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And sometimes when the wife is an heiress it is she who rules. In these cases then authority goes not by virtue but by wealth and power, as in an oligarchy. [6] The relation between brothers constitutes a sort of timocracy; they are equals, save in so far as they differ in age; hence, if the divergence in age be great, the friendship between them cannot be of the fraternal type. Democracy appears most fully in households without a master, for in them all the members are equal; but it also prevails where the ruler of the house is weak, and everyone is allowed to do what he likes. 11.

Under each of these forms of government we find friendship existing between ruler and ruled, to the same extent as justice. The friendship of a king for his subjects is one of superiority in beneficence; for a king does good to his subjects, inasmuch as being good he studies to promote their welfare, as a shepherd studies the welfare of his sheep; hence Homer called Agamemnon ‘shepherd of the people.’ [2] The friendship of a father for his child is of the same kind (only here the benefits bestowed are greater, for the father is the source of the child's existence, which seems to be the greatest of all boons, and of its nurture and education; and we also ascribe the same benefits to our forefathers). For it is as natural for a father to rule his children, and forefathers those descended from them, as for a king to rule his subjects. [3] These friendships then involve a superiority of benefits on one side, which is why parents receive honor as well as service.1 The claims of justice also, therefore, in these relations are not the same on both sides, but proportionate to desert, as is the affection bestowed. [4]

The friendship between husband and wife again is the same as that which prevails between rulers and subjects in an aristocracy; for it is in proportion to excellence, and the better party receives the larger share [of good],2 whilst each party receives what is appropriate to each; and the same is true of the claims of justice on either side. [5]

Friendship between brothers is like that between members of a comradeship: the two parties are equal in station and age, and this usually implies identity of feelings and of character. The counterpart of fraternal friendship is that which exists under the timocratic form of constitution; since the ideal of Timocracy is that all citizens shall be equal and shall be good, so that they all rule in turn, and all have an equal share of power; and therefore the friendship between them is also one of equality. [6]

Under the perverted forms of constitution friendship like justice can have but little scope, and least of all in the worst: there is little or no friendship between ruler and subjects in a tyranny. For where there is nothing in common between ruler and ruled, there can be no friendship between them either, any more than there can be justice. It is like the relation between a craftsman and his tool, or between the soul and the body [or between master and slave3]:

1 Sc., because their children cannot fully repay their services in kind.

2 The word ‘good’ looks like an interpolation. The sense seems to require ‘a larger share of affection’ ( φιλίας, or φιλήσεως, understood); it is clear throughout that in an unequal friendship the superior party receives not more but less benefit (though more affection) than the inferior. In 10.5 the conjugal association is compared to the aristocratic polity in virtue of the fact that the superior party has more power, not more benefit; and from 10.3 it appears that when the ruling class takes all or most of the benefits for itself, the government is no longer an aristocracy but an oligarchy.

3 These words are better omitted, as they anticipate what comes below.

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