Aristotle, Oeconomica

LCL 287: 344-345

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1345 bI. Τὸν οἰκονομεῖν μέλλοντά τι κατὰ τρόπον τῶν τε τόπων, περὶ οὓς ἂν πραγματεύηται, μὴ ἀπείρως ἔχειν, καὶ τῇ φύσει εὐφυῆ εἶναι καὶ τῇ προαιρέσει 10φιλόπονόν τε καὶ δίκαιον· ὅ τι γὰρ ἂν ἀπῇ τούτων τῶν μερῶν, πολλὰ διαμαρτήσεται περὶ τὴν πραγματείαν ἣν μεταχειρίζεται.

Οἰκονομίαι δέ εἰσι τέσσαρες, ὡς ἐν τύπῳ διελέσθαι (τὰς γὰρ ἄλλας εἰς τοῦτο ἐμπιπτούσας εὑρήσομεν), βασιλικὴ σατραπικὴ πολιτικὴ ἰδιωτική.

15Τούτων δὲ μεγίστη μὲν καὶ ἁπλουστάτη ἡ2 βασιλική, . . .,1 ποικιλωτάτη δὲ καὶ ῥᾴστη ἡ πολιτική, ἐλαχίστη δὲ καὶ ποικιλωτάτη ἡ ἰδιωτική. ἐπικοινωνεῖν μὲν τὰ πολλὰ ἀλλήλαις ἀναγκαῖον ἐστίν· ὅσα δὲ μάλιστα δι᾿ αὐτῶν ἑκάστῃ συμβαίνει, ταῦτα ἐπισκεπτέον ἡμῖν ἐστιν.

Πρῶτον μὲν τοίνυν τὴν βασιλικὴν ἴδωμεν. ἔστι 20δὲ αὕτη δυναμένη μὲν τὸ καθόλου, εἴδη δὲ ἔχουσα τέσσαρα, περὶ νόμισμα, περὶ τὰ ἐξαγώγιμα, περὶ τὰ εἰσαγώγιμα, περὶ τὰ ἀναλώματα.

Τούτων δὲ ἕκαστον [μὲν] περὶ . . . τὸ νόμισμα3

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Oeconomica, II. i

Book II

I. Right administration of a household demands in the first place familiarity with the sphere of one’s actiona; in the second place, good natural endowments; and in the third, an upright and industrious way of life. For the lack of any one of these qualifications will involve many a failure in the task one takes in hand.

Of such administrations there are four main types, under which all others may be classified. We have the administration of a king; of the governors under him; of a free state; and of a private citizen.

Of these, that of a king is the most extensive, yet2 at the same time the simplest. A governor’s office is also very extensive, but divided into a great variety of departments. The administration of a free state is again very varied, but it is the easiest to conduct; while that of a private individual presents the like variety, but within limits which are narrowest of all. For the most part, all four will of necessity cover the same ground; we will, however, take them in turn, and see what is especially characteristic of each.

Taking first the royal administration, we see that while theoretically its power is unlimited, it is in practice concerned with four departments, namely currency, exports, imports, and expenditure.

Taking these severally, I assign to that of currency3

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-oeconomica.1935