Draco (Athenian)

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Draco (drā´kō) or Dracon (drā´kŏn), fl. 621 BC, Athenian politician and law codifier. Of his codification of Athenian customary law only the section dealing with involuntary homicide is preserved. From this and from later accounts in the writings of Aristotle and Plutarch it appears that in Athens the penalty of death was prescribed for the most trivial offense. The code adopted the principle that murder must be punished by the state and not by vendetta. Though the code was considerably ameliorated by Solon, its name became a synonym for harsh legislation.

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Draco (active 7th century bc) Athenian political leader and lawmaker. He drew up the first written code of laws in Athens. Famous for their severity (hence the adjective ‘draconian’), the death penalty was prescribed even for minor offences.

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Draco (7th century bc), Athenian legislator. His codification of Athenian law was notorious for its severity in that the death penalty was imposed even for trivial crimes, giving rise to the adjective draconian.

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