previous next
[874a] to pass judgment on it, thus making atonement on behalf of himself and all his kindred, and the thing convicted they shall cast beyond the borders, as was stated in respect of animals. If anyone be found evidently dead, and if his slayer be unknown and undiscoverable after careful search, then the warnings shall be the same as in the other cases, including the warning of death [874b] to the doer of the deed, and the prosecutor, when he has proved his claim, shall give public warning in the market-place to the slayer of So-and-so, convicted of murder, not to set foot in holy places nor anywhere in the country of the victim, since, if he appears and is known, he shall be put to death and be cast out from the country of the victim without burial. So let this stand as one section of our code of law dealing with murder. Thus far we have dealt with crimes of the kind described; in what follows we shall describe the cases and the circumstances under which the slayer will rightly be pronounced guiltless. If a man catch and slay a thief who is entering his house by night to steal goods, he shall be guiltless; [874c] and if a man in self-defence slay a footpad, he shall be guiltless. The man who forcibly violates a free woman or boy shall be slain with impunity by the person thus violently outraged, or by his father or brother or sons. And should a man discover his wedded wife being violated, if he kills the violator he shall be guiltless before the law. And if a man slay anyone when warding off death from his father (when he is doing no wrong), or from his mother or children or brethren, or from the mother of his own children, [874d] he shall be wholly guiltless. Thus let it be laid down by law respecting the nurture and training of living souls,—which when gained make life livable, but when missed, unlivable,—and respecting the punishments which ought to be imposed in cases of violent death. The regulations regarding the nurture and training of the body have been stated1: but what comes next, namely, violent actions, both voluntary and involuntary, done by one against another,—these we must define as clearly as we can, stating their character and number [874e] and what punishment each duly deserves: such enactments, as it seems, will rightly follow on the foregoing. Next in order after cases of death even the least competent of those who essay legislation would place cases of wounds and maiming. Wounds, just like murders, must be classed under several heads,—the involuntary, those done in passion, those done in fear, and all those that are voluntary and deliberate. Concerning all such cases we must make a prefatory pronouncement to this effect:—It is really necessary for men to make themselves laws and to live according to laws, or else to differ not at all from

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: