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FMoG: Draco

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    FMoG: Draco

    Page 75 of the FMoG text says, regarding Draco:

    "Some of the old laws were so severe that often people had been put to death for very slight offenses. Draco changed these severe laws and made new ones that were much more merciful."

    This is, as far as I know, not correct. (And the suggested answer to student guide question #1 (p. 43 of the guide) for this is accordingly incorrect.)

    What Draco did do was codify the law: he wrote it down, which is what the paragraph before my quote rightly states. Also, his laws seem to be the first examples of Greek laws against homicide; most notably, they were first to differentiate between premeditated and unpremeditated homicide. However, it is Draco's laws that were so severe that people were put to death for slight offenses such as stealing (according to the traditions; the only portion of his code that we have in writing is a bit relating to homicides). This is why his laws were said to be "written in blood."

    Thank you for your continual care for accuracy, and for this good program.
    Ana, mama to
    ds A, 13yo
    ds N, 8yo

    #2
    Re: FMoG: Draco

    Hi Ana,

    The most important thing to learn about Draco is that he wrote the laws down. Our study guide emphasizes that by asking first what were the problems before Draco and then second what problems still existed after Draco.

    Because we don't have the laws that existed before Draco (since they were unwritten), we have no way to know whether his laws were actually less severe or not. What we do know is that the very fact that they were written made them more merciful in the sense that they could no longer be arbitrarily applied. And we suspect that people were fond of him due to the legend of his death from the 10th century.

    Paul
    Paul Schaeffer
    --
    Director, Schools Division
    Memoria Press

    Comment


      #3
      Re: FMoG: Draco

      Thanks, Paul! I agree that we don't know if Draco's laws were more or less severe than the unwritten codes they replaced, and that the writing of them was key. And, of course, there is the legend of his death.

      I disagree that the text is a good representation of what is known, and I think that the section's conclusion about Draco's laws being "written in blood" is simply nonsensical in the light of the FMoG stories about him. Oh well.

      Ana, mama to
      ds A, 13yo
      ds N, 8yo

      Comment

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