36. Charondas (Vth Century BC)

Caronda (Charondas) was a celebrated lawgiver born in Catania. It is uncertain when he lived -some identify him as a pupil of Pythagoras (c. 580 – 504 BC). All that can be said is that he lived earlier than 494 BC, since his laws were in use amongst the Rhegians until they were abolished by the tyrant Anaxilas of Rhegium. His laws, originally written in verse, were adopted by the other Chalcidic colonies in Sicily and Italy.

Caronda introduced into legislation laws concerning perjury. In addition, he also established that if the nearest relative of an epikleros (heiress) did not wish to marry her, he was required to provide a dowry. According to the tradition, Caronda had made a law that no man should be allowed to come armed into the assembly of the people. The penalty for infringement was death. He became the victim of his own law. In fact, returning from pursuing some robbers, he entered the city and presented himself before the assembly of the people without reflecting that he carried a sword by his side. Caronda killed himself as he thought he had broken the law.

Read More: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charondas


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