whether it be a case of an old man beating an old man, or of a young man beating a young man,—the man attacked shall defend himself with bare hands, as nature dictates, and without a weapon. But if a man over forty ventures to fight, whether as aggressor or in self-defence, he shall be called a knave and a boor, and if he finds himself incurring a degrading sentence, he will be getting his deserts. Any man who lends a ready ear to such exhortations will prove easy to manage; but he that is intractable and pays no regard to the prelude will hearken readily
to a law to this effect:—If anyone beats a person who is twenty or more years older than himself, in the first place, whoever comes upon them, if he be neither of equal age nor younger, shall try to separate them, or else be held to be a coward in the eyes of the law; and if he be of a like age with the man assaulted or still younger, he shall defend him who is wronged as he would a brother or a father or a still older progenitor. Further, he that dares to strike the older man in the way described shall be liable also to an action for outrage, and if he be convicted,
he shall be imprisoned for not less than a year; and if the judges assess the penalty at a longer period, the period so assessed shall be binding on him. And if a Stranger or a resident alien beat a man older than himself by twenty or more years, the same law regarding help from bystanders shall be equally binding; and he that is cast in a suit of this kind, if he be a non-resident Stranger, shall be imprisoned for two years and fulfil this sentence; and he that is a resident alien and disobeys the laws shall be imprisoned for three years, unless the court assess his penalty at a longer period.
And the man who is a bystander in any of these cases of assault, and who fails to give help as the law prescribes, shall be penalized by a fine of a mina, if he be a man of the highest property-class; of fifty drachmae, if he be of the second class; of thirty drachmae, if of the third; and of twenty drachmae, if of the fourth class. And the court for such cases shall consist of the generals, taxiarchs, phylarchs, and hipparchs. Laws, it would seem, are made partly
for the sake of good men, to afford them instruction as to what manner of intercourse will best secure for them friendly association one with another, and partly also for the sake of those who have shunned education, and who, being of a stubborn nature, have had no softening treatment1
to prevent their taking to all manner of wickedness. It is because of these men that the laws which follow have to be stated,—laws which the lawgiver must enact of necessity, on their account, although wishing that the need for them may never arise. Whosoever shall dare to lay hands on father or mother, or their progenitors, and to use outrageous violence, fearing neither the wrath of the gods above nor that of the Avengers (as they are called) of the underworld, but scorning the ancient and worldwide traditions