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I have never, fellow citizens, brought indictment against any Athenian, nor vexed any man when he was rendering account of his office1; but in all such matters I have, as I believe, shown myself a quiet and modest man.2 But when I saw that the city was being seriously injured by the defendant, Timarchus, who, though disqualified by law, was speaking in your assemblies,3 and when I myself was made a victim of his blackmailing attack—the nature of the attack I will show in the course of my speech—

1 The Athenian Constitution provided for rigid auditing of the accounts of all officials at the close of their year of office, and gave full opportunity to any citizen to bring charges against any act of their administration. Such opportunity might easily be used for malicious or blackmailing attack

2 A quiet citizen, as distinguished from the professional political blackmailer, συκοφάντης

3 As the speech proceeds we shall see that Aeschines declares that Timarchus was guilty of immoral practices that disqualified him from speaking before the people.

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