Claudius Ælianus, his various history
Aelian, Claudius., Stanley, Thomas, 1625-1678.

CHAP. XVII. That Philosophy is not inconsistent with Political Government, and that some Philosophers have governed Common∣wealths.

Some Philosophers have governed States, though studying onely the good of their own minds they lived privately. Of those who managed publick affairs were Zaleu∣cus,Page  75 who reformed the State of the Locri∣ans, Charondas that of Catana, and of Rhe∣gium when he was banished Catana. Archy∣tas much benefited the Tarentines, Solon the Athenians; Bias and Thales greatly profited Ionia, Chilon the Lacedemonians, Pittacus the Mitylenaeans, Cleobulus the Rhodians, and Anaximander brought a Colony from Miletus to Apollonia. Xeno∣phon also was an excellent Souldier, and proved the best General when he went up along with Cyrus, at what time Cyrus and many others with him was slain. Necessity then requiring a person that might bring the Greeks off and conduct them safe home, he was the man. Plato son of Aristo brought Dio back to Sicily, whom he counselled and taught how to subvert the Tyranny o•…Dionysius. But Socrates would not meddle with the Athenian State, because the De∣mocracy of the Athenians did at that time more resemble a Tyrannical and Monar∣chick Government. Neither would he joyn in sentencing the ten Commanders to death, nor partake of the injustices committed by the thirty Tyrants. But when occasion cal∣led him forth, he was a Souldier. He fought at Delium, and at Amphipolis and Potidea. Aristotle, when his Country was not decli∣ning, Page  76 but quite dejected, raised her up again. Demetrius Phalereus governed the Athe∣nian Commonwealth with much honour, until envy, customary with the Athenians, threw him out. In Egypt also, living with Ptolemee, he was chief in making Laws. And who will deny that Pericles son of Xan∣thippus was a Philosopher? or Epaminon∣das son of Polymnis, and Phocion son of Pho∣cus, and Aristides son of Lysimachus, and Ephialtes son of Sophonidas; and long after these Carneades and Critolaus? For they were sent by the Athenians Embassadours to Rome, and procured a Peace; so much did they prevail with the Senate, that they said,

The Athenians have sent Embas∣sadours, that not persuade, but compel us to doe what they please.
I must instance also the skill of Perseus in Politicks, for he taught Antigonus: and of Aristotle, who instructed Alexander Son of Philip from his youth in Philosophy: And Lysis Disciple of Pythagoras taught Epaminondas. There∣fore if any shall say Philosophers are unpra∣ctical, he speaks inconsiderately and igno∣rantly, though, for my own part, I should much more willingly embrace the contem∣plative quiet life.