Thus, when judges, police, and politicians say that the law and the Constitution mean whatever the Supreme Court says they mean, and that everyone else must simply obey, this is a fundamental violation of the rule of law, not an affirmation of it, because creatures of the government are then able to allow violations of the fundamental law, the Constitution, which is actually supposed to limit them, and to protect the citizen, with the citizen then left helpless against abuses that were supposed to be prohibited.
"Neither Meletus nor Anytus can harm me in any way...for I do not think that it is permitted that a better man be harmed by a worse." One of the more startling claims of the .
There is something fitting in this.
This is also the key to many traditional criticisms of both Greek and modern democracies: that when the poor discover that they can vote themselves money, the government will collapse into a war of everyone trying to steal from everyone else.
There is no screening of jurors.
Roman readers of the did not hesitate to imagine themselves descendants of the Trojans -- as in Virgil's , where the Prince Aeneas, saved from Troy by his mother Aphrodite, travels to Italy and, anticipating Romulus, founds the Roman nation.
The jury is pretty much any free adult male citizen who shows up.
It is especially striking because, as the saying goes, history is written by the winners, but the Greeks, who won at Troy, ended up writing a history rather unflattering to themselves, not to mention rather unflattering to the gods also.
The jury has all but absolute power.
And we know that he can only be killed by his heel, since his goddess mother Thetis was holding him there when she dipped him as an infant into the River Styx, the boundary of the Underworld.
At the same time, there was not much in the way of rules of evidence.
Even the king of the gods, Zeus, who has more or less been planning all this, is unhappy that maybe the better man will lose; but he holds up a curious pair of scales, and the fate of Hector "sinks down to Hades." When Achilles kills Hector, he even insults and mutilates the body.
After the defense, the jury votes innocent or guilty.
"...given the wrongdoer his deserts..." Achilles, of course sees Hector as the "wrongdoer" and cannot imagine that his own tantrum, over losing the girl he enjoyed raping, is the principal cause of the events.
In this case, Socrates is barely (by 30 votes) found guilty.
Carolyn Graglia, , Spence Publishing Company, Dallas, 1998, p.231]Homer says, "I sing the wrath of Achilles," and the whole , indeed, is about just what happens when Achilles gets angry.