Gesta Romanorum Vol. II (1871)/Of manner of Life
OF MANNER OF LIFE.
Trogus Pompeius (98) relates of Ligurius, a noble knight, that he induced the inhabitants of the state to make oath, that they would faithfully preserve certain just and wholesome, though rather severe laws, until he returned with an answer from the oracle of Apollo, whom he feigned to have made them. He then went to Crete, and there abode in voluntary exile. But when he was dead the citizens brought back his bones, imagining that they were then freed from the obligation of their oath. These laws were twelve in number. The first, insisted on obedience to their princes; and enjoined princes to watch over the well-being of their subjects, and to repress injustice. The second law commanded economy; and considered war better provided for by sobriety than drunkenness. The third law, ordained rewards to be proportioned to merit. The fourth, divided the administration of government; empowering kings to make war, magistrates to give judgment, and the senate to try offenders. It also conferred upon the people permission to elect their rulers. The sixth law, apportioned lands, and settled disputed claims respecting patrimony, so that no one could become more powerful than another. The seventh, enjoined all feasts to be held in public, lest one person should be the cause of luxury to another. The eighth, that young men should have but one habit during the year; the ninth, that poor lads should be employed in the fields, and not in the forum, by which their first years should be spent in hard labour, not in idleness. The tenth law exacted that virgins be married without dowry; the eleventh that wives be not elected for money; and the twelfth, that the greatest honour should not be assigned to the greatest wealth, but to priority in years. And whatever law Ligurius established, he was himself the first to observe beyond all others.
My beloved, the knight is Christ; and the laws, those moral ordinances which he established.
Note 98.Page 343.
"Our compiler here means Justin's Abridgement of Trogus; which, to the irreparable injury of literature, soon destroyed its original. An early epitome of Livy would have been attended with the same unhappy consequences."—Warton.