previous next

The Assembly had met1 to give audience to Nicias, Lamachus, and Alcibiades, the generals about to leave with the Sicilian expedition—in fact, Lamachus' flag-ship was already lying offshore—when suddenly Pythonicus rose before the people and cried: “Countrymen, you are sending forth this mighty host in all its array upon a perilous enterprise. Yet your commander, Alcibiades, has been holding celebrations of the Mysteries in a private house, and others with him; I will prove it. Grant immunity2 to him whom I indicate, and a non-initiate, a slave belonging to someone here present, shall describe the Mysteries to you. You can punish me as you will, if that is not the truth.”

1 June, 415 B.C. Andocides is our only authority for this last-minute meeting of the Assembly. It was probably convened to make final arrangements for the expedition.

2 The word ἄδεια is used in two slightly different senses. (a) It is the immunity granted by the Assembly or Council to persons who have a statement to make to them, but who are debarred from addressing them without special permission. This applied to slaves, metics, and women. Hence Andromachus, Teucrus, and Agariste all have to obtain an ἄδεια before lodging their information. (b) It is the immunity granted to a criminal who is prepared to turn informer. Often the two senses are combined, as here Andromachus was both debarred from addressing the Assembly in normal circumstances, and he was implicated in the crime which he was exposing. The same applies to Teucrus.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1968)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
415 BC (1)
hide References (12 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: