not even if he be of the full age stated in the law. If a slave wound a free man in rage, his owner shall hand over the slave to the wounded man to be dealt with just as he pleases; and if he do not hand over the slave, he shall himself make good the damage to the full. And if any man alleges that the deed was a trick concocted by the slave in collusion with the wounded party, he shall dispute the case: if he fail to win it, he shall pay three times the damage, but if he win, he shall hold liable for kidnapping the man who contrived the trick in collusion with the slave.
Whoever wounds another involuntarily shall pay a single equivalent for the damage (since no lawgiver is able to control fortune), and the judges shall be those designated to act in cases of the wounding of parents by children; and they shall assess the due proportion of damage payable. All the cases we have now dealt with are of suffering due to violence, and the whole class of cases of “outrage” involve violence. Regarding such cases, the view that should be held by everyone,—man, woman and child,—is this, that the older is greatly more revered than the younger, both among the gods and among those men who propose to keep safe and happy.
An outrage perpetrated by a younger against an older person is a shameful thing to see happening in a State, and a thing hateful to God: when a young man is beaten by an old man, it is meet that, in every case, he should quietly endure his anger, and thus store up honor for the time of his own old age. Therefore let the law stand thus:—Everyone shall reverence his elder both by deed and word; whosoever, man or woman, exceeds himself in age by twenty years he shall regard as a father or a mother, and he shall keep his hands off that person, and he shall ever refrain himself, for the sake of the gods of birth, from all the generation
of those who are potentially his own bearers and begetters. So likewise he shall keep his hands off a Stranger, be he long resident or newly arrived; neither as aggressor nor in self-defence shall he venture at all to chastise such an one with blows. If he deems that a Stranger has shown outrageous audacity in beating him and needs correction, he shall seize the man and take him before the bench of the city-stewards (but refrain from beating him), so that he may flee the thought of
ever daring to strike a native. And the city-stewards shall take over the Stranger and examine him—with due respect for the God of Strangers;1
and if he really appears to have beaten the native unjustly, they shall give the Stranger as many strokes of the scourge as he himself inflicted, and make him cease from his foreign forwardness; but if he has not acted unjustly, they shall threaten and reprove the man who arrested him, and dismiss them both. If a man of a certain age beat a man of his own age, or one above his own age who is childless,—