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BOOK III. - 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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τῳ̑ περὶ πολιτείας ἐπισκοπον̂ντι.
The particle δὲ after τῳ̑ was probably omitted when the treatise was divided into books.
τον̂ δὲ πολιτικον̂ καὶ τον̂ νομοθέτου
are a resumption of the opening words τῳ̑ περὶ πολιτείας ἐπισκοπον̂ντι. ‘The legislator or statesman is wholly engaged in enquiries about the state. But the state is made up of citizens, and therefore he must begin by asking who is a citizen.’ The clause τον̂ δὲ πολιτικον̂ . . . περὶ πόλιν is a repetition and confirmation of the previous sentence, τῳ̑ περὶ πολιτείας . . . ἡ πόλις, the enquirer being more definitely described as the legislator or statesman.
οὐδ’ οἱ τω̂ν δικαίων μετέχοντες οὕτως ὥστε καὶ δίκην ὑπέχειν καὶ δικάζεσθαι.
καὶ is closely connected with οἱ τω̂ν δικαίων μετέχοντες. ‘Nor those who share in legal rights, so that as a part of their legal rights they are sued and sue, as plaintiffs and defendants.’
καὶ γὰρ ταν̂τα τούτοις ὑπάρχει.
These words are omitted in the old translation and in several Greek MSS. and are bracketed by Susemihl (1st ed.). If retained, they either 1) refer to the remote antecedent μέτοικοι above, ‘for the metics have these rights, and yet are not citizens,’ whereupon follows the correction, ‘although in many places metics do not possess even these rights in a perfect form.’ Or 2*) they are only a formal restatement of the words immediately preceding (for a similar restatement, which is bracketed by Bekker, see iv. 6. § 3), and are therefore omitted in the translation. Other instances of such pleonastic repetitions occur elsewhere, e. g. infra c. 6. § 4, where τον̂ ζη̂ν ἕνεκεν αὐτον̂ is repeated in κατὰ τὸ ζη̂ν αὐτὸ μόνον: also iv. 1. § 1, καὶ γὰρ τον̂το τη̂ς γυμναστικη̂ς ἐστίν, and v. 1. § 1.
Aristotle argues that the right of suing and being sued does not make a citizen, for a) such a right is conferred by treaty on citizens of other states: (cp. Thuc. i. 77, καὶ ἐλασσούμενοι γὰρ ἐν ταɩ̂ς ξυμβολαίαις πρὸς τοὺς ξυμμάχους δίκαις καὶ παρ’ ἡμɩ̂ν αὐτοɩ̂ς ἐν τοɩ̂ς ὁμοίοις νόμοις ποιήσαντες τὰς κρίσεις ϕιλοδικεɩ̂ν δοκον̂μεν). b) The metics have this right, which, as he proceeds to remark, in many places is only granted them at second-hand through the medium of a patron.
οὐχ ἁπλω̂ς δὲ λίαν.
λίαν qualifies and at the same time emphasises ἁπλω̂ς: ‘But not quite absolutely.’
ἐπεὶ καὶ περὶ τω̂ν ἀτίμων κ.τ.λ.
I. e. doubts may be raised about the rights to citizenship of exiles and deprived citizens, but they may also be solved by the expedient of adding some qualifying epithet.
ἀνώνυμον γὰρ τὸ κοινὸν ἐπὶ δικαστον̂ καὶ ἐκκλησιαστον̂.
‘This is a merely verbal dispute arising out of the want of a word; for had there been a common name comprehending both dicast and ecclesiast it would have implied an office.’ Cp. Laws, vi. 767 A: ‘Now the establishment of courts of justice may be regarded as a choice of magistrates; for every magistrate must also be a judge of something, and the judge, though he be not a magistrate, is a very important magistrate when he is determining a suit.’
δεɩ̂ δὲ μὴ λανθάνειν ὅτι τω̂ν πραγμάτων ἐν οἱ̑ς τὰ ὑποκείμενα διαϕέρει τῳ̑ εἴδει, καὶ τὸ μὲν αὐτω̂ν ἐστὶ πρω̂τον τὸ δὲ δεύτερον τὸ δ’ ἐχόμενον, ἢ τὸ παράπαν οὐδέν ἐστιν, ᾐ̑ τοιαν̂τα, τὸ κοινόν, ἢ γλίσχρως.
τὰ ὑποκείμενα. 1*) ‘the underlying notions’ or ‘the notions to which the things in question are referred,’ i. e. in this passage, as the connexion shows, ‘the forms of the constitution on which the idea of the citizen depends’ (see Bonitz s. v.). 2) ὑποκείμενα is taken by Bernays to mean the individuals contained under a class, and he translates ‘where things which fall under one conception are different in kind.’ But it is hard to see how things which are different in kind can fall under one class or conception, and the meaning, even if possible, is at variance with the immediate context which treats not of citizens but of constitutions.
τὰς δὲ πολιτείας ὁρω̂μεν εἴδει διαϕερούσας ἀλλήλων, καὶ τὰς μὲν ὑστέρας τὰς δὲ προτέρας οὔσας.
The logical distinction of prior and posterior is applied by Aristotle to states, and so leads to the erroneous inference that the perfect form of the state has little or nothing in common with the imperfect. So in Nic. Eth. i. 6. § 2, ‘there are no common ideas of things prior and posterior.’ The logical conceptions of prior and posterior have almost ceased to exist in modern metaphysics; they are faintly represented to us by the expressions ‘a priori’ and ‘a posteriori,’ or ‘prior in the order of thought,’ which are a feeble echo of them; from being differences in kind, they are becoming differences of degree, owing to the increasing sense of the continuity or development of all things.
διόπερ ὁ λεχθεὶς ἐν μὲν δημοκρατίᾳ μάλιστ’ ἐστὶ πολίτης.
Yet not so truly as in Aristotle’s own polity hereafter to be described, in which all the citizens are equal (cp. infra, c. 13. § 12). Democracy is elsewhere called a perversion (infra, c. 7. § 5), but he here uses the term carelessly, and in a better sense, for that sort of democracy which is akin to the μέση πολιτεία.
Generally ‘in turn,’ but the examples show that the phrase must here mean ‘by sections’ or ‘by different bodies or magistracies.’
τὸν αὐτὸν δὲ τρόπον καὶ περὶ Καρχηδόνα· πάσας γὰρ ἀρχαί τινες κρίνουσι τὰς δίκας.
τὸν αὐτόν, i. e. because in both these cases the administration of justice is taken out of the hands of the people and entrusted to the magistrates, either the same or different magistrates.
The oligarchies or aristocracies of Carthage and Sparta are here contrasted, not with each other, but with democracy. A minor difference between them is also hinted at: at Carthage there were regular magistrates to whom all causes were referred; at Lacedaemon causes were distributed among different magistrates. See note on ii. 11. § 7.
ἀλλ’ ἔχει γὰρ διόρθωσιν ὁ τον̂ πολίτου διορισμός.
The particle γὰρ implies an objection which is not expressed. ‘But how, if our definition is correct, can the Lacedaemonians, Carthaginians, and others like them be citizens; for they have no judicial or deliberative assemblies.’ To which Aristotle answers, ‘But I will correct the definition so as to include them.’ Finding ἀόριστος ἀρχὴ to be a definition of citizenship inapplicable to any state but a democracy, he substitutes a new one, ‘admissibility to office, either deliberative or judicial.’
ταύτης τη̂ς πόλεως.
Namely, of that state in which the assembly or law-court exists.
‘Popularly’ or ‘enough for the purposes of politics.’ Cp. Plat. Rep. 430 C. So νομικω̂ς (viii. 7. § 3), ‘enough for the purposes of law.’
For ταχέως Camerarius and Bernays needlessly read παχέως.
Γοργίας μὲν ον̓̂ν ὁ Λεοντɩ̂νος, τὰ μὲν ἴσως ἀπορω̂ν τὰ δ’ εἰρωνευόμενος, ἔϕη, καθάπερ ὅλμους εἰ̂ναι τοὺς ὑπὸ τω̂ν ὁλμοποιω̂ν πεποιημένους, οὕτω καὶ Λαρισσαίους τοὺς ὑπὸ τω̂ν δημιουργω̂ν πεποιημένους· εἰ̂ναι γάρ τινας λαρισσοποιούς.
ἀπορω̂ν. ‘In doubt about the question who is a citizen?’
δημιουργω̂ν. Properly the name of a magistrate in some Dorian states. The word is used here with a double pun, as meaning not only ‘magistrates,’ but 1) ‘makers of the people,’ 2) ‘artisans.’ The magistrates, like artisans, are said to make or manufacture the citizens because they admit them to the rights of citizenship.
There is also a further pun upon the word Λαρισσαίους, which probably meant kettles, or was used as a characteristic epithet of kettles derived from their place of manufacture:—
The sentence may be translated as follows:—‘Gorgias, very likely because he was in a difficulty, but partly out of irony, said that, as mortars are made by the mortar-makers, so are the Larisseans manufactured by their ‘artisan-magistrates; for some of them were makers of kettles’ (Λάρισσαι or Λαρισσαɩ̂οι).
For the term εἰρωνευόμενος, applied to Gorgias, compare Rhet. iii. 7, 1408 b. 20, ἢ μετὰ εἰρωνείας, ὅπερ Γοργίας ἐποίει: and for Λάρισσαι compare Τάναγρα Ταναγρίς, a kettle, (Hesych., Pollux); also an epigram of Leonides of Tarentum (Anth. vi. 305):—
ξένους καὶ δούλους μετοίκους. (See note on text.)
Mr. Grote, c. 31. vol. iv. 170. n., would keep the words as they stand, taking μετοίκους with both ξένους and δούλους. He quotes Aristoph. Knights 347 (εἴ που δικίδιον εἰ̂πας εν̓̂ κατὰ ξένου μετοίκου), and infers from the juxtaposition of the words δούλους μετοίκους, that they mean, ‘slaves who, like metics, were allowed to live by themselves, though belonging to a master.’ That is to say μέτοικοι are spoken of in a general as well as in a technical sense. According to Xen. de Vect. 2. § 3, all kinds of barbarians were metics. Cp. for the general subject, Polit. vi. 4. § 18, where measures, like those which Cleisthenes the Athenian passed when he wanted to extend the power of the democracy, are said to have been adopted at Cyrene. Such a reconstruction of classes also took place at Sicyon under Cleisthenes the tyrant, who gave insulting names to the old Dorian tribes (Herod. v. 68).
τὸ δ’ ἀμϕισβήτημα πρὸς τούτους ἐστὶν οὐ τίς πολίτης, ἀλλὰ πότερον ἀδίκως ἢ δικαίως. καίτοι καὶ τον̂τό τις ἔτι προσαπορήσειεν κ.τ.λ.
Aristotle means to say that what is true in fact may be false in principle. These two senses of the words ‘true’ and ‘false’ were confused by sophistical thinkers. See Plat. Euthyd. 284, ff.
τη̂ς τοια̂σδε ἀρχη̂ς refers to τινί, sc. ἀορίστῳ, supra 1. § 7, ‘an office such as we spoke of.’
δη̂λον ὅτι πολίτας μὲν εἰ̂ναι ϕατέον καὶ τούτους, περὶ δὲ τον̂ δικαίως ἢ μὴ δικαίως συνάπτει πρὸς τὴν εἰρημένην πρότερον ἀμϕισβήτησιν.
A doubt is raised whether the ἀδίκως πολιτεύων is truly a πολίτης. The answer is that the ἀδίκως ἄρχων is truly an ἄρχων. But the πολίτης is by definition an ἄρχων, and therefore the ἄδικος πολίτης may be rightly called a πολίτης.
καὶ τούτους, sc. τοὺς ἀμϕισβητουμένους (§ 4), ‘these as well as the legitimate citizens.’
πρὸς τὴν εἰρημένην πρότερον ἀμϕισβήτησιν is the question touched upon in c. 1. § 1, and resumed in the words which follow. The controversy concerning the de jure citizen runs up into the controversy respecting the de jure state, which is now to be discussed.
ὅταν ἐξ ὀλιγαρχίας ἢ τυραννίδος γένηται δημοκρατία. τότε γὰρ οὔτε τὰ συμβόλαια ἔνιοι βούλονται διαλύειν.
A question which has often arisen both in ancient and modern times, and in many forms. Shall the new government accept the debts and other liabilities of its predecessor, e.g. after the expulsion of the thirty tyrants, or the English or French Revolution or Restoration? Shall the Northern States of America honour the paper of the Southern? Shall the offerings of the Cypselids at Delphi bear the name of Cypselus or of the Corinthian state? Or a street in Paris be called after Louis Philippe, Napoleon III, or the French nation?
εἴπερ ον̓̂ν καὶ δημοκρατον̂νταί τινες κατὰ τὸν τρόπον τον̂τον, ὁμοίως τη̂ς πόλεως ϕατέον εἰ̂ναι ταύτης τὰς τη̂ς πολιτείας ταύτης πράξεις καὶ τὰς ἐκ τη̂ς ὀλιγαρχίας καὶ τη̂ς τυραννίδος.
The mere fact that a government is based on violence does not necessarily render invalid the obligations contracted by it; at any rate the argument would apply to democracy as well as to any other form of government. Cp. Demosth. πρὸς Λεπτίνην, p. 460, where it is mentioned that the thirty tyrants borrowed money of the Lacedaemonians, which, after a discussion, was repaid by the democracy out of the public funds, and not by confiscation of the property of the oligarchs. Cp. also Isocr. Areopag. vii. 153, where the same story is repeated.
ἐνδέχεται γὰρ διαζευχθη̂ναι τὸν τόπον καὶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους.
E.g. the case of the Athenian κληρον̂χοι, who, while possessing land in other places, remained citizens of Athens; or of migrations in which a whole state was transferred; or possibly a dispersion like that of the Arcadian cities which were afterwards reunited by Epaminondas. Yet, ii. 1. § 2, ὁ τόπος εἱ̑ς ὁ τη̂ς μια̂ς πόλεως.
πολλαχω̂ς γὰρ τη̂ς πόλεως λεγομένης ἐστί πως εὐμάρεια τη̂ς τοιαύτης ζητήσεως.
‘When difficulties are raised about the identity of the state, you may solve many of them quite easily by saying that the word “state” is used in different senses.’
ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τω̂ν τὸν αὐτὸν τόπον κατοικούντων,
sc. ἡ ἀπορία ἐστίν, supplied from τη̂ς ἀπορίας ταύτης.
τοιαύτη δ’ ἴσως ἐστὶ καὶ Βαβυλών.
‘Such as Peloponnesus would be, if included within a wall,’—further illustrated by ἡ̑ς γ’ ἑαλωκυίας κ.τ.λ.
ἡ̑ς γέ ϕασιν ἑαλωκυίας τρίτην ἡμέραν οὐκ αἰσθέσθαι τι μέρος τη̂ς πόλεως.
Cp. Herod. i. 191: ‘The Babylonians say that, when the further parts of the city had been taken by Cyrus, those in the centre knew nothing of the capture, but were holding a festival.’ Also Jeremiah li. 31: ‘One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end.’
ἀλλὰ περὶ μὲν ταύτης τη̂ς ἀπορίας εἰς ἄλλον καιρὸν χρήσιμος ἡ σκέψις· περὶ γὰρ μεγέθους τη̂ς πόλεως, τό τε πόσον καὶ πότερον ἔθνος ἓν ἢ πλείω συμϕέρει, δεɩ̂ μὴ λανθάνειν τὸν πολιτικόν.
The subject is resumed in Book vii. 4. § 4, ἔστι δὲ πολιτικη̂ς χορηγίας πρω̂τον τό τε πλη̂θος τω̂ν ἀνθρώπων, πόσους τε καὶ ποίους τινὰς ὑπάρχειν δεɩ̂ ϕύσει, καὶ κατὰ τὴν χώραν ὡσαύτως, ὅσην τε εἰ̂ναι καὶ ποίαν τινὰ ταύτην, and § 11. In the words τὸν πολιτικὸν Aristotle identifies himself with the statesman or politician of whom he is speaking.
πότερον ἔθνος ἓν ἢ πλείω, cp. vii. 9. § 8 and 10. § 13.
ἀλλὰ τω̂ν αὐτω̂ν κατοικούντων τὸν αὐτὸν τόπον, πότερον ἕως ἂν ᾐ̑ τὸ γένος ταὐτὸ τω̂ν κατοικούντων, τὴν αὐτὴν εἰ̂ναι ϕατέον πόλιν, καίπερ ἀεὶ τω̂ν μὲν ϕθειρομένων τω̂ν δὲ γινομένων, ὥσπερ καὶ ποταμοὺς εἰώθαμεν λέγειν τοὺς αὐτοὺς καὶ κρήνας τὰς αὐτάς, καίπερ ἀεὶ τον̂ μὲν ἐπιγινομένου νάματος, τον̂ δ’ ὑπεξιόντος, ἢ τοὺς μὲν ἀνθρώπους ϕατέον εἰ̂ναι τοὺς αὐτοὺς διὰ τὴν τοιαύτην αἰτίαν, τὴν δὲ πόλιν ἑτέραν; εἴπερ γάρ ἐστι κοινωνία τις ἡ πόλις κ.τ.λ.
From the digression into which he has fallen respecting the size of the state, Aristotle returns to the original question, What makes the identity of the state? He answers in an alternative: Shall we say that the identity of the state depends upon the race, although the individuals of the race die and are born—like a river which remains the same although the waters come and go? Or is not the truer view that the form or idea of the state makes the state the same or different, whether the race remain or not? This latter alternative he accepts, illustrating his meaning by the simile of a chorus (§ 7), which may be Tragic or Comic, although the members of it are the same; and of musical harmony (§ 8) in which the same notes are combined in different modes.
This is the conclusion which Aristotle intends to draw from the words εἴπερ γάρ ἐστι κοινωνία τις ἡ πόλις κ.τ.λ., and is clearly the general drift of the passage. But the alternatives ἀλλὰ τω̂ν . . . ἑτέραν create an obscurity, because Aristotle begins by opposing the continuance of the race to the transitoriness of the individuals who are always going and coming, when he is really intending to oppose the idea of the state to both of them, §§ 7, 9.
διὰ τὴν τοιαύτην αἰτίαν. ‘For the same reason as the rivers;’ i.e. because there is an unbroken succession of citizens as of waters.
The argument is neither clearly expressed nor altogether satisfactory. For 1) the identity of a state consists in many things, such as race, religion, language, as well as government, and therefore cannot be precisely defined; 2) it is always changing for better or for worse; 3) whether the identity is preserved or not is a question of degree; a state may be more or less the same, like the English constitution, and yet be continuous in the course of ages. Aristotle would have done better to have solved this question by having recourse once more to the different senses of the word πόλις (§ 4). Cp. iv. 5. § 3; v. 1. § 8.
εἴπερ γάρ ἐστι κοινωνία τις ἡ πόλις, ἔστι δὲ κοινωνία πολιτω̂ν πολιτείας, γινομένης ἑτέρας τῳ̑ εἴδει καὶ διαϕερούσης τη̂ς πολιτείας ἀναγκαɩ̂ον εἰ̂ναι δόξειεν ἂν καὶ τὴν πόλιν εἰ̂ναι μὴ τὴν αὐτήν.
‘For a state being a community, and a community of citizens being a community in a constitution, ἔστι δὲ κοινωνία πολιτω̂ν κοινωνία πολιτείας, when the form of this community changes, the state also changes’: or, if this construction is deemed harsh πολιτείας, may be thought to have crept in from the next line, and may be omitted as in the English text.
The particle γὰρ implies assent to the second alternative (supra).
‘The sailor besides his special duties has a general duty, which is the safety of the ship; the citizen has also a general duty, which is the salvation of the state—the nature of this duty will vary according to the character of the state. And besides the general duty citizens, like sailors, will have special duties and functions in the state, as in the ship.’
οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ καὶ κατ’ ἄλλον τρόπον ἔστι διαπορον̂ντας ἐπελθεɩ̂ν τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον περὶ τη̂ς ἀρίστης πολιτείας.
The last words are an explanation of κατ’ ἄλλον τρόπον.
Two conceptions of the state are continually recurring in the Politics of Aristotle, first the ideal state, in which the best has a right to rule and all the citizens are good men: secondly, the constitutional state, which approaches more nearly to actual fact (ii. 2. § 6; vii. 14. §§ 2-5). In the first, the good man and the good citizen, or rather the good ruler, are said to coincide; in the second, they have a good deal in common, but still the virtue of the citizen is relative to the government under which he lives, and the occupation in which he is engaged.
These two points of view are apt to cross (ἐπαλλάττειν in Aristotle’s own language), and they appear to be here confused.
εἰ γὰρ ἀδύνατον ἐξ ἁπάντων σπουδαίων ὄντων εἰ̂ναι πόλιν, δεɩ̂ δ’ ἕκαστον τὸ καθ’ αὑτὸν ἔργον εν̓̂ ποιεɩ̂ν, τον̂το δ’ ἀπ’ ἀρετη̂ς· ἐπεὶ δ’ ἀδύνατον ὁμοίους εἰ̂ναι πάντας τοὺς πολίτας, οὐκ ἂν εἴη μία ἀρετὴ πολίτου καὶ ἀνδρὸς ἀγαθον̂. τὴν μὲν γὰρ τον̂ σπουδαίου πολίτου δεɩ̂ πα̂σιν ὑπάρχειν (οὕτω γὰρ ἀρίστην ἀναγκαɩ̂ον εἰ̂ναι τὴν πόλιν), τὴν δὲ τον̂ ἀνδρὸς τον̂ ἀγαθον̂ ἀδύνατον, εἰ μὴ πάντας ἀναγκαɩ̂ον ἀγαθοὺς εἰ̂ναι τοὺς ἐν τῃ̑ σπουδαίᾳ πόλει πολίτας.
The argument is that the perfect state is not composed only of perfectly good men; for such absolute goodness is incompatible with the different occupations or natural qualities of different citizens, or their duties toward the government under which they live. All the citizens are not the same, and therefore the one perfect virtue of the good man cannot be attained equally by all of them. But they may all have a common interest in the salvation of society, which is the virtue of a good citizen. The Pythagorean doctrine of the unity of virtue still lingers in the philosophy of Aristotle. (Compare Ethics ii. 5. § 14, ἐσθλοὶ μὲν γὰρ ἁπλω̂ς, παντοδαπω̂ς δὲ κακοί.)
καὶ οἰκία ἐξ ἀνδρὸς καὶ γυναικὸς καὶ κτη̂σις ἐκ δεσπότου καὶ δούλου.
κτη̂σις is here omitted by Bernays, because the slave is a part of the οἰκία: but it may be observed that in i. 4. § 1, κτη̂σις is a subdivision of the οἰκία under which the slave is included.
ϕαμὲν δὴ τὸν ἄρχοντα τὸν σπουδαɩ̂ον ἀγαθὸν εἰ̂ναι καὶ ϕρόνιμον, τὸν δὲ πολιτικὸν ἀναγκαɩ̂ον εἰ̂ναι ϕρόνιμον.
Cp. Nic. Eth. vi. 5. § 5, where Pericles is spoken of as a type of the ϕρόνιμος: and vi. 8. § 1, where πολιτικὴ is described as a species of ϕρόνησις.
ἀλλ’ ἀ̑ρα ἔσται τινὸς ἡ αὐτὴ ἀρετὴ πολίτου τε σπουδαίου καὶ ἀνδρὸς σπουδαίου; ϕαμὲν δὴ τὸν ἄρχοντα τὸν σπουδαɩ̂ον ἀγαθὸν εἰ̂ναι καὶ ϕρόνιμον, τὸν δὲ πολιτικὸν ἀναγκαɩ̂ον εἰ̂ναι ϕρόνιμον. καὶ τὴν παιδείαν δ’ ε[Editor: illegible character]θὺς ἑτέραν εἰ̂ναι λέγουσί τινες τον̂ ἄρχοντος, ὥσπερ καὶ ϕαίνονται οἱ τω̂ν βασιλέων υἱεɩ̂ς ἱππικὴν καὶ πολεμικὴν παιδευόμενοι.
Aristotle having determined that the good citizen is not always a good man, now proceeds to ask the question whether some good citizens are not good men? Yes, the ruler must be a good and wise man; and the difference between him and other citizens is partly proved by the fact that he has a different education.
καὶ τὴν παιδείαν δ’ εὐθὺς κ.τ.λ. ‘Some persons say that, if we go no further than education, even this should be different.’ So in § 6 above, εὐθὺς ἐκ ψυχη̂ς καὶ σώματος. Cp. i. 5. § 2; Met. iii. 2, 1004 a. 5, ὑπάρχει γὰρ εὐθὺς γένη ἔχοντα τὸ ἓν καὶ τὸ ὄν.
μή μοι τὰ κόμψ’.
The whole fragment, which appears to contain a piece of advice addressed to young princes, is given by Nauck, Eurip. Aeol. Fr. 16:—
Two points strike us about quotations from the poets which occur in Aristotle: 1) The familiarity with the words which they imply in the reader; for they are often cited in half lines only, which would be unintelligible unless the context was present to the mind. We are reminded that the Greek like some of our English youth were in the habit of committing to memory entire poets (Plat. Laws vii. 810 E). 2) The remoteness and ingenuity of the application. For a similar far fetched quotation, cp. infra c. 5. § 9.
εἰ δὲ ἡ αὐτὴ ἀρετὴ ἄρχοντός τε ἀγαθον̂ καὶ ἀνδρὸς ἀγαθον̂, πολίτης δ’ ἐστὶ καὶ ὁ ἀρχόμενος, οὐχ ἡ αὐτὴ ἁπλω̂ς ἂν εἴη πολίτου καὶ ἀνδρός, τινὸς μέντοι πολίτου.
‘If the good man and the good ruler are to be identified, and the subject is also a citizen, then the virtue of the good man is not coextensive with the virtue of all good citizens, but only with that of a certain citizen,’ i.e. the citizen of a perfect state who is also a ruler, and therefore has a sphere for the employment of his energies, cp. Nic. Eth. vi. 8. § 4.
οὐ γὰρ ἡ αὐτὴ ἄρχοντος καὶ πολίτου, καὶ διὰ τον̂τ’ ἴσως Ἰάσων ἔϕη πεινη̂ν, ὅτε μὴ τυραννοɩ̂, ὡς οὐκ ἐπιστάμενος ἰδιώτης εἰ̂ναι.
Another illustration of the difference in the nature of the ruler and of the citizen is contained in the saying of Jason, 1) ‘that he had no choice between starvation and tyranny, for he had never learned how to live in a private station’; or 2)* ‘that he felt a sensation like hunger when not a tyrant; for he was too proud to live in a private station.’ The two interpretations differ according to the shade of meaning given to πεινη̂ν and ἐπιστάμενος.
The Jason here referred to is Jason of Pherae, the Tagus of Thessaly.
Another saying of Jason is quoted in Rhet. i. 12, 1373 a. 26, ‘δεɩ̂ν ἀδικεɩ̂ν ἔνια, ὅπως δύνηται καὶ δίκαια πολλὰ ποιεɩ̂ν.’
εἰ ον̓̂ν τὴν μὲν τον̂ ἀγαθον̂ ἀνδρὸς τίθεμεν ἀρχικήν, τὴν δὲ τον̂ πολίτου ἄμϕω, οὐκ ἂν εἴη ἄμϕω ἐπαινετὰ ὁμοίως.
1) Aristotle here lights upon a paradox, which he cannot resist mentioning, but does not pursue further. ‘If the virtue of the good man is of a ruling character, but the virtue of the citizen includes ruling and being ruled, their virtues cannot [from this point of view] be equally praiseworthy, [for the good man has one virtue only, the citizen two].’
2) Or the meaning may be, ‘that the virtue of the good man being the virtue of ruling is higher than that of the citizen who only rules at times, or who obeys as well as rules.’
The words οὐκ ἂν εἴη ἄμϕω ἐπαινετὰ ὁμοίως according to the first way = ‘the citizen is more to be praised than the good man’: according to the second, ‘the virtue of the two, i.e. of ruler and citizen, are not equally praiseworthy’; in other words, the virtue of the good man is the higher of the two.
The whole passage is perplexed, not from any corruption of the text, but from the love of casuistry and a want of clearness in distinguishing the two sides of the argument.
ἐπεὶ ον̓̂ν ποτὲ δοκεɩ̂ ἀμϕότερα, καὶ οὐ ταὐτὰ δεɩ̂ν τὸν ἄρχοντα μανθάνειν καὶ τὸν ἀρχόμενον, τὸν δὲ πολίτην ἀμϕότερ’ ἐπίστασθαι καὶ μετέχειν ἀμϕοɩ̂ν, τοὐντεν̂θεν ἂν κατίδοι τις.
Aristotle seems to mean that the citizen acquires a knowledge of the duties of both ruler and ruled, which are different. Since the ruler and the ruled must learn both, and the two things are distinct, and the citizen must know both and have a part in both, the inference is obvious. But what is this obvious inference we are uncertain:—either, 1)* that some kind of previous subjection is an advantage to the ruler; or 2) that the citizen who knows both at once is to be preferred to the ἄρχων and ἀρχόμενος, taken separately.
The sentence is awkwardly expressed and is perhaps corrupt. The change of ἀμϕότερα into ἄμϕω ἕτερα (Bernays) would give much the same meaning with rather less difficulty, (‘since the two must learn different things, and the ruler and the ruled are not required to learn the same things’), because τὸν ἄρχοντα καὶ τὸν ἀρχόμενον have not then to be taken in two senses, collective and distributive. It might be argued in favour of Bernays’ emendation that ἀμϕότερα may have crept in from the ἀμϕότερα in the next line; and against it that the two words ἄμϕω ἕτερα, the one having a collective, the other a distributive sense, are not happily combined.
§ 11 seems to be intended as a summing up of §§ 8-10. The thread of the argument is resumed at the words ταύτην γὰρ λέγομεν in § 14.
ἔστι γὰρ ἀρχὴ δεσποτική κ.τ.λ.
is a digression introduced for the sake of distinguishing the ἀρχὴ δεσποτικὴ to which the preceding remarks do not apply, from the ἀρχὴ πολιτικὴ to which they do.
ἔστι γὰρ refers back to τὸν ἄρχοντα, ‘We are speaking of the ruler who is also a subject; for we must remember that there is a rule of the master over his slave with which we are not here concerned.’
διὸ παρ’ ἐνίοις οὐ μετεɩ̂χον οἱ δημιουργοὶ τὸ παλαιὸν ἀρχω̂ν, πρὶν δη̂μον γενέσθαι τὸν ἔσχατον.
διό, referring to ἀνδραποδω̂δες and the various kinds of menial duties in which the artisan class were employed, ‘Because of their servile and degraded character.’
τω̂ν ἀρχομένων οὕτως.
I. e. those who (like household servants) are subject to the rule of a master.
εἰ μή ποτε χρείας χάριν αὐτῳ̑ πρὸς αὑτόν, οὐ γὰρ ἔτι κ.τ.λ.
*‘For if men practise menial duties, not only for the supply of their own occasional wants, but habitually’ (indicated by ποτέ), ‘there is no longer any difference between master and slave,’ i. e. the natural distinction of classes is effaced. It has been proposed to read τότε μέν, τότε δέ, instead of τὸν μέν, τὸν δέ, ‘for then the case no longer occurs of a man being at one time master and at another time servant’—an arbitrary emendation (Riese, Susemihl) which gives a poor sense.
οὐκ ἔστιν εν̓̂ ἄρξαι μὴ ἀρχθέντα.
An ancient proverb naturally attributed by tradition (Diog. Laert. i. 60; Stobaeus xlvi. p. 308) to Solon. Cp. Plut. Apophth. Lac. 215 D, who assigns the saying to Agis, ἐρωτηθεὶς τί μάθημα μάλιστα ἐν Σπάρτῃ ἀσκεɩ̂ται, τὸ γινώσκειν, εἰ̂πεν, ἄρχειν τε καὶ ἄρχεσθαι.
καὶ ἀνδρὸς δὴ ἀγαθον̂ ἄμϕω.
At first Aristotle appeared to draw an artificial line between the good citizen and the good man; but he now shifts his point of view. The good man may be supposed to have all virtue; he must therefore have the virtues both of the ruler and subject, although the virtue of the ruler is of a peculiar character, and the virtue of the subject, if he be a freeman, takes many forms. So the virtue of a man and of a woman differ in degree and even in kind, yet both are included in the idea of virtue.
καὶ γυνὴ λάλος, εἰ οὕτω κοσμία εἴη ὥσπερ ὁ ἀνὴρ ὁ ἀγαθός.
Compare for the ideal of womanly virtue, Thuc. ii. 45, τη̂ς τε γὰρ ὑπαρχούσης ϕύσεως μὴ χείροσι γενέσθαι ὑμɩ̂ν μεγάλη ἡ δόξα, καὶ ἡ̑ς ἂν ἐπ’ ἐλάχιστον ἀρετη̂ς πέρι ἢ ψόγου ἐν τοɩ̂ς ἄρσεσι κλέος ᾐ̑.
ἀρχομένου δέ γε οὐκ ἔστιν ἀρετὴ ϕρόνησις, ἀλλὰ δόξα ἀληθής· ὥσπερ αὐλοποιὸς γὰρ ὁ ἀρχόμενος, ὁ δ’ ἄρχων αὐλητὴς ὁ χρώμενος.
Cp. Plat. Rep. x. 601 D, E, where the distinction is drawn between the ποιητής who has only πίστις ὀρθὴ and the χρώμενος who has ἐπιστήμη, and where there is the same illustration from the difference between the αὐλοποιὸς and the αὐλητής, and Cratylus 388 ff. also Nic. Eth. vi. 10. § 2, ‘ἡ μὲν γὰρ ϕρόνησις ἐπιτακτική ἐστιν . . . ἡ δὲ σύνεσις κριτικὴ μόνον.’
The discussion which follows is not unconnected with the preceding. For if, as has been assumed, a freeman or citizen is one who commands as well as obeys, then it would seem that the artisan or mean person, even though not a slave, must be excluded.
οὑ̑τος γὰρ πολίτης.
Sc. ὁ ἔχων τὴν τοιαύτην ἀρετήν. See note on English text.
ἢ διά γε τον̂τον τὸν λόγον οὐδὲν ϕήσομεν συμβαίνειν ἄτοπον; οὐδὲ γὰρ οἱ δον̂λοι τω̂ν εἰρημένων οὐδέν, οὐδ’ οἱ ἀπελεύθεροι.
‘But if the artisan is not included in the number of citizens where is he to be placed? He is not a metic, nor a stranger. Yet no real difficulty is involved in his exclusion any more than in that of slaves or freedmen.’
διά γε τον̂τον τὸν λόγον = so far as this objection goes, viz. the implied objection that he has no place in the state.
τω̂ν εἰρημένων refers to οὐδὲ μέτοικος οὐδὲ ξένος.
‘On the supposition that they grow up to be men.’
τω̂ν δ’ ἀναγκαίων.
‘But in respect to servile occupations’; either an anacoluthon resumed in τὰ τοιαν̂τα, or governed by the idea of ἔργον contained in λειτουργον̂ντες.
The point is how to determine the position of the artisan or mean person. There is no difficulty in seeing that some who live in states are not citizens, but how is the mechanic to be distinguished from the slave? The answer is that the slave ministers to a single master, artisans and serfs belong to the state.
ϕανερὸν δ’ ἐντεν̂θεν μικρὸν ἐπισκεψαμένοις πω̂ς ἔχει περὶ αὐτω̂ν· αὐτὸ γὰρ ϕανὲν τὸ λεχθὲν ποιεɩ̂ δη̂λον. ἐπεὶ γάρ κ.τ.λ.
‘What has been said at once (ϕανὲν) makes the matter clear.’ It has been said that the best form of state will not admit the artisan class to citizenship (§ 3), and that the citizen will vary with the state (supra c. 1. § 9), a remark which he repeats in what follows. ‘For there are many forms of states; virtue is the characteristic of aristocracy, wealth of oligarchy. Now although the mechanic or skilled artisan cannot have virtue, he may have wealth, and therefore he may be a citizen of some states, but not of others.’
περὶ αὐτω̂ν, sc. about the lower class.
ἐν Θήβαις δὲ νόμος ἠ̑ν τὸν δέκα ἐτω̂ν μὴ ἀπεσχημένον τη̂ς ἀγορα̂ς μὴ μετέχειν ἀρχη̂ς.
Cp. infra vi. 7. § 4, where the fact respecting Thebes is repeated.
It is clearly for the common interest and for the security of the state, that the passage from one class to another should be as easy as possible under all forms of government. Such a power of extending, and including other classes is necessary to the very existence of an oligarchy or of an aristocracy, or even of a constitutional government. And the avenue by which the lower naturally pass into the higher is personal merit or fitness which ought to overcome circumstances and not beat helplessly against the bars of a prison. The gold which the god has implanted in a person of an inferior class should be allowed to find its place (Plat. Rep. iii. 415), even if we cannot degrade the brass or lead in the higher. The higher class too have governing qualities which pass into the lower, and they themselves receive new life and new ideas from the association.
προσεϕέλκεται καὶ τω̂ν ξένων ὁ νόμος . . οὐ μὴν ἀλλά κ.τ.λ.
ξένων is partitive: ‘The law goes so far as in addition to include some of the stranger class. Nevertheless, when there are citizens more than enough the law which extended, again contracts, the right.’ For restrictions of population see Plat. Laws v. 740.
τοὺς ἀπὸ γυναικω̂ν.
I. e. whose mothers were free women and their fathers not slaves (for this case has been already provided for in the words ἐκδούλου), but strangers or resident aliens.
τέλος δὲ μόνον τοὺς ἐξ ἀμϕοɩ̂ν αὐτω̂ν.
The MSS. read αὐτω̂ν: Schneider, following Perizonius, has changed αὐτω̂ν into ἀστω̂ν, and the emendation is adopted by Bekker in both editions: but 1) the word ἀστὸς is of very rare occurrence in Aristotle; 2) it would be in awkward proximity to πολίτης: and 3) the change is unnecessary. Lit. ‘they make only those of them (αὐτω̂ν) citizens, who are children of citizens both on the father’s and mother’s side.’ αὐτω̂ν, though not exactly needed, is idiomatic.
ὡς εἴ τιν’ ἀτίμητον μετανάστην.
Quoted also in Rhet. ii. 2, 1378 b. 33. Compare for a similar application of Homer bk. i. 2. § 9. Aristotle has given a new turn to the meaning of ἀτίμητος = τιμω̂ν μὴ μετέχων. But there is nothing singular in this; for quotations are constantly cited in new senses.
ἀλλ’ ὅπου τὸ τοιον̂τον ἐπικεκρυμμένον ἐστίν, ἀπάτης χάριν τω̂ν συνοικούντων ἐστίν.
τὸ τοιον̂τον = τὸ μὴ μετέχειν τω̂ν τιμω̂ν, i.e. the exclusion from office of certain classes is concealed in order to deceive the excluded persons. The reference is not to such cases as that of the 5000 at Athens, whose names were concealed for a political purpose (Thuc. viii. 92); but more probably to such deceptions as those of which Aristotle speaks in iv. 12. § 6 and c. 13 whereby the poor, though nominally citizens, were really deprived of their privileges because they had no leisure to exercise them. The intention was to trick them, but they were not dissatisfied; for they did not find out the trick. The English translation is defective, and should have run, ‘the object is that the privileged class may deceive their fellow-citizens.’
Another way of explaining the passage is to place an emphasis on τω̂ν συνοικούντων, which is taken in the sense of ‘fellow-colonists’: ‘the intention is to attract settlers by deceiving them into the belief that they will become citizens, when the rights of citizenship are really withheld from them.’ (For examples of fraud practised by colonists on strangers or fellow settlers, see v. 3. §§ 11-13.) But the words refer to states generally and not merely to colonies.
Sc. ὁ ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς καὶ πολίτης σπουδαɩ̂ος ὤν. In his later edition Bekker reads κἀκείνης, a correction of one MS. All the rest, and the old translator, read κἀκεɩ̂νος. With either reading the meaning of the passage is much the same. ‘Even where the virtues of the good man and the good citizen coincide (i. e. in the perfect state), it is not the virtue of every citizen which is the same as that of the good man, but only that of the statesman and ruler.’ κἀκεɩ̂νος = καὶ ὁ ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς κ.τ.λ.: κἀκείνης = ἐν ᾐ̑ ὁ ἀνὴρ ἀγαθὸς κ.τ.λ.
ἔστι δὲ πολιτεία . . πολιτείαν ἑτέραν εἰ̂ναι τούτων.
Lit. ‘The state [πολιτεία] is the ordering of the powers of a state, and especially of the supreme power. The government [πολίτευμα] is this supreme power, and the state or constitution (ἡ πολιτεία subj.) is what the government is. In democracies, for example, the people are the ruling power, in oligarchies the few. Accordingly we say that they differ in their constitutions.’ The three words πολίτευμα, πολιτεία, πόλις have three primary gradations of meaning: 1) πολίτευμα = the government, i. e. the persons through whom the government acts; πολιτεία = the government administering and being administered, i. e. the state or constitution; πόλις = the whole state including the government. But these senses pass into one another.
καθ’ ὅσον ἐπιβάλλει μέρος ἑκάστῳ τον̂ ζη̂ν καλω̂ς.
μέρος is to be taken with καθ’ ὅσον, the genitive τον̂ ζη̂ν καλω̂ς is partitive. ἐπιβάλλει, sc. ἑκάστῳ τὸ ζη̂ν καλω̂ς or impersonally. For the meaning of this word cp. note on ii. 3. § 4.
συνέρχονται δὲ καὶ τον̂ ζη̂ν ἕνεκεν αὐτον̂ (ἴσως γὰρ ἔνεστί τι τον̂ καλον̂ μόριον), καὶ συνέχουσι τὴν πολιτικὴν κοινωνίαν καὶ κατὰ τὸ ζη̂ν αὐτὸ μόνον, ἂν μὴ τοɩ̂ς χαλεποɩ̂ς κατὰ τὸν βίον ὑπερβάλλῃ λίαν.
Cp. Plat. Polit. 301 E, 302 A: ‘And when the foundation of politics is in the letter only and in custom, and knowledge is divorced from action, can we wonder, Socrates, at the miseries that there are, and always will be, in States? Any other art, built on such a foundation, would be utterly undermined,—there can be no doubt of that. Ought we not rather to wonder at the strength of the political bond? For States have endured all this, time out of mind, and yet some of them still remain and are not overthrown, though many of them, like ships foundering at sea, are perishing and have perished and will hereafter perish, through the incapacity of their pilots and crews, who have the worst sort of ignorance of the highest truths,—I mean to say, that they are wholly unacquainted with politics, of which, above all other sciences, they believe themselves to have acquired the most perfect knowledge.’
ὡς ἐνούσης τινὸς εὐημερίας ἐν αὐτῳ̑ καὶ γλυκύτητος ϕυσικη̂ς: cp. Nic. Eth. ix. 9. § 7, τὸ δὲ ζη̂ν τω̂ν καθ’ αὑτὸ ἀγαθω̂ν καὶ ἡδέων κ.τ.λ.
ὅταν δὲ τούτων εἱ̑ς γένηται καὶ αὐτός.
αὐτὸς refers inaccurately either to the trainer or to the pilot.
τὸ αὑτον̂ ἀγαθόν.
The reflexive refers to the principal subject ἀξιον̂ντες: but is changed into the singular by the introduction of τινά. Translated into the first person the sentence would run, ‘Some one should now look after my interest as I looked after his when in office.’ For the ‘disinterestedness’ of traders cp. Plat. Rep. i. pp. 345, 346.
Answering to πρότερον μὲν above. ‘The natural principle that men should rule and be ruled in turn was once the practice; but now from corrupt motives, they insist on ruling perpetually.’
ἢ γἀρ οὐ πολίτας ϕατέον εἰ̂ναι τοὺς μετέχοντας, ἢ δεɩ̂ κοινωνεɩ̂ν τον̂ συμϕέροντος.
The meaning of γὰρ is as follows: ‘Since there are perverted, as well as true states, there are states of which the members are not to be called citizens; or, if they were, they would partake of the common good.’ For, as has been said at the beginning of the treatise, πα̂σαν πόλιν ὁρω̂μεν κοινωνίαν τινὰ ον̓̂σαν καὶ πα̂σαν κοινωνίαν ἀγαθον̂ τινὸς ἕνεκεν συνεστηκυɩ̂αν. And the true forms of government are those which regard the good of the governed.
ἀριστοκρατίαν, ἢ διὰ τὸ τοὺς ἀρίστους ἄρχειν, ἢ διὰ τὸ πρὸς τὸ ἄριστον.
Of course in reality the first of the two etymologies is the true one, but Aristotle, like Plato in the Cratylus, regards the relation which the component parts of words bear to one another as variable. He is fond of etymological meanings and sometimes forces the etymology to suit the meaning, e.g. σωϕροσύνη, ὡς σώζουσα τὴν ϕρόνησιν, Nic. Eth. vi. 5. § 5; ἠθικὴ from ἔθος, Nic. Eth. ii. 1. § 1; δίκαιον ὅτι δίχα ἐστίν, Nic. Eth. v. 4. § 9; μακάριον ἀπὸ τον̂ χαίρειν, Nic. Eth. vii. 11. § 2; τιμοκρατία . . ἡ ἀπὸ τιμημάτων πολιτεία, Nic. Eth. viii. 10. § 1.
The first of the two explanations of ἀριστοκρατία is more in accordance not only with the principles of etymology but with the facts of history, if we take ἄριστοι in the sense in which the word would have been understood by Alcaeus or Theognis: the second answers best to Aristotle’s ideal state.
In Ethics viii. 10. § 1 this is identified with τιμοκρατία = ἡ ἀπὸ τιμημάτων πολιτεία, a government based upon a property qualification (ἣν τιμοκρατικὴν λέγειν οἰκεɩ̂ον ϕαίνεται, πολιτείαν δ’ αὐτὴν εἰώθασιν οἱ πλεɩ̂στοι καλεɩ̂ν). No example of the word τιμοκρατία occurs in the Politics. It is used by Plato in another sense = the government of honour (ἡ ϕιλότιμος πολιτεία, Rep. viii. 545 B).
πολιτεία originally meaning, as in Thucydides, any form of government, a sense which is continued in Aristotle, has also like our own word ‘constitution’ a second and specific sense, apparently coming into use in the age of Aristotle, though not invented by him. Cp. iv. 7. § 1, πέμπτη δ’ ἐστὶν ἣ προσαγορεύεται τὸ κοινὸν ὄνομα πασω̂ν (πολιτείαν γὰρ καλον̂σιν), ἀλλὰ διὰ τὸ μὴ πολλάκις γίνεσθαι λανθάνει τοὺς πειρωμένους ἀριθμεɩ̂ν τὰ τω̂ν πολιτειω̂ν εἴδη, καὶ χρω̂νται ταɩ̂ς τέτταρσι μόνον, ὥσπερ Πλάτων ἐν ταɩ̂ς πολιτείαις: also ii. 6. § 16.
The subject of this chapter is again referred to in iv. c. 4. The discussion which follows affords a curious example of the manner in which Aristotle after passing through a maze of casuistry at length arrives at the conclusions of common sense.
διὸ καὶ οὐ συμβαίνει τὰς ῥηθείσας αἰτίας γίνεσθαι διαϕορα̂ς.
The MSS. have διαϕοράς (‘That the already mentioned differences are the true causes,’ a reading which gives a somewhat unusual sense to αἰτίας). The old translator has ‘differentiae’ in the genitive. Better to take διαϕορα̂ς as a genitive, making αἰτίας the predicate, and repeating the word with ῥηθείσας. ‘And thus the so-called causes of difference are not real causes.’ Bernays inserts πολιτείας after ῥηθείσας without authority, and appears to translate the passage rather freely: ‘And they cannot therefore create any form of constitution which can be specifically named.’
The argument is intended to show that the essential differences between oligarchy and democracy are not made by the governing body being few or many (τὰς ῥηθείσας αἰτίας), but by poverty and wealth. It is an accident that the rich are few, and the poor many.
καὶ ἔστιν, ἀλλ’ οὐ πα̂σιν, ἀλλὰ τοɩ̂ς ἴσοις.
‘And so it is; not however for all, but only for the equal.’ Cp. Cic. de Rep. i. c. 34, ‘Cum par habetur honos summis et infimis . . ipsa aequitas iniquissima est.’ Burke, French Revol. (vol. v. p. 106. ed. 1815), ‘Everything ought to be open, but not indifferently to every man.’
τὸ δ’ αἴτιον ὅτι περὶ αὑτω̂ν ἡ κρίσις.
Men think themselves to be as good or better than others, and therefore claim equal or greater political rights; e.g. they claim to exercise the franchise without considering whether they are fit or not. They can never see that they are inferior, and that therefore it may be just for them to have less than others: cp. below § 3.
ἐπεὶ . . διῄρηται τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον ἐπί τε τω̂ν πραγμάτων καὶ οἱ̑ς.
Lit. ‘Since justice is distributed in the same manner (i.e. equally) over things and over persons.’ τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον is to be taken not with διῄρηται, but with the words which follow = ὁμοίως.
τὴν δὲ οἱ̑ς ἀμϕισβητον̂σι.
τὴν δέ, sc. ἰσότητα is accusative after ἀμϕισβητον̂σι.
οἱ̑ς as above τὸ οἱ̑ς, the technical word for persons, lit. ‘in relation to the whom.’ Cp. Nic. Eth. v. 3. §§ 6, 7.
οὐ γὰρ εἰ̂ναι δίκαιον ἴσον μετέχειν τω̂ν ἑκατὸν μνω̂ν τὸν εἰσενέγκαντα μίαν μνα̂ν τῳ̑ δόντι τὸ λοιπὸν πα̂ν, οὔτε τω̂ν ἐξ ἀρχη̂ς οὔτε τω̂ν ἐπιγινομένων.
Either 1)* τω̂ν ἐξ ἀρχη̂ς is in apposition with τω̂ν ἑκατὸν μνω̂ν or with some more general word, such as χρημάτων, understood; or 2) the words may = τω̂ν ἐξ ἀρχη̂ς εἰσενεγκάντων τινά i.e. either any of those who originally contributed, or any subsequent generation of contributors. Cp. Burkē, Ref. on F. R. (vol. v. p. 121, ed. 1815), ‘In these partnerships all men have equal rights, but not to equal things. He that has but five shillings in the partnership has as good a right to it as he that has five hundred pounds has to his larger proportion. But he has not a right to an equal dividend in the product of the joint stock.’
εἰ δὲ μήτε τον̂ ζη̂ν μόνον ἕνεκεν κ.τ.λ.
εἰ δὲ introduces the opposite side of the question. ‘If a good life is the object, then the oligarch is wrong’ (cp. above, § 5, ὥσθ’ ὁ τω̂ν ὀλιγαρχικω̂ν λόγος δόξειεν ἂν ἰσχύειν), but the apodosis is lost in what follows. For a similar anacoluthon cp. infra c. 12. § 1.
καὶ γὰρ ἂν δούλων καὶ τω̂ν ἄλλων ζῴων ἠ̑ν πόλις.
Nic. Eth. x. 6. § 8, εὐδαιμονίας δ’ οὐδεὶς ἀνδραπόδῳ μεταδίδωσιν εἰ μὴ καὶ βίου.
οἱ̑ς ἐστὶ σύμβολα πρὸς ἀλλήλους.
Cp. above, c. 1. § 4, τοɩ̂ς ἀπὸ συμβόλων κοινωνον̂σιν. μὴ λόγου χάριν
is either 1)* taken with περὶ ἀρετη̂ς ἐπιμελὲς εἰ̂ναι, or 2) is an explanation of ὡς ἀληθω̂ς, which it pleonastically emphasizes.
γίνεται γὰρ ἡ κοινωνία.
‘For otherwise the state becomes’ or ‘would be.’
συμμαχία τω̂ν ἄλλων τόπῳ διαϕέρουσα μόνον τω̂ν ἄποθεν συμμάχων.
The construction is unsymmetrical, passing, as elsewhere, from the abstract to the concrete. ‘A city is an alliance differing from any other allies [= alliances], who are at a distance, in place only.’ Or τω̂ν ἄλλων may be taken with συμμαχιω̂ν, τω̂ν ἄποθεν συμμάχων being epexegetic = other alliances of which the members live apart.
Λυκόϕρων ὁ σοϕιστής.
An obscure rhetorician who is censured in the Rhetoric (iii. c. 3. §§ 1-3) for frigidity of style. It is also said that when set to make an encomium on the lyre he attacked some other thesis (Soph. Elench. c. 15, 174 b. 32), or, according to Alexander Aphrodisiensis, he began with the earthly lyre, and went on to speak of the constellation Lyra. Lycophron seems to have held the doctrine that ‘the state is only a machine for the protection of life and property.’ Cp. Rhet. i. 15, 1376 b. 10, αὐτὸς ὁ νόμος συνθήκη τις ἐστίν.
The opposite view is maintained in Burke, French Revolution (vol. v. ed. 1815, p. 184): ‘The state ought not to be considered nothing better than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco, or some other such low concern, to be taken up for a little temporary interest, and to be dissolved by the fancy of the partners. It is to be looked upon with other reverence, because it is not a partnership in things subservient only to the gross animal existence of a temporary and perishable nature.’
εἰ γὰρ καὶ συνέλθοιεν οὕτω κοινωνον̂ντες, ἕκαστος μέντοι χρῳ̑το τῃ̑ ἰδίᾳ οἰκίᾳ ὥσπερ πόλει καὶ σϕίσιν αὐτοɩ̂ς ὡς ἐπιμαχίας οὔσης βοηθον̂ντες ἐπὶ τοὺς ἀδικον̂ντας μόνον, οὐδ’ οὕτως ἂν εἰ̂ναι δόξειε πόλις τοɩ̂ς ἀκριβω̂ς θεωρον̂σιν, εἴπερ ὁμοίως ὁμιλοɩ̂εν συνελθόντες καὶ χωρίς.
‘As a confederacy is not a city, so a number of individuals uniting in the same manner in which cities form a confederacy, would not be a city, unless they changed their manner of life after the union.’ The main distinction which Aristotle draws between the confederacy, in which many cities are united by a treaty, and the single city is that the object of the one is negative, of the other positive,—the one regards the citizens in some particular aspect, e. g. with a view to the prevention of piracy or the encouragement of commerce; the other takes in their whole life and education.
χρῳ̑το τῃ̑ ἰδίᾳ οἰκίᾳ ὥσπερ πόλει. I. e. ‘If every man were lord in his own house or castle, and only made a treaty with his neighbours like the cities in a federation;’ in other words, if the inhabitants of the common city had no social relations.
βοηθον̂ντες is parallel with κοινωνον̂ντες, and in apposition with the nominative to συνέλθοιεν.
καὶ διαγωγαὶ τον̂ συζη̂ν.
Nearly = τρόποι τον̂ συζη̂ν, ‘pleasant modes of common life,’ or more freely ‘enjoyments of society,’ not ‘relaxations for the sake of society,’ a construction not admissible in prose.
ἔχει δ’ ἀπορίαν κ.τ.λ.
The argument of this chapter consists of a series of ἀπορίαι which may be raised against the claims of any one person or class to have the supreme power. The ἀπορίαι are restated somewhat less sharply in the next chapter. They are indirectly, but not distinctly or completely, answered in the latter part of c. 13.
ἔδοξε γὰρ νὴ Δία τῳ̑ κυρίῳ δικαίως.
It is difficult to account for this sudden outburst of vivacity. Compare infra c. 11. § 5, ἴσως δὲ νὴ Δία δη̂λον ὅτι περὶ ἐνίων ἀδύνατον: cp. Xen. Mem. v. 1. 4, ἀλλὰ ναὶ μὰ Δία τόδε ἄξιόν μοι δοκεɩ̂ εἰ̂ναι: Dem. de Chersones. §§ 9, 17; Polyb. vi. 3. § 6, πότερον ὡς μόνας ταύτας ἢ καὶ νὴ Δί’ ὡς ἀρίστας ἡμɩ̂ν εἰσηγον̂νται πολιτειω̂ν; and the use of Hercule in Tacit. Ann. i. 3.
The whole passage is a kind of suppressed dialogue in which two opposite opinions are abruptly brought face to face. No conclusion is drawn; the only inference being really the impossible one that all forms of government are equally baseless, because they are not based on justice, and therefore in all of them abuse of power is possible.
πάλιν τε πάντων ληϕθέντων κ.τ.λ.
ληϕθέντων has been explained, either 1) as neut. or 2) masc. Either 1)* ‘when everything, i.e. when all the property of the rich has been exhausted;’ for this meaning of the word cp. iv. 4. § 8; or 2) ‘when all the citizens are taken together,’ but this is a doubtful use of ληϕθέντων and does not give a good sense.
The passage is a reductio ad absurdum of the previous argument: ‘When the many poor have taken all the property of the few rich, and the majority go on subdividing among themselves, the property of the minority will become smaller and smaller, and the state will be ruined.’
Or, expressing the same idea in numbers, let us suppose a state of 1000 citizens. If a mere numerical majority constitutes rightful sovereignty, 600 citizens may resolve,—and rightly, according to the hypothesis,—to confiscate the goods of the remaining 400, and divide them among themselves. Thus 400 will cease to be citizens. Of the remaining 600, 400 may go on to divide the property of the others, and thus the state becomes reduced to 400 and so on, till it disappears altogether.
It may be remarked that in all schemes for the division of property, the wealth which has been created under a system of accumulation is supposed to continue when the motives for accumulation have ceased. The poor are not fitted to govern the rich. But neither are the rich fitted to govern the poor. The truth is that no class in the state can be trusted with the interests of any other.
ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐχ ἥ γ’ ἀρετὴ ϕθείρει τὸ ἔχον αὐτήν.
For the virtue of anything is that quality by which it fulfils its own proper ἔργον. Cp. Plat. Rep. x. 608 E.
ἂν ον̓̂ν ᾐ̑ νόμος μὲν ὀλιγαρχικὸς δὲ ἢ δημοκρατικός, τί διοίσει περὶ τω̂ν ἠπορημένων;
‘Even if we assume the law to rule and not the few or many, where is the difference? For the law may only represent the prejudices or interests of oligarchy or democracy.’ Compare infra c. 11. §§ 20, 21.
δόξειεν ἂν λύεσθαι καί τιν’ ἔχειν ἀπορίαν, τάχα δὲ κἂν ἀλήθειαν.
This passage has been thought corrupt. Two conjectures have been proposed, 1) εὐπορίαν for ἀπορίαν (but the sense which would be given to εὐπορία is not natural or idiomatic), and 2) the omission of λύεσθαι or λύεσθαι καί, the latter words being thought to be suggested by the mention of ἀπορίαν, or to be a corruption of ἀλήθειαν. There is a want of order in the thought, but the same disorder occurs in a parallel expression (c. 12. § 2), ἔχει γὰρ τον̂τ’ ἀπορίαν καὶ ϕιλοσοϕίαν πολιτικήν. The text may therefore be accepted.
ὥσπερ καὶ τω̂ν μὴ καλω̂ν τοὺς καλούς (διαϕέρειν) ϕασι καὶ τὰ γεγραμμένα διὰ τέχνης τω̂ν ἀληθινω̂ν, τῳ̑ συνη̂χθαι τὰ διεσπαρμἐνα χωρὶς εἰς ἕν, ἐπεὶ κεχωρισμένων γε κάλλιον ἔχειν τον̂ γεγραμμένου τουδὶ μὲν τὸν ὀϕθαλμόν, ἑτέρου δέ τινος ἕτερον μόριον.
The combination of qualities in the multitude is compared to the combination of qualities in the individual: e. g. in a statue or picture of which the features taken separately may be far excelled by others, but when combined make a better portrait, because they are adapted to one another. (Cp. Plat. Rep. iv. 420 C, D, ff.) Thus the multitude may be supposed to have a generalized excellence, and to be superior as a whole. This rather doubtful principle is not of universal application [§ 5]. We must presuppose the many to be good citizens and good men (infra c. 15. § 9).
Contrast the opposite view of Plato (Rep. vi. 493 A, B), in which he describes the multitude under the figure of a great beast, a view which is modified by his apology for them in Rep. vi. 498-500.
Compare the saying of Goethe: ‘Nothing can be more certain than that this great Public, which is so honoured and so despised, is almost always in a state of self-delusion about details, but never or hardly ever about the broad truth (das Ganze).’
Yet we may also make the opposite reflection, that a few wise men when they meet and act together are apt to fall short of the average intelligence of mankind: a Ministry of All the Talents may have less sense than any man in it—a coalition may never coalesce—individuality may be too much for unity; or unity may only be enforced by the strong will of a single person.
ἴσως δὲ νὴ Δία δη̂λον ὅτι περὶ ἐνίων ἀδύνατον. ὁ γὰρ αὐτὸς κἂν ἐπὶ τω̂ν θηρίων ἁρμόσειε λόγος. καίτοι τί διαϕέρουσιν ἔνιοι τω̂ν θηρίων;
‘Assuredly,’ retorts the opponent, or Aristotle himself, struck by an objection which had not previously occurred to him, ‘this principle cannot be true of all men. For it would be a reductio ad absurdum to say that it was true of beasts, and some men are no better than beasts.’
Admitting the objection Aristotle still maintains that his doctrine of ‘collective wisdom’ is true of some men, though not of all. He proceeds to argue that deliberative and judicial functions may be safely granted to the many, and cannot be safely denied to them; but that it would be dangerous to entrust them with high office.
διί τε γὰρ ἀδικίαν καὶ δι’ ἀϕροσύνην τὰ μὲν ἀδικεɩ̂ν ἂν τὰ δ’ ἁμαρτάνειν αὐτούς.
The sentence is an anacoluthon; it has been forgotten that no words such as εἰκός ἐστιν or ἀνάγκη have preceded, and that they cannot be easily gathered from the context.
ἔχουσι συνελθόντες ἱκανὴν αἴσθησιν.
Cp. Nic. Eth. vi. 10. § 2, where the distinction is drawn between σύνεσις ( = αἴσθησις in this passage), which is κριτικὴ μόνον, and ϕρόνησις, which is ἐπιτακτική. And with both places, cp. Thuc. ii. 40, where Pericles, speaking in the name of the Athenian democracy, says, ἤτοι κρίνομέν γε ἢ ἐνθυμούμεθα ὀρθω̂ς τὰ πράγματα.
Aristotle is now stating the other side of the argument:—‘The physician is a better judge than he who is not a physician. And it must be remarked that under the term “physician” is included 1) the higher sort of physician, 2) the apothecary, and 3) the intelligent amateur whether he practises medicine or not. In all of these there exists a knowledge which is not to be found in the many. Apply this principle to the art of politics. Even in the choice of magistrates the well-informed man, whether he be a statesman or not, is better able to judge than the multitude.’ This argument is then refuted in what follows, § 14.
The context is rendered difficult by the correction of the word ‘artist,’ for which Aristotle substitutes ‘one who has knowledge’ (§§ 11, 12). For the distinction between the δημιουργ[Editor: illegible character]ς and the ἀρχιτεκτονικὸς ἰατρὸς cp. Plat. Laws iv. 720, where the doctor, who attends the slaves, is humorously distinguished from the doctor who attends freemen. And for the notion of the ἰδιώτης ἰατρὸς (ὁ πεπαιδευμένος περὶ τὴν τέχνην) cp. Politicus 259 A, ‘εἴ τῴ τις τω̂ν δημοσιευόντων ἰατρω̂ν ἱκανὸς ξυμβουλεύειν ἰδιωτεύων αὐτός, ἀ̑ρ’ οὐκ ἀναγκαɩ̂ον αὐτῳ̑ προσαγορεύεσθαι τοὔνομα τη̂ς τέχνης ταὐτὸν ὅπερ ᾡ̑ συμβουλεύει;’
Aristotle proceeds to argue that there is a judgment of common sense equal, if not superior to that of the artist himself, which is possessed by the many.
Without pretending that the voice of the people is the voice of God, it may be truly said of them, 1) that they are free from the hypercriticism which besets the individual; 2) that they form conclusions on simple grounds; 3) that their moral principles are generally sound; 4) that they are often animated by noble impulses, and are capable of great sacrifices; 5) that they retain their human and national feeling. The intelligent populace at Athens, though changeable as the wind (Thuc. ii. 65; Demosth. 383, ὁ μὲν δη̂μος . . . . . . ὥσπερ ἐν θαλάττῃ πνεν̂μα ἀκατάστατον·) and subject to fits of panic and fanatical fury (Thuc. vi. 27), were also capable of entertaining generous thoughts (Id. iii. 49), and of showing a wise moderation (Id. viii. 97), and in nearly every respect were superior to their oligarchical contemporaries, far less cunning and cruel (Id. iv. 80), and far more willing to make sacrifices (Id. i. 74) for the public interest.
The more general question which is here suggested by Aristotle, § 11, ‘whether the amateur or the artist is the better judge of a work of art or literature’ is also worthy of attention. It is probable that either is a better judge than the other, but of different merits or excellences. The artist e.g. may be expected to be the best judge of points in which a minute knowledge of detail is required; the amateur has the truer sense of proportion because he compares many works of art and is not under the dominion of a single style. He judges by a wider range and is therefore less likely to fall into eccentricity or exclusiveness.
See infra at the beginning of c. 12.
καὶ τὸ τίμημα δὲ πλεɩ̂ον τὸ πάντων τούτων ἢ τὸ τω̂ν καθ’ ἕνα καὶ κατ’ ὀλίγους μεγάλας ἀρχὰς ἀρχόντων.
Aristotle seems here to have fallen into the error of confounding the collective wealth of the state with the wealth of individuals. The former is the wealth of a great number of persons which may be unequally distributed and in infinitesimally small portions among the masses, thus affording no presumption of respectability or education; whereas the wealth of the individual is the guarantee of some at least of the qualities which are required in the good citizen. Cp. infra c. 13. §§ 4, 10.
ἡ δὲ πρώτη λεχθεɩ̂σα ἀπορία κ.τ.λ.
That is to say the certainty that any single individual or class, if dominant, will infringe upon the rights of others renders it indispensable that the law should be above them all. Cp. c. 10. § 1.
According to Bernays (Transl. of Pol. I-III. p. 172) c. 12 and 13 are a second sketch of the same discussion which has been commenced in c. 9-11 and is continued in c. 16 and 17. But though in what follows there is some repetition of what has preceded, e.g. c. 12. §§ 1, 2 and c. 13. § 2 compared with c. 9. §§ 1, 2. c. 13. § 1 and c. 9. §§ 14, 15, and c. 13. § 10 with c. 11. § 2 ff., the resemblances are not sufficient to justify this statement. In c. 13 new elements are introduced, e.g. the discussion on ostracism; and the end of c. 11 in which the supremacy of law is asserted (§ 20) has no immediate connexion with c. 14 in which the forms of monarchy are considered; while the transition from the end of c. 13, in which the claim of the one best man to be a monarch is discussed, is not unnatural.
ἐπεὶ δ’ ἐν πάσαις κ.τ.λ.
Again, as in c. 9. § 6, the apodosis appears to be lost in the length of the sentence. It is also possible to gather it from the words ποίων δ’ ἰσότης κ.τ.λ. (§ 2). The process of reasoning will then be as follows: ‘Seeing that the end of the state is “justice” which is the common good, etc., and is also equality between equals, of whom or what is this equality or inequality?’
δοκεɩ̂ δὲ πα̂σιν . . τοɩ̂ς κατὰ ϕιλοσοϕίαν λόγοις.
Compare Topics i. 14, 105 b. 30, πρὸς μὲν ον̓̂ν ϕιλοσοϕίαν κατ’ ἀλήθειαν περὶ αὐτω̂ν πραγματευτέον, διαλεκτικω̂ς δὲ πρὸς δόξαν.
εἰ γὰρ μα̂λλον τὸ τὶ μέγεθος, καὶ ὅλως ἂν τὸ μέγεθος ἐνάμιλλον εἴη καὶ πρὸς πλον̂τον καὶ πρὸς ἐλευθερίαν. ὥστ’ εἰ πλεɩ̂ον ὁδὶ διαϕέρει κατὰ μέγεθος ἢ όδὶ κατ’ ἀρετήν, καὶ πλεɩ̂ον ὑπερέχει ὅλως ἀρετη̂ς μέγεθος, εἴη ἂν συμβλητὰ πάντα· τοσόνδε γὰρ μέγεθος εἰ κρεɩ̂ττον τοσον̂δε, τοσόνδε δη̂λον ὡς ἴσον.
That is to say, If different qualities can be compared in the concrete, they can be compared in the abstract, and degrees of difference can be compared even when two things differ in kind. If a tall man can be compared with a virtuous, then virtue can be compared with height, and all degrees of height and virtue can be compared. But this is impossible, for they have no common measure. Qualities can only be compared when they have a common relation, such as virtue and wealth have to the state.
εἰ γὰρ μα̂λλον, ‘for if we begin by saying that size in the concrete can be compared with wealth and freedom then we cannot avoid saying the same of size in the abstract: which is absurd.’
The bearing of this argument on the general discussion is as follows: Aristotle is explaining the nature of political equality which can only exist between similar or commensurable qualities and therefore between persons who possess such qualities: in the case of the state for example only between qualities or persons which are essential to the state, not between such as are indifferent, not between flute-playing and virtue, but between virtue and wealth.
ἄνευ τω̂ν προτέρων . . ἄνευ δὲ τούτων.
1) freedom and wealth . . 2) justice and valour.
ἀνάγκη πάσας εἰ̂ναι τὰς τοιαύτας πολιτείας παρεκβάσεις.
In a certain sense even the government of virtue is a perversion, if we could suppose the virtuous to govern for their own interests and to disregard those of others (cp. infra §§ 10, 20). At any rate virtue is not the only element required in a state.
ἡ δὲ χώρα κοινόν.
‘The common or inclusive element of the state,’ ‘an element in which all are concerned’; or, if the phrase be modernized, ‘the land is a great public interest.’
The word is here used nearly as in τὸ κοινὸν = ‘public’ or ‘common’: elsewhere in the sense of ‘comprehensive,’ ‘general,’ (Nic. Eth. ii. 2. § 2); applicable to the larger or more inclusive class, the more popular constitution (supra ii. 6. § 4), the more generally useful branch of knowledge (Rhet. i. 1, 1354 b. 29).
καθ’ ἑκάστην μὲν ον̓̂ν πολιτείαν τω̂ν εἰρημένων ἀναμϕισβήτητος ἡ κρίσις τίνας ἄρχειν δεɩ̂· τοɩ̂ς γὰρ κυρίοις διαϕέρουσιν ἀλλήλων, οἱ̑ον ἡ μὲν τῳ̑ διὰ πλουσίων ἡ δὲ τῳ̑ διὰ τω̂ν σπουδαίων ἀνδρω̂ν εἰ̂ναι, καὶ τω̂ν ἄλλων ἑκάστη τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον. ἀλλ’ ὅμως σκοπον̂μεν, ὅταν περὶ τὸν αὐτὸν ταν̂θ’ ὑπάρχῃ χρόνον, πω̂ς διοριστέον.
‘There is no difficulty in determining who are to be the governing body in an oligarchy or aristocracy or democracy; for the nature of these is really implied in the name. The difficulty arises only when the few and the many and the virtuous are living together in the same city: how are their respective claims to be determined? For any of them, carried out consistently, involves an absurdity.’
εἰ δὴ τὸν ἀριθμὸν εἰ̂εν ὀλίγοι πάμπαν οἱ τὴν ἀρετὴν ἔχοντες, τίνα δεɩ̂ διελεɩ̂ν τὸν τρόπον;
‘How are we to decide between them; or how are we to arrange the state having regard both to virtues and number?’ For διελεɩ̂ν see ii. 2. § 1: also τίνα τρόπον νενέμηνται, iv. 1. § 10.
ἢ τὸ ὀλίγοι πρὸς τὸ ἔργον δεɩ̂ σκοπεɩ̂ν, εἰ δυνατοὶ διοικεɩ̂ν τὴν πόλιν [Editor: illegible character] τοσον̂τοι τὸ πλη̂θος ὥστ’ εἰ̂ναι πόλιν ἐξ αὐτω̂ν;
‘Must we consider their fewness relatively to their duties, and whether they are able to govern a state, or numerous enough to form a state of themselves?’
τὸ ὀλίγοι = ‘the idea of the few,’ like τὸ οἱ̑ς supra c. 9. § 2.
πρὸς τὸ ἔργον may be taken either with δεɩ̂ σκοπεɩ̂ν, or with τὸ ὀλίγοι.
τοσον̂τοι is dependent on εἰ, understood from εἰ δυνατοὶ = ἢ δεɩ̂ σκοπεɩ̂ν εἰ τοσον̂τοι τὸ πλη̂θος εἰσί.
διὸ καὶ πρὸς τὴν ἀπορίαν, ἣν ζητον̂σι καὶ προβάλλουσί τινες, ἐνδέλεται τον̂τον τὸν τρόπον ἀπαντα̂ν. ἀπορον̂σι γάρ τινες πότερον τῳ̑ νομοθέτῃ νομοθετητέον, βουλομένῳ τίθεσθαι τοὺς ὀρθοτάτους νόμους, πρὸς τὸ τω̂ν βελτιόνων συμϕέρον ἢ πρὸς τὸ τω̂ν πλειόνων, ὅταν συμβαίνῃ τὸ λεχθέν. τὸ δ’ ὀρθὸν ληπτέον ἴσως· τὸ δ’ ἴσως ὀρθὸν πρὸς τὸ τη̂ς πόλεως ὅλης συμϕέρον καὶ πρὸς τὸ κοινὸν τὸ τω̂ν πολιτω̂ν.
Aristotle here raises the question whether the laws shall be enacted for the good of all or of a privileged class when several classes exist together in a state. He answers that the laws must be equal, and this equal right, or law, means the principle which conduces to the good of the whole state.
1)* ὅταν συμβαίνῃ τὸ λεχθὲν refers immediately to § 10, which suggests the co-existence of classes in a state, and to § 4, which contains a more formal statement to the same effect.
2) Bernays alters the punctuation by enclosing ἀπορον̂σι . . . πλειόνων in a parenthesis explanatory of τὴν ἀπορίαν. This gives a sufficient sense; but a short clause at the end of a sentence following a long parenthesis is not in the manner of Aristotle. He also refers ὅταν συμβαίνῃ τὸ λεχθὲν to the words τὸ πλη̂θος εἰ̂ναι βέλτιον κ.τ.λ., not ‘when all the elements co-exist,’ but ‘when the whole people is better and richer than the few.’
ὥστε μὴ συμβλητὴν εἰ̂ναι τὴν τω̂ν ἄλλων ἀρετὴν πάντων μηδὲ τὴν δύναμιν αὐτω̂ν τὴν πολιτικὴν πρὸς τὴν ἐκείνων.
The virtue here spoken of seems to be the virtue of the kind attributed by Thucydides viii. 68 to Antiphon, viz. political ability, and the characters who are ‘out of all proportion to other men’ are the master spirits of the world, who make events rather than are made by them, and win, whether with many or with few, such as Themistocles, Pericles, Alexander the great, Caesar, and in modern times a Marlborough, Mirabeau, Napoleon I, Bismarck.
οὐ γὰρ ἐθέλειν αὐτὸν ἄγειν τὴν Ἀργώ.
The legend is preserved by Apollodorus (i. 9. § 19). According to him the ship Argo, speaking with a human voice, refused to take on board Hercules, ϕθεγξαμένη μὴ δύνασθαι ϕέρειν τὸ τούτου βάρος. This agrees with the text of the Politics if the word ἄγειν is taken to mean ‘convey,’ ‘take on board,’ as in Soph. Phil. 901, ὥστε μή μ’ ἄγειν ναύτην ἔτι. Stahr translates wrongly: ‘Hercules would not row with his comrades, because he was so far superior to them in strength.’
τὴν Περιάνδρου Θρασυβούλῳ συμβουλίαν κ.τ.λ.
Cp. Herod. v. 92, who reverses the characters, the advice being given not by Periander to Thrasybulus, but by Thrasybulus to Periander; and Livy i. 54: also Shakes. Rich. II. act iii. sc. 4:—
διὸ καὶ τοὺς ψέγοντας τὴν τυραννίδα καὶ τὴν Περιάνδρου Θρασυβούλῳ συμβουλίαν οὐχ ἁπλω̂ς οἰητέον ὀρθω̂ς ἐπιτιμα̂ν.
Because all governments rest on the principle of self-preservation, and at times extreme measures must be allowed.
ὁ ὀστρακισμὸς τὴν αὐτὴν ἔχει δύναμιν . . τῳ̑ κολούειν.
In this passage there is a doubt about the reading, and also about the construction. Several MSS. read τὸ κωλύειν = ‘have the same effect in respect of putting down the chief citizens.’
If we retain the reading of Bekker’s text, it is doubtful whether τῳ̑ κολούειν 1) is to be taken after τὴν αὐτὴν (Bernays), or 2)* is the dative of the instrument. To the first way of explaining the words it may be objected that τῳ̑ κολούειν must then be referred to the particular instance of the counsel of Periander, whereas ostracism has been just asserted to be general, and to represent the policy of oligarchy and democracy as well as of tyranny. ‘It has the same effect with the “lopping off” the chief citizens.’
It can hardly be supposed that the legislator who instituted ostracism had any definite idea of banishing the one ‘best man’ who was too much for the state. The practice seems to have arisen out of the necessities of party warfare, and may be regarded as an attempt to give stability to the ever-changing politics of a Greek state. It certainly existed as early as the time of Cleisthenes, and is said to have been employed against the adherents of Peisistratus. Every year on a fixed day the people were asked if they would have recourse to it or not. If they approved, a day was appointed on which the vote was taken. To ostracise any citizen not less than 6000 citizens must vote against him. We may readily believe, as Aristotle tells us (§ 23), that ‘instead of looking to the public good, they used ostracism for factious purposes.’ Aristides, according to the well-known legend, was banished because the people were tired of his virtues. Themistocles, the saviour of Hellas, was also ostracised (Thuc. i. 137). The last occasion on which the power was exercised at Athens was against Hyperbolus, who was ostracised by the combined influence of Nicias and Alcibiades. Other states in which the practice prevailed were Argos (v. 3. § 3), Megara, Syracuse, Miletus, Ephesus.
οἱ̑ον Ἀθηναɩ̂οι μὲν περὶ Σαμίους καὶ Χίους καὶ Λεσβίους.
For the Samians, cp. Thuc. i. 116; for the Chians, Thuc. iv. 51; for the Lesbians, Thuc. iii. 10.
ὥστε διὰ τον̂το μὲν οὐδὲν κωλύει τοὺς μονάρχους συμϕωνεɩ̂ν ταɩ̂ς πόλεσιν, εἰ τη̂ς οἰκείας ἀρχη̂ς ὠϕελίμου ταɩ̂ς πόλεσιν οὔσης τον̂το δρω̂σιν.
1)*, ‘as far as the application of this principle of compulsion is concerned, there is nothing to prevent agreement between kings and their subjects, for all governments must have recourse to a similar policy’ (cp. note on § 16). τον̂το δρω̂σιν refers to the whole passage: sc. if they use compulsion for the benefit of the whole state.
Or 2), ‘there is nothing to make the policy of kings differ from that of free states.’ It is an objection, though not a fatal one, to this way of taking the passage that ταɩ̂ς πόλεσιν then occurs in two successive lines in different senses.
κατὰ τὰς ὁμολογουμένας ὑπεροχάς.
The meaning is that where the superiority of a king or government is acknowledged, there is a political justification for getting a rival out of the way.
ἀλλὰ μὴν οὐδ’ ἄρχειν γε τον̂ τοιούτου· παραπλήσιον γὰρ κἂν εἰ τον̂ Διὸς ἄρχειν ἀξιοɩ̂εν, μερίζοντες τὰς ἀρχάς.
See note on text. ‘Nay, more; a man superior to others is like a god, and to claim rule over him would be like claiming to rule over Zeus.’ The words μερίζοντες τὰς ἀρχὰς may refer either 1)* to the Gods or 2) to men; either 1)* ‘as if in making a division of the empire of the Gods’ according to the old legend, they, i.e. the gods, should claim to rule over Zeus; or 2) more generally, ‘as if when persons were distributing offices they should give Zeus an inferior place.’ Cp. Plat. Rep. x. 607 C, ὁ τω̂ν Δία σοϕω̂ν ὄχλος κρατω̂ν, Nic. Eth. vi. 13. § 8, ὅμοιον κἂν εἲ τις τὴν πολιτικὴν ϕαίη ἄρχειν τω̂ν θεω̂ν, and Herod. v. 49, τῳ̑ Διῒ πλούτου πέρι ἐρίζετε: also Plat. Polit. 301 D, 303 B.
Bernays translates μερίζοντες ‘upon the principle of rotation of offices,’ but no such use of μερίζειν occurs.
κτεɩ̂ναι γὰρ οὐ κύριος, εἲ μὴ ἒν τινι βασιλείᾳ, καθάπερ ἐπὶ τω̂ν ἀρχαίων ἐν ταɩ̂ς πολεμικαɩ̂ς ἐξόδοις ἐν χειρὸς νόμῳ.
οὐ κύριος, sc. ὁ βασιλεύς, supplied from ἡ βασιλεία. We have a choice of difficulties in the interpretation of the words which follow. Either 1) ἔν τινι βασιλείᾳ must be explained ‘in a certain exercise of the royal office,’ i.e. when the king is in command of the army. This way of taking the passage gives a good sense and the fact is correct; but such a meaning cannot be extracted from the Greek. Or 2), ‘for a king has no power to inflict death, unless under a certain form of monarchy’; Aristotle, writing in a fragmentary manner, has reverted from the kings of Sparta to monarchy in general. Or 3)*, possibly the words ἔν τινι βασιλείᾳ, bracketed by Bekker, are a clumsy gloss which has crept into the text, intended to show that the remark did not apply to every monarchy, but only to the Spartan. The conjecture of Mr. Bywater, who substitutes ἕνεκα δειλίας for ἔν τινι βασιλείᾳ, though supported by the citation from Homer, is too far removed from the letters of the MSS; and there is no proof that the Spartan kings had the power of putting a soldier to death for cowardice.
ἐν χειρὸς νόμῳ is often translated ‘by martial law.’ But the comparison of passages in Herodotus (e.g. ix. 48) and Polybius (iv. 58. § 9, etc.) shows that the word νόμος is only pleonastic, and that ἐν χειρὸς νόμῳ = ἐν χερσίν, ‘hand to hand,’ or ‘by a sudden blow.’
ὃν δέ κ’ ἐγὼν ἀπάνευθε μάχης κ.τ.λ.
Il. ii. 391-393. These lines which are rightly assigned here to Agamemnon are put into the mouth of Hector in Nic. Eth. iii. 8. § 4.
πὰρ γὰρ ἐμοὶ θάνατος.
These words are not found either in this or any other passage of our Homer, though there is something like them in Iliad, xv. 348: —
The error is probably due, as in Nic. Eth. ii. 9. § 3 and iii. 8. § 4, to a confused recollection of two or more verses. For a similar confusion of two lines of Homer cp. Plat. Rep. 389 E.
ἔχουσι δ’ αὑ̑ται τὴν δύναμιν πα̂σαι παραπλησίαν τυραννικῃ̑· εἰσὶ δ’ ὅμως κατὰ νόμον καὶ πατρικαί.
The MSS. vary greatly: The Milan MS. reads τυραννίσι καὶ κατά, instead of τυραννικῃ̑· εἰσὶ δ’ ὅμως. So Paris 1, 2, but omitting καί: other MSS. preserve traces of the same reading. Others read παραπλησίως τυραννικήν. Out of these Bekker has extracted the Text, in which however ὅμως seems to be unnecessary and to rest on insufficient authority. Susemihl reads τυραννίσιν· εἰσὶ δὲ καὶ κ.τ.λ.
For the distinguishing characteristics of nations, see Book vii. 7. §§ 1-4.
καὶ ἡ ϕυλακὴ δὲ βασιλικὴ καὶ οὐ τυραννικὴ διὰ τὴν αὐτὴν αἰτίαν· οἱ γὰρ πολɩ̂ται ϕυλάττουσιν ὅπλοις τοὺς βασιλεɩ̂ς, τοὺς δὲ τυράννους ξενικόν.
διὰ τὴν αὐτὴν αἰτίαν. ‘Because the form of government is legal.’
The omission of the article before ξενικὸν emphasizes the opposition between οἱ πολɩ̂ται and ξενικὸν—‘their own citizens’ are contrasted with ‘any mercenary body.’
Either on analogy of εὔπατρις,* ‘the base born,’ or possibly ‘the injurer of his country,’ like κακόδουλος, ‘the maltreater of his slaves.’
διὰ γὰρ τὸ τοὺς πρώτους γενέσθαι τον̂ πλήθους εὐεργέτας κατὰ τέχνας ἢ πόλεμον, ἢ διὰ τὸ συναγαγεɩ̂ν ἢ πορίσαι χώραν, ἐγίνοντο βασιλεɩ̂ς ἑκόντων καὶ τοɩ̂ς παραλαμβάνουσι πάτριοι.
Cp. v. 10. §§ 7-9, where royalty is said to be based on merit; and i. 2. § 6, where it is assumed to have arisen from the Patriarchal relation: and for what follows vi. 8. § 20, where the ministers of Public Sacrifices are called Kings or Archons.
ὅπου δ’ ἄξιον εἰπεɩ̂ν εἰ̂ναι βασιλείαν κ.τ.λ.
The kings who became priests retained only the shadow of royalty; but where they held military command beyond the borders, the name might be applied with greater propriety.
ὥστε τὸ σκέμμα σχεδὸν περὶ δυοɩ̂ν ἐστίν, ἓν μὲν πότερον συμϕέρει ταɩ̂ς πόλεσι στρατηγὸν ἀΐδιον εἰ̂ναι, καὶ τον̂τον ἢ κατὰ γένος ἢ κατὰ μέρος, ἢ οὐ συμϕέρει· ἓν δὲ πότερον ἕνα συμϕέρει κύριον εἰ̂ναι πάντων, ἢ οὐ συμϕέρει.
κατὰ μέρος, not ‘by rotation in a fixed order,’ (as in iv. 14. § 4) but more simply, ‘by a succession of one citizen to another.’ It is implied, though not expressed, that they are chosen by vote: cp. supra c. 14. § 5, ἓν μὲν ον̓̂ν τον̂τ’ εἰ̂δος βασιλείας, στρατηγία διὰ βίου· τούτων δ’ αἱ μὲν κατὰ γένος εἰσίν, αἱ δ’ αἱρεταί.
Three MSS. read καθ’ αἵρεσιν instead of κατὰ μέρος. It is more likely that καθ’ αἵρεσιν is a gloss on κατὰ μέρος, than the reverse.
τὸ μὲν ον̓̂ν περὶ τη̂ς τοιαύτης στρατηγίας ἐπισκοπεɩ̂ν νόμων ἔχει μα̂λλον εἰ̂δος ἢ πολιτείας.
‘Is a legal, rather than a constitutional question,’ ‘is to be regarded as a matter of administration.’ εἰ̂δος νόμων μα̂λλον ἢ πολιτείας is an abridgment of εἰ̂δος τον̂ ἐπισκοπεɩ̂ν περὶ τω̂ν νόμων μα̂λλον ἢ πολιτείας.
εἰ̂δος (like ϕύσις i. 8. § 10, νόμος iii. 14. § 4) is pleonastic as in i. 4. § 2, ὁ γὰρ ὑπηρέτης ἐν ὀργάνου εἴδει ἐστίν, ‘has the form or character of an instrument.’
ὥστ’ ἀϕείσθω τὴν πρώτην.
After reducing the different forms of a monarchy to two, he now rejects one of them,—namely, the Lacedaemonian, because the Lacedaemonian kings were only generals for life, and such an office as this might equally exist under any form of government. This is a strange notion; for although the kings of Sparta were not generally distinguished, it can hardly be said with truth that Archidamus or Agesilaus were no more than military commanders.
ἀϕείσθω, sc. τον̂το τὸ εἰ̂δος.
τὴν πρώτην is to be taken adverbially in the sense of ‘to begin with’ or ‘at once’: so τὴν ταχίστην, (Dem.). The phrase also occurs in Xenophon Mem. iii. 6. § 10, περὶ πολέμου συμβουλεύειν τήν γε πρώτην ἐπισχήσομεν: and in Arist. Met. ζ. 12, 1038 a. 35, τοσαν̂τα εἰρήσθω τὴν πρώτην. Aristotle refers to the Lacedaemonian kings again in v. 11. § 2, and to the life generalship, c. 16. § 1, infra.
This passage is closely connected with a similar discussion in Plato’s Politicus 293-295, where the comparative advantages of the wise man and the law are similarly discussed, and the illustration from the physician’s art is also introduced. Cp. also Rhet. i. 1354 a. 28, where Aristotle argues, besides other reasons, that the law is superior to the judge, because the judge decides on the spur of the moment.
μετὰ τὴν τετρήμερον,
sc. ἡμέραν = μετὰ τὴν τετάρτην ἡμέραν. The MSS. vary between τριήμερον and τετρήμερον.
ἀλλ’ ἴσως ἂν ϕαίη τις ὡς ἀντὶ τούτου βουλεύσεται περὶ τω̂ν καθ’ ἕκαστα κάλλιον. ὅτι μὲν τοίνυν ἀνάγκη νομοθέτην αὐτὸν εἰ̂ναι, δη̂λον, καὶ κεɩ̂σθαι νόμους, ἀλλὰ μὴ κυρίους ᾐ̑ παρεκβαίνουσιν, ἐπεὶ περὶ τω̂ν γ’ ἄλλων εἰ̂ναι δεɩ̂ κυρίους.
αὐτόν, sc. τὸν βουλευόμενον, incorrectly translated in the text ‘a king:’ better, ‘whether you call him king or not’ there must be a legislator who will advise for the best about particulars.
ἀλλὰ μὴ κυρίους ᾐ̑ παρεκβαίνουσιν is a qualification of what has preceded:—‘although they have no authority when they err,’ i. e. there must be laws and there must be cases which the laws do not touch, or do not rightly determine. This is one of the many passages in Aristotle’s Politics in which two sides of a question are introduced without being distinguished. The argument would have been clearer if the words ἀλλὰ μὴ . . . δεɩ̂ κυρίους had been omitted. Aristotle concedes to the opponent that there must be a correction of the law by the judgment of individuals. In fact both parties agree 1) that there must be laws made by the legislator; 2) that there must be exceptional cases. But there arises a further question: Are these exceptional cases to be judged of by one or by all?
The supposition contained in the words ἀλλ’ ἴσως . . . κάλλιον is repeated in a more qualified form in the sentence following, ὅτι μὲν τοίνυν . . . κυρίους.
ἀλλ’ ἐστὶν ἡ πόλις ἐκ πολλω̂ν, ὥσπερ ἑστίασις συμϕορητὸς καλλίων μια̂ς καὶ ἁπλη̂ς. διὰ τον̂το καὶ κρίνει ἄμεινον ὄχλος πολλὰ ἢ εἱ̑ς ὁστισον̂ν.
Compare the saying ‘that the House of Commons has more good sense or good taste than any one man in it;’ and again, Burke, ‘Besides the characters of the individuals that compose it, this house has a collective character of its own.’
ἐκεɩ̂ δ’ ἔργον ἅμα πάντας ὀργισθη̂ναι καὶ ἁμαρτεɩ̂ν.
It is true no doubt that the passions of the multitude may sometimes balance one another. But it is also true that a whole multitude may be inflamed by sympathy with each other, and carried away by a groundless suspicion, as in the panic after the mutilation of the Hermae, or the trial of the generals after the battle of Arginusae, or the English Popish Plot, or the witch hunting mania at Salem in Massachusetts, or the French reign of Terror; and commonly in religious persecutions.
αἱρετώτερον ἂν εἴη ταɩ̂ς πόλεσιν ἀριστοκρατία βασιλείας, καὶ μετὰ δυνάμεως καὶ χωρὶς δυνάμεως οὔσης τη̂ς ἀρχη̂ς, ἂν ᾐ̑ λαβεɩ̂ν πλείους ὁμοίους.
That is to say aristocracy, or the rule of several good men, is better than the rule of one—we may leave out the question of power, if only it be possible to find the many equals who will constitute this ‘aristocracy of virtue.’ In other words, the superiority of the aristocracy, who are many, to the king, who is one, does not simply consist in greater strength.
ὁμοίους, ‘equal in virtue to one another,’ an idea which is to be gathered from the mention of ἀριστοκρατία in the preceding clause, and explained in the words which follow, πολλοὺς ὁμοίους πρὸς ἀρετήν, § 11.
ἐντεν̂θέν ποθεν εὔλογον γενέσθαι τὰς ὀλιγαρχίας.
Yet in v. 12. § 14 he repudiates the notion of Plato that the state changes into oligarchy, because the ruling class are lovers of money. Royalty, aristocracy, oligarchy, tyranny, democracy—the order of succession in this passage—may be compared with that of Plato (Rep. viii. and ix)—the perfect state, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, tyranny. The order in which constitutions succeed to one another is discussed in Nic. Eth. viii. 10.
ἐπεὶ δὲ καὶ μείζους εἰ̂ναι συμβέβηκε τὰς πόλεις, ἴσως οὐδὲ ῥᾴδιον ἔτι γίγνεσθαι πολιτείαν ἑτέραν παρὰ δημοκρατίαν.
Here as elsewhere iv. 6. § 5, he accepts democracy not as a good but as a necessity, which arises as soon as wealth begins to flow and tradesmen ‘circulate’ in the agora, vi. 4. § 13; and the numbers of the people become disproportioned to the numbers of the governing class.
ὅμως ἀναγκαɩ̂ον ὑπάρχειν αὐτῳ̑ δύναμιν, ᾐ̑ ϕυλάξει τοὺς νόμους.
Compare what was said above c. 13. § 22, ὥστε διὰ τον̂το κ.τ.λ. that ‘there need be no disagreement between a king and his subjects, because he is sometimes obliged to use force to them.’ Or, according to the other mode of interpreting the passage, ‘there is no difference between a king and a free state because’ &c.
Either 1)* with emphasis ‘so many and no more’; or better 2) with reference to the previous words εἰ̂ναι δὲ τοσαύτην τὴν ἰσχὺν ὥστε ἑκάστου μὲν καὶ ἑνὸς συμπλειόνων κρείττω, τον̂ δὲ πλήθους ἥττω, ‘so many as would not make him dangerous.’
Nearly the whole of this chapter is a series of ἀπορίαι; as in c. 15, Aristotle states, without clearly distinguishing, them.
Yet the στρατηγὸς ἀΐδιος, who in time of peace is deprived of functions, and on the battle-field has arbitrary power, is not really the same with ὁ κατὰ νόμον βασιλεύς.
περὶ Ὀπον̂ντα δὲ κατά τι μέρος (sc. τη̂ς διοικήσεως) ἔλαττον (sc. τη̂ς Ἐπιδάμνου).
‘With a somewhat more limited power than at Epidamnus.’
δοκεɩ̂ δέ τισιν.
Either the construction may be an anacoluthon, or δὲ after δοκεɩ̂ may mark the apodosis.
διόπερ οὐδὲν μα̂λλον ἄρχειν ἢ ἄρχεσθαι δίκαιον. καὶ τὸ ἀνὰ μέρος τοίνυν ὡσαύτως. τον̂το δ’ ἤδη νόμος.
καὶ τὸ ἀνὰ μέρος = καὶ τὸ ἀνὰ μέρος ἄρχειν ὡσαύτως δίκαιον.
Aristotle, taking the view of an opponent of the παμβασιλεία, asserts that equals are entitled to an equal share in the government; there is justice in their ruling and justice in their being ruled: and therefore in their all equally ruling by turns. ‘And here law steps in; for the order of their rule is determined by law.’
ἀλλὰ μὴν ὅσα γε μὴ δοκεɩ̂ δύνασθαι διορίζειν ὁ νόμος, οὐδ’ ἄνθρωπος ἃν δύναιτο γνωρίζειν. ἀλλ’ ἐπίτηδες παιδεύσας ὁ νόμος ἐϕίστησι τὰ λοιπὰ τῃ̑ δικαιοτάτῃ γνώμῃ κρίνειν καὶ διοικεɩ̂ν τοὺς ἄρχοντας. ἔτι δ’ ἐπανορθον̂σθαι δίδωσιν, ὅ τι ἂν δόξῃ πειρωμένοις ἄμεινον εἰ̂ναι τω̂ν κειμένων.
ἀλλὰ μὴν κ.τ.λ. ‘But surely if there are cases which the law cannot determine, then neither can an individual judge of them.’
τὰ λοιπά, what remains over and above law.
The connexion of the whole passage is as follows: Instead of one man ruling with absolute power, the law should rule, and there should be ministers and interpreters of the law. To this it is answered that the interpreter of the law is no more able to decide causes than the law itself. To this again the retort is made, that the law trains up persons who supply what is wanting in the law itself, to the best of their judgment.
ὁ μὲν ον̓̂ν τὸν νόμον κελεύων ἄρχειν δοκεɩ̂ κελεύειν ἄρχειν τὸν θεὸν καὶ τὸν νον̂ν μόνους, ὁ δ’ ἄνθρωπον κελεύων προστίθησι καὶ θηρίον.
This is a reflection on the παμβασιλεύς. The rule of law is the rule of God and Reason: in the rule of the absolute king an element of the beast is included.
The reading of τὸν νον̂ν (instead of τὸν νόμον), which has the greater MS. authority, gives no satisfactory sense because it transposes the natural order of ideas. It has been therefore rejected. Schneider and Bekker, 2nd Edit., who are followed in the text, retain τὸν νόμον in the beginning of the clause and read τὸν θεὸν καὶ τὸν νον̂ν μόνους, a very ingenious and probable emendation, partly derived from a correction νον̂ν which is found in the margin of two or three MSS. instead of θεόν.
ὥστε δη̂λον ὅτι τὸ δίκαιον ζητον̂ντες τὸ μέσον ζητον̂σιν· ὁ γὰρ νόμος τὸ μέσον.
‘And so, because men cannot judge in their own case, but are impelled this way and that, they have recourse to the mean, which is the law.’
ἔτι κυριώτεροι καὶ περὶ κυριωτέρων τω̂ν κατὰ γράμματα νόμων οἱ κατὰ τὰ ἔθη εἰσίν, ὥστε τω̂ν κατὰ γράμματα ἄνθρωπος ἄρχων ἀσϕαλέστερος, ἀλλ’ οὐ τω̂ν κατὰ τὸ ἔθος.
The defects of written law are supplied not only by the judgments of individuals but by tradition and precedent. In any comparison of the judgments of law and of individuals, these have to be reckoned to the credit of law. And in early times this unwritten law is more sacred and important than written. Hence arises an additional argument against the superiority of the individual to the law. For the importance of unwritten law cp. Thuc. ii. 37, τω̂ν τε ἀεὶ ἐν ἀρχῃ̑ ὄντων ἀκροάσει καὶ τω̂ν νόμων καὶ μάλιστα αὐτω̂ν ὅσοι τε ἐπ’ ὠϕελίᾳ τω̂ν ἀδικουμένων κεɩ̂νται καὶ ὅσοι ἄγραϕοι ὄντες αἰσχύνην ὁμολογουμένην ϕέρουσιν, and Rhet. i. 10, 1368 b. 7, λέγω δὲ ἴδιον μὲν καθ’ ὃν γεγραμμένον πολιτεύονται, κοινὸν δὲ ὅσα ἄγραϕα παρὰ πα̂σιν ὁμολογεɩ̂σθαι δοκεɩ̂.
τον̂τον τὸν τρόπον.
Referring to the words which have preceded—κατὰ τὸ πλείονας εἰ̂ναι τοὺς ὑπ’ αὐτον̂ καθισταμένους ἄρχοντας.
In the whole of this passage Aristotle is pleading the cause of the law against absolute monarchy. He shows that the law is not liable to corruption, that its deficiencies are supplied by individuals, that it trains up judges who decide not arbitrarily but according to a rule, that many good men are better than one. But the monarch too must have his ministers; he will surround himself by his friends, and they will have ideas like his own. Thus the two approximate to a certain extent. In either case the rulers must be many and not one. But if so it is better to have the trained subordinates of the law than the favorites of a despot.
εἰ τούτους οἴεται δεɩ̂ν ἄρχειν τοὺς ἴσους καὶ ὁμοίους ἄρχειν οἴεται δεɩ̂ν ὁμοίως.
Even in the παμβασιλεία there is an element of equality. ὁμοίως either 1) ‘equally with himself’; or 2) with a slight play of words ‘after the manner of equals.’
εἰ μὴ τρόπον τινά.
To be taken after ἀμείνων ‘better in a certain manner, i.e. the imaginary and rather absurd case, to which he returns in § 5, of the virtue of the individual being more than equal to the collective virtue of the community.
ἐν ᾡ̑ πέϕυκε [καὶ ἓν] ἐγγίνεσθαι πλη̂θος πολεμικόν.
The reading of Bekker, καὶ ἕν, which is wanting in the best MSS. and is omitted by Bernays, may have arisen out of the termination of πέϕυκεν. If they are retained the meaning will be ‘in which there is likewise a single’ or ‘compact body, defined by their all carrying arms’ (ii. 6. § 16, etc.) as other forms of government by virtue, wealth, etc.
κατὰ νόμον τὸν κατ’ ἀξίαν διανέμοντα τοɩ̂ς εὐπόροις τὰς ἀρχάς.
The citizens of a polity are here called εὔποροι, ‘respectable’ or ‘upper class,’ though a comparatively low qualification is required of them (iv. 3. § 1; 9. § 3). They are ‘the hoplites’ (ii. 6. § 16) who are also elsewhere called εὔποροι (vi. 7. § 1). τοɩ̂ς εὐπόροις is found in the better MSS.: al. ἀπόροις.
οὐ μόνον . . . ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὸ πρότερον λεχθέν.
‘He has a right to rule not only on the general ground which is put forward by all governments, but also upon the principle which we maintain, that he is superior in virtue.’
ἄρχεσθαι κατὰ μέρος· οὐ γὰρ πέϕυκε τὸ μέρος ὑπερέχειν τον̂ παντός, τῳ̑ δὲ τηλικαύτην ὑπερβολὴν ἔχοντι τον̂το συμβέβηκεν.
‘This miraculous being cannot be asked to be a subject in turn or in part, for he is a whole, and the whole cannot be ruled by the part.’ The double meaning of μέρος is lost in English. The idealization of the whole or the identification of the perfect man with a whole of virtue is strange. Cp. Nic. Eth. viii. 10. § 2. τον̂το = τὸ εἰ̂ναι πα̂ν.
Bekker’s insertion of καὶ ἄρχειν after ἄρχεσθαι (ed. sec.) is unnecessary. The idea is already implied in the previous words. Under any of the three forms of government, the virtue of obedience is required in some, of command in others.
ἐν δὲ τοɩ̂ς πρώτοις ἐδείχθη λόγοις ὅτι τὴν αὐτὴν ἀναγκαɩ̂ον ἀνδρὸς ἀρετὴν εἰ̂ναι καὶ πολίτου τη̂ς πόλεως τη̂ς ἀρίστης.
The views of Aristotle respecting the relation of the good citizen to the good man may be drawn out as follows:—
1) The good citizen is not the same with the good man in an ordinary state, because his virtue is relative to the constitution (c. 4. § 3).
2) But in the perfect state he is the same: and this appears to be upon the whole the principal conclusion (c. 18. § 1, and iv. 7. § 2).
3) Yet even in the perfect state the citizens cannot all conform to a single type of perfection; for they have special duties to perform and special virtues by which they perform them (c. 4. §§ 5, 6).
4) It is therefore the good ruler who is really to be identified with the good man (§ 7; also i. 13. § 8, where the subject is introduced for the first time).
5) And still a ‘grain of a scruple may be made’; for if the good ruler be merely a ruler, the private citizen who knows both how to rule and how to obey will have more complete virtue.
6) And therefore in the perfect state the citizens should rule and be ruled by turns (§ 11), cp. vii. c. 9.
This seems to be the result of many scattered and rather indistinct observations made from different points of view and not arranged in a clear logical order.
ἀνάγκη δὴ τὸν μέλλοντα περὶ αὐτη̂ς ποιήσασθαι τὴν προσήκουσαν σκέψιν.
These words are removed from the end of this book by Bekker, who in his Second Edition adopts the altered arrangement of the books. See Essay on the Structure of Aristotle’s Writings.
[* ]δεισόζου = stinking; cp. Suidas, s. v. δεισαλέος:—δεισαλέος, κοπρώδης. δεɩ̂σα γὰρ ἡ κόπρος.