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Minor works

I have dealt hitherto chiefly with the speech de Mysteriis, the best of Andocides' work. The other speeches now demand a short mention. The de Reditu differs remarkably from the later speech, de Mysteriis, but it is chiefly a difference of tone. The verbal style is much the same, though there is rather more tendency to antithetical structure. The language is simple, the sentences are less hampered with parentheses. But here Andocides is humble; he appears as a young man without friends speaking before a critical and hostile assembly; he is moderate in his language, apologetic in tone, careful not to give offence by any sarcastic or ill-considered utterance. In the de Mysteriis he is speaking with the consciousness not of a better cause but of increased powers and an assured position in the State. He is confident, almost arrogant at times; he is bitter and violent in his attacks on his enemies.

The de Pace bears a general resemblance in style to the other speeches, except for certain grammatical peculiarities. Dionysius declared it to be spurious, but modern critics mostly regard it as genuine.

The chief grounds for suspicion are the inaccuracies of the historical narrative (§§ 3-9) and the curious fact that a very similar passage occurs in Aeschines (de F. L., §§ 172-176), where even certain peculiarities of phraseology1 are reproduced. As to history, the orators were often inaccurate about the past history of their own country. Careless statements occur even in the de Mysteriis. Demosthenes is an untrustworthy authority even for events almost contemporary. As to the other matter, there is good reason for the belief that Aeschines plagiarized Andocides in the fact that a reference to Andocides, the grandfather of the orator, which occurs in both speeches, is in place in a speech of Andocides, while there is no particular reason why Aeschines, if he were composing the passage, should have mentioned him. In some minor points, as Jebb has shown, Andocides is more accurate than Aeschines. The suggestion that the de Pace is a spurious speech, composed by a later rhetor who plagiarized from Aeschines, is therefore hardly tenable. There remains a third possibility, that both Aeschines and Andocides borrowed from the same semi-historical compilation, perhaps a lost rhetorical exercise.

The de Pace and the de Reditu are not enlivened by excursions into anecdote or the consequent direct quotations of speech which characterize the de Mysteriis. The historical argument already mentioned is dull in itself, but the tedium of the de Pace is somewhat relieved by a not infrequent use of rhetorical question.

“What is there left for us to discuss? The subject of Corinth and the invitation of Argos. First, I should like to be informed about Corinth: if the Boeotians do not join us in the war but make peace with Sparta, what will Corinth be worth to us? Remember the day, men of Athens, when we made our alliance with the Boeotians; what was our feeling in that transaction? Was it not that we and Boeotia in combination were strong enough to stand against all the world? But now our question is, if the Boeotians make peace, how shall we be able, without Boeotian help, to fight against Sparta? We can do it, say some people, if we protect Corinth, and have an alliance with Argos.

But when the Spartans attack Argos, are we going to help Argos or not? We must definitely choose one course or the other.

de Pace, §§ 24-26.

An appeal for peace does not give such opportunities for oratory as a call to arms; nevertheless, a greater orator might have made more of the subject.

The speech Against Alcibiades is undoubtedly spurious and belongs to a much later date.

It is based upon a complete misconception of the nature of the law about ostracism. The speaker is represented as discussing the question whether he himself or Nicias or Alcibiades should be ostracized— a quite impossible position. The speech is little more than a collection of some of the stock anecdotes about Alcibiades, such as occur in Plutarch.

The names of four lost speeches are preserved:— πρὸς ἑταίρους, συμβουλευτικός, περὶ τῆς ἐνδείξεως and ἀπολογία πρὸς Φαίακα. Fragments—a few lines in each case—remain of two unnamed speeches. One of these refers to Hyperbolus as still in Athens, and so must be placed not later than 417 B.C., the year when Hyperbolus was ostracized. It deserves quotation as being typical of the snobbishness of the young aristocrat, not yet disciplined by misfortune.

“I am ashamed to mention the name of Hyperbolus; his father is a branded slave, who up to the present day works in the public mint; he himself is a foreigner, a barbarian, and a lampmaker.

Frag. 5 (Blass)

1 E.g., the poetical “ὑψηλὸν ἦρε,Andoc., § 7; Aesch., § 174. Cf. Euripides, Supp., 555, and Her. 323.

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