Love of Andokides for gossip.
Andokides sometimes shows his taste for narrative in a special form which deserves notice. He is a master of shrewd and telling gossip. He diverges from the main thread of his argument into anecdotes which will amuse his hearers, and either directly damage the adversary, or at least strike some chord favourable to himself. A part of the speech On the Mysteries is, in fact, made up of such stories (§§ 110—136.) Speaking, for instance, of the son of his accuser Kallias, he reminds the judges that there was once a certain Hipponikos at Athens whose house was haunted by an avenging spirit—so said the children and the women: and the saying came true, for the man's son proved a very demon to him. Well, the house of Kallias is haunted by a fiend of the same kind (§§ 130—131). In this trait Andokides resembles one, and one only, of the other Greek orators: it is precisely the impudent, unscrupulous cleverness of Aeschines. There
is the same shrewd perception of what will raise a laugh or a sneer; the same adroitness, unchecked by self-respect, in making a point of this kind whenever the opportunity offers; the same command of coarse but telling abuse; the same ability and resolution to follow the workings, and profit by the prejudices, of low minds. Akin to this taste for
Proneness of Andokides to low comedy.
gossip is a certain proneness to sink into low comedy. There is a fragment of Andokides, describing the influx of country-people into Athens in 431 B. C., which will illustrate this. It has exactly the tone of the Acharnians:
‘Never again may we see the colliers coming in from the hills to the town—the sheep and oxen and the waggons—the poor women and old men— the labourers arming themselves! Never more may we eat wild greens and chervil1