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[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, . . .1 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,2 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—

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

2 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.

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.5
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