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[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,1 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 2 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.

1 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.’

2 Solon 13.71.

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