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August 24    Scripture



People - Ancient Greece: Zaleucus
Ancient Greek lawgiver of Epizephyrian Locrians, who flourished in 7th century BC.

Zaleucus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898) (Ζάλευκος). The celebrated lawgiver of the Epizephyrian Locrians, is said by some to have been originally a slave, but is described by others as a man of good family. He could not, however, have been a disciple of Pythagoras, as some writers state, since he lived upwards of one hundred years before Pythagoras. The date of the legislation of Zaleucus is assigned to B.C. 660. His code, which was severe, is stated to have been the first collection of written laws that the Greeks possessed (Strabo, pp. 259, 398). Among other enactments we are told that the penalty of adultery was the loss of the eyes (V. H. xiii. 24; Val. Max. v. 5, 3). There is a celebrated story of the son of Zaleucus having become liable to this penalty, and the father himself suffering the loss of one eye, that his son might not be utterly blinded. It is further related that among his laws was one forbidding any citizen, under penalty of death, to enter the senate-house in arms. On one occasion, however, on a sudden emergency in time of war, Zaleucus transgressed his own law, which was remarked to him by one present; whereupon he fell upon his own sword, declaring that he would himself vindicate the law (Eustath. ad Il. p. 62). Other authors tell the same story of Charondas, and of Diocles (Diod.xii. 19; Val. Max. vi. 5, 4).

Zaleucus in Wikipedia Zaleucus (Ancient Greek: Ζάλευκος; fl. 7th century BC) was the Greek lawgiver of Epizephyrian Locri, in Italy, said to have devised the first written Greek law code ( Locrian code ). Although the Locrian code distinctly favored the aristocracy, Zaleucus was famous for his conciliation of societal factions. No other facts of his life at all are certain. According to legends, he punished adultery with the forfeiture of sight. When his own son was condemned of this, he refused to exonerate him, instead submitting to the loss of one of his own eyes instead of exacting the full penalty of the culprit. Another law that he established forbade anyone from entering the Senate House armed. Faced with an emergency, he did so anyway, but when he was reminded of the law, he immediately fell upon his sword as a sacrifice to the sovereignty of the claims of social order. A similar story is told of Charondas. Any one who proposed a new law, or the alteration of one already existing, had to appear before the Citizen's Council with a rope round his neck. If the Council voted against the proposal the proposer was immediately strangled.

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