Discussion of the problems must begin with the allegations made in Lysias' speech XXX) Against Nicomachus:
When he became writer-up (anagrapheus) of the laws (nomoi), who does not know how he defiled the city? His instructions were to write up the laws of Solon in four months, but he set himself up as a lawgiver (nomothetes) in the place of Solon, instead of four months he made his office last six years, and every day he was taking money to insert some laws and wipe out others. (3) We were brought to this point, that the laws were doled out to us by his hand, and opposing litigants in the courts would produce conflicting laws, each claiming to have received them from Nicomachus. When the archons tried to impose fines on him and to bring him to court, he refused to hand over the laws: the city was brought to the direst disaster before he could be removed from his office and made to submit to examination (euthynai) for what he had done. (4) And yet, gentlemen, after failing to pay the penalty for those offences, he has done the same thing with his present office. First, he has been writing up for four years, when he could have had done with it in thirty days.