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The Measure of MultitudePopulation in Medieval Thought$
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Peter Biller

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199265596

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199265596.001.0001

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The Politics (III): Multitude

The Politics (III): Multitude

(p.357) 13 The Politics (III): Multitude
The Measure of Multitude

Peter Biller

Oxford University Press

The Politics contained a very flexible view of the actual multitude, a ‘population’ which had varied in the past and might be increasing, decreasing, or staying the same. It could be behaving in one of these ways under certain ‘demographic’ conditions of births, deaths, emigrations, and so on, and each of these ways had certain implications. While considering ideal and actual ‘cities’ and constructing the ideal city, Aristotle frequently had these implications at the centre of the picture: the implications of a certain size of overall multitude, or the proportional sizes of the multitudes of various parts of the ‘city’. This chapter examines the baggage of ideas and experience being carried by the commentators who were confronting this.

Keywords:   Aristotle, Politics, multitude, commentators

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