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The connexion between this topic and the preceding is thus given by Victorius. ‘The truly just are not easy to recognise, and we are apt to be deceived by the outside show and to mistake unreal for real justice. Consequently, in default of better evidence of justice in men, they assume (ὑπολαμβάνουσιν) those to be just who mind their own business, and live upon their own resources or labour, and do not prey upon others, μὴ ἀφ᾽ ἑτέρων ζῶντας. Such are those who work for their bread, and amongst these especially, those who live upon (from the produce of) agriculture; and of all the rest1 (or else), those most of all who labour with their own hands’.

οἱ ἀπὸ γεωργίας αὐτουργοί] See note on I 12. 25. Hesych. αὐτουργός, δἰ ἑαυτοῦ ἐργαζόμενος. In the Oeconomics, attributed to Aristotle, I 2, 1343 a 25, agriculture is described as the first (in the natural order), and the greatest and most virtuous of all employments, κτήσεως δὲ πρώτη ἐπιμέλεια κατὰ φύσιν κατὰ φύσιν δὲ γεωργικὴ προτέρα, καὶ δεύτεραι ὅσαι ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς, οἷον μεταλλευτικὴ καὶ εἴ τις ἄλλη τοιαύτη. δὲ γεωργικὴ μάλιστα ὅτι δικαία: οὐ γὰρ ἀπ᾽ ἀνθρώπων οὔθ̓ ἑκόντων, ὥσπερ καπηλεία καὶ αἱ μισθαρνικαί, οὔτ̓ ἀκόντων ὥσπερ αἱ πολεμικαί. This explains the μὴ ἀφ᾽ ἑτέρων ζῶντας of the text. Agriculturalists do not make their profit of men, but of the land which they cultivate.

1 This redundant ἄλλος with the superlative—the superfluous union of the comparative with the superlative—may be illustrated here by two parallel examples from Shakespeare. Mids. Night's Dream, V. 1. 250, This is the greatest error of all the rest. Macbeth, V. 8. 4, Of all men else I have avoided thee.

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