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Pages of laws (books 7 - 12)



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laws (books 7 - 12)   


injury; or if the wound be curable, and at the same time cause great
and notable disgrace to the wounded person, he shall pay fourfold. And
whenever any one in wounding another injures not only the sufferer,
but also the city, and makes him incapable of defending his country
against the enemy, he, besides the other penalties, shall pay a
penalty for the loss which the state has incurred. And the penalty
shall be, that in addition to his own times of service, he shall serve
on behalf of the disabled person, and shall take his place in war; or,
if he refuse, he shall be liable to be convicted by law of refusal
to serve. The compensation for the injury, whether to be twofold or
threefold or fourfold, shall be fixed by the judges who convict him.
And if, in like manner, a brother wounds a brother, the parents and
kindred of either sex, including the children of cousins, whether on
the male or female side, shall meet, and when they have judged the
cause, they shall entrust the assessment of damages to the parents, as
is natural; and if the estimate be disputed, then the kinsmen on the
male side shall make the estimate, or if they cannot, they shall
commit the matter to the guardians of the law. And when similar
charges of wounding are brought by children against their parents,
those who are more than sixty years of age, having children of their
own, not adopted, shall be required to decide; and if any one is
convicted, they shall determine whether he or she ought to die, or
suffer some other punishment either greater than death, or, at any
rate, not much less. A kinsman of the offender shall not be allowed to
judge the cause, not even if he be of the age which is prescribed by
the law. If a slave in a fit of anger wound a freeman, the owner of
the slave shall give him up to the wounded man, who may do as he
pleases with him, and if be not give him up he shall himself make good
the injury. And if any one says that the slave and the wounded man are
conspiring together, let him argue the point, and if he is cast, he
shall pay for the wrong three times over, but if he gains his case,
the freeman who conspired with the slave shall reliable to an action
for kidnapping. And if any one unintentionally wounds another he shall
simply pay for the harm, for no legislator is able to control
chance. In such a case the judges shall be the same as those who are
appointed in the case of children suing their parents; and they
shall estimate the amount of the injury.
All the preceding injuries and every kind of assault are deeds of
violence; and every man, woman, or child ought to consider that the
elder has the precedence of the younger in honour, both among the Gods
and also among men who would live in security and happiness. Wherefore
it is a foul thing and hateful to the Gods to see an elder man
assaulted by a younger in the city; and it is reasonable that a
young man when struck by an elder should lightly endure his anger,
laying up in store for himself a like honour when he is old. Let
this be the law:-Every one shall reverence his elder in word and deed;
he shall respect any one who is twenty years older than himself,
whether male or female, regarding him or her as his father or
mother; and he shall abstain from laying hands on any one who is of an
age to have been his father or his mother, out of reverence to the
Gods who preside over birth; similarly he shall keep his hands from
a stranger, whether he be an old inhabitant or newly arrived; he shall
not venture to correct such an one by blows, either as the aggressor
or in self-defence. If he thinks that some stranger has struck him out
of wantonness or insolence, and ought to be punished, he shall take
him to the wardens of the city, but let him not strike him, that the
stranger may be kept far away from the possibility of lifting up his
hand against a citizen, and let the wardens of the city take the
offender and examine him, not forgetting their duty to the God of
Strangers, and in case the stranger appears to have struck the citizen
unjustly, let them inflict upon him as many blows with the scourge
as he has himself inflicted, and quell his presumption. But if he be
innocent, they shall threaten and rebuke the man who arrested him, and
let them both go. If a person strikes another of the same age or

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