάλων γὰρ κύριοι καθεστω̂τες, ἂν εὐτελεɩ̂ς ὠ̂σι, μεγάλα βλάπτουσι καὶ ἔβλαψαν ἤδη τὴν πόλιν τὴν τω̂ν Λακεδαιμονίων.
He elsewhere speaks of the Spartan monarchy in a somewhat different spirit (iii. 14. § 3, 15. § 1 ff.). The praise here given to the elective Monarchy or Consulate of the Carthaginians at the expense of the Spartan kingship is considerably modified by the fact mentioned in § 10, that they not unfrequently sold the highest offices for money.
τω̂ν δὲ πρὸς τὴν ὑπόθεσιν τη̂ς ἀριστοκρατίας καὶ τη̂ς πολιτείας,
sc. ἐπιτιμηθέντων ἂν κ.τ.λ. Lit. ‘But of the things which would be censured when compared with the ideal of aristocracy and constitutional government, etc.’
The constitution of Carthage was an aristocracy in the lower sense, and like Aristotle’s own πολιτεία, a combination of oligarchy and democracy (iv. 8. § 9, v. 7. §§ 5-7). While acknowledging that wealth should be an element in the constitution, because it is the condition of leisure, Aristotle objects to the sale of places and the other abuses which arose out of it at Carthage. The Carthaginian constitution is expressly called an ‘aristocracy’ in iv. 7. § 4, because it has regard to virtue as well as to wealth and numbers; and once more (in v. 12. § 14) a democracy in which, as in other democracies, trade was not prohibited. According to Aristotle the people had the power 1) of debating questions laid before them; 2) of deciding between the kings and nobles when they disagreed about the introduction of measures, but 3) they had not the power of initiation.
ἐν ταɩ̂ς ἑτέραις πολιτείαις.
Sc. Crete and Sparta. Cp. supra § 5, ταɩ̂ς εἰρημέναις πολιτείαις.
τὸ δὲ τὰς πενταρχίας κ.τ.λ.
Of these pentarchies, or of the manner in which they held office before and after the regular term of their magistracy had expired, nothing is known. We may conjecture that they were divisions or committees of the γερουσία. Their position may be illustrated by that of the Cretan Cosmi, who became members of the γερουσία when their term of office had expired (cp. c. 10. § 10).
τὴν τω̂ν ἑκατόν.
Possibly the same which he had previously (§ 3) called the magistracy of 104. The magistracy here spoken of is termed μεγίστη ἀρχή, the other is said to consist of great officers who are compared with the Ephors. If the two institutions are assumed to be the same, we might adduce for an example of a like inaccuracy in number, a passage, c. 6. § 5, where the citizens in Plato’s Laws who number 5040 are called the 5000. But it is not certain that they can be identified. According to Livy and Justin the ordo judicum consisted of 100. ‘Centum ex numero senatorum judices deliguntur.’ Justin xix. 2. (Cp. Livy xxxiii. 46.) They were appointed about the year b.c. 450, to counteract the house of Mago, and are spoken of as a new institution. These facts rather lead to the inference that the 100 are not the same with the magistracy of 104, which was probably more ancient. But in our almost entire ignorance of early Carthaginian history the question becomes unimportant.
καὶ τὸ τὰς δίκας ὑπὸ τω̂ν ἀρχείων δικάζεσθαι πάσας [ἀριστοκρατικόν], καὶ μὴ ἄλλας ὑπ’ ἄλλων, καθάπερ ἐν Λακεδαίμονι.
Either 1)* καθάπερ ἐν Λακεδαίμονι refers to the immediately preceding clause, μὴ ἄλλας ὑπ’ ἄλλων:—or 2), to the words δίκας ὑπὸ τω̂ν ἀρχείων δικάζεσθαι πάσας, in which case καὶ . . . ἄλλων must be taken as an explanatory parenthesis.
According to the first view, Aristotle is opposing Carthage and Lacedaemon. In Carthage all cases are tried by the same board or college of magistrates (or by the magistrates collectively), whereas in Lacedaemon some magistrates try one case and some another. The former is the more aristocratical, the second the more oligarchical mode of proceeding: the regular skilled tribunal at Carthage is contrasted with the casual judgments of individuals at Lacedaemon. The difficulty in this way of taking the passage is that we should expect ὑπὸ τω̂ν αὐτω̂ν ἀρχείων, unless the words καὶ μὴ ἄλλας ὑπ’ ἄλλων be regarded as suggesting αὐτω̂ν by antithesis.
According to the second view, Aristotle, as in iii. 1. § 10, is comparing the general points of resemblance in Carthage and Lacedaemon. ‘Both at Carthage and Lacedaemon cases are tried by regular boards of magistrates, and not by different persons, some by one and some by another.’ The difference between the professional judges of the Carthaginians and the casual magistrates of the Spartans is noted in iii. 1. § 10, but here passed over in silence. The Carthaginian and Lacedaemonian arrangements may thus be considered as both aristocratic and oligarchic,—aristocratic because limiting judicial functions to regular magistrates; oligarchic, because confining them to a few. They are both contrasted with the judicial institutions of a democracy. The difficulty in this way of construing the passage is not the parenthesis, which is common in Aristotle, but the use of ἄλλων vaguely for ‘different persons,’ and not, as the preceding words ὑπὸ τω̂ν ἀρχείων would lead us to expect, for ‘different magistracies,’ or ‘boards of magistrates.’
In neither way of taking the passage is there any real contradiction to the statement of iii. 1. § 10. The words of the latter are as follows: ‘For in some states the people are not acknowledged, nor have they any regular assembly; but only extraordinary ones; suits are distributed in turn among the magistrates; at Lacedaemon, for instance, suits about contracts are decided, some by one Ephor and some by another; while the elders are judges of homicide, and other causes probably fall to some other magistracy. A similar principle prevails at Carthage; there certain magistrates decide all causes.’
For the sale of great offices at Carthage, see Polyb. vi. 56. § 4, παρὰ μὲν Καρχηδονίοις δω̂ρα ϕανερω̂ς διδόντες λαμβάνουσι τὰς ἀρχάς· παρὰ δὲ Ῥωμαίοις θάνατός ἐστι περὶ τον̂το πρόστιμον.
δεɩ̂ δὲ νομίζειν ἁμάρτημα νομοθέτου τὴν παρέκβασιν εἰ̂ναι τη̂ς ἀριστοκρατίας ταύτην κ.τ.λ.
The error consists in making wealth a qualification for office; the legislator should from the first have given a competency to the governing class, and then there would have been no need to appoint men magistrates who were qualified by wealth only. Even if the better classes generally are not to be protected against poverty, such a provision must be made for the rulers as will ensure them leisure. See infra § 12, βέλτιον δ’ εἰ καὶ προεɩ̂το τὴν ἀπορίαν τω̂ν ἐπιεικω̂ν ὁ νομοθέτης κ.τ.λ.
εἰ δὲ δεɩ̂ βλέπειν καὶ πρὸς εὐπορίαν χάριν σχολη̂ς, ϕαν̂λον τὸ τὰς μεγίστας ὠνητὰς εἰ̂ναι τω̂ν ἀρχω̂ν, τήν τε βασιλείαν καὶ τὴν στρατηγίαν.
Of this, as of many other passages in the Politics, the meaning can only be inferred from the context. In the Carthaginian constitution the element of wealth superseded merit. But whether there was a regular traffic in offices, as the words τὰς μεγίστας ὠνητὰς εἰ̂ναι τω̂ν ἀρχω̂ν would seem to imply, or merely a common practice of corruption, as in England in the last century, Aristotle does not clearly inform us. Cp. Plat. Rep. viii. 544 D, ἤ τινα ἄλλην ἔχεις ἰδέαν πολιτείας, ἥτις καὶ ἐν εἴδει διαϕανεɩ̂ τινὶ κεɩ̂ται; δυναστεɩ̂αι γὰρ καὶ ὠνηταὶ βασιλεɩ̂αι καὶ τοιαν̂ταί τινες πολιτεɩ̂αι μεταξύ τι τούτων πού εἰσιν, εὕροι δ’ ἄν τις αὐτὰς οὐκ ἐλάττους περὶ τοὺς βαρβάρους ἢ τοὺς Ἕλληνας.
βέλτιον δ’ εἰ καὶ προεɩ̂το τὴν ἀπορίαν τω̂ν ἐπιεικω̂ν ὁ νομοθέτης.
The MSS. vary between ἀπορίαν and εὐπορίαν without much difference of meaning: ‘Even if the legislator were to give up the question of the poverty’ [or ‘wealth] of the better class.’ A similar confusion of ἄπορος and εὔπορος occurs elsewhere: iii. 17. § 4, ἀπόροις and εὐπόροις: v. 1. § 14, ἄποροι and εὔποροι: v. 3. § 8, ἀπόρων and εὐπόρων: vi. 2. § 9, ἀπόροις and εὐπόροις.
κοινότερόν τε γάρ, καθάπερ εἴπομεν, καὶ κάλλιον ἕκαστον ἀποτελεɩ̂ται τω̂ν αὐτω̂ν καὶ θα̂ττον.
κοινότερον, ‘more popular,’ because more persons hold office.
καθάπερ εἴπομεν, cp. § 13.
ἕκαστον τω̂ν αὐτω̂ν, i.e. because each thing remains the same. The insertion of ὑπὸ before τω̂ν, suggested by the Old Translation ab eisdem, is unnecessary. τω̂ν αὐτω̂ν, ‘where the duties are the same.’
κάλλιον ἀποτελεɩ̂ται, i.e. if many share in the government each individual can be confined to the same duties, a division of labour to which frequent reference is made in Aristotle. (Cp. ii. 2. §§ 5, 6; iv. 15. §§ 7, 8; vi. 2. § 8, and Plat. Rep. ii. 374 A, iii. 397 E.) And there is more political intelligence where everybody is both ruler and subject.
ἐκϕεύγουσι τῳ̑ πλουτεɩ̂ν. See note on text.
So England has been often said to have escaped a revolution during this century by the help of colonization: nor is there ‘any more profitable affair of business in which an old country can be engaged’ (Mill). That Aristotle was not averse to assisting the poor out of the revenues of the state when any political advantage could be gained, or any permanent good effected for them, we infer from vi. 5. §§ 8, 9.
ἀλλὰ τουτί ἐστι τύχης ἔργον.
Though the government of the Carthaginians is in good repute (§ 1), Aristotle regards this reputation as not wholly deserved, their stability being due to the power of sending out colonies which their wealth gave them; but this is only a happy accident. In a similar spirit he has remarked that the permanency of the Cretan government is due to their insular position (c. 10. § 15).
ἂν ἀτυχία γένηταί τις.
The later reflection on the accidental character of the stability which he attributes to Carthage is not quite in harmony with the statement of § 2, in which he cites the lastingness of the government as a proof of the goodness of the constitution.
Grote in his eleventh chapter (vol. iii. p. 167, ed. 1847) says that, according to Aristotle, Solon only gave the people the power to elect their magistrates and hold them to accountability. What is said in §§ 2 and 3 he considers not to be the opinion of Aristotle himself, but of those upon whom he is commenting. This is true of § 2: but not of § 3, which contains Aristotle’s criticism on the opinion expressed in § 2. Thus we have the authority of Aristotle (at least of the writer of this chapter) for attributing the institution of the δικαστήρια to Solon (cp. Schömann’s Athenian Constitution, transl. by Bosanquet, pp. 36 ff.). The popular juries are said to be a democratic institution (τὸν δὲ δη̂μον καταστη̂σαι, τὰ δικαστήρια ποιήσας ἐκ πάντων); but it is obvious that, so long as the jurors were unpaid, the mass of the people could make no great use of their privileges. The character of the democracy was therefore far from being of an extreme kind; cp. iv. 6. §§ 5, 6 and 13. §§ 5, 6, vi. 2. §§ 6, 7.
The sum of Aristotle’s (?) judgment upon Solon (§ 3) is that he did create the democracy by founding the dicasteries, but that he was not responsible for the extreme form of it which was afterwards established by Ephialtes, Pericles, and their followers.
ἕκαστος τω̂ν δημαγωγω̂ν.
The writer of this passage clearly intended to class Pericles among the demagogues. He judges him in the same depreciatory spirit as Plato in the Gorgias, pp. 515, 516.
ἐπεὶ Σόλων γε ἔοικε τὴν ἀναγκαιοτάτην ἀποδιδόναι τῳ̑ δήμῳ δύναμιν.
Cp. Solon, Fragm. 4 in Bergk Poet. Lyr. Graeci, Δήμῳ μὲν γὰρ ἔδωκα τόσον κράτος, ὅσσον ἐπαρκεɩ̂, ¦ Τιμη̂ς οὔτ’ ἀϕελὼν οὔτ’ ἐπορεξάμενος.
τὰς δ’ ἀρχὰς ἐκ τω̂ν γνωρίμων καὶ τω̂ν εὐπόρων κατέστησε πάσας, ἐκ τω̂ν πεντακοσιομεδίμνων καὶ ζευγιτω̂ν καὶ τρίτου τέλους τη̂ς καλουμένης ἱππάδος· τὸ δὲ τέταρτον θητικόν, οἱ̑ς οὐδεμια̂ς ἀρχη̂ς μετη̂ν.
The arrangement of the classes here is somewhat disorderly, the second class or Knights being placed third in the series. That Aristotle should have supposed the Hippeis to have formed the third class is incredible; but it is difficult to say what amount of error is possible in a later writer. See an absurd mistake in Suidas and Photius about ἱππεɩ̂ς and ἱππὰς (Boeckh, P. E. ii. 260) under ἱππάς, which in Photius s. v. is called a fifth class; while in the next entry four Athenian classes are cited in the usual order with a reference to Aristotle (?) de Rep. Atheniensium, and an addition ‘that ἱππάδες belong to ἱππεɩ̂ς’ (?).
νομοθέται δ’ ἐγένοντο Ζάλευκός τε Λοκροɩ̂ς τοɩ̂ς ἐπιζεϕυρίοις, καὶ Χαρώνδας ὁ Καταναɩ̂ος τοɩ̂ς αὑτον̂ πολίταις.
Strabo (vi. 260), quoting Ephorus, says that Zaleucus made one great innovation, in taking away from the dicasts, and inserting in the law, the power of fixing the penalty after sentence was given.
Aristotle attributes greater precision to Charondas than to modern legislators. But early laws have a greater appearance of precision because society is simpler, and there are fewer of them.
Thales, called also Thaletas, probably the Cretan poet who is said by Ephorus apud Strabonem, x. p. 481, to have been the friend of Lycurgus; and also to have introduced the Cretan rhythm into vocal music. Mentioned in Plut. de Musica, pp. 1135, 1146. Clinton supposes him to have flourished from 690 to 660 b.c. But chronology cannot be framed out of disjointed statements of Plutarch and Pausanias.
Λυκον̂ργον καὶ Ζάλευκον.
A greater anachronism respecting Lycurgus is found in the fragments of Ephorus (Strabo x. 482, ἐντυχόντα δ’, ὥς ϕασί τινες, καὶ Ὁμἡρῳ διατρίβοντι ἐν Χίῳ, quoted by Oncken, Staatslehre des Aristoteles, ii. p. 346).
ἐγένετο δὲ καὶ Φιλόλαος ὁ Κορίνθιος.
The δὲ is not opposed to μὲν at the end of the last sentence, ἀλλὰ ταν̂τα μὲν λέγουσιν κ.τ.λ., but is a resumption of the δὲ at the beginning of the previous sentence, πειρω̂νται δέ. The story, if any reason is required for the introduction of it, may be intended to explain how Philolaus a Corinthian gave laws for Thebes.
Of Onomacritus, Philolaus, Androdamas, nothing more is known: of Zaleucus not much more. A good saying attributed to him has been preserved in Stobaeus xlv. p. 304, Ζάλευκος, ὁ τω̂ν Λοκρω̂ν νομοθέτης, τοὺς νόμους ἔϕησε τοɩ̂ς ἀραχνίοις ὁμοίους εἰ̂ναι· ὥσπερ γὰρ εἰς ἐκεɩ̂να ἐὰν μὲν ἐμπέσῃ μυɩ̂α ἢ κώνωψ, κατέχεται, ἐὰν δὲ σϕὴξ ἢ μέλιττα, διαῤῥήξασα ἀϕίπταται, οὕτω καὶ εἰς τοὺς νόμους ἐὰν μὲν ἐμπέσῃ πένης, συνέχεται· ἐὰν δὲ πλούσιος ἢ δυνατὸς λέγειν, διαῤῥήξας ἀποτρέχει, an apophthegm which in Aristotle’s phraseology (i. 11. § 10) may be truly said ‘to be of general application.’ Stobaeus has also preserved (xliv. p. 289) numerous laws which are attributed to Charondas and Zaleucus. They are full of excellent religious sentiments, but are evidently of a late Neo-Pythagorean origin. The same remark applies still more strongly to the citations in Diodorus xii. c. 12 ff.
Πλάτωνος δ’ ἥ τε τω̂ν γυναικω̂ν καὶ παίδων καὶ τη̂ς οὐσίας κοινότης καὶ τὰ συσσίτια τω̂ν γυναικω̂ν, ἔτι δ’ ὁ περὶ τὴν μέθην νόμος, τὸ τοὺς νήϕοντας συμποσιαρχεɩ̂ν, καὶ τὴν ἐν τοɩ̂ς πολεμικοɩ̂ς ἄσκησιν ὅπως ἀμϕιδέξιοι γίνωνται κατὰ τὴν μελέτην, ὡς δέον μὴ τὴν μὲν χρήσιμον εἰ̂ναι τοɩ̂ν χεροɩ̂ν τὴν δὲ ἄχρηστον.
The reference to Plato’s communism in contrast with Phaleas’ proposal of equality is not unnatural; but the allusion to three unconnected, two of them very trivial, points in the ‘Laws,’ is strange, and looks like the addition of a later hand. This whole chapter has been often suspected. It consists of miscellaneous jottings not worked up, some of them on matters already discussed. But mere irregularity and feebleness are no sufficient ground for doubting the genuineness of any passage in the sense in which genuineness may be ascribed to the greater part of the Politics. The chapter may be regarded either as an imperfect recapitulation or as notes for the continuation of the subject. The story of Philolaus, and the discussion respecting Solon, are characteristic of Aristotle.
καὶ τὴν ἐν τοɩ̂ς πολεμικοɩ̂ς ἄσκησιν. The change of construction arises from the insertion of the clause ὁ περὶ τὴν μέθην νόμος. The accusative may be explained as the accusative of the remote object after ἀμϕιδέξιοι γίνωνται, or may be taken with περί.
It may be remarked that Aristotle looks on the ἀμϕιδέξιος as an exception to nature (cp. Nic. Eth. v. 7. § 4, ϕύσει γὰρ ἡ δεξιὰ κρείττων καίτοι ἐνδέχεταί τινας ἀμϕιδεξίους γενέσθαι), whereas in Plato (Laws 794 D, E) the ordinary use of the right hand only is regarded as a limitation of nature.
Δράκοντος δὲ νόμοι.
Cp. Plut. Solon 17. Another reference to Draco occurs in Rhet. ii. 23, 1400 b. 21, καὶ Δράκοντα τὸν νομοθέτην, ὅτι οὐκ ἀνθρώπου οἱ νόμοι ἀλλὰ δράκοντος· χαλεποὶ γάρ.