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The Speech not by Andokides.

The speech is twice cited without suspicion by Harpokration: it is also named as genuine by Photios1. The biographer of Andokides does not mention it; but, in its place, mentions a Defence in reply to Phaeax2. There are traces of its ascription in antiquity both to Lysias3 and to Aeschines4. But an examination of the speech will show that it cannot have been spoken by Andokides, or written by him for the use of another; that it was probably not written by any one who lived at the time of which it treats; and that there is good reason for believing it to be the work of a late sophist.

That Andokides spoke this speech is inconceivable. The speaker says (§ 8) that he has been four times tried; and (§ 41) that he has been ambassador to Molossia, Thesprotia, Italy and Sicily. But elsewhere, excusing himself for acts committed in the very year in which this speech is supposed to have been delivered—in 415—Andokides pleads that he was young and foolish at the time5. Moreover, no writer mentions Andokides as having been in danger of ostracism at the same time as Nikias and Alkibiades.

Nor is it credible that Andokides wrote the speech for another person—Phaeax, for instance, as Valckenär6 suggests. The style is strongly against this. It is far more artificial than anything by Andokides which we possess; it approaches, indeed, more nearly to the style of Isokrates. The formal antitheses in the proem (§§ 1—2) are a striking example of this character7.

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