But he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god: he is no part of a state.

[εἰ γὰρ μὴ αὐτάρκης ἕκαστος χωρισθείς, ὁμοίως τοῖς ἄλλοις μέρεσιν ἕξει πρὸς τὸ ὅλον, ὁ δὲ μὴ δυνάμενος κοινωνεῖν ἢ μηθὲν δεόμενος δι᾿ αὐτάρκειαν οὐθὲν μέρος πόλεως, ὥστε ἢ θηρίον ἢ θεός.]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Politics [Πολιτικά], Book 1, ch. 2, sec. 14 / 1253a.27 [tr. Jowett (1885)]

Original Greek. Alternate translations:
  • "But the man who has not the capability of association, or requires nothing from outside through his own complete resources, is no part of a state; so that he must be either a brute (below the level of man), or a God (above it)." [tr. Bolland (1877)]
  • "He that is incapable of society, or so complete in himself as not to want it, makes no part of a city, as a beast or a god." [tr. Ellis (1912)]
  • "A man who is incapable of entering into partnership, or who is so self-sufficing that he has no need to do so, is no part of a state, so that he must be either a lower animal or a god." [tr. Rackham (1932)]
  • "One who is incapable of participating or who is in need of nothing through being self-sufficient is no part of a city, and so is either a beast or a god." [tr. Lord (1984)]
  • "Anyone who cannot live in a community with others, or who does not need to because of his self-sufficiency, is no part of a city, so that he is either a wild beast or a god." [tr. Reeve (2007)]
  • "If each person when separated is not sufficient on his own, just as other parts are to the whole while a person who is incapable of joining commonwealth or does not need any part of a state because of self-sufficiency is either a beast or a god." [tr. @sentantiq (2018)]

Added on 28-Dec-10 | Last updated 12-Feb-21
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