the adulterer, ravisher, &c. A man could not be convicted of theft unless the goods were found in his possession.
Who the original lover was is doubtful; the Vita Gildae relates how she was carried off by Melwas, king of Aestiva Regis, to Glastonbury, whither Arthur, at the head of an army, pursued the ravisher.
When pederasty became common in Greece, an attempt was made to justify it and invest it with dignity by referring to the rape of the beautiful boy by Zeus; in Crete, where the love of boys was reduced to a system, Minos, the primitive ruler and law-giver, was said to have been the ravisher of Ganymede.
One of the heroines rescues herself from a ravisher by blinding him with a hair-pin, and as she escapes the seducer apostrophizes the blood which trickles from his eye, and the weapon which has wounded it, in a speech forty verses long.
The tale tells of King Dasarath's court, the birth and boyhood of Rama and his brethren, his marriage with Sita, daughter of Janak king of Bideha, his voluntary exile, the result of Kaikeyi's guile and Dasarath's rash vow, the dwelling together of Rama and Sita in the great central Indian forest, her abduction by Ravan, the expedition to Lanka and the overthrow of the ravisher, and the life at Ajodhya after the return of the reunited pair.