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[50] When the arbitrator questioned him about each of these matters, and asked him whether he had managed his own estate from the interest or had spent the principal, and whether,if he had been under guardianship, he would have accepted an account of this sort from his guardians or would have demanded that the money be duly paid to him with the accrued interest, he made no answer to these questions, but tendered me a challenge1 to the effect that he was ready to show that my property was worth ten talents, and said that, if it fell short of this amount, he would himself make up the difference.

1 The challenge was often used in Athenian lawsuits. Here Aphobus virtually offers Demosthenes a compromise, fixing the value of the estate at ten talents instead of thirty. Sometimes the challenger “dares” his opponent to give an oath, or to offer a slave for torture.

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