). A burglar.
As the name τοιχωρύχος
implies, the Greek burglar sought to
effect an entrance through the wall of a house, rather than through the doors or windows. (See
, p. 538.) In Attic law he was reckoned among
whose crimes were capital (Demosth. c.
p. 940.47); the summary processes called ἀπαγωγή
were available against
him; he is often coupled with the λωποδύτης
165), both offences being hedged in with special penalties because they
were so easy to commit. The midnight terrors of a rich miser behind his flimsy walls are
amusingly depicted by Lucian (Gall.
p. 748, Reitz). See Klopes Diké
The Romans did not shrink from capital punishments, at least under the Empire; and yet the
crime of effractio
was not visited with death, as among the Greeks.
Their houses were better built than those of the Greeks, and thus they did not legislate under
the influence of panic. The penalty was hard labour for life (opus
), and for burglary by night, in the mines (poena
). The trial was before the praefectus vigilum
, or chief of
police (Sidon. Apollin.
Ep. ix. 7
1, 15, 1).