The English word 'dragon' is derived from the Old English 'draco.' A name that means "a large serpent.Draco dragon

Draco (Apaicwv, a dragon), the large serpent was the first true lawgiver of Greece who ruled over one of the world's oldest and most powerful cities, the city of Athens (Αθήνα, Athína, Ancient Greek: Ἀθῆναι, Athēnai). Athens is the largest city and capital of Greece.

It was here, where Draco who was also "Archon Eponymus" had changed the old system of oral law and blood feud, to what can now be considered the Rule of Law which were the first written laws to be enforced only by a court, and that became the first written constitution of Athens. Up to his time the laws of Athens were unwritten.

The Laws of  Draco would later become known as "Draconian Laws." They were draconian because these laws were harsh. For example, the result of being found guilty of breaking these newly written laws would end in either perpetual slavery for unlucky debtors, or often death for other legal offenders.

Plutarch states: "It was a lot for himself, when asked why he had fixed the punishment of death for most offences, answered that he considered these lesser crimes to deserve it, and he had no greater punishment for more important ones."

Crimes that today, that  you would get a simple prison sentence of 1-5 years. These ancient law breakers of Greece would think that our current US justice system is akin to a legal Disneyland, and I would tend to agree with them.

This was a rather dark time for Greece and the City of Athens. A time of blood shed, and feudal battles amongst rival royal families. Athens only truly became a great city and democracy after the reforms to these draconian laws, approximately 100 years later when a famous mythological lawgiver named Solon (638 BC – 558 BC) had helped change the law codes with the help of a friend from Crete. Solon was a man of noble birth who was a lover of learning and a poet. He is credited with having laid the foundations for the Athenian democracy and had ruled Athens according to most chronologists in the year B.c. 594.

This would be 18 years after the insurrection of Cylon, and 30 years from the attempt of the first legislator of Athens, Draco had crushed the rising spirit of democracy.

Moe
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