previous next
[913a]

Athenian
In the next place our business transactions one with another will require proper regulation. The following will serve for a comprehensive rule:—as far as possible, no one shall touch my goods nor move them in the slightest degree, if he has in no wise at all got my consent; and I must act in like manner regarding the goods of all other men, keeping prudent mind. As the first of such things let us mention treasure: that which a man has laid by in store for himself and his family (he not being one of my parents), I must never pray to the gods to find, [913b] nor, if I do find it, may I move it, nor may I ever tell of it to the soothsayers (so-called), who are certain to counsel me to take up what is laid down in the ground. For never should I gain so much pecuniary profit by its removal, as I should win increase in virtue of soul and in justice by not removing it; and by preferring to gain justice in my soul rather than money in my purse, I should be winning a greater in place of a lesser gain, and that too in a better part of me. The rule,1 “Thou shalt not move the immovable,” is rightly applicable to many cases; and the case before us is one of them. [913c] And men ought also to believe the stories told about these matters,—how that such conduct is injurious to the getting of children. But if any man proves to be both regardless of children and neglectful of the legislator, and, without the consent of the depositor, takes up a treasure which neither he himself nor any of his forefathers has deposited, and thus breaks a law most fair, and that most comprehensive ordinance of the noble man2 who said, [913d] “Take not up what you laid not down,”—the man who despises these two lawgivers and takes up what he has not laid down himself, it being no small thing but sometimes a vast quantity of treasure,—what penalty should such a man suffer? God knows what, at the hands of gods; but the man that first notices an act of this kind shall report it, if it occur in the city, to the city-stewards, or if in a public market,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1903)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: