Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XVIII.: How the Laws of Religion have the Effect of Civil Laws. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XVIII.: How the Laws of Religion have the Effect of Civil Laws. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 2.
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How the Laws of Religion have the Effect of Civil Laws.
THE first Greeks were small nations, frequently dispersed, pirates at sea, unjust at land, without government, and without laws. The mighty actions of Hercules and Theseus let us see the state of that rising people. What could religion do more, to inspire them with horror against murder? It declared, that the man who had been‡ murdered was enraged against the assassin, that he would possess his mind with terror and trouble, and oblige him to yield to him the places he had frequented when alive. They could not touch the criminal, nor converse with him* , without being defiled: the murderer was to be expelled the city, and an expiation made for the crime† .
[‡ ]Plato, of laws, lib. 9.
[* ]Tragedy of Oedipus Coloneus.
[† ]Plato, of laws, lib. 9.