Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Elites versus Common People

[Xenophon], Constitution of the Athenians 1.5 (tr. G.W. Bowersock):
And everywhere on earth the best element is opposed to democracy. For among the best people there is minimal wantonness and injustice but a maximum of scrupulous care for what is good, whereas among the people there is a maximum of ignorance, disorder, and wickedness; for poverty draws them rather to disgraceful actions, and because of a lack of money some men are uneducated and ignorant.

ἔστι δὲ πάσῃ γῇ τὸ βέλτιστον ἐναντίον τῇ δημοκρατίᾳ· ἐν γὰρ τοῖς βελτίστοις ἔνι ἀκολασία τε ὀλιγίστη καὶ ἀδικία, ἀκρίβεια δὲ πλείστη εἰς τὰ χρηστά, ἐν δὲ τῷ δήμῳ ἀμαθία τε πλείστη καὶ ἀταξία καὶ πονηρία· ἥ τε γὰρ πενία αὐτοὺς μᾶλλον ἄγει ἐπι τὰ αἰσχρά, καὶ ἡ ἀπαιδευσία καὶ ἡ ἀμαθία δι᾿ ἔνδειαν χρημάτων <ἔνι> ἐνίοις τῶν ἀνθρώπων.

ἔνι add. Christian

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