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Pages of laws (books 7 - 12)



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laws (books 7 - 12)   


possession of them during a certain time shall no longer be liable
to be disturbed. As to houses and lands there can be no dispute in
this state of ours; but if a man has any other possessions which he
has used and openly shown in the city and in the agora and in the
temples, and no one has put in a claim to them, and some one says that
he was looking for them during this time, and the possessor is
proved to have made no concealment, if they have continued for a year,
the one having the goods and the other looking for them, the claim
of the seeker shall not be allowed after the expiration of the year;
or if he does not use or show the lost property in the market or in
the city, but only in the country, and no one offers himself as the
owner during five years, at the expiration of the five years the claim
shall be barred for ever after; or if he uses them in the city but
within the house, then the appointed time of claiming the goods
shall be three years, or ten years if he has them in the country in
private. And if he has them in another land, there shall be no limit
of time or prescription, but whenever the owner finds them he may
claim them.
If any one prevents another by force from being present at a
trial, whether a principal party or his witnesses; if the person
prevented be a slave, whether his own or belonging to another, the
suit shall be incomplete and invalid; but if he who is prevented be
a freeman, besides the suit being incomplete, the other who has
prevented him shall be imprisoned for a year, and shall be
prosecuted for kidnapping by any one who pleases. And if any one
hinders by force a rival competitor in gymnastic or music, or any
other sort of contest, from being present at the contest, let him
who has a mind inform the presiding judges, and they shall liberate
him who is desirous of competing; and if they are not able, and he who
hinders the other from competing wins the prize, then they shall
give the prize of victory to him who is prevented, and inscribe him as
the conqueror in any temples which he pleases; and he who hinders
the other shall not be permitted to make any offering or inscription
having reference to that contest, and in any case he shall be liable
for damages, whether he be defeated or whether he conquer.
If any one knowingly receives anything which has been stolen, he
shall undergo the same punishment as the thief, and if a man
receives an exile he shall be punished with death. Every man should
regard the friend and enemy of the state as his own friend and
enemy; and if any one makes peace or war with another on his own
account, and without the authority of the state, he, like the receiver
of the exile, shall undergo the penalty of death. And if any
fraction of the City declare war or peace against any, the generals
shall indict the authors of this proceeding, and if they are convicted
death shall be the penalty. Those who serve their country ought to
serve without receiving gifts, and there ought to be no excusing or
approving the saying, "Men should receive gifts as the reward of good,
but not of evil deeds"; for to know which we are doing, and to stand
fast by our knowledge, is no easy matter. The safest course is to obey
the law which says, "Do no service for a bribe," and let him who
disobeys, if he be convicted, simply die. With a view to taxation, for
various reasons, every man ought to have had his property valued:
and the tribesmen should likewise bring a register of the yearly
produce to the wardens of the country, that in this way there may be
two valuations; and the public officers may use annuary whichever on
consideration they deem the best, whether they prefer to take a
certain portion of the whole value, or of the annual revenue, after
subtracting what is paid to the common tables.
Touching offerings to the Gods, a moderate man should observe
moderation in what he offers. Now the land and the hearth of the house
of all men is sacred to all Gods; wherefore let no man dedicate them a
second time to the Gods. Gold and silver, whether possessed by private
persons or in temples, are in other cities provocative of envy, and
ivory, the product of a dead body, is not a proper offering; brass and

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