This chapter discusses governance. It prods the ruler to be just and fair but also firm, to have in mind the well-being of his flock, and so forth. In so doing, the chapter establishes the necessity for humans to live in social groupings. Afterward, the chapter focuses on the cultivation of the ruler's character. Two principles guide Ibn Kammūna's advice. First, if he is to be able to govern a city or a state, the ruler must be able to govern himself and also to manage his household. The second is a saying cited by Ibn Kammūna, “The people follow the mores of their kings.” Next, the chapter conveys the basics of good government before addressing the philosophical principles underlying his political message. Finally, this chapter offers advice for high-level officials—men who exercise considerable jurisdiction but still have to answer to a higher authority. It ends with a statement of a philosophical-religious principle which is the basis of all behavior: the ultimate perfection of the human consists in likening himself to God to the extent possible.
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