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Pages of laws (books 7 - 12)



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laws (books 7 - 12)   


these matters, he shall be innocent. And so in the case of physicians:
if their patient dies against their will, they shall be held guiltless
by the law. And if one slay another with his own hand, but
unintentionally, whether he be unarmed or have some instrument or dart
in his hand; or if he kill him by administering food or drink or by
the application of fire or cold, or by suffocating him, whether he
do the deed by his own hand, or by the agency of others, he shall be
deemed the agent, and shall suffer one of the following
penalties:-If he kill the slave of another in the belief that he is
his own, he shall bear the master of the dead man harmless from
loss, or shall pay a penalty of twice the value of the dead man, which
the judges shall assess; but purifications must be used greater and
more numerous than for those who committed homicide at the games;-what
they are to be, the interpreters whom the God appoints shall be
authorized to declare. And if a man kills his own slave, when he has
been purified according to laws he shall be quit of the homicide.
And if a man kills a freeman unintentionally, he shall undergo the
same purification as he did who killed the slave. But let him not
forget also a tale of olden time, which is to this effect:-He who
has suffered a violent end, when newly dead, if he has had the soul of
a freeman in life, is angry with the author of his death; and being
himself full of fear and panic by reason of his violent end, when he
sees his murderer walking about in his own accustomed haunts, he is
stricken with terror and becomes disordered, and this disorder of his,
aided by the guilty recollection of is communicated by him with
overwhelming force to the murderer and his deeds. Wherefore also the
murderer must go out of the way of his victim for the entire period of
a year, and not himself be found in any spot which was familiar to him
throughout the country. And if the dead man be a stranger, the
homicide shall be kept from the country of the stranger during a
like period. If any one voluntarily obeys this law, the next of kin to
the deceased, seeing all that has happened, shall take pity on him,
and make peace with him, and show him all gentleness. But if any one
is disobedient, either ventures to go to any of the temples and
sacrifice unpurified, or will not continue in exile during the
appointed time, the next of kin to the deceased shall proceed
against him for murder; and if he be convicted, every part of his
punishment shall be doubled.
And if the next of kin do not proceed against the perpetrator of the
crime, then the pollution shall be deemed to fall upon his own
head;-the murdered man will fix the guilt upon his kinsman, and he who
has a mind to proceed against him may compel him to be absent from his
country during five years, according to law. If a stranger
unintentionally kill a stranger who is dwelling in the city, he who
likes shall prosecute the cause according to the same rules. If he
be a metic, let him be absent for a year, or if he be an entire
stranger, in addition to the purification, whether he have slain a
stranger, or a metic, or a citizen, he shall be banished for life from
the country which is in possession of our laws. And if he return
contrary to law, let the guardians of the law punish him with death;
and let them hand over his property, if he have any, to him who is
next of kin to the sufferer. And if he be wrecked, and driven on the
coast against his will, he shall take up his abode on the seashore,
wetting his feet in the sea, and watching for an opportunity of
sailing; but if he be brought by land, and is not his own master,
let the magistrate whom he first comes across in the city, release him
and send him unharmed over the border.
If any one slays a freeman with his own hand and the deed be done in
passion, in the case of such actions we must begin by making a
distinction. For a deed is done from passion either when men suddenly,
and without intention to kill, cause the death of another by blows and
the like on a momentary impulse, and are sorry for the deed
immediately afterwards; or again, when after having been insulted in
deed or word, men pursue revenge, and kill a person intentionally, and

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