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To show you that this man is already accursed by you, and that religion and piety forbid you to acquit one who has been guilty of such falsehoods,—recite the curse.1 Take and read it from the statute: here it is.“ Prayer

This imprecation, men of Athens, is pronounced, as the law directs, by the marshal on your behalf at every meeting of the Assembly, and again before the Council at all their sessions. The defendant cannot say that he is not familiar with it, for, when acting as clerk to the Assembly and as an officer of the Council, he used to dictate the statute to the marshal.

1 Every meeting of the Assembly and of the Council opened with a form of prayer, which included a curse on the enemies of the state and was recited by the “marshal” (κῆρυξ) at the dictation of an under-clerk. The curse has nowhere been preserved, but a parody will be found in Aristoph. Thes. 331 ff.

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