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[9] And such we consider those who do not live upon others; the sort of men who live by their exertions, and among them agriculturists, and, beyond all others, those who work with their own hands.1

1 Aristotle's opinion of husbandry, in which tillage and planting, keeping of bees, fish, and fowl were included, was not nearly so favorable as that of Xenophon in his Oeconomicus. In two lists of the elements of a State given in the Politics, it comes first at the head of the lower occupations. In its favor it is said that it forms the best material of a rural democracy, furnishes good sailors, a healthy body of men, not money-grabbers like merchants and tradesmen, and does not make men unfit to bear arms. On the other hand, it claims so much of a man's time that he is unable to devote proper attention to political duties, and should be excluded from holding office. He further says that husbandmen, if possible, should be slaves (neither of the same race nor hot-tempered, for they will work better and are less likely to revolt); or, as the next best alternative, barbarians or serfs. The favorable view taken by Aristotle here and in the Oeconomics (probably not his) does not agree with that put forward in the Politics.

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