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[24] Another topic, when men or things have been attacked by slander, in reality or in appearance,1 consists in stating the reason for the false opinion; for there must be a reason for the supposition of guilt. For example, a woman embraced her son in a manner that suggested she had illicit relations with him, but when the reason was explained, the slander was quashed. Again, in the Ajax of Theodectes, Odysseus explains to Ajax why, although really more courageous than Ajax, he is not considered to be so.

1 Understanding διαβεβλῆσθαι. Others read μὴ (for δοκοῦσι, “when there seems no reason to suspect them.”

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