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[27] For, in my judgement, Solon1 framed it for no other purpose than to prevent your having to be subjected to malicious and baseless actions. For in the case of those who were wronged, he thought that a period of five years was enough to enable them to recover what was their due; while the lapse of time would best serve to convict those who advanced false claims. At the same time, since he realized that neither the contracting parties nor the witnesses would live forever, he put the law in their place, that it might be a witness of truth for those who had no other defence.

1 It was the custom at Athens to emphasize the sanctity of a given law by attributing its enactment to the great lawgiver, Solon. So, in Sparta, laws were conventionally assumed to have been enacted by Lycurgus.

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