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[1322a] [1] and with the custody of prisoners. This is an irksome office because it involves great unpopularity, so that where it is not possible to make a great deal of profit out of it men will not undertake it, or when they have undertaken it are reluctant to carry out its functions according to the laws; but it is necessary, because there is no use in trials being held about men's rights when the verdicts are not put into execution, so that if when no legal trial of disputes takes place social intercourse is impossible, so also is it when judgements are not executed. Hence it is better for this magistracy not to be a single office but to consist of several persons drawn from different courts, and it is desirable similarly to try to divide up the functions connected with the posting up of people registered as public debtors, and further also in some cases for the sentences to be executed by magistrates, especially by the newly elected ones preferably in suits tried by the outgoing ones, and in those tried by men actually in office for the magistrate executing the sentence to be different from the one that passed it, for instance the City-controllers to execute the judgements passed on from the Market-controllers and other magistrates those passed on by the City-controllers. For the less odium involved for those who execute the judgements, the more adequately the judgements will be carried out; so for the same magistrates to have imposed the sentence and to execute it involves a twofold odium, and for the same ones to execute it in all cases makes them the enemies of everybody. And in many places also the office of keeping custody of prisoners, for example at Athens the office of the magistrates known as the Eleven1, [20] is separate from the magistracy that executes sentences. It is better therefore to keep this also separate, and to attempt the same device with regard to this as well. For though it is no less necessary than the office of which I spoke, yet in practice respectable people avoid it most of all offices, while it is not safe to put it into the hands of the base, for they themselves need others to guard them instead of being able to keep guard over others. Hence there must not be one magistracy specially assigned to the custody of prisoners nor must the same magistracy perform this duty continuously, but it should be performed by the young, in places where there is a regiment of cadets2 or guards, and by the magistrates, in successive sections.

These magistracies therefore must be counted first as supremely necessary, and next to them must be put those that are not less necessary but are ranked on a higher grade of dignity, because they require much experience and trustworthiness; in this class would come the magistracies concerned with guarding the city and those assigned to military requirements. And both in peace and in war it is equally necessary for there to be magistrates to superintend the guarding of gates and walls and the inspection and drill of the citizen troops. In some places therefore there are more magistracies assigned to all these duties, and in others fewer—for instance in the small states there is one to deal with all of them. And the officers of this sort are entitled Generals or War-lords.

1 This example looks like a mistaken note interpolated in the text. The Eleven had both functions.

2 At Athens and elsewhere young citizens from eighteen to twenty were enrolled in training corps for military instruction; these served as police and home troops.

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