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EFFRACTOR (τοιχωρύχος: effractarius, Senec. Ep. 68.4), 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 [DOMUS p. 660 a]. In Attic law he reckoned among the κακοῦργοι whose crimes were capital (Dem. c. Lacrit. p. 940.47; Antiph. de Caed. Herod. § 9; Plat. Rep. 1.344 B, ix 575 B); the summary processes called ἀπαγωγὴ and ἐφήγησις were available against him; he is often coupled with the λωποδύτης (e. g. Aristoph. Pl. 165; Diphil. fr. 32, 14 M.), 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.). (Att. Process, ed. Lipsius, p. 86, n. 130, and p. 456; Thalheim, Rechtsalterth. p. 40; cf. KLOPES DIKÉ.)

The Romans did not shrink from capital punishments, at least under the Empire; and we may be surprised to find that the crime of effractio was not visited with death, as among the Greeks, and till quite lately in England. 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 perpetuum), and, for burglary by night, in the mines (poena metalli). The trial was before the Praefectus Vigilum (Sidon. Apoll. Ep. 9.7; Dig. 1, 15, 1; 47, 17, 16, 5; 47, 18; 48, 19; Rein, Criminalrecht, p. 319, and ap. Pauly, s. v.).


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