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[943a] Such is the laudation of the military life to which, as we hold, the youth ought to hearken, and its laws are these:—He that is enrolled or put on some rota must perform military service. If anyone, through cowardice, fail to present himself without leave from the commanders, he shall be indicted for desertion before the military officers when they return from camp, and each class of those who have served shall sit by themselves as judge—that is, hoplites, cavalry, and each of the other branches,— [943b] and they shall summon hoplites before the hoplites, cavalrymen before the cavalry, and all others in like manner before soldiers of their own class; and any man that is convicted shall be debarred from ever competing for any distinction and from ever prosecuting another for shirking service, or acting as accuser in connection with such charges; and, in addition to this, what he ought to suffer or pay shall be determined by the court. Next, when the suits for shirking service have been fully decided, the officers shall again hold a review of each class of soldiers, and he who wishes shall be tried before a court of his own colleagues on his claim for an award of merit; but any proof or verbal testimony which the claimant produces must have reference, [943c] not to any previous war, but solely to that campaign in which they have just been engaged. The prize for each class shall be a wreath of olive leaves; and this the recipient shall hang up, along with an inscription, in whatever temple of the war-gods he chooses, to serve throughout his life as a proof that he has won the first, [943d] second or third prize, as the case may be. If a man goes on military service, but returns home without leave from the officers, he shall be liable to be indicted for desertion before the same court which deals with cases of shirking service, and the same penalties which have been already prescribed shall be imposed upon him, if he is convicted. Every man, when bringing an action against another, ought rightly to dread bringing upon him, whether intentionally or unintentionally, a wrongful punishment [943e] (for Justice is, and has been truly named,1 the daughter of Reverence, and falsehood and wrong are naturally detested by Reverence and Justice); and he should beware also of trespassing against Justice in any matter, and especially in respect of loss of arms in battle, lest by mistakenly abusing such losses as shameful, when they are really unavoidable, he may bring undeserved charges against an undeserving man. It is by no means easy to draw distinctions between such cases;

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