Zaleucus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)

(Ζάλευκος). The celebrated lawgiver of the Epizephyrian Locrians, is said by some to have been originally a slave, but is described by others as a man of good family. He could not, however, have been a disciple of Pythagoras, as some writers state, since he lived upwards of one hundred years before Pythagoras. The date of the legislation of Zaleucus is assigned to B.C. 660. His code, which was severe, is stated to have been the first collection of written laws that the Greeks possessed (Strabo, pp. 259, 398). Among other enactments we are told that the penalty of adultery was the loss of the eyes (V. H. xiii. 24; Val. Max. v. 5, 3). There is a celebrated story of the son of Zaleucus having become liable to this penalty, and the father himself suffering the loss of one eye, that his son might not be utterly blinded. It is further related that among his laws was one forbidding any citizen, under penalty of death, to enter the senate-house in arms. On one occasion, however, on a sudden emergency in time of war, Zaleucus transgressed his own law, which was remarked to him by one present; whereupon he fell upon his own sword, declaring that he would himself vindicate the law (Eustath. ad Il. p. 62). Other authors tell the same story of Charondas, and of Diocles (Diod.xii. 19; Val. Max. vi. 5, 4).

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