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[774a] All this and more one might say in a proper prelude concerning marriage and the duty of marrying. Should any man, however, refuse to obey willingly, and keep himself aloof and unpartnered in the State, and reach the age of thirty-five unmarried, an annual fine shall be imposed upon him, of a hundred drachmae if he be of the highest property-class, if of the second, seventy, if of the third, sixty, if of the fourth, thirty. [774b] This fine shall be consecrated to Hera.1 He that fails to pay the fine in full every year shall owe ten times the amount of it, and the treasurer of the goddess shall exact this sum, or, failing to exact it, he shall owe it himself, and in the audit he shall in every case be liable to account for such a sum. This shall be the money-fine in which the man who refuses to marry shall be mulcted, and as to honor, he shall receive none from the younger men, and no young man shall of his own free-will pay any regard to him: if he attempt to punish any person, everyone shall come to the assistance of the person maltreated and defend him, [774c] and whoever is present and fails thus to give assistance shall be declared by law to be both a cowardly and a bad citizen. Concerning dowries it has been stated before,2 and it shall be stated again, that an equal exchange consists in neither giving nor receiving any gift, for all those who belong to this State have the necessaries of life provided for them; and the result of this rule will be less insolence on the part of the wives and less humiliation and servility on the part of the husband because of money. [774d] Whoso obeys this rule will be acting nobly; but he that disobeys—by giving or receiving for raiment3 a sum of over fifty drachmae, or over one mina, or over one and a half minae, or “if a member of the highest property-class) over two minae,—shall owe to the public treasury a sum equal thereto, and the sum given or received shall be consecrated to Hera and Zeus, and the treasurers of these deities shall exact it,—

1 As goddess of marriage.

2 Plat. Laws 742c.

3 i.e. for the bride's “trousseau,” given by her father to the bridegroom. Fifty drachmae is the maximum value allowed for the lowest class, a mina for the next lowest, and so on upwards.

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