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3.7 3
by Sheba Blake Publishing

Aristotle (384 - 322 BCE) has been referred to simply as “The Philosopher,” and Cicero called his literary style a “river of gold.” That said, Aristotle wrote primarily to teach his students at the Lyceum, so what remains of his writing are not highly polished tracts meant for wide readership. Thus Aristotle's Politics, which is a


Aristotle (384 - 322 BCE) has been referred to simply as “The Philosopher,” and Cicero called his literary style a “river of gold.” That said, Aristotle wrote primarily to teach his students at the Lyceum, so what remains of his writing are not highly polished tracts meant for wide readership. Thus Aristotle's Politics, which is a philosophical exploration of the ideal political community, reads like a series of jumbled lecture notes: scholars cannot agree which book goes where, or whether or not some of it was lost. He traveled widely, cataloguing every possible permutation of human governance from democracy to tyranny.

The eight books in Politics, however tedious and complex, have central themes: that a state has a nature that is definable and knowable, and that the role of citizens cannot be determined without this knowledge. Also important is the role which political life plays in the development of the citizens of a state. A city forms its citizens and vice versa, so to ensure the proper development of both, a populous must be well-educated (that is its men and non-slaves). And above all, virtue is morality in action, doing instead theorizing. In Politics, Aristotle does a heck of a lot of theorizing, but it full of concrete concepts which have shaped history and nations for eons.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“I have seen in my own classroom how much students have been helped by the Sachs translations. I’m frequently approached by students and asked why there isn’t a Sachs translation for Aristotle’s Politics. This translation will undoubtedly be welcome news to many students and scholars of Aristotle.”
—Lijun Gu, St. John's College

“I used to encourage students not to be put off from the brilliance of Aristotle's ideas by the density of his imposing prose, until I came across the rigorous and readable set of translations by Joe Sachs. What strikes me most in this welcome new translation of Aristotle's Politics is the sense of Aristotle as a man thinking carefully how to speak about political realities he studied and witnessed, rather than a treatise-builder expounding political doctrines.”
—Nathan Andersen, Eckerd College

“Joe Sachs’ masterful translation of Aristotle’s Politics is the latest in a series encompassing Aristotle’s Physics, (1995), Metaphysics (1999), On the Soul and On Memory and Recollection (2001), Nicomachean Ethics (2002), Poetics (2006) and Rhetoric (2009). This fact alone sets him apart from all other recent translators of the Politics: He is the only one who is not a specialist in one area of Aristotelian philosophy and his holistic command of the corpus allows him to deliver the most nuanced and precise translations available in English. In addition, he set himself the goal of avoiding in them the use of the traditional scholastic terminology which obstructs so much the interpretation of Aristotle’s thought. The Politics poses a unique challenge for the translator because it is a work of political philosophy, hence it necessarily has two kinds of readers in view and its language is both logically precise and rhetorically powerful. Joe Sachs’ translation renders both aspects with unmatched elegance and precision.”
—Antonio Marino López, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

“Sachs’ erudite, yet accessible, extremely careful, and obviously thoughtful translation of Aristotle's Politics is impressive beyond measure. This translation is a must, both for scholars working on or otherwise interested in Aristotle's Politics as well as for students and others who might be reading this text for the first time. Indeed, Sachs’ text offers an understandable translation of one of the most important Aristotelian texts, while remaining extremely faithful to the original Greek. In addition, the supplementary features of Sachs’ translation, which include notes that help provide further understanding and context for certain claims, as well as the Glossary and the Summary of Contents, which appear at the end of the text, provide wonderful aids for those who are invested in understanding Aristotle's Politics.”
—Corinne Painter, Washtenaw Community College

“Joe Sachs has an extraordinary ability to render ancient Greek into English sentences that are so clear and direct that they help readers to look past Aristotle’s technical terminology and reflect on the philosophical issues in the text. For beginning students Sachs’s translations are an ideal vehicle through which to engage Aristotle’s philosophy. For those of us who are more advanced, they are sufficiently different from the traditional translations to open fresh ways of thinking about the texts. Sachs does a fine job with the Politics. The translation is very readable and accurate, and the notes and glossary are insightful. The introductory essay by Lijun Gu valuably emphasizes the importance of book IV.”
—Edward Halper, University of Georgia

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Sheba Blake Publishing
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Book I

Chapter 1. <1252a> Since we see that every city is some kind of association, and every association is organized for the sake of some good (since everything everyone does is for the sake of something seeming to be good), it is clear that all associations aim at something good, and that the one that is most sovereign and encompasses all the others aims at the most sovereign of all goods. And this is the one called the city, the political association.

Now those who assume that the same person is skilled at political rule as at kingship, household management, and mastery of slaves do not speak beautifully. (For they regard each of these <10> as differentiated with respect to manyness or fewness but not in form—a master being over few, a household manager over more, and a political ruler or a king over still more, as if a large household were no different from a small city; as for the political ruler and the king, when one has control himself, they regard him as a king, but as a political ruler when he rules and is ruled by turns in accordance with the propositions of this sort of knowledge. These things, though, are not true.) What is being said will be clear to those who investigate it along the usual path, for just as it is necessary in other cases to divide a compound thing up into uncompounded ones (since these are <20> the smallest parts of the whole), so too with a city, it is by examining what it is composed of that we shall also see more about these rulers, both in what respect they differ from one another and whether it is possible to get hold of anything involving art applicable to each of the things mentioned.

Meet the Author

Joe Sachs taught for thirty years at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. He has translated Aristotle's Physics, Metaphysics, and On the Soul and, for the Focus Philosophical Library, Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Poetics, Plato's Theaetetus and Republic, a collection of Plato’s dialogues entitled Socrates and the Sophists,and an edition of Plato’s Gorgias and Aristotle’s Rhetoric.

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Politics 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
14. Ryan<br>15. Kova
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Ill be 1 soon! IM GOING FOR IT!" He sprinted out waving a large camp athens flag, laughing alotl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago