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Pages of laws (books 7 - 12)



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laws (books 7 - 12)   


another of having anything which belongs to him, whether little or
much, and the other admits that he has this thing, but denies that the
property in dispute belongs to other, if the property be registered
with the magistrates according to law, the claimant shall summon the
possessor, who shall bring it before the magistrates; and when it is
brought into court, if it be registered in the public registers, to
which of the litigants it belonged, let him take it and go his way. Or
if the property be registered as belonging to some one who is not
present, whoever will offer sufficient surety on behalf of the
absent person that he will give it up to him, shall take it away as
the representative of the other. But if the property which is
deposited be not registered with the magistrates, let it remain
until the time of trial with three of the eldest of the magistrates;
and if it be an animal which is deposited, then he who loses the
suit shall pay the magistrates for its keep, and they shall
determine the cause within three days.
Any one who is of sound mind may arrest his own slave, and do with
him whatever he will of such things as are lawful; and he may arrest
the runaway slave of any of his friends or kindred with a view to
his safe-keeping. And if any one takes away him who is being carried
off as a slave, intending to liberate him, he who is carrying him
off shall let him go; but he who takes him away shall give three
sufficient sureties; and if he give them, and not without giving them,
he may take him away, but if he take him away after any other manner
he shall be deemed guilty of violence, and being convicted shall pay
as a penalty double the amount of the damages claimed to him who has
been deprived of the slave. Any man may also carry off a freedman,
if he do not pay respect or sufficient respect to him who freed him.
Now the respect shall be, that the freedman go three times in the
month to the hearth of the person who freed him and offer to do
whatever he ought, so far as he can; and he shall agree to make such a
marriage as his former master approves. He shall not be permitted to
have more property than he who gave him liberty, and what more he
has shall belong to his master. The freedman shall not remain in the
state more than twenty years, but like other foreigners shall go away,
taking his entire property with him, unless he has the consent of
the magistrates and of his former master to remain. If a freedman or
any other stranger has a property greater than the census of the third
class, at the expiration. of thirty days from the day on which this
comes to pass, he shall take that which is his and go his way, and
in this case he shall not be allowed to remain any longer by the
magistrates. And if any one disobeys this regulation, and is brought
into court and convicted, he shall be punished with death, his
property shall be confiscated. Suits about these matters shall take
place before the tribes, unless the plaintiff and defendant have got
rid of the accusation either before their neighbours or before
judges chosen by them. If a man lay claim to any animal or anything
else which he declares to be his, let the possessor refer to the
seller or to some honest and trustworthy person, who has given, or
in some legitimate way made over the property to him; if he be a
citizen or a metic, sojourning in the city, within thirty days, or, if
the property have been delivered to him by a stranger, within five
months, of which the middle month shall include the summer solstice.
When goods are exchanged by selling and buying, a man shall deliver
them, and receive the price of them, at a fixed place in the agora,
and have done with the matter; but he shall not buy or sell anywhere
else, nor give credit. And if in any other manner or in any other
place there be an exchange of one thing for another, and the seller
give credit to the man who buys fram him, he must do this on the
understanding that the law gives no protection in cases of things sold
not in accordance with these regulations. Again, as to
contributions, any man who likes may go about collecting contributions
as a friend among friends, but if any difference arises about the
collection, he is to act on the understanding that the law gives no

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