previous next


Historical matter in the Speech.

1. Does the speech represent that account of his own conduct which Andokides gave in 415 when he made his disclosures before the Council of Four Hundred? Next—had he, as a matter of fact, taken part in the mutilation of the Hermae? These two questions have been shortly discussed in Chapter IV.1 Some reasons are there suggested for believing (1) that, in 415, Andokides had criminated himself as well as others: (2) that he was, in fact, innocent.

2. In § 11 Pythonikos, who brought forward the evidence of the slave Andromachos, is named as the first denouncer of Alkibiades. ‘Some residentaliens and slaves in attendance on their masters’ (ἀκολούθων) are said by Thucydides (VI. 28) to have been the first accusers; and Plutarch adds that these were brought forward by Androkles. Androkles is mentioned by Andokides only in § 27, as claiming the reward (μήνυτρα) from the Senate. In order to reconcile Andokides with Thucydides, it must be supposed either (1) that the ‘resident-aliens and slaves’ of Thucydides (VI. 28) were the witnesses of Pythonikos, and not, as Plutarch states (Alkib. 19), of Androkles: or (2) that they were the witnesses, some of Pythonikos, some of Androkles; and that those brought forward by Androkles did not criminate Alkibiades, although Androkles afterwards found witnesses who did so. The former supposition, which makes Plutarch inaccurate, seems the most likely.

3. In § 13 it is stated that, on Pythonikos making his accusations, Polystratos was at once arrested and executed, and that the other accused persons fled. It is certain, as Grote2 observes, that Alkibiades was accused, but neither fled nor was brought to trial; and it would seem more probable, therefore, that the charge was dropped, for the time, in reference to the others also. On this point, however, it does not seem necessary to assume inaccuracy in Andokides. The position of Alkibiades, as a commander of the expedition on which the hopes of the people were set and which was about to sail, was wholly exceptional. The evidence against him may also have been of a different nature.

4. In § 13 there is an oversight. Among those denounced by Pythonikos was Panaetios. And it is said that all persons so denounced—except Polystratos, who was put to death—fled. But in § 68 Panaetios appears as leaving Athens in consequence of the later denunciation of Andokides. As the list in § 13 contains ten names in all, the speaker might easily have made a mistake about one of the number. Or the evidence against Panaetios—who is named last of the ten—may have been so weak that he was acquitted upon this first charge.

5. In § 34 it is said that some of the persons accused by Teukros were put to death. To this Mr Grote3 opposes the fact that Thucydides (VI. 60) names as having suffered death only some of those who were denounced by Andokides. It seems unsafe, however, to conclude that the orator has made a wrong statement. The language of Thuc. VI. 53, ξυλλαμβάνοντες κατέδουν, hardly warrants the inference that imprisonment was the utmost rigour used in other cases. The statement of Andokides in § 34 is incidentally confirmed by the words which he ascribes to Charmides in § 49.

6. In § 38 Andokides quotes, without comment, the statement of Diokleides that he had seen the faces of some of the conspirators by the light of a full moon. Now Plutarch says that one of the informers (he does not give the name), being asked how he had recognised the faces of the mutilators, answered, ‘by the light of the moon;’ and was thus convicted of falsehood, it having been new moon on the night in question4. Diodoros (XIII. 2) tells the same story, without mentioning any name; but his account does not apply to Diokleides. Mr Grote is unquestionably right in treating the new-moon story as a later fiction5. Andokides would not have failed to notice so fatal a slip on the part of Diokleides; nor is it likely that the informer would have made it.

7. In § 17 the action brought by Leogoras against Speusippos is mentioned directly after the evidence of Lydos. But it should be observed that it is mentioned parenthetically; and that the indefinite κἄπειτα does not fix its date at all. Leogoras was in the prison with his son (§ 50); and the action was doubtless not brought until after the disclosures of Andokides.

8. In § 45 the panic, during which the citizens kept watch under arms through the night, is placed in immediate connection with the informations of Diokleides, who caused this panic by representing the plot as widely spread. It is said, also, that the Boeotians took advantage of the alarm at Athens to march to the frontier. Now Thucydides (VI. 60) states that, during one night an armed body of citizens garrisoned the Theseion; but he puts this after the disclosures of Andokides, and connects it with the appearance of a Spartan force at the isthmus. Bishop Thirlwall justly remarks that, unless there were two or more occasions on which the citizens kept armed watch, Andokides, who goes into minute detail, is more likely than Thucydides to be right about the time of it6.

9. In § 106 the expulsion from Athens of the tyrants—that is, Hippias and his adherents—is described as following upon a battle fought ἐπὶ Παλληνίῳ, which seems to mean ‘at the Pallenion,’ the temple of Athene Pallenis at Pallene, about 10 miles E.N.E. of Athens7. Now it was near this temple that Peisistratos, on his third return, won the victory which led to the final establishment of his tyranny, probably in 545 B. C.8 But no battle at the same spot, or anywhere near it, is mentioned by any other authority in connexion with the expulsion of of the Peisistratidae. According to Herodotos, the Lacedaemonians sent, in 510, an expedition under Kleomenes. Kleomenes, on entering Attica from the isthmus, met and routed the Thessalian cavalry of Hippias; advanced to Athens; and besieged the Peisistratidae, who presently capitulated9. Herodotos and Andokides can be reconciled only by supposing that the account of Herodotos is incomplete10. It seems more probable, however, that Andokides has confused the scene of a battle won by Peisistratos with the scene of a battle lost by the Peisistratidae11.

10. In § 107 it is said that when, later, the Persian king made an expedition against Greece, the Athenians recalled those who had been banished, and reinstated those who had been disfranchised, when the tyrants were expelled. No such amnesty is recorded in connection with the first Persian invasion in 490; but Plutarch mentions such a measure as having been passed shortly before the battle of Salamis in 48012. Now the Persian invasion in 490 was undertaken for the purpose of restoring Hippias; and the invasion in 480 was undertaken partly at the instance of his family. Men (or their descendants) who had been banished or disfranchised in 510 would certainly not have been restored to Athenian citizenship in 490 or 480. Andokides seems, then, to have remembered vaguely that an act of amnesty was passed at Athens on some occasion during the Persian wars; to have placed this act in 490 instead of 480; and to have represented it as passed in favour of the very persons who would probably have been excluded from it.

11. In § 107 it is said of the Athenians;— ‘They resolved to meet the barbarians at Marathon... They fought and conquered; they freed Greece and saved their country. And having done so great a deed, they thought it not meet to bear malice against any one for the past. Therefore, although through these things they entered upon their city desolate, their temples in ashes, their walls and houses in ruins, yet by concord they achieved the empire of Greece,’ &c. From this passage Valckenär13, Sluiter and Grote infer that Andokides has transferred the burning of Athens by Xerxes in 480 to the first invasion in 490. This is hardly a necessary inference. Andokides is speaking of the struggle with Persia—extending from 490 to 479—as a whole. He names Marathon: he does not name Salamis or Plataea. He merely says that, after the Athenians had ‘freed Greece,’ they came back to find their city in ruins14.

1 p. 76.

2 Hist. Gr. III. p. 243.

3 Hist. Gr. VII. p. 268.

4 Plut. Alk. c. 20 εἷς δ᾽ αὐτῶν ἐρωτώμενος ὅπως τὰ πρόσωπα τῶν ἑρμοκοπιδῶν γνωρίσειε, καὶ ἀποκρινάμενος ὅτι πρὸς τὴν σελήνην, ἐσφάλη τοῦ παντός, ἕνης καὶ νέας οὔσης ὅτε ταῦτ᾽ ἐδρᾶτο.

5 Hist. Gr. VII. p. 271.

6 Hist. Gr. III. p. 499 (appendix III. to ch. xxv.)

7 Professor Rawlinson, in the Journal of Philology, Vol. I. No. 2, p. 25, questions whether the Παλλήνιον of Andokides means the temple of.Athene at Pallene. The proper name of that temple was, he thinks, ‘the Pallenis.’ It appears to me as I have endeavoured to show (Journ. Philol. Vol. II. No. 3, p. 48) that Παλληνίς is always the epithet of the goddess, not the name of the temple. I believe Παλλήνιον to be identical with what Herodotos (I. 62) calls Παλληνίδος Ἀθηναίης ἱρόν.

8 This is the date fixed on by Curtius (Hist. Gr. Vol. I. p 359 tr. Ward). Clinton (F. H. II. p. 202) thinks 537 more probable.

9 Her. v. 64.

10 Professor Rawlinson thinks that there was a second battle, (after that won by Kleomenes on entering Attica), in which the Alkmaeonidae and the other exiles fought on the Spartan side; and this battle, he suggests, may have been fought near Pallene (Journ. Phil. I. 2. pp. 25 ff.).

11 The view that the battle described by Andokides as fought ἐπὶ Παλληνίῳ is identical with that mentioned in Herod. v. 64 is held by Sluiter, Lect. Andoc. p. 6: Wordsworth, Athens and Attica, p. 198 note: Thirlwall, Hist. Gr. II. p. 80 note: Grote, Hist. Gr. IV. p. 165 note.

12 Plut. Them. c. 11.

13 See Valckenär's note, quoted and endorsed by Sluiter, Lect. Andoc. p. 48, and by Grote, IV. p. 165 n.:—‘Confundere videtur Andokides diversissima: Persica sub Miltiade et Dario et victoriam Marathoniam, quaeque evenere sub Themistocle, Xerxis gesta. Hic urbem incendio delevit, non ille. Nihil magis est manifestum quam diversa ab oratore confundi.’

14 See the Journal of Philology, Vol. I. No. 1, p. 165, for a discussion of this passage.

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.

hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Selections from the Attic Orators, 1.34
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: