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other tribunal called Delphinium, to judge those who, acknowledging they were guilty of homicide, pretended to have had reason for committing it e. It was at this tribunal that Theseus was 'acquitted, when he had put to death the chil. dren of Pallas, and Pallas himself, who had plotted against the state. They afterwards established the Palladium, where those who had conmitted an involuntary murder presented themselves. Demophoon, son of Theseus, was the first who appeared before this tribunal h.
The laws of Greece agreed in this with those of Egypt, to punish with death homicide committed with a premeditated defigni Dedalus having been accused and convicted before the Areopagus for having killed his nephew Talus, was condemned to death by that tribunal, and only faved himself from the punishment of his crime by flight, and retiring into the isle of Crete k, I shall observe on this subject, that among the Greeks it was very easy for murderers to escape from the punishments they feared.
The manner in which they proceeded in Greece in the prosecution for murders, was very different from that they use in our tribunals. In France, the care of the pursuit and punishing murderers belongs to the public administration. The first step that justice takes on these occafions, is to arrest the accused, against whom complaint has been made; they afterwards examine whether he is really guilty of the crime imputed to him, and he is retained in prison till final judg. ment is given. It was not so with the Greeks; they had no public officer charged by the state to look after murderers. The relations of the deceased alone had the right to pursue revenge. Homer thews it clearly'. We may add to the
e Ibid. f Paul. 1. c. 28. p. 70. & Ælian. 1. 5. c. 15. b Plauf. 1. 1. p. 69. See Pollus. 1. 8. c. 1o. Demosth. in Midiam, p. 610. A.; in Aristocrat. p. 738. C. See allo Plat. de leg. 1.9. p. 934. B. p. 935. E. * Diod. 1. 4. p. 319.& 320.; Apollod. I. 3.p.2c6. Jliad. 1. 9. v. 628. Cc.
testimony testimony of this great poet, that of Pausanias who speaks in many places of this ancient usage m: a usage that appears to have always sublisted in Greece. But the fame laws which had given to the relations of the deceased alone the right of prosecuting the murderer, expressly forbade that he should be delivered into their hands; and as the public administration did not interfere to arrest the murderers, they enjoyed a full and absolute liberty during all the proceedings. Thus in a case where the guilty person might apprehend the just punishment of his crime, he could escape it by flight. No one had a right to stop him p. The only precaution he had to take, was to disappear after his first defence 4, For when the proceedings were so far advanced, that the judges were going to pass sentence, the accused was then subject to all the severity of the laws; and if he was declared guilty and convicted of the crime laid to his charge, the magistrates seized on him to make him suffer the punishment to which he was condemned r. This provisional liberty which they left to the accused, proves clearly, that it was the custom to hear them twice before they delivered them to punishment. If the accused, whose crime was proved, had recourse to voluntary banishment, all his goods were confiscated, and sold by public auctions. I have already spoken of the custom to clear and acquit the accused when the judges were equally divided : Before they would hear the accuser and the accused, they obliged them to deposite each a sum of money, which belonged to him who gained the cause. The law further condemned the accuser to pay a fine of a thousand drachmas, if he had not for him at least the fifth part of the votes u; the interested parties, remain quiet in their own country. It was likewise customary to give to the relations of the deceased a certain fumo. This policy sprung from a very wife principle. Among people little disciplined, enmities are dangerous, and most fubject to occasion disagreeable consequences; it is therefore for the good of the public that they be easy to determine p. Thus we see among the ancient people, they had no crime from which they could not redeem themselves with money. Every thing was reduced to damages and reparations. For this reason they had not then, as at this time with us, any public officers charged with the care of the pursuit of criminals. The favages of America show us again the image of these times. With these people, the reparation of murder consists in a certain number of presents which the murderer is obliged to make to the relations of the deceased, to appease their refentment 9.
If the accusation was proved,
m L. 5. C. 1. p. 376. 1. 8. c. 34. p.669.
n See Plat. de leg. 1.9. p. 93). 931. & 933.; Demosth. in Aristocrat. p. 736.; Pollux. 1. 8. c. 10. fegm. 18.
o Demosth. loco cit.
• Demosth. in Mid.p.610. F. in Aristocrat p. 738. C.; Plato in Apolog. Socrat. t. p. 27. E; Pollux 1.8.c.6. segm. 41. & 33.
t Art. 3.
the laws granted to the accuser, the fad privilege of affifting at the punishment of the wretch whom he had convicted of a crime s; but it very seldom happened, that they executed homicides on account of the facility of flying from punithmenty. For besides their being at liberty to fly, the law had given them a yet more effectual way to disarm justice, and even stay unmolested in their own country. They had only to find out proper ways of appeasing the relations of him who had been flain: they were then ture of impunity, and of never being disturbed; it was by money they commonly stifled these affairs. They gave a certain sum to the parties interested, to engage them to cease their prosecutions 2
The law would not have even an involuntary murder be entirely exempt from punishment, for fear, says Porphyry, that impunity, on these occasions, should give a scope to wicked persons to abuse the indulgence of the law Banishment was originally the punishment for involuntary murder with the Greeks b. Ceplialus was condemned by the Areopagus to perpetual banilhment for having involuntarily killed his wife Procris c. The laws in time abated a little of this rigour. We see in Homer, that, at the time of the war of Troy, murderers were more obliged to leave their country, bu till they could appease the parents of him they had lain d. According to the report even of the fcholiast on Euripides, accidental murderers were only obliged to absent themselves for a year. Plato, in his laws, seems to have conformed to this ancient usage €.
But at the same time that the laws subjected to some punishment an involuntary murder, they had taken precautions to protect the murderer from the sudden vengeance the relations of the deceased might take for his loss. It is for this reason that we see asylums established among all the people of antiquity. This privilege, attached to cer
* Demosth. in Aristocrat. p. 736.
y See Diod. 1. 3. P. 177. 2 Iliad. 1.9. v. 628. &c. a De abftin. l. 1. p. 16. &c. Apollod. 1. 2.p. 116.; Demosth. adv. Aristocrat. p. 732. B.; Plut. t. 2. p. 299.C.
Apollod. 1.3. Do 200. See Feithius, Antiq. Hom. 1. 2. C. 8. p. 187.
tain places, to shelter the murderers from all pursuits, was very ancient and much respected by the Greeks. They believed that the asylum of Samothrace was established by Cy
One of the most ancient is that which Cadmus opened in Beotia.
The place where the Areopagus assembled, was an invi. olabie asylum. Under Aphidas, who ascended the throne of Athens 1162 years before Christ, the oracle of Do. dona forewarned the Athenians, that one day the Lacedæmonians being beaten would fly for refuge to the Areopagus, and that they should take care not to treat them ill. The Athenians remembered this advice, when, in the reign of Codrus, Peloponnesus leagued against Attica. We know what was the event of that war, and how the armies being in fight of each other, that of the enemy thought of making a retreat i. Some Lacedæmonians who were advanced to the gates of Athens, on this news found themfelves in a cruel dilemma. All that they could do was to endeavour, under favour of the night, to hide themselves from the light of the Athenians. When day appeared, they faved themselves in the Areopagus. They durst not attack them in that asylum, they were respected, and gót leave to return safe and found to their country.k.
The favour of afylums was originally established only for involuntary murderers. In Thucydides the Athenians tell uz very clearly, that the altars of the gods are not an asylum but to those who have had the misfortune to commit an involuntary murder', We likewise see in Livy the inurder. er of King Eumenes obliged to abandon the asylum of the temple of Samothrace, as unworthy to enjoy it m: Moses, on establising cities of refuge for involuntary murderers, formally excludes assassins from that privilege . • For the rest, it was the same among the Greeks with involuntary murders as with premeditated homicides, that is to say, that the involuntary murderers could, by satisfying
Ancient legislators have omitted nothing to inspire their people with all the horror possible of murder, and shedding of blood. They looked upon those who had committed homicide as polluted, in whatever way it happened ; and they ought, before they came again into society, to purify them. felves by certain religious ceremonies. Thefeus had done an important service to his country, by putting to death the robbers who infested it. Although these murders were very lawful, yet his first care was to have himself purified r. Homer makes Hector fay, coming from battle, that he durst not make libations to Jupiter, before he was purified, because it was not permitted to pray with hands imbrued in bloods. Æneas, in Virgil, after having put many of his enemies to death, durft not touch his household gods till he was purified. We might quote many more exam
• Iliad. }. 18.v. 498. &c. P See l'esprit des loix, t. 3. p. 102. & 328.
9 Lescarbot, hift.de la Nouv. France, p. 395. & 798. ; Meurs des sauvag. t. I, P. 49). 491.
+ Plut in Thes. p. 5. C.; Paus. 1. 1. c. 37. init. ? Iliad. 1.6. v. 265. &c.
Æneid. 1. 2. v.717. &c.