), one of the ten Attic orators, whose works were contained in the Alexandrine Canon, was the son of Leogoras, and was born at Athens in B. C. 467.
He belonged to the ancient eupatrid family of the Ceryces, who traced their pedigree up to Odysseus and the god Hermes. (Plut. Vit. X. Orat.
p. 834b., Alcib.
21 ; comp. Andoc. de Redit.
§ 26; de Myster.
§ 141.) Being a noble, he of course joined the oligarchical party at Athens, and through their influence obtained, in B. C. 436, together with Glaucon, the command of a fleet of twenty sail, which was to protect the Corcyraeans against the Corinthians. (Thuc. 1.51
; Plut. Vit. X. Orat. l.c.
) After this he seems to have been employed on various occasions as ambassador to Thessaly, Macedonia, Molossia, Thesprotia, Italy, and Sicily (Andoc. c. Alcib.
§ 41); and, although he was frequently attacked for his political opinions (c. Alcib.
§ 8), he yet maintained his ground, until in B. C. 415, when he became involved in the charge brought against Alcibiades for having profaned the mysteries and mutilated the Hermae.
It appeared the more likely that Andocides was an accomplice in the latter of these crimes, which was believed to be a preliminary step towards overthrowing the democratical constitution, since the Hermes standing close to his house in the phyle Aegeis was among the very few which had not been injured. (Plut. ll. cc. ;
3; Sluiter, Lec. Andoc.
100.3.) Andocides was accordingly seized and thrown into prison, but after some time recovered his liberty by a promise that he would reveal the names of the real perpetrators of the crime; and on the suggestion of one Charmides or Timaeus (de Myst.
§ 48; Plut. Alcib. l.c.
), he mentioned four, all of whom were put to death.
He is said to have also denounced his own father, but to have rescued him again in the hour of danger.
But as Andocides was unable to clear himself from the charge, he was deprived of his rights as a citizen, and left Athens. (De Red.
He now travelled about in various parts of Greece, and was chiefly engaged in commercial enterprises and in forming connexions with powerful and illustrious persons. (De Myst.
§ 137; Lys. c. Andoc.
The means he employed to gain the friendship of powerful men were sometimes of the most disreputable kind ; among which a service he rendered to a prince in Cyprus is particularly mentioned. (Comp. Plut. l.c.;
p. 488, ed. Bekker; Tzetz. Chil.
6.373, &c.) In B. C. 411, Andocides returned to Athens on the establishment of the oligarchical government of the Four Hundred, hoping that a certain service he had rendered the Athenian ships at Samos would secure him a welcome reception. (De Red.
§§ 11, 12.)
But no sooner were the oligarchs informed of the return of Andocides, than their leader Peisander had him seized, and accused him of having supported the party opposed to them at Samos. During his trial, Andocides, who perceived the exasperation prevailing against him, leaped to the altar which stood in the court, and there assumed the attitude of a suppliant.
This saved his life, but he was imprisoned. Soon afterwards, however, he was set free, or escaped from prison. (De Red.
§ 15; Plut. l.c. ;
Lysias. c. Andoc.
Andocides now went to Cyprus, where for a time he enjoyed the friendship of Evagoras; but, by some circumstance or other, he exasperated his friend, and was consigned to prison. Here again he escaped, and after the victory of the democratical party at Athens and the abolition of the Four Hundred, he ventured once more to return to Athens; but as he was still suffering under the sentence of civil disfranchisement, he endeavoured by means of bribes to persuade the prytanes to allow him to attend the assembly of the people.
The latter, however, expelled him from the city. (Lys. c. Andoc.
It was on this occasion, B. C. 411, that Andocides delivered the speech still extant on his Return
(περὶ τῆς ἑαυτοῦ καθόδου
), in which he petitioned for permission to reside at Athens, but in vain.
In this his third exile, Andocides went to reside in Elis (Plut. Vit. X. Orat.
p. 835a.; Phot. l.c.
), and during the time of his absence from his native city, his house there was occupied by Cleophon, a manufacturer of lyres, who had placed himself at the head of the democratical party. (De Myst.
Andocides remained in exile till the year B. C. 403, after the overthrow of the tyranny of the Thirty by Thrasybulus, when the general amnesty then proclaimed made him hope that its benefit would be extended to him also.
He himself says (de Myst.
§ 132), that he returned to Athens from Cyprus, from which we may infer, that although he was settled in Elis, he had gone from thence to Cyprus for commercial or other purposes; for it appears that he had become reconciled to the princes of that island, as he had great influence and considerable landed property there. (De Red.
§ 20, De Myst.
In consequence of the general amnesty, he was allowed to remain at Athens, enjoyed peace for the next three years, and soon recovered an influential position.
According to Lysias (c. Andoc.
§ 33, comp. § 11), it was scarcely ten days after his return that he brought an accusation against Archippus or Aristippus, which, however, he dropped on receiving a sum of money. During this period Andocides became a member of the senate, in which he appears to have possessed great influence, as well as in the popular assembly.
He was gymnasiarch at the Hephaestaea, was sent as architheorus to the Isthmian and Olympic games, and was at last even entrusted with the office of keeper of the sacred treasury.
But these distinctions appear to have excited the envy and hatred of his former enemies ; for in the year B. C. 400, Callias, supported by Cephisius, Agyrrhius, Meletus, and Epichares, urged the necessity of preventing Andocides from attending the assembly, as he had never been formally freed from the civil disfranchisement.
But as Callias had but little hope in this case, he brought against him the charge of having profaned the mysteries and violated the laws respecting the temple at Eleusis. (De Myst.
§ 110, &c.)
The orator pleaded his case in the oration still extant, On the Mysteries
(περὶ τῶν μυστηρίων
), and was acquitted.
After this attempt to crush him, he again enjoyed peace and occupied his former position in the republic for upwards of six years, at the end of which, in B. C. 394, he was sent as ambassador to Sparta respecting the peace to be concluded in consequence of Conon's victory off Cnidus. On his return he was accused of illegal conduct during his embassy (παραπρεσβείας
The speech On the Peace with Lacedaemon
(περὶ τῆς πρὸς Λακεδαιμονίονς εἰρήνης
), which is still extant, refers to this affair.
It was spoken in B. C. 393. (Clinton places it in 391.) Andocides was found guilty, and sent into exile for the fourth time.
He never returned afterwards, and seems to have died soon after this blow.
Andocides appears to have left no issue, since at the age of seventy he had no children (de Myst.
§§ 146, 148), though the scholiast on Aristophanes (Aristoph. Wasps 1262
) mentions Antiphon as a son of Andocides.
This was probably owing to his wandering and unsteady life, as well as to his dissolute character. (De Myst.
The large fortune which he had inherited from his father, or acquired in his commercial undertakings, was greatly diminished in the latter years of his life. (De Myst.
§ 144; Lys. c. Andoc.
Andocides has no claims to the esteem of posterity, either as a man or as a citizen. Besides the three orations already mentioned -- on his Return
(περὶ τῆς ἑαυτοῦ καθόδου
), On the Mysteries
(περὶ τῶν μυστηρίων
), On the Peace with Lacedaemon
(περὶ τῆς πρὸς Λακεδαιμονίονς εἰρήνης
) --, which are undoubtedly genuine, there is a fourth Against Alcibiades
), said to have been delivered by Andocides in B. C. 415; but it is in all probability spurious, though it appears to contain genuine historical matter. Taylor ascribed it to Phaeax, while others think it more probable that it is the work of some of the later rhetoricians, with whom the accusation or defence of Alcibiades was a standing theme.
Besides these four orations we possess only a few fragments and some very vague allusions to other orations. (Sluiter, Lect. And.
p. 239, &c.)
As an orator Andocides does not appear to have been held in very high esteem by the ancients, as he is seldom mentioned, though Valerius Theon is said to have written a commentary on his orations. (Suidas, s. v. Θέων
.) We do not hear of his having been trained in any of the sophistical schools of the time, and he had probably developed his talents in the practical school of the popular assembly. Hence his orations have no mannerism in them, and are really, as Plutarch says, simple and free from all rhetorical pomp and ornament. (Comp. Dionys. de Lys. 2, de Thuc. Jud.
51.) Sometimes, however, his style is diffuse, and becomes tedious and obscure.
The best among the orations is that on the Mysteries; but, for the history of the time, all are of the highest importance.
The orations are printed in the collections of the Greek orators by Aldus
, H. Stephens
, and others.
The best separate editions are those of C. Schiller, Leipzig, 1835, 8vo.
, and of Baiter and Sauppe, Zürich, 1838
The most important works on the life and orations of Andocides are : J. O. Sluiter, Lectiones Andocideae, Leyden, 1804, pp. 1-99, reprinted at Leipzig, 1834, with notes by C. Schiller
; a treatise of A. G. Becker prefixed to his German translation of Andocides, Quedlinburg, 1832, 8vo.
; Ruhnken, Hist. Crit. Orat. Graec. pp. 47-57
; Westermann, Gesch. der Griech. Beredtsamkeit, §§ 42 and 43