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Selection from On the Observation of the Mosaic Polity



Of all the disciplines, O illustrious classes, which are commonly called practical, that is active, the nature of this sort is that indeed their knowledge and science should always remain an act truly occupied on certain occasions and in a proper time. The mind constantly retains their reasoning; the work is accomplished by the body alternatively acting and resting. If moreover there is such a practical discipline among human affairs, which should maintain a kingdom in all things by its own certain right, surely this is what we call a political [discipline]. “This is the teacher of the just and honorable; this the guardian of order; this the judge of the public and private rights of the common good; in this,” Polyaenus says, “are all things; in this all sound things are preserved; finally if this perishes, there is nothing in public and private affairs that does not die and become corrupted.”

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