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BOOK VII. - 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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Bernays (Die Dialoge des Aristoteles, p. 69 ff.) has drawn attention to the peculiar style of the opening chapters (1, 2, 3) of this book, which he supposes to be taken from some Aristotelian dialogue. (See Essay on Structure of Aristotelian Writings.) The passage is certainly remarkable for a flow and eloquence which are not common in Aristotle. But though rare, there are other traces of grace and elevation of style to be discovered in the Politics: e.g. in the discussion about education (viii. c. 3-5), where the writer seems to derive inspiration from his subject; in the introduction to the criticism on the forms of government ii. c. 1; parts of ii. c. 5, especially § 11, are easy and flowing; the descriptions of the middle class citizen iv. c. 11; of the tyrant v. c. 11; and of the city vii. cc. 11, 12, are graphic and striking. There are also several passages in the Nicomachean Ethics as well as many fine expressions in which beauty of style shines through the logical analysis, e. g. Eth. i. 10. § 14; c. 10. § 12, ὅμως δὲ καὶ . . μεγαλόψυχος; ix. 4. §§ 3-6: x. 8. §§ 7, 8. If we could suppose these passages to be a fair sample of any complete writing of Aristotle, we could better understand why his style was so highly praised by Cicero (Acad. ii. 38), and other writers.
ἀδήλου γὰρ ὄντος τούτου καὶ τὴν ἀρίστην ἀναγκαɩ̂ον ἄδηλον εἰ̂ναι πολιτείαν.
‘For the best life may be expected to show us the best state.’
ἄριστα γὰρ πράττειν προσήκει τοὺς ἄριστα πολιτευομένους ἐκ τω̂ν ὑπαρχόντων αὐτοɩ̂ς, ἐὰν μή τι γίγνηται παράλογον.
ἐκ τω̂ν ὑπαρχόντων is to be taken closely with πολιτευομένους. Not ‘they lead the best life, as far as their conditions of life admit, who are governed in the best manner:’ but ‘they lead the best life who have the best form of government possible under their conditions of life.’
The qualification ἐκ τω̂ν ὑπαρχόντων, though not mentioned in the first sentence, naturally occurs to the mind of Aristotle, who thinks of life under the conditions of life. Cp. infra § 13, νɩ̂ν δ’ ὑποκείσθω τοσον̂τον, ὅτι βίος μὲν ἄριστος, καὶ χωρὶς ἑκάστῳ καὶ κοινῃ̑ ταɩ̂ς πόλεσιν, ὁ μετ’ ἀρετη̂ς κεχορηγημένης ἐπὶ τοσον̂τον ὥστε μετέχειν τω̂ν κατ’ ἀρετὴν πράξεων.
Aristotle adds a further qualification ἐὰν μή τι γίγνηται παράλογον: as we might say without much meaning and almost as a façon de parler, ‘under ordinary circumstances.’
νομίσαντας ον̓̂ν ἱκανω̂ς πολλὰ λέγεσθαι καὶ τω̂ν ἐν τοɩ̂ς ἐξωτερικοɩ̂ς λόγοις περὶ τη̂ς ἀρίστης ζωη̂ς, καὶ νν̂ν χρηστέον αὐτοɩ̂ς. ὡς ἀληθω̂ς γὰρ πρός γε μίαν διαίρεσιν οὐδεὶς ἀμϕισβητήσειεν ἂν ὡς οὐ τριω̂ν οὐσω̂ν μερίδων, τω̂ν τε ἐκτὸς καὶ τω̂ν ἐν τῳ̑ σώματι καὶ τω̂ν ἐν τῃ̑ ψυχῃ̑, πάντα ταν̂τα ὑπάρχειν τοɩ̂ς μακαρίοις δεɩ̂.
καὶ τω̂ν is partitive, ‘enough has been said among, or in, the things which have been said.’
ἐν τοɩ̂ς ἐξωτερικοɩ̂ς λόγοις. ‘Popular writings in general,’ whether those of Aristotle or of others, containing opinions or distinctions which were generally accepted. The threefold division of goods, into goods of the body, goods of the soul, and external goods, here said to be found in the ἐξωτερικοὶ λόγοι, is again mentioned in Rhet. i. 5. § 4, 1360 a. 25, and would seem to have been a received notion not peculiar to Aristotle. Cp. Nic. Eth. i. 8. § 2, νενεμημένων δὴ τω̂ν ἀγαθω̂ν τριχῃ̑, καὶ τω̂ν μὲν ἐκτὸς λεγομένων, τω̂ν δὲ περὶ ψυχὴν καὶ σω̂μα, τὰ περὶ ψυχὴν κυριώτατα λέγομεν καὶ μάλιστα ἀγαθά· τὰς δὲ πράξεις καὶ τὰς ἐνεργείας τὰς ψυχικὰς περὶ ψυχὴν τίθεμεν. ὥστε καλω̂ς ἂν λέγοιτο κατά γε ταύτην τὴν δόξαν παλαιὰν ον̓̂σαν καὶ ὁμολογουμένην ὑπὸ τω̂ν ϕιλοσοϕούντων. The λόγοι ἐξωτερικοὶ are alluded to in the same manner and nearly in the same words by Aristotle, Nic. Eth. i. 13. § 9. They are opposed to λόγοι κατὰ ϕιλοσοϕίαν Eud. Eth. 1217 b. 22.
τριω̂ν οὐσω̂ν μερίδων, sc. τω̂ν ἀγαθω̂ν, which is somewhat strangely omitted. The clause which follows τω̂ν τε ἐκτὸς κ.τ.λ., is either dependent on these words, or in apposition with them.
The virtues here mentioned are the four cardinal virtues of Plato (Rep. iv. 428), who calls ϕρόνησις by the term σοϕία, making no such distinction between σοϕία and ϕρόνησις as Aristotle afterwards introduced (Nic. Eth. vi.).
τοὺς ϕιλτάτους ϕίλους.
ϕίλους is bracketed by Bekker in his second edition. But why object to the pleonasm in a rhetorical passage?
ἀλλὰ ταν̂τα μὲν λεγόμενα ὥσπερ πάντες ἂν συγχωρήσειαν, διαϕέρονται δ’ ἐν τῳ̑ ποσῳ̑ καὶ ταɩ̂ς ὑπεροχαɩ̂ς.
ὥσπερ is bracketed* by Bekker in his second edition, but without reason. If retained it may either be construed with ἂν συγχωρήσειαν, ‘as all would agree in these things the moment they are uttered, so on the other hand they differ’ etc.; or ὥσπερ may be a qualification of πάντες, ‘in a manner every one’ (Schlosser, Bonitz s.v.).
διαϕέρονται δ’ ἐν τῳ̑ ποσῳ̑ καὶ ταɩ̂ς ὑπεροχαɩ̂ς.
Cp. infra § 8, κατὰ τὴν ὑπεροχὴν ἥνπερ εἴληϕε διάστασιν.
‘Virtue can never be in excess, and he who has the most virtue is the best of men and the happiest; for happiness consists in virtue provided with sufficient means or instruments of good action; and this principle applies equally to individuals and to states, and is the foundation both of ethics and of politics.’
The proof that external goods are inferior to the goods of the soul is twofold:
1) διὰ τω̂ν ἔργων, from the fact that the former are acquired by the latter and not vice versâ.
2) κατὰ τὸν λόγον σκοπουμένοις, from reason, i. e. the nature of things, because external goods, being an instrument, have a limit; of the goods of the soul there is no limit.
On the antithesis of facts and reason and the connexion between them in Aristotle, cp. note on i. 5. § 1.
τω̂ν δὲ περὶ ψυχὴν ἕκαστον ἀγαθω̂ν, ὅσῳπερ ἂν ὑπερβάλλῃ, τοσούτῳ μα̂λλον χρήσιμον εἰ̂ναι.
Yet this is only true of the goods of the soul in their most general sense; a man cannot have too much justice, or wisdom, or intelligence, but he may have too much memory or too much imagination, and perhaps even too much courage or liberality. He cannot have too much of the highest, but he may have too much of the lower intellectual and moral qualities. Cp. Ethics ii. 6. § 17 where Aristotle, after defining virtue as a μεσότης, is careful to explain that it is also an ἀκρότης.
ὅλως τε δη̂λον ὡς ἀκολουθεɩ̂ν ϕήσομεν τὴν διάθεσιν τὴν ἀρίστην ἑκάστου πράγματος πρὸς ἄλληλα κατὰ τὴν ὑπεροχήν, ἥνπερ εἴληϕε διάστασιν ὡ̑ν ϕαμὲν αὐτὰς εἰ̂ναι διαθέσεις ταύτας.
The general meaning of this passage is simple enough. ‘If one thing is superior to another, the best state of that thing is superior to the best state of the other.’ But an awkwardness is caused by the insertion of διάστασιν, after the relative ἥνπερ in apposition with ὑπεροχήν. ‘According to the excess or interval which exists between the different states of things.’ The subject of εἴληϕε is the antecedent of ὡ̑ν, i. e. πράγματα, supplied from έκάστου πράγματος.
Bekker, following the old translation ‘sortita est,’ reads εἴληχε for εἴληϕε in his second edition. The change makes no real difference in the sense.
ἔτι δὲ τη̂ς ψυχη̂ς ἕνεκεν ταν̂τα πέϕυκεν αἱρετὰ καὶ δεɩ̂ πάντας αἱρεɩ̂σθαι τοὺς εν̓̂ ϕρονον̂ντας, ἀλλ’ οὐκ ἐκείνων ἕνεκεν τὴν ψυχήν.
Cp. Matth. xvi. 26, τί γὰρ ὠϕεληθήσεται ἄνθρωπος ἐὰν τὸν κόσμον ὅλον κερδήσῃ τὴν δὲ ψυχὴν αὐτον̂ ζημιωθῃ̑;
μάρτυρι τῳ̑ θεῳ̑ χρωμένοις.
Cp. Nic. Eth. vii. 14. § 8, Διὸ ὁ θεὸς ἀεὶ μίαν καὶ ἁπλη̂ν χαίρει ἡδονήν· οὐ γὰρ μόνον κινήσεώς ἐστιν ἐνέργεια ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀκινησίας καὶ ἡδονὴ μα̂λλον ἐν ἠρεμίᾳ ἐστὶν ἢ ἐν κινήσει: also Ib. x. 8. § 7, ὥστε ἡ τον̂ θεον̂ ἐνέργεια, μακαριότητι διαϕέρουσα, θεωρητικὴ ἂν εἴη: and Metaph. xi. c. 7, 1072 b. 26, ἡ γὰρ νον̂ ἐνέργεια ζωή, ἐκεɩ̂νος δὲ (sc. ὁ θεὸς) ἡ ἐνέργεια· ἐνέργεια δὲ ἡ καθ’ αὑτὴν ἐκείνου ζωὴ ἀρίστη καὶ ἀΐδιος.
ἐχόμενον δ’ ἐστὶ καὶ τω̂ν αὐτω̂ν λόγων δεόμενον καὶ πόλιν εὐδαίμονα τὴν ἀρίστην εἰ̂ναι καὶ πράττουσαν καλω̂ς.
The words πράττουσαν καλω̂ς may be taken either with εὐδαίμονα or with τὴν ἀρίστην. Either 1)* ‘the happy state is that which is (morally) best, and which does rightly’: or 2) ‘the happy state and that which does rightly is the best’: or 3) (and this though not the only allowable rendering of the passage probably has the most point) ‘the best state and that which acts rightly is happy,’ as God has been said to be happy in the previous sentence. The last words πράττουσαν καλω̂ς are ambiguous, including both our own ‘doing well,’ and ‘faring well.’ The argument is that as God is happy in his own nature so the state can be happy only so far as it partakes of virtue or wisdom.
ἀνδρία δὲ πόλεως καὶ δικαιοσύνη καὶ ϕρόνησις τὴν αὐτὴν ἔχει δύναμιν καὶ μορϕήν, ὡ̑ν μετασχὼν ἕκαστος τω̂ν ἀνθρώπων λέγεται δίκαιος καὶ ϕρόνιμος καὶ σώϕρων.
τὴν αὐτὴν δύναμιν, sc. ἐκείνοις, to be supplied before ὡ̑ν μετασχών, ‘with that power or force which each man partakes of when he is called just and temperate and wise.’ Cp. for construction supra § 8.
Bekker, in his second edition (after Coraes), inserts καὶ σωϕροσύνη after ϕρόνησις, and ἀνδρεɩ̂ος καὶ before δίκαιος to make the passage symmetrical; but there is no reason to expect this exact symmetry.
έτέρας γάρ ἐστιν ἔργον σχολη̂ς ταν̂τα.
Lit. ‘For this is the business of another time of leisure,’ or ‘of another time when we shall be at leisure,’ or*, ‘of another discussion.’ Yet he returns to the subject at the beginning of the next chapter. The word σχολὴ is translated ‘discussion’ in this passage by Stahr, and so explained in Liddell and Scott’s Lexicon. It is found in this sense in the Laws of Plato, 820 C, and perhaps in Arist. Polit. v. 11. § 5.
ἐπὶ τη̂ς νν̂ν μεθόδου.
‘Enquiry,’ rather than ‘treatise.’ No reference is made in the Politics to the whole work as a book.
It has been already said, c. 1. § 11, not exactly that the happiness of the state is the same as that of the individual, but that they can be shown to be the same by the same kind of arguments; and again, § 13, the best life for both is declared to be the life of virtue, furnished sufficiently with the means of performing virtuous actions; and in § 14 he proposes to defer matters of controversy for the present. But at the beginning of the second chapter, as if he were dissatisfied with his conclusion, he resumes the question, which has been already in a manner briefly determined, and as if he had forgotten the intention to defer it. There appears to be a latent incongruity even in this rhetorical passage.
It has been thought by Susemihl that c. 1. § 11, ἐχόμενον δ’ ἐστὶ καὶ τω̂ν αὐτω̂ν λόγων δεόμενον κ.τ.λ. is another form of what follows, and that if c. 1. §§ 11, 12 be omitted the connexion of c. 1 and c. 2 would be restored. But the similarity of §§ 11, 12 in c. 1 with c. 2 is not very close; and the difference of style in the two chapters remains as striking as ever.
The analogy of the individual and the state is drawn out at length in the Republic of Plato, iv. 435 ff.
εἴτε πα̂σιν ὄντος αἱρετον̂ κοινωνεɩ̂ν πόλεως εἴτε καὶ τισὶ μὲν μὴ τοɩ̂ς δὲ πλείστοις.
‘Whether it be a democracy or a timocracy.’ The remark is parenthetical, and is not further expanded.
ἐπεὶ δὲ τη̂ς πολιτικη̂ς διανοίας καὶ θεωρίας τον̂τ’ ἐστὶν ἔργον, ἀλλ’ οὐ τὸ περὶ ἕκαστον αἱρετόν, ἡμεɩ̂ς δὲ ταύτην προῃρήμεθα νν̂ν τὴν σκέψιν, ἐκεɩ̂νο μὲν πάρεργον ἂν εἴη τον̂το δ’ ἔργον τη̂ς μεθόδου ταύτης.
ταυτήν, sc. σκέψιν πολιτικὴν supplied from πολιτικη̂ς.
ἐκεɩ̂νο, sc. the question, ‘which is the more eligible life?’
τον̂το, sc. the question, ‘which is the best state?’ Cp. Nic. Eth. i. 2. § 8.
ἀμϕισβητεɩ̂ται . . . πότερον ὁ πολιτικὸς καὶ πρακτικὸς βίος αἱρετὸς ἢ μα̂λλον ὁ πάντων τω̂ν ἐκτὸς ἀπολελυμένος, οἱ̑ον θεωρητικός τις.
Cp. Nic. Eth. x. 7, where the relative value of the two kinds of life is fully discussed.
ἀνάγκη γὰρ τόν τε εν̓̂ ϕρονον̂ντα πρὸς τὸν βελτίω σκοπὸν συντάττεσθαι καὶ τω̂ν ἀνθρώπων ἕκαστον καὶ κοινῃ̑ τὴν πολιτείν.
Yet Aristotle does not show how the two lives of action and contemplation are to be transferred to the sphere of politics, the parallel which he sets over against them in this passage being only the life of the tyrant and the life of the private individual. At § 16 he opposes the state in activity to the state in isolation; and this is perhaps the half-expressed contrast which is floating before his mind.
νομίζουσι δ’ οἱ μὲν τὸ τω̂ν πέλας ἄρχειν δεσποτικω̂ς μὲν γιγνόμενον μετ’ ἀδικίας τινὸς εἰ̂ναι τη̂ς μεγίστης, πολιτικω̂ς δὲ τὸ μὲν ἄδικον οὐκ ἔχειν, ἐμπόδιον δὲ ἔχειν τῃ̑ περὶ αὐτὸν εὐημερίᾳ.
ἐμπόδιον δὲ ἔχειν, ‘to contain an impediment.’ The article may be supplied, if necessary from τὸ μὲν ἄδικον.
ὥσπερ ἐν Λακεδαίμονι καὶ Κρήτῃ πρὸς τοὺς πολέμους συντέτακται σχεδὸν ἥ τε παιδεία καὶ τὸ τω̂ν νόμων πλη̂θος.
Cp. Plato’s Laws, bk. i. 630 ff., where the principle that the laws of nations should have some higher object than success in war is energetically maintained, and for the approval of these sentiments by Aristotle, supra, ii. 9. § 34.
καθάπερ ἐν Καρχηδόνι ϕασὶ τὸν ἐκ τω̂ν κρίκων κόσμον λαμβάνειν.
It may be instructive and is certainly amusing to remark that William de Moerbek either reading κρίνων from κρίνον, ‘a lily,’ or confusing κρίνων and κρίκων, translated ‘lilia.’
ἐν δὲ Σκύθαις οὐκ ἐξη̂ν πίνειν ἐν ἑορτῃ̑ τινὶ σκύϕον περιϕερόμενον τῳ̑ μηθένα ἀπεκταγκότι πολέμιον.
Cp. Hdt. iv. 66, where it is said that once in every year the governor of each district mixes a bowl of wine from which those only may drink who have captured enemies.
The accusative σκύϕον περιϕερόμενον may be regarded as an accusative absolute, assisted by the verb of cognate signification, ‘when the cup was brought round.’
Here is a beginning of national and international morality. The question whether the contemplative or the practical life is the superior was discussed in Nic. Eth. x. c. 7, but entirely with reference to the individual. In this passage an analogous question is raised concerning the state. May not an individual find within himself the best kind of action?—May not the state, though isolated and self-centred, lead a true political life? These two questions to us appear distinct; but they are very closely connected in the mind of Aristotle, to whom the individual is the image of the state.
The isolated life of the state is suggested as a possibility by Aristotle. But he is quite aware that all states have relations to their neighbours which they cannot afford to neglect. Cp. ii. 6. § 7; c. 7. § 14.
ἀλλὰ τὸ πρὸς τον̂το θηρευτόν.
Cp. in i. 7. § 5, οἱ̑ον ἡ δικαία, and infra c. 14. § 21.
καίτοι τάχ’ ἂν ὑπολάβοι τις τούτων οὕτω διωρισμένων ὅτι τὸ κύριον εἰ̂ναι πάντων ἄριστον· οὕτω γὰρ ἂν πλείστων καὶ καλλίστων κύριος εἴη πράξεων. ὥστε οὐ δεɩ̂ τὸν δυνάμενον ἄρχειν παριέναι τῳ̑ πλησίον, ἀλλὰ μα̂λλον ἀϕαιρεɩ̂σθαι, καὶ μήτε πατέρα παίδων μήτε παɩ̂δας πατρὸς μήθ’ ὅλως ϕίλον ϕίλου μηθένα ὑπολογεɩ̂ν μηδὲ πρὸς τον̂το ϕροντίζειν· τὸ γὰρ ἄριστον αἱρετώτατον.
‘It is argued by some that power gives the opportunity for virtue, and if so, the attainment of power will be the attainment of virtue. But power in the higher sense implies the qualities which enable a man to make the true use of it, and these he will not gain but lose by violating the equality which nature prescribes.’ Compare the notion of Thrasymachus (Plat. Rep. i.) that justice is the interest of the superior and supra, note on i. 6. § 3; also the thesis maintained by Callicles (Gorgias 484 ff.) that the tyrant is wisest and best and the refutation of this notion by Socrates.
πρὸς τον̂το, sc. πρὸς τὸ ὑπολογεɩ̂ν παίδων, κ.τ.λ.
μὴ διαϕέροντι τοσον̂τον ὅσον ἀνὴρ γυναικὸς ἢ πατὴρ τέκνων ἢ δεσπότης δούλων.
These family relations are chosen as types of government answering to various kinds of rule, aristocratical, royal, tyrannical (cp. Nic. Eth. viii. 10).
Aristotle means to say that a man is harmed by ruling over others unless he have a right to rule; but this right can be given only by a natural superiority.
τοɩ̂ς γὰρ ὁμοίοις τὸ καλὸν καὶ τὸ δίκαιον ἐν τῳ̑ μέρει.
Either 1) ‘For equals to share in the honourable is just,’ or 2)* ‘For to equals the honourable and the just consists in all having a turn.’
ἐνδέχεται γὰρ κατὰ μέρη καὶ τον̂το συμβαίνειν.
καὶ τον̂το = οὐκ ἀπρακτεɩ̂ν; or rather some positive idea which is to be elicited from these words. ‘There may be in a state internal as well as external activity.’
ὁμοίως δὲ τον̂το ὑπάρχει καὶ καθ’ ἑνὸς ὁτουον̂ν τω̂ν ἀνθρώπων.
‘Like the state the individual may be isolated, yet he may have many thoughts and powers energizing within him.’
σχολῃ̑ γὰρ ἂν ὁ θεὸς ἔχοι καλω̂ς καὶ πα̂ς ὁ κόσμος οἱ̑ς οὐκ εἰσὶν ἐξωτερικαὶ πράξεις παρὰ τὰς οἰκείας τὰς αὐτω̂ν.
i.e. ‘were happiness not possible in isolation.’ Cp. Nic. Eth. ix. 4. § 4, ἔχει γὰρ καὶ νν̂ν ὁ θεὸς τἀγαθὸν ἀλλ’ ὢν ὅτι ποτ’ ἐστίν; ib. x. 8. § 7, quoted supra, c. 1. § 10.
καὶ τοɩ̂ς ἀνθρώποις.
There is no reason for bracketing these words as Bekker has done in his second edition; = ‘mankind generally.’ Cp. supra c. 2. § 17, where πόλεις are joined with γένος ἀνθρώπων.
‘About these general questions.’
περὶ τὰς ἄλλας πολιτείας κ.τ.λ.
‘Other than the best.’ These words seem most naturally to refer to Books iv, v, and vi, and are therefore inconsistent with the altered order of the books. It is impossible to believe with Hildenbrand and Teichmüller that Book ii., in which Aristotle treats not of different forms of government, but of certain theoretical or historical constitutions, furnishes a sufficient antecedent for these words. (See Susemihl’s note, 749, vol. ii. p. 180.)
περὶ τη̂ς μελλούσης κατ’ εὐχὴν συνεστάναι πόλεως.
Compare iv. 1. § 3, ὥστε δη̂λον ὅτι καὶ πολιτείαν τη̂ς αὐτη̂ς ἐστὶν ἐπιστήμης τὴν ἀρίστην θεωρη̂σαι τίς ἐστι, καὶ ποία τις ἂν ον̓̂σα μάλιστ’ εἴη κατ’ εὐχήν, μηδενὸς ἐμποδίζοντος τω̂ν ἐκτός. Aristotle appears to start with a consideration of the perfect state; but in attempting to describe the conditions of it he seems to forget his higher purpose. Unless it may be supposed that the Politics is an unfinished work.
τὴν οἰκείαν ὕλην.
= τὰς ὑποθέσεις, the conditions mentioned in § 1.
ἔστι γάρ τι καὶ πόλεως ἔργον, ὥστε τὴν δυναμένην τον̂το μάλιστ’ ἀποτελεɩ̂ν, ταύτην οἰητέον εἰ̂ναι μεγίστην, οἱ̑ον Ἱπποκράτην οὐκ ἄνθρωπον ἀλλ’ ἰατρὸν εἰ̂ναι μείζω ϕήσειεν ἄν τις τον̂ διαϕέροντος κατὰ τὸ μέγεθος τον̂ σώματος.
‘That city is the greatest, not which is numerically largest, but which is best adapted to its end; just as Hippocrates is greater, not as a man but as a physician, than somebody else who is taller.’ The great city must have the qualities suited to a city, just as the great Hippocrates must have the qualities, not of a tall man, but of a physician. It is the accident of a city that it is populous, just as it is the accident of Hippocrates that he is tall.
ὁ δὲ λίαν ὑπερβάλλων ἀριθμὸς οὐ δύναται μετέχειν τάξεως· θείας γὰρ δὴ τον̂το δυνάμεως ἔργον, ἥτις καὶ τόδε συνέχει τὸ πα̂ν· ἐπεὶ τό γε καλὸν ἐν πλήθει καὶ μεγέθει εἴωθε γίνεσθαι. διὸ καὶ πόλιν ἡ̑ς μετὰ μεγέθους ὁ λεχθεὶς ὅρος ὑπάρχει, ταύτην εἰ̂ναι καλλίστην ἀναγκαɩ̂ον.
The connexion is as follows: ‘The divine power which holds together the universe can alone give order to infinity. For beauty consists in number and magnitude; wherefore that city in which magnitude is combined with the principle of order is to be deemed the fairest.’
In this and similar passages we may note mingling with Pythagorean fancies, a true sense that proportion is the first principle of beauty. Cp. Metaph. xii. 8. § 26, 1074 b. 1, παραδέδοται δὲ παρὰ τω̂ν ἀρχαίων καὶ παμπαλαίων ἐν μύθου σχήματι καταλελειμμένα τοɩ̂ς ὕστερον ὅτι θεοί τέ εἰσιν οὑ̑τοι καὶ περιέχει τὸ θεɩ̂ον τὴν ὅλην ϕύσιν· τὰ δὲ λοιπὰ μυθικω̂ς ἤδη προση̂κται πρὸς τὴν πειθὼ τω̂ν πολλω̂ν καὶ πρὸς τὴν εἰς τοὺς νόμους καὶ τὸ συμϕέρον χρη̂σιν.
τον̂το refers to τάξεως, but is neuter because it is attracted by ἔργον.
ὁ λεχθεὶς ὅρος, ‘the above-mentioned principle,’ sc. εὐταξία.
διὸ πρώτην μὲν εἰ̂ναι πόλιν ἀναγκαɩ̂ον τὴν ἐκ τοσούτου πλήθους ὃ πρω̂τον πλη̂θος αὔταρκες πρὸς τὸ εν̓̂ ζη̂ν ἐστὶ κατὰ τὴν πολιτικὴν κοινωνίαν.
διὸ refers not to the clause immediately preceding but to the principal idea of the sentence, contained in the words ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ πόλις, ἡ μὲν ἐξ ὀλίγων λίαν οὐκ αὐτάρκης κ.τ.λ. Cp. Nic. Eth. ix. 10. § 3, οὔτε γὰρ ἐκ δέκα ἀνθρώπων γένοιτ’ ἂν πόλις, οὔτ’ ἐκ δέκα μυριάδων ἔτι πόλις ἐστίν.
πρώτην and πρω̂τον. ‘We then first have a state when we first have a sufficient number.’ πρω̂τον may be either adjective or adverb.
κατὰ τὴν πολιτικὴν κοινωνίαν. ‘A good life according to the requirements of the political community,’ i. e. the life of a freeman and citizen.
εἰ̂ναι μείζω πόλιν.
μείζω is unnecessarily bracketed by Bekker in his 2nd edition. The point is as follows: ‘There may be also a greater city than is required by the limit of self sufficiency, but this increase is not unlimited.’ He has said above (§ 4) ‘that the more numerous city is not necessarily the greater,’ but in this case it is or may be.
εἰσὶ γὰρ αἱ πράξεις τη̂ς πόλεως τω̂ν μὲν ἀρχόντων, τω̂ν δ’ ἀρχομένων.
The πράξεις, or actions of a state, are the actions of two classes which act upon each other, the governors and the governed. Cp. i. 5. § 3, ὅπου δὲ τὸ μὲν ἄρχει τὸ δ’ ἄρχεται ἐστί τι τούτων ἔργον.
ἀναγκαɩ̂ον γνωρίζειν ἀλλήλους.
Cp. Plat. Laws v. 738 D, E, οὑ̑ μεɩ̂ζον οὐδὲν πόλει ἀγαθὸν ἢ γνωρίμους αὐτοὺς (sc. τοὺς πολίτας) αὑτοɩ̂ς εἰ̂ναι. Ὅπου γὰρ μὴ ϕω̂ς ἀλλήλοις ἐστὶν ἀλλήλων ἐν τοɩ̂ς τρόποις ἀλλὰ σκότος, οὔτ’ ἂν τιμη̂ς τη̂ς ἀξίας οὔτ’ ἀρχω̂ν οὔτε δίκης ποτέ τις ἂν τη̂ς προσηκούσης ὀρθω̂ς τυγχάνοι.
δη̂λον τοίνυν ὡς οὑ̑τός ἐστι πόλεως ὅρος ἄριστος, ἡ μεγίστη τον̂ πλήθους ὑπερβολὴ πρὸς αὐτάρκειαν ζωη̂ς εὐσύνοπτος.
This is a condensed sentence, meaning ‘the largest number which can be seen at once, and at the same time suffices for the purposes of life.’ Aristotle wishes to combine μέγεθός τι with εὐνομία. Cp. Poet. 7, 1451 a. 3, ὥστε δεɩ̂ καθάπερ ἐπὶ τω̂ν σωμάτων καὶ ἐπὶ τω̂ν ζῴων ἔχειν μὲν μέγεθος, τον̂το δὲ εὐσύνοπτον εἰ̂ναι.
like the English word ‘draw,’ is used neutrally, ‘those who draw or pull to either extreme.’
The paragraph—τὸ δ’ εἰ̂δος . . . . εὐπαρακόμιστον—is ill arranged: it may be analysed as follows: ‘The city should be difficult of access to enemies, and easy of egress to the citizens; the whole territory should be seen at a glance (for a country which is easily seen is easily protected): it should be well situated both in regard to sea and land. Herein are contained two principles: 1) the one already mentioned, about inaccessibility to enemies and convenience to friends: to which may be added 2) a second principle, that the situation should be adapted to commerce.’
The words δεɩ̂ . . . . ἁπάντων are a repetition of the words τὸ δ’ εὐσύνοπτον τὸ εὐβοήθητον εἰ̂ναι τὴν χώραν ἐστίν.
εἱ̑ς μὲν ὁ λεχθεὶς ὅρος,
sc. περὶ τον̂ εἴδους τη̂ς χώρας.
ἔτι δὲ τη̂ς περὶ ξύλα ὕλης, κἂν εἴ τινα ἄλλην ἐργασίαν ἡ χώρα τυγχάνοι κεκτημένη τοιαύτην, εὐπαρακόμιστον.
τη̂ς ὕλης dependent on εὐπαρακόμιστον = εν̓̂ ἔχουσαν πρὸς τὴν κομιδήν: τη̂ς περὶ ξύλα ὕλης either 1) wood (ὕλη) which is used as timber, or 2) timber which is used as material (ὕλη).
The echo of these antimaritime prejudices is heard in Cicero, who discusses the subject at length in his De Republica, Book ii. cc. 3 and 4.
καὶ τὴν πολυανθρωπίαν,
sc. ἀσύμϕορον εἰ̂ναί ϕασιν.
ὅτι μὲν ον̓̂ν, εἰ ταν̂τα μὴ συμβαίνει, κ.τ.λ.
‘That however, if we could get rid of these evils, there would be an advantage in a city being connected with the sea is obvious.’
αὑτῃ̑ γὰρ ἐμπορικήν, ἀλλ’ οὐ τοɩ̂ς ἄλλοις δεɩ̂ εἰ̂ναι τὴν πόλιν.
‘Like the individual (i. 9. § 14) the city may receive what she absolutely needs, but is not to import and export without limit.’
Aristotle would restrain foreign trade as much as possible, not because he aims at exclusiveness, but because he dislikes the moneymaking and commercial spirit.
ἐπεὶ δὲ καὶ νν̂ν ὁρω̂μεν πολλαɩ̂ς ὑπάρχον καὶ χώραις καὶ πόλεσιν ἐπίνεια καὶ λιμένας εὐϕυω̂ς κείμενα πρὸς τὴν πόλιν, ὥστε μήτε τὸ αὐτὸ νέμειν ἄστυ μήτε πόρρω λίαν, ἀλλὰ κρατεɩ̂σθαι τείχεσι καὶ τοιούτοις ἄλλοις ἐρύμασι, ϕανερὸν ὡς εἰ μὲν ἀγαθόν τι συμβαίνει γίγνεσθαι διὰ τη̂ς κοινωνίας αὐτω̂ν, ὑπάρξει τῃ̑ πόλει τον̂το τὸ ἀγαθόν, εἰ δέ τι βλαβερόν, ϕυλάξασθαι ῥᾴδιον τοɩ̂ς νόμοις ϕράζοντας καὶ διορίζοντας τ[Editor: illegible character]νας οὐ δεɩ̂ καὶ τίνας ἐπιμίσγεσθαι δεɩ̂ πρὸς ἀλλήλους.
In this passage ὑπάρχον the reading of the MSS. has been altered into 1) ὑπάρχειν by Schneider and by Bekker in his 2nd Edition; and also 2) into ὑπάρχοντα, in the latter case with the omission of καί. The alteration, though probable, is not necessary; for ἐμπόριον may be supplied with ὑπάρχον from the preceding sentence, the plural words ἐπίνεια καὶ λιμένας being taken in apposition as an epexegesis. ‘But now-a-days there are many cities and places in which such a mart exists, [containing] docks and harbours conveniently situated in relation to the city; and as is obvious, whatever evil there may be is avoided and the good secured, when they are placed at a moderate distance, but commanded by walls and similar fortifications.’
The inland position of the ancient Greek cities, as Thucydides (i. 7) remarks, was due to the prevalence of piracy. Their ports were added later, as the Piraeus at Athens, Nisaea at Megara, Cenchreae and Lechaeum at Corinth, Cyllene at Elis, Gythium at Sparta, Nauplia at Argos, Siphae at Thespiae, Notium at Colophon, etc.
κρατεɩ̂σθαι = to be controlled or held in check by.
εἰ μὲν γὰρ ἡγεμονικὸν καὶ πολιτικὸν ζήσεται βίον.
ἡγεμονικόν, like Athens or Sparta in the days of their greatness, v. 7. § 14. The alteration of πολινικὸν into πολεμικὸν in Bekker’s 2nd edition is quite unnecessary. For πολιτικὸς βίος, applied to a city, cp. ii. 6. § 7, εἰ δεɩ̂ τὴν πόλιν ζη̂ν βίον πολιτικόν.
πολλὰς γὰρ ἐκπληρον̂σι τριήρεις [οἱ Ἡρακλεω̂ται].
Cp. Xen. Anab. v. 6. § 10, πολλὰ γάρ ἐστι πλοɩ̂α ἐν Ἡρακλείᾳ.
πόλεων, if genuine, is a difficult word. It may be taken in the sense of ‘ports like the Piraeus’*; or closely connected with λιμένων of ‘cities in relation to their harbours,’ cp. supra, c. 5. § 3. But neither of these explanations is satisfactory. The word has been bracketed by Bekker in his second edition and is probably corrupt. The conjectural emendations ἐπινείων (Coraes), ἐμπορίων (Schmidt), περιπολίων (Broughton) are not fortunate; πλοίων might also be suggested (cp. supra, § 6). But it is more probable that some words have been accidentally transposed and that we should read περὶ μὲν ον̓̂ν χώρας καὶ πόλεων [or πόλεως] καὶ λιμένων κ.τ.λ. or, περὶ μὲν ον̓̂ν πόλεων [or πόλεως] καὶ χώρας κ.τ.λ.
τὰ μὲν ἐν τοɩ̂ς ψυχροɩ̂ς τόποις ἔθνη καὶ τὰ περὶ τὴν Εὐρώπην.
According to Aristotle it would seem that Europe includes the colder, that is, the Northern parts of Europe and excludes Hellas. The words καὶ τὰ περὶ τὴν Εὐρώπην are explanatory of τὰ ἐν τοɩ̂ς ψυχροɩ̂ς τόποις ἔθνη. Compare the Hymn to Apollo l. 250:
in which a similar notion of Europe is implied.
Plato too was no stranger to speculations about race. Cp. Laws v. 747 D, μηδὲ τον̂θ’ ἡμα̂ς λανθανέτω περὶ τόπων, ὡς οὐκ εἰσὶν ἄλλοι τινὲς διαϕέροντες ἄλλων τόπων πρὸς τὸ γεννα̂ν ἀνθρώπους ἀμείνους καὶ χείρους: and Rep. iv. 435 E, τὸ θυμοειδὲς . . . οἱ̑ον οἱ κατὰ τὴν Θρᾴκην τε καὶ Σκυθικὴν καὶ σχεδόν τι κατὰ τὸν ἄνω τόπον, ἢ τὸ ϕιλομαθές, ὃ δὴ περι τὸν παρ’ ἡμɩ̂ν μάλιστ’ ἄν τις αἰτιάσαιτο τόπον, ἢ τὸ ϕιλοχρήματον, ὃ περὶ τούς τε Φοίνικας εἰ̂ναι καὶ τοὺς κατὰ Αἴγυπτον ϕαίη τις ἂν οὐχ ἥκιστα. Cp. also Herod. ix. 122, ϕιλέειν γὰρ ἐκ τω̂ν μαλακω̂ν χώρων μαλακοὺς ἄνδρας γίνεσθαι· οὐ γάρ τοι τη̂ς αὐτη̂ς γη̂ς εἰ̂ναι καρπόν τε θωμαστὸν ϕύειν καὶ ἄνδρας ἀγαθοὺς τὰ πολέμια: and iii. 106, ἡ Ἑλλὰς τὰς ὥρας πολλόν τι κάλλιστα κεκρημένας ἔχει. So Plat. Tim. 24 C, ἡ θεὸς . . . ἐκλεξαμένη τὸν τόπον ἐν ᾡ̑ γεγένησθε (viz. Hellas), τὴν εὐκρασίαν τω̂ν ὡρω̂ν ἐν αὐτῳ̑ κατιδον̂σα, ὅτι ϕρονιμωτάτους ἄνδρας οἴσοι.
μια̂ς τυγχάνον πολιτείας.
Could Hellas have been united in a federation, she might have governed the world. But the individuality of Greek cities was too strong to allow of such a union, and the country was too much divided by natural barriers. The cities on the coast might be coerced into an Athenian Empire, but could not be fused into a political whole. Cp. Herod. ix. 2, where the Thebans say to Mardonius that the Greeks if united would be a match for the whole world,—κατὰ μὲν γὰρ τὸ ἰσχυρὸν Ἕλληνας ὁμοϕρονέοντας, οἵπερ καὶ πάρος ταὐτὰ ἐγίνωσκον, χαλεπὰ εἰ̂ναι περιγίνεσθαι καὶ ἅπασι ἀνθρώποισι.
ϕασί τιψες δεɩ̂ν ὑπάρχειν τοɩ̂ς ϕύλαξι, τὸ ϕιλητικοὺς μὲν εἰ̂ναι κ.τ.λ.
This, like some of Aristotle’s other criticisms on Plato, is chiefly interesting as shewing the difficulty which he found in understanding the play of language which is characteristic of Plato. [See Essay on Aristotle’s Criticisms of Plato.] The passage referred to is Rep. ii. 375 E, πρὸς μὲν τοὺς συνήθεις τε καὶ γνωρίμους ὡς οἱ̑όν τε πραοτάτους εἰ̂ναι, πρὸς δὲ τοὺς ἀγνω̂τας τοὐναντίον, where we may observe that the word ϕιλητικὸς is not used by Plato.
‘Passion’ = the depth or force of character which makes a good lover or a good hater. Compare Theognis, l. 1091 Bergk—
But in the Topics ii. 7, 113 b. 1 Aristotle raises the question whether ϕιλία resides in τὸ ἐπιθυμητικὸν and not in τὸ θυμοειδές. Like our word passion, θυμὸς has both a wider and narrower use, and is employed by Aristotle here in a more philosophical, but in the Topics in a more popular sense.
Aristotle truly remarks that anger is felt, not against strangers, but against friends who have wronged or slighted us. Cp. Rhet. ii. c. 2, 1379 b. 2, καὶ [ὀργίζονται] μα̂λλον τοɩ̂ς ϕίλοις ἢ τοɩ̂ς μὴ ϕίλοις: and Psalm xli. 9, ‘Yea, even mine own familiar friend, whom I trusted, who did also eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.’
οὐ γὰρ δὴ περὶ ϕίλων ἀπάγχεο.
The reading of the MSS. which is repudiated in the translation is not indefensible, though, in the absence of context, it is impossible to interpret it with certainty: ‘For were they not friends about whom thou wast plagued or grieved’? cp. again from Psalm lv. 12: ‘It is not an open enemy that hath done me this dishonour, for then I could have borne it.’ A mot attributed to a well-known statesman who had been anonymously attacked in a newspaper is to the point, ‘It must have been by a friend,’ he said, ‘an enemy would not have been so bitter.’ The verse is very probably taken from the well-known poem of Archilochus in Trochaic verse beginning θυμὲ θύμ’ ἀμηχάνοισι κήδεσιν κυκώμενε, of which a fragment is preserved (Bergk 60): the metre might be restored either by omitting δή, which may have been added by Aristotle, or by inserting ον̓̂ν before δή.
The translators William de Moerbek and Aretino render ἀπάγχεο ‘a lanceis,’ as if they had read or imagined they read ἀπ’ ἐγχέων.
οὐδ’ εἰσὶν οἱ μεγαλόψυχοι τὴν ϕύσιν ἄγριοι, πλὴν πρὸς τοὺς ἀδικον̂ντας.
Yet the μεγαλόψυχος described in Nic. Eth. iv. 3. is rather unapproachable by his neighbours.
οὐ γὰρ τὴν αὐτὴν ἀκρίβειαν δεɩ̂ ζητεɩ̂ν διά τε τω̂ν λόγων καὶ τω̂ν γιγνομένων διὰ τη̂ς αἰσθήσεως.
Cp. below c. 12. § 9. Aristotle is opposing political theories to facts, as in the Ethics he contrasts the moral certainty of Ethics (Nic. Eth. i. 3. § 4) with the absolute certainty of mathematics, though the ἀκρίβεια in the two cases is different, meaning in the one the necessity and à priori truth of mathematics, in the other exactness of detail.
ἐπεὶ δ’ ὥσπερ τω̂ν ἄλλων τω̂ν κατὰ ϕύσιν συνεστώτων οὐ ταὐτά ἐστι μόρια τη̂ς ὅλης συστάσεως, ὡ̑ν ἄνευ τὸ ὅλον οὐκ ἂν εἴη, δη̂λον ὡς οὐδὲ πόλεως μέρη θετέον ὅσα ταɩ̂ς πόλεσιν ἀναγκαɩ̂ον ὑπάρχειν, οὐδ’ ἄλλης κοινωνίας οὐδεμια̂ς, ἐξ ἡ̑ς ἕν τι τὸ γένος.
In this rather complex sentence Aristotle is distinguishing between the conditions and the parts of the whole. The words ὡ̑ν ἄνευ τὸ ὅλον οὐκ ἂν εἴη answer to ὅσα ταɩ̂ς πόλεσιν ἀναγκαɩ̂ον ὑπάρχειν in the application to the state.
The editions vary between ταν̂τα and ταὐτά. ταν̂τα is confirmed by the words of § 6, πόσα ταν̂τ’ ἐστὶν ὡ̑ν ἄνευ πόλις οὐκ ἂν εἴη. If we read ταὐτὰ it will be convenient to supply ἐκείνοις with ὡ̑ν ἄνευ, if ταν̂τα, ἐκεɩ̂να.
ἐξ ἡ̑ς ἕν τι τὸ γένος, i.e. ‘out of which is formed,’ or ‘which forms a lower class having a unity;’ ‘which in its nature is a whole, and not a mere aggregate,’ ἕν τι τὸ γένος = ἕν τί ἐστι τὸ γένος.
‘The end has nothing in common with the means; the final cause with the conditions.’ Just as in iii. 1. § 9 things prior and posterior are said to have no quality in common with each other. Of course the modern philosopher makes the opposite reflection, ‘that the end is inseparable from the means,’ or, ‘is only the sum of the means’; that causes are indistinguishable from condition; and equally indistinguishable from effects; ‘that no line can be drawn between à priori and à posteriori truth.’ The common understanding, like ancient philosophy, rebels against this higher view, because it can point to numberless visible instances in which the end is separable from the means, the effect from the causes. Both lines of reflection are constantly returning upon us, and the opposition between them gives rise to many metaphysical problems. It is the old difficulty, as old as the opposition of ideas to phenomena, of finding the similarity where there is difference or contrast.
ὀργάνῳ τε παντὶ πρὸς τὸ γιγνόμενον ἔργον καὶ τοɩ̂ς δημιουργοɩ̂ς.
Governed by οὐθὲν κοινόν ἐστι. ‘The builder and his tools have nothing in common with the work; so property has nothing in common with the State.’
The connexion of this passage in which means and ends, parts and conditions are curiously combined appears to be as follows: ‘Now happiness is imparted in various degrees to states, making them to be what they are according to the degree of happiness which they attain. But we must also ascertain what are the conditions of states, for in these we shall find their parts.’ He seems to mean that through what is outward only we can arrive at the true elements of the state; and that happiness, which is the end of the state, is not to be confounded with the conditions of it. The argument is interrupted by the seemingly irrelevant remark that the character of states is given to them by the degrees of happiness which they attain. Here as in other passages (cp. c. 9. § 2 infra), when speaking of the perfect state, he occasionally goes back to the imperfect forms.
ἀρετη̂ς ἐνέργεια καὶ χρη̂σις.
Cp. the more complete statement of the Nic. Eth. i. 7. §§ 14-16, ψυχη̂ς ἐνέργεια κατ’ ἀρετὴν ἀρίστην ἐν βίῳ τελείῳ.
ἐπισκεπτέον δὲ καὶ πόσα ταν̂τ’ ἐστὶν ὡ̑ν ἄνευ πόλις οὐκ ἂν εἴη.
‘Besides considering the highest good of the state or the idea of the state in its highest terms (gathered from the previous section) we must also consider the indispensable conditions of it, and among them we shall find its parts.’ All the parts are conditions of a state, not all the conditions are parts; e.g. the θη̂τες are a condition but not a part; τὸ βουλευόμενον both a condition and a part.
πέμπτον δὲ καὶ πρω̂τον.
‘First,’ i. e. in honour, not in necessity, for that place he assigns to the sixth class.
Spengel would omit καὶ πρω̂τον. But how could the insertion of such a clause ever be explained, unless it had been put in by the piety of a Greek monk?
ἣν καλον̂σιν ἱερατείαν, ‘which they call ritual.’ The formula ἣν καλον̂σιν seems to imply some technical or uncommon use of the word, which occurs nowhere else in classical Greek, cp. ἣν καλον̂σί τινες ὀλιγαρχίαν, vi. 1. § 6.
ἕκτον δὲ τὸν ἀριθμόν.
The last words are pleonastic, ‘sixth in numerical succession.’
The conjecture of Lambinus τω̂ν δικαίων taken from τω̂ν συμϕερόντων καὶ τω̂ν δικαίων above, § 7, has been adopted in the text. But the reading of the MSS. τω̂ν ἀναγκαίων, ‘of necessary matters of life,’ is really defensible and is confirmed by the word ἀναγκαιότατον in § 7. ἀναγκαίων may also refer to punishments: see infra c. 13. § 6.
οὐκ ἐν πάσῃ δὲ τον̂το πολιτείᾳ.
‘This question, however, does not arise in every state, for it is already decided. In democracies all share in all, while in oligarchies only some share in some employments or functions. But we are speaking of the ideal state in which the question remains to be considered.
καθάπερ γὰρ εἴπομεν.
This passage can hardly refer to ii. 1. § 2, for there Aristotle is speaking of the distribution of property: here of the distribution of functions in the state. The reference is rather to iv. c. 4 and c. 14; see supra c. 4. § 1.
ἐπεὶ δὲ τυγχάνομεν σκοπον̂ντες περὶ τη̂ς ἀρίστης πολιτείας . . . εἴρηται πρότερον.
The connexion is as follows: ‘But in the best state, with which we are now concerned, all cannot participate in all, for the trader, the artisan and the husbandman have no leisure for education, neither are they capable of political functions.’
εἴρηται πρότερον in c. 8. § 5 supra. It is noticeable that Aristotle in describing the perfect state no longer, as in a democracy (cp. vi. c. 4.), regards the husbandmen as the best material out of which to form citizens.
τοὺς μέλλοντας ἔσεσθαι,
sc. πολίτας, (ἐν τῃ̑ κάλλιστα πολιτευομένῃ πόλει § 3), ‘citizens of the best state.’
πότερον ἕτερα καὶ ταν̂τα θετέον.
Bekker in his second edition inserts ἑτέροις after ἕτερα unnecessarily. Without it we may translate: ‘Are these also to be distinct, or are both to be given to the same persons?’
Compare Book ii. 5. § 26.
ἀλλὰ μὴν καὶ τὰς κτήσεις δεɩ̂ εἰ̂ναι περὶ τούτους.
The use of περὶ is singular: the force of the preposition may be paraphrased as follows: ‘they too should have a near interest in property,’ an indirect way of expressing what is more distinctly said infra § 8 τὰς κτήσεις εἰ̂ναι τούτων.
εἴπερ ἀναγκαɩ̂ον εἰ̂ναι τοὺς γεωργοὺς δούλους ἢ βαρβάρους.
The necessity seems to arise from the impossibility of the husbandman having the leisure which a citizen requires for mental cultivation and the fulfilment of political duties, cp. § 4.
καὶ κεχώρισται δὴ τούτων ἕκαστον, τὸ μὲν ἀεί, τὸ δὲ κατὰ μέρος.
τούτων, i. e. not merely the ὁπλιτικὸν and βουλευτικόν; to these must be added the γεωργοί, τεχνɩ̂ται, and τὸ θητικόν, in all five. The two first interchange with each other, but never with the three last.
The division between the mere conditions of the state (viz. the γεωργοί, τεχνɩ̂ται and τὸ θητικόν) and the parts of it (τὸ ὁπλιτικὸν καὶ βουλευτικόν) is permanent. The division between τὸ ὁπλιτικόν, τὸ τω̂ν ἱερέων γένος and τὸ βουλευτικὸν is transitory or κατὰ μέρος, i. e. the same persons may belong in turn, or at different stages of life, to all three classes.
ἔοικε δ’ οὐ νν̂ν οὐδὲ νεωστὶ τον̂τ’ εἰ̂ναι γνώριμον τοɩ̂ς περὶ πολιτείας ϕιλοσοϕον̂σιν, ὅτι δεɩ̂ διῃρη̂σθαι χωρὶς κατὰ γένη τὴν πόλιν.
This chapter has been regarded, and perhaps with reason, as a criticism of Plato, Aristotle being desirous of disproving by historical facts the claim of Plato to originality in instituting the system of caste and of common meals.
τὰ μὲν περὶ Κρήτην γενόμενα κ.τ.λ.
In apposition with τω̂ν συσσιτίων ἡ τάξις, ‘the custom in Crete going back to the reign of Minos.’
‘The name Italy was originally confined to the district between the Lametic and Scylletic Gulfs’ (Golfo di Eufemia and Golfo di Squillace), ‘and was derived from Italus, an ancient king of the Oenotrians’ (called by Thucydides vi. 2 a Sicel king) ‘who inhabited these regions. The people to the north-west towards Tyrrhenia were called Ausones and those to the north-east in the district called Siritis’ (on the shore of the Tarentine gulf) ‘Chones.’
The mention of Italy (taken in this narrower sense) leads the writer to particularise its different regions; but nothing is said about how far the custom of common meals may have extended.
ὅση τετύχηκεν ἐντὸς ον̓̂σα, viz. that part of Italy which is bounded or enclosed at its narrowest point by the two gulfs. The reason (ἀπέχει γὰρ ταν̂τα) is imperfectly expressed: ‘You may call this the boundary because the distance is so small between the two gulfs.’ It is in fact about 20 miles.
It has been asked, ‘What does Aristotle purpose in this digression?’ There is a fallacy in requiring that every part of an ancient work should have a distinct purpose. Aristotle, like Aeschylus, Herodotus, Thucydides, ‘breaks out’ into the favourite subject of geography, and his conceptions of it, as might be expected in the beginning of such studies, are not perfectly accurate or distinct.
It is evident that common meals played a great part in the political organisation of Hellas and the south of Italy. But, according to Susemihl, no other writer mentions their existence in Italy.
Σύρτιν is the reading of most MSS., σύρτην of two only. The MSS. of the old translator appear all to give syrtem. Σɩ̂ριν is conjectured by Heyne, who compares Arist. Fragm. Πολιτεɩ̂αι 542, καὶ οἱ τὴν Σɩ̂ριν δὲ κατοικον̂ντες . . . ὥς ϕησι Τίμαιος καὶ Ἀριστοτέλης, εἰς τρυϕὴν ἐξώκειλαν οὐχ ἡ̑σσον Συβαριτω̂ν, Athen. xii. 523 C. Hence Goëttling’s conjecture Σιρɩ̂τις the district of Siris. Of any district of Italy called Syrtes or Syrtis there is no mention elsewhere.
ἡ μὲν ον̓̂ν τω̂ν συσσιτίων τάξις ἐντεν̂θεν γέγονε πρω̂τον, ὁ δὲ χωρισμὸς ὁ κατὰ γένος τον̂ πολιτικον̂ πλήθους ἐξ Αἰγύπτου· πολὺ γὰρ ὑπερτείνει τοɩ̂ς χρόνοις τὴν Μίνω βασιλείαν ἡ Σεσώστριος,
is translated in the English text: ‘From this part of the world originally came the institution of common tables; the separation into castes [which was much older] from Egypt, for the reign of Sesostris is of far greater antiquity than that of Minos.’
It is also possible to supply the ellipse differently: ‘The separation into castes came [not from Italy or Crete, but] from Egypt.’
The sentence is then parallel with the other statements. Common tables existed in Crete and in Italy: the latter were the older, and therefore are called ‘the origin of the institution’ (§§ 2, 4); similarly, caste existed in Crete and in Egypt; in the latter country its origin dates further back than in the former, for Sesostris is older than Minos, and therefore it is said to have originated there.
σχεδὸν μὲν ον̓̂ν καὶ τὰ ἄλλα δεɩ̂ νομίζειν εὑρη̂σθαι πολλάκις ἐν τῳ̑ πολλῳ̑ χρόνῳ.
A favourite reflection of Aristotle’s. See note on text for parallel passages.
ὅτι δὲ πάντα ἀρχαɩ̂α.
‘All political institutions are ancient; for they are found in Egypt which is the most ancient of all countries.’ Cp. Plat. Laws ii. 657. ‘Their (i. e. the Egyptian) works of art are painted or moulded in the same forms which they had ten thousand years ago; this is literally true, and no exaggeration.’ For further references see note on text. That this sameness was the weakness of Egypt, and that the life of Hellas was progress, seems not to have occurred either to Aristotle or Plato.
τοɩ̂ς μὲν εἰρημένοις
is the reading of the MSS., altered in the text after Lambinus into εὑρημένοις, a change which seems to be required by the want of a suitable antecedent and by the parallelism of παραλελειμμένα. Cp. supra, σχεδὸν μὲν ον̓̂ν καὶ τὰ ἄλλα δεɩ̂ νομίζειν εὑρη̂σθαι πολλάκις, and ii. 5. § 16.
This promise is not fulfilled. In c. 12. § 1 the common meals are only mentioned in passing; no reason is given in support of the institution.
τὸ πρὸς τοὺς ἀστυγείτονας πολέμους ὁμονοητικώτερον.
A lesson learned from the experience of Athens during the Peloponnesian War. The Acharnians whose lands lay on the borders, seeing them ravaged, wished to attack the invaders rashly (Thuc. ii. 21), and afterwards when they had lost their possessions as Archidamus thought likely (Thuc. ii. 20 ἐστερημένους τω̂ν σϕετέρων οὐχ ὁμοίως προθύμους ἔσεσθαι ὑπὲρ τη̂ς τω̂ν ἄλλων κινδυνεύειν, στάσιν δὲ ἐνέσεσθαι), and as Aristophanes in his ‘Acharnians’ seems to imply, were wanting to make peace.
For reference to Plato and criticism on him see note on text.
δεύτερον δὲ βαρβάρους περιοίκους.
Compare above c. 9. § 8, ἀναγκαɩ̂ον εἰ̂ναι τοὺς γεωργοὺς δούλους ἢ βαρβάρους ἢ περιοίκους, a comparison which has led to the insertion of ἢ before περιοίκους in this passage, or to the omission of it in c. 9. The text of the MSS. is probably right in both passages. ‘If we could have the very best thing, the husbandmen should be slaves; or if slaves cannot be had, then perioeci of alien stock.’
αὐτη̂ς δὲ πρὸς αὑτὴν εἰ̂ναι τὴν θέσιν εὔχεσθαι δεɩ̂ κατατυλχάνειν πρὸς τέτταρα βλέποντας.
The order of the words is as follows—δεɩ̂ εὔχεσθαι κατατυγχάνειν [τον̂] τὴν θέσιν εἰ̂ναι.
The four points to be attended to appear to be as follows: 1) healthy and airy situation, open to the winds (cp. § 4, infra): 2) good water: 3) convenience for administration (πρὸς πολιτικὰς πράξεις): 4) adaptation to military requirements (πρὸς πολεμικὰς πράξεις).
Cp. Xen. Oecon. 9. 4, καὶ σύμπασαν δὲ τὴν οἰκίαν ἐπέδειξα αὐτῃ̑, ὅτι πρὸς μεσημβρίαν ἀναπέπταται, ὥστε εὔδηλον εἰ̂ναι, ὅτι χειμω̂νος μὲν εὐήλιός ἐστι, τον̂ δὲ θέρους εὔσκιος.
Vitruvius i. 6 tells us how the inhabitants of Mitylene suffered from the situation of their town: ‘Oppidum magnificenter est aedificatum et eleganter; sed positum non prudenter. In quâ civitate auster cum flat homines aegrotant, cum eurus, tussiunt, cum septentrio, restituuntur in sanitatem, sed in angiportis et plateis non possunt consistere propter vehementiam frigoris.’ (Quoted by Eaton.)
δεύτερον δὲ κατὰ βορέαν.
κατὰ βορέαν = ‘facing the same way that the North wind does,’ (cp. κατὰ ῥόον) i. e. sheltered from the North wind. Cp. Plat. Crit. 118 A, B, ὁ δὲ τόπος οὑ̑τος ὅλης τη̂ς νήσου πρὸς νότον ἐτέτραπτο, ἀπὸ τω̂ν ἄρκτων κατάβοῤῥος.
δεύτερον may either be taken as *an alternative, or as introducing a second condition of healthfulness, so that a South Eastern aspect is what is recommended; i. e. a situation which is open to the healthy East winds and affords shelter from the North wind.
τον̂τό γ’ εὕρηται
is the reading of all the MSS. The conjecture of Lambinus, εὑρη̂σθαι, adopted by Bekker in his second edition, is unnecessary.
τον̂τό γ’ εὕρηται = ‘a remedy has been found for this,’ i. e. ‘a remedy may be found.’ The language is not quite symmetrical, but this is no reason for altering it.
ὑποδοχὰς ὀμβρίοις ὕδασιν.
Five MSS. read ὀμβρίους, a possible reading, ‘rain cisterns for water’ instead of ‘cisterns for rain water.’
ἔν τε τοιούτῳ καὶ πρὸς τοιον̂τον.
‘In the situation described, and looking to the quarter described.’
The reading of the best MSS. and the old translator, ‘such streams as I have spoken of above,’ that is to say, ‘good streams’ (ὑγιεινω̂ν § 4).
ἀκρόπολις ὀλιγαρχικὸν καὶ μοναρχικόν, ἀριστοκρατικὸν . . . ἰσχυροὶ τόποι πλείους.
It may be asked: ‘Why should a single fortress be adapted to a monarchy, or oligarchy, several strongholds to an aristocracy?’ Probably because in the former case the government is more concentrated. A small governing class, if they are to maintain their power against the people, must draw together. An aristocracy has only to defend itself against foreign enemies, and is therefore better dispersed.
ἄν τις οὕτω κατασκευάζῃ, καθάπερ ἐν τοɩ̂ς γεωργοɩ̂ς ἃς καλον̂σί τινες τω̂ν ἀμπέλων συστάδας.
The last word is explained by Hesychius (under ξυστάδες) as αἱ πυκναὶ ἄμπελοι, ἄμεινον δὲ τὰς εἰκη̂ καὶ μὴ κατὰ στοɩ̂χον πεϕυτευμένας ἀκούειν, i. e. 1) *vines planted thickly or in clumps, or 2) vines planted irregularly. If we adopt the first of these interpretations and take the image literally, Aristotle is suggesting that the city should be built partly in regular streets, but here and there in blocks which would have the character of strong places. If we take the second, he would seem to mean that the city should be built in part irregularly, with a view to confusing or perplexing an enemy after he had entered it.
οἱ μὴ ϕάσκοντες δεɩ̂ν ἔχειν (τείχη).
Cp. Laws vi. 778 D ff, περὶ δὲ τειχω̂ν, ὠ̂ Μέγιλλε, ἔγωγ’ ἂν τῃ̑ Σπάρτῃ ξυμϕεροίμην τὸ καθεύδειν ἐα̂ν ἐν τῃ̑ γῃ̑ κατακείμενα τὰ τείχη.
The absence of walls in Sparta suggested to Plato the poetical fancy that the walls of cities should be left to slumber in the ground: it may reasonably be conjectured that the position of Sparta and the military character of her citizens rendered artificial defences unnecessary.
ἐλεγχομένας ἔργῳ τὰς ἐκείνως καλλωπισαμένας.
The disasters of Leuctra (b.c. 371) and of Mantinea (b.c. 362) had done a great deal to diminish the admiration for Sparta. (Cp. ii. 9. § 10 and infra c. 14. § 16). Yet the allusion is hardly to the point, for Sparta was never taken by an enemy: Epaminondas after the battle of Leuctra refrained from attacking it, Xen. Hell. vi. 5.
ἔστι δὲ πρὸς μὲν τοὺς ὁμοίους καὶ μὴ πολὺ τῳ̑ πλήθει διαϕέροντας οὐ καλὸν τὸ πειρα̂σθαι σώζεσθαι διὰ τη̂ς τω̂ν τειχω̂ν ἐρυμνότητος.
A somewhat romantic notion with which may be compared the further refinement of § 11, infra; also the saying of Archidamus, the son of Agesilaus, when he saw catapults brought from Sicily, which in other words and under other circumstances has no doubt often been ejaculated by the African or New Zealand savage, ἀπόλωλεν ἀνδρὸς ἀ[Editor: illegible character]ετά. (Plut. Apophth. Lac. 219 A.)
Either ‘the most truly warlike in character’ or *‘the best defence of the warrior.’ Both meanings may be included.
ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ταɩ̂ς οἰκήσεσι ταɩ̂ς ἰδίαις μὴ περιβάλλειν τοίχους.
Private houses as well as cities, especially in the country, might in many cases need the protection of walls.
ὁμοίως δέ, sc. ἔχει.
sc. τὰ τείχη, i. e. the position of the walls; or more generally, ‘the consideration of these circumstances.’
The MSS. vary between ἀρχω̂ν, ἀρχαίων, ἀρχείων.
εἴη δ’ ἂν τοιον̂τος ὁ τόπος ὅστις ἐπιϕάνειάν τε ἔχει πρὸς τὴν τη̂ς ἀρετη̂ς θέσιν ἱκανω̂ς καὶ πρὸς τὰ γειτνιω̂ντα μέρη τη̂ς πόλεως ἐρυμνοτέρως.
Lit. ‘This place should be of a sort which has conspicuousness, suitable to the position of virtue, and towering aloft over the neighbouring parts of the city.’
Thomas Aquinas, who wrote a Commentary on the Politics, if we may judge from his Latin ‘bene se habentem ad apparentiam virtutis,’ seems to have read θέσιν τε ἔχει πρὸς τὴν τη̂ς ἀρετη̂ς ἐπιϕάνειαν. (Susemihl.) But the words are better as they are found in the Greek MSS.
The habitation of virtue is to be like that of the Gods who have their temples in the Acropolis. Cp. Vitruv. 1. 7 ‘Aedibus vero sacris quorum deorum maxime in tutela civitas videtur esse, unde moenium maxima pars conspiciatur areae distribuantur’ (quoted by Schneider); and Burke, French Revolution, p. 107, ‘The temple of honour ought to be seated on an eminence.’
εἴη δ’ ἂν εὔχαρις ὁ τόπος, εἰ καὶ τὰ γυμνάσια τω̂ν πρεσβυτέρων ἔχοι τὴν τάξιν ἐνταν̂θα. πρέπει γὰρ διῃρη̂σθαι κατὰ τὰς ἡλικίας καὶ τον̂τον τὸν κόσμον, καὶ παρὰ μὲν τοɩ̂ς νεωτέροις ἄρχοντάς τινας διατρίβειν, τοὺς δὲ πρεσβυτέρους παρὰ τοɩ̂ς ἄρχουσιν· ἡ γὰρ ἐν ὀϕθαλμοɩ̂ς τω̂ν ἀρχόντων παρουσία μάλιστα ἐμποιεɩ̂ τὴν ἀληθινὴν αἰδω̂ καὶ τὸν τω̂ν ἐλευθέρων ϕόβον.
The opposition of μὲν and δὲ before νεωτέροις and πρεσβυτέρους seems to imply that the youth are to perform under the eye of certain magistrates, and the elders under the eye of the magistrates as a body. The distinction appears to be in the one case, that some of the magistrates are to go to the gymnasium, in the other the exercises are to take place in or near the public buildings appropriated to the magistrates. Everywhere the presence of the authorities is required. *‘Some of the rulers are to be present (διατρίβειν) at the exercises of the younger men, but the elders are to perform their exercises with the rulers.’ Here either another verb has to be supplied with παρὰ τοɩ̂ς ἄρχουσιν or the word διατρίβειν is to be taken in a slightly different sense. Or 2) we may translate, ‘and the elders shall be placed at the side of the magistrates.’ This, however, disregards μὲν and δὲ and seems not to cohere with the words διῃρη̂σθαι κατὰ τὰς ἡλικίας: for thus no mention is made of the gymnastics of the elders. 3) The most natural way of taking the Greek words (τοὺς δὲ . . ἄρχουσιν) that ‘the magistrates shall perform their gymnastic exercises before the elders,’ (St. Hilaire) gives a very poor sense. The clause ἡ γὰρ ἐν ὀϕθαλμοɩ̂ς κ.τ.λ., shows clearly that the principal point is the requirement of the presence of the magistrates at all gymnastic exercises.
The word κόσμον is difficult. It may be taken in the sense of ‘institution,’ which is in some degree supported by the use of κόσμος τη̂ς πολιτείας for ‘the order or constitution of the state,’ (Περὶ Κόσμου 6. 399 b. 18). Or* τον̂τον τὸν κόσμον may be the accusative after διῃρη̂σθαι and may be taken with Adolph Stahr in the sense of ‘this embellishment of the state:’ [dieser Schmuck der Stadt]. In this case it is better to make διῃρη̂σθαι impersonal, κόσμον being the indirect accusative following it. καὶ τον̂τον, this institution too, i. e. as well as the offices of state which in c. 9 are divided between old and young.
τὴν δὲ τω̂ν ὠνίων κ.τ.λ.
Cp. supra, c. 5. § 4.
ἐπεὶ δὲ τὸ πλη̂θος διαιρεɩ̂ται τη̂ς πόλεως εἰς ἱερεɩ̂ς, εἰς ἄρχοντας.
The enumeration is incomplete, because Aristotle has only occasion to speak of priests and magistrates. The places assigned to their common tables, like those of the soldiers and the guardians of the country, are to be situated conveniently for their employments. The baldness of the expression suggests the possibility that something may have dropped out. The first words ἐπεὶ δὲ τὸ πλη̂θος appear to be a repetition of ἐπεὶ δὲ δεɩ̂ τὸ μὲν πλη̂θος τω̂ν πολιτω̂ν at the beginning of the Chapter. πλη̂θος is used for the citizens generally, not as opposed to the upper classes.
περὶ τὴν τω̂ν ἱερω̂ν οἰκοδομημάτων ἔχειν τὴν τάξιν.
‘To have their proper place.’ Cp. § 8, τὴν εἰρημένην τάξιν. τὴν . . . οἰκοδομημάτων, sc. τάξιν, is to be supplied.
τὴν καλουμένην ἀστυνομίαν.
The qualifying καλουμένην, if not a mere pleonasm, seems to indicate the more uncommon or technical expression. Cp. note on c. 8. § 7 supra, and on vi. 1. § 6.
The MSS. vary between νενεμη̂σθαι and μεμιμη̂σθαι. P4 has compounded them into νενεμιμη̂σθαι. Bekker in his second edition has adopted μεμιμη̂σθαι. Cp. vi. 2. § 7, where certain magistrates are required by law to take their meals together.
περὶ πολιτείας αὐτη̂ς.
Hitherto Aristotle has been speaking only of the conditions of the best state, which are its ὕλη (supra c. 4. §§ 1-3). Now he is going on to speak of the πολιτεία itself, which is the εἰ̂δος of a πόλις (cp. iii. 3. §§ 7-9).
Chapters 13, 14, 15 form a transition to the subject of education, which is begun in c. 16, and is continued in Book viii. But it cannot be said that Aristotle fulfils the promise of discussing the ‘constitution’ of the best state. He describes the life of his citizens from birth to boyhood, but says nothing about their judicial or political duties.
‘Stands out well,’ or ‘distinctly.’ For the thought, cp. Eud. Eth. ii. 11, 1227 b. 20, ἔστι γὰρ τὸν μὲν σκοπὸν ὀρθὸν εἰ̂ναι, ἐν δὲ τοɩ̂ς πρὸς τὸν σκοπὸν διαμαρτάνειν.
In this passage, of which the connexion is obscure, Aristotle seems to say that the good man is superior to the ordinary conditions of existence, and so to a certain extent, but to a certain extent only (ἐλάττονος τοɩ̂ς ἄμεινον διακειμένοις), the legislator may make his citizens superior to external conditions. Cp. Nic. Eth. i. cc. 9-12.
ἐπεὶ δὲ τὸ προκείμενόν ἐστι τὴν ἀρίστην πολιτείαν ἰδεɩ̂ν, αὕτη δ’ ἐστὶ καθ’ ἣν ἄριστ’ ἂν πολιτεύοιτο πόλις, ἄριστα δ’ ἂν πολιτεύοιτο καθ’ ἣν εὐδαιμονεɩ̂ν μάλιστα ἐνδέχεται τὴν πόλιν, δη̂λον ὅτι τὴν εὐδαιμονίαν δεɩ̂, τί ἐστι, μὴ λανθάνειν.
The connexion is as follows: ‘In various ways men mistake the nature of happiness, but we recognise it to be the great object of a state, and therefore we should ascertain its nature.’
ϕαμὲν δὲ καὶ ἐν τοɩ̂ς ἠθικοɩ̂ς, εἴ τι τω̂ν λόγων ἐκείνων ὄϕελος.
It is difficult to say why Aristotle should speak thus doubtfully or depreciatingly of a principle which lies at the basis both of his ethical and political philosophy. Is the expression to be attributed only to the Greek love of qualifying language?
καὶ ταύτην οὐκ ἐξ ὑποθέσεως ἀλλ’ ἁπλω̂ς.
These words are not found in the Nicomachean Ethics (see references in note on text), and therefore may be supposed to be added by Aristotle as an explanation.
λέγω δ’ ἐξ ὑποθέσεως.
‘Happiness is an absolute good, whereas punishments are only good under certain conditions;’ they are evils which prevent greater evils. The negative and the positive senses of the word ‘just,’—just punishments, just actions,—needed to be distinguished in the beginning of philosophy.
οἱ̑ον τὰ περὶ τὰς δικαίας πράξεις αἱ δίκαιαι τιμωρίαι καὶ κολάσεις ἀπ’ ἀρετη̂ς μέν εἰσιν, ἀναγκαɩ̂αι δέ, καὶ τὸ καλω̂ς ἀναγκαίως ἔχουσιν (αἱρετώτερον μὲν γὰρ μηθενὸς δεɩ̂σθαι τω̂ν τοιούτων μήτε τὸν ἄνδρα μήτε τὴν πόλιν), αἱ δ’ ἐπὶ τὰς τιμὰς καὶ τὰς εὐπορίας ἁπλω̂ς εἰσὶ κάλλισται πράξεις.
‘They have their rightness, not as ends, but as means or conditions of something else which is an end.’ For the use of ἀναγκαɩ̂ον, cp. Nic. Eth. x. 6. § 2, τω̂ν δ’ ἐνεργειω̂ν αἱ μέν εἰσιν ἀναγκαɩ̂αι καὶ δι’ ἕτερα αἱρεταί, αἱ δὲ καθ’ αὑτάς.
Under the common notion of ἀναγκαɩ̂α and ὑποθέσεως, by a play of words, Aristotle appears to comprehend not only the external goods which are the conditions of individual life, but the penalties imposed by law, which are the conditions of the existence of states.
αἱ δ’ ἐπὶ τὰς τιμὰς πράξεις, sc. ϕέρουσαι, τείνουσαι or γινόμεναι.
τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἕτερον κακον̂ τινὸς αἵρεσίς ἐστιν.
‘The one is a voluntary choice of an evil,’ i.e. for the sake of removing some other evil. For example, punishment puts an end to crime.
The conjecture ἀναίρεσις, which is adopted by Schneider, Coraes, Bekker (2nd edition), and Susemihl, is unnecessary.
χρήσαιτο δ’ ἂν ὁ σπουδαɩ̂ος ἀνὴρ καὶ πενίᾳ καὶ νόσῳ καὶ ταɩ̂ς ἄλλαις τύχαις ταɩ̂ς ϕαύλαις καλω̂ς· ἀλλὰ τὸ μακάριον ἐν τοɩ̂ς ἐναντίοις ἐστίν.
Compare Nic. Eth. i. 10, especially the noble words in § 12, ὅμως δὲ καὶ ἐν τούτοις διαλάμπει τὸ καλόν, ἔπειδαν ϕέρῃ τις εὐκόλως πολλὰς καὶ μεγάλας ἀτυχίας μὴ δι’ ἀναλγησίαν ἀλλὰ γεννάδας ὢν καὶ μεγαλόψυχος.
δη̂λον δ’ ὅτι καὶ τὰς χρήσεις ἀναγκαɩ̂ον σπουδαίας καὶ καλὰς εἰ̂ναι ταύτας ἁπλω̂ς. διὸ καὶ νομίζουσιν ἄνθρωποι τη̂ς εὐδαιμονίας αἴτια τὰ ἐκτὸς εἰ̂ναι τω̂ν ἀγαθω̂ν, ὥσπερ εἰ τον̂ κιθαρίζειν λαμπρὸν καὶ καλω̂ς αἰτιῳ̑το τὴν λύραν μα̂λλον τη̂ς τέχνης.
‘The good man will make a use of external goods which is absolutely good. And because (διὸ) this use of external goods is good in him, men think that external goods are the causes of happiness, which is just as if we were to attribute the melody to the lyre and not to the player.’
αἰτιῳ̑το, sc. τις, gathered from ἄνθρωποι. τις occurs in one MS. (P5) and is inserted by Bekker in his 2nd edition.
διὸ κατ’ εὐχὴν εὐχόμεθα τὴν τη̂ς πόλεως σύστασιν ὡ̑ν ἡ τυχὴ κυρία.
1) ‘Since therefore some things must be presupposed (διὸ), our prayer and desire is that our city may be so constituted as to have the goods of fortune,’ sc. εἰ̂ναι ἐξ ἐκείνων ὡ̑ν, etc.; or 2) ‘we desire that her constitution in respect of the goods of fortune may answer to our prayer,’ making κατ’ εὐχήν, sc. εἰ̂ναι, the predicate, ὡ̑ν, sc. ἐν ἐκείνοις ὡ̑ν; or 3) ‘we ask if we could only have our prayer,’ or ‘though it be only an ideal,’ as above, κατ’ εὐχήν, iv. 11. § 1, πολιτείαν τὴν κατ’ εὐχὴν γινομένην.
καὶ γὰρ εἰ πάντας ἐνδέχεται σπουδαίους εἰ̂ναι, μὴ καθ’ ἕκαστον δὲ τω̂ν πολιτω̂ν, οὕτως αἱρετώτερον, ἀκολουθεɩ̂ γὰρ τῳ̑ καθ’ ἕκαστον καὶ τὸ πάντας.
He seems to mean that although there might be some common idea of virtue which the citizens attained collectively, such as patriotism, yet it would be better that each individual should be virtuous, for each implies all. Compare, ii. 3. § 2, τὸ γὰρ πάντες διττόν, κ.τ.λ., where he distinguishes ‘each’ from ‘all.’
ἔνιά τε οὐθὲν ὄϕελος ϕν̂ναι· τὰ γὰρ ἔθη μεταβαλεɩ̂ν ποιεɩ̂, κ.τ.λ.
Lit. ‘Some qualities there is no use in having by nature; for habit alters them; and through nature,’ or ‘such is their nature that, they are swayed by habit both towards good and towards evil.’ To us the reasoning of this passage appears singular. Yet probably what Aristotle means to say is, that moral qualities, if given by nature, would cease to be moral, and in so far as they are moral would cease to be natural. Nature in this passage is used for ‘instinct,’ or ‘natural impulse.’ From another point of view (Nic. Eth. ii. 1. § 2) he shows, using the term ϕύσις in a somewhat different sense, that things which are purely natural cannot be altered by habit; but that nature supplies the conditions under which habits may be cultivated. Cp. also infra, c. 15. § 7.
ἑτέρους . . . ἢ τοὺς αὐτοὺς διὰ βίου.
‘Are rulers and subjects to differ at different times, or to be the same always?’
1) *Dative of reference: ‘In relation to their subjects,’ or, 2) with a more obvious construction, but with a feebler sense, τοɩ̂ς ἀρχομένοις may be taken after ϕανεράν, ‘so that the superiority of the governors is manifest to their subjects.’
The same who is mentioned in Herodotus (iv. 44) as sailing down the Indus by order of Darius Hystaspes. Whether the writings passing under his name with which Aristotle was acquainted were genuine or not we cannot say. The short summary of the geography of the habitable world which has come down to us under the name of Scylax contains allusions to events later than the time of Herodotus, and is therefore certainly either spurious or interpolated.
πάντες οἱ κατὰ τὴν χώραν.
Not country as opposed to town—‘the country people combine with the malcontents of the town;’ but, ‘all the inhabitants minus the rulers,’ i.e. the perioeci, metics, or any others, who, though personally free, had no political rights, make common cause with the subject classes and desire revolution.
ἡ γὰρ ϕύσις δέδωκε τὴν αἵρεσιν, ποιήσασα αὐτῳ̑ τῳ̑ γένει ταὐτὸν τὸ μὲν νεώτερον τὸ δὲ πρεσβύτερον, ὡ̑ν τοɩ̂ς μὲν ἄρχεσθαι πρέπει, τοɩ̂ς δ’ ἄρχειν.
Lit. ‘For nature herself has given the principle of choice when she created in the very race the same element, i. e. the same human beings, partly young and partly old, of whom the one are fitted to obey, the others to command.’
αὐτῳ̑ τῳ̑ γένει ταὐτόν. The word αὐτῳ̑ has less MS. authority than αὐτό, and is omitted altogether in one MS. and in Aretino’s translation. Αὐτὸ may be translated: ‘In the human race nature has created the very same thing, making a distinction of old and young, corresponding to that of rulers and subjects.’ The correction τω̂ν αὐτω̂ν for αὐτῳ̑ is unnecessary.
ἐπεὶ δὲ πολίτου καὶ ἄρχοντος τὴν αὐτὴν ἀρετὴν εἰ̂ναί ϕαμεν καὶ τον̂ ἀρίστου ἀνδρός.
i. e. in the best state which he is here discussing.
ὡσαύτως ον̓̂ν ἀνάγκη διῃρη̂σθαι καὶ τον̂το τὸ μέρος δη̂λον ὅτι, καὶ τὰς πράξεις δ’ ἀνάλογον ἐρον̂μεν ἔχειν, καὶ δεɩ̂ τὰς τον̂ ϕύσει βελτίονος αἱρετωτέρας εἰ̂ναι τοɩ̂ς δυναμένοις τυγχάνειν ἢ πασω̂ν ἢ τοɩ̂ν δυοɩ̂ν.
ὡσαύτως . . ἔχειν. ‘And as there must be a division of the soul, in like manner there must be a division of the actions of the soul;’ ὡσαύτως answers to ἀνάλογον ἔχειν, and is to be taken closely with καὶ τὰς πράξεις.
τον̂το τὸ μέρος, sc. τὸ λόγον ἔχον.
ἢ πασω̂ν ἢ τοɩ̂ν δυοɩ̂ν, sc. τω̂ν πράξεων. ‘The simple action of the highest principle is better than the mixed action of all or of two, that is the union of the higher with the lower, or the practical and speculative reason combined (τοɩ̂ν δυοɩ̂ν).’ Aristotle is here speaking of that life of mind which in the Ethics he conceives to have a separate existence (ἡ δὲ τον̂ νον̂ [sc. εὐδαιμονία] κεχωρισμένη Nic. Eth. x. 8. § 3). But we are unable to understand how this pure mind condescends to take a part in human things—the analogous difficulty in Aristotle to the relation of τὰ νοούμενα and τὰ ϕαινόμενα in Plato. We know that within the sphere of practice thought and reflection must always be reappearing if the legislator is endowed with them. But Aristotle nowhere explains how the speculative, either in private or public life, is related to the practical, or what is the higher training which fits the citizen for either.
ἐπαινον̂ντες γὰρ τὴν Λακεδαιμονίων πολιτείαν ἄγανται τον̂ νομοθέτου τὸν σκοπόν, ὅτι πάντα πρὸς τὸ κρατεɩ̂ν καὶ πρὸς πόλεμον ἐνομοθέτησεν· ἃ καὶ κατὰ τὸν λόγον ἐστὶν εὐέλεγκτα καὶ τοɩ̂ς ἔργοις ἐξελήλεγκται νν̂ν.
Cp. Thuc. ii. 39, καὶ ἐν ταɩ̂ς παιδείαις οἱ μὲν ἐπιπόνῳ ἀσκήσει (sc. οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι) εὐθὺς νέοι ὄντες τὸ ἀνδρεɩ̂ον μετέρχονται, ἡμεɩ̂ς δὲ ἀνειμένως διαιτώμενοι οὐδὲν ἡ̑σσον ἐπὶ τοὺς ἰσοπαλεɩ̂ς κινδύνους χωρον̂μεν.
καὶ τοɩ̂ς ἔργοις ἐξελήλεγκται νν̂ν. Alluding to Leuctra and Mantinea. Cp. c. 11. § 8, about walls, and ii. 9. § 10, about the women.
οὕτω καὶ Θίβρων.
Who Thibron was is unknown. But we have an example of a treatise such as he might have written in the ‘de Republica Lacedemoniorum,’ attributed to Xenophon. Was he more likely to have been a Spartan, or only an admirer of Sparta, like the Philolacon in other states of Hellas? The name is Lacedaemonian. The words τω̂ν ἄλλων ἕκαστος τω̂ν γραϕόντων περὶ πολιτείας αὐτω̂ν remind us how large a literature of political philosophy must have existed in the time of Aristotle, although we are apt to imagine him the first writer on such subjects. Cp. ii. 1. § 1; c. 7. § 1; c. 12. § 1.
ἔτι δὲ τον̂το γελοɩ̂ον, εἰ μένοντες ἐν τοɩ̂ς νόμοις αὐτον̂, καὶ μηδενὸς ἐμποδίζοντος πρὸς τὸ χρη̂σθαι τοɩ̂ς νόμοις, ἀποβεβλήκασι τὸ ζη̂ν καλω̂ς.
‘If their greatness depended on their laws, it is ridiculous to suppose that they can have retained their laws and lost their happiness.’
ὅτι κρατεɩ̂ν ἤσκησεν ἐπὶ τὸ τω̂ν πέλας ἄρχειν.
‘If states are trained in virtue only that they may rule over their neighbours, the same principle will impel individuals to usurp the government in their own states.’
Παυσανίᾳ τῳ̑ βασιλεɩ̂.
See note on v. 1. § 10.
ταὐτὰ γὰρ ἄριστα καὶ ἰδίᾳ καὶ κοινῃ̑ τὸν νομοθέτην ἐμποιεɩ̂ν δεɩ̂ ταν̂τα ταɩ̂ς ψυχαɩ̂ς τω̂ν ἀνθρώπων.
There is a slight flaw in the text, which may be corrected (with Susemihl) by adding τε after τόν.
τὴν γὰρ βαϕὴν ἀϕια̂σιν, ὥσπερ ὁ σίδηρος, εἰρήνην ἄγοντες.
Cp. Soph. Aj. 650 (Dindorf):—
In the Nic. Eth. x. 7, Aristotle dwells at length on the thesis that the true happiness of man is to be sought in leisure and contemplation. But we have a difficulty in realizing his meaning. For we naturally ask how is the leisure to be employed? and on what is contemplation to feed? To these questions his writings supply no answer. We have no difficulty in understanding that by a philosopher the mind and the use of the mind is deemed higher than the body and its functions, or that the intellectual is to be preferred to the moral, or that the life of a gentleman is to be passed in liberal occupations, not in trade or servile toil. But when we attempt to go further we can only discern a negative idealism; we are put off with words such as θεωρία, οὐσία, and the like, which absorbed the minds of that generation, but which to us appear to have no context or meaning.
But if in the sphere of the individual the idea of contemplative leisure is feeble and uncertain, much more shadowy is the meaning of the word when applied to the state. We can see that peace is to be preferred to war; that the Athenians ‘provided for their weary spirits many relaxations from toil’ (Thuc. ii. 38); that ‘they could fix their minds upon the greatness of Athens until they became filled with the love of her’ (ib. 43); that into education an element of philosophy should enter; that sleep is sweet to weary mortals; that to the Greek leisure was a necessity of the higher life. But we fail to perceive how the leisure of a state, the interest of a spectacle, the tranquillity of wealth is better than some great struggle for freedom; or how the sons of those who fought at Thermopylae and Salamis were more fortunate than their fathers. Aristotle himself seems to acknowledge that greater virtues of some kind would be required in ‘the islands of the blest’ than in the ordinary life of man. The contemplative end which he imagines is not suited to the human character and is nearly unmeaning. To us there appears to be more truth in the sentiment, which has been repeated in many forms, that ‘the search after knowledge is a greater blessing to man than the attainment of it.’
δεɩ̂ γὰρ πολλὰ τω̂ν ἀναγκαίων ὑπάρχειν, ὅπως ἐξῃ̑ σχολάζειν.
‘The virtues of leisure imply the virtues of business, for business supplies the means of leisure.’
ὁ μὲν γὰρ πόλεμος ἀναγκάζει δικαίους εἰ̂ναι καὶ σωϕρονεɩ̂ν.
Cp. Tennyson’s Maud I. vi.-xiii.:—
‘Why do they prate of the blessings of peace?
Peace in her vineyard—yes!—but a company forges the wine.’
Yet there is corruption in war as well as in peace, now as of old, in furnishing the commissariat of an army, in making appointments, in conferring distinctions, sometimes followed by a fearful retribution.
ἐκεɩ̂νοι μὲν γὰρ οὐ ταύτῃ διαϕέρουσι τω̂ν ἄλλων, τῳ̑ μὴ νομίζειν ταὐτὰ τοɩ̂ς ἄλλοις μέγιστα τω̂ν ἀγαθω̂ν, ἀλλὰ τῳ̑ γενέσθαι ταν̂τα μα̂λλον διά τινος ἀρετη̂ς.
‘The Lacedaemonians agree with the rest of mankind that the good life is the end, but they differ in supposing the end to be obtained by military virtue alone.’
Cp. (though a different point of view from that which is here taken) ii. 9. §§ 34, 35: ‘Although the Lacedaemonians truly think that the goods for which they contend are to be acquired by virtue rather than by vice, they err in supposing that these goods are to be preferred to the virtue which gains them.’
ἐπεὶ δὲ μείζω τε ἀγαθὰ ταν̂τα, καὶ τὴν ἀπόλαυσιν τὴν τούτων ἢ τὴν τω̂ν ἀρετω̂ν, καὶ ὅτι δι’ αὐτήν, ϕανερὸν ἐκ τούτων, πω̂ς δὲ καὶ διὰ τίνων ἔσται, τον̂το δὴ θεωρητέον.
The construction of the sentence is as follows: ἐπεὶ δὲ ϕανερὸν ἐκ τούτων μείζω [εἰ̂ναι] τὰ ἀγαθὰ ταν̂τα καὶ τὴν ἀπόλαυσιν τὴν τούτων ἢ τὴν τω̂ν ἀρετω̂ν [sc. ἠθικω̂ν ἢ πολεμικω̂ν χρη̂σιν understood from ἀπόλαυσιν] καὶ ὅτι [αἱ ἀρεταὶ] εἰσὶ δι’ αὐτὴν [sc. τὴν τούτων ἀπόλαυσιν].
πω̂ς δὲ introduces the apodosis which is resumed in τον̂το δὴ θεωρητέον.
ἀρετω̂ν goes back to διά τινος ἀρετη̂ς in the previous sentence.
ἐνδέχεται γὰρ διημαρτηκέναι καὶ τὸν λόγον τη̂ς βελτίστης ὑποθέσεως, καὶ διὰ τω̂ν ἐθω̂ν ὁμοίως ἠ̑χθαι.
The meaning of ἠ̑χθαι is simply ‘trained;’ whether for good or evil depends on the sense given to ὁμοίως. Either 1)* ‘in the same i. e. a mistaken way’; or 2) ‘all the same’ = ‘nevertheless.’ The first is most in accordance with the context διημαρτηκέναι καὶ τὸν λόγον. The καὶ is needlessly bracketed by Bekker in his 2nd edition. ‘For even reason (which we might least expect to err) is not infallible.’
ϕανερὸν δὴ τον̂τό γε πρω̂τον μέν, καθάπερ ἐν τοɩ̂ς ἄλλοις, ὡς ἡ γένεσις ἀπ’ ἀρχη̂ς ἐστὶ καὶ τὸ τέλος ἀπό τινος ἀρχη̂ς ἄλλου τέλους· ὁ δὲ λόγος ἡμɩ̂ν καὶ ὁ νον̂ς τη̂ς ϕύσεως τέλος.
1) *The connexion is as follows: ‘We have to consider whether men are to be trained by reason or by habit: Thus much is clear—that there is a succession of means and ends: every birth having a beginning and every end having a beginning in some other end; and the end of nature being reason and intelligence.’ That is to say: ‘In every birth there are previous elements and in like manner in the end or intellectual perfection of human nature other antecedents, such as education, are implied, which from other points of view are themselves ends.’
2) According to Susemihl the words are to be taken as follows: ‘It is clear that generation implies some antecedent principle and the end which springs from an antecedent principle is in turn relative to a further end.’ According to this way of taking the passage γένεσις in the 1st clause is equivalent to τέλος in the 2nd. Generation has an antecedent principle of which it is the end. The end which thus springs from an antecedent principle has a further end, namely, intelligence and reason. But two objections may be offered to this way of translating the words. a) τινός has no meaning. b) The less natural construction is adopted instead of the more natural. For ἄλλου τέλους would naturally depend upon the words which immediately precede, ἀπό τινος ἀρχη̂ς.
3) Once more, Mr. Postgate proposes to take the passage as follows: ‘So much then is evident—first here, as in other cases, coming into existence is the beginning of all, and what is the end, viewed from a certain beginning, is itself directed towards a further end.’ To this interpretation it may be objected that ἀπ’ ἀρχη̂ς is taken in a different sense from ἀπό τινος ἀρχη̂ς and that τον̂ τέλους, as in the preceding explanation, is construed unnaturally.
See infra note on § 9.
The oracle ‘μὴ τέμνε νέαν ἄλοκα’ which is found in the margin of two MSS. is probably made up from the context. Out of these words Göttling has constructed a hexameter ἀλλὰ νέας, Τροίζην, ἄλοκας μὴ τέμνε βαθείας. The equivocation may either consist in the double meaning of νεα̂ς ‘fallow ground’ (in Attic used for νεια̂ς) and νέας ‘the young maiden:’ or the disputed point may have been only whether the oracle was to be taken literally or metaphorically.
διὸ τὰς μὲν ἁρμόττει περὶ τὴν τω̂ν ὀκτωκαίδεκα ἐτω̂ν ἡλικίαν συζευγνύναι, τοὺς δ’ ἑπτὰ καὶ τριάκοντα, ἢ μικρόν.
The words ἢ μικρὸν probably mean ‘thereabouts’ or ‘nearly,’ like μικρον̂; or some word such as πλεɩ̂ον may have dropped out.
The disparity of age between the man and woman appears to be great; but as Aristotle extends the term for the women from 18 to 50, and for the men from 35 to 70 years, the time allowed for cohabitation in either would nearly coincide, i.e. 35 and 32 years. There is therefore no reason for doubting the reading.
The relative ages to us appear singular. Malthus, On Population vol. i. p. 237, remarks that this regulation ‘must of course condemn a great number of women to celibacy, as there never can be so many men of thirty-seven as there are women of eighteen.’ But the real and great disparity is between the total number of women after eighteen and the total number of men after thirty-five.
Plato in the Republic (v. 460) makes the interval less. He assigns twenty to forty as the marriageable age for women: for men, from the time ‘when they have passed the greatest speed of life’ (twenty-five?) to fifty-five. In the Laws (iv. 721) the citizens are required to marry between the ages of thirty and thirty-five; but in another passage (772 D, E) between twenty-five and thirty-five.
In the History of Animals (Aristotle?) the age proper for marriage in men is limited to sixty, or at the utmost seventy; in women to forty, or at the utmost fifty.
ἔτι δὲ ἡ διαδοχὴ τω̂ν τέκνων τοɩ̂ς μὲν ἀρχομένης ἔσται τη̂ς ἀκμη̂ς, ἐὰν γίγνηται κατὰ λόγον εὐθὺς ἡ γένεσις, τοɩ̂ς δὲ ἤδη καταλελυμένης τη̂ς ἡλικίας πρὸς τὸν τω̂ν ἑβδομήκοντα ἐτω̂ν ἀριθμόν.
According to this way of reckoning Aristotle seems to consider the prime of life to be thirty-five. The father having begun to keep house at thirty-five years of age would at seventy give up to the son, who might be expected to begin family life over again at thirty-five.
In speaking of the succession of children to their parents Aristotle takes account only of the fathers.
τοɩ̂ς δὲ περὶ τὴν ὥραν χρόνοις, ὡς οἱ πολλοὶ χρω̂νται καλω̂ς καὶ νν̂ν, ὁρίσαντες χειμω̂νος τὴν συναυλίαν ποιεɩ̂σθαι ταύτην.
Sc. δεɩ̂ οὕτως ποιεɩ̂ν, taking δεɩ̂ from the previous sentence. The better MSS. read δεɩ̂ χρη̂σθαι after χρόνοις, but this is unnecessary, and the repetition of χρω̂νται after χρη̂σθαι is unpleasant.
συναυλίαν, ‘cohabitation’ probably from αὐλὴ not from αὐλός.
καὶ αὐτοὺς ἤδη.
i. e. ‘themselves when they come to be parents as well as the writers on these subjects.’
Like Plato, Aristotle prescribes gymnastics for women as well as men. Cp. Plat. Laws vii. 789; Rep. v. 457.
διὰ δὲ πλη̂θος τέκνων, ἐὰν ἡ τάξις τω̂ν ἐθω̂ν κωλύῃ, μηδὲν ἀποτίθεσθαι τω̂ν γιγνομένων· ὥρισται γὰρ δὴ τη̂ς τεκνοποιίας τὸ πλη̂θος. ἐὰν δέ τισι γίγνηται παρὰ ταν̂τα συνδυασθέντων, πρὶν αἴσθησιν ἐγγενέσθαι καὶ ζωήν, ἐμποιεɩ̂σθαι δεɩ̂ τὴν ἄμβλωσιν.
‘But when there are too many children (for we have settled that there is to be a limit of population), they must not be exposed merely for this reason. If, however, it should happen that a couple exceed the number allowed by law, then abortion must be practised before sense and life have begun.’
ὥρισται γὰρ δὴ . . . . τὸ πλη̂θος gives the reason for introducing the previous remark. ‘I speak of this because population has been limited.’ Cp. ii. 7. § 5, where Aristotle says that the legislator who fixes the amount of property should also fix the limit of population; and ii. 6. § 10, where he censures Plato for supposing that population will be kept down even if nothing is done to secure this object: and Rep. v. 461, where abortion and exposure are allowed, or in certain cases enforced; also a curious and interesting passage quoted from Musonius a Stoic philosopher (about 60 a.d.), by Stobaeus § 15. p. 450, in which he denounces abortion and similar practices as offences against Zeus the god of kindred.
Respecting the seven ages, see infra, note on c. 17. § 15; and for the regulations of Aristotle respecting marriage, the time after marriage, procreation and nursing of children and their early education, cp. Laws vii. 788-794.
sc. δεɩ̂. To be gathered from the previous paragraph.
τὰς δὲ διατάσεις τω̂ν παίδων καὶ κλαυθμοὺς οὐκ ὀρθω̂ς ἀπαγορεύουσιν οἱ κωλύοντες ἐν τοɩ̂ς νόμοις· συμϕέρουσι γὰρ πρὸς αὔξησιν.
This is another misrepresentation of Plato, who only says that when children are silent they are pleased, and that they ought to have as little pain as possible in early childhood lest they grow up morose in character. (‘When anything is brought to the infant and he is silent, then he is supposed to be pleased, but when he weeps and cries out, then he is not pleased. For tears and cries are the inauspicious signs by which children show what they love and hate.’ Laws vii. 792 A). Yet the words ἐν τοɩ̂ς νόμοις sufficiently show that Plato is the writer to whom Aristotle is referring.
τὰς διατάσεις, ‘the passions or struggles,’ a neutral word to be interpreted by κλαυθμοὶ which follows.
εὔλογον ον̓̂ν ἀπελαύνειν ἀπὸ τω̂ν ἀκουσμάτων καὶ τω̂ν ὁραμάτων ἀνελευθερίαν καὶ τηλικούτους ὄντας.
A thought enlarged upon by Plato Rep. ii. 377 ff.
Bekker in his 1st edition has unnecessarily altered ἀνελευθερίαν, the reading of the majority of the MSS., into ἀνελευθερίας. In his 2nd edition he has substituted ἀνελευθέρων, which has some MS. authority. Neither alteration is necessary; τηλικούτους ὄντας may be taken as an accusative of the remoter object. ἀπελαύνειν has been altered by Susemihl into ἀπολαβεɩ̂ν, a change which is partly grounded on a various reading ἀπολαύειν, and partly on the ‘absumere’ of the old translator.
καὶ τηλικούτους ὄντας. 1)* ‘Even when they are at this early age,’ i. e. although they are so young, care must be taken about what they see and hear; or 2) καὶ may be emphatic, ‘especially at this early age when they cannot take care of themselves.’
ἐπιμελὲς μὲν ον̓̂ν ἔστω τοɩ̂ς ἄρχουσι μηθὲν μήτε ἄγαλμα μήτε γραϕὴν εἰ̂ναι τοιούτων πράξεων μίμησιν, εἰ μὴ παρά τισι θεοɩ̂ς τοιούτοις οἱ̑ς καὶ τὸν τωθασμὸν ἀποδίδωσιν ὁ νόμος· πρὸς δὲ τούτοις ἀϕίησιν ὁ νόμος τοὺς ἔχοντας ἡλικίαν πλέον προήκουσαν καὶ ὑπὲρ αὑτω̂ν καὶ τέκνων καὶ γυναικω̂ν τιμαλϕεɩ̂ν τοὺς θεούς.
οἱ̑ς καὶ τὸν τωθασμὸν ἀποδίδωσιν ὁ νόμος. Such as the Phallic improvisation at the Dionysiac festival of which Aristophanes furnishes an imitation in the Acharnians 263 ff.
The words πρὸς δὲ τούτοις introduce a second exception: ‘indecency may be allowed in the temples of certain Gods;’ πρὸς δὲ τούτοις, ‘and also to persons of full age whom the law allows to worship in such temples.’ Cp. once more Plat. Rep. ii. 378: ‘The doings of Cronus, and the sufferings which his son in turn inflicted upon him, even if they were true, ought certainly not to be lightly told to young and simple persons; if possible, they had better be buried in silence. But if there is an absolute necessity for their mention, a chosen few might hear them in a mystery, and in order to reduce the number of hearers they should sacrifice not a common [Eleusinian] pig, but some huge and unprocurable victim.’
A great Athenian actor and performer of Sophocles who took the part of Antigone: Aeschines was his tritagonist who played Creon. Dem. Fal. Leg. 418. He is mentioned in the Rhetoric of Aristotle ii. 23. 1400 b. 16, iii. 13. 1414 b. 13.
οἱ γὰρ ταɩ̂ς ἑβδομάσι διαιρον̂ντες τὰς ἡλικίας ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ λέγουσιν οὐ καλω̂ς, δεɩ̂ δὲ τῃ̑ διαιρέσει τη̂ς ϕύσεως ἐπακολουθεɩ̂ν.
It is uncertain whether we should read *οὐ καλω̂ς or οὐ κακω̂ς in this passage. The authority of the MSS. and the immediate context confirm the former. On the other hand οὐ κακω̂ς is the more idiomatic expression, and is not irreconcileable with the context:—‘Those who divide the ages of men by seven are not far wrong, and yet we should rather observe the divisions made by nature;’ or, ‘and we should observe the divisions made by nature, i. e. the divisions into sevens’ (Bergk 25). This is also confirmed by the passage in c. 16. § 17, αὕτη [sc. ἡ τη̂ς διανοίας ἀκμὴ] δ’ ἐστὶν ἐν τοɩ̂ς πλείστοις ἥνπερ τω̂ν ποιητω̂ν τινὲς εἰρήκασιν οἱ μετρον̂ντες ταɩ̂ς ἑβδομάσι τὴν ἡλικίαν, περὶ τὸν χρόνον τὸν τω̂ν πεντήκοντα ἐτω̂ν.
It may be observed too that Aristotle himself in this passage divides ages by sevens—seven, fourteen (puberty), twenty-one.
The ‘sevens’ of Aristotle agree with the ‘sevens’ of Solon (?) in the years which he assigns to marriage (35) and to the highest development of the mind (49 or 50):—
Compare an interesting note of Mr. Cope’s in his edition of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, vol. ii. p. 160.
[1 ]al. lect. σω̂μά τε καὶ δύναμις.