Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. V.: The same Subject continued. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. V.: The same Subject continued. - 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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The same Subject continued.
THE law I am going to speak of, is to be found in this oath preserved by Æschines* ; “I swear that I will never destroy a town of the Amphictyones’ and that I will not divert the course of its running waters; if any nation shall presume to do such a thing, I will declare war against them, and will destroy their towns.” The last article of this law, which seems to confirm the first, is really contrary to it. Amphictyon is willing that the Greek towns should never be destroyed, and yet this law paves the way for their destruction. In order to establish a proper law of nations among the Greeks, they ought to have been accustomed early to think it a barbarous thing to destroy a Greek town; consequently, they ought not even to ruin the destroyers. Amphictyon’s law was just; but it was not prudent; this appears even from the abuse made of it. Did not Philip assume the power of demolishing towns, under the pretence of their having infringed the laws of the Greeks? Amphictyon might have inflicted other punishments; he might have ordained, for example, that a certain number of the magistrates of the destroying town, or of the chiefs of the infringing army, should be punished with death; that the destroying nation should cease for a while to enjoy the privileges of the Greeks; that they should pay a fine till the town was rebuilt. The law ought, above all things, to aim at the reparation of damages.
[* ]De falsâ legatione.