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[1321b] [1] Let this then be a description of the proper way to organize the various forms of democracy and of oligarchy.

As a consequence of what has been said there follow satisfactory conclusions to the questions concerning magistracies—how many and what they should be and to whom they should belong, as has also been said before.1 For without the indispensable2 magistracies a state cannot exist, while without those that contribute to good order and seemliness it cannot be well governed. And furthermore the magistracies are bound to be fewer in the small states and more numerous in the large ones, as in fact has been said before3; it must therefore be kept in view what kinds of magistracies it is desirable to combine and what kinds to keep separate. First among the indispensable services is the superintendence of the market, over which there must be an official to superintend contracts and good order; since it is a necessity for almost all states that people shall sell some things and buy others according to one another's necessary requirements, and this is the readiest means of securing self-sufficiency, which seems to be the reason for men's having united into a single state. Another superintendency connected very closely with this one is the curatorship of public and private properties in the city, [20] to secure good order and the preservation and rectification of falling buildings and roads, and of the bounds between different persons' estates, so that disputes may not arise about them, and all the other duties of superintendence similar to these. An office of this nature is in most states entitled that of City-controller, but it has several departments, each of which is filled by separate officials in the states with larger populations, for instance Curators of Walls, Superintendents of Wells, Harbors-guardians. And another office also is indispensable and closely akin to these, for it controls the same matters but deals with the country and there regions outside the city; and these magistrates are called in some places Land-controllers and in others Custodians of Forests. These then are three departments of control over these matters, while another office is that to which the revenues of the public funds are paid in, the officials who guard them and by whom they are divided out to the several administrative departments; these magistrates are called Receivers and Stewards. Another magistracy is the one that has to receive a written return of private contracts and of the verdicts of the law-courts; and with these same officials the registration of legal proceedings and their institution have also to take place. In some states this office also is divided into several, but there are places where one magistracy controls all these matters; and these officials are called Sacred Recorders, Superintendents, Recorders, and other names akin to these. And after these is the office connected with it but perhaps the most indispensable and most difficult of all, the one concerned with the execution of judgement upon persons cast in suits and those posted as defaulters according to the lists,

1 Book 4 ,1297b 35 ff., 1299a 3 ff.

2 Cf. 4.1.

3 Book 4, 1299b 30 ff.

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  • Cross-references to this page (3):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), APODECTAE
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), HIEROMNE´MONES
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), HYLO´RI
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