previous next
[551d] “Here, then, is one very great defect in oligarchy.” “So it appears.” “Well, and is this a smaller one?” “What?” “That such a city should of necessity be not one,1 but two, a city of the rich and a city of the poor, dwelling together, and always plotting2 against one another.” “No, by Zeus,” said he, “it is not a bit smaller.” “Nor, further, can we approve of this—the likelihood that they will not be able to wage war, because of the necessity of either arming and employing the multitude,3

1 For the idea that a city should be a unity Cf. Laws 739 D and on 423 A-B. Cf. also 422 E with 417 A-B, Livy ii. 24 “adeo duas ex una civitate discordia fecerat.” Aristot.Pol. 1316 b 7 comments ἄτοπον δὲ καὶ τὸ φάναι δύο πόλεις εἶναι τὴν ὀλιγαρχικήν, πλουσίων καὶ πενήτων . . . and tries to prove the point by his topical method.

2 Cf. 417 B.

3 For the idea that the rulers fear to arm the people cf. Thuc. iii. 27, Livy iii. 15 “consules et armare pIebem et inermem pati timebant.”

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Notes (James Adam)
load focus Greek (1903)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1316 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: