[1252a] [1]

Every state is as we see a sort of partnership,1 and every partnership is formed with a view to some good (since all the actions of all mankind are done with a view to what they think to be good). It is therefore evident that, while all partnerships aim at some good the partnership that is the most supreme of all and includes all the others does so most of all, and aims at the most supreme of all goods; and this is the partnership entitled the state, the political association. Those then who think that the natures of the statesman, the royal ruler, the head of an estate2 and the master of a family are the same, are mistaken (they imagine that the difference between these various forms of authority is one of greater and smaller numbers, not a difference in the kind—that is, that the ruler over a few people is a master, over more the head of an estate, over more still a statesman or royal ruler, as if there were no difference between a large household and a small city; and also as to the statesman and the royal ruler, they think that one who governs as sole head is royal, and one who, while the government follows the principles of the science of royalty, takes turns to govern and be governed is a statesman; but these views are not true). And a proof that these people are mistaken will appear if we examine the question in accordance with our regular method of investigation. In every other matter it is necessary to analyze the composite whole down to its uncompounded elements (for these are the smallest [20] parts of the whole); so too with the state, by examining the elements of which it is composed we shall better discern in relation to these different kinds of rulers what is the difference between them, and whether it is possible to obtain any scientific precision in regard to the various statements made above.

In this subject as in others the best method of investigation is to study things in the process of development from the beginning. The first coupling together of persons then to which necessity gives rise is that between those who are unable to exist without one another: for instance the union of female and male for the continuance of the species (and this not of deliberate purpose, but with man as with the other animals and with plants there is a natural instinct to desire to leave behind one another being of the same sort as oneself); and the union of natural ruler and natural subject for the sake of security (for he that can foresee with his mind is naturally ruler and naturally master, and he that can do these things3 with his body is subject and naturally a slave; so that master and slave have the same interest). [1252b] [1] Thus the female and the slave are by nature distinct (for nature makes nothing as the cutlers make the Delphic knife,4 in a niggardly way, but one thing for one purpose; for so each tool will be turned out in the finest perfection, if it serves not many uses but one). Yet among barbarians the female and the slave have the same rank; and the cause of this is that barbarians have no class of natural rulers, but with them the conjugal partnership is a partnership of female slave and male slave. Hence the saying of the poets5— “ 'Tis meet that Greeks should rule barbarians,—
” implying that barbarian and slave are the same in nature. From these two partnerships then is first composed the household, and Hesiod6 was right when he wrote “ First and foremost a house and a wife and an ox for the ploughing—
” for the ox serves instead of a servant for the poor. The partnership therefore that comes about in the course of nature for everyday purposes is the ‘house,’ the persons whom Charondas7 speaks of as ‘meal-tub-fellows’ and the Cretan Epimenides8 as ‘manger-fellows.’9

On the other hand the primary partnership made up of several households for the satisfaction of not mere daily needs is the village. The village according to the most natural account seems to be a colony from10 a household, formed of those whom some people speak of as ‘fellow-sucklings,’ sons and sons' sons.11 It is owing to this that our cities were at first under royal sway and that foreign races are so still, [20] because they were made up of parts that were under royal rule; for every household is under the royal rule of its eldest member, so that the colonies from the household were so too, because of the kinship of their members. And this is what Homer12 means: “ And each one giveth law
To sons and eke to spouses—
” for his Cyclopes live in scattered families; and that is the way in which people used to live in early times. Also this explains why all races speak of the gods as ruled by a king, because they themselves too are some of them actually now so ruled and in other cases used to be of old; and as men imagine the gods in human form, so also they suppose their manner of life to be like their own.

The partnership finally composed of several villages is the city-state; it has at last attained the limit of virtually complete self-sufficiency, and thus, while it comes into existence for the sake of life, it exists for the good life. Hence every city-state exists by nature, inasmuch as the first partnerships so exist; for the city-state is the end of the other partnerships, and nature is an end, since that which each thing is when its growth is completed we speak of as being the nature of each thing, for instance of a man, a horse, a household. Again, the object for which a thing exists, its end, is its chief good; [1253a] [1] and self-sufficiency is an end, and a chief good. From these things therefore it is clear that the city-state is a natural growth, and that man is by nature a political animal, and a man that is by nature and not merely by fortune citiless is either low in the scale of humanity or above it (like the “ clanless, lawless, hearthless
” man reviled by Homer,13 for one by nature unsocial is also ‘a lover of war’) inasmuch as he is solitary, like an isolated piece at draughts. And why man is a political animal in a greater measure than any bee or any gregarious animal is clear. For nature, as we declare, does nothing without purpose; and man alone of the animals possesses speech. The mere voice, it is true, can indicate pain and pleasure, and therefore is possessed by the other animals as well (for their nature has been developed so far as to have sensations of what is painful and pleasant and to indicate those sensations to one another), but speech is designed to indicate the advantageous and the harmful, and therefore also the right and the wrong; for it is the special property of man in distinction from the other animals that he alone has perception of good and bad and right and wrong and the other moral qualities, and it is partnership in these things that makes a household and a city-state.

Thus also the city-state is prior in nature to the household and to each of us individually. [20] For the whole must necessarily be prior to the part; since when the whole body is destroyed, foot or hand will not exist except in an equivocal sense, like the sense in which one speaks of a hand sculptured in stone as a hand; because a hand in those circumstances will be a hand spoiled, and all things are defined by their function and capacity, so that when they are no longer such as to perform their function they must not be said to be the same things, but to bear their names in an equivocal sense. It is clear therefore that the state is also prior by nature to the individual; for if each individual when separate is not self-sufficient, he must be related to the whole state as other parts are to their whole, while a man who is incapable of entering into partnership, or who is so self-sufficing that he has no need to do so, is no part of a state, so that he must be either a lower animal or a god.

Therefore the impulse to form a partnership of this kind is present in all men by nature; but the man who first united people in such a partnership was the greatest of benefactors. For as man is the best of the animals when perfected, so he is the worst of all when sundered from law and justice. For unrighteousness is most pernicious when possessed of weapons, and man is born possessing weapons for the use of wisdom and virtue, which it is possible to employ entirely for the opposite ends. Hence when devoid of virtue man is the most unholy and savage of animals, and the worst in regard to sexual indulgence and gluttony. Justice on the other hand is an element of the state; for judicial procedure, which means the decision of what is just, is the regulation of the political partnership. [1253b] [1]

And now that it is clear what are the component parts of the state, we have first of all to discuss household management; for every state is composed of households. Household management falls into departments corresponding to the parts of which the household in its turn is composed; and the household in its perfect form consists of slaves and freemen. The investigation of everything should begin with its smallest parts, and the primary and smallest parts of the household are master and slave, husband and wife, father and children; we ought therefore to examine the proper constitution and character of each of these three relationships, I mean that of mastership, that of marriage14 (there is no exact term denoting the relation uniting wife and husband), and thirdly the progenitive relationship (this too has not been designated by a special name). Let us then accept these three relationships that we have mentioned. There is also a department which some people consider the same as household management and others the most important part of it, and the true position of which we shall have to consider: I mean what is called the art of getting wealth.15

Let us begin by discussing the relation of master and slave, in order to observe the facts that have a bearing on practical utility, and also in the hope that we may be able to obtain something better than the notions at present entertained, with a view to a theoretic knowledge of the subject. For some thinkers hold the function of the master to be a definite science, and moreover think that household management, mastership, statesmanship and monarchy are the same thing, [20] as we said at the beginning of the treatise; others however maintain that for one man to be another man's master is contrary to nature, because it is only convention that makes the one a slave and the other a freeman and there is no difference between them by nature, and that therefore it is unjust, for it is based on force.

Since therefore property is a part of a household and the art of acquiring property a part of household management (for without the necessaries even life, as well as the good life,16 is impossible), and since, just as for the particular arts it would be necessary for the proper tools to be forthcoming if their work is to be accomplished, so also the manager of a household must have his tools, and of tools some are lifeless and others living (for example, for a helmsman the rudder is a lifeless tool and the look-out man a live tool—for an assistant in the arts belongs to the class of tools), so also an article of property is a tool for the purpose of life, and property generally is a collection of tools, and a slave is a live article of property. And every assistant is as it were a tool that serves for several tools; for if every tool could perform its own work when ordered, or by seeing what to do in advance, like the statues of Daedalus in the story,17 or the tripods of Hephaestus which the poet says ‘enter self-moved the company divine,’18—if thus shuttles wove and quills played harps of themselves, master-craftsmen would have no need of assistants and masters no need of slaves. [1254a] [1] Now the tools mentioned are instruments of production, whereas an article of property is an instrument of action19; for from a shuttle we get something else beside the mere use of the shuttle, but from a garment or a bed we get only their use. And also inasmuch as there is a difference in kind between production and action, and both need tools, it follows that those tools also must possess the same difference. But life is doing things, not making things; hence the slave is an assistant in the class of instruments of action.

And the term ‘article of property’ is used in the same way as the term ‘part’: a thing that is a part is not only a part of another thing but absolutely belongs to another thing, and so also does an article of property. Hence whereas the master is merely the slave's master and does not belong to the slave, the slave is not merely the slave of the master but wholly belongs to the master. These considerations therefore make clear the nature of the slave and his essential quality: one who is a human being belonging by nature not to himself but to another is by nature a slave, and a person is a human being belonging to another if being a man he is an article of property, and an article of property is an instrument for action separable from its owner. But we must next consider whether or not anyone exists who is by nature of this character, and whether it is advantageous and just for anyone to be a slave, or whether on the contrary all slavery is against nature. [20] And it is not difficult either to discern the answer by theory or to learn it empirically. Authority and subordination are conditions not only inevitable but also expedient; in some cases things are marked out from the moment of birth to rule or to be ruled. And there are many varieties both of rulers and of subjects (and the higher the type of the subjects, the loftier is the nature of the authority exercised over them, for example to control a human being is a higher thing than to tame a wild beast; for the higher the type of the parties to the performance of a function, the higher is the function, and when one party rules and another is ruled, there is a function performed between them)—because in every composite thing, where a plurality of parts, whether continuous or discrete, is combined to make a single common whole, there is always found a ruling and a subject factor, and this characteristic of living things is present in them as an outcome of the whole of nature, since even in things that do not partake of life there is a ruling principle, as in the case of a musical scale.20 However, this matter perhaps belongs to an investigation lying somewhat outside our subject; but an animal consists primarily of soul and body, of which the former is by nature the ruling and the latter the subject factor. And to discover what is natural we must study it preferably in things that are in a natural state, and not in specimens that are degenerate. Hence in studying man we must consider a man that is in the best possible condition in regard to both body and soul, and in him the principle stated will clearly appear,— [1254b] [1] since in those that are bad or in a bad condition it might be thought that the body often rules the soul because of its vicious and unnatural condition. But to resume—it is in a living creature, as we say, that it is first possible to discern the rule both of master and of statesman the soul rules the body with the sway of a master, the intelligence rules the appetites with that of a statesman or a king and in these examples it is manifest that it is natural and expedient for the body to be governed by the soul and for the emotional part to be governed by the intellect, the part possessing reason, whereas for the two parties to be on an equal footing or in the contrary positions is harmful in all cases. Again, the same holds good between man and the other animals: tame animals are superior in their nature to wild animals, yet for all the former it is advantageous to be ruled by man, since this gives them security. Again, as between the sexes, the male is by nature superior and the female inferior, the male ruler and the female subject. And the same must also necessarily apply in the case of mankind as a whole; therefore all men that differ as widely as the soul does from the body and the human being from the lower animal (and this is the condition of those whose function is the use of the body and from whom this is the best that is forthcoming) these are by nature slaves, for whom to be governed by this kind of authority [20] is advantageous, inasmuch as it is advantageous to the subject things already mentioned. For he is by nature a slave who is capable of belonging to another (and that is why he does so belong), and who participates in reason so far as to apprehend it but not to possess it; for the animals other than man are subservient not to reason, by apprehending it, but to feelings. And also the usefulness of slaves diverges little from that of animals; bodily service for the necessities of life is forthcoming from both, from slaves and from domestic animals alike. The intention of nature therefore is to make the bodies also of freemen and of slaves different—the latter strong for necessary service, the former erect and unserviceable for such occupations, but serviceable for a life of citizenship (and that again divides into the employments of war and those of peace); but as a matter of fact often the very opposite comes about—some persons have the bodies of free men and others the souls; since this is certainly clear, that if persons were born as distinguished only in body as are the statues of the gods, everyone would say that those who were inferior deserved to be these men's slaves. And if this is true in the case of the body, there is far juster reason for this rule being laid down in the case of the soul; but beauty of soul is not so easy to see as beauty of body. [1255a] [1] It is manifest therefore that there are cases of people of whom some are freemen and the others slaves by nature, and for these slavery is an institution both expedient and just. But at the same time it is not difficult to see that those who assert the opposite are also right in a manner. The fact is that the terms ‘slavery’ and ‘slave’ are ambiguous; for there is also such a thing as a slave or a man that is in slavery by law, for the law is a sort of agreement under which the things conquered in war are said to belong to their conquerors. Now this conventional right is arraigned by many jurists just as a statesman is impeached for proposing an unconstitutional measure; they say that it is monstrous if the person powerful enough to use force, and superior in power, is to have the victim of his force as his slave and subject; and even among the learned some hold this view, though others hold the other. But the reason of this dispute and what makes the theories overlap is the fact that in a certain manner virtue when it obtains resources has in fact very great power to use force, and the stronger party always possesses superiority in something that is good,21 so that it is thought that force cannot be devoid of goodness, but that the dispute is merely about the justice of the matter (for it is due to the one party holding that the justification of authority is good-will, while the other identifies justice with the mere rule of the stronger); because obviously if these theories be separated apart, [20] the other theories have no force or plausibility at all, implying that the superior in goodness has no claim to rule and be master. But some persons, simply clinging, as they think, to principle of justice (for the law is a principle of justice), assert that the enslavement of prisoners of war is just; yet at the same time they deny the assertion, for there is the possibility that wars may be unjust in their origin and one would by no means admit that a man that does not deserve slavery can be really a slave—otherwise we shall have the result that persons reputed of the highest nobility are slaves and the descendants of slaves if they happen to be taken prisoners of war and sold. Therefore they do not mean to assert that Greeks themselves if taken prisoners are slaves, but that barbarians are. Yet when they say this, they are merely seeking for the principles of natural slavery of which we spoke at the outset; for they are compelled to say that there exist certain persons who are essentially slaves everywhere and certain others who are so nowhere. And the same applies also about nobility: our nobles consider themselves noble not only in their own country but everywhere, but they think that barbarian noblemen are only noble in their own country—which implies that there are two kinds of nobility and of freedom, one absolute and the other relative, as Helen says in Theodectes22: “ But who would dare to call me menial,
The scion of a twofold stock divine?
” Yet in so speaking they make nothing but virtue and vice the distinction between slave and free, the noble and the base-born; [1255b] [1] for they assume that just as from a man springs a man and from brutes a brute, so also from good parents comes a good son but as a matter of fact nature frequently while intending to do this is unable to bring it about.

It is clear therefore that there is some reason for this dispute, and that in some instances it is not the case that one set are slaves and the other freemen by nature; and also that in some instances such a distinction does exist, when slavery for the one and mastership for the other are advantageous and just, and it is proper for the one party to be governed and for the other to govern by the form of government for which they are by nature fitted, and therefore by the exercise of mastership, while to govern badly is to govern disadvantageously for both parties (for the same thing is advantageous for a part and for the whole body or the whole soul, and the slave is a part of the master—he is, as it were, a part of the body, alive but yet separated from it; hence there is a certain community of interest and friendship between slave and master in cases when they have been qualified by nature for those positions, although when they do not hold them in that way but by law and by constraint of force the opposite is the case).

And even from these considerations it is clear that the authority of a master over slaves is not the same as the authority of a magistrate in a republic, nor are all forms of government the same, as some assert. Republican government controls men who are by nature free, the master's authority men who are by nature slaves; and the government of a household is monarchy (since every house is governed by a single ruler), [20] whereas statesmanship is the government of men free and equal. The term ‘master’ therefore denotes the possession not of a certain branch of knowledge but of a certain character, and similarly also the terms ‘slave’ and ‘freeman.’ Yet there might be a science of mastership and a slave's science—the latter being the sort of knowledge that used to be imparted by the professor at Syracuse (for there used to be a man there who for a fee gave lessons to servants in their ordinary duties); and indeed there might be more advanced scientific study of such matters, for instance a science of cookery and the other such kinds of domestic service—for different servants have different functions, some more honorable and some more menial, and as the proverb says, “ Slave before slave and master before master.23
” The slave's sciences then are all the various branches of domestic work; the master's science is the science of employing slaves—for the master's function consists not in acquiring slaves but in employing them. This science however is one of no particular importance or dignity: the master must know how to direct the tasks which the slave must know how to execute. Therefore all people rich enough to be able to avoid personal trouble have a steward who takes this office, while they themselves engage in politics or philosophy. The science of acquiring slaves is different both from their ownership and their direction—that is, the just acquiring of slaves, which is akin to the art of war or that of the chase. Let this then stand as our definition of slave and master. [1256a] [1] But let us follow our normal method and investigate generally the nature of all kinds of property and the art of getting wealth, inasmuch as we saw the slave to be one division of property. In the first place therefore one might raise the question whether the art of getting wealth is the same as that of household management, or a part of it, or subsidiary to it; and if subsidiary, whether it is so in the sense in which the art of making shuttles is subsidiary to the art of weaving or in that in which the art of casting bronze is subsidiary to the making of statues (for the two are not subsidiary in the same way, but shuttle-making supplies tools whereas bronze-founding supplies material—and by material I mean the substance out of which certain work is produced, for example fleeces are material for a weaver and bronze for a statuary). Now it is clear that wealth-getting is not the same art as household management, for the function of the former is to provide and that of the latter to use—for what will be the art that will use the contents of the house if not the art of household management? but whether wealth-getting is a part of the art of household management, or a different sort of science, is open to debate. For if it is the function of the getter of wealth to study the source from which money and property are to be procured, . . .24 But property and riches comprise many divisions; hence first of all is husbandry a division of the household art, or is it a different kind of science? and so in general of the superintendence and acquisition of articles of food. But furthermore, there are many sorts of food, [20] owing to which both animals and men have many modes of life; for it is impossible to live without food, so that the differences of food have made the lives of animals different. Among wild animals some are nomadic and others solitary, according to whichever habit is advantageous for their supply of food, because some of them are carnivorous, others graminivorous, and others eat all kinds of food; so that nature has differentiated their modes of life to suit their facilities and their predilection for those articles of food. And as different kinds of animals by nature relish different sorts of food, and not each kind the same, even within the classes of carnivorous and graminivorous animals their modes of life differ from one another. And similarly in the human race also, for there are wide differences of life among mankind. The idlest men are nomads (for to procure food from domesticated animals involves no toil or industry, but as it is necessary for the herds to move from place to place because of the pastures, the people themselves are forced to follow along with them, as though they were farming a live farm). Other men live from hunting, and different people from different kinds of hunting, for instance some from brigandage,25 others from fishing—these are those that dwell on the banks of lakes, marshes and rivers or of a sea suitable for fishing,—and others live on wild birds and animals. But the largest class of men live from the land and the fruits of cultivation. This then virtually completes the list of the various modes of life, those at least that have their industry sprung from themselves and do not procure their food by barter and trade— [1256b] [1] the lives of the herdsman, the brigand, the fisherman, the hunter, the husband-man. Others also live pleasantly by combining some of these pursuits, supplementing the more deficient life where it happens to fall short in regard to being self-sufficing: for instance, some combine a pastoral life and brigandage, others husbandry and hunting, and similarly with the others—they pass their time in such a combination of pursuits as their need compels. Property of this sort then seems to be bestowed by nature herself upon all, as immediately upon their first coming into existence, so also when they have reached maturity. For even at the original coming into existence of the young some kinds of animals bring forth with them at birth enough sustenance to suffice until the offspring can provide for itself, for example all the species that bear their young in the form of larvae or in eggs. The viviparous species have sustenance for their offspring inside themselves for a certain period, the substance called milk. So that clearly we must suppose that nature also provides for them in a similar way when grown up, and that plants exist for the sake of animals and the other animals for the good of man, the domestic species both for his service and for his food, and if not all at all events most of the wild ones for the sake of his food and of his supplies of other kinds, in order that [20] they may furnish him both with clothing and with other appliances. If therefore nature makes nothing without purpose or in vain, it follows that nature has made all the animals for the sake of men. Hence even the art of war will by nature be in a manner an art of acquisition (for the art of hunting is a part of it) that is properly employed both against wild animals and against such of mankind as though designed by nature for subjection refuse to submit to it, inasmuch as this warfare is by nature just.

One kind of acquisition therefore in the order of nature is a part of the household art,26 in accordance with which either there must be forthcoming or else that art must procure to be forthcoming a supply of those goods, capable of accumulation, which are necessary for life and useful for the community of city or household. And it is of these goods that riches in the true sense at all events seem to consist. For the amount of such property sufficient in itself for a good life is not unlimited, as Solon 27 says that it is in the verse “ But of riches no bound has been fixed or revealed to men;
” for a limit has been fixed, as with the other arts, since no tool belonging to any art is without a limit whether in number or in size, and riches are a collection of tools for the householder and the statesman. Therefore that there is a certain art of acquisition belonging in the order of nature to householders and to statesmen, and for what reason this is so, is clear. But there is another kind of acquisition that is specially called wealth-getting, and that is so called with justice and to this kind it is due that there is thought to be no limit to riches and property. [1257a] [1] Owing to its affinity to the art of acquisition of which we spoke, it is supposed by many people to be one and the same as that; and as a matter of fact, while it is not the same as the acquisition spoken of, it is not far removed from it. One of them is natural, the other is not natural, but carried on rather by means of a certain acquired skill or art. We may take our starting-point for its study from the following consideration: with every article of property there is a double way of using it; both uses are related to the article itself, but not related to it in the same manner—one is peculiar to the thing and the other is not peculiar to it. Take for example a shoe—there is its wear as a shoe and there is its use as an article of exchange; for both are ways of using a shoe, inasmuch as even he that barters a shoe for money or food with the customer that wants a shoe uses it as a shoe, though not for the use peculiar to a shoe, since shoes have not come into existence for the purpose of barter. And the same also holds good about the other articles of property; for all of them have an art of exchange related to them, which began in the first instance from the natural order of things, because men had more than enough of some things and less than enough of others. This consideration also shows that the art of trade is not by nature a part of the art of wealth-getting28; for the practice of barter was necessary only so far as to satisfy men's own needs. In the primary [20] association therefore (I mean the household) there is no function for trade, but it only arises after the association has become more numerous. For the members of the primitive household used to share commodities that were all their own, whereas on the contrary a group divided into several households participated also in a number of commodities belonging to their neighbors, according to their needs for which they were forced to make their interchanges by way of barter, as also many barbarian tribes do still; for such tribes do not go beyond exchanging actual commodities for actual commodities, for example giving and taking wine for corn, and so with the various other things of the sort. Exchange on these lines therefore is not contrary to nature, nor is it any branch of the art of wealth-getting, for it existed for the replenishment of natural self-sufficiency; yet out of it the art of business in due course arose. For when they had come to supply themselves more from abroad by importing things in which they were deficient and exporting those of which they had a surplus, the employment of money necessarily came to be devised. For the natural necessaries are not in every case readily portable; hence for the purpose of barter men made a mutual compact to give and accept some substance of such a sort as being itself a useful commodity was easy to handle in use for general life, iron for instance, silver and other metals, at the first stage defined merely by size and weight, but finally also by impressing on it a stamp in order that this might relieve them of having to measure it; for the stamp was put on as a token of the amount. [1257b] [1] So when currency had been now invented as an outcome of the necessary interchange of goods, there came into existence the other form of wealth-getting, trade, which at first no doubt went on in a simple form, but later became more highly organized as experience discovered the sources and methods of exchange that would cause most profit. Hence arises the idea that the art of wealth-getting deals specially with money, and that its function is to be able to discern from what source a large supply can be procured, as this art is supposed to be creative of riches and wealth; indeed riches are often assumed to consist of a quantity of money, because money is the thing with which the art of business and of trade deals. But at other times, on the contrary, it is thought that money is nonsense, and nothing by nature but entirely a convention, because when those who use it have changed the currency it is worth nothing, and because it is of no use for any of the necessary needs of life and a man well supplied with money may often29 be destitute of the bare necessities of subsistence, yet it is anomalous that wealth should be of such a kind that a man may be well supplied with it and yet die of hunger, like the famous Midas in the legend, when owing to the insatiable covetousness of his prayer all the viands served up to him turned into gold. Hence people seek for a different definition of riches and the art of getting wealth, and rightly; for natural wealth-getting and natural riches are different: [20] natural wealth-getting belongs to household management, whereas the other kind belongs to trade, producing goods not in every way but only by the method of exchanging goods. It is this art of wealth-getting that is thought to be concerned with money, for money is the first principle and limit of commerce. And these riches, that are derived from this art of wealth-getting, are truly unlimited30; for just as the art of medicine is without limit in respect of health, and each of the arts is without limit in respect of its end (for they desire to produce that in the highest degree possible), whereas they are not without limit as regards the means to their end (for with all of them the end is a limit to the means), so also this wealth-getting has no limit in respect of its end, and its end is riches and the acquisition of goods in the commercial sense. But the household branch of wealth-getting has a limit, since the acquisition of commercial riches is not the function of household management. Hence from this point of view it appears necessary that there should be a limit to all riches, yet in actual fact we observe that the opposite takes place; for all men engaged in wealth-getting try to increase their money to an unlimited amount. The reason of this is the close affinity of the two branches of the art of business. Their common ground is that the thing that each makes use of is the same; they use the same property, although not in the same way—the one has another end in view, the aim of the other is the increase of the property. Consequently some people suppose that it is the function of household management to increase property, and they are continually under the idea that it is their duty to be either safeguarding their substance in money or increasing it to an unlimited amount. The cause of this state of mind is that their interests are set upon life but not upon the good life; [1258a] [1] as therefore the desire for life is unlimited, they also desire without limit the means productive of life. And even those who fix their aim on the good life seek the good life as measured by bodily enjoyments, so that inasmuch as this also seems to be found in the possession of property, all their energies are occupied in the business of getting wealth; and owing to this the second kind of the art of wealth-getting has arisen. For as their enjoyment is in excess, they try to discover the art that is productive of enjoyable excess; and if they cannot procure it by the art of wealth-getting, they try to do so by some other means, employing each of the faculties in an unnatural way. For it is not the function of courage to produce wealth, but to inspire daring; nor is it the function of the military art nor of the medical art, but it belongs to the former to bring victory and to the latter to cause health. Yet these people make all these faculties means for the business of providing wealth, in the belief that wealth is the end and that everything must be directed to the end.

We have therefore discussed both the unnecessary branch of wealth-getting, defining it and also explaining the cause why we require it, and the necessary branch, showing that this branch which has to do with food is different from the unnecessary branch and is by nature a part of household management, not being like that branch unlimited but having a limit. And we can also see the answer to the question raised at the beginning,31 whether [20] the art of wealth-getting belongs to the householder and the statesman, or whether on the contrary supplies ought to be provided already (for just as statesmanship does not create human beings but having received them from nature makes use of them, so also it is necessary for nature to bestow food by bestowing land or sea or something else), and the task of the householder is, starting with these supplies given, to dispose of them in the proper way. For it does not belong to the art of weaving to make fleeces, but to use them, and also to know what sort of fleece is good and suitable or bad and unsuitable. In fact the question might be raised, why the getting of wealth is a part of the household art whereas the art of medicine is not a part of it, although the members of the household ought to be healthy, just as they must be alive or fulfil any of the other essential conditions. But inasmuch as although in a way it does belong to the householder and the ruler to see even to health, yet in a way it does not belong to them but to the physician, so also with regard to wealth, although in a way it is the affair of the house-holder, in a way it is not, but is a matter for the subsidiary art. But best of all, as has been said before, this provision ought to be made in advance by nature. For it is the work of nature to supply nourishment for her offspring, since every creature has for nourishment the residue of the substance from which it springs.32 Hence the business of drawing provision from the fruits of the soil and from animals is natural to all. But, as we said, this art is twofold, one branch being of the nature of trade while the other belongs to the household art; and the latter branch is necessary and in good esteem, but the branch connected with exchange is justly discredited [1258b] [1] (for it is not in accordance with nature, but involves men's taking things from one another). As this is so, usury is most reasonably hated, because its gain comes from money itself and not from that for the sake of which money was invented. For money was brought into existence for the purpose of exchange, but interest increases the amount of the money itself (and this is the actual origin of the Greek word: offspring resembles parent, and interest is money born of money); consequently this form of the business of getting wealth is of all forms the most contrary to nature. And since we have adequately defined the scientific side of the subject, we ought to discuss it from the point of view of practice; although, whereas the theory of such matters is a liberal study, the practical pursuit of them is narrowing. The practically useful branches of the art of wealth-getting are first, an expert knowledge of stock, what breeds are most profitable and in what localities and under what conditions, for instance what particular stock in horses or cattle or sheep, and similarly of the other animals also (for the farmer must be an expert as to which of these animals are most profitable compared with one another, and also as to what breeds are most profitable on what sorts of land, since different breeds flourish in different places); secondly, the subject of agriculture, and this again is divided into corn-growing and fruit-farming; also bee-keeping, and the breeding of the other creatures finned and feathered [20] which can be used to furnish supplies. These then are the branches and primary parts of wealth-getting in the most proper sense. Of the kind that deals with exchange, the largest branch is commerce (which has three departments, ship-owning, transport and marketing: these departments differ from each other in the fact that some are safer and others carry larger profits); the second branch is money-lending, and the third labor for hire, one department of which is that of the mechanic33 arts and the other that of unskilled laborers who are useful only for bodily service. And there is a third form of wealth-getting that lies between the latter and the one placed first, since it possesses mediate an element both of natural wealth-getting and of the sort that employs exchange; it deals with all the commodities that are obtained from the earth and from those fruitless but useful things that come from the earth—examples are the felling of timber34 and all sorts of mining; and of mining itself there are many classes, since there are many sorts of metals obtained out of the earth. The35 most scientific of these industries are those which involve the smallest element of chance, the most mechanic those in which the operatives undergo the greatest amount of bodily degradation, the most servile those in which the most uses are made of the body, and the most ignoble those in which there is the least requirement of virtue as an accessory. But while we have even now given a general description of these various branches, yet a detailed and particular account of them, though useful for the practice of the industries, would be illiberal as a subject of prolonged study. There are books on these subjects by certain authors, for example Charetides36 of Paros [1259a] [1] and Apollodorus37 of Lemnos have written about both agriculture and fruit-farming, and similarly others also on other topics, so these subjects may be studied from these authors by anybody concerned to do so; but in addition a collection ought also to be made38 of the scattered accounts of methods that have brought success in business to certain individuals. All these methods are serviceable for those who value wealth-getting, for example the plan of Thales39 of Miletus, which is a device for the business of getting wealth, but which, though it is attributed to him because of his wisdom, is really of universal application. Thales, so the story goes, because of his poverty was taunted with the uselessness of philosophy; but from his knowledge of astronomy he had observed while it was still winter that there was going to be a large crop of olives, so he raised a small sum of money and paid round deposits for the whole of the olive-presses in Miletus and Chios, which he hired at a low rent as nobody was running him up; and when the season arrived, there was a sudden demand for a number of presses at the same time, and by letting them out on what terms he liked he realized a large sum of money, so proving that it is easy for philosophers to be rich if they choose, but this is not what they care about. Thales then is reported to have thus displayed his wisdom, but as [20] a matter of fact this device of taking an opportunity to secure a monopoly is a universal principle of business; hence even some states have recourse to this plan as a method of raising revenue when short of funds: they introduce a monopoly of marketable goods. There was a man in Sicily who used a sum of money deposited with him to buy up all the iron from the iron mines, and afterwards when the dealers came from the trading-centers he was the only seller, though he did not greatly raise the price, but all the same he made a profit of a hundred talents40 on his capital of fifty. When Dionysius41 came to know of it he ordered the man to take his money with him but clear out of Syracuse on the spot,42 since he was inventing means of profit detrimental to the tyrant's own affairs. Yet really this device is the same as the discovery of Thales, for both men alike contrived to secure themselves a monopoly. An acquaintance with these devices is also serviceable for statesmen, for many states need financial aid and modes of revenue like those described, just as a household may, but in greater degree; hence some statesmen even devote their political activity exclusively to finance. And since, as we saw,43 the science of household management has three divisions, one the relation of master to slave, of which we have spoken before,44 one the paternal relation, and the third the conjugal45—for it is a part of the household science to rule over wife and children (over both as over freemen, yet not with the same mode of government, but over the wife to exercise republican government and over the children monarchical); [1259b] [1] for the male is by nature better fitted to command than the female (except in some cases where their union has been formed contrary to nature) and the older and fully developed person than the younger and immature. It is true that in most cases of republican government the ruler and the ruled interchange in turn (for they tend to be on in equal level in their nature and to have no difference at all), although nevertheless during the period when one is ruler and the other ruled they seek to have a distinction by means of insignia and titles and honors, just as Amasis made his speech about the foot-bath46; but the male stands in this relationship to the female continuously. The rule of the father over the children on the other hand is that of a king; for the male parent is the ruler in virtue both of affection and of seniority, which is characteristic of royal government (and therefore Homer47 finely designated Zeus by the words “ father of men and gods,
” as the king of them all). For though in nature the king must be superior, in race he should be the same as his subjects, and this is the position of the elder in relation to the younger and of the father in relation to the child. It is clear then that household management takes more interest in the human members of the household than in its inanimate property, and [20] in the excellence of these than in that of its property, which we style riches, and more in that of its free members than in that of slaves.

First of all then as to slaves the difficulty might be raised, does a slave possess any other excellence, besides his merits as a tool and a servant, more valuable than these, for instance temperance, have the courage, justice and any of the other moral virtues, or has he no excellence beside his bodily service? For either way there is difficulty; if slaves do possess moral virtue, wherein will they differ from freemen? or if they do not, this is strange, as they are human beings and participate in reason. And nearly the same is the question also raised about the woman and the child: have they too virtues, and ought a woman to be temperate, brave and just, and can a child be intemperate or temperate, or not? This point therefore requires general consideration in relation to natural ruler and subject: is virtue the same for ruler and ruled, or different? If it is proper for both to partake in nobility of character, how could it be proper for the one to rule and the other to be ruled unconditionally? we cannot say that the difference is to be one of degree, for ruling and being ruled differ in kind, and difference of degree is not a difference in kind at all. Whereas if on the contrary it is proper for the one to have moral nobility but not for the other, this is surprising. For if the ruler is not temperate and just, how will he rule well? And if the ruled, how will he obey well? [1260a] [1] If intemperate and cowardly he will not perform any of the duties of his position. It is evident therefore that both must possess virtue, but that there are differences in their virtue (as also there are differences between those who are by nature ruled).48 And of this we straightway find an indication in connection with the soul; for the soul by nature contains a part that rules and a part that is ruled, to which we assign different virtues, that is, the virtue of the rational and that of the irrational. It is clear then that the case is the same also with the other instances of ruler and ruled. Hence there are by nature various classes of rulers and ruled. For the free rules the slave, the male the female, and the man the child in a different way. And all possess the various parts of the soul, but possess them in different ways; for the slave has not got the deliberative part at all, and the female has it, but without full authority, while the child has it, but in an undeveloped form. Hence49 the ruler must possess intellectual virtue in completeness (for any work, taken absolutely, belongs to the master-craftsman, and rational principle is a master-craftsman); while each of the other parties must have that share of this virtue which is appropriate to them. We must suppose therefore that the same necessarily holds good of the moral virtues: all must partake of them, but not in the same way, but in such measure as is proper to each in relation to his own function. [20] Hence it is manifest that all the persons mentioned have a moral virtue of their own, and that the temperance of a woman and that of a man are not the same, nor their courage and justice, as Socrates thought,50 but the one is the courage of command, and the other that of subordination, and the case is similar with the other virtues. And this is also clear when we examine the matter more in detail, for it is misleading to give a general definition of virtue, as some do, who say that virtue is being in good condition as regards the soul or acting uprightly or the like; those who enumerate the virtues of different persons separately, as Gorgias does,51 are much more correct than those who define virtue in that way. Hence we must hold that all of these persons have their appropriate virtues, as the poet said of woman: “ Silence gives grace to woman52
” though that is not the case likewise with a man. Also the child is not completely developed, so that manifestly his virtue also is not personal to himself, but relative to the fully developed being, that is, the person in authority over him. And similarly the slave's virtue also is in relation to the master.

And we laid it down that the slave is serviceable for the mere necessaries of life, so that clearly he needs only a small amount of virtue, in fact just enough to prevent him from failing in his tasks owing to intemperance and cowardice. (But the question might be raised, supposing that what has just been said is true, will artisans also need to have virtue? for they frequently fall short in their tasks owing to intemperance. Or is their case entirely different? For the slave is a partner in his master's life, but the artisan is more remote, and only so much of virtue falls to his share as of slavery53— [1260b] [1] for the mechanic artisan is under a sort of limited slavery, and whereas the slave is one of the natural classes, no shoemaker or other craftsman belongs to his trade by nature.) It is manifest therefore that the master ought to be the cause to the slave of the virtue proper to a slave, but not as possessing that art of mastership which teaches a slave his tasks. Hence those persons are mistaken who deprive the slave of reasoning and tell us to use command only; for admonition is more properly employed with slaves than with children.

But on these subjects let us conclude our decisions in this manner; while the question of the virtue severally belonging to man and woman and children and father, and of the right and wrong mode of conducting their mutual intercourse and the proper way of pursuing the good mode and avoiding the bad one, are matters that it will be necessary to follow up in the part of our treatise dealing with the various forms of constitution.54 For since every household is part of a state, and these relationships are part of the household, and the excellence of the part must have regard to that of the whole, it is necessary that the education both of the children and of the women should be carried on with a regard to the form of the constitution, if it makes any difference as regards the goodness of the state for the children and the women to be good. And it must necessarily make a difference; for the women are a half of the free population, and the children [20] grow up to be the partners in the government of the state. So that as these questions have been decided, and those that remain must be discussed elsewhere, let us relinquish the present subjects as completed, and make a fresh start in our discourse, and first let us consider those thinkers who have advanced views about the Ideal State.

1 The Greek word had not acquired a specially political connotation as the English word ‘community’ has.

2 οἰκονόμος denoting a higher grade than δεσπότης is unusual. For their ordinary use see 2.1 fin.

3 A probable emendation gives ‘that can carry out labor.’

4 Uncertain: possibly a dagger and a carving-knife in one.

5 Eur. IA 1400.

6 Hes. WD 405.

7 A law-giver of Catana in Sicily, 6th century B.C. or earlier.

8 A poet and prophet invited to Athens 596 B.C. to purify it of plague.

9 The variant reading ὁμοκάπνους, ‘smoke-sharers,’ seems to mean ‘hearth-fellows.’

10 Perhaps the Greek should be altered to give ‘consists of colonies from.’

11 The words ‘sons and sons' sons’ are probably an interpolated note.

12 Hom. Od. 9.114 f. on the Cyclopes.

13 Hom. Il. 9.63; the passage goes on: ἐστὶν ἐκεῖνος ὃς πολέμου ἔραται.

14 The Greek word properly denotes the marriage ceremony, not the married state.

15 No English word covers all the associations of the Greek, which means ‘dealing in χρήματα,’ ‘things,’—goods, property, money—and so ‘business.’

16 ‘As well as the good life’ is probably an interpolation.

17 This legendary sculptor first represented the eyes as open and the limbs as in motion, so his statues had to be chained to prevent them from running away (Plat. Meno 97d).

18 Hom. Il. 18.369

19 i.e. with it we do not make something but do something (e.g. wear a dress, lie in a bed).

20 Each ‘mode’ (Dorian, the modern minor scale, Phrygian and Lydian, two forms of major) was ruled by its key-note.

21 The difficulty turns on the ambiguity of ἀρετή, (a) moral goodness, virtue, (b) goodness of any kind, e.g. strength.

22 A tragic poet, a friend of Aristotle.

23 Probably from a comedy of Aristotle's contemporary Philemon.

24 Some words seem to have fallen out in the Greek.

25 Perhaps ‘slave-raiding,’ cf. 3.9, the appropriation of the ‘live tools’ that are a part of nature's supplies; but Thuc. 1.5 speaks of brigandage and piracy as common in earlier times, and as still deemed respectable professions in Northern Greece.

26 Rassow would transpose the clause (with a slight alteration) to give ‘of the household art, that is, the acquisition of those goods capable of accumulation that are necessary for life and useful for the community of city and household, a supply of which must be forthcoming or else the art must procure it to be forthcoming.’

27 Solon 13.71.

28 Perhaps Aristotle wrote ‘of the art of exchange’: Bernays suggests μεταβλητικῆς for χρηματιστικῆς.

29 e.g. on a desert island.

30 i.e. a trader cannot get too much of his goods, any more than a doctor can make his patient too healthy.

31 See 3.1.

32 i.e. animals are made of earth and water and live on the products of earth and water.

33 βάναυσος(said to be from βαῦνος‘furnace,’ αὔω‘to dry’), ‘artisan’ (ranged with farmers, traders, and laborers, as forming the common people 1321a 6); it acquires the senses of ‘cramped in body’ (1341a 7) and ‘vulgar in taste’ (1337b 8).

34 a very probable variant gives ‘the quarrying of stone.’

35 In the mss. this sentence follows the next one.

36 Otherwise unknown.

37 Also mentioned by Varro and Pliny.

38 The author of the Second Book of the pseudo-Aristotelian Oeconomica seems to have taken the hint.

39 The founder of Greek philosophy and mathematics, and one of the Seven Sages, 6th-5th cent. B.C.

40 The talent was about 240 pounds.

41 Dionysius the elder, tyrant of Syracuse 405-367 B.C.

42 cf. Thucydides οἱ δ᾽ οὐκέτι ἔμειναν ἀλλὰ . . .

43 2 init.

44 3 fin., 4.

45 The construction of the sentence is interrupted, and never completed.

46 Hdt. 1.172. Amasis king of Egypt was despised by his subjects for his low birth, so he had a statue made out of a gold foot-bath and set it up for them to worship, afterwards explaining to them its lowly origin.

47 Hom. Il. 1.544.

48 This clause seems to have been interpolated; one ms. has a marginal correction, ‘by nature rulers and ruled.’

49 In the mss. this sentence follows the next one, ‘We must suppose—function,’ and begins ‘Hence the ruler must possess moral virtue.’

50 Plat. Meno 74bff.

51 i.e. in Plato, Meno (see 7 above), where this sophist figures as a character in the dialogue; see also 3.1.9, note.

52 Soph. Aj. 293

53 i.e. his excellences as an artisan are the qualities of a subordinate (his virtues as a human being, apart from his trade, are not considered).

54 As a matter of fact in Books 7, 8 dealing with the best constitution this subject is not reached.

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