previous next

The ‘end’ of each form of government may be identified with its ὅρος, because ‘everything being determined by its end’, the end does determine (ὁρίζεται) or characterise the special form which each kind of government assumes. These ὅροι or τέλη have already been considered in the preceding note. All choice is directed to some end: the end of the state, or its governing and guiding principle, must control and give a direction to all the choice and the consequent action of its citizens; and hence the necessity that the statesman and public speaker should be acquainted with it. ‘Plainly therefore it is with a view to the end of each form of government that our analysis of its habits, institutions, and interests should be conducted, because it is to this that the motives and actions of the body of men that we have to address are ultimately directed’.

τυραννίδος δὲ φυλακή] φυλακή is here ‘precaution’, ‘self-defence’—a form of self-interest. τὸ ἴδιον συμφέρον, characteristic of ‘tyranny’—and hence, as a means to this end, the φυλακή in its other sense, the mercenary body-guard, becomes a necessity, and distinctive of a tyranny. But as a φυλακή, in some sense, is equally required by any sole ruler or monarch, who is always in danger from the attempts of rivals, or rebels, or revolutionists,—the sole ruler has only one life to lose, and hence the personal danger; in governments of many, where the members are numerous, the attempt to get rid of them all would be difficult or impossible, and consequently it is not made—so here βασιλεία or μοναρχία is included under the general head of τυραννίς: so Schrader. Failing to see this, some transcriber, whose reading appears in the Greek Scholiast1, had inserted the clause βασιλείας δὲ τὸ ἐννόμως ἐπιστατεῖν, which being wanting in all the MSS, and not rendered by the Latin Translators, was deservedly rejected by Victorius. Vater, who does not agree with Victorius' and Schrader's view, thinks that some words descriptive of the τέλος of the βασιλεία have dropt out; and Spengel, by ‘indicating a lacuna’ (Rhet. Gr. Praef. VI), appears to be of the same opinion.

Upon the whole I think that Brandis' view of the question is to be preferred (Philologus IV i p. 43). It certainly is not likely, though possible, that Aristotle would have identified monarchy and tyranny, considering the treatment of them which he adopts in the Politics, and that he has already subdivided μοναρχία into βασιλεία and τυραννίς in § 4. Consequently, it appears that this division was adhered to in § 5, and something to represent the τέλος of βασιλεία has been lost.

1 It is Brandis' ‘Anonymus.’ See his paper in Schneidewin's Philologus, IV i p. 43.

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.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: