What is the relationship between Art and Politics in Roman art?
Against Art in Politics, and Politics in Art - The Atlantic
Aristotle defines the constitution (politeia) as a way oforganizing the offices of the city-state, particularly the sovereignoffice (III.6.1278b8–10; cf. IV.1.1289a15–18). Theconstitution thus defines the governing body, which takes differentforms: for example, in a democracy it is the people, and in anoligarchy it is a select few (the wealthy or well born). Beforeattempting to distinguish and evaluate various constitutions Aristotleconsiders two questions. First, why does a city-state come into being?He recalls the thesis, defended in Politics I.2, that humanbeings are by nature political animals, who naturally want to livetogether. For a further discussion of this topic, see the followingsupplementary document:
Touchstones essays on literature art and politics
Aristotle states that “the politician and lawgiver is whollyoccupied with the city-state, and the constitution is a certain way oforganizing those who inhabit the city-state” (III.1.1274b36-8).His general theory of constitutions is set forth in PoliticsIII. He begins with a definition of the citizen(politês), since the city-state is by nature acollective entity, a multitude of citizens. Citizens are distinguishedfrom other inhabitants, such as resident aliens and slaves; and evenchildren and seniors are not unqualified citizens (nor are mostordinary workers). After further analysis he defines the citizen as aperson who has the right (exousia) to participate indeliberative or judicial office (1275b18–21). In Athens, forexample, citizens had the right to attend the assembly, the council,and other bodies, or to sit on juries. The Athenian system differedfrom a modern representative democracy in that the citizens were moredirectly involved in governing. Although full citizenship tended to berestricted in the Greek city-states (with women, slaves, foreigners,and some others excluded), the citizens were more deeply enfranchisedthan in modern representative democracies because they were moredirectly involved in governing. This is reflected in Aristotle'sdefinition of the citizen (without qualification). Further, he definesthe city-state (in the unqualified sense) as a multitude of suchcitizens which is adequate for a self-sufficient life (1275b20-21).