At Delphinium are tried those who claim that they have committed justifiable homicide, the plea put forward by Theseus when he was acquitted, after having killed Pallas, who had risen in revolt against him, and his sons. Before Theseus was acquitted it was the established custom among all men for the shedder of blood to go into exile, or, if he remained, to be put to a similar death. The Court in the Prytaneum, as it is called, where they try iron and all similar inanimate things, had its origin, I believe, in the following incident. It was when Erechtheus was king of Athens
that the ox-slayer first killed an ox at the altar of Zeus Polieus. Leaving the axe where it lay he went out of the land into exile, and the axe was forthwith tried and acquitted, and the trial has been repeated year by year down to the present.