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Monday, June 04, 2007

Cute Law Facts

Apparently, it was a crime in ancient Rome to "use magic to move crops." (And there were prosecutions for this crime.) So if you had a spell that could make your wheat walk to the next field, best not to use it.

Also, the wife of a patrician consul was prosecuted because she had said, "I wish the plebs were all dead." I don't think she had thought things through: first of all, who would she be patrician in relation to if the plebs all died? And, secondly, who would do her manual labor?

2 comments:

  1. A valid question is if in the absence of government there would be a voluntary commitment to the disuse of crop-moving magic. Would this be like interstate nuclear disarmament?

    As to the second point, one can perfectly well wish the plebians dead if you further wish that the crops would be reaped by magic, rather than the much more tedious use of plebian labor. Because of this implication, she was probably duly prosecuted for inciting the use of crop moving magic.

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