previous next
[929a] since it is impossible that a single household should be added to our 5040; consequently it is necessary that the person upon whom this punishment is to be inflicted legally should be disinherited, not by his father only, but by the whole family. Such cases should be dealt with according to a law such as this:—If any man is urged by a most unhappy impulse of anger to desire, rightly or wrongly, to expel from his own kindred one whom he has begotten and reared, he shall not be permitted [929b] to do this informally and immediately, but he shall, first of all, assemble his own kinsfolk as far as cousins and likewise his son's kinsfolk on the mother's side, and in the presence of these he shall accuse his son, showing how he deserves at the hands of all to be expelled from the family, and he shall grant to the son an equal length of time for arguing that he does not deserve to suffer any such treatment; and if the father convinces them and gains the votes of more than half the family (votes being given by all the other adults of both sexes, [929c] save only the father, the mother, and the son who is defendant), in this way and on these conditions, but not otherwise, the father shall be permitted to disinherit his son. And as regards the man disinherited, if any citizen desires to adopt him as his son, no law shall prevent him from doing so, (for the characters of the young naturally undergo many changes during their life); but if within ten years no one offers to adopt the disinherited man, [929d] then the controllers of the surplus children designed for emigration shall take control of these persons also, in order that they may be duly included in the same scheme of emigration. And if a man becomes unusually demented owing to illness or old age or crabbedness, or a combination of these complaints, but his condition remains unnoticed by all except those who are living with him, and if he regards himself as master of his own property and wastes his goods, while his son feels at a loss and scruples to indict him for insanity,—in such a case a law shall be enacted [929e] on behalf of the son whereby he shall, in the first instance, go to the eldest of the Law-wardens and report to them his father's condition, and they, after full enquiry, shall advise whether or not he ought to bring an indictment; and if they advise him to bring an indictment, they shall act for him, when he brings it, both as witnesses and advocates; and the father that is convicted shall thenceforward have no power to administer even the smallest tittle of his property, and shall be counted as a child in the house for the rest of his life. If a man and his wife, being of unhappy dispositions, in no wise agree together, it is right that they should be under the constant control of ten members of the Board of Law-wardens, of middle age,

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: