ABOUT THE THEFT OF A SHEEP OR AN OX

III. (11) Now other thefts are to be atoned for by a payment of double the value of the thing stolen; but if any one steals an ox or a sheep, the law thinks such a man worthy of a greater punishment, giving a particular honour and precedence to those animals which are the most excellent among all tame flocks and herds, not only by reason of the beauty of their bodies, but also because of the service they are of to the life of man. And on this account the lawgiver has not affixed a fine of equal amount to the theft of each animal, but having calculated the use of both and the purposes for which both are available, he has appraised their value in this way. (12) For he commands that the thief shall restore four sheep and five oxen in the place of the one which he has stolen; since a sheep gives four kinds of tribute, milk, and cheese, and its fleece, and a lamb, every year: but an ox furnishes five; three of which are the same as those of the sheep–the milk, the cheese, and the offspring; but two are peculiar to itself, the ploughing of the earth, and the threshing of the corn; the first of which actions is the first step towards the sowing of the crops, and the other is the end, being for the purification of the crop after it is gathered in, in order to the more easy use of it for food.