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By Aristotle

Translated by Benjamin Jowett



Part I 

Every tate is a community of some kind, and every community is established
with a view to some good; for mankind always act in order to obtain
that which they think good. But, if all communities aim at some good,
the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and
which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than
any other, and at the highest good. 

Some people think that the qualifications of a statesman, king, householder,
and master are the same, and that they differ, not in kind, but only
in the number of their subjects. For example, the ruler over a few
is called a master; over more, the manager of a household; over a
still larger number, a statesman or king, as if there were no difference
between a great household and a small state. The distinction which
is made between the king and the statesman is as follows: When the
government is personal, the ruler is a king; when, according to the
rules of the political science, the citizens rule and are ruled in
turn, then he is called a statesman. 

But all this is a mistake; for governments differ in kind, as will
be evident to any one who considers the matter according to the method
which has hitherto guided us. As in other departments of science,
so in politics, the compound should always be resolved into the simple
elements or least parts of the whole. We must therefore look at the
elements of which the state is composed, in order that we may see
in what the different kinds of rule differ from one another, and whether
any scientific result can be attained about each one of them.

Part II

He who thus considers things in their first growth and origin, whether
a state or anything else, will obtain the clearest view of them. In
the first place there must be a union of those who cannot exist without
each other; namely, of male and female, that the race may continue
(and this is a union which is formed, not of deliberate purpose, but
because, in common with other animals and with plants, mankind have
a natural desire to leave behind them an image of themselves), and
of natural ruler and subject, that both may be preserved. For that
which can foresee by the exercise of mind is by nature intended to
be lord and master, and that which can with its body give effect to
such foresight is a subject, and by nature a slave; hence master and
slave have the same interest. Now nature has distinguished between
the female and the slave. For she is not niggardly, like the smith
who fashions the Delphian knife for many uses; she makes each thing
for a single use, and every instrument is best made when intended
for one and not for many uses. But among barbarians no distinction
is made between women and slaves, because there is no natural ruler
among them: they are a community of slaves, male and female. Wherefore
the poets say, 

"It is meet that Hellenes should rule over barbarians; "

as if they thought that the barbarian and the slave were by nature

Out of these two relationships between man and woman, master and slave,
the first thing to arise is the family, and Hesiod is right when he

"First house and wife and an ox for the plough, "

for the ox is the poor man's slave. The family is the association
established by nature for the supply of men's everyday wants, and
the members of it are called by Charondas 'companions of the cupboard,'
and by Epimenides the Cretan, 'companions of the manger.' But when
several families are united, and the association aims at something
more than the supply of daily needs, the first society to be formed
is the village. And the most natural form of the village appears to
be that of a colony from the family, composed of the children and
grandchildren, who are said to be suckled 'with the same milk.' And
this is the reason why Hellenic states were originally governed by
kings; because the Hellenes were under royal rule before they came
together, as the barbarians still are. Every family is ruled by the
eldest, and therefore in the colonies of the family the kingly form
of government prevailed because they were of the same blood. As Homer

"Each one gives law to his children and to his wives. "

For they lived dispersedly, as was the manner in ancient times. Wherefore
men say that the Gods have a king, because they themselves either
are or were in ancient times under the rule of a king. For they imagine,
not only the forms of the Gods, but their ways of life to be like
their own. 

When several villages are united in a single complete community, large
enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into
existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in
existence for the sake of a good life. And therefore, if the earlier
forms of society are natural, so is the state, for it is the end of
them, and the nature of a thing is its end. For what each thing is
when fully developed, we call its nature, whether we are speaking
of a man, a horse, or a family. Besides, the final cause and end of
a thing is the best, and to be self-sufficing is the end and the best.

Hence it is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that
man is by nature a political animal. And he who by nature and not
by mere accident is without a state, is either a bad man or above
humanity; he is like the 

"Tribeless, lawless, hearthless one, "

whom Homer denounces- the natural outcast is forthwith a lover of
war; he may be compared to an isolated piece at draughts.

Now, that man is more of a political animal than bees or any other
gregarious animals is evident. Nature, as we often say, makes nothing
in vain, and man is the only animal whom she has endowed with the
gift of speech. And whereas mere voice is but an indication of pleasure
or pain, and is therefore found in other animals (for their nature
attains to the perception of pleasure and pain and the intimation
of them to one another, and no further), the power of speech is intended
to set forth the expedient and inexpedient, and therefore likewise
the just and the unjust. And it is a characteristic of man that he
alone has any sense of good and evil, of just and unjust, and the
like, and the association of living beings who have this sense makes
a family and a state. 

Further, the state is by nature clearly prior to the family and to
the individual, since the whole is of necessity prior to the part;
for example, if the whole body be destroyed, there will be no foot
or hand, except in an equivocal sense, as we might speak of a stone
hand; for when destroyed the hand will be no better than that. But
things are defined by their working and power; and we ought not to
say that they are the same when they no longer have their proper quality,
but only that they have the same name. The proof that the state is
a creation of nature and prior to the individual is that the individual,
when isolated, is not self-sufficing; and therefore he is like a part
in relation to the whole. But he who is unable to live in society,
or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either
a beast or a god: he is no part of a state. A social instinct is implanted
in all men by nature, and yet he who first founded the state was the
greatest of benefactors. For man, when perfected, is the best of animals,
but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all;
since armed injustice is the more dangerous, and he is equipped at
birth with arms, meant to be used by intelligence and virtue, which
he may use for the worst ends. Wherefore, if he have not virtue, he
is the most unholy and the most savage of animals, and the most full
of lust and gluttony. But justice is the bond of men in states, for
the administration of justice, which is the determination of what
is just, is the principle of order in political society.

Part III

Seeing then that the state is made up of households, before speaking
of the state we must speak of the management of the household. The
parts of household management correspond to the persons who compose
the household, and a complete household consists of slaves and freemen.
Now we should begin by examining everything in its fewest possible
elements; and the first and fewest possible parts of a family are
master and slave, husband and wife, father and children. We have therefore
to consider what each of these three relations is and ought to be:
I mean the relation of master and servant, the marriage relation (the
conjunction of man and wife has no name of its own), and thirdly,
the procreative relation (this also has no proper name). And there
is another element of a household, the so-called art of getting wealth,
which, according to some, is identical with household management,
according to others, a principal part of it; the nature of this art
will also have to be considered by us. 

Let us first speak of master and slave, looking to the needs of practical
life and also seeking to attain some better theory of their relation
than exists at present. For some are of opinion that the rule of a
master is a science, and that the management of a household, and the
mastership of slaves, and the political and royal rule, as I was saying
at the outset, are all the same. Others affirm that the rule of a
master over slaves is contrary to nature, and that the distinction
between slave and freeman exists by law only, and not by nature; and
being an interference with nature is therefore unjust. 

Part IV

Property is a part of the household, and the art of acquiring property
is a part of the art of managing the household; for no man can live
well, or indeed live at all, unless he be provided with necessaries.
And as in the arts which have a definite sphere the workers must have
their own proper instruments for the accomplishment of their work,
so it is in the management of a household. Now instruments are of
various sorts; some are living, others lifeless; in the rudder, the
pilot of a ship has a lifeless, in the look-out man, a living instrument;
for in the arts the servant is a kind of instrument. Thus, too, a
possession is an instrument for maintaining life. And so, in the arrangement
of the family, a slave is a living possession, and property a number
of such instruments; and the servant is himself an instrument which
takes precedence of all other instruments. For if every instrument
could accomplish its own work, obeying or anticipating the will of
others, like the statues of Daedalus, or the tripods of Hephaestus,
which, says the poet, 

"of their own accord entered the assembly of the Gods; "

if, in like manner, the shuttle would weave and the plectrum touch
the lyre without a hand to guide them, chief workmen would not want
servants, nor masters slaves. Here, however, another distinction must
be drawn; the instruments commonly so called are instruments of production,
whilst a possession is an instrument of action. The shuttle, for example,
is not only of use; but something else is made by it, whereas of a
garment or of a bed there is only the use. Further, as production
and action are different in kind, and both require instruments, the
instruments which they employ must likewise differ in kind. But life
is action and not production, and therefore the slave is the minister
of action. Again, a possession is spoken of as a part is spoken of;
for the part is not only a part of something else, but wholly belongs
to it; and this is also true of a possession. The master is only the
master of the slave; he does not belong to him, whereas the slave
is not only the slave of his master, but wholly belongs to him. Hence
we see what is the nature and office of a slave; he who is by nature
not his own but another's man, is by nature a slave; and he may be
said to be another's man who, being a human being, is also a possession.
And a possession may be defined as an instrument of action, separable
from the possessor. 

Part V

But is there any one thus intended by nature to be a slave, and for
whom such a condition is expedient and right, or rather is not all
slavery a violation of nature? 

There is no difficulty in answering this question, on grounds both
of reason and of fact. For that some should rule and others be ruled
is a thing not only necessary, but expedient; from the hour of their
birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.

And there are many kinds both of rulers and subjects (and that rule
is the better which is exercised over better subjects- for example,
to rule over men is better than to rule over wild beasts; for the
work is better which is executed by better workmen, and where one
man rules and another is ruled, they may be said to have a work);
for in all things which form a composite whole and which are made
up of parts, whether continuous or discrete, a distinction between
the ruling and the subject element comes to fight. Such a duality
exists in living creatures, but not in them only; it originates in
the constitution of the universe; even in things which have no life
there is a ruling principle, as in a musical mode. But we are wandering
from the subject. We will therefore restrict ourselves to the living
creature, which, in the first place, consists of soul and body: and
of these two, the one is by nature the ruler, and the other the subject.
But then we must look for the intentions of nature in things which
retain their nature, and not in things which are corrupted. And therefore
we must study the man who is in the most perfect state both of body
and soul, for in him we shall see the true relation of the two; although
in bad or corrupted natures the body will often appear to rule over
the soul, because they are in an evil and unnatural condition. At
all events we may firstly observe in living creatures both a despotical
and a constitutional rule; for the soul rules the body with a despotical
rule, whereas the intellect rules the appetites with a constitutional
and royal rule. And it is clear that the rule of the soul over the
body, and of the mind and the rational element over the passionate,
is natural and expedient; whereas the equality of the two or the rule
of the inferior is always hurtful. The same holds good of animals
in relation to men; for tame animals have a better nature than wild,
and all tame animals are better off when they are ruled by man; for
then they are preserved. Again, the male is by nature superior, and
the female inferior; and the one rules, and the other is ruled; this
principle, of necessity, extends to all mankind. 

Where then there is such a difference as that between soul and body,
or between men and animals (as in the case of those whose business
is to use their body, and who can do nothing better), the lower sort
are by nature slaves, and it is better for them as for all inferiors
that they should be under the rule of a master. For he who can be,
and therefore is, another's and he who participates in rational principle
enough to apprehend, but not to have, such a principle, is a slave
by nature. Whereas the lower animals cannot even apprehend a principle;
they obey their instincts. And indeed the use made of slaves and of
tame animals is not very different; for both with their bodies minister
to the needs of life. Nature would like to distinguish between the
bodies of freemen and slaves, making the one strong for servile labor,
the other upright, and although useless for such services, useful
for political life in the arts both of war and peace. But the opposite
often happens- that some have the souls and others have the bodies
of freemen. And doubtless if men differed from one another in the
mere forms of their bodies as much as the statues of the Gods do from
men, all would acknowledge that the inferior class should be slaves
of the superior. And if this is true of the body, how much more just
that a similar distinction should exist in the soul? but the beauty
of the body is seen, whereas the beauty of the soul is not seen. It
is clear, then, that some men are by nature free, and others slaves,
and that for these latter slavery is both expedient and right.

Part VI

But that those who take the opposite view have in a certain way right
on their side, may be easily seen. For the words slavery and slave
are used in two senses. There is a slave or slavery by law as well
as by nature. The law of which I speak is a sort of convention- the
law by which whatever is taken in war is supposed to belong to the
victors. But this right many jurists impeach, as they would an orator
who brought forward an unconstitutional measure: they detest the notion
that, because one man has the power of doing violence and is superior
in brute strength, another shall be his slave and subject. Even among
philosophers there is a difference of opinion. The origin of the dispute,
and what makes the views invade each other's territory, is as follows:
in some sense virtue, when furnished with means, has actually the
greatest power of exercising force; and as superior power is only
found where there is superior excellence of some kind, power seems
to imply virtue, and the dispute to be simply one about justice (for
it is due to one party identifying justice with goodwill while the
other identifies it with the mere rule of the stronger). If these
views are thus set out separately, the other views have no force or
plausibility against the view that the superior in virtue ought to
rule, or be master. Others, clinging, as they think, simply to a principle
of justice (for law and custom are a sort of justice), assume that
slavery in accordance with the custom of war is justified by law,
but at the same moment they deny this. For what if the cause of the
war be unjust? And again, no one would ever say he is a slave who
is unworthy to be a slave. Were this the case, men of the highest
rank would be slaves and the children of slaves if they or their parents
chance to have been taken captive and sold. Wherefore Hellenes do
not like to call Hellenes slaves, but confine the term to barbarians.
Yet, in using this language, they really mean the natural slave of
whom we spoke at first; for it must be admitted that some are slaves
everywhere, others nowhere. The same principle applies to nobility.
Hellenes regard themselves as noble everywhere, and not only in their
own country, but they deem the barbarians noble only when at home,
thereby implying that there are two sorts of nobility and freedom,
the one absolute, the other relative. The Helen of Theodectes says:

"Who would presume to call me servant who am on both sides sprung
from the stem of the Gods? "

What does this mean but that they distinguish freedom and slavery,
noble and humble birth, by the two principles of good and evil? They
think that as men and animals beget men and animals, so from good
men a good man springs. But this is what nature, though she may intend
it, cannot always accomplish. 

We see then that there is some foundation for this difference of opinion,
and that all are not either slaves by nature or freemen by nature,
and also that there is in some cases a marked distinction between
the two classes, rendering it expedient and right for the one to be
slaves and the others to be masters: the one practicing obedience,
the others exercising the authority and lordship which nature intended
them to have. The abuse of this authority is injurious to both; for
the interests of part and whole, of body and soul, are the same, and
the slave is a part of the master, a living but separated part of
his bodily frame. Hence, where the relation of master and slave between
them is natural they are friends and have a common interest, but where
it rests merely on law and force the reverse is true. 

Part VII

The previous remarks are quite enough to show that the rule of a master
is not a constitutional rule, and that all the different kinds of
rule are not, as some affirm, the same with each other. For there
is one rule exercised over subjects who are by nature free, another
over subjects who are by nature slaves. The rule of a household is
a monarchy, for every house is under one head: whereas constitutional
rule is a government of freemen and equals. The master is not called
a master because he has science, but because he is of a certain character,
and the same remark applies to the slave and the freeman. Still there
may be a science for the master and science for the slave. The science
of the slave would be such as the man of Syracuse taught, who made
money by instructing slaves in their ordinary duties. And such a knowledge
may be carried further, so as to include cookery and similar menial
arts. For some duties are of the more necessary, others of the more
honorable sort; as the proverb says, 'slave before slave, master before
master.' But all such branches of knowledge are servile. There is
likewise a science of the master, which teaches the use of slaves;
for the master as such is concerned, not with the acquisition, but
with the use of them. Yet this so-called science is not anything great
or wonderful; for the master need only know how to order that which
the slave must know how to execute. Hence those who are in a position
which places them above toil have stewards who attend to their households
while they occupy themselves with philosophy or with politics. But
the art of acquiring slaves, I mean of justly acquiring them, differs
both from the art of the master and the art of the slave, being a
species of hunting or war. Enough of the distinction between master
and slave. 


Let us now inquire into property generally, and into the art of getting
wealth, in accordance with our usual method, for a slave has been
shown to be a part of property. The first question is whether the
art of getting wealth is the same with the art of managing a household
or a part of it, or instrumental to it; and if the last, whether in
the way that the art of making shuttles is instrumental to the art
of weaving, or in the way that the casting of bronze is instrumental
to the art of the statuary, for they are not instrumental in the same
way, but the one provides tools and the other material; and by material
I mean the substratum out of which any work is made; thus wool is
the material of the weaver, bronze of the statuary. Now it is easy
to see that the art of household management is not identical with
the art of getting wealth, for the one uses the material which the
other provides. For the art which uses household stores can be no
other than the art of household management. There is, however, a doubt
whether the art of getting wealth is a part of household management
or a distinct art. If the getter of wealth has to consider whence
wealth and property can be procured, but there are many sorts of property
and riches, then are husbandry, and the care and provision of food
in general, parts of the wealth-getting art or distinct arts? Again,
there are many sorts of food, and therefore there are many kinds of
lives both of animals and men; they must all have food, and the differences
in their food have made differences in their ways of life. For of
beasts, some are gregarious, others are solitary; they live in the
way which is best adapted to sustain them, accordingly as they are
carnivorous or herbivorous or omnivorous: and their habits are determined
for them by nature in such a manner that they may obtain with greater
facility the food of their choice. But, as different species have
different tastes, the same things are not naturally pleasant to all
of them; and therefore the lives of carnivorous or herbivorous animals
further differ among themselves. In the lives of men too there is
a great difference. The laziest are shepherds, who lead an idle life,
and get their subsistence without trouble from tame animals; their
flocks having to wander from place to place in search of pasture,
they are compelled to follow them, cultivating a sort of living farm.
Others support themselves by hunting, which is of different kinds.
Some, for example, are brigands, others, who dwell near lakes or marshes
or rivers or a sea in which there are fish, are fishermen, and others
live by the pursuit of birds or wild beasts. The greater number obtain
a living from the cultivated fruits of the soil. Such are the modes
of subsistence which prevail among those whose industry springs up
of itself, and whose food is not acquired by exchange and retail trade-
there is the shepherd, the husbandman, the brigand, the fisherman,
the hunter. Some gain a comfortable maintenance out of two employments,
eking out the deficiencies of one of them by another: thus the life
of a shepherd may be combined with that of a brigand, the life of
a farmer with that of a hunter. Other modes of life are similarly
combined in any way which the needs of men may require. Property,
in the sense of a bare livelihood, seems to be given by nature herself
to all, both when they are first born, and when they are grown up.
For some animals bring forth, together with their offspring, so much
food as will last until they are able to supply themselves; of this
the vermiparous or oviparous animals are an instance; and the viviparous
animals have up to a certain time a supply of food for their young
in themselves, which is called milk. In like manner we may infer that,
after the birth of animals, plants exist for their sake, and that
the other animals exist for the sake of man, the tame for use and
food, the wild, if not all at least the greater part of them, for
food, and for the provision of clothing and various instruments. Now
if nature makes nothing incomplete, and nothing in vain, the inference
must be that she has made all animals for the sake of man. And so,
in one point of view, the art of war is a natural art of acquisition,
for the art of acquisition includes hunting, an art which we ought
to practice against wild beasts, and against men who, though intended
by nature to be governed, will not submit; for war of such a kind
is naturally just. 

Of the art of acquisition then there is one kind which by nature is
a part of the management of a household, in so far as the art of household
management must either find ready to hand, or itself provide, such
things necessary to life, and useful for the community of the family
or state, as can be stored. They are the elements of true riches;
for the amount of property which is needed for a good life is not
unlimited, although Solon in one of his poems says that 

"No bound to riches has been fixed for man. "

But there is a boundary fixed, just as there is in the other arts;
for the instruments of any art are never unlimited, either in number
or size, and riches may be defined as a number of instruments to be
used in a household or in a state. And so we see that there is a natural
art of acquisition which is practiced by managers of households and
by statesmen, and what is the reason of this. 

Part IX

There is another variety of the art of acquisition which is commonly
and rightly called an art of wealth-getting, and has in fact suggested
the notion that riches and property have no limit. Being nearly connected
with the preceding, it is often identified with it. But though they
are not very different, neither are they the same. The kind already
described is given by nature, the other is gained by experience and

Let us begin our discussion of the question with the following considerations:

Of everything which we possess there are two uses: both belong to
the thing as such, but not in the same manner, for one is the proper,
and the other the improper or secondary use of it. For example, a
shoe is used for wear, and is used for exchange; both are uses of
the shoe. He who gives a shoe in exchange for money or food to him
who wants one, does indeed use the shoe as a shoe, but this is not
its proper or primary purpose, for a shoe is not made to be an object
of barter. The same may be said of all possessions, for the art of
exchange extends to all of them, and it arises at first from what
is natural, from the circumstance that some have too little, others
too much. Hence we may infer that retail trade is not a natural part
of the art of getting wealth; had it been so, men would have ceased
to exchange when they had enough. In the first community, indeed,
which is the family, this art is obviously of no use, but it begins
to be useful when the society increases. For the members of the family
originally had all things in common; later, when the family divided
into parts, the parts shared in many things, and different parts in
different things, which they had to give in exchange for what they
wanted, a kind of barter which is still practiced among barbarous
nations who exchange with one another the necessaries of life and
nothing more; giving and receiving wine, for example, in exchange
for coin, and the like. This sort of barter is not part of the wealth-getting
art and is not contrary to nature, but is needed for the satisfaction
of men's natural wants. The other or more complex form of exchange
grew, as might have been inferred, out of the simpler. When the inhabitants
of one country became more dependent on those of another, and they
imported what they needed, and exported what they had too much of,
money necessarily came into use. For the various necessaries of life
are not easily carried about, and hence men agreed to employ in their
dealings with each other something which was intrinsically useful
and easily applicable to the purposes of life, for example, iron,
silver, and the like. Of this the value was at first measured simply
by size and weight, but in process of time they put a stamp upon it,
to save the trouble of weighing and to mark the value. 

When the use of coin had once been discovered, out of the barter of
necessary articles arose the other art of wealth getting, namely,
retail trade; which was at first probably a simple matter, but became
more complicated as soon as men learned by experience whence and by
what exchanges the greatest profit might be made. Originating in the
use of coin, the art of getting wealth is generally thought to be
chiefly concerned with it, and to be the art which produces riches
and wealth; having to consider how they may be accumulated. Indeed,
riches is assumed by many to be only a quantity of coin, because the
arts of getting wealth and retail trade are concerned with coin. Others
maintain that coined money is a mere sham, a thing not natural, but
conventional only, because, if the users substitute another commodity
for it, it is worthless, and because it is not useful as a means to
any of the necessities of life, and, indeed, he who is rich in coin
may often be in want of necessary food. But how can that be wealth
of which a man may have a great abundance and yet perish with hunger,
like Midas in the fable, whose insatiable prayer turned everything
that was set before him into gold? 

Hence men seek after a better notion of riches and of the art of getting
wealth than the mere acquisition of coin, and they are right. For
natural riches and the natural art of wealth-getting are a different
thing; in their true form they are part of the management of a household;
whereas retail trade is the art of producing wealth, not in every
way, but by exchange. And it is thought to be concerned with coin;
for coin is the unit of exchange and the measure or limit of it. And
there is no bound to the riches which spring from this art of wealth
getting. As in the art of medicine there is no limit to the pursuit
of health, and as in the other arts there is no limit to the pursuit
of their several ends, for they aim at accomplishing their ends to
the uttermost (but of the means there is a limit, for the end is always
the limit), so, too, in this art of wealth-getting there is no limit
of the end, which is riches of the spurious kind, and the acquisition
of wealth. But the art of wealth-getting which consists in household
management, on the other hand, has a limit; the unlimited acquisition
of wealth is not its business. And, therefore, in one point of view,
all riches must have a limit; nevertheless, as a matter of fact, we
find the opposite to be the case; for all getters of wealth increase
their hoard of coin without limit. The source of the confusion is
the near connection between the two kinds of wealth-getting; in either,
the instrument is the same, although the use is different, and so
they pass into one another; for each is a use of the same property,
but with a difference: accumulation is the end in the one case, but
there is a further end in the other. Hence some persons are led to
believe that getting wealth is the object of household management,
and the whole idea of their lives is that they ought either to increase
their money without limit, or at any rate not to lose it. The origin
of this disposition in men is that they are intent upon living only,
and not upon living well; and, as their desires are unlimited they
also desire that the means of gratifying them should be without limit.
Those who do aim at a good life seek the means of obtaining bodily
pleasures; and, since the enjoyment of these appears to depend on
property, they are absorbed in getting wealth: and so there arises
the second species of wealth-getting. For, as their enjoyment is in
excess, they seek an art which produces the excess of enjoyment; and,
if they are not able to supply their pleasures by the art of getting
wealth, they try other arts, using in turn every faculty in a manner
contrary to nature. The quality of courage, for example, is not intended
to make wealth, but to inspire confidence; neither is this the aim
of the general's or of the physician's art; but the one aims at victory
and the other at health. Nevertheless, some men turn every quality
or art into a means of getting wealth; this they conceive to be the
end, and to the promotion of the end they think all things must contribute.

Thus, then, we have considered the art of wealth-getting which is
unnecessary, and why men want it; and also the necessary art of wealth-getting,
which we have seen to be different from the other, and to be a natural
part of the art of managing a household, concerned with the provision
of food, not, however, like the former kind, unlimited, but having
a limit. 

Part X

And we have found the answer to our original question, Whether the
art of getting wealth is the business of the manager of a household
and of the statesman or not their business? viz., that wealth is presupposed
by them. For as political science does not make men, but takes them
from nature and uses them, so too nature provides them with earth
or sea or the like as a source of food. At this stage begins the duty
of the manager of a household, who has to order the things which nature
supplies; he may be compared to the weaver who has not to make but
to use wool, and to know, too, what sort of wool is good and serviceable
or bad and unserviceable. Were this otherwise, it would be difficult
to see why the art of getting wealth is a part of the management of
a household and the art of medicine not; for surely the members of
a household must have health just as they must have life or any other
necessary. The answer is that as from one point of view the master
of the house and the ruler of the state have to consider about health,
from another point of view not they but the physician; so in one way
the art of household management, in another way the subordinate art,
has to consider about wealth. But, strictly speaking, as I have already
said, the means of life must be provided beforehand by nature; for
the business of nature is to furnish food to that which is born, and
the food of the offspring is always what remains over of that from
which it is produced. Wherefore the art of getting wealth out of fruits
and animals is always natural. 

There are two sorts of wealth-getting, as I have said; one is a part
of household management, the other is retail trade: the former necessary
and honorable, while that which consists in exchange is justly censured;
for it is unnatural, and a mode by which men gain from one another.
The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which
makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object
of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase
at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money
from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring
resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this
is the most unnatural. 

Part XI

Enough has been said about the theory of wealth-getting; we will now
proceed to the practical part. The discussion of such matters is not
unworthy of philosophy, but to be engaged in them practically is illiberal
and irksome. The useful parts of wealth-getting are, first, the knowledge
of livestock- which are most profitable, and where, and how- as, for
example, what sort of horses or sheep or oxen or any other animals
are most likely to give a return. A man ought to know which of these
pay better than others, and which pay best in particular places, for
some do better in one place and some in another. Secondly, husbandry,
which may be either tillage or planting, and the keeping of bees and
of fish, or fowl, or of any animals which may be useful to man. These
are the divisions of the true or proper art of wealth-getting and
come first. Of the other, which consists in exchange, the first and
most important division is commerce (of which there are three kinds-
the provision of a ship, the conveyance of goods, exposure for sale-
these again differing as they are safer or more profitable), the second
is usury, the third, service for hire- of this, one kind is employed
in the mechanical arts, the other in unskilled and bodily labor. There
is still a third sort of wealth getting intermediate between this
and the first or natural mode which is partly natural, but is also
concerned with exchange, viz., the industries that make their profit
from the earth, and from things growing from the earth which, although
they bear no fruit, are nevertheless profitable; for example, the
cutting of timber and all mining. The art of mining, by which minerals
are obtained, itself has many branches, for there are various kinds
of things dug out of the earth. Of the several divisions of wealth-getting
I now speak generally; a minute consideration of them might be useful
in practice, but it would be tiresome to dwell upon them at greater
length now. 

Those occupations are most truly arts in which there is the least
element of chance; they are the meanest in which the body is most
deteriorated, the most servile in which there is the greatest use
of the body, and the most illiberal in which there is the least need
of excellence. 

Works have been written upon these subjects by various persons; for
example, by Chares the Parian, and Apollodorus the Lemnian, who have
treated of Tillage and Planting, while others have treated of other
branches; any one who cares for such matters may refer to their writings.
It would be well also to collect the scattered stories of the ways
in which individuals have succeeded in amassing a fortune; for all
this is useful to persons who value the art of getting wealth. There
is the anecdote of Thales the Milesian and his financial device, which
involves a principle of universal application, but is attributed to
him on account of his reputation for wisdom. He was reproached for
his poverty, which was supposed to show that philosophy was of no
use. According to the story, he knew by his skill in the stars while
it was yet winter that there would be a great harvest of olives in
the coming year; so, having a little money, he gave deposits for the
use of all the olive-presses in Chios and Miletus, which he hired
at a low price because no one bid against him. When the harvest-time
came, and many were wanted all at once and of a sudden, he let them
out at any rate which he pleased, and made a quantity of money. Thus
he showed the world that philosophers can easily be rich if they like,
but that their ambition is of another sort. He is supposed to have
given a striking proof of his wisdom, but, as I was saying, his device
for getting wealth is of universal application, and is nothing but
the creation of a monopoly. It is an art often practiced by cities
when they are want of money; they make a monopoly of provisions.

There was a man of Sicily, who, having money deposited with him, bought
up an the iron from the iron mines; afterwards, when the merchants
from their various markets came to buy, he was the only seller, and
without much increasing the price he gained 200 per cent. Which when
Dionysius heard, he told him that he might take away his money, but
that he must not remain at Syracuse, for he thought that the man had
discovered a way of making money which was injurious to his own interests.
He made the same discovery as Thales; they both contrived to create
a monopoly for themselves. And statesmen as well ought to know these
things; for a state is often as much in want of money and of such
devices for obtaining it as a household, or even more so; hence some
public men devote themselves entirely to finance. 

Part XII

Of household management we have seen that there are three parts- one
is the rule of a master over slaves, which has been discussed already,
another of a father, and the third of a husband. A husband and father,
we saw, rules over wife and children, both free, but the rule differs,
the rule over his children being a royal, over his wife a constitutional
rule. For although there may be exceptions to the order of nature,
the male is by nature fitter for command than the female, just as
the elder and full-grown is superior to the younger and more immature.
But in most constitutional states the citizens rule and are ruled
by turns, for the idea of a constitutional state implies that the
natures of the citizens are equal, and do not differ at all. Nevertheless,
when one rules and the other is ruled we endeavor to create a difference
of outward forms and names and titles of respect, which may be illustrated
by the saying of Amasis about his foot-pan. The relation of the male
to the female is of this kind, but there the inequality is permanent.
The rule of a father over his children is royal, for he rules by virtue
both of love and of the respect due to age, exercising a kind of royal
power. And therefore Homer has appropriately called Zeus 'father of
Gods and men,' because he is the king of them all. For a king is the
natural superior of his subjects, but he should be of the same kin
or kind with them, and such is the relation of elder and younger,
of father and son. 


Thus it is clear that household management attends more to men than
to the acquisition of inanimate things, and to human excellence more
than to the excellence of property which we call wealth, and to the
virtue of freemen more than to the virtue of slaves. A question may
indeed be raised, whether there is any excellence at all in a slave
beyond and higher than merely instrumental and ministerial qualities-
whether he can have the virtues of temperance, courage, justice, and
the like; or whether slaves possess only bodily and ministerial qualities.
And, whichever way we answer the question, a difficulty arises; for,
if they have virtue, in what will they differ from freemen? On the
other hand, since they are men and share in rational principle, it
seems absurd to say that they have no virtue. A similar question may
be raised about women and children, whether they too have virtues:
ought a woman to be temperate and brave and just, and is a child to
be called temperate, and intemperate, or note So in general we may
ask about the natural ruler, and the natural subject, whether they
have the same or different virtues. For if a noble nature is equally
required in both, why should one of them always rule, and the other
always be ruled? Nor can we say that this is a question of degree,
for the difference between ruler and subject is a difference of kind,
which the difference of more and less never is. Yet how strange is
the supposition that the one ought, and that the other ought not,
to have virtue! For if the ruler is intemperate and unjust, how can
he rule well? If the subject, how can he obey well? If he be licentious
and cowardly, he will certainly not do his duty. It is evident, therefore,
that both of them must have a share of virtue, but varying as natural
subjects also vary among themselves. Here the very constitution of
the soul has shown us the way; in it one part naturally rules, and
the other is subject, and the virtue of the ruler we in maintain to
be different from that of the subject; the one being the virtue of
the rational, and the other of the irrational part. Now, it is obvious
that the same principle applies generally, and therefore almost all
things rule and are ruled according to nature. But the kind of rule
differs; the freeman rules over the slave after another manner from
that in which the male rules over the female, or the man over the
child; although the parts of the soul are present in an of them, they
are present in different degrees. For the slave has no deliberative
faculty at all; the woman has, but it is without authority, and the
child has, but it is immature. So it must necessarily be supposed
to be with the moral virtues also; all should partake of them, but
only in such manner and degree as is required by each for the fulfillment
of his duty. Hence the ruler ought to have moral virtue in perfection,
for his function, taken absolutely, demands a master artificer, and
rational principle is such an artificer; the subjects, oil the other
hand, require only that measure of virtue which is proper to each
of them. Clearly, then, moral virtue belongs to all of them; but the
temperance of a man and of a woman, or the courage and justice of
a man and of a woman, are not, as Socrates maintained, the same; the
courage of a man is shown in commanding, of a woman in obeying. And
this holds of all other virtues, as will be more clearly seen if we
look at them in detail, for those who say generally that virtue consists
in a good disposition of the soul, or in doing rightly, or the like,
only deceive themselves. Far better than such definitions is their
mode of speaking, who, like Gorgias, enumerate the virtues. All classes
must be deemed to have their special attributes; as the poet says
of women, 

"Silence is a woman's glory, "

but this is not equally the glory of man. The child is imperfect,
and therefore obviously his virtue is not relative to himself alone,
but to the perfect man and to his teacher, and in like manner the
virtue of the slave is relative to a master. Now we determined that
a slave is useful for the wants of life, and therefore he will obviously
require only so much virtue as will prevent him from failing in his
duty through cowardice or lack of self-control. Some one will ask
whether, if what we are saying is true, virtue will not be required
also in the artisans, for they often fail in their work through the
lack of self control? But is there not a great difference in the two
cases? For the slave shares in his master's life; the artisan is less
closely connected with him, and only attains excellence in proportion
as he becomes a slave. The meaner sort of mechanic has a special and
separate slavery; and whereas the slave exists by nature, not so the
shoemaker or other artisan. It is manifest, then, that the master
ought to be the source of such excellence in the slave, and not a
mere possessor of the art of mastership which trains the slave in
his duties. Wherefore they are mistaken who forbid us to converse
with slaves and say that we should employ command only, for slaves
stand even more in need of admonition than children. 

So much for this subject; the relations of husband and wife, parent
and child, their several virtues, what in their intercourse with one
another is good, and what is evil, and how we may pursue the good
and good and escape the evil, will have to be discussed when we speak
of the different forms of government. For, inasmuch as every family
is a part of a state, and these relationships are the parts of a family,
and the virtue of the part must have regard to the virtue of the whole,
women and children must be trained by education with an eye to the
constitution, if the virtues of either of them are supposed to make
any difference in the virtues of the state. And they must make a difference:
for the children grow up to be citizens, and half the free persons
in a state are women. 

Of these matters, enough has been said; of what remains, let us speak
at another time. Regarding, then, our present inquiry as complete,
we will make a new beginning. And, first, let us examine the various
theories of a perfect state. 



Part I 

Our urpose is to consider what form of political community is best
of all for those who are most able to realize their ideal of life.
We must therefore examine not only this but other constitutions, both
such as actually exist in well-governed states, and any theoretical
forms which are held in esteem; that what is good and useful may be
brought to light. And let no one suppose that in seeking for something
beyond them we are anxious to make a sophistical display at any cost;
we only undertake this inquiry because all the constitutions with
which we are acquainted are faulty. 

We will begin with the natural beginning of the subject. Three alternatives
are conceivable: The members of a state must either have (1) all things
or (2) nothing in common, or (3) some things in common and some not.
That they should have nothing in common is clearly impossible, for
the constitution is a community, and must at any rate have a common
place- one city will be in one place, and the citizens are those who
share in that one city. But should a well ordered state have all things,
as far as may be, in common, or some only and not others? For the
citizens might conceivably have wives and children and property in
common, as Socrates proposes in the Republic of Plato. Which is better,
our present condition, or the proposed new order of society.

Part II

There are many difficulties in the community of women. And the principle
on which Socrates rests the necessity of such an institution evidently
is not established by his arguments. Further, as a means to the end
which he ascribes to the state, the scheme, taken literally is impracticable,
and how we are to interpret it is nowhere precisely stated. I am speaking
of the premise from which the argument of Socrates proceeds, 'that
the greater the unity of the state the better.' Is it not obvious
that a state may at length attain such a degree of unity as to be
no longer a state? since the nature of a state is to be a plurality,
and in tending to greater unity, from being a state, it becomes a
family, and from being a family, an individual; for the family may
be said to be more than the state, and the individual than the family.
So that we ought not to attain this greatest unity even if we could,
for it would be the destruction of the state. Again, a state is not
made up only of so many men, but of different kinds of men; for similars
do not constitute a state. It is not like a military alliance The
usefulness of the latter depends upon its quantity even where there
is no difference in quality (for mutual protection is the end aimed
at), just as a greater weight of anything is more useful than a less
(in like manner, a state differs from a nation, when the nation has
not its population organized in villages, but lives an Arcadian sort
of life); but the elements out of which a unity is to be formed differ
in kind. Wherefore the principle of compensation, as I have already
remarked in the Ethics, is the salvation of states. Even among freemen
and equals this is a principle which must be maintained, for they
cannot an rule together, but must change at the end of a year or some
other period of time or in some order of succession. The result is
that upon this plan they all govern; just as if shoemakers and carpenters
were to exchange their occupations, and the same persons did not always
continue shoemakers and carpenters. And since it is better that this
should be so in politics as well, it is clear that while there should
be continuance of the same persons in power where this is possible,
yet where this is not possible by reason of the natural equality of
the citizens, and at the same time it is just that an should share
in the government (whether to govern be a good thing or a bad), an
approximation to this is that equals should in turn retire from office
and should, apart from official position, be treated alike. Thus the
one party rule and the others are ruled in turn, as if they were no
longer the same persons. In like manner when they hold office there
is a variety in the offices held. Hence it is evident that a city
is not by nature one in that sense which some persons affirm; and
that what is said to be the greatest good of cities is in reality
their destruction; but surely the good of things must be that which
preserves them. Again, in another point of view, this extreme unification
of the state is clearly not good; for a family is more self-sufficing
than an individual, and a city than a family, and a city only comes
into being when the community is large enough to be self-sufficing.
If then self-sufficiency is to be desired, the lesser degree of unity
is more desirable than the greater. 

Part III

But, even supposing that it were best for the community to have the
greatest degree of unity, this unity is by no means proved to follow
from the fact 'of all men saying "mine" and "not mine" at the same
instant of time,' which, according to Socrates, is the sign of perfect
unity in a state. For the word 'all' is ambiguous. If the meaning
be that every individual says 'mine' and 'not mine' at the same time,
then perhaps the result at which Socrates aims may be in some degree
accomplished; each man will call the same person his own son and the
same person his wife, and so of his property and of all that falls
to his lot. This, however, is not the way in which people would speak
who had their had their wives and children in common; they would say
'all' but not 'each.' In like manner their property would be described
as belonging to them, not severally but collectively. There is an
obvious fallacy in the term 'all': like some other words, 'both,'
'odd,' 'even,' it is ambiguous, and even in abstract argument becomes
a source of logical puzzles. That all persons call the same thing
mine in the sense in which each does so may be a fine thing, but it
is impracticable; or if the words are taken in the other sense, such
a unity in no way conduces to harmony. And there is another objection
to the proposal. For that which is common to the greatest number has
the least care bestowed upon it. Every one thinks chiefly of his own,
hardly at all of the common interest; and only when he is himself
concerned as an individual. For besides other considerations, everybody
is more inclined to neglect the duty which he expects another to fulfill;
as in families many attendants are often less useful than a few. Each
citizen will have a thousand sons who will not be his sons individually
but anybody will be equally the son of anybody, and will therefore
be neglected by all alike. Further, upon this principle, every one
will use the word 'mine' of one who is prospering or the reverse,
however small a fraction he may himself be of the whole number; the
same boy will be 'so and so's son,' the son of each of the thousand,
or whatever be the number of the citizens; and even about this he
will not be positive; for it is impossible to know who chanced to
have a child, or whether, if one came into existence, it has survived.
But which is better- for each to say 'mine' in this way, making a
man the same relation to two thousand or ten thousand citizens, or
to use the word 'mine' in the ordinary and more restricted sense?
For usually the same person is called by one man his own son whom
another calls his own brother or cousin or kinsman- blood relation
or connection by marriage either of himself or of some relation of
his, and yet another his clansman or tribesman; and how much better
is it to be the real cousin of somebody than to be a son after Plato's
fashion! Nor is there any way of preventing brothers and children
and fathers and mothers from sometimes recognizing one another; for
children are born like their parents, and they will necessarily be
finding indications of their relationship to one another. Geographers
declare such to be the fact; they say that in part of Upper Libya,
where the women are common, nevertheless the children who are born
are assigned to their respective fathers on the ground of their likeness.
And some women, like the females of other animals- for example, mares
and cows- have a strong tendency to produce offspring resembling their
parents, as was the case with the Pharsalian mare called Honest.

Part IV

Other evils, against which it is not easy for the authors of such
a community to guard, will be assaults and homicides, voluntary as
well as involuntary, quarrels and slanders, all which are most unholy
acts when committed against fathers and mothers and near relations,
but not equally unholy when there is no relationship. Moreover, they
are much more likely to occur if the relationship is unknown, and,
when they have occurred, the customary expiations of them cannot be
made. Again, how strange it is that Socrates, after having made the
children common, should hinder lovers from carnal intercourse only,
but should permit love and familiarities between father and son or
between brother and brother, than which nothing can be more unseemly,
since even without them love of this sort is improper. How strange,
too, to forbid intercourse for no other reason than the violence of
the pleasure, as though the relationship of father and son or of brothers
with one another made no difference. 

This community of wives and children seems better suited to the husbandmen
than to the guardians, for if they have wives and children in common,
they will be bound to one another by weaker ties, as a subject class
should be, and they will remain obedient and not rebel. In a word,
the result of such a law would be just the opposite of which good
laws ought to have, and the intention of Socrates in making these
regulations about women and children would defeat itself. For friendship
we believe to be the greatest good of states and the preservative
of them against revolutions; neither is there anything which Socrates
so greatly lauds as the unity of the state which he and all the world
declare to be created by friendship. But the unity which he commends
would be like that of the lovers in the Symposium, who, as Aristophanes
says, desire to grow together in the excess of their affection, and
from being two to become one, in which case one or both would certainly
perish. Whereas in a state having women and children common, love
will be watery; and the father will certainly not say 'my son,' or
the son 'my father.' As a little sweet wine mingled with a great deal
of water is imperceptible in the mixture, so, in this sort of community,
the idea of relationship which is based upon these names will be lost;
there is no reason why the so-called father should care about the
son, or the son about the father, or brothers about one another. Of
the two qualities which chiefly inspire regard and affection- that
a thing is your own and that it is your only one-neither can exist
in such a state as this. 

Again, the transfer of children as soon as they are born from the
rank of husbandmen or of artisans to that of guardians, and from the
rank of guardians into a lower rank, will be very difficult to arrange;
the givers or transferrers cannot but know whom they are giving and
transferring, and to whom. And the previously mentioned evils, such
as assaults, unlawful loves, homicides, will happen more often amongst
those who are transferred to the lower classes, or who have a place
assigned to them among the guardians; for they will no longer call
the members of the class they have left brothers, and children, and
fathers, and mothers, and will not, therefore, be afraid of committing
any crimes by reason of consanguinity. Touching the community of wives
and children, let this be our conclusion. 

Part V

Next let us consider what should be our arrangements about property:
should the citizens of the perfect state have their possessions in
common or not? This question may be discussed separately from the
enactments about women and children. Even supposing that the women
and children belong to individuals, according to the custom which
is at present universal, may there not be an advantage in having and
using possessions in common? Three cases are possible: (1) the soil
may be appropriated, but the produce may be thrown for consumption
into the common stock; and this is the practice of some nations. Or
(2), the soil may be common, and may be cultivated in common, but
the produce divided among individuals for their private use; this
is a form of common property which is said to exist among certain
barbarians. Or (3), the soil and the produce may be alike common.

When the husbandmen are not the owners, the case will be different
and easier to deal with; but when they till the ground for themselves
the question of ownership will give a world of trouble. If they do
not share equally enjoyments and toils, those who labor much and get
little will necessarily complain of those who labor little and receive
or consume much. But indeed there is always a difficulty in men living
together and having all human relations in common, but especially
in their having common property. The partnerships of fellow-travelers
are an example to the point; for they generally fall out over everyday
matters and quarrel about any trifle which turns up. So with servants:
we are most able to take offense at those with whom we most we most
frequently come into contact in daily life. 

These are only some of the disadvantages which attend the community
of property; the present arrangement, if improved as it might be by
good customs and laws, would be far better, and would have the advantages
of both systems. Property should be in a certain sense common, but,
as a general rule, private; for, when everyone has a distinct interest,
men will not complain of one another, and they will make more progress,
because every one will be attending to his own business. And yet by
reason of goodness, and in respect of use, 'Friends,' as the proverb
says, 'will have all things common.' Even now there are traces of
such a principle, showing that it is not impracticable, but, in well-ordered
states, exists already to a certain extent and may be carried further.
For, although every man has his own property, some things he will
place at the disposal of his friends, while of others he shares the
use with them. The Lacedaemonians, for example, use one another's
slaves, and horses, and dogs, as if they were their own; and when
they lack provisions on a journey, they appropriate what they find
in the fields throughout the country. It is clearly better that property
should be private, but the use of it common; and the special business
of the legislator is to create in men this benevolent disposition.
Again, how immeasurably greater is the pleasure, when a man feels
a thing to be his own; for surely the love of self is a feeling implanted
by nature and not given in vain, although selfishness is rightly censured;
this, however, is not the mere love of self, but the love of self
in excess, like the miser's love of money; for all, or almost all,
men love money and other such objects in a measure. And further, there
is the greatest pleasure in doing a kindness or service to friends
or guests or companions, which can only be rendered when a man has
private property. These advantages are lost by excessive unification
of the state. The exhibition of two virtues, besides, is visibly annihilated
in such a state: first, temperance towards women (for it is an honorable
action to abstain from another's wife for temperance' sake); secondly,
liberality in the matter of property. No one, when men have all things
in common, will any longer set an example of liberality or do any
liberal action; for liberality consists in the use which is made of

Such legislation may have a specious appearance of benevolence; men
readily listen to it, and are easily induced to believe that in some
wonderful manner everybody will become everybody's friend, especially
when some one is heard denouncing the evils now existing in states,
suits about contracts, convictions for perjury, flatteries of rich
men and the like, which are said to arise out of the possession of
private property. These evils, however, are due to a very different
cause- the wickedness of human nature. Indeed, we see that there is
much more quarrelling among those who have all things in common, though
there are not many of them when compared with the vast numbers who
have private property. 

Again, we ought to reckon, not only the evils from which the citizens
will be saved, but also the advantages which they will lose. The life
which they are to lead appears to be quite impracticable. The error
of Socrates must be attributed to the false notion of unity from which
he starts. Unity there should be, both of the family and of the state,
but in some respects only. For there is a point at which a state may
attain such a degree of unity as to be no longer a state, or at which,
without actually ceasing to exist, it will become an inferior state,
like harmony passing into unison, or rhythm which has been reduced
to a single foot. The state, as I was saying, is a plurality which
should be united and made into a community by education; and it is
strange that the author of a system of education which he thinks will
make the state virtuous, should expect to improve his citizens by
regulations of this sort, and not by philosophy or by customs and
laws, like those which prevail at Sparta and Crete respecting common
meals, whereby the legislator has made property common. Let us remember
that we should not disregard the experience of ages; in the multitude
of years these things, if they were good, would certainly not have
been unknown; for almost everything has been found out, although sometimes
they are not put together; in other cases men do not use the knowledge
which they have. Great light would be thrown on this subject if we
could see such a form of government in the actual process of construction;
for the legislator could not form a state at all without distributing
and dividing its constituents into associations for common meals,
and into phratries and tribes. But all this legislation ends only
in forbidding agriculture to the guardians, a prohibition which the
Lacedaemonians try to enforce already. 

But, indeed, Socrates has not said, nor is it easy to decide, what
in such a community will be the general form of the state. The citizens
who are not guardians are the majority, and about them nothing has
been determined: are the husbandmen, too, to have their property in
common? Or is each individual to have his own? And are the wives and
children to be individual or common. If, like the guardians, they
are to have all things in common, what do they differ from them, or
what will they gain by submitting to their government? Or, upon what
principle would they submit, unless indeed the governing class adopt
the ingenious policy of the Cretans, who give their slaves the same
institutions as their own, but forbid them gymnastic exercises and
the possession of arms. If, on the other hand, the inferior classes
are to be like other cities in respect of marriage and property, what
will be the form of the community? Must it not contain two states
in one, each hostile to the other He makes the guardians into a mere
occupying garrison, while the husbandmen and artisans and the rest
are the real citizens. But if so the suits and quarrels, and all the
evils which Socrates affirms to exist in other states, will exist
equally among them. He says indeed that, having so good an education,
the citizens will not need many laws, for example laws about the city
or about the markets; but then he confines his education to the guardians.
Again, he makes the husbandmen owners of the property upon condition
of their paying a tribute. But in that case they are likely to be
much more unmanageable and conceited than the Helots, or Penestae,
or slaves in general. And whether community of wives and property
be necessary for the lower equally with the higher class or not, and
the questions akin to this, what will be the education, form of government,
laws of the lower class, Socrates has nowhere determined: neither
is it easy to discover this, nor is their character of small importance
if the common life of the guardians is to be maintained.

Again, if Socrates makes the women common, and retains private property,
the men will see to the fields, but who will see to the house? And
who will do so if the agricultural class have both their property
and their wives in common? Once more: it is absurd to argue, from
the analogy of the animals, that men and women should follow the same
pursuits, for animals have not to manage a household. The government,
too, as constituted by Socrates, contains elements of danger; for
he makes the same persons always rule. And if this is often a cause
of disturbance among the meaner sort, how much more among high-spirited
warriors? But that the persons whom he makes rulers must be the same
is evident; for the gold which the God mingles in the souls of men
is not at one time given to one, at another time to another, but always
to the same: as he says, 'God mingles gold in some, and silver in
others, from their very birth; but brass and iron in those who are
meant to be artisans and husbandmen.' Again, he deprives the guardians
even of happiness, and says that the legislator ought to make the
whole state happy. But the whole cannot be happy unless most, or all,
or some of its parts enjoy happiness. In this respect happiness is
not like the even principle in numbers, which may exist only in the
whole, but in neither of the parts; not so happiness. And if the guardians
are not happy, who are? Surely not the artisans, or the common people.
The Republic of which Socrates discourses has all these difficulties,
and others quite as great. 

Part VI

The same, or nearly the same, objections apply to Plato's later work,
the Laws, and therefore we had better examine briefly the constitution
which is therein described. In the Republic, Socrates has definitely
settled in all a few questions only; such as the community of women
and children, the community of property, and the constitution of the
state. The population is divided into two classes- one of husbandmen,
and the other of warriors; from this latter is taken a third class
of counselors and rulers of the state. But Socrates has not determined
whether the husbandmen and artisans are to have a share in the government,
and whether they, too, are to carry arms and share in military service,
or not. He certainly thinks that the women ought to share in the education
of the guardians, and to fight by their side. The remainder of the
work is filled up with digressions foreign to the main subject, and
with discussions about the education of the guardians. In the Laws
there is hardly anything but laws; not much is said about the constitution.
This, which he had intended to make more of the ordinary type, he
gradually brings round to the other or ideal form. For with the exception
of the community of women and property, he supposes everything to
be the same in both states; there is to be the same education; the
citizens of both are to live free from servile occupations, and there
are to be common meals in both. The only difference is that in the
Laws, the common meals are extended to women, and the warriors number
5000, but in the Republic only 1000. 

The discourses of Socrates are never commonplace; they always exhibit
grace and originality and thought; but perfection in everything can
hardly be expected. We must not overlook the fact that the number
of 5000 citizens, just now mentioned, will require a territory as
large as Babylon, or some other huge site, if so many persons are
to be supported in idleness, together with their women and attendants,
who will be a multitude many times as great. In framing an ideal we
may assume what we wish, but should avoid impossibilities.

It is said that the legislator ought to have his eye directed to two
points- the people and the country. But neighboring countries also
must not be forgotten by him, firstly because the state for which
he legislates is to have a political and not an isolated life. For
a state must have such a military force as will be serviceable against
her neighbors, and not merely useful at home. Even if the life of
action is not admitted to be the best, either for individuals or states,
still a city should be formidable to enemies, whether invading or

There is another point: Should not the amount of property be defined
in some way which differs from this by being clearer? For Socrates
says that a man should have so much property as will enable him to
live temperately, which is only a way of saying 'to live well'; this
is too general a conception. Further, a man may live temperately and
yet miserably. A better definition would be that a man must have so
much property as will enable him to live not only temperately but
liberally; if the two are parted, liberally will combine with luxury;
temperance will be associated with toil. For liberality and temperance
are the only eligible qualities which have to do with the use of property.
A man cannot use property with mildness or courage, but temperately
and liberally he may; and therefore the practice of these virtues
is inseparable from property. There is an inconsistency, too, in too,
in equalizing the property and not regulating the number of the citizens;
the population is to remain unlimited, and he thinks that it will
be sufficiently equalized by a certain number of marriages being unfruitful,
however many are born to others, because he finds this to be the case
in existing states. But greater care will be required than now; for
among ourselves, whatever may be the number of citizens, the property
is always distributed among them, and therefore no one is in want;
but, if the property were incapable of division as in the Laws, the
supernumeraries, whether few or many, would get nothing. One would
have thought that it was even more necessary to limit population than
property; and that the limit should be fixed by calculating the chances
of mortality in the children, and of sterility in married persons.
The neglect of this subject, which in existing states is so common,
is a never-failing cause of poverty among the citizens; and poverty
is the parent of revolution and crime. Pheidon the Corinthian, who
was one of the most ardent legislators, thought that the families
and the number of citizens ought to remain the same, although originally
all the lots may have been of different sizes: but in the Laws the
opposite principle is maintained. What in our opinion is the right
arrangement will have to be explained hereafter. 

There is another omission in the Laws: Socrates does not tell us how
the rulers differ from their subjects; he only says that they should
be related as the warp and the woof, which are made out of different
wools. He allows that a man's whole property may be increased fivefold,
but why should not his land also increase to a certain extent? Again,
will the good management of a household be promoted by his arrangement
of homesteads? For he assigns to each individual two homesteads in
separate places, and it is difficult to live in two houses.

The whole system of government tends to be neither democracy nor oligarchy,
but something in a mean between them, which is usually called a polity,
and is composed of the heavy-armed soldiers. Now, if he intended to
frame a constitution which would suit the greatest number of states,
he was very likely right, but not if he meant to say that this constitutional
form came nearest to his first or ideal state; for many would prefer
the Lacedaemonian, or, possibly, some other more aristocratic government.
Some, indeed, say that the best constitution is a combination of all
existing forms, and they praise the Lacedaemonian because it is made
up of oligarchy, monarchy, and democracy, the king forming the monarchy,
and the council of elders the oligarchy while the democratic element
is represented by the Ephors; for the Ephors are selected from the
people. Others, however, declare the Ephoralty to be a tyranny, and
find the element of democracy in the common meals and in the habits
of daily life. In the Laws it is maintained that the best constitution
is made up of democracy and tyranny, which are either not constitutions
at all, or are the worst of all. But they are nearer the truth who
combine many forms; for the constitution is better which is made up
of more numerous elements. The constitution proposed in the Laws has
no element of monarchy at all; it is nothing but oligarchy and democracy,
leaning rather to oligarchy. This is seen in the mode of appointing
magistrates; for although the appointment of them by lot from among
those who have been already selected combines both elements, the way
in which the rich are compelled by law to attend the assembly and
vote for magistrates or discharge other political duties, while the
rest may do as they like, and the endeavor to have the greater number
of the magistrates appointed out of the richer classes and the highest
officers selected from those who have the greatest incomes, both these
are oligarchical features. The oligarchical principle prevails also
in the choice of the council, for all are compelled to choose, but
the compulsion extends only to the choice out of the first class,
and of an equal number out of the second class and out of the third
class, but not in this latter case to all the voters but to those
of the first three classes; and the selection of candidates out of
the fourth class is only compulsory on the first and second. Then,
from the persons so chosen, he says that there ought to be an equal
number of each class selected. Thus a preponderance will be given
to the better sort of people, who have the larger incomes, because
many of the lower classes, not being compelled will not vote. These
considerations, and others which will be adduced when the time comes
for examining similar polities, tend to show that states like Plato's
should not be composed of democracy and monarchy. There is also a
danger in electing the magistrates out of a body who are themselves
elected; for, if but a small number choose to combine, the elections
will always go as they desire. Such is the constitution which is described
in the Laws. 

Part VII

Other constitutions have been proposed; some by private persons, others
by philosophers and statesmen, which all come nearer to established
or existing ones than either of Plato's. No one else has introduced
such novelties as the community of women and children, or public tables
for women: other legislators begin with what is necessary. In the
opinion of some, the regulation of property is the chief point of
all, that being the question upon which all revolutions turn. This
danger was recognized by Phaleas of Chalcedon, who was the first to
affirm that the citizens of a state ought to have equal possessions.
He thought that in a new colony the equalization might be accomplished
without difficulty, not so easily when a state was already established;
and that then the shortest way of compassing the desired end would
be for the rich to give and not to receive marriage portions, and
for the poor not to give but to receive them. 

Plato in the Laws was of opinion that, to a certain extent, accumulation
should be allowed, forbidding, as I have already observed, any citizen
to possess more than five times the minimum qualification But those
who make such laws should remember what they are apt to forget- that
the legislator who fixes the amount of property should also fix the
number of children; for, if the children are too many for the property,
the law must be broken. And, besides the violation of the law, it
is a bad thing that many from being rich should become poor; for men
of ruined fortunes are sure to stir up revolutions. That the equalization
of property exercises an influence on political society was clearly
understood even by some of the old legislators. Laws were made by
Solon and others prohibiting an individual from possessing as much
land as he pleased; and there are other laws in states which forbid
the sale of property: among the Locrians, for example, there is a
law that a man is not to sell his property unless he can prove unmistakably
that some misfortune has befallen him. Again, there have been laws
which enjoin the preservation of the original lots. Such a law existed
in the island of Leucas, and the abrogation of it made the constitution
too democratic, for the rulers no longer had the prescribed qualification.
Again, where there is equality of property, the amount may be either
too large or too small, and the possessor may be living either in
luxury or penury. Clearly, then, the legislator ought not only to
aim at the equalization of properties, but at moderation in their
amount. Further, if he prescribe this moderate amount equally to all,
he will be no nearer the mark; for it is not the possessions but the
desires of mankind which require to be equalized, and this is impossible,
unless a sufficient education is provided by the laws. But Phaleas
will probably reply that this is precisely what he means; and that,
in his opinion, there ought to be in states, not only equal property,
but equal education. Still he should tell precisely what he means;
and that, in his opinion, there ought to be in be in having one and
the same for all, if it is of a sort that predisposes men to avarice,
or ambition, or both. Moreover, civil troubles arise, not only out
of the inequality of property, but out of the inequality of honor,
though in opposite ways. For the common people quarrel about the inequality
of property, the higher class about the equality of honor; as the
poet says, 

"The bad and good alike in honor share. "

There are crimes of which the motive is want; and for these Phaleas
expects to find a cure in the equalization of property, which will
take away from a man the temptation to be a highwayman, because he
is hungry or cold. But want is not the sole incentive to crime; men
also wish to enjoy themselves and not to be in a state of desire-
they wish to cure some desire, going beyond the necessities of life,
which preys upon them; nay, this is not the only reason- they may
desire superfluities in order to enjoy pleasures unaccompanied with
pain, and therefore they commit crimes. 

Now what is the cure of these three disorders? Of the first, moderate
possessions and occupation; of the second, habits of temperance; as
to the third, if any desire pleasures which depend on themselves,
they will find the satisfaction of their desires nowhere but in philosophy;
for all other pleasures we are dependent on others. The fact is that
the greatest crimes are caused by excess and not by necessity. Men
do not become tyrants in order that they may not suffer cold; and
hence great is the honor bestowed, not on him who kills a thief, but
on him who kills a tyrant. Thus we see that the institutions of Phaleas
avail only against petty crimes. 

There is another objection to them. They are chiefly designed to promote
the internal welfare of the state. But the legislator should consider
also its relation to neighboring nations, and to all who are outside
of it. The government must be organized with a view to military strength;
and of this he has said not a word. And so with respect to property:
there should not only be enough to supply the internal wants of the
state, but also to meet dangers coming from without. The property
of the state should not be so large that more powerful neighbors may
be tempted by it, while the owners are unable to repel the invaders;
nor yet so small that the state is unable to maintain a war even against
states of equal power, and of the same character. Phaleas has not
laid down any rule; but we should bear in mind that abundance of wealth
is an advantage. The best limit will probably be, that a more powerful
neighbor must have no inducement to go to war with you by reason of
the excess of your wealth, but only such as he would have had if you
had possessed less. There is a story that Eubulus, when Autophradates
was going to besiege Atarneus, told him to consider how long the operation
would take, and then reckon up the cost which would be incurred in
the time. 'For,' said he, 'I am willing for a smaller sum than that
to leave Atarneus at once.' These words of Eubulus made an impression
on Autophradates, and he desisted from the siege. 

The equalization of property is one of the things that tend to prevent
the citizens from quarrelling. Not that the gain in this direction
is very great. For the nobles will be dissatisfied because they think
themselves worthy of more than an equal share of honors; and this
is often found to be a cause of sedition and revolution. And the avarice
of mankind is insatiable; at one time two obols was pay enough; but
now, when this sum has become customary, men always want more and
more without end; for it is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied,
and most men live only for the gratification of it. The beginning
of reform is not so much to equalize property as to train the nobler
sort of natures not to desire more, and to prevent the lower from
getting more; that is to say, they must be kept down, but not ill-treated.
Besides, the equalization proposed by Phaleas is imperfect; for he
only equalizes land, whereas a man may be rich also in slaves, and
cattle, and money, and in the abundance of what are called his movables.
Now either all these things must be equalized, or some limit must
be imposed on them, or they must an be let alone. It would appear
that Phaleas is legislating for a small city only, if, as he supposes,
all the artisans are to be public slaves and not to form a supplementary
part of the body of citizens. But if there is a law that artisans
are to be public slaves, it should only apply to those engaged on
public works, as at Epidamnus, or at Athens on the plan which Diophantus
once introduced. 

From these observations any one may judge how far Phaleas was wrong
or right in his ideas. 


Hippodamus, the son of Euryphon, a native of Miletus, the same who
invented the art of planning cities, and who also laid out the Piraeus-
a strange man, whose fondness for distinction led him into a general
eccentricity of life, which made some think him affected (for he would
wear flowing hair and expensive ornaments; but these were worn on
a cheap but warm garment both in winter and summer); he, besides aspiring
to be an adept in the knowledge of nature, was the first person not
a statesman who made inquiries about the best form of government.

The city of Hippodamus was composed of 10,000 citizens divided into
three parts- one of artisans, one of husbandmen, and a third of armed
defenders of the state. He also divided the land into three parts,
one sacred, one public, the third private: the first was set apart
to maintain the customary worship of the Gods, the second was to support
the warriors, the third was the property of the husbandmen. He also
divided laws into three classes, and no more, for he maintained that
there are three subjects of lawsuits- insult, injury, and homicide.
He likewise instituted a single final court of appeal, to which all
causes seeming to have been improperly decided might be referred;
this court he formed of elders chosen for the purpose. He was further
of opinion that the decisions of the courts ought not to be given
by the use of a voting pebble, but that every one should have a tablet
on which he might not only write a simple condemnation, or leave the
tablet blank for a simple acquittal; but, if he partly acquitted and
partly condemned, he was to distinguish accordingly. To the existing
law he objected that it obliged the judges to be guilty of perjury,
whichever way they voted. He also enacted that those who discovered
anything for the good of the state should be honored; and he provided
that the children of citizens who died in battle should be maintained
at the public expense, as if such an enactment had never been heard
of before, yet it actually exists at Athens and in other places. As
to the magistrates, he would have them all elected by the people,
that is, by the three classes already mentioned, and those who were
elected were to watch over the interests of the public, of strangers,
and of orphans. These are the most striking points in the constitution
of Hippodamus. There is not much else. 

The first of these proposals to which objection may be taken is the
threefold division of the citizens. The artisans, and the husbandmen,
and the warriors, all have a share in the government. But the husbandmen
have no arms, and the artisans neither arms nor land, and therefore
they become all but slaves of the warrior class. That they should
share in all the offices is an impossibility; for generals and guardians
of the citizens, and nearly all the principal magistrates, must be
taken from the class of those who carry arms. Yet, if the two other
classes have no share in the government, how can they be loyal citizens?
It may be said that those who have arms must necessarily be masters
of both the other classes, but this is not so easily accomplished
unless they are numerous; and if they are, why should the other classes
share in the government at all, or have power to appoint magistrates?
Further, what use are farmers to the city? Artisans there must be,
for these are wanted in every city, and they can live by their craft,
as elsewhere; and the husbandmen too, if they really provided the
warriors with food, might fairly have a share in the government. But
in the republic of Hippodamus they are supposed to have land of their
own, which they cultivate for their private benefit. Again, as to
this common land out of which the soldiers are maintained, if they
are themselves to be the cultivators of it, the warrior class will
be identical with the husbandmen, although the legislator intended
to make a distinction between them. If, again, there are to be other
cultivators distinct both from the husbandmen, who have land of their
own, and from the warriors, they will make a fourth class, which has
no place in the state and no share in anything. Or, if the same persons
are to cultivate their own lands, and those of the public as well,
they will have difficulty in supplying the quantity of produce which
will maintain two households: and why, in this case, should there
be any division, for they might find food themselves and give to the
warriors from the same land and the same lots? There is surely a great
confusion in all this. 

Neither is the law to commended which says that the judges, when a
simple issue is laid before them, should distinguish in their judgement;
for the judge is thus converted into an arbitrator. Now, in an arbitration,
although the arbitrators are many, they confer with one another about
the decision, and therefore they can distinguish; but in courts of
law this is impossible, and, indeed, most legislators take pains to
prevent the judges from holding any communication with one another.
Again, will there not be confusion if the judge thinks that damages
should be given, but not so much as the suitor demands? He asks, say,
for twenty minae, and the judge allows him ten minae (or in general
the suitor asks for more and the judge allows less), while another
judge allows five, another four minae. In this way they will go on
splitting up the damages, and some will grant the whole and others
nothing: how is the final reckoning to be taken? Again, no one contends
that he who votes for a simple acquittal or condemnation perjures
himself, if the indictment has been laid in an unqualified form; and
this is just, for the judge who acquits does not decide that the defendant
owes nothing, but that he does not owe the twenty minae. He only is
guilty of perjury who thinks that the defendant ought not to pay twenty
minae, and yet condemns him. 

To honor those who discover anything which is useful to the state
is a proposal which has a specious sound, but cannot safely be enacted
by law, for it may encourage informers, and perhaps even lead to political
commotions. This question involves another. It has been doubted whether
it is or is not expedient to make any changes in the laws of a country,
even if another law be better. Now, if an changes are inexpedient,
we can hardly assent to the proposal of Hippodamus; for, under pretense
of doing a public service, a man may introduce measures which are
really destructive to the laws or to the constitution. But, since
we have touched upon this subject, perhaps we had better go a little
into detail, for, as I was saying, there is a difference of opinion,
and it may sometimes seem desirable to make changes. Such changes
in the other arts and sciences have certainly been beneficial; medicine,
for example, and gymnastic, and every other art and craft have departed
from traditional usage. And, if politics be an art, change must be
necessary in this as in any other art. That improvement has occurred
is shown by the fact that old customs are exceedingly simple and barbarous.
For the ancient Hellenes went about armed and bought their brides
of each other. The remains of ancient laws which have come down to
us are quite absurd; for example, at Cumae there is a law about murder,
to the effect that if the accuser produce a certain number of witnesses
from among his own kinsmen, the accused shall be held guilty. Again,
men in general desire the good, and not merely what their fathers
had. But the primeval inhabitants, whether they were born of the earth
or were the survivors of some destruction, may be supposed to have
been no better than ordinary or even foolish people among ourselves
(such is certainly the tradition concerning the earth-born men); and
it would be ridiculous to rest contented with their notions. Even
when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain
unaltered. As in other sciences, so in politics, it is impossible
that all things should be precisely set down in writing; for enactments
must be universal, but actions are concerned with particulars. Hence
we infer that sometimes and in certain cases laws may be changed;
but when we look at the matter from another point of view, great caution
would seem to be required. For the habit of lightly changing the laws
is an evil, and, when the advantage is small, some errors both of
lawgivers and rulers had better be left; the citizen will not gain
so much by making the change as he will lose by the habit of disobedience.
The analogy of the arts is false; a change in a law is a very different
thing from a change in an art. For the law has no power to command
obedience except that of habit, which can only be given by time, so
that a readiness to change from old to new laws enfeebles the power
of the law. Even if we admit that the laws are to be changed, are
they all to be changed, and in every state? And are they to be changed
by anybody who likes, or only by certain persons? These are very important
questions; and therefore we had better reserve the discussion of them
to a more suitable occasion. 

Part IX

In the governments of Lacedaemon and Crete, and indeed in all governments,
two points have to be considered: first, whether any particular law
is good or bad, when compared with the perfect state; secondly, whether
it is or is not consistent with the idea and character which the lawgiver
has set before his citizens. That in a well-ordered state the citizens
should have leisure and not have to provide for their daily wants
is generally acknowledged, but there is a difficulty in seeing how
this leisure is to be attained. The Thessalian Penestae have often
risen against their masters, and the Helots in like manner against
the Lacedaemonians, for whose misfortunes they are always lying in
wait. Nothing, however, of this kind has as yet happened to the Cretans;
the reason probably is that the neighboring cities, even when at war
with one another, never form an alliance with rebellious serfs, rebellions
not being for their interest, since they themselves have a dependent
population. Whereas all the neighbors of the Lacedaemonians, whether
Argives, Messenians, or Arcadians, were their enemies. In Thessaly,
again, the original revolt of the slaves occurred because the Thessalians
were still at war with the neighboring Achaeans, Perrhaebians, and
Magnesians. Besides, if there were no other difficulty, the treatment
or management of slaves is a troublesome affair; for, if not kept
in hand, they are insolent, and think that they are as good as their
masters, and, if harshly treated, they hate and conspire against them.
Now it is clear that when these are the results the citizens of a
state have not found out the secret of managing their subject population.

Again, the license of the Lacedaemonian women defeats the intention
of the Spartan constitution, and is adverse to the happiness of the
state. For, a husband and wife being each a part of every family,
the state may be considered as about equally divided into men and
women; and, therefore, in those states in which the condition of the
women is bad, half the city may be regarded as having no laws. And
this is what has actually happened at Sparta; the legislator wanted
to make the whole state hardy and temperate, and he has carried out
his intention in the case of the men, but he has neglected the women,
who live in every sort of intemperance and luxury. The consequence
is that in such a state wealth is too highly valued, especially if
the citizen fall under the dominion of their wives, after the manner
of most warlike races, except the Celts and a few others who openly
approve of male loves. The old mythologer would seem to have been
right in uniting Ares and Aphrodite, for all warlike races are prone
to the love either of men or of women. This was exemplified among
the Spartans in the days of their greatness; many things were managed
by their women. But what difference does it make whether women rule,
or the rulers are ruled by women? The result is the same. Even in
regard to courage, which is of no use in daily life, and is needed
only in war, the influence of the Lacedaemonian women has been most
mischievous. The evil showed itself in the Theban invasion, when,
unlike the women other cities, they were utterly useless and caused
more confusion than the enemy. This license of the Lacedaemonian women
existed from the earliest times, and was only what might be expected.
For, during the wars of the Lacedaemonians, first against the Argives,
and afterwards against the Arcadians and Messenians, the men were
long away from home, and, on the return of peace, they gave themselves
into the legislator's hand, already prepared by the discipline of
a soldier's life (in which there are many elements of virtue), to
receive his enactments. But, when Lycurgus, as tradition says, wanted
to bring the women under his laws, they resisted, and he gave up the
attempt. These then are the causes of what then happened, and this
defect in the constitution is clearly to be attributed to them. We
are not, however, considering what is or is not to be excused, but
what is right or wrong, and the disorder of the women, as I have already
said, not only gives an air of indecorum to the constitution considered
in itself, but tends in a measure to foster avarice. 

The mention of avarice naturally suggests a criticism on the inequality
of property. While some of the Spartan citizen have quite small properties,
others have very large ones; hence the land has passed into the hands
of a few. And this is due also to faulty laws; for, although the legislator
rightly holds up to shame the sale or purchase of an inheritance,
he allows anybody who likes to give or bequeath it. Yet both practices
lead to the same result. And nearly two-fifths of the whole country
are held by women; this is owing to the number of heiresses and to
the large dowries which are customary. It would surely have been better
to have given no dowries at all, or, if any, but small or moderate
ones. As the law now stands, a man may bestow his heiress on any one
whom he pleases, and, if he die intestate, the privilege of giving
her away descends to his heir. Hence, although the country is able
to maintain 1500 cavalry and 30,000 hoplites, the whole number of
Spartan citizens fell below 1000. The result proves the faulty nature
of their laws respecting property; for the city sank under a single
defeat; the want of men was their ruin. There is a tradition that,
in the days of their ancient kings, they were in the habit of givin