why are harsh laws


Draco, for those of us who don’t know was the first recorded Greek lawgiver. As you maybe aware, the Greeks had a number of lawgivers such as Solon whose laws replaced some of those instituted by Draco. Another lawgiver was Lycurgus among others.

Now back to Draco.

He was concerned with curbing the excesses of the ruling aristocracy, and firmly establish the rule of law over the will of powerful families.

For all his harsh laws, it is agreed that his laws recognized the sanctity of the family and family life. His homicide law stipulated that

No matter how powerful or influential a person was, he still did not have the right to enter someone’s house and seduce or force the women under this man’s authority, for the law provided the most efficient deterrent: self-help. The wronged man would not need to seek justice elsewhere; he could avenge his injured honor there and then. So, it seems that from early times the Athenian state made a firm commitment to protect the family and all individuals in it.

I think laws under no-tress pass all derive from this law.

From wikipedia, Plutarch says of Drako

“It is said that Drakon himself, when asked why he had fixed the punishment of death for most offences, answered that he considered these lesser crimes to deserve it, and he had no greater punishment for more important ones”

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

21 thoughts on “why are harsh laws

  1. There’s also the great, Greek law-maker, Bubba: The First Republican, who’s known for his great laws and rules against immigrants entering his famed city state of Sparta. “And a great wall shall be built around the city to keep out those whose skin is a different color tone than ours. However, if a few of these people manage to sneak in, the wealthiest Spartans can secretly hire them for 2 cents a week to do all their manual labor for them without having to pay a payroll tax or give them health insurance.” Ah, the good ole days.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I didn’t know the source of the word “draconian”. Interesting. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barry says:

    for the law provided the most efficient deterrent: self-help.” Self help is effectively prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one, and the right of a defence denied. In some jurisdictions, and I include Aotearoa New Zealand among them, self help is discouraged and under many circumstances is prohibited. I prefer it that way.


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