VIII. (32) But in the case of those persons who have vowed not merely their own property or some part of it, but also their own selves, the law has affixed a price to their vows, not having a regard to their beauty, or their importance, or to any thing of that kind, but with reference to the number of the individuals separating the men from the women, and the infants from those who are full grown. (33) For the law Ordains{3}{#le 27:3.} that from twenty years of age to sixty the price of a man shall be two hundred drachmas of solid silver money, and of a woman a hundred and twenty drachmas. And from five years of age to twenty, the price of a male child is eighty, and of a female child forty drachmas. And from infancy to five years old, the price of a male is twenty; of a female child, twelve Drachmas.{4}{#le 10:3.} And in the case of men who have lived beyond sixty years of age, the ransom of the old men is sixty, and of the old women forty drachmas. (34) And the law has regulated this ransom with reference to the same age both in men and women on account of three most important considerations. First of all, because the importance of their vow is equal and similar, whether it be made by a person of great or of little importance. Secondly, because it is fitting that those who have made a vow should not be exposed to the treatment of slaves; for they are valued at a high or at a low price, according to the good condition and beauty of their bodies, or the contrary. Thirdly, which, indeed, is the most important consideration of all, because inequality is valued among men, but equality is honoured by God.

IX. (35) These are the ordinances established in respect of men, but about animals the following commands are given. If any one shall set apart any beast; if it be a clean beast of any one of the three classes which are appropriate to sacrifice, such as an ox, or a sheep, or a goat, he shall surely sacrifice it, not substituting either a worse animal for a better, or a better for a worse. For God does not take delight in the fleshiness of fatness of animals, but in the blameless disposition of the man who has vowed it. But if he should make a substitution, then he must sacrifice two instead of one; both the one which he had originally vowed, and the one which he wished to substitute for it. (36) But if any one vows one of the unclean animals, let him bring it to the most venerable of the priests; and let him value it, not exaggerating its price, but adding to its exact value one-fifth, in order that if it should be necessary to sacrifice an animal that is clean instead of it, the sacrifice may not fall short of its proper value. And this is ordained also for the sake of causing the man who has vowed it to feel grieved at having made an inconsiderate vow, having vowed an animal which is not clean, looking upon it, in my opinion, for the moment as clean, being led away by error of mind through some passion. (37) And if the thing which he has vowed be his house, again he must have the priest for a valuer. But those who may chance to buy it shall not pay an equal ransom for it; but if the man who has vowed it chooses to ransom it, he shall pay its price and a fifth besides, punishing his own rashness and impetuous desire for his two faults, his rashness for making the vow, and his impetuous desire for wishing for things back again which he had before abandoned. But if any one else brings it he shall not pay more than its value. (38) And let not the man who has made the vow make any long delay either in the accomplishment of his vow or in procuring a proper valuation to be made of it. For it is absurd to attempt to make strict covenants with men, but to look upon agreements made with God who has no need of any thing, and who has no deficiency of any thing as unnecessary to be observed, while those who do so are by their delays and slowness convicting themselves of the greatest of offences, namely, of a neglect of him whose service they ought to look upon as the beginning and end of all happiness. This is enough to say of oaths and Vows.{5}{yonge’s translation includes a separate treatise title at this point: On the Number Seven. His next division begins and ends with roman numeral I (= X in the Loeb). The publisher has elected to follow the Loeb numbering.}