because of the charges which are commonly brought in connection with such transactions, and because of the acts of restitution permitted by law. Such legal restitution, or non-restitution, shall be on this wise:—If a man sell a slave who is suffering from phthisis or stone or strangury or the “sacred disease”1
(as it is called), or from any other complaint, mental or physical, which most men would fail to notice, although it be prolonged and hard to cure,—in case the purchaser be a doctor or a trainer, it shall not be possible for him to gain restitution for such a case, nor yet if the seller warned the purchaser of the facts.
But if any professional person sell any such slave to a lay person, the buyer shall claim restitution within six months, saving only in the case of epilepsy, for which disease he shall be permitted to claim within twelve months. The action shall be tried before a bench of doctors nominated and chosen by both the parties; and the party that loses his case shall pay double the selling price of the slave.
If a lay person sells to a lay person, there shall be the same right of restitution and trial as in the cases just mentioned; but the losing party shall pay the selling price only. If a man wittingly sells a murderer, if the buyer is aware of the fact, he shall have no claim to restitution for the purchase of such an one; but if the buyer be ignorant, he shall have right of restitution as soon as the fact is perceived, and the trial shall take place before a court of the five youngest Law-wardens, and if it be decided that the seller acted wittingly, he shall purify the houses of the buyer as ordained by the interpreters,2
and he shall pay three times the selling price to the buyer.
He that exchanges for money either money or anything else, living or not living, shall give and receive every such article unadulterated, conforming to the law; and touching all knavery of this sort, as in the case of other laws, let us hearken to a prelude. Adulteration should be regarded by every man as coming under the same head as falsehood and fraud—a class of actions concerning which the mob are wont to say, wrongly, that any such action will generally be right if it be done opportunely:
but the proper “opportunity,” the when and the where, they leave unprescribed and undefined, so that by this saying they often bring loss both to themselves and to others. But it is not fitting for the lawgiver to leave this matter undefined; he must always declare clearly the limitations, great or small, and this shall now be, done:—No man, calling the gods to witness, shall commit, either by word or deed, any falsehood, fraud or adulteration, if he does not mean to be most hateful to the gods;