Alcibiades had no sooner sailed away than he robbed the Athenians of Messana.1
There was a party there who were on the point of surrendering the city to the Athenians, but Alcibiades knew them, and gave the clearest information of their design to the friends of Syracuse in the city, and so brought the thing to naught. Arrived at Thurii, he left his trireme and hid himself so as to escape all quest.
When some one recognized him and asked,
‘Can you not trust your country, Alcibiades?’
‘In all else,’ he said,
‘but in the matter of life I wouldn't trust even my own mother not to mistake a black for a white ballot when she cast her vote.’ And when he afterwards heard that the city had condemned him to death,
‘I'll show them,’ he said,
‘that I'm alive.’
His impeachment is on record, and runs as follows:
‘Thessalus, son of Cimon, of the deme Laciadae, impeaches Alcibiades, son of Cleinias, of the deme Scambonidae, for committing crime against the goddesses of Eleusis, Demeter and Cora, by mimicking the mysteries and showing them forth to his companions in his own house, wearing a robe such as the High Priest wears when he shows forth the sacred secrets to the initiates, and calling himself High Priest, Pulytion Torch-bearer, and Theodorus, of the deme Phegaea, Herald, and hailing the rest of his companions as Mystae and Epoptae, contrary to the laws and institutions of the Eumolpidae, Heralds, and Priests of Eleusis.’
His case went by default, his property was confiscated, and besides that, it was also decreed that his name should be publicly cursed by all priests and priestesses. Theano, the daughter of Menon, of the deme Agraule, they say, was the only one who refused to obey this decree. She declared that she was a praying, not a cursing priestess.