Montesquieu
 

XXIV.18 How the laws of religion have the effect of civil laws

The early Greeks were small and often dis­per­sed peo­ples, pira­tes on the sea, unjust on land, ungo­ver­ned and law­less. The great feats of Hercules and Thesius mani­fest the state of this rising peo­ple. What more could reli­gion do, other than what it did, to create hor­ror for mur­der ? It esta­bli­shed that a man killed by vio­lence was first angry at the mur­de­rer, that he inci­ted anxiety and ter­ror in him, and tried to make him yield to him the pla­ces he had fre­quen­ted1 ; no one could touch the cri­mi­nal or converse with him without being defi­led or unqua­li­fied to tes­tify2 ; the city had to be spa­red the mur­de­rer’s pre­sence, and had to expiate him.3

Plato, Laws, book IX.

See the tragedie of Œdipus at Colonus.

Plato, Laws, book IX.