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[1280b] [1] but they do not have officials common to them all appointed to enforce these covenants, but different officials with either party, nor yet does either party take any concern as to the proper moral character of the other, nor attempt to secure that nobody in the states under the covenant shall be dishonest or in any way immoral, but only that they shall not commit any wrong against each other. All those on the other hand who are concerned about good government do take civic virtue and vice into their purview. Thus it is also clear that any state that is truly so called and is not a state merely in name must pay attention to virtue; for otherwise the community becomes merely an alliance, differing only in locality from the other alliances, those of allies that live apart. And the law is a covenant or, in the phrase of the sophist Lycophron,1 a guarantee of men's just claims on one another, but it is not designed to make the citizens virtuous and just. And that this is how the matter stands is manifest. For if one were actually to bring the sites of two cities together into one, so that the city-walls of Megara and those of Corinth were contiguous, even so they would not be one city; nor would they if they enacted rights of intermarriage with each other, although intermarriage between citizens is one of the elements of community which are characteristic of states. And similarly even if certain people lived in separate places yet not so far apart as not to have intercourse, but had laws to prevent their wronging one another [20] in their interchange of products— for instance, if one man were a carpenter, another a farmer, another a shoemaker and another something else of the kind,—and the whole population numbered ten thousand, but nevertheless they had no mutual dealings in anything else except such things as exchange of commodities and military alliance, even then this would still not be a state. What then exactly is the reason for this? for clearly it is not because their intercourse is from a distance since even if they came together for intercourse of this sort (each nevertheless using his individual house as a city) and for one another's military aid against wrongful aggressors only, as under a defensive alliance, not even then would they seem to those who consider the matter carefully to constitute a state, if they associated on the same footing when they came together as they did when they were apart. It is manifest therefore that a state is not merely the sharing of a common locality for the purpose of preventing mutual injury and exchanging goods. These are necessary preconditions of a state's existence, yet nevertheless, even if all these conditions are present, that does not therefore make a state, but a state is a partnership of families and of clans in living well, and its object is a full and independent life. At the same time this will not be realized unless the partners do inhabit one and the same locality and practise intermarriage; this indeed is the reason why family relationships have arisen throughout the states, and brotherhoods and clubs for sacrificial rites and social recreations. But such organization is produced by the feeling of friendship, for friendship is the motive of social life; therefore, while the object of a state is the good life, these things are means to that end. And a state is the partnership of clans and villages in a full and independent life,

1 Probably a pupil of Gorgias, see 1275b 26 n.

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