Anacharsis laughed at Solon for imagining the dishonesty and covetousness of his countrymen could be restrained by written laws, which were like spiders' webs, and would catch, it is true, the weak and poor, but easily be broken by the mighty and rich.

τὸν οὖν Ἀνάχαρσιν πυθόμενον καταγελᾶν τῆς πραγματείας τοῦ Σόλωνος, οἰομένου γράμμασιν ἐφέξειν τὰς ἀδικίας καὶ πλεονεξίας τῶν πολιτῶν, ἃ μηδὲν τῶν ἀραχνίων διαφέρειν, ἀλλ᾽ ὡς ἐκεῖνα τοὺς μὲν ἀσθενεῖς καὶ λεπτοὺς τῶν ἁλισκομένων καθέξειν, ὑπὸ δὲ τῶν δυνατῶν καὶ πλουσίων διαρραγήσεσθαι.

More information about this quote

Authentication Score 2

Original Citation

Anacharsis. Quoted in "Solon." Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans. c. 120.

Current Citation

Anacharsis. Quoted in "Solon." Greek Lives, written by Plutarch, translated by Robin Waterfield. Oxford University Press, 2009.