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lex talionis

[leks tal-ee-oh-nis] /ˈlɛks ˌtæl iˈoʊ nɪs/
noun
1.
the principle or law of retaliation that a punishment inflicted should correspond in degree and kind to the offense of the wrongdoer, as an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; retributive justice.
Also called talion.
Origin
1590-1600
1590-1600; < Latin lēx taliōnis law of talion
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for lex talionis

lex talionis

/ˌtælɪˈəʊnɪs/
noun
1.
the law of revenge or retaliation
Word Origin
C16: New Latin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for lex talionis

1590s, Latin, "law of retaliation," from talionis, genitive of talio (see retaliation); an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for lex talionis

principle developed in early Babylonian law and present in both biblical and early Roman law that criminals should receive as punishment precisely those injuries and damages they had inflicted upon their victims. Many early societies applied this "eye-for-an-eye" principle literally.

Learn more about lex talionis with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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