XV. (83) The name of homicide is that affixed to him who has slain a man; but in real truth it is a sacrilege, and the very greatest of all sacrileges, because, of all the possessions and sacred treasures in the whole world, there is nothing more holy in appearance, nor more godlike than man, the all-beautiful copy of an all-beautiful model, a representation admirably made after an archetypal rational idea. (84) We must therefore, without hesitation, pronounce the homicide or murderer an impious and atrociously wicked person, committing as he does the greatest of all atrocities and impieties, and he ought to be put to death as having done things which can never be pardoned, since, being worthy of ten thousand deaths, he escapes by one only, because the way to death being easy, does not permit his existence to be protracted, so as to endure a multitude of punishments; but there can be nothing wrong in his suffering the same treatment as that which he has inflicted on others, (85) and yet how can it be the same, if it be different as to its time, as to its mode of infliction, as to the intention, and as to the persons? Does not the beginning of acts of violence come first, and the repelling or retaliating them come subsequently? And is not murder the most lawless of all things, but the punishment of murderers the most lawful action possible? Again, he who has slain a man has satisfied his desire which he entertained when he slew him; but he who has been slain, inasmuch as he is now put out of the way, can neither attack him in retaliation, nor can be gratify himself by taking revenge. Moreover, the one was able by his own hands to carry out the designs which he conceived by himself; but the other can never succeed in procuring his punishment, unless his relations and friends become his champions, taking compassion on him for the calamity which has befallen him. (86) If now any one aims a blow with a sword at any one, with the intention of killing him, and does not kill him, he will still be guilty of murder, since he was a murderer in his intention, even though the end did not keep pace with his wish. Again, let that man be liable to the same punishment who, by previous contrivance and machinations (not daring to behave bravely, and to stand face to face with his enemy and attack him openly), treacherously plots and compasses his slaughter; for such a man is equally liable to the curse denounced against murderers, and even though he may not be one with his hands he is so in his soul; (87) for as, in my opinion, one must not only look upon those people as enemies who fight against us by sea or by land, but also those who are prepared for either kind of warfare, and who are erecting battering rams and engines against our harbours and our walls; and as we do in fact judge thus of them, even though they come to no actual conflict, so also we must consider murderers, not only those who perform the mere act of killing, but those who do anything which tends to slaying, whether openly or secretly, even if they do not eventually perpetrate the action. (88) And if out of fear or out of audacity, two very contrary feelings, but both blameable, they venture to flee to the temple as if they would there find an asylum, we must prevent their doing so, if we can: but if they are beforehand with us, and do effect their entrance, then we must take them out and give them up for execution, affirming the principle that the temple does not give an asylum to impious men; for every one who commits actions of incurable guilt is an enemy to God; and murderers do commit such actions, since those who are murdered have suffered disasters which are incurable. (89) Or shall we say that to those who have done no wrong the temple is still inaccessible until they have washed themselves, and sprinkled themselves, and purified themselves with the accustomed purifications; but that those who are guilty of indelible crimes, the pollution of which no length of time will ever efface, may approach and dwell among those holy seats; though no decent person, who has any regard for holy things would even receive them in his house?