Page:Aristotle - The Politics, 1905.djvu/29

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The city should be in a central position (c. 5). Communication with the sea is desirable for economic and military reasons ; but the moral effects of sea-trade are bad. If the state has a marine, the port town should be at some distance from the city (c. 6).

The character of the citizens should be a mean between that of Asiatics and that of the northern races ; intelligence and high spirit should be harmoniously blended as they are in some Greek races (c. 7). We must distinguish the members of the state from those who are necessary as its servants, but no part of it. There must be men who are able to provide food, to practise the arts, to bear arms, to carry on the work of exchange, to supervise the state religion, to exercise political and judicial functions (c. 8). But of these classes we should exclude from the citizen body (1) the mechanics, (2) the traders, (3) the husbandmen. Warriors, rulers, priests remain as eligible for citizenship. The same persons should exercise these three professions, but at different periods of life. Ownership of land should be confined to them (c. 9). Such a distinction between a ruling and a subject class, based on a difference of occupation, is nothing new. It still exists in Egypt, and the custom of common meals in Crete and Italy proves that it formerly existed there. Most of the valuable rules of politics have been discovered over and over again in the course of history.

In dealing with the land of the state we must distinguish between public demesnes and private estates. Both kinds of land should be tilled by slaves or barbarians of a servile disposition (c. 10). The site of the city should be chosen with regard (1) to public health, (2) to political convenience, (3) to strategic requirements. The ground-plan of the city