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13. Let us now classify just and unjust actions generally, starting from what follows. Justice and injustice have been defined in reference to laws and persons in two ways. [2] Now there are two kinds of laws, particular and general. By particular laws I mean those established by each people in reference to themselves, which again are divided into written and unwritten; by general laws I mean those based upon nature. In fact, there is a general idea of just and unjust in accordance with nature, as all men in a manner divine, even if there is neither communication nor agreement between them. This is what Antigone in Sophocles1 evidently means, when she declares that it is just, though forbidden, to bury Polynices, as being naturally just: “ For neither to-day nor yesterday, but from all eternity, these statutes live and no man knoweth whence they came.

” And as Empedocles says in regard to not killing that which has life, for this is not right for some and wrong for others, “ But a universal precept, which extends without a break throughout the wide-ruling sky and the boundless earth.

” Alcidamas2 also speaks of this precept in his Messeniacus. . . . [3] And in relation to persons, there is a twofold division of law; for what one ought to do or ought not to do is concerned
with the community generally, or one of its members.

Therefore there are two kinds of just and unjust acts, since they can be committed against a definite individual or against the community; he who commits adultery or an assault is guilty of wrong against a definite individual, he who refuses to serve in the army of wrong against the State. [4] All kinds of wrong acts having been thus distinguished, some of which affect the State, others one or several individuals, let us repeat the definition of being wronged,3 and then go on to the rest. [5] Being wronged is to suffer injustice at the hands of one who voluntarily inflicts it, for it has been established that injustice is a voluntary act. [6] And since the man who suffers injustice necessarily sustains injury and that against his will, it is evident from what has been said in what the injuries consist; for things good and bad have already been distinguished in themselves,4 and it has been said that voluntary acts are all such as are committed with knowledge of the case.5 [7] Hence it necessarily follows that all accusations concern the State or the individual, the accused having acted either ignorantly and against his will, or voluntarily and with knowledge, and in the latter case with malice aforethought or from passion. [8] We will speak of anger when we come to treat of the passions,6 and we have already stated7 in what circumstances and with what dispositions men act with deliberate purpose.

[9] But since a man, while admitting the fact,

1 Soph. Ant. 456.

2 Of Elis, pupil of Gorgias. The oration is not extant, but the scholiast supplies his words: ἐλευθέρους ἀφῆκε πάντας θεός: οὐδένα δοῦλον φύσις πεποίηκεν (“God has left all men free; Nature has made none a slave”). The Messenians had revolted from Sparta.

3 1.10.3.

4 Book 1.6.

5 1.10.3.

6 Book 2.2.

7 Book 1.11, 12.

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