XII.20 On laws favorable to the freedom of the citizen in a republic

It often hap­pens in popu­lar sta­tes that accu­sa­tions are public and that any man is at liberty to accuse who­me­ver he wishes. For this rea­son, laws have been made for the defense of citi­zens’ inno­cence. In Athens, the accu­ser who did not have a fifth of the votes for him paid a fine of a thou­sand drach­mas. That was the sen­tence of Æschines, who had accu­sed Ctesiphon.1 In Rome, the unjust accu­ser was stig­ma­ti­zed2 by the let­tre K3 imprin­ted on his fore­head. Guards were assi­gned to the accu­ser so he would be in no posi­tion to cor­rupt the jud­ges or the wit­nes­ses.4

I have already men­tio­ned that Athenian and Roman law that allow the accu­sed to with­draw before the judg­ment.

See Philostratus, book I, Lives of the Sophists, Æschines. See also Plutarch and Phocius.

By the Remnian law.

[For kalumniator, slanderer.]

Plutarque, in the treatise De capienda ex inimicis utilitate [‘How to profit by one’s enemies’].