Make the Law Great Again!

Solon, Fragment 4. 30-33.

Lawlessness brings a city nothing but evil.
But upholding law makes things orderly and sound,
And, time and again, it locks up crooks.

ὡς κακὰ πλεῖστα πόλει δυσνομίη παρέχει,
εὐνομίη δ᾽ εὔκοσμα καὶ ἄρτια πάντ᾽ ἀποφαίνει,
καὶ θαμὰ τοῖς ἀδίκοις ἀμφιτίθησι πέδας.

Euripides, Suppliants, 429-433.

Nothing is more hostile to a city than a tyrant.
Where one exists, there’s no law for one and all:
One man captures the law and rules by himself.
And that’s the end of equal justice.

οὐδὲν τυράννου δυσμενέστερον πόλει,
ὅπου τὸ μὲν πρώτιστον οὐκ εἰσὶν νόμοι
Κοινοί, κρατεῖ δʼ εἷς τὸν νόμον κεκτημένος
αὐτὸς παρʼ αὑτῷ· καὶ τόδʼ οὐκέτʼ ἔστʼ ἴσον.

Heraclitus, Fragment 44 (D-K).

The people must fight for the laws
as they would for their city walls.

μάχεσθαι χρὴ τὸν δῆμον ὑπὲρ τοῦ νόμου ὅκωσπερ τείχεος

Colo photograph of Donald trump Walking grumpily against a black background
Larry Benn has a B.A. in English Literature from Harvard College, an M.Phil in English Literature from Oxford University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Making amends for a working life misspent in finance, he’s now a hobbyist in ancient languages and blogs at

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