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DRACON (ApaKcoz/), the author of the first written code of laws at Athens, which were called &€(T/jioi, as distinguished from the v6'j.oi of Solon. (Andoc. de Myst. p. 11 ; Ael. F. H. viii. 10 ; Pe-rizon. ad loc.; Menag, ad Diog. La'drt. i. 53.) In this code he affixed the penalty of death to almost all crimes—to petty thefts, for instance, as well as to sacrilege and murder—which gave occasion to the remarks of Herodicus and Demades, that his laws were not those of a man, but of a dragon (SpaKcov), and that they were written not in ink, but in blood. We are told that he himself defended this extreme harshness by saying that small offences deserved death, and that he knew no severer punishment for great ones. (Aristot. Met. ii. 23. § 29; Plut. Sol. 17; Gell. xi. 18; Fabric. Bill. Graee. vol. ii. p. 23, and the authorities there referred to.) Aristotle, if indeed the chapter be genuine (Pol. ii. ad fin.; Gottling, ad loc.) says, that Dracon did not change the constitution of Athens, and that the only remarkable characteristic of his laws was their severity. Yet we know from Aeschines (c. TimarcJi. §§ 6, 7) that he provided in them for the education of the citizens from their earliest years; and, according to Pollux (viii. 125) he made the Ephetae a court of appeal from the ap%coi/ /3acriAeus in cases of unintentional homicide. On this latter point Richter (ad Fabric. I. e.), Schomann, and C. F. Hermann (Pol. Ant. § 103) are of opinion that Dracon established the Ephetae, taking away the cognizance of homicide entirely from the Areiopagus; while Miiller thinks (Eumen. §§ 65, 66), with more probability, that the two courts were united until the legislation of Solon. From this period (b. c. 594) most of the laws of Dracon fell into disuse (Gell. I. c.; Plut. Sol. I.e.)-, but Andocides tells us (1. c.), that some of them were still in force at the end of the Peloponnesian war; and we know that there remained unrepealed, not only the law which inflicted death for murder, and which of course was not peculiar to Dracon's code, but that too which permitted the injured husband to slay the adulterer, if taken in the act. (Lys. de Caed. Erat. p. 94 ; Paus. ix. 36 ; Xenarch. ap. Athen. xiii. p. 569, d.) Demosthenes also says (c. Timocr. p. 765) that, in his time, Dracon and Solon were justly held in honour for their good laws ; and Pausanias and Suidas mention an enactment of the former legislator adopted by the Thasians, providing that any inanimate thing which had caused the loss of human life should be cast out of the country. (Paus. vi. 11 ; Suid. s. v. n//ccdv.) From Suidas we learn that Dracon died at Aegina, being smothered by the number of hats and cloaks showered upon him as a popular mark of honour in the theatre. (Suid. s. vv. Apatfccz', TrepicryejpOjUez'ot; Kuster, ad Suid. s. v. 3Afcpo5pua.) His legislation is referred by general testimony to the 39th Orympiad, in the fourth year of which (b. c. 621) Clinton is disposed to place it, so as to bring Eusebius into exact agreement with the other authorities on the subject. Of the immediate occasion which led to these laws we have no account. G. F. Hermann (I.e.) and Thirl wall (Greece, vol. ii. p. 18) are of opinion, that the people demanded a written code to replace the mere customary law, of which the Eupatridae were the sole expounders; and that the latter, unable to resist the demand, gladly sanctioned the rigorous enactments of Dracon as adapted to check the democratic movement which
had given rise to them. This theory certainly gets rid of what Thirlwall considers the difficulty of conceiving how the legislator could so confound the gradations of moral guilt, and how also (as we may add) he could fall into the error of making moral guilt the sole rule of punishment, as his own defence of his laws above mentioned might lead us to suppose he did. Yet the former of these errors is but the distortion of an important truth (Aristot. Etli. nic. vi. 13. § 6) ; while the latter has actu ally been held in modern times, and was more natural in the age of Dracon, especially if, with Wachsmuth, we suppose him to have regarded his laws in a religious aspect as instruments for ap peasing the anger of the gods. And neither of these errors, after all, is more strange than his not foreseeing that the seventy of his enactments would defeat its own end, and would surely lead (as was the case till recently in England) to impunity. [E. E.]
DRACON (Apa/cou/), an Achaean of Pellene, to whom Dercyllidas (b. c. 398) entrusted the go vernment of Atarneus, which had been occupied by a body of Chian exiles, and which he had re duced after a siege of eight months. Here Dracon gathered a force of 3000 targeteers, and acted suc cessfully against the enemy by the ravage of Mysia. (Xen. Hell. iii. 2. § 11 ; Isocr. Paneq. p. 70, d.) [E. E.]
DRACON (ApdiMv). 1. A musician of Athens, was a disciple of Dam on, and the instructor of Plato in music. (Plut. de Mus. 17; Olympiod. Vit. Plat.}
2. A grammarian of Stratonicea, flourished in the reign of Hadrian. Suidas mentions several works of his, of which only one (irepi juerpcoy) is extant. It is said to be an extract from a larger work, and has been edited by Godfr. Hermann, Leipzig, 1812.
3. Of Corcyra, a writer, whose work Trep\ XiQw is quoted by Atlienaeus (xv. p. 692, d.). Casaubon (ad loc.} proposes Trepi &6o«5j> as a conjecture. [E. E.]
DRACON (ApaKwv) L, eighteenth in descent from Aesculapius, who lived in the fifth and fourth centuries b. c. He was the son of Hippocrates II. (the most celebrated physician of that name), the brother of The^salus, and the father of Hippocrates commonly called IV. (Jo. Tzetzes, Chil. vii. Hist. 155, in Fabric. Bill. Graeca, vol. xii. p. 682, ed. vet. ; Suid. s. v. 'l7nroifpdrf]s; Galen, De Difficult. Respir. ii. 8, vol. vii. p. 854 ; Comment, in Hippocr. " De Humor." i. 1, vol. xvi. p. 5; Comment, in Hippocr. " Praedict. /." ii. 52, vol. xvi. p. 625 ; Comment, in Hippocr. " De Nat. Horn.'1'' ii. 1, vol. xv. p. Ill ; Thessali, Orat. ad Aram, and Sorani Vita Hippocr. in Hippocr. Opera, vol. iii. pp. 842, 855.) Galen tells us that some of the writings of Hippocrates were attributed to his son Dracon.
dracon II. Was, according to Suidas (s. v. ApaKow), the son of Thessalus, and the father of Hippocrates (probably Hippocrates IV.). If this be correct, he was the nineteenth of the family of the Asclepiadae, the brother of Gorgias and Hippocrates III., and lived probably in the fourth century b. c.
dracon III. is said by Suidas (s. v. ApaKwv} to have been' the son of Hippocrates (probably Hippocrates IV.), and to have been one of the physicians to Roxana, the wife of Alexander the Great, in the fourth century b. c.
There is, however, certainlv some confusion in
Suidas, and perhaps the origin of the mistakes