Question of authenticity.
According to the author of the Argument, the speech On the Peace was judged spurious by Dionysios1
, and Harpokration also doubted its authenticity2
. Among modern critics, Taylor3
are the chief who have taken the same view; but they have a majority of opinions against
. Probably the suspicions of Dionysios, like those of Taylor, arose mainly from the difficulties of the historical passage (§§ 3—6); and from the fact that this passage is found, slightly modified, in the speech of Aeschines On the Embassy.
It is said in §§ 3—5 that, when the Athenians ‘had the war in Euboea’—being then masters of Megara, Troezen and Pegae—Miltiades, son of Kimon, who had been ostracised, was recalled, and was sent to treat for peace at Sparta. A peace was concluded between Athens and Sparta for fifty years6
; and was observed on both sides for thirteen years. During this peace the Peiraeus was fortified (478 B. C.), and the Northern Long Wall was built (457 B. C.). Now (1) the only recorded war of Athens in which Euboea was concerned, during the life of Miltiades, was in 507, when the Chalkidians were defeated and their territory given to the first kleruchs. (2) Megara, Troezen and Pegae were not included in the Athenian alliance until long after 478 B. C. (3) Miltiades was never ostracised; having been sent to the Chersonese before the invention of ostracism by Kleisthenes. (4) No such peace as that spoken of is known; though in 491, an Athenian embassy went to Sparta with a different object—to denounce the medism of the Aeginetans7
. Most critics have assumed that Andokides refers to the Five
Years' Truce between Athens and Sparta, concluded in 450 B. C., mainly through the influence of Kimon, son of Miltiades; and that he names the father instead of the son8
. But all agree that the passage as it stands is full of inaccuracies, and can be reconciled with history only by conjectural emendation9
Again, in § 6 it is said that Athens having been plunged into war by the Aeginetans, and having done and suffered much evil, at last concluded the Thirty Years' Peace with Sparta (445 B. C.). The impression conveyed by this statement is wrong. The war between Athens and Aegina began about 458, and ended in 455 with the reduction of Aegina. In 450 Athens and Sparta made a truce for five years. A new train of events began with the revolution in Boeotia in 447, followed by the revolt of Megara and Euboea; and it was this which led up to the peace of 445 B. C.
These inaccuracies are in regard only to the earlier history of Athens: and the undoubtedly genuine speech On the Mysteries contains allusions which are no less inaccurate. In regard to contemporary events the speaker makes no statement which can be shown to be incorrect: and on one point—the position of Argos at the time—he is incidentally confirmed in a striking manner by Xenophon10
. A forger would have studied the early
history with more care, and would not have known
Passage common to Andokides and Aeschines.
the details of the particular situation so well. But how does it happen that the whole historical passage (§§ 3—12) reappears, with modifications, in the speech of Aeschines On the Embassy11
? Either Aeschines copied this speech, or a later writer copied the speech of Aeschines. There can be little doubt that the former was the case. Andokides, grandfather of the orator, is mentioned in the speech On the Peace12
as a member of the embassy to Sparta in 445 B. C. In the speech of Aeschines13
he is named as chief of that embassy. This Andokides—an obscure
member, if he was a member, of the embassy which, according to Diodoros14
, was led by Kallias and Chares —would not have been named at all except by his own grandson. Again, there are traces in Aeschines of condensation—not always intelligent —from the speech On the Peace. Thus the latter15
says (referring to the years before the Peloponnesian war)—‘we laid up 1000 talents in the acropolis, and set them apart by law for the use of the people at special need’:
Aeschines, leaving out the qualifying clause, makes it appear that the sum of 1000 talents was the total sum laid up in the Athenian treasury16
during the years of peace.
The treatment of the subject certainly affords no
argument against the authenticity of the speech. Andokides gave little care to arrangement, and here there is no apparent attempt to treat the question methodically. On the other hand, the remarks about Corinth and Argos17
, and the answer to those who demanded the restoration of lands abroad18
, are both acute and sensible. In this, as in his other speech before the ekklesia, the descriptive talent of Andokides had little scope; but, as in the speech On the Mysteries, the style is spirited and vigorous.