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[20] But if, as the law says and as your oath enjoins, you sternly and absolutely reject their excuses, and make it clear that you have withheld the reward because they have not built the ships, then every Council, men of Athens, will deliver to you the ships duly built, because they will see that in your eyes everything else is of less consequence than the law. Now I shall show you clearly that no other human being is responsible for the shortage of ships; for the Council, having made the law null and void, elected this treasurer themselves.1

1 The treasurer should have been elected by the people; the Council, by appointing him illegally, made themselves responsible for his defalcations. The corruption of this passage is as old as Harpocration. Mss. have ἁυτῇ or ἁυτήν . With the latter and a comma after τοῦτον, editors have tried to translate ἐχειποτόνησεν “voted itself guilty.” Jurinus was the first to suggest αὐτὴ and to refer τοῦτον to the treasurer.

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