), an Athenian, who, when the people were highly excited about the mutilation of the Hermae, B. C. 415, and ready to credit any information whatever, came forward and told the following story to the council :--Private business having taken him from home on the night on which the busts were defaced, he had seen about 300 men enter the orchestra of the theatre, and was able by the light of the full moon to observe their features perfectly.
At the time he had no idea of the purpose of their assembling, but the next day he heard of the affair of the Hermae, and taxed some of the 300 with it. They bribed him to secresy by the promise of two talents, which they afterwards refused to pay, and he had therefore come to give information.
This story was implicitly believed at the time, and a number of persons mentioned as guilty by Diocleides were imprisoned, while the informer himself received a crown of honour and a public entertainment in the Prytaneium. Soon afterwards, however, Andocides (who with several of his relations was among the prisoners) came forward with his version of the matter, which contradicted that of Diocleides.
It was also remembered that the moon was not visible on the night on which the latter professed to have marked by its light the faces of the accused.
He was driven, therefore, to confess that his evidence was false, and he added (which was, perhaps, equally false), that he had been suborned to give it by two men named Alcibiades and Amiantus. Both of these sought safety by flight, and Diocleides was put to death. (Andoc. de Myst.
pp. 6-9; Thuc. 6.60
; Phryn. apud Plut. Alc.
20; Diod. 13.2