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Who is there who ought more to be pardoned, (since you bring me back to the Twelve Tables,) than a man who without being aware of it kills another? No one, I think. For this is a silent law of humanity, that punishment for intentions, but not for fortune, may be exacted of a man. Still our ancestors did not pardon even this. For there is a law in the Twelve Tables, “If a weapon escapes from the hand”

If any one slays a thief, he slays him wrongfully. Why? Because there is no law established by which he may do so. What? suppose he defended himself with a weapon? Then he did not slay him wrongfully. Why so? Because there is a law

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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), LEX
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