Political History

Commentary on Aristotle's Politics by Saint Thomas Aquinas, Richard J. Regan

By Saint Thomas Aquinas, Richard J. Regan

The 1st whole translation into smooth English of Aquinas unfinished observation on Aristotle's "Politics", this translation follows the definitive Leonine textual content of Aquinas and in addition reproduces in English these passages of William of Moerbeke's famously exact but elliptical translation of the "Politics" from which Aquinas labored. Bekker numbers were additional to passages from Moerbeke's translation for simple reference.

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Sample text

Then he shows who are by nature rulers, and who are by nature subjects. First, he shows of what sort they are regarding the soul. Second, he shows of what sort they are regarding the body [12]. Regarding the first, he does two things. First, he shows of what sort natural rulers and subjects are regarding the soul. Second, he posits the relation between human beings who are by nature slaves, and irrational animals, who are also by nature slaves [11]. Therefore, he says first that the soul by nature rules over the body, and human beings by nature over irrational animals.

And this also belongs to the second question, since we distinguish the natural powers in things according to the diversity of the things. Fourth, ruling over better subjects is always better. For example, ruling over human beings is better than ruling over irrational animals. And he proves this by the following argument. Every kind of ruling and being ruled is directed to some work, since one subject to a ruler obeys him in some work. But the work done by better things is better. Therefore, the kind of ruling is also better.

Something introduced in favor of victors to motivate soldiers to wage war bravely). But it seems to others that the matter has an aspect of justice, that those who show superiority by military victory should rule, as Solomon says in Prov. ” And so they say this because, if we should set aside such arguments about the actions, it seems at first glance that the counterarguments that those superior in the virtue proper to victors should not rule or be masters have no convincing force. Nor do they even have any probability, as things generally seem to people.

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