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Then there is Meletus here. Meletus arrested Leon1 under the Thirty, as you all know; and Leon was put to death without a trial. But we find it laid down that there shall be no distinction between the principal who plans a crime and the agent who commits it; the law not only existed in the past, but still exists and is still enforced because of its fairness. Quite so; but Leon's sons cannot prosecute Meletus for murder, because only laws passed since the archonship of Eucleides can be enforced. The fact of the arrest, of course, is not denied, even by Meletus himself.2

1 The Leon here mentioned is almost certainly the Leon of Salamis whom Socrates, at the risk of his own life, refused to arrest when ordered to do so by the Thirty. Some 1500 persons were executed without a trial during the reign of terror (Isoc. 7.67).

2 The argument of this paragraph is not stated as clearly as it might be. Andocides means: (a) after the amnesty special legal measures were taken to ensure against prosecution for crimes committed before 403; therefore, although (b) the principle that βούλευσις φόνου ἑκουσίου deserves the same punishment as φόνος ἑκούσιος itself has always been, and still is, recognized as valid, Meletus cannot be accused of having caused Leon's death.

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    • Isocrates, Areopagiticus, 67
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