Alternate Translations

  • "Among what is considered just, that which actually proves advantageous in serving the need of reciprocal engagement has the character of justice, whether it is the same for all or not. However, when someone establishes a law that fails to yield mutual advantage, that law lacks the inherent nature of justice. Even if the mutual advantage in relation to justice diminishes, any time when it still aligns with the general idea, during such instances, it is regarded as just by those who avoid confusion caused by empty words but simply look at the circumstances."

    χαρακτηρα “character” ὁ χαρακτήρ–τοῦ χαρακτῆρος: mark, figure. This word is uncertain in the texts, which show χώραν εἶναι. Bailey suggests the transposition εἶναι χώραν and correction to τό ἐνέχυρον ‘pledge, security.’

    Interpretation: Laws are just when they are beneficial and they are unjust when they are not beneficial. The same law may be beneficial and just in one place and time, yet not beneficial in another place and time. No ordinance or decree makes a law just, but only the fact that it results in a practical benefit.

    Mελετᾶν οὖν χρὴ τὰ ποιοῦντα τὴν εὐδαιμονίαν.

    It is necessary to study what produces wellbeing.