The Ancient Library

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not of the whole: by some principle of selection men, otherwise on an equality, are divided into two classes: those who belong to the minority possess political privi­leges and are defined as''those within the constitution"; the rest have no political rights and are ' without the con­stitution2.' This characteristic offers a satisfactory test for the subdivision of oligarchies, and they may be classi­fied in accordance with the conditions required for citizen­ship, using that word to denote active political rights*. The qualification for citizenship was not in all states the same as the qualification for the magistracies4; but this distinction is not of sufficient importance to affect our classification.

In the following pages I discuss the different varieties of oligarchies, in so far as this principle enables us to distinguish them. The classification is of necessity em­pirical and incomplete. I have collected < the available

2 The distinction into ol tv rjj roXirely. or ol iv ti? roXirei/iari and ot ttcrbs or oi f£<a, which is characteristic of oligarchy, occurs again and again in Aristotle. It is unnecessary to quote instances: both classes are alluded to in Pol. viii 8 1308 a 6. The privileged body is often called fit ro\lrevfia and this is denned as t& ripum rav iriXf&w. Cf. Pol. iii 6 1279 a 25; 1279 b 11.

3 I have quoted Aristotle's definition of 'citizen' in § 4 n. 2. We must remember that he uses dp^ri to include all political functions, as he explains in the same passage that participation in the assembly or law courts is as dApurros dpxrf- Aristotle uses a.px'l and dpx»2 in two senses (1) generally of citizenship: (2) specially of magisterial powers. But in the definition of the different forms of oligarchy (discussed in the next section) there is no doubt that he uses the word in its general sense. The passage quoted in the next note contains an instance of the special use.

4 Ar. Pol. viii 6 1305 b 30 In 6<rcus i\iyapxlats ov% ofrroi aipowrcu. ria d/>xa* (£ &* oi Hpxotrfs elcra>, d\V ai /tin dpxal ix Ttpi)HilTwi> pcydXwv tlalr $ iT<upua>, alpovrriu 8' ol iwKrcu ij 6 Srjiun. See below, § 41.

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