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There was a certain Polybius, completely uneducated and ill-spoken, who said, “The emperor has honored me with Roman citizenship.” To which Demonax responded, “If only he'd made you a Greek rather than a Roman.”:
Lucian of Samosata, Life of Demonax

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Andocides. Minor Attic Orators in two volumes 1, Antiphon Andocides, with an English translation by K. J. Maidment, M.A. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1968.

Andocides: Orations

On the Mysteries

The systematic and untiring efforts of my enemies, gentlemen, to do me every possible injury, by fair means or by foul, from the very moment of my arrival in this city,1 are known to almost all of you, and it is unnecessary for me to pursue the subject. Instead, I shall make a request of you, gentlemen, a fair request, which it is as easy for you to grant as it is valuable for me to gain.2 [2] First, I ask you to bear in mind that it is not because I have been forced to face my trial that I am here today—I have not been on bail, nor have I been kept in confinement.3 I am here, first and foremost because I rely upon justice and secondly because I rely upon you; I believe that you will decide my case impartially and, far sooner than allow my enemies to defy justice by taking my life, will uphold justice by protecting me, as your laws and your oaths as jurors require you to do. [3]

With defendants who face a trial of their own free will, gentlemen, it stands to reason that you should feel as convinced of their innocence as they do themselves. When a defendant admits himself guilty by refusing to await trial, you naturally endorse the verdict which he has passed upon himself; so it follows that if a man is prepared to face his trial because his conscience is clear, you should let his verdict upon himself determine your own in the same way, instead of presuming him guilty. [4] Mine is a case in point. My enemies have been saying, or so I keep hearing, that I would take to my heels instead of standing my ground. “What motive could Andocides possibly have for braving so hazardous a trial?” they argue. “He can count upon a livelihood sufficient for all his needs, if he does no more than withdraw from Attica; while if he returns to Cyprus whence he has come,4 an abundance of good land has been offered him and is his for the asking. Will a man in his position want to risk his life? What object could he have in doing so? Cannot he see the state of things in Athens?” [5] That entirely misrepresents my feelings, gentlemen. I would never consent to a life abroad which cut me off from my country, whatever the advantages attached to it; and although conditions in Athens may be what my enemies allege, I would sooner be a citizen of her than of any other state which may appear to me to be just now at the height of prosperity. Those are the feelings which have led me to place my life in your hands. [6]

I ask you, then, to show more sympathy to me, the defendant, gentlemen, than to my accusers, in the knowledge that even if you give us an impartial hearing, the defence is inevitably at a disadvantage. The prosecution have brought their charge in perfect safety, after elaborating their plans at leisure; whereas I who am answering that charge am filled with fear; my life is at stake, and I have been grossly misrepresented. You have good reason for showing more sympathy to me than you do to my accusers. [7]

And there is another thing to be borne in mind. Serious charges have often before now been disproved at once, and so decisively that you would much rather have punished the accusers than the accused. Again, witnesses have caused the death of innocent men by giving false evidence, and have only been convicted of perjury when it was too late to be of help to the victims. When this kind of thing has been so common, you can hardly do less than refuse for the Present to consider the prosecution's statement of the case trustworthy. You may use it to judge whether the charge is serious or not but you cannot tell whether the charge is true or false until you have heard my reply as well. [8]

Now I am wondering at what point to begin my defence, gentlemen. Shall I start with what ought to be discussed last and prove that the prosecution disobeyed the law in lodging their information against me?5 Shall I take the decree of Isotimides and show that it has been annulled? Shall I start with the laws which have been passed and the oaths which have been taken? Or shall I tell you the story right from the beginning? I will explain the chief reason for my hesitation. Doubtless the different charges made have not moved you all to the same degree, and each of you has some one of them to which he would like me to reply first; yet to answer them all simultaneously is impossible. On the whole, I think it best to tell you the entire story from the beginning, omitting nothing; once you are properly acquainted with the facts, you will see immediately how unfounded are the charges which my accusers have brought against me. [9]

Now to return a just verdict is already, I feel sure, your intention; indeed, it was because I relied upon you that I stood my ground. I have observed that in suits public and private the one thing to which you attach supreme importance is that your decision should accord with your oath; and it is that, and that alone, which keeps our city unshaken, in spite of those who would have things otherwise. I do, however, ask you to listen to my defence with sympathy; do not range yourselves with my opponents; do not view my story with suspicion; do not watch for faults of expression. Hear my defence to the end: and only then return the verdict which you think best befits yourselves and best satisfies your oath. [10] As I have already told you, gentlemen, my defence will begin at the beginning and omit nothing. I shall deal first with the actual charge which furnished grounds for the lodging of the information that has brought me into court today, profanation of the Mysteries. I shall show that I have committed no act of impiety, that I have never turned informer, that I have never admitted guilt, and that I do not know whether the statements made to you by those who did turn informers were true or false. Of all this you shall have proof. [11]

The Assembly had met6 to give audience to Nicias, Lamachus, and Alcibiades, the generals about to leave with the Sicilian expedition—in fact, Lamachus' flag-ship was already lying offshore—when suddenly Pythonicus rose before the people and cried: “Countrymen, you are sending forth this mighty host in all its array upon a perilous enterprise. Yet your commander, Alcibiades, has been holding celebrations of the Mysteries in a private house, and others with him; I will prove it. Grant immunity7 to him whom I indicate, and a non-initiate, a slave belonging to someone here present, shall describe the Mysteries to you. You can punish me as you will, if that is not the truth.” [12] Alcibiades denied the charge at great length; so the Prytanes8 decided to clear the meeting of non-initiates and themselves fetch the lad indicated by Pythonicus. They went off, and returned with a slave belonging to Archebiades, son of Polemarchus. His name was Andromachus. As soon as immunity had been voted him, he stated that Mysteries had been celebrated in Pulytion's house. Alcibiades, Niciades and Meletus —those were the actual celebrants; but others had been present and had witnessed what took place. The audience had also included slaves, namely, himself, his brother, the fluteplayer Hicesius, and Meletus' slave. [13]

Such was the statement of Andromachus, the first of the informers. He gave the following list of persons concerned,9 all of whom, save Polystratus, fled the country and were sentenced to death by you in their absence; Polystratus was arrested and executed. Take the list, please, and read out their names.10“NamesThe following were denounced by Andromachus: Alcibiades, Niciades, Meletus, Archebiades, Archippus, Diogenes, Polystratus, Aristomenes, Oeonias, Panaetius.” [14]

This was the first information, gentlemen; it was due to Andromachus, and implicated the persons mentioned. Now call Diognetus, please. “WitnessYou were on the commission of inquiry,11 Diognetus when Pythonicus impeached Alcibiades before the Assembly?


You recollect that Andromachus laid an information as to what was going on in Pulytion's house?


And these are the names of those implicated by that information?

Yes.” [15]

A second information followed. An alien named Teucrus, resident in Athens, quietly withdrew to Megara. From Megara he informed the Council that if immunity were granted him, he was prepared not only to lodge an information with regard to the Mysteries—as one of the participants, he would reveal the names of his companions—but he would also tell what he knew of the mutilation of the Hermae. The Council, which had supreme powers at the time, voted acceptance; and messengers were sent to Megara to fetch him. He was brought to Athens, and on being granted immunity, furnished a list of his associates. No sooner had Teucrus denounced them than they fled the country. Take the list, please, and read out their names. “NamesThe following were denounced by Teucrus: Phaedrus, Gniphonides, Isonomus, Hephaestodorus, Cephisodorus, himself, Diognetus, Smindyrides, Philocrates, Antiphon,12 Teisarchus, Pantacles.”

Let me remind you, gentlemen, that you are receiving confirmation of these further facts in every detail.13 [16]

A third information followed. According to the wife of Alcmaeonides—she had previously been married to Damon and was named Agariste—according, as I say, to Alcmaeonides' wife, Alcibiades, Axiochus, and Adeimantus celebrated Mysteries in Charmides' house, next to the Olympieum. No sooner had the information been lodged than those concerned left the country to a man. [17]

There was still one more information. According to Lydus, a slave of Pherecles of Themacus, Mysteries were celebrated at the house of his master, Pherecles, at Themacus. He gave a list of those concerned, including my father among them; my father had been present, so Lydus said, but asleep with his head under his cloak. Speusippus, one of the members of the Council, was for handing them all over to the proper court; whereupon my father furnished surieties and brought an action against Speusippus for making an illegal proposal.14 The case was tried before six thousand citizens.15 There were six thousand jurors, I repeat; yet Speusippus failed to gall the votes of two hundred. I may add that my father was induced to stay in the country partly by the entreaties of his relatives in general, but principally by my own. [18] Kindly call Callias and Stephanus—yes, and call Philippus and Alexippus. Philippus and Alexippus are related to Acumenus and Autocrator, who fled in consequence of the information lodged by Lydus; Autocrator is a nephew of the one, and Acumenus is the other's uncle. They have little reason to love the man who drove the them from this country, and they should also know better than anyone who it was who caused their exile in the first instance.16 Face the court, gentlemen, and state whether I have been telling the truth. “Witnesses” [19]

Now that you have heard the facts, gentlemen, and the witnesses have confirmed them for you, let me remind you of the version of those facts which the prosecution had the effrontery to give—for after all, the right way to conduct a defence is to recall the statements of the prosecution and disprove them. According to the prosecution, I myself gave information in the matter of the Mysteries and included my own father in my list of those present: yes, turned informer against my own father. I cannot imagine a more outrageous, a more abominable suggestion. My father was denounced by Pherecles' slave, Lydus: it was I who persuaded him to remain in Athens instead of escaping into exile—and it was only after numberless entreaties and by clinging to his knees that I did so. [20] What, pray, was I about in informing against my father, as we are asked to believe that I did, when at the same time I was begging him to remain in Athens—begging him, that is, to let me be guilty of the consequences to himself? Again, we are to suppose that my father himself consented to face a trial which was bound to have one or other of two terrible results for him; if my information against him was deemed true, his blood would be upon my hands: if he himself was acquitted, mine would be upon his; because the law ran that whereas an informer's claim to immunity should be allowed if his information were true, he should be put to death, if it were not. Yet if there is one thing of which you are all certain, it is the fact that my father and I both escaped with our lives. That could not have happened, if I had informed against my father: either he or I would have had to die. [21]

Then again, assume that he actually desired to stay. Do you imagine that his friends would have let him do so? Would they have gone bail for him? Would they not have urged him to change his mind? Would they not have begged him to find some place of refuge abroad, where he would be out of harm's way himself and would avoid causing my death also? [22]

But to return to facts: when prosecuting Speusippus for making an illegal proposal, one thing upon which my father insisted repeatedly was that he had never visited Pherecles at Themacus in his life; and he offered the defence the opportunity of examining his slaves under torture17; those who were ready to hand over their slaves, he said, ought not to meet with a refusal of the test which they were proposing, when those who were not ready to hand them over were forced to do so. You all know my father's challenge to be a fact. Now if there is any truth in the prosecution's assertion, what had Speusippus to reply but: “Why talk of slaves, Leogoras? Has not your son here informed against you? Does not he say that you were at Themacus? Andocides, prove your father guilty, or your chance of a pardon is gone.” Was that Speusippus' natural retort or not, gentlemen? [23] I for one think so. In fact, if I ever entered a court, if I was ever mentioned in connexion with the affair, or if there is any recorded information or list containing my name, let alone any for which I was myself responsible, anyone who wishes is welcome to step up here and prove it against me. For my own part, I have never known anyone tell so outrageous or so unconvincing a story. All that was necessary, they imagined, was sufficient effrontery to bring a charge; the possibility of their being refuted did not disturb them in the least. Be consistent, then. [24] Had this accusation of theirs been true, your anger would have fallen upon me, and you would have considered the severest penalty justified. So now that you see them to be lying, I demand that you look upon them instead as scoundrels—and with good reason too: for if the worst of their charges are shown to be conspicuously false, I shall hardly find it difficult to prove the same of those which are less serious. [25]

Such, then, were the informations lodged in connexion with the Mysteries; they were, as I say, four in number. I have read you the names of those who went into exile after each, and the witnesses have given their evidence. I shall now do something more to convince you, gentlemen. Of those who went into exile as a result of the profanation of the Mysteries, some died abroad; but others have returned and are living in Athens. These last are present in court at my request. [26] Any of them who wishes is welcome to prove, in the time now allotted to me,18 that I was responsible for the exile of any of their number, that I informed against any of them, or that the various groups did not go into exile in consequence of the particular informations which I have described to you. If I am shown not to be speaking the truth, you may punish me as you will. I shall now interrupt my defence and give place to anyone who wishes to step up here. [27]

And now, gentlemen, what followed? After the various informations had been laid, the question of rewards arose: for Cleonymus' decree had offered one thousand drachmae, and Peisander's ten.19 Conflicting claims were made by the informers I have mentioned,20 by Pythonicus, on the ground that he had first brought the matter before the Assembly, and by Androcles, who urged the part played by the Council. [28] It was therefore publicly resolved that such members of the court of the Thesmothetae21 as were initiates should be presented with the informations of the several claimants and decide between them. As a result the principal reward was voted to Andromachus, the second to Teucrus; and at the festival of the Panathenaea22 Andromachus received ten thousand drachmae and Teucrus one thousand. Kindly call witnesses to confirm this.“Witnesses” [29]

So much for the profanation of the Mysteries, gentlemen, on which the information lodged against me is based and which you are here as initiates to investigate. I have shown that I have committed no act of impiety, that I have never turned informer, that I have never admitted guilt, and that I have not a single offence against the Two Goddesses23 upon my conscience, whether serious or otherwise. And it is vitally important for me to convince you of this; for the stories told you by the prosecution, who treated you to so shrill a recital of bloodcurdling horrors, with their descriptions of past offenders who have made mock of the Two Goddesses and of the fearful end to which they have been brought as a punishment—what, I ask you, have such tales and such crimes to do with me? [30] It is I, in fact, who am much more truly the accuser, and they the accused. They have been guilty of impiety; and therefore, I maintain, they deserve death. I, on the other hand, have done no wrong, and therefore I deserve to go unharmed. It would be nothing less than monstrous to vent upon me the wrath which the misdeeds of others have aroused in you, or to let the malicious attack to which I have been subjected weigh more with you than the truth, when you know that it is my enemies who are responsible for it. Obviously anyone who was guilty of an offence such as that with which we are concerned could not clear himself by denying that he had committed it: for the scrutiny to which a defendant's statements are subjected is formidable indeed when the court already knows the truth. But to me the inquiry into the facts is the very opposite of embarrassing; I have no need to resort to entreaties or appeals for mercy to gain an acquittal upon a charge such as this: I have merely to show the absurdity of the statements of my accusers by reminding you of what actually occurred. [31] And you yourselves have taken solemn oaths as the jurors who are to decide my fate: as jurors you have sworn to see that that decision is a fair one, under pain of causing the most terrible of curses to fall upon yourselves and your children; and at the same time you are here as initiates who have witnessed the rites of the Two Goddesses, in order that you may punish those who are guilty of impiety and protect those who are innocent. [32] Understand, then, that to condemn the innocent for impiety is no less an act of impiety than to acquit the guilty. Indeed, in the name of the Two Goddesses I repeat yet more sternly the charge laid upon you by my accusers, for the sake both of the rites which you have witnessed and of the Greeks who are coming to this city for the festival. If I have committed any act of impiety, if I have admitted guilt, if I have informed against another, or if another has informed against me, then put me to death; I ask no mercy. [33] But if on the other hand, I have committed no offence, and completely satisfy you of the fact, then I ask you to let the whole nation see that I have been brought to trial wrongfully. Should Cephisius here, who was responsible for the information laid against me, fail to gain one-fifth of your votes and so lose his rights as a citizen, he is forbidden to set foot within the sanctuary of the Two Goddesses under pain of death.24 And now, if you think my defence satisfactory up to the present, show your approval, so that I may present what remains with increased confidence. [34]

Next comes the mutilation of the images and the denunciation of those responsible. I will do as I promised and tell you the whole story from the beginning. On his return from Megara Teucrus was guaranteed his immunity. Hereupon, besides communicating what he knew about the Mysteries, he gave a list of eighteen of those responsible for the mutilation of the images. Of these eighteen, a number fled the country upon being denounced; the remainder were arrested and executed upon the information lodged by Teucrus. Kindly read their names. [35] “NamesIn the matter of the Hermae Teucrus denounced: Euctemon, Glaucippus, Eurymachus, Polyeuctus, Plato, Antidorus, Charippus, Theodorus, Alcisthenes, Menestratus, Eryximachus, Euphiletus, Eurydamas, Pherecles, Meletus, Timanthes, Archidamus, Telenicus.”

A number of these men have returned to Athens and are present in court, as are several of the relatives of those who have died. Any of them is welcome to step up here, during the time now allotted me, and prove against me that I caused either the exile or the death of a single one. [36]

And now for what followed. Peisander25 and Charicles,26 who were regarded in those days as the most fervent of democrats, were members of the commission of inquiry. These two maintained that the outrage was not the work of a small group of criminals, but an organized attempt to overthrow the popular government: and that therefore inquiries ought still to be pursued as vigorously as ever. As a result, Athens reached such a state that the lowering of the flag, by the Herald, when summonig a meeting of the Council, was quite as much a signal for the citizens to hurry from the Agora, each in terror of arrest, as it was for the Council to proceed to the Council-chamber.27 [37]

The general distress encouraged Diocleides to bring an impeachment before the Council. He claimed that he knew who had mutilated the Hermae, and gave their number as roughly three hundred. He then went on to explain how he had come to witness the outrage. Now I want you to think carefully here, gentlemen; try to remember whether I am telling the truth, and inform your companions; for it was before you that Diocleides stated his case, and you are my witnesses of what occurred. [38]

Diocleides' tale was that he had had to fetch the earnings of a slave of his at Laurium.28 He arose at an early hour, mistaking the time, and started off on his walk by the light of a fuIl moon. As he was passing the gateway of the theatre of Dionysus, he noticed a large body of men coming down into the orchestra from the Odeum.29 In alarm, he withdrew into the shadow and crouched down between the column and the pedestal with the bronze statue of the general upon it. He then saw some three hundred men standing about in groups of five and ten and, in some cases, twenty. He recognized the faces of the majority, as he could see them in the moonlight. [39] Now to begin with, gentlemen, Diocleides gave his story this particular form simply to be in a position to say of any citizen, according as he chose, that he was or was not one of the offenders—a monstrous proceeding. However, to continue his tale: after seeing what he had, he went on to Laurium; and when he learned next day of the mutilation of the Hermae, he knew at once that it was the work of the men he had noticed. [40] On his return to Athens he found a commission already appointed to investigate, and a reward of one hundred minae offered for information30; so seeing Euphemus, the brother of Callias, son of Telocles, sitting in his smithy, he took him to the temple of Hephaestus. Then, after describing, as I have described to you, how he had seen us on the night in question, he said that he would rather take our money than the state's, as he would thereby avoid making enemies of us. Euphemus thanked Diocleides for confiding in him. “And now,” he added, “be good enough to come to Leogoras' house, so that you and I can see Andocides and the others who must be consulted.” [41] According to his story, Diocleides called next day. My father happened to be coming out just as he was knocking at the door. “Are you the man they are expecting in there?” he asked. “Well, well, we must not turn friends like you away.” And with these words he went off. This was an attempt to bring about my father's death by showing that he was in the secret.

We informed Diocleides, or so he alleged, that we had decided to offer him two talents of silver, as against the hundred minae from the Treasury,31 and promised that he should become one of ourselves, if we achieved our end.32 Both sides were to give a guarantee of good faith. Diocleides replied that he would think it over; [42] and we told him to meet us at Callias' house, so that Callias, son of Telocles, might be present as well. This was a similar attempt to bring about the death of my brother-in-law.

Diocleides said that he went to Callias' house, and after terms had been arranged, pledged his word on the Acropolis.33 we on our side agreed to give him the money the following month; but we broke our promise and did not do so. He had therefore come to reveal the truth. [43]

Such was the impeachment brought by Diocleides, gentlemen. He gave a list of forty-two persons whom he claimed to have recognized, and at the head of the forty-two appeared Mantitheus and Apsephion who were members of the Council and present at that very meeting. Peisander hereupon rose and moved that the decree passed in the archonship of Scamandrius34 be suspended and all whose names were on the list sent to the wheel, to ensure the discovery of everyone concerned before nightfall. The Council broke into shouts of approval. [44] At that Mantitheus and Apsephion took sanctuary on the hearth, and appealed to be allowed to furnish sureties and stand trial, instead of being racked. They finally managed to gain their request; but no sooner had they provided their sureties than they leapt on horseback and deserted to the enemy,35 leaving the sureties to their fate, as they were now liable to the same penalties as the prisoners for whom they had gone bail. [45]

The Council adjourned for a private consultation and in the course of it gave orders for our arrest and close confinement.36 Then they summoned the Generals and bade them proclaim that citizens resident in Athens proper were to proceed under arms to the Agora; those between the Long Walls to the Theseum; and those in Peiraeus to the Agora of Hippodamus. The Knights were to be mustered at the Anaceum37 by trumpet before nightfall, while the Council would take up its quarters on the Acropolis for the night, and the Prytanes in the Tholus.38 [46]

Now first of all I want those of you who witnessed all this to picture it once more and describe it to those who did not. Next I will ask the clerk to call the Prytanes in office at the time, Philocrates and his colleagues. “Witnesses” [47]

And now I am also going to read you the names of those denounced by Diocleides, so that you may see how many relatives of mine he tried to ruin. First there was my father, and then my brother-in-law; my father he had represented as in the secret, while he had alleged that my brother-in-law's house was the scene of the meeting. The names of the rest you shall hear. Read them out to the court. “

Charmides, son of Aristoteles.”

That is a cousin of mine; his mother and my father were brother and sister. “

Taureas. ”

That is a cousin of my father's. “


A son of Taureas. “

Callias, son of Alcmaeon.”

A cousin of my father's. “


A brother of Callias, son of Telocles. “

Phrynichus, son of Orchesamenus.”39

A cousin. “


The brother of Nicias.40 He is Callias' brother-in-law. “


Another cousin of my father's; their mothers were sisters.

All of these appeared among the last forty on Diocleides' list. [48]

We were all thrown into one prison. Darkness fell, and the gates were shut. Mothers, sisters, wives, and children had gathered. Nothing was to be heard save the cries and moans of grief-stricken wretches bewailing the calamity which had overtaken them. In the midst of it all, Charmides, a cousin of my own age who had been brought up with me in my own home since boyhood, said to me: [49] “You see the utter hopelessness of our position, Andocides. I have never yet wished to say anything which might distress you: but now our plight leaves me no choice. Your friends and associates outside the family have all been subjected to the charges which are now to prove our own undoing: and half of them have been put to death,—while the other half have admitted their guilt by going into exile.41 [50] I beg of you: if you have heard anything concerning this affair, disclose it. Save yourself: save your father, who must be dearer to you than anyone in the world: save your brother-in-law, the husband of your only sister: save all those others who are bound to you by ties of blood and family: and lastly, save me, who have never vexed you in my life and who am ever ready to do anything for you and your good.” [51]

At this appeal from Charmides, gentlemen, which was echoed by the rest, who each addressed their entreaties to me in turn, I thought to myself: “Never, oh, never has a man found himself in a more terrible strait than I. Am I to look on while my own kindred perish for a crime which they have not committed: while they themselves are put to death and their goods are confiscated: nay more, while the names of persons entirely innocent of the deed which has been done are inscribed upon stones of record as the names of men accursed in the sight of heaven? Am I to pay no heed to three hundred Athenians who are to be wrongfully put to death, to the desperate plight of Athens, to the suspicions of citizen for citizen? Or am I to reveal to my countrymen the story told me by the true criminal, Euphiletus?”42 [52]

Then a further thought struck me, gentlemen. I reminded myself that a number of the offenders responsible for the mutilation had already been executed upon the information lodged by Teucrus, while yet others had escaped into exile and been sentenced to death in their absence. In fact, there remained only four of the criminals whose names had not been divulged by Teucrus: Panaetius, Chaeredemus, Diacritus, and Lysistratus; [53] and it was only natural to assume that they had been among the first to be denounced by Diocleides, as they were friends of those who had already been put to death. It was thus still doubtful whether they would escape: but it was certain that my own kindred would perish, unless Athens learned the truth. So I decided that it was better to cut off from their country four men who richly deserved it—men alive today and restored to home and property—than to let those others go to a death which they had done nothing whatever to deserve. [54]

If, then, any of you yourselves, gentlemen, or any of the public at large has ever been possessed with the notion that I informed against my associates with the object of purchasing my own life at the price of theirs—a tale invented by my enemies, who wished to present me in the blackest colours—use the facts themselves as evidence; [55] for today not only is it incumbent upon me to give a faithful account of myself—I am in the presence, remember, of the actual offenders who went into exile after committing the crime which we are discussing; they know better than anyone whether I am lying or not, and they have my permission to interrupt me and prove that what I am saying is untrue—but it is no less incumbent upon you to discover what truly happened. [56] I say this, gentlemen, because the chief task confronting me in this trial is to prevent anyone thinking the worse of me on account of my escape: to make first you and then the whole world understand that the explanation of my behaviour from start to finish lay in the desperate plight of Athens and, to a lesser degree, in that of my own family, not in any lack of principles or courage: to make you understand that, in disclosing that Euphiletus had told me, I was actuated solely by my concern for my relatives and friends and by my concern for the state as a whole, motives which I for one consider not a disgrace but a credit. If this proves to be the truth of the matter, I think it only my due that I should be acquitted with my good name unimpaired. [57]

Come now, in considering a case, a judge should make allowances for human shortcomings, gentlemen, as he would do, were he in the same plight himself. What would each of you have done? Had the choice lain between dying a noble death and preserving my life at the cost of my honour, my behaviour might well be described as base—though many would have made exactly the same choice; they would rather have remained alive than have died like heroes. [58] But the alternatives before me were precisely the opposite. On the other hand, if I remained silent, I myself died in disgrace for an act of impiety which I had not comitted, and I allowed my father, my brother-in-law, and a host of my relatives and cousins to perish in addition. Yes, I, and I alone, was sending them to their death, if I refused to say that others were to blame; for Diocleides had thrown them into prison by his lies, and they could only be rescued if their countrymen were put in full possession of the facts; therefore I became their murderer if I refused to tell what I had heard. Besides this, I was causing three hundred citizens to perish; while the plight of Athens was growing desperate. [59] That is what silence meant. On the other hand, by revealing the truth I saved my own life, I saved my father, I saved the rest of my family, and I freed Athens from the panic which was working such havoc. True, I was sending four men into exile; but all four were guilty. And for the others, who had already been denounced by Teucrus, I am sure that none of them, whether dead or in exile, was one whit the worse off for any disclosures of mine. [60]

Taking all this into consideration, gentlemen, I found that the least objectionable of the courses open to me was to tell the truth as quickly as possible, to prove that Diocleides had lied, and so to punish the scoundrel who was causing us to be put to death wrongfully and imposing upon the public, while in return he was being hailed as a supreme benefactor and rewarded for his services. [61] I therefore informed the Council that I knew the offenders, and showed exactly what had occurred. The idea, I said, had been suggested by Euphiletus at a drinking-party; but I opposed it, and succeeded in preventing its execution for the time being. Later, however, I was thrown from a colt of mine in Cynosarges43; I broke my collar-bone and fractured my skull, and had to be taken home on a litter. [62] When Euphiletus saw my condition, he informed the others that I had consented to join them and had promised him to mutilate the Hermes next to the shrine of Phorbas44 as my share in the escapade. He told them this to hoodwink them; and that is why the Hermes which you can all see standing close to the home of our family, the Hermes dedicated by the Aegeid tribe, was the only one in Athens unmutilated, it being understood that I would attend to it as Euphiletus had promised. [63]

When the others learned the truth, they were furious to think that I was in the secret without having taken any active part; and the next day I received a visit from Meletus45 and Euphiletus. “We have managed it all right, Andocides,” they told me. “Now if you will consent to keep quiet and say nothing, you will find us just as good friends as before. If you do not, you will find that you have been much more successful at making enemies of us than at making fresh friends by turning traitor to us.” [64] I replied that I certainly thought Euphiletus a scoundrel for acting as he had; although he and his companions had far less to fear from my being in the secret than from the mere fact that the deed was done.

I supported this account by handing over my slave for torture, to prove that I was ill at the time in question and had not even left my bed; and the Prytanes arrested the women-servants in the house which the criminals had used as their base. [65] The Council and the commission of inquiry went into the matter closely, and when at length they found that it was as I said and that the witnesses corroborated me without exception, they summoned Diocleides. He, however, made a long cross-examination unnecessary by admitting at once that he had been lying, and begged that he might be pardoned if he disclosed who had induced him to tell his story; the culprits, he said, were Alcibiades of Phegus46 and Amiantus of Aegina. [66] Alcibiades and Amiantus fled from the country in terror; and when you heard the facts yourselves, you handed Diocleides over to the court and put him to death. You released the prisoners awaiting execution—my relatives, who owed their escape to me alone—you welcomed back the exiles, and yourselves shouldered arms47 and dispersed, freed from grave danger and distress. [67]

Not only do the circumstances in which I here found myself entitle me to the sympathy of all, gentlemen, but my conduct can leave you in no doubt about my integrity. When Euphiletus suggested that we pledge ourselves to what was the worst possible treachery, I opposed him, I attacked him, I heaped on him the scorn which he deserved. Yet once his companions had committed the crime, I kept their secret; it was Teucrus who lodged the information which led to their death or exile, before we had been thrown into prison by Diocleides or were threatened with death. After our imprisonment I denounced four persons: Panaetius, Diacritus, Lysistratus, and Chaeredemus. [68] I was responsible for the exile of these four, I admit; but I saved my father, my brother-in-law, three cousins, and seven other relatives,48 all of whom were about to be put to death wrongfully; they owe it to me that they are still looking on the light of day, and they are the first to acknowledge it. In addition, the scoundrel who had thrown the whole of Athens into chaos and endangered her very existence was exposed; and your own suspense and suspicions of one another were at an end. [69]

Now recollect whether what I have been saying is true, gentlemen; and if you know the facts, make them clear to those who do not. Next I will ask the clerk to call the persons who owed their release to me; no one knows what happened better than they, and no one can give the court a better account of it. The position, then, is this, gentlemen: they will address you from the platform for as long as you care to listen to them; then, when you are satisfied, I will proceed to the remainder of my defence. “Witnesses” [70]

You now know exactly what took place at the time, I for one think that I have given all the explanations necessary. However, should any of you wish to hear more or think that any point has not been dealt with satisfactorily, or should I have omitted anything, has only to rise and mention it, and I will reply to his inquiry as well. Otherwise, I will proceed to explain the legal position to you. [71]

Admittedly, Cephisius here conformed with the law as it stands in lodging his information against me; but he is resting his case upon an old decree, moved by Isotimides,49 which does not concern me at all. Isotimides proposed to exclude from temples all who had committed an act of impiety and admitted their guilt. I have done neither: I have not committed any act of impiety, nor have I admitted guilt. [72] Further, I will prove to you that the decree in question has been repealed and is void. I shall be adopting a dangerous line of defence here, I know; if I fail to convince you, I shall myself be the sufferer, and if I succeed in convincing you, I shall have cleared my opponents.50 However, the truth shall be told. [73]

After the loss of your fleet and the investment of Athens51 you discussed ways and means of re-uniting the city. As a result you decided to reinstate those who had lost their civic rights, a resolution moved by Patrocleides. Now who were the disfranchised, and what were their different disabilities? I will explain.52

First, state-debtors. All who had been condemned on their accounts when vacating a public office, all who had been condemned as judgement-debtors,53 all those fined in a public action or under the summary jurisdiction of a magistrate, all who farmed taxes and then defaulted or were liable to the state as sureties for a defaulter,54 had to pay within eight Prytanies; otherwise, the sum due was doubled and the delinquent's property distrained upon.55 [74]

Such was one form of disfranchisement. According to a second, delinquents lost all personal rights, but retained possession of their property. This class included all persons convicted of theft or of accepting bribes—it was laid down that both they and their descendants should lose their personal rights. Similarly, all who deserted on the field of battle, who were found guilty of evasion of military service, of cowardice, or of withholding a ship from action,56 all who threw away their shields, or were thrice convicted of giving perjured evidence or of falsely endorsing a summons,57 or who were found guilty of maltreating their parents, were deprived of their personal rights, while retaining possession of their property. [75]

Others again had their rights curtailed in specified directions; they were only partially, not wholly, disfranchised. The soldiers who remained in Athens under the Four Hundred are a case in point.58 They enjoyed all the rights of ordinary citizens, except that they were forbidden to speak in the Assembly or become members of the Council. They lost their rights in these two respects, because in their case the limited disability took this particular form. [76] Others were deprived of the right of bringing an indictment, or of lodging an information: others of sailing up the Hellespont, or of crossing to Ionia: while yet others were specifically debarred from entering the Agora.

You enacted, then, that both the originals and all extant copies of these several decrees should be cancelled, and your differences ended by an exchange of pledges on the Acropolis. Kindly read the decree of Patrocleides whereby this was effected.59 [77]

“DecreeOn the motion of Patrocleides: whereas the Athenians have enacted that persons disfranchised and public debtors may speak and propose measures in the Assembly with impunity, the People shall pass the decree which was passed at the time of the Persian Wars and which proved of benefit to Athens. As touching such of those registered with the Superintendents of Revenue, the Treasurers of Athena and the other Deities, or the Basileus, as had not been removed from the register before the last sitting of the Council in the archonship of Callias,60:” [78] “all who before that date had been disfranchised as debtors: or had been found guilty of maladministration by the Auditors and their assessors at the Auditors' offices: or had been indicted for maladministration, but had not as yet been publicly tried: or <had been condemned to suffer> specific disabilities: or had been condemned as sureties for a defaulter; and all who were recorded as members of the Four Hundred: or who had recorded against them any act performed under the oligarchy—alway excepting those publicly recorded as fugitives: those who have been tried for homicide by the Areopagus, or by the Ephetae, whether sitting at the Pryaneum or the Delphinium, under the Presidency of the Basileus, and are now in exile or under sentence of death61: and those guilty of massacre or attempted tyranny—” [79] “shall one and all have their names everywhere cancelled by the Superintendents of Revenue and by the Council in accordance with the foregoing, wherever any public record of their offence be found; and any copies of such records which anywhere exist shall be produced by the Thesmothetae and other magistrates. This shall be done within three days after the consent of the People has been given. And no one shall secretly retain a copy of those records which it has been decided to cancel, nor shall he at any time make malicious reference to the past. He who does so shall be liable to the punishment of fugitives from the court of the Areopagus62: to the end that the Athenians may live in all security both now and hereafter.” [80]

By this decree you reinstated those who had lost their rights; but neither the proposal of Patrocleides nor your own enactment contained any reference to a restoration of exiles. However, after you had come to terms with Sparta and demolished your walls, you allowed your exiles to return too.63 Then the Thirty came into power, and there followed the occupation of Phyle and Munychia, and those terrible struggles which I am loath to recall either to myself or to you. [81] After your return from Peiraeus64 you resolved to let bygones be bygones, in spite of the opportunity for revenge. You considered the safety of Athens of more importance than the settlement of private scores; so both sides, you decided, were to forget the past. Accordingly, you elected a commission of twenty to govern Athens until a fresh code of laws had been authorized; during the interval the code of Solon and the statutes of Draco were to be in force. [82] However, after you had chosen a Council by lot and elected Nomothetae,65 you began to discover that there were not a few of the laws of Solon and Draco under which numbers of citizens were liable, owing to previous events. You therefore called a meeting of the Assembly to discuss the difficulty, and as a result enacted that the whole of the laws should be revised and that such as were approved should be inscribed the Portico.66 Kindly read the decree. [83]

“DecreeOn the motion of Teisamenus67 the People decreed that Athens be governed as of old, in accordance with the laws of Solon, his weights and his measures, and in accordance with the statutes of Draco, which we used aforetime. Such further laws as may be necessary shall be inscribed upon tables by the Nomothetae elected by the Council and named hereafter, exposed before the Tribal Statutes for all to see, and handed over to the magistrates during the present month.” [84] “The laws thus handed over, however, shall be submitted beforehand to the scrutiny of the Council and the five hundred Nomothetae elected by the Demes, when they have taken their oath. Further, any private citizen who so desires may come before the Council and suggest improvements in the laws. When the laws have been ratified, they shall be placed under the guardianship of the Council of the Areopagus, to the end that only such laws as have been ratified may be applied by magistrates. Those laws which are approved shall be inscribed upon the wall, where they were inscribed aforetime, for all to see.” [85]

There was a revision of the laws, gentlemen, in obedience to this decree, and such as were approved were inscribed in the Portico. When this had been done, we passed a law which is universally enforced. Kindly read it. “LawIn no circumstances shall magistrates enforce a law which has not been inscribed.” [86]

Is any loophole left here? Can a single suit be brought before a jury by a magistrate or set in motion by one of you, save under the laws inscribed? Then if it is illegal to enforce a law which has not been inscribed, there can surely be no question of enforcing a decree which has not been inscribed.

Now when we saw that a great many citizens had been placed in a serious position either by previous laws or by previous decrees, we enacted the laws which follow as a safeguard against the very thing which is now going on; we wished to prevent anything of the kind happening, that is to say, and to make it impossible for anyone to prosecute from malice. Kindly read the laws. [87]

“LawsIn no circumstances shall magistrates enforce a law which has not been inscribed. No decree, whether of the Council or Assembly, shall override a law. No law shall be directed against an individual without applying to all citizens alike, unless an Assembly of six thousand so resolve by secret ballot.68”

What was needed to complete the list? Only the following law, which I will ask the clerk to read to you.

“LawsAll decisions given in private suits and by arbitrators under the democracy shall be valid. But of the laws only those passed since the archonship of Eucleides69 shall be enforced.” [88]

The validity of decisions given in private suits and by arbitrators under the democracy you upheld, gentlemen; and you did so to avoid the cancelling of debts and the reopening of such suits, and to ensure the enforcement of private contracts. On the other hand, in the matter of public offences dealt with by indictment, denunciation, information, or arrest, you enacted that only such laws should be enforced as had been passed since the archonship of Eucleides. [89]

Now you decided that the laws were to be revised and afterwards inscribed that in no circumstances were magistrates to enforce a law which had not been inscribed: that no decree, whether of the Council or the Assembly, was to override a law: that no law might be directed against an individual without applying to all citizens alike: and that only such laws as had been passed since the archonship of Eucleides were to be enforced. In view of this, can any decree passed before the archonship of Eucleides, whatever its importance or unimportance, still remain in force? I for one think not, gentlemen. Just consider the matter for yourselves. [90]

And now, what of your oaths? First, the oath in which the whole city joined, the oath which you swore one and all after the reconciliation:“. . . and I will harbour no grievance against any citizen, save only the Thirty, the Ten,70 and the Eleven: and even of them against none who shall consent to render account of his office.” After swearing to forgive even the Thirty, whom you had to thank for sufferings untold, provided that they rendered account of themselves, you can have been in very little hurry to harbour grievances against the ordinary citizen. Again, what is the oath sworn by the Council when it takes office? [91] “. . . and I will allow no information or arrest arising out of past events, save only in the case of those who fled from Athens.”71 And what is your own oath as jurors, gentlemen?“. . . and I will harbour no grievance and submit to no influence, but will give my verdict in accordance with the laws in force at the present time.” Let those oaths help you to decide whether I am right when I say that I am championing yourselves and the laws. [92]

And now, gentlemen, consider how my accusers stand with regard to the laws. They are prosecuting others; but what is their own position? Cephisius here purchased from the state the right to collect certain public rents, and obtained thereby a return of ninety minae from the farmers occupying the lands concerned. He then defaulted; and since he would have been placed in close confinement had he appeared in Athens [93] —it being laid down by law that any defaulting tax farmer may be so punished by the Council—he retired into exile. Owing, however, to the fact that you decided to apply only those laws passed since the archonship of Eucleides, Cephisius considers himself entitled to keep his profits from your lands. He is no longer an exile, but a citizen: no longer an outcast without rights, but an informer—and all because you are applying only the revised laws. [94]

Then there is Meletus here. Meletus arrested Leon72 under the Thirty, as you all know; and Leon was put to death without a trial. But we find it laid down that there shall be no distinction between the principal who plans a crime and the agent who commits it; the law not only existed in the past, but still exists and is still enforced because of its fairness. Quite so; but Leon's sons cannot prosecute Meletus for murder, because only laws passed since the archonship of Eucleides can be enforced. The fact of the arrest, of course, is not denied, even by Meletus himself.73 [95]

Then Epichares here, an utter blackguard, and proud of it, a man who does his best not to let his own bygones be bygones—friend Epichares served on the Council under the Thirty. And yet what does the law upon the stone in front of the Council-chamber say? “Whosoever shall hold a public office after the suppression of the democracy may be slain with impunity. No taint shall rest upon his slayer, and he shall possess the goods of the slain.” Thus as far as Solon's law is concerned, Epichares, it is clear that anyone can kill you here and now without defiling his hands. [96] Kindly read the law from the stone

“Law74 Enacted by the Council and People. Prytany of the tribe Aeantis. Secretary: Cleigenes. President: Boethus. The enactment following was framed by Demophantus and his colleagues. The date of this decree is the first sitting of the Council of Five Hundred, chosen by lot, at which Cleigenes acted as Secretary.

If anyone shall suppress the democracy at Athens or hold public office after its suppression, he shall become a public enemy and be slain with impunity; his goods shall be confiscated and a tithe given to the Goddess.” [97] “No sin shall he commit, no defilement shall he suffer who slays such an one or who conspires to slay him. And all the Athenians shall take oath by tribes and by demes over a sacrifice without blemish to slay such an one. And this shall be the oath: “If it be in my power, I will slay by word and by deed, by my vote and by my hand, whosoever shall suppress the democracy at Athens, whosoever shall hold any public office after its suppression, and whosoever shall attempt to become tyrant or shall help to instal a tyrant. And if another shall slay such an one, I will deem him to be without sin in the eyes of the gods and powers above, as having slain a public enemy. And I will sell all the goods of the slain and will give over one half to the slayer, and will withhold nothing from him.” [98] “And if anyone shall lose his life in slaying such an one or in attempting to slay him, I will show to him and to his children the kindness which was shown to Harmodius and Aristogeiton and to their children. And all oaths sworn at Athens or in the army75 or elsewhere for the overthrow of the Athenian democracy I annul and abolish.” All the Athenians shall take this oath over a sarifice without blemish, as the law enjoins, before the Dionysia. And they shall pray that he who observes this oath may be blessed abundantly: but that he who observes it not may perish from the earth, both he and his house.” [99]

Well, Mr. Informer, is this law in force? Yes or no, you practised villain?76 No; and the reason for that is of course that only laws passed after the archonship of Eucleides can be applied. That is how you come to be walking about this city alive—hardly the fate which you deserved after making a living as a common informer under the democracy, and becoming the tool of the Thirty under the oligarchy to avoid having to disgorge your profits. [100] But that is not enough. You actually talk to me of my intrigues!77 You actually hold others up to censure— you, who had not the decency to confine your own intrigues to but a single admirer, but welcomed the entire world for next to nothing, as the court knows, and supported yourself by vice, your villainous appearance notwithstanding. [101]

But yet, although your laws deny him even the right of defending himself,78 the fellow has the impudence to accuse others. Really, gentlemen, as I sat watching him make his speech for the prosecution, I quite thought that I had been arrested and put on trial by the Thirty. Who would have prosecuted, if I had found myself in court in those days? Epichares, none other. There he would have been, ready with a charge, unless I bought him off. And here he is once more. Who, again, but Charicles79 would have cross-examined me? “Tell me Andocides,” he would have asked, “did you go to Decelea80 and occupy it as a menace to your country?” “I did not.” “Well, did you lay Attica waste and pillage your fellow Athenians by land or by sea?” “No.” “Then at least you fought Athens at sea,81 or helped to demolish her walls or put down her democracy, or reinstalled yourself by force?”82“No, I have done none of those things either.” “Then do you expect to escape the fate of so many others?” [102]

Do you not agree, gentlemen, that that is just how I would have been treated for remaining loyal to you, had I fallen into the clutches of the Thirty? Then will it not be a travesty of justice if a man whom the Thirty would have put to death, as they did others, for failing to commit any act of disloyalty to Athens, is not to be acquitted when tried before you whom he refused to wrong? Such a thing would be an outrage. It would make acquittal next to impossible in any case whatsoever. [103]

The truth is, gentlemen, that although the prosecution may have availed themselves of a perfectly valid law in lodging their information against me, they based their charge upon that old decree which is concerned with an entirely different matter. So if you condemn me, beware: you will find that a host of others ought to be answering for their past conduct with far more reason than I. First there are the men who fought you, with whom you swore oaths of reconciliation: then there are the exiles whom you restored: and finally there are the citizens whose rights you gave back to them. For their sakes you removed stones of record, annulled laws, and cancelled decrees; and it is because they trust you that they are still in Athens, gentlemen. [104] What, do you imagine, will they presume their own position to be, if they find that you are allowing prosecutions for past conduct? Will any of them be ready to stand trial for his past conduct? Yet enemies and informers will spring up right and left, ready to bring every man of them into court. [105] Today both parties have come to listen, but from very different motives. One side wants to know whether they are to rely upon the laws as they now stand and on the oaths which you and they swore to one another; while the others have come to sound our feelings, to find out whether they will be given complete licence to fill their pockets by indictments,or informations, maybe, or arrests. Thus the truth the matter is, gentlemen, that although it is my life alone which is at stake in this trial, your verdict will decide for the public at large whether they are to put faith in your laws, or whether, on the other hand, they must choose between buying off informers and quitting Athens as fast as they can. [106]

Your measures for reuniting Athens, gentlemen, have not been wasted; they were appropriate, and they were sound policy. To convince you of this, I wish to say a few words with regard to them. Those were dark days for Athens when the tyrants ruled her and the democrats were in exile. But, led by Leogoras, my own great-grandfather, and Charias, whose daughter bore my grandfather to Leogoras, your ancestors crushed the tyrants near the temple at Pallene,83 and came back to the land of their birth. Some of their enemies they put to death, some they exiled, and some they allowed to live on in Athens without the rights of citizens. [107]

Later the Great King invaded Greece. As soon as our fathers saw what an ordeal faced them and what vast forces the King was assembling, they decreed that exiles should be restored and disfranchised citizens reinstated, that these too should take their part in the perilous struggle for deliverance. After passing this decree, and exchanging solemn pledges and oaths, they fearlessly took up their stand as the protectors of the whole of Greece, and met the Persians at Marathon; for they felt that their own valour was itself a match for the enemy hordes. They fought, and they conquered. They gave back Greece her freedom, and they delivered Attica, the land of their birth. [108] After their triumph, however, they refused to revive old quarrels. And that is how men who found their city a waste, her temples burnt to the ground, and her walls and houses in ruins, men who were utterly without resources,84 brought Greece under their sway and handed on to you the glorious and mighty Athens of today—by living in unity. Long afterwards you in your turn had to face a crisis just as great85; [109] and by deciding to restore your exiles and give back their rights to the citizens who had lost them you showed that you still had the noble spirit of your forefathers. What, then, have you still to do to equal them in generosity? You must refuse to cherish grievances, gentlemen, remembering that Athens had far less in the old days upon which to build her greatness and prosperity. The same greatness and prosperity are hers still, were only we, her citizens, ready to control our passions and live in unity. [110]

The prosecution have also accused me in connexion with the suppliant's bough. They allege that it was I who placed it in the Eleusinium,86 and that under ancient law the penalty for doing such a thing during the Mysteries is death. The impudence of it! They resort to a ruse for my undoing, but will not leave well alone when their plot proves a failure. They proceed to bring a formal accusation against me in spite of it. [111]

It was on our return from Eleusis, after the information had already been lodged against me.87 The Basileus appeared before the Prytanes to give the usual report on all that had occurred during the performance of the ceremonies there. The Prytanes said that they would bring him before the Council, and told him to give Cephisius and myself notice to attend at the Eleusinium, as it was there that the Council was to sit in conformity with a law of Solon's, which lays down that a sitting shall be held in the Eleusinium on the day after the Mysteries. We duly attended; [112] and when the Council had assembled, Callias, son of Hipponicus, who was wearing his ceremonial robes,88 rose and announced that a suppliant's bough had been placed on the altar. He displayed this bough to the Council. Thereupon the herald89 called for the person responsible. There was no reply, although I was standing close by and in full view of Cephisius. When no one replied, and Eucles here, who had come out to inquire, had disappeared inside once more—but call him. Now, Eucles, testify whether these facts are correct to start with. “Evidence” [113]

The truth of my account has been attested and it seems to me to contradict the prosecution's story flatly. The prosecution, you may remember, alleged that the Two Goddesses themselves infatuated me and made me place the bough on the altar in ignorance of the law, in order that I might be punished. But I maintain, gentlemen, that even if every word of the prosecution's story is true, it was the Goddesses themselves who saved my life. [114] Suppose that I laid the bough there, and then failed to answer the Herald. Was it not I myself who was bringing about my doom by putting the bough on the altar? And was it not a piece of good fortune, my silence, that saved me, a piece of good fortune for which I clearly had the Two Goddesses to thank? Had the Goddesses desired my death, I ought surely to have confessed that I had laid the bough there, even though I had not done so. As it was, I did not answer, nor had I placed the bough on the altar. [115]

When Eucles informed the Council that there had been no response, Callias rose once more and said that under an ancient law, as officially interpreted on a former occasion by his father, Hipponicus, the penalty for placing a bough in the Eleusinium during the Mysteries was instant death. He added that he had heard that it was I who had put it there. Thereupon Cephalus here leapt to his feet and cried: [116] “Callias, you impious scoundrel, first you are giving interpretations, when you have no right to do such a thing as a member of the Ceryces.90 Then you talk of an ‘ancient law,’ when the stone at your side lays down that the penalty for placing a bough in the Eleusinium shall be a fine of a thousand drachmae. And lastly, who told you that Andocides had put the bough there? Summon him before the Council, so that we too may hear what he has to say.” The stone was read, and Callias could not say who his informant was. It was thus clear to the Council that he had put the bough there himself. [117]

And now, gentlemen, you would perhaps like to know what motive Callias had in putting the bough on the altar. I will explain why he tried to trap me. Epilycus, son of Teisander, was my uncle, my mother's brother.91 He died in Sicily without male issue, but left two daughters who ought now to have passed to Leagrus and myself.92 [118] His private affairs were in confusion. The tangible property which he left did not amount to two talents, while his debts came to more than five. However, I arranged a meeting with Leagrus93 before our friends and told him that this was the time for decent men to show their respect for family ties. [119] “We have no right to prefer a wealthy or successful alliance and look down upon the daughters of Epilycus,” I argued: “for if Epilycus were alive, or had died a rich man, we should be claiming the girls as their next of kin. We should have married them then either because of Epilycus himself or because of his money; we will do the same now because we are men of honour. Do you obtain an order of the court for the one, and I will do the same for the other.” [120]

He assented, gentlemen; so in accordance with our agreement we both applied for an order of the court. The girl claimed by me happened to fall ill, and died; the other is still alive. Now Callias tried to bribe Leagrus into letting him have this second daughter.94 Directly I heard of it, I deposited a fee,95 and began by obtaining leave to proceed against Leagrus, to this effect: “If you will claim the girl for yourself, take her and good luck to you. If not, I will claim her myself.”96 [121] As soon as Callias learned of this, he entered a claim for the girl in his son's name, on the tenth of the month, to prevent me from obtaining an order. Soon after the twentieth,97 during the Mysteries which are just over, he gives Cephisius a thousand drachmae, gets an information lodged against me, and involves me in today's trial. Then, when he saw that I was standing my ground, he put the bough on the altar, intending to have me either put to death without a trial or banished, and then to marry the daughter of Epilycus himself by bribing Leagrus. [122]

However, he saw that even thus he would not get his way without coming into court; so he approached Lysistratus, Hegemon, and Epichares, whom he saw to be intimate friends of mine. He had insolence enough, he had contempt enough for the law to inform them that if I was prepared even now to relinquish my claims to the daughter of Epilycus, he was ready to stop persecuting me, to call off Cephisius, and to make amends for his behaviour with our friends as arbitrators. [123] I told him to proceed with his case and hire still more help. “But if the people of Athens return a true verdict and I escape you,” I warned him, “you will find that it is your turn, I think, to fight for your life.” And with your permission, gentlemen, I will not disappoint him. Kindly call witnesses to confirm what I have been saying. “Witnesses” [124]

But you must let me tell you how the son to whom Callias tried to have the daughter of Epilycus awarded was born and acknowledged by his father; it is quite worth hearing, gentlemen. Callias married a daughter of Ischomachus; but he had not been living with her a year before he made her mother his mistress. Was ever man so utterly without shame? He was the priest of the Mother and the Daughter; yet he lived with mother and daughter and kept them both in his house together. [125]

The thought of the Two Goddesses may not have awoken any shame or fear in Callias; but the daughter of Ischomachus thought death better than an existence where such things went on before her very eyes. She tried to hang herself: but was stopped in the act. Then, when she recovered, she ran away from home; the mother drove out the daughter. Finally Callias grew tired of the mother as well, and drove her out in her turn. She then said she was pregnant by him; but when she gave birth to a son, Callias denied that the child was his. [126] At that, the woman's relatives came to the altar at the Apaturia98 with the child and a victim for sacrifice, and told Callias to begin the rites. He asked whose child it was. “The child of Callias, son of Hipponicus,” they replied. “But I am he.” “Yes, and the child is yours.” Callias took hold of the altar and swore that the only son he had or had ever had was Hipponicus, and the mother was Glaucon's daughter. If that was not the truth, he prayed that he and his house might perish from the earth—as they surely will. [127]

Now some time afterwards, gentlemen, he fell in love with the abandoned old hag once more and welcomed her back into his house, while he presented the boy, a grown lad by this time, to the Ceryces, asserting that he was his own son. Calliades opposed his admission; but the Ceryces voted in favour of the law which they have, whereby a father can introduce his son, if he swears that it is his own son whom he is introducing. So Callias took hold of the altar and swore that the boy was his legitimate son by Chrysilla. Yet he had disowned that same son. Call witnesses to confirm all this, please. “Witnesses” [128]

Let us just see, gentlemen, whether anything of this kind has ever happened in Greece before. A man marries a wife, and then marries the mother as well as the daughter. The mother turns the daughter out. Then, while living with the mother, he wants to marry the daughter of Epilycus, so that the granddaughter can turn the grandmother out. Why, what ought his child to be called? [129] Personally, I do not believe that there is anyone ingenious enough to find the right name for him. There are three women with whom his father will have lived: and he is the alleged son of one of them, the brother of another, and the uncle of the third. What ought a son like that to be called? Oedipus, Aegisthus, or what? [130]

As a matter of fact, I want to remind you briefly, gentlemen, of a certain incident connected with Callias. As you may remember, when Athens was mistress of Greece and at the height of her prosperity, and Hipponicus was the richest man in Greece, a rumour with which you are all familiar was on the lips of little children and silly women throughout the city: “Hipponicus,” they said, “has an evil spirit in his house, and it upsets his books.”99 You remember it, gentlemen. [131] Now in what sense do you think that the saying current in those days proved true? Why, Hipponicus imagined that he had a son in his house; but that son was really an evil spirit, which has upset his wealth, his morals, and his whole life. So it is as Hipponicus' evil spirit that you must think of Callias. [132]

Now take my other accusers, Callias' partners, who have helped to institute this trial and have financed the prosecution. Why, I ask, did it never strike them that I was committing sacrilege during the three years which I have spent in Athens since my return from Cyprus? I initiated A— from Delphi and other friends of mine besides from outside Attica, and I frequented the Eleusinium and offered sacrifices, as I consider I have a perfect right to do. Yet so far from prosecuting, they actually proposed me for public services, first as Gymnasiarch100 at the Hephaestia, then as head of the state deputation to the Isthmus and to Olympia,101 and finally as Treasurer of the Sacred Monies on the Acropolis.102 Today, on the other hand, I commit a sacrilege and a crime by entering a temple. [133]

I will tell you the reason for this change of front. Last year and the year before our honest Agyrrhius here was chief contractor for the two per cent customs duties.103 He farmed them for thirty talents, and the friends he meets under the poplar104 all took shares with him. You know what they are like; it is my belief that they meet there for a double purpose: to be paid for not raising the bidding, and to take shares in taxes which have been knocked down cheap. [134] After making a profit of six talents, they saw what a gold-mine the business was; so they combined, gave rival bidders a percentage, and again offered thirty talents. There was no competition; so I went before the Council and outbid them, until I purchased the rights for thirty-six talents. I had ousted them. I then furnished you with sureties, collected the tax, and settled with the state. I did not lose by it, as my partners and I actually made a small profit. At the same time I stopped Agyrrhius and his friends from sharing six talents which belonged to you. [135]

They saw this themselves, and discussed the situation. “This fellow will not take any of the public money himself,” they argued, “and he will not let us take any either. He will be on the watch and stop our sharing what belongs to the state; and furthermore, if he catches any of us acting dishonestly, he will bring him into the public courts and ruin him. He must be got rid of at all costs.” [136] The prosecution were bound to behave thus, gentlemen; but you must do the opposite: for I should be happy to see you with as many men as possible like myself and to see my accusers stamped out of existence, or at least confronted by those who will not countenance their activities. Such men should show themselves staunch and impartial champions of your interests, and they will be able to serve you well, if they are willing to do so. I for one promise you either to put a stop to the practices of the prosecution and render them better citizens, or to bring such of them as are guilty of criminal behaviour into court and have them punished. [137]

The prosecution have also found grounds for attacking me in the fact that I am a merchant who owns ships. We are asked to believe that the only object of the gods in saving me from the dangers of the sea was, apparently, to let Cephisius put an end to me when I reached Athens. No, gentlemen. I for one cannot believe that if the gods considered me guilty of an offence against them, they would have been disposed to spare me when they had me in a situation of the utmost peril—for when is man in greater peril than on a winter sea-passage? Are we to suppose that the gods had my person at their mercy on just such a voyage, that they had my life and my goods in their power, and that in spite of it they kept me safe? [138] Why, could they not have caused even my corpse to be denied due burial? Furthermore, it was war-time; the sea was infested with triremes and pirates, who took many a traveller prisoner, and after robbing him of his all, sent him to end his days in slavery. And there were foreign shores on which many a traveller had been wrecked, to be put to death after meeting with shameful indignities and maltreatment. [139] Is it conceivable that the gods saved me from perils of that nature, only to let themselves be championed by Cephisius, the biggest scoundrel in Athens, whose citizen he claims to be when he is nothing of the kind, and whom every one of you sitting in this court knows too well to trust with any thing belonging to him? No, gentlemen; to my mind the dangers of a trial like the present are to be regarded as the work of man, and the dangers of the sea as the work of God. So if we must perforce speculate about the gods, I for one am sure that they would be moved to the deepest wrath and indignation to see those whom they had themselves preserved brought to destruction by mortal men. [140]

There is yet another thing worth your consideration, gentlemen. At the moment the whole of Greece thinks that you have shown the greatest generosity and wisdom in devoting yourselves, not to revenge, but to the preservation of your city and the reuniting of its citizens. Many before now have suffered no less than we; but it is very rightly recognized that the peaceable settlement of differences requires generosity and self-control. Now it is acknowledged on all sides, by friend and foe alike, that you possess those gifts. So do not change your ways: do not hasten to rob Athens of the glory which she has gained thereby, or allow it to be supposed that you authorized your decree more by chance than by intention. [141]

I beg you one and all, then, to hold towards me the feelings which you hold towards my ancestors, so that I may have the opportunity of imitating them. They rank, remember, among the most tireless and the greatest benefactors of our city; and foremost among the many motives which inspired them came devotion to your welfare and the hope that if they or any of their children were ever in danger or distress, they would find protection in your sympathy. You have good reason, indeed, for remembering them; [142] for from the heroic deeds of your own forefathers Athens as a whole received inestimable benefit. After the loss of our fleet, when there was a general desire to cripple Athens forever, the Spartans, although our enemies at the time, decided to spare her because of the valiant exploits of those heroes who had led the whole of Greece to freedom.105 [143] Now since Athens as a city was spared because of the brave exploits of your forefathers, I likewise claim to be spared because of the brave deeds of mine; for my own forefathers themselves played no small part in those very exploits to which Athens owed her salvation, and I therefore have the right to expect from you the mercy shown to you yourselves by the Greeks. [144]

Think, furthermore, what a citizen you will have in me, if you give me your protection. I was once, as you know, a man of great wealth. Then to begin with, through no fault of my own, but through the disasters which overtook Athens, I was plunged into utter penury and want. I then started life afresh, a life of honest toil, with my brains and my hands to help me. Nay more, I not only know what it is to be the citizen of a city such as this; I know what it is to be an alien sojourning in the lands of neighbouring peoples; I have learnt the meaning of self-control and good sense; I have learnt what it is to suffer for one's mistakes.106 [145] I have been on terms of familiarity with many, and I have had dealings with still more. In consequence, I have formed ties and friendships with kings, with states, and with individuals too, in plenty. Acquit me, and you will share in them all, and be able to make use of them whenever occasion may arise. [146]

The position is in fact this, gentlemen. If you sentence me to death today, you leave not a single member of our family alive; it perishes root and branch. Yet the home of Andocides and Leogoras does not disgrace you by its presence. It was far more truly a disgrace during my exile, when Cleophon107 the lyre-maker occupied it. Not one of you, in passing our house, was ever reminded of an injury done him by its owners whether privately or publicly. [147] They have held countless commands, and have won you many a victory over your foes on land and sea. They have held countless other offices and handled public monies; yet not once have they been found guilty of fraud. We have not wronged you, and you have not wronged us. Our house is the oldest in Athens, and has always been the first to open its doors to those in need. Yet never once has any member of my family appeared on trial before you and asked you to show your gratitude for these services. [148] So although they are dead, at least do not forget what they did. Remember their achievements: imagine that you can see them in the flesh, begging you for my life. For after all, whom can I produce here to plead for me? My father? He is dead. My brothers? I have none. My children? They are still unborn. [149] It is you who must act as my father and my brothers and my children. It is with you that I seek refuge. It is to you that I turn with my entreaties and my prayers. You must plead with yourselves for my life, and save it. When you are ready to extend civic rights to Thessalians and Andrians on the ground that men are scarce, you cannot but refuse to put acknowledged citizens to death, men who should serve you well, and who will have the opportunity of doing so,if they are willing. You cannot but refuse, gentlemen. Again, I ask you to show your appreciation of my services to you. Then, if you listen to me, you will not rob yourselves of such further services as I may be able to render. On the other hand, if you listen to my opponents, even repentance later on will avail you nothing. [150] So do not deprive yourselves of what you can reasonably expect from me, and do not deprive me of what I can reasonably expect from you.

And now I will ask men who have given public proof of their outstanding worth to take my place here and give you their opinion of me. Come, Anytus108 and Cephalus109: come, Thrasyllus and you others of my tribe who have been chosen to support me.

1 Four years earlier, in 403.

2 Much of 1, 6, 7 and 9 consists of loci communes which recur in Lysias and Isocrates. Both they and Andocides were making use of the same handbook of proems.

3 This was not customary in a case of ἔνδειξις. The accused, if a citizen, was usually given the choice of furnishing sureties (ἐγγυηταί) or suffering imprisonment until the case came into court. Possibly it was felt that the conditions in the present instance were exceptional and that Andocides should be allowed the opportunity of quitting Attica if he so desired.

4 The De Reditu shows that Andocides had spent a considerable time in Cyprus during his years of exile. He was on very friendly terms with Evagoras, who had succeeded in regaining the throne of Salamis in 410. Evagoras was notoriously eager to attract likely Greek settlers.

5 A reference, apparently, to the amnesty of 403. According to Andocides, it debarred the prosecution from reopening his case.

6 June, 415 B.C. Andocides is our only authority for this last-minute meeting of the Assembly. It was probably convened to make final arrangements for the expedition.

7 The word ἄδεια is used in two slightly different senses. (a) It is the immunity granted by the Assembly or Council to persons who have a statement to make to them, but who are debarred from addressing them without special permission. This applied to slaves, metics, and women. Hence Andromachus, Teucrus, and Agariste all have to obtain an ἄδεια before lodging their information. (b) It is the immunity granted to a criminal who is prepared to turn informer. Often the two senses are combined, as here Andromachus was both debarred from addressing the Assembly in normal circumstances, and he was implicated in the crime which he was exposing. The same applies to Teucrus.

8 That section of the βουλή which presided at meetings of the Ecclesia for the time being. For further details see Antiph. 6.45 note 1.

9 The names of a number of those whose goods were confiscated and sold after the mutilation of the Hermae have survived on a fragmentary inscription (I.G. i 2. 327, 332). They confirm the lists given by Andocides. Oeonias, Panaetius, and Polystratus are mentioned from the list of Andromachus: Axiochus, Adeimantus, Cephisodorus, and Euphiletus from the later lists of Teucrus and Andocides himself.

10 Addressed to the γραμματεύς or clerk of the court.

11 An extraordinary board of the ζητηταί was set up to investigate both the profanation of the Mysteries and the mutilaton of the Hermae; they would act as an advisory committee to the βουλή. Peisander and Charicles were also members (Andoc. 1.36).

12 Not, of course, the orator.

13 i.e. Diognetus, who had first-hand knowledge, had listened to the recital in silence.

14 Lydus gave his information before the βουλή. Speusippus at once proposed that the offenders named be tried by the Heliaea in the usual way. Leogoras protested against his incluson in the list (a) because he had never been near Themacus and (b) because even Lydus did not go so far as to assert that he had had any part in the celebration. He then blocked Speusippus' proposal by a γραφὴ παρανόμων which had to be settled before the proposal could take effect. The γραφή came before the Heliaea in the usual way; and Leogoras obtained a verdict in his favour. He had, of course, to furnish sureties for his own appearance in the event of his losing his case against Speusippus.

15 This represents the whole of the Heliasts for the year. A jury of this size occurs nowhere else; but there are no good grounds for doubting Andocides' figures.

16 i.e. (1) Speusippus, who had initiated proceedings against them, and (2) Lydus, from whom the information had originated.

17 For the torturing of slaves cf. p. 70. note.

18 The time allowed for the speeches of the prosecution and defence in an Athenian court of law was limited. It was measured by a water-clock (κλεψύδρα) which varied in size according to the nature of the case. The outflow of water was stopped during the reading of documents, depositions, etc. Here Andocides offers to stand aside with the clock still running.

19 The question of offering rewards for information probably arose when the commission of inquiry was being appointed. After Cleonymus' thousand drachmae was found to be producing insufficient results, it would be supplemented by the much more substantial sum proposed by Peisander. For Peisander see p.366, note.

20 i.e. Andromachus, Teucrus, Agariste, and Lydus. Pythonicus' claim was based on the fact that he had been originally responsible for bringing the matter to the notice of the Assembly. Androcles is here mentioned for the first time. From Thuc. 8.65 and Plut. Alc. 19 it is clear that he played an important part in the investigations; probably it was through his agency that Teucrus, the first informer to approach the βουλή, was induced to come forward. ὑπὲρ τῆς βουλῆς here cannot possibly mean “on the Council's behalf”; there was no queston of rewarding the βουλευταί. It is more like “in view of the Council's part in the affair”; i.e. Androcles maintained that the Council had been of more importance throughout than the Assembly, and that therefore, as the person responsible for the first disclosures made to it, he himself deserved the principal reward.

21 i.e. the Heliaea. As with Leogoras' γραφὴ παρανόμων the jury is an exceptionally large one, although here the special circumstances make its size more easily intelligible. The case would take the form of a διαδικασία.

22 The Panathenaea was held every year, beginning on the 17th of Hecatombaeon (July 8th), and with extra pomp every four years, when the πέπλος of Athena was carried in procession.

23 Demeter and Kore, the central figures of the Eleusis-cult.

24 The prosecutor who failed to gain one-fifth of the votes of the jury was condemned to a fine of one thousand drachmae and debarred from bringing a similar action in the future. In a case of ἀσεβεία, such as the present, he was further deprived of the right of entering the temples of the gods against whom the alleged act of impiety had been committed. Thus Cephisius stands to suffer partial ἀτιμία; the fine will not trouble him, as Callias has indemnified him in advance (Andoc. 1.121).

25 Came into prominence once more during the struggles of 412-411. By the end of 412 he had identified himself with the oligarchic cause, and was active in trying to procure the return of Alcibiades. He was largely responsible for the installation of the Four Hundred at Athens in 411, and did his utmost to have Andocides put to death when he attempted to return to Athens during that year (cf. Andoc. 2.13-15). After the fall of the Four Hundred Peisander fled to Decelea; he was condemned to death in absentia and his property was confiscated. Nothing more is heard of him. Throughout he was a bitter personal enemy of Andocides.

26 Another turncoat, who started as an extreme radical and then became a member of the Four Hundred. Like Peisander, he escaped to Decelea after their collapse; but he succeeded in effecting his return in 404 when Sparta ordered the restoration of exiles. He became a member of the Thirty, and was responsible for some of their worst excesses. After their fall nothing more is heard of him. For a sketch of his conduct at this later period see Andoc. 1.101.

27 There is some doubt about the meaning of this statement. (a) According to Suidas, a flag was hoisted in the Agora before meetings of the Ecclesia anad lowered when they were concluded. If this is the flag referred to here, the meeting of the βουλή is the meeting held immediately after the adjournment of the Ecclesia. The Agora would then be thronged with citizens coming from the Pnyx. (b) Possibly a flag was flown from the roof of the βουλευτήριον and taken down when the council was sitting. There is no evidence for this, however; and it is a possible objection that this lowering of the flag during a meeting is precisely the opposite of the custom followed in the case of the Ecclesia. If the first explanation can be accepted we must assume that Andocides is referring only to those meetings of the βουλή which occurred after a sitting of the Ecclesia; the βουλή in fact met daily.

28 The mines of Laurium in S. Attica were leased by the state to private individuals. These in their turn hired slaves to work them, if they had not enough of their own. The slave's earnings were paid to his master.

29 The theatre of Dionysus lay on the S.E. slopes of the Acropolis. Adjoining it was the Odeum of Pericles, a rectangular hall with a conical roof, the remains of which have been brought to light in recent years; it was used for musical festivals.

30 i.e. the second, larger reward proposed by Peisander (Andoc. 1.27).

31 i.e. twenty minae more.

32 Implying that the mutilation of the Hermae was definitely part of a plot to overthrow the democracy. Diocleides is promised a place in the oligarchic government which is to follow.

33 In one of the temples (cf. Andoc. 1.40).

34 The decree forbade the examination of citizens under torture. The βουλή had been empowered to act entirely at its own discretion during the crisis ( cf. Andoc. 1.15), and so could suspend the ψήφισμα in question if it thought fit.

35 They would probably make for the Boeotian frontier (cf. Andoc. 1.45 below), though Thucydides states that there was also a Spartan force at the Isthmus at this time (Thuc. 6.61).

36 Lit. “made us fast in the stocks.” These were in the jail itself.

37 The Agora of Hippodamus was the Agora of Peiraeus: the Anaceum, a temple of the Dioscuri to the N.W. of the Acropolis.

38 The θόλος was a circular building with a domed roof situated in the Agora; it was sometimes known as the σκιάς. It is the same as the Prytaneum mentioned below. The Prytanes and their γραμματεύς dined there daily, and distinguished foreign visitors were often often entertained at the Tholus at the public cost. Diocleides was accorded this privilege. In the meantime, the Boeotians, who had heard the news, had taken the field and were on the frontier; while Diocleides, the author of all the mischief, was hailed as the saviour of Athens: a garland was placed upon his head, and he was driven upon an ox-cart to the Prytaneum, where he was entertained.

39 The MS. reading is retained by some and translated “the ex-dancer,” on the ground that a famous dancer named Phrynichus was living in Athens at this period ( cf. Aristoph. Wasps 1302). But no true parallel can be produced for such a use of the aorist participle. It is preferable to emend as in the text, as proper names with a participial form were not uncommon; cf. Ἀκεσαμενός, Ἀλεξαμενός, Τεισαμενός, Ἀκουμενός.

40 The words ὁ Νικίου ἀδελφός are misplaced in the MSS. Andocides is clearly quoting from an official list; and in such documents a man would be referred to by his father's name, not by his brother's. The reference to the brother is part of the commentary of Andocides which follows. The Nicias in question is the general.

41 Charmides' argument seems to be that, as Andocides' friends have already been exposed, he can do no harm to them by any revelations he may choose to make. On the other hand, he will be able to save his family from certain death.

42 Already denounced by Teucrus (Andoc. 1.35).

43 A gymnasium sacred to Heracles on the eastern outskirts of Athens, near the Diomean Gate.

44 One of the many ἡρῷα scattered over the city. Phorbas was an Attic hero; he had been the charioteer of Theseus.

45 Meletus had also been connected with the profanation of the Mysteries; his name appears on Andromachus' list (Andoc. 1.13). Like Euphiletus, he was denounced by Teucrus for mutilation of the Hermae (Andoc. 1.35).

46 A deme in the neighborhood of Marathon.

47 Cf. Andoc. 1.45.

48 The figures given here do not correspond with the list of 47, where the father, the brother-in-law, two cousins, and five other relatives only are mentioned. The faulty MS. tradition of 47 (see app. crit. ad loc.) makes it more probable that it is the list which is incorrect; and alteration of the numerals given in the present passage is not a satisfactory solution of the difficulty.

49 In 415 B.C.

50 i.e. if Andocides can prove that he is protected by the amnesty, he will eo ipso create a precedent whereby his accusers will themselves be able to claim exemption from punishment for the various offences which they committed before 403. The nature of these is explained in detail later ( Andoc. 1.92 et sqq.).

51 The fleet was lost at Aegospotami, Sept. 405; this disaster was followed by the siege of Athens, which finally capitulated in April 404. The decree of Patrocleides was passed in the autumn of 405.

52 For the relevance of the following paragraphs see Introd. pp. 331-332.

53 Persons against whom judgement had been given in a civil action, but who refused (a) to pay the damages awarded to the plaintiff by the court, (b) to cede to the plaintiff property to which he had established his claim, were liable to a δίκη ἐξούλης. Such suits were common at Athens, where the machinery for ensuring that a judgement was enforced was lamentably defective.

54 Tax-farmers usually formed themselves into companies headed by an ἀρχώνης who personally contracted with the state for the purchase of the right to collect a given tax. The agreed sum was not paid until the tax had been collected; and so the ἀρχώνης had to furnish sureties, who became liable if he himself defaulted. It was the practice to auction the various taxes, the highest bidder obtaining the right to farm them, cf. Andoc. 1.133.

55 The six classes of state-debtor here enumerated suffered disfranchisement only so long as their debt remained unpaid. They were allowed eight Prytanies (i.e. roughly nine months) in which to find the money; at the end of that time their property was distrained upon for double the original amount. Should the confiscation fail to produce the requisite sum, they remained ἄτιμοι until the balance was forthcoming.

56 When Trierarchs.

57 Whenever a plaintiff had to serve a summons in person, the law required that he should do so in the presence of witnesses. The names of these witnesses were entered on the writ. If the plaintiff secured the witnesses' names without serving the summons and so won the case by default, the defendant had the right to bring a γραφὴ ψευδοκλητείας against the witnesses ( κλητῆρες) concerned.

58 This penalty appears to have been inflicted in 410, after the restoration of the democracy.

59 The decree reinstates (a) public debtors whose names were still on the official registers in June-July 405, (b) political offenders who had suffered ἀτιμία in 410 after the downfall of the Four Hundred and the restoration of the full democracy. These include both members of the Four Hundred and their supporters. An exception is made, however, of those oligarchs who fled to Decelea (e.g. Peisander and Charicles), and of persons in exile for homicide, massacre, or attempted tyranny. The last two crimes are only mentioned because Patrocleides is here quoting from a law of Solon's and wishes to be complete. Trials for massacre or attempted tyranny had long been unheard of. For the text of the Solonian law see Plut. Sol. 19.

60 Callias was Archon from 406 to 405. His year of office terminated in June-July 405, and the Decree of Patrocleides followed during the autumn.

61 The Areopagus tried cases of wilful murder. The fifty-one Ephetae sat in different courts according to the nature of the offence which they were trying, but always in the open air for religious reasons. Sitting ἐπὶ Πρυτανείῳ, in the precincts of the Prytaneum, they heard cases of justifiable homicide ( φόνος δίκαιος): sitting ἐπὶ Δελφινίῳ, in the precincts of the temple of Apollo Delphinius, they heard cases of homicide where the criminal was a person or persons unknown or where death had been caused by an inanimate instrument. They further met ἐπὶ Παλλαδίῳ to try cases of φόνος ἀκούσιος and βούλευσις φόνου ἀκουσίου(cf. Antiphon, Choreutes, lntrod.); and in Phreatto, a quarter of Peiraeus on the sea-shore, to try persons already in exile for homicide and charged with a second murder, committed before they quitted Attica. The accused pleaded from a boat. These last two courts are not mentioned here. See also Antiphon, Tetralogies, Gen. Introd.

62 i.e. be put to death, if he is ever apprehended within the dominions of Athens.

63 In April, 404. The Thirty were installed by the following summer on the motion of Dracontides, which the presence of the Spartan garrison made it difficult to reject. In the winter of 404 a number of the exiled democrats under Thrasybulus seized Phyle on the northern frontier of Attica; then they moved on Peiraeus and fortified Munychia. By February 403 they were strong enough to crush the Thirty, the remnants of whom fled to Eleusis, whence they were finally extirpated in 401.

64 February 403.

65 Further details are given in the decree which follows. The ordinary Nomothetae were chosen by lot from the Heliasts of each year to revise the existing laws and examine proposed additions. The Nomothetae here mentioned are an entirely distinct body. They were 500 in number and elected by the demes. In conjunction with the Council they were to revise the laws. It was found, however, that the anarchy of the previous year had rendered a vast number of citizens technically liable to punishment. This meant that a very extensive modification of the existing legal code was necessary. A committee was therefore selected from the 500 Nomothetae by the Council to draft a fresh body of laws. Its recommendations were to be submitted to the Council and the remaining Nomothetae for approval. In the interval the laws of Solon and the θεσμοί of Draco dealing with homicide were to be in force.

66 The στοὰ βασίλειος in the Agora.

67 One of the 500 Nomothetae.

68 A reference to ostracism.

69 i.e. later than midsummer, 403.

70 The board of ten set up by Lysander in Peiraeus. It was overthrown by Thrasybulus at the end of 404. The Eleven are, of course, the ordinary police-magistrates who had been compelled by the Thirty to do their bidding.

71 i.e. to Eleusis, with the surviving members of the Thirty, after their downfall in February 403.

72 The Leon here mentioned is almost certainly the Leon of Salamis whom Socrates, at the risk of his own life, refused to arrest when ordered to do so by the Thirty. Some 1500 persons were executed without a trial during the reign of terror (Isoc. 7.67).

73 The argument of this paragraph is not stated as clearly as it might be. Andocides means: (a) after the amnesty special legal measures were taken to ensure against prosecution for crimes committed before 403; therefore, although (b) the principle that βούλευσις φόνου ἑκουσίου deserves the same punishment as φόνος ἑκούσιος itself has always been, and still is, recognized as valid, Meletus cannot be accused of having caused Leon's death.

74 The decree was passed after the restoration of the full democracy in 410. Demophantus is a member of the board of συγγραφεῖς(“compilers”) appointed to revise the laws. The revision was not completed until after the appointment of the 500 Nomothetae in 403 for a similar purpose. The decree was based on a Solonian law(Andoc. 1.95 ad fin.); hence the reference in it to tyranny.

75 At Samos in 411, where Peisander had at first successfully intrigued for the overthrow of the democracy at home.

76 An echo of Soph. Aj. 103.

77 i.e. political intrigues. A reference to Andocides' membership of an oligarchic club ( ἑταιρεία).

78 Because of his immortality.

79 Cf. Andoc. 1.36, note.

80 In 411, with the Four Hundred when they were overthrown.

81 At Aegospotami, 405 B.C. Possibly this is a reference to the treachery of the pro-Spartan elements in the Athenian navy during the battle. More probably Charicles is thinking of Athenian exiles who served with the Spartan forces.

82 In 403 BC.

83 Andocides was a poor historian (cf. Peace with Sp., Introd.). Here he confuses the battle of Pallene (Hdt. 1.62), by which Peisistratus regained his tyranny for the third time (c. 546), and the battle of Sigeum which resulted in the final expulsion of his son Hippias, the last of the dynasty (510). Leogoras and Charias were not as prominent on this occasion as Andocides would have the jury believe. The fall of Hippias was mainly due to the energy of the Alcmaeonidae and the substantial help provided by Sparta.

84 Another gross historical error. Andocides fails to distinguish between the first Persian invasion, which ended with the Athenian victory at Marathon (490 B.C.) and the second (480 B.C.), in the course of which Athens was sacked by the enemy.

85 After Aegospotami.

86 This stood near the Acropolis and was probably the starting-point for the procession along the Sacred Way to Eleusis during the Eleusinia.

87 i.e. after Cephisius had lodged his ἔνδειξις ἀσεβείας with the Basileus. The Basileus would report this to the βουλή when it met in the Eleusinium, and both Cephisius and Andocides would have to attend.

88 As δᾳδοῦχος (Torch-bearer), the hereditary office of his family, who belonged to the ancient clan of the κήρυκες. The torch was symbolic of Demeter's search through the world for her daughter.

89 Eucles, mentioned below. He was the official town-crier of Athens (cf. 36), and appears in various inscriptions (cf. I.G. ii 2. 73). The insertion of ὁ before ἐπεξελθὼν is the simplest correction of the MS. reading in the next sentence but one. Others wish to distinguish between ὁ κῆρυξ and Eucles.

90 ἐξήγησις was the prerogative of Eulmopidae alone.

91 For the family relationships described here and in the following see p 334.

92 If a citizen died intestate, leaving daughters, but no sons, the daughters became heiresses ( ἐπίκληροι) and shared the estate between them. They were then obliged by law to marry their nearest male relatives, but not in the ascending line. The relatives concerned put in a claim before the Archon ( ἐπιδικασία), and if it was not disputed, the Archon adjudged the daughters to them severally according to their degrees of relationship. If, however, as here, rival claimants appeared, a διαδικασία was held and the ἐπίκληροι were allotted accordingly.

93 Leagrus, like Andocides, must have been a cousin.

94 Callias was actually claiming the girl on his son's behalf (Andoc. 1.121); as her grandfather, he was forbidden by law to marry her himself.

95 The παράστασις was a fee of one drachmae, paid by anyone disputing the claim of a relative to an ἐπίκληρος.

96 If Leagrus stood aside, Andocides would have a prior claim to Callias' son in the eyes of the law.

97 εἰκάδες. The last ten days of the month.

98 Held for three days in Pyanepsion (Oct.-Nov.). The citizens assembled κατὰ φρατρίας, and on the third day ( κουρεῶτις) newly born children were registered in the official list of φράτορες. A sacrifice accompanied the registration. The father had to swear that the child was the legitimate offspring of free-born parents, both of whom were citizens.

99 Lit. “his table,” with a play on τράπεζα meaning a “bank.” The pun cannot be rendered exactly in English.

100 One of the ἐγκύκλιοι λῃτουργίαι which recurred annually. Citizens owning property to the value of three talents or over were liable to them. Other such liturgies were the χορηγία, λαμπαδαρχία, ἀρχεθεωρία, ἑστίασις. The various tribes selected suitable persons to perform them from among their members. The γυμνασιαρχία is practically identical with the λαμπαδαρχία. It involved the provision of torches for the great torch-race at the festival of Hephaestus and the training of the runners. The expense was considerable; Isaeus classes the γυμνασιαρχία with the χορηγία, and puts the cost at twelve minae.

101 Another regular liturgy. State deputations were always sent to the great games (Olympian, Isthmian, Pythian, Nemean). These were headed by an ἀρχεθέωρος who was responsible for their management. He also bore a considerable part of the expense. The state contributed a certain amount; but the ἀρχεθέωρος was expected to see that the deputation was as impressive as possible. Andocides must have gone to Olympia in 400, as this was the first year in which the games were held after his return to Athens. The ἀρχεθεωρία to the Isthmian Games will then fall in 402.

102 There were ten ταμίαι τῆς θεοῦ, and ten ταμίαι τῶν ἄλλων θεῶν, chosen annually by lot from the wealthiest class of citizens. The treasury of both boards was in the Opisthodomus of the Parthenon. Andocides may have been a member of either.

103 Levied on all imports and exports at Peiraeus.

104 Apparently a well-known spot. It is not mentioned elsewhere.

105 Cf. Andoc. 3.21.

106 An interesting admission. Cf. Andoc. 2.7.

107 An extreme democrat who first came into prominence after the collapse of the oligarchic movement of 411. He interested himself in finance, and was responsible for the dole of two obols a day paid to the poorer classes after 410. After the battle of Cyzicus he succeeded in getting the Spartan peace proposals rejected, and he did the same after Aegospotami (405). He was finally put to death during the siege of Athens through the agency of the pro-Spartan party in the city. With his execution active resistance to Sparta practically came to an end.

108 Very influential at this time. He had taken a leading part with Thrasybulus in overthrowing the Thirty and restoring the democracy in 403. He was one of the accusers of Socrates in 399.

109 A democrat who came into prominence after 403. He is referred to by Demosthenes (Dem. 18.219) and Aeschines (Aeschin. 3.194) in complimentary terms.

On His Return

Had some other matter been at issue, gentlemen, I should have felt no surprise at finding a difference of opinion among the speakers who addressed you. But when the question is whether or not I, or anyone less worthy who so desires, should do this state a service, nothing seems to me more extraordinary than that contrary views should be held, instead of there being complete unanimity; for if the state is common to all who enjoy civic rights, the benefits which the state receives are likewise, I presume, common benefits. [2]

Such disagreement is a matter for alarm and astonishment; yet, as you can see, it has already been expressed by some, and will shortly be expressed by others. Indeed, I am completely at a loss to understand why the question of your receiving a benefit from me should cause such excitement among our friends here. They must either be the most stupid of mankind or the worst of public enemies. If they hold that when the state is prospering they are better off individually, they are showing extreme stupidity in advocating today a policy which directly conflicts with their own interests; [3] while if they do not identify their interests as individuals with yours as a community, they can only be public enemies. Indeed when I secretly communicated to the Council a proposal which would be of the very greatest service to this city if carried into effect, and proved as much clearly and conclusively to the members present, such of my present critics as were among my audience found it as impossible as anyone else to show by argument that any of my statements was incorrect; yet they are now trying to impugn those statements. [4] This proves, then, that they are acting not on their own initiative—or they would have had no hesitation in opposing me originally—but on the instigation of others, of men such as are to be found in this city, who would not allow you to receive a benefit from me for all the money in the world. These others have not the courage to come into the open and make good their assertions in person, as they are afraid of letting their own possible shortcomings as patriots be examined too closely. Instead, they send substitutes to address you, men to whom effrontery is second nature, men who will utter or face the bitterest abuse with complete indifference. [5] The entire strength of their case against me, one finds, lies in their taunting me at every turn with my misfortunes; and that too when their listeners know better than they, so that not a word which they have uttered can bring them any true credit.

To my mind, gentlemen, he was a wise man who first said that every human being is born to meet with good fortune and with bad; that to make a mistake is to meet with great ill fortune: [6] and that while those who make the fewest mistakes are the luckiest, those who repent of them soonest show most good sense. Nor is this the peculiar lot of some men only; it is the common fate of humanity to make mistakes and suffer misfortune. So do but remember the frailty of man in passing judgement upon me, gentlemen, and your feelings for me will be more kindly. Indeed I do not deserve ill-will so much as sympathy for the past. [7] Owing to—shall I say my own youthful folly, or the influence of others who persuaded me into such a piece of madness?1—I was luckless enough to be forced to choose between two of the most painful alternatives imaginable. On the one hand, I could refuse to disclose the authors of the outrage. In that case I not only trembled for my own fate, but caused the death of my father, who was entirely innocent, as well as my own—he was inevitably doomed, if I refused to speak. On the other hand, I could purchase my own life and liberty and avoid becoming my father's murderer—and what would a man not bring himself to do to escape that?—but only by turning informer. [8]

Of the alternatives before me, then, I chose that which meant years of sorrow for myself, but immediate release for you from the distress of the moment. Remember your peril: remember your helplessness: remember how you stood in such fear of one another that you ceased going abroad even into the Agora, because you each expected arrest.2 That such a state of things should have occurred at all proved to be due only in small part to me; that it ended, on the other hand, proved to be due to me alone. [9] Notwithstanding, I have never succeeded in being anything save the unluckiest man alive; for when Athens was heading for this disaster, no one came near suffering the sorrows which I suffered: and when she was once more regaining her security, I was of all men the most to be pitied. The desperate distress of Athens could be remedied only at the cost of my good name: so that your deliverance meant my own ruin. It is your gratitude, therefore, not your scorn that I deserve for my sufferings. [10]

At the time I needed none to remind me of my plight—partly through my own folly, partly through the force of circumstances, nothing was wanting to complete my misery and my disgrace—and I saw that you would be best pleased were I to adopt that mode of life and that place of residence which would enable me to remain furthest from your sight.3 Eventually, however, as was only natural, I was seized with a longing for the old life as a citizen among you which I had abandoned for my present place of exile; and I decided that I should be best advised either to have done with life or to render this city such a service as would dispose you to let me at last resume my rights as your fellow. [11]

From that moment I have been reckless of both life and goods when called upon for a perilous venture. In fact, I at once proceeded to supply your forces in Samos with oar-spars—this was after the Four Hundred had seized power at Athens4—since Archelaus5 had hereditary connexions with my family and offered me the right of cutting and exporting as many as I wished.6 And not only did I supply the spars; I refused to charge more for them than they had cost me, although I might have obtained a price of five drachmae apiece. In addition, I supplied corn and bronze. [12] Thus equipped, the forces in Samos went on to defeat the Peloponnesians at sea7; and it was they, and they alone who saved Athens at the time. Now if those heroes rendered you true service by their deed, I may fairly claim that that service was in no small degree due to me. Had that army not been furnished with supplies just then, they would have been fighting not so much to save Athens as to save their own lives. [13]

In these circumstances, I was not a little surprised at the situation which I found at Athens. I returned thither fully expecting the congratulations of the city on the active way in which I had displayed my devotion to your interests. Instead, directly they learned of my arrival, certain of the Four Hundred sought me out, arrested me, and brought me before the Council.8 [14] Whereupon Peisander9 at once came up, took his stand beside me, and cried: “Gentlemen, I hereby denounce this man as having supplied corn and oar-spars to the enemy.” Then he went on to tell the whole story. By this time, of course, it was clear that there had been a complete estrangement between the men on service and the Four Hundred. [15]

I saw the uproar into which the meeting was breaking, and knew that I was lost; so I sprang at once to the hearth and laid hold of the sacred emblems. That act, and that alone, was my salvation at the time; for although I stood disgraced in the eyes of the gods,10 they, it seems, had more pity on me than did men; when men were desirous of putting to death, it was the gods who saved my life. My subsequent imprisonment and the extent and nature of the bodily suffering to which I was subjected would take too long to describe. [16] It was then that I bewailed my lucklessness more bitterly than ever. When the people appeared to be hardly used, it was I who suffered in their stead; on the other hand, when they had been manifestly benefited by me, that act of service likewise threatened me with ruin.11 Indeed I no longer had either ways or means of sustaining my hopes; everywhere I turned I saw woe in store for me. However, disheartening though my reception had been, I was no sooner a free man than my every thought was again directed to the service of this city. [17]

You must understand, gentlemen, how far such services as mine surpass ordinary services. When citizens who hold public office add to your revenues, are they not in fact giving you what is yours already? And when those who hold military command benefit their country by some fine exploit, is it not by exposing your persons to fatigue and danger and by spending public money in addition that they render you such service as they do? Again, if they make a mistake at some point, it is not they themselves who pay for their mistake; it is you who pay for the error which was due to them. [18] Yet you bestow crowns on such persons and publicly proclaim them as heroes. And I will not deny that they deserve it; it is proof of signal merit to be able to render one's country a service in any way whatsoever. But you must see that that man is far the worthiest who has the courage to expose his own life and his own goods to danger in order to confer a benefit on his fellow-countrymen. [19]

My past services must be known to almost all of you. But the services which I am about to render, which I have, in fact, already begun to render, have been revealed in secret to only five hundred of you [,to the Council, that is to say12]; they, I think, are likely to make far fewer mistakes than you would be, had you to debate the matter here and now immediately after listening to my explanations. Those five hundred are considering at leisure the proposal placed before them, and they are liable to be called to account and censured by the rest of you for any mistake which they may make; [20] whereas you have none to hold you to blame, as you very rightly have the power of ordering your affairs wisely or foolishly at will. However, I will disclose to you such services as I can, such services as are not a secret, because they have already been performed.

I need not remind you, I imagine, how you received news that no grain was to be exported to Athens from Cyprus. Now I was able to handle the situation with such effect that the persons who had formed the plot and put it into execution were frustrated. [21] It is of no importance that you should know how this was done; what I do wish you to know is that the ships on the point of putting in to the Peiraeus at this moment with a cargo of grain number no less than fourteen; while the remainder of the convoy which sailed from Cyprus will arrive in a body shortly after them.

I would have given all the money in the world to be able to reveal to you with safety the secret proposal which I have placed before the Council, so that you might know at once what to expect. [22] Instead, you will only learn what it is when you begin to benefit by it, and that will not be until it is put into effect. However, if you would consent even as it is, gentlemen, to bestow on me what is only a small token of gratitude, and one which is both easily granted and just, nothing would give me more delight. That I am entitled to it you will see at once. I am asking of you only what you yourselves gave me in fulfilment of a solemn promise, but were afterwards persuaded to withdraw. If you are prepared to restore it, I ask it as a favour; if you are not, I claim it as my due. [23] I often see you bestowing civic rights and substantial grants of money upon both slaves and foreigners from every part of the world, if they prove to have done you some service. And you are acting wisely in making such gifts; they engender the greatest possible willingness to serve you. Now my own request is merely this. You decreed on the motion of Menippus that I should be granted immunity; restore me my rights under that decree. The herald shall read it to you, as it is lying even now among the records in the Council-chamber. “Decree” [24]

This decree to which you have been listening, gentlemen, was passed by you in my favour, but afterwards revoked to oblige another.13 Be advised by me, then. If any of you feels prejudiced against me, let him rid himself of that prejudice. You will admit that men's persons are not to blame for the mistakes which spring from their opinions. Now my own person is still unchanged, and is free from guilt; whereas different opinions have replaced the old. Thus you are left without any just ground for prejudice.14 [25] In the case of my old blunder you maintained that you had to treat the indications furnished by conduct as decisive, and that therefore you were obliged to regard me as a criminal. Be consistent, then; use only the indications furnished by my present conduct to prove the genuineness of my present desire to serve you. [26]

Furthermore, my behaviour today is much more in keeping with my character than my behaviour then, just as it accords far more with the traditions of my family. I am not lying — no lie of this sort could deceive my older listeners — when I say that my father's grandfather, Leogoras, led a revolt of the people against the tyrants,15 and in spite of the opportunity of coming to terms with them, marrying into their house, and ruling the people of Athens at their side, chose to share the exile of the democrats and suffer the hardships of banishment rather than turn traitor to them. Thus the behaviour of my forefathers should be an additional inspiration to me to show affection for the people, if I have indeed regained my senses at last; and it also gives you a natural reason for accepting my services the more readily, if you see me to have your interests at heart. [27]

The fact that you deprived me of the pardon which you had given me has never, I assure you, caused me to feel aggrieved. After those scoundrels had induced you to wrong your own selves so grossly as to change empire for slavery, and to replace democracy by despotism,16 why should it surprise any of you that you were induced to wrong me likewise? [28] However, I could wish that after reversing the policy of those who duped you in those matters which concern yourselves—as you did as soon as you were able—you would similarly render their purposes ineffective in the matter of that unfortunate measure which you were persuaded to pass with regard to me. Refuse, in fact, to side, on this or any other question, with those who are your worst enemies.

1 A clear indication that Andocides had been concerned to at least some extent in the mutilation of the Hermae.

2 Cf. Andoc. 1.36.

3 Andocides was not exiled under the actual terms of the decree of Isotimides. The decree made life at Athens so intolerable for him that he found it better to withdraw of his own accord.

4 i.e. in 411.

5 King of Macedon from 413 to 399 B.C.

6 The text of an Attic decree honouring Archelaus for supplying ξύλα καὶ κωπέας still survives (I.G. i 2 105). It may be consulted best in the restored version of B. D. Meritt; see Classical Studies presented to Edward Capps Princeton, 1936. Meritt would date it to 407-406 B.C.

7 Most probably the battle of Cyzicus, April 410. See Introd.

8 i.e. their fellow-members of the Four Hundred. The Council proper had been superseded.

9 For the career of Peisander see Andoc. 1.36 note.

10 Owing to his participation in the mutilation of the Hermae four years before.

11 i.e. (a) Andocides put an end to the reign of terror which followed the mutilation of the Hermae, but at the cost of his own happiness. (b) He had helped Athens win a victory over Sparta at sea, but had again suffered for it by imprisonment at the hands of the Four Hundred.

12 The words ἡ βουλή were rightly bracketed by Valckenaer as a gloss upon what precedes. The “secret proposal” placed before the Council must have been connected with the future corn-supply of Athens. Andocides was doubtless to use his influence in Cyprus to ensure that it should not be interrupted.

13 i.e. Peisander. Andocides meant that the decree of Menippus was effectively stultified by the decree of Isotimides, passed shortly afterwards at Peisander's instigation.

14 A sophistry worthy of the Tetralogies.

15 Cf. Andoc. 1.106 and note.

16 i.e. the Four Hundred.

On the Peace with Sparta

I think you all understand, gentlemen, that it is better to make peace on fair terms than to continue fighting. But some of you fail to see that although our political leaders have no objection to peace in the abstract, they are opposed to such measures as would lead to it, on the ground that the people would be in very grave danger of seeing the existing constitution overthrown once peace was concluded. [2]

Now had the Athenian people never made peace with Sparta in the past, our lack of previous experience and the untrustworthy character of the Spartans might have justified such fears. But you have done so on a number of occasions since the establishment of the democracy; and it is therefore only logical that you should first of all consider the results which followed at the time; one must use the past as a guide to the future, gentlemen. [3]

1 Now take the days when we were fighting Euboea2 and controlled Megara, Pegae, and Troezen. We were seized with a longing for peace; and, in virtue of his being Sparta's representative at Athens, we recalled Cimon's son, Miltiades3,who had been ostracized and was living in the Chersonese, for the one purpose of sending him to Sparta to make overtures for an armistice. [4] On that occasion we secured a peace of fifty years with Sparta; and both sides kept the treaty in question for thirteen. Let us consider this single instance first, gentlemen. Did the Athenian democracy ever fall during this peace? No one can show that it did. On the contrary, I will tell you how much you benefited by this peace. [5] To begin with, we fortified Peiraeus in the course of this period4: secondly, we built the Long Wall to the north5: then the existing fleet of old, unseaworthy triremes with which we had won Greece her independence by defeating the king of Persia and his barbarians—these existing vessels were replaced by a hundred new ones6: and it was at this time that we first enrolled three hundred cavalry and purchased three hundred Scythian archers7. Such were the benefits which Athens derived from the peace with Sparta, such the strength which was added thereby to the Athenian democracy. [6]

Later we went to war on account of Aegina8; and after both sides had suffered heavily, we were seized once more with a desire for peace. So a deputation of ten —among them my grandfather, Andocides — was chosen from the whole citizen body and dispatched to Sparta with unlimited powers to negotiate a peace. They arranged a thirty years' peace with Sparta for us. That is a long period, gentlemen; yet did the democracy ever fall in the course of it? Was any party, I ask you, ever caught plotting a revolution? No one can point to an instance. In fact just the opposite happened. [7] The peace in question exalted the Athenian democracy; it rendered it so powerful that during the years after we gained peace we first of all deposited a thousand talents on the Acropolis and passed a law which set them apart as a state reserve9; in addition to that we built a hundred triremes, and decreed that they should be kept in reserve likewise: we laid out docks,10 we enrolled twelve hundred cavalry and as many archers, and the Long Wall to the south was constructed.11 Such were the benefits which Athens derived from the peace with Sparta, such the strength which was added thereby to the Athenian democracy. [8]

Then we went to war again on account of Megara,12 and allowed Attica to be laid waste; but the many privations which we suffered led us to make peace once more, this time through Nicias, the son of Niceratus.13 As you are all aware, I imagine, this peace enabled us to deposit seven thousand talents of coined silver on the Acropolis [9] and to acquire over three hundred ships14: an annual tribute of more than twelve hundred talents was coming in15: we controlled the Chersonese, Naxos, and over two-thirds of Euboea: while to mention our other settlements abroad individually would be tedious. But in spite of all these advantages we went to war with Sparta afresh, then as now at the instigation of Argos.16 [10]

Now first of all, gentlemen, call to mind what I originally said that I was setting out to show. It was, was it not, that peace has never yet caused the fall of the Athenian democracy. That has now been proved against all possible arguments to the contrary. However, I have heard some people saying before now that the result of our last peace with Sparta17 was the installment of the Thirty, the death of many citizens by the hemlock-cup, and the exile of others. [11] Those who talk in this fashion misapprehend matters. There is a wide difference between a peace and a truce. A peace is a settlement of differences between equals: a truce is the dictation of terms to the conquered by the conquerors after victory in war, exactly as the Spartans laid down after their victory over us that we should demolish our walls, surrender our fleet, and restore our exiles. [12] The agreement made then was a forced truce upon dictated terms: whereas today you are considering a peace. Why, look at the actual provisions of the two as they stand recorded; contrast the conditions of the truce inscribed upon the stone18 with the conditions on which you can make peace today. On the stone it is laid down that we shall demolish our walls: whereas under the present terms we can rebuild them. The truce allows us twelve ships: the peace as many as we like. Under the truce Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros remained in the possession of their occupants: under the peace they are to be ours. Nor is there today any obligation upon us to restore our exiles, as there was then, with the fall of the democracy as its consequence. Where is the similarity between the one and the other? Thus the general conclusion which I reach in the matter is this, gentlemen: peace means safety and power for the democracy, whereas war means its downfall. So much for that aspect of the question. [13]

Now it is argued by some that present circumstances oblige us to continue fighting. Let us begin, then, gentlemen, by considering exactly why we are to fight. Everyone would agree, I think, that war is justified only so long as one is either suffering a wrong oneself or supporting the cause of another who has been wronged. Now we were both suffering a wrong ourselves and also supporting the cause of the Boeotians who had been wronged. If, then, Sparta guarantees that our wrongs shall cease, and if the Boeotians have decided to allow Orchomenus its independence and make peace, why are we to continue fighting? [14] To free Athens? She is free already. To be able to build ourselves walls? The peace gives us that right also. To be allowed to build new triremes, and refit and keep our old ones? That is assured us as well, since the treaty affirms the independence of each state. To recover the islands, Lemnos, Scyros, and Imbros? It is expressly laid down that these shall belong to Athens. [15] Well then, is it to get back the Chersonese, our colonies, our landed property abroad, and the debts owed us?19 A war for their recovery needs the support of the king of Persia and our allies, and they refuse that support. Or shall I be told that we must continue fighting until we have crushed Sparta and her allies? We are not adequately equipped, in my opinion, for a campaign on such a scale; and if we are successful, what must we ourselves expect from Persia afterwards? [16] No, even if this were a justifiable ground for war, and we had sufficient money and the necessary men, we ought not to continue it. So if we have no reasons for prolonging the war, no enemy to fight, and no resources, why should we not make every effort to secure peace? [17]

Do not overlook another thing, gentlemen; you are negotiating today for the peace and independence of all Greeks alike: you are giving them all the opportunity of sharing in every advantage. Think of the circumstances in which the leading powers are ceasing hostilities. To begin with, take Sparta. When she first went to war with us and our allies,20 she controlled both land and sea; but the peace is leaving her mistress of neither. [18] And she is sacrificing this supremacy, not because we forced her to do so, but in order to give the whole of Greece its independence. The Spartans have now won three battles: the first at Corinth21 against the full allied forces, who were left with no excuse for their defeat, save only that the Spartans, with none to aid them, fought more bravely than all the rest together; the second in Boeotia under Agesilaus,22 when they once more gained a similar victory; and the third at the capture of Lechaeum,23 against the full Argive and Corinthian forces, together with the Athenians and Boeotians present. [19] But in spite of these amazing successes they, the victors in the field, are ready for a peace which will leave them with nothing save their own territory: they are recognizing the independence of the Greek states, and they are allowing their defeated opponents to share the freedom of the seas. Yet what terms of peace would they have gained from us, had they met with but a single defeat? [20]

Again, what are the conditions under which Boeotia is making peace? Boeotia went to war because she refused to allow Orchomenus its independence.24 today, after the loss of thousands of lives, after the devastation of a large part of her territory, after heavy public and private expenditure, which is now a dead loss, after four years of fighting, Boeotia is recognizing the independence of Orchomenus and making peace, thereby rendering her sufferings useless, as by acknowledging the independence of Orchomenus at the outset she need never have gone to war at all. Those are the circumstances in which Boeotia is ceasing hostilities. [21]

Now what are the terms available to ourselves, gentlemen? How is Sparta disposed to us? Here, if I am about to cause distress to any of you, I ask his forgiveness, as I shall be stating nothing but the facts. To begin with, when we lost our fleet on the Hellespont and were shut within our walls,25 what did our present allies,26 who were then on the Spartan side, propose to do with us? They proposed, did they not, to sell our citizens as slaves and make Attica a waste. And who was it who prevented this? The Spartans; they dissuaded the allies, and for their own part refused even to contemplate such measures. [22] Later we gave them our oath, were allowed to erect the column, and accepted a truce upon dictated terms, a hardship which was welcome enough at the time. Nevertheless we then proceeded, by means of an alliance, to detach Boeotia and Corinth from Sparta, and to resume friendly relations with Argos, thereby involving Sparta in the battle of Corinth.27 Who, again, turned the king of Persia against Sparta? Who enabled Conon to fight the engagement at sea which lost her her maritime supremacy?28 [23] Yet in spite of all that she has suffered at our hands, she agrees to the same concessions as those made us by our allies, and offers us our walls, our fleet, and our islands. What terms of peace do you expect representatives to bring you back, may I ask? Can they do better than obtain the same advantages from the enemy as our friends are offering us, the very advantages which we went to war to secure for Athens? Whereas others make peace at a loss to themselves, we gain precisely what we most want. [24]

What, then, remains to be considered? Corinth, and the appeal which Argos is making to us. First as to Corinth. I should like to be informed of the value of Corinth to us, if Boeotia leaves our ranks and makes peace with Sparta. Recall the day on which we concluded our alliance with Boeotia, gentlemen: [25] Recall the assumption on which we acted. We imagined, did we not, that once Boeotia joined forces with us we could face the whole world. Yet here we are considering how we can continue fighting Sparta without her help, now that she is making peace. [26] “Perfectly well,” say some, “provided that we protect Corinth and are allied with Argos.” But if Sparta attacks Argos, shall we go to her help or not? For we shall assuredly have no choice but to follow the one course or the other. Yet should we withhold our help, we are left without a single argument wherewith to justify ourselves or to show that Argos has not the right to act as she pleases. On the other hand, should we give her our aid, is not a conflict with Sparta inevitable? And to what end? To enable us to lose our own territory as well as that of Corinth in the event of defeat, and to secure Corinth for Argos in the event of victory. Will not that prove to be our object in fighting? [27]

Now let us examine the Argive proposals in their turn. Argos urges us to join Corinth and herself in maintaining the war; yet in virtue of a private peace which she has negotiated,29 she has withdrawn her own territory from the field of hostilities. She forbids us to place the least trust in Sparta, although all our allies are joining us in making peace; yet she admits that Sparta's treaty with herself, which was made without any such support, has been faithfully observed. Again, Argos calls her own peace traditional, but forbids the other Greeks to secure a traditional peace for themselves: the reason being that she expects to annex Corinth by prolonging the war, and after gaining control of the state which has always controlled her, she hopes to extend her influence over her partners in victory as well. [28]

Such are the prospects to which we are committed; and we have a choice between two alternatives, that of joining Argos in fighting Sparta, and that of joining Boeotia in making common peace with her. Now what alarms me above all else, gentlemen, is our old, old fault of invariably abandoning powerful friends in preference for weak, and of going to war for the sake of others when, as far as we ourselves are concerned, we could perfectly well remain at peace. [29] Thus—and it is only by calling the past to mind that one can properly determine policy—we began by making a truce with the Great King and establishing a permanent accord with him, thanks to the diplomacy of my mother's brother, Epilycus, the son of Teisander.30 But later the king's runaway slave, Amorges,31 induced us to discard the powerful support of his master as worthless. We chose instead what we imagined to be a more advantageous understanding with Amorges himself. The king in his anger replied by allying himself with Sparta,32 and furnished her with five thousand talents with which to prosecute the war; nor was he satisfied until he had overthrown our empire. That is one instance of such policy. [30]

Again, an urgent request came to us from Syracuse; she was ready to end our differences by a pact of friendship, to end war by peace; and she pointed out the advantages of an alliance with herself, if only we would consent to it, over those of the existing alliance with Segesta and Catana.33 But once more we chose war instead of peace, Segesta instead of Syracuse; instead of staying at home as the allies of Syracuse, we chose to send an armament to Sicily. The result was the loss of a large part of the Athenian and allied forces, the bravest being the first to fall; a reckless waste of ships, money, and resources: and the return of the survivors in disgrace. [31]

Later,34 the same Argives who are here today to persuade us to continue the war, induced us to arouse Sparta's anger by making a naval descent upon Laconia while at peace with her, an act which was responsible for endless disasters; from it sprang a war which ended with our being forced to demolish our walls, to surrender our fleet, and to restore our exiles. Yet what help did we receive in our misfortunes from Argos who had drawn us into the war? What danger did she brave for Athens? [32]

Today, then, it remains for us to choose war instead of peace once again, the Argive instead of the Boeotian alliance, the present masters of Corinth instead of Sparta. Gentlemen, I trust that no one will induce us to choose such a course. The examples furnished by our past mistakes are enough to prevent men of sense from repeating them. [33]

A number of you are extremely anxious to see peace concluded as quickly as possible. In fact, according to those in question, the forty days allowed you for consideration are a waste of time and a concession which we delegates have done wrong to obtain, as the one object of our being sent to Sparta with full powers was to avoid any further reference of the matter to the Assembly. Our desire to secure our position by such a reference they call nervousness, since no one, they argue, has ever yet saved the Athenian people by open persuasion: measures for its good must be secret or disguised. [34]

Now I cannot praise this reasoning. I admit, gentlemen, that in time of war a patriotic and experienced general should employ secrecy or deception in leading the majority of men into danger; but when a peace to include the entire nation is being negotiated, an agreement to which sworn assent will be given and which will be recorded on public monuments, I deny that the negotiators should practise secrecy or deception. I maintain that we deserve praise much more than blame, if, in spite of our full powers of discretion, we still refer the question to you for consideration. Decisions should be reached with all the caution possible; then, once we have made our sworn compact, we should abide by it. [35]

As delegates, we must be guided not only by your written instructions, but by your character, gentlemen. You have a way of suspecting and being dissatisfied with a thing if you can have it: while if there is anything which you have not, you airily talk as though it lay ready to your hand. If it is your duty to go to war, you want peace; if peace is arranged for you, you count up the benefits which war has brought you. [36] Thus there are those who are already complaining that they cannot see the meaning of the treaty, if it is walls and ships which Athens is to recover. They are not recovering their own private property from abroad: and walls cannot feed them. This objection also requires an answer. [37]

There was once a time, gentlemen, when we had no walls or fleet: but it was when we acquired them that our prosperity began. If you have a similar desire for prosperity today, then make sure of your walls and your ships. It was with them that our forefathers started; and, partly by persuasion, partly by stealth, partly by bribery, and partly by force, they won for Athens a greater empire than any other state has ever gained. [38] Persuasion we used in arranging that Hellenotamiae should be appointed at Athens to control the joint funds,35 that the allied fleet should assemble in our own harbor, and that such states as possessed no ships should be supplied with them by us: stealth in building our walls unknown to the Peloponnesians36: bribery in purchasing Sparta's acquiescence: and force in crushing our enemies; thus it was that we built up an empire over the whole nation. All these successes were achieved in eighty-five years.37 [39] Then came defeat; and not only did we lose our empire: our walls and our fleet were also seized as securities by Sparta. The fleet she confiscated, and the walls she demolished, to prevent our using them as the foundations of a fresh Athenian dominion. Thanks to the efforts of us delegates, representatives have today come from Sparta with full powers, offering to restore those securities to us, to concede us our walls and our fleet, and to recognize the islands as ours. [40]

Now although we hold the very same key to prosperity as our forefathers, it is maintained by some that we must not acquiesce in this peace. Let such critics come forward in person, then, —we have ourselves made it possible for them to do so by securing a further forty days for discussion—and let them tell you on the one hand whether any of the clauses drafted is undesirable: if it is, it can be excised; on the other hand, if anyone wishes to make any additions, let him gain your approval and make them. If you accept all the clauses drafted, you can live in peace. [41] If you are satisfied with none of them, war is inevitable. The decision rests entirely with you, gentlemen; make your choice. Argives and Corinthians are here to show you that war is preferable: while Spartans have come to gain your consent to a peace. The final word in the matter rests with you instead of with Sparta—thanks to us. Thus we delegates are making delegates of you all; every man of you who is about to raise his hand to vote is a delegate whose business is peace and war, no matter which he prefers. So bear in mind all that I have said, gentlemen: and vote for that alternative which will never cause you regrets.

1 3-12 of this speech were inserted by Aeschines, with slight alterations, in his De Falsa Legatione( Aeschin. 2.172-176), an interesting example of the plagiarism which is known to have been common in ancient times. The De Falsa Legationewas delivered in 343, almost fifty years after this.

2 Andocides is confused in his history here. He is referring to the revolt of Euboea which occurred in 446 B.C. and which was followed by a thirty years' peace with Sparta. He is also inaccurate in stating that Athens was still holding Megara; Megara revolted at the same time as Euboea, and Athens was left only with the two ports of Pegae and Nisaea. The peace marked the end of her effort to acquire an empire on land. See Thuc. 1.112.

3 A double historical error. (a) Andocides means Cimon, son of Miltiades. (b) Cimon had been dead three years when the thirty years' peace was negotiated. A. is thinking of the truce of five years with Sparta arranged by Cimon in 451 immediately upon his return from exile. It was at the time of its expiry that the revolt of Euboea occurred. Cimon had been ostracized in 461 after his ignominious dismissal by the Spartans from Ithome. His exile marked the triumph of the advanced democrats headed by Ephialtes and Pericles.

4 Again an error. Peiraeus was fortified by Themistocles immediately after the repulse of the Persians in 480.

5 The northern Long Wall, connecting Athens with Peiraeus, was in fact built in 457, over ten years before the negotiation of the peace which Andocides is discussing. Nothing is said of the wall to the south, running between Athens and Phalerum, which was constructed at the same time.

6 An obvious inaccuracy. The Athenian fleet had been growing steadily since the Persian Wars and the institution of the Delian League.

7 Cavalry had been in existence since at least the seventh century. Solon, at the beginning of the sixth, formed his second property class of Ἱππεῖς, citizens wealthy enough to provide themselves with a horse in time of war. Archers (τοξόται) were imported for the first time shortly after Salamis (480 B.C.)

8 There is bad confusion here. Aegina lost her independence and was incorporated in the Athenian empire in 457. Under the Thirty Years' Peace of 446 she was guaranteed autonomy on condition that she continued to pay tribute. In 432, she made secret overtures to Sparta, alleging that her autonomy had not been respected. Thus Andocides may be thinking of her share in precipitating the Archidamian War. On the other hand, the peace which follows is not the Peace of Nicias; when talking of the benefits which ensued from it, Andocides seems to be referring once again to the Thirty Years' Peace (see Andoc. 3.3). Probably he is thinking of the peace of 446, and assumes that because the status of Aegina figured prominently in the negotiations, it was Aegina which had originally sent Athens to war.

9 For Athenian finance between 446 and 432 see I.G. i2. 91. According to Thucydides a reserve of 6000 talents had been accumulated on the Acropolis by the end of the period. One thousand were specially set apart against a naval crisis. It was forbidden to use this sum for any other purpose under pain of death. Andocides appears to be confusing the money earmarked for ships with the ships themselves

10 Inaccurate. The docks had been built by Themistocles in the decade following the Persian Wars.

11 i.e. the Middle Wall, running parallel to the wall on the north and connecting Athens with Peiraeus by a narrow corridor. It was built during the Thirty Years' Peace.

12 The famous Megarian decree which excluded Megara from the markets of Attica and the ports of the Athenian empire was passed in 432. It brought Peloponnesian discontent to a head, and the Archidamian War followed (431-421). See Thuc. 1.139.

13 In 421 B.C. It was a Fifty Years' Peace; but in 420 Athens allied herself with Argos, Elis, and Mantinea, who were aggressively anti-Spartan. By 418 she was at war again.

14 The MSS. give four hundred. Markland's correction, based on the corresponding passage in Aeschines and Thuc. 2.13, is now universally accepted.

15 According to Thucydides (Thuc. 2.13) the revenue from tribute at the beginning of the Archidamian War was 600 talents yearly. In 425 there was a re-assessment (known from I.G. i 2 . 63) which increased the total annual contribution of the allies to just over 960 talents. There is no good evidence to show that this figure was ever exceeded: and Andocides' 1200 must be treated as an exaggeration. The mention of a reserve of 7000 talents is suspicious. Athens did, it is true, recover remarkably from the effects of the Archidamian War during the period between 421 and the Sicilian Expedition of 415. But Andocides is here talking of the years 421-419 only. He may be basing his figures on the financial reserve of Athens before the Archidamian War.

16 Argos invaded the territory of Epidaurus in 419, thereby bringing about an open breach with Sparta. Athens, at the instance of Alcibiades, gave Argos her support in virtue of the alliance of the previous year. “Then as now at the instigation of Argos,” i.e. Argive representatives are again present, while Andocides is speaking, to urge Athens to continue war with Sparta (cf. Andoc. 3.24 ff.). This seems more probable than the other possible rendering: “Once again at the instigation of Argos,” referring to the Athenian alliance with Argos in 462 B.C.

17 In 404, after Aegospotami.

18 It was customary to inscribe treaties, etc., upon upright slabs of stone (στῆλαι). At Athens such στῆλαι would stand for the most part on the Acropolis.

19 i.e. all that had been lost when the empire collapsed in 404.

20 In 395, when Pausanias and Lysander invaded Boeotia. This began the “Corinthian War.”

21 July 394. The Spartans met the allied forces of Thebes, Athens, Corinth, and Argos at Nemea, between Corinth and Sicyon, and heavily defeated them. The battle was fought before Agesilaus, who had been recalled from Asia Minor, had reached Greece.

22 The battle of Coronea, fought a fortnight or so after Nemea. The allied forces attempted to block the passage of Agesilaus as he marched southwards through Boeotia on his homeward journey from Asia Minor. The Spartans were victorious, but sustained heavy losses; and Agesilaus was content to continue his march without halting.

23 Corinth was now fortified by Long Walls on the Athenian plan. In 393 Sparta made a determined effort to break through the fortifications. She succeeded, and seized the Corinthian port of Lechaeum on the west and Sidus and Crommyon on the east in spite of strong opposition from the allied forces.

24 See Introduction.

25 The siege of Athens, which followed immediately after Aegospotami, lasted from September 405 to April 404.

26 Notably the Thebans and Corinthians.

27 i.e. Nemea in 394.

28 After Aegospotami Conon, the Athenian admiral, fled to the court of Evagoras of Salamis in Cyprus. Through his influence he ultimately won the confidence of the satrap Pharnabazus. In 397 he was put in charge of the Persian fleet, and in 394 utterly routed the Spartans under Peisander off Cnidus.

29 Possibly a reference to the Argive trick of celebrating a ἱερομηνία, or “sacred month,” when Sparta was about to invade their territory. The ἱερομηνία was taken up with the festival of the Carneia, and it was traditional among Dorians that war could not be waged in the course of it. See Xen. Hell. 4.7.2.

30 Epilycus is not mentioned elsewhere. The last formal peace negotiated between Athens and Persia had been the Peace of Callias, c. 462-460 B.C. Andocides may have in mind the deputation which was sent to the Persian Court in 424 (Thuc. 4.50).

31 Amorges was the son of a rebel satrap of Lydia named Pissuthnes. After the recovery of Lydia by Tissaphernes Amorges took refuge in Caria. He was given shelter by Iasus, a member of the Athenian Confederacy. Iasus was stormed by the Spartans in 412 on the instigation of Tissaphernes, and Amorges was handed over to the Persians (Thuc. 8.5.5).

32 In 413. The sum mentioned is an exaggeration. From 413 to 407 Tissaphernes made it a point of policy to withhold subsidies from the Spartans as far as possible in order to prolong the war and weaken both combatants. In 407 he was superseded by Cyrus, who brought with him 500 talents for the improvement of the Spartan navy.

33 Athens had formed an alliance with Segesta as early as 453 (I.G. i 2 . 19-20). It was renewed in 424 by Laches. In 416 Segesta found herself ranged against the combined forces of Selinus and Syracuse. She appealed to Athens for help, and the disastrous Syracusan expedition resulted.

34 Actually in 419. Andocides is thinking of Alcibiades' descent on Epidaurus in support of the Argives, who had already invaded her territory by land. The expedition was made in virtue of the alliance of the previous year between Athens, Argos, Elis, and Mantinea.

35 According to Thucydides (Thuc. 1.96) the Hellenotamiae were Athenian officials from the very start. But the evidence of the Quota-lists rather indicates that the office first became purely Athenian in 454, after the transference of the treasury of the League from Delos to Athens.

36 Apparently a reference to the famous trick of Themistocles when rebuilding the walls of Athens in the winter of 479 (Thuc. 1.90). Thucydides, however, does not suggest that there was any danger of war from Sparta in consequence.

37 i.e. between 490 and 405, Marathon and Aegospotami.

Against Alcibiades

This is not the first occasion upon which the perils of engaging in politics have come home to me; I regarded it as no less hazardous in the past, before I had concerned myself in any way with affairs of state. Yet I consider it the duty of the good citizen, not to withhold himself from public life for fear of making personal enemies, but to be ready to face danger for the benefit of the community. Those who think only of themselves contribute nothing to a state's advancement; it is to those who think of the state that its greatness and its independence are due. [2] I myself desired to be included in this number: and consequently I now find myself in the utmost peril. True, in yourselves I have an audience actively devoted to the public good, and that circumstance makes for my salvation; but I have innumerable enemies of the most dangerous kind, and by them I am being misrepresented. Nor is the contest in which I am engaged for the winning of a crown; it is to decide whether one who has done the state no wrong is to spend ten years in exile. The competitors for that prize are Alcibiades, Nicias, and myself. Upon one of us the blow must fall. [3]

Now the legislator1 responsible for this deserves censure; for the law which he framed violates the oath of the People and Council. Under the terms of that oath you swear to exile no one, to imprison no one, to put no one to death, without trial; whereas on this present occasion, when the person ostracized is to be cut off from his country for so long, no accusation has been made, no defence allowed, and the voting is secret. [4] Moreover, at a time like this those who have political associates and confederates have an advantage over the rest, because the judges are not appointed by lot as in courts of law: in the present decision every member of the community has a voice. And not only that: the law appears to me to go both too far and not far enough; for wrongs done to individuals I consider such redress as this excessive: for wrongs done to the state I regard it as an insufficient and useless penalty, when you have the right to punish by fine, imprisonment, or death. [5] Furthermore, if a man is exiled because he is a bad citizen, his leaving Athens will not cure him; wherever he lives, he will do this city harm and intrigue against her no less than hitherto—nay more so and with more justification than before his banishment. Today, too, above all days, your friends, I feel, are filled with sorrow and your enemies with joy, because they know that if you unwittingly banish your best citizen, Athens will derive no benefit from him for ten years. [6] Then still another fact makes it easy to see that the law is a bad one: we are the only Greeks to observe it, and no other state is prepared to imitate us.2 Yet it is recognized that the best institutions are those which have proved most suited to democracy and oligarchy alike and which are the most generally favoured. [7]

I see no reason for dwelling further on this subject, as, whatever the outcome, I should achieve nothing of immediate advantage. But I do ask you to preside over our speeches in a fair and impartial manner, and one and all to act as Archons.3 Do not countenance abuse or undue flattery. Show yourselves kindly to him who desires to speak and to listen: show yourselves stern to him who is insolent and disorderly; for you will decide our fate all the better, if each of the cases to be laid before you is given a hearing. [8]

It remains for me to make a brief reference to my hostility to the democracy and my membership of a political faction. Had I never appeared in court, you would have had some reason for listening to my accusers, and it would have been necessary for me to answer them on these points. But since I have been tried and acquitted four times, I do not consider any further discussion of the subject justified. Before a man is tried, it is difficult to know whether the charges made against him are false or true; but after his acquittal or conviction the matter is decided, and it is settled whether they are the one or the other. [9] Hence I cannot but think it strange that while defendants who are convicted by but a single vote4 are put to death and have their property confiscated by you, those who win their case should have to face the same charges again: that while the court has the power to take away life, it should so clearly lack the authority to save it once and finally, especially as the laws forbid the same charge to be brought twice against the same defendant, and you have sworn to observe those laws. [10]

I shall therefore say nothing of myself. I wish instead to remind you of the past of Alcibiades— although such is the multitude of his misdeeds that I am at a loss where to begin: there is not one of them that does not press for mention. Were I faced with the task of describing at length his career as an adulterer, as a stealer of the wives of others, as a perpetrator of acts of lawless violence in general, the time at my disposal would be all too short, and I should furthermore earn the ill-will of many of my fellows for making public the injuries which they have suffered. Of his conduct towards the state, however, and towards the members of his family and such citizens and foreigners as have crossed his path, I will give you some account. [11]

To begin with, he persuaded you to revise the assessment of the tribute of the subject-states made with the utmost fairness by Aristeides.5 Chosen with nine others to perform the task,6 he practically doubled the contribution of each member of the alliance, while by showing how formidable he was and how influential, he made the revenues of the state a means of procuring revenue for himself.7 Now just consider: when our safety depends entirely upon our allies and those allies are acknowledged to be worse off today than in the past, how could anyone do greater mischief than by doubling the tribute of each? [12] In fact, if you hold that Aristeides was a good Athenian and a just one, you can only regard Alcibiades as a scoundrel, since his policy towards the subject-states is the exact opposite of that of Aristeides. Indeed, because of his behaviour, many are leaving their homes as exiles and going off to settle at Thurii8; while the bitter feeling of the allies will manifest itself directly there is a war at sea between Sparta and ourselves. In my own opinion, he is a worthless statesman who considers only the present without also giving thought to the future, who advocates the policy which will best please the people and says nothing of that which their true interests require. [13]

I am astonished, furthermore, at those who are persuaded that Alcibiades is a lover of democracy, that form of government which more than any other would seem to make equality its end. They are not using his private life as evidence of his character, in spite of the fact that his greed and his arrogance are plain to them. On his marriage with the sister of Callias he received a dowry of ten talents; yet after Hipponicus9 had lost his life as one of the generals at Delium,10 he exacted another ten, on the ground that Hipponicus had agreed to add this further sum as soon as Alcibiades should have a child by his daughter. [14] Then, after obtaining a dowry such as no Greek had ever obtained before, he behaved in so profligate a fashion, bringing mistresses, slave and free, into the bridal house, that he drove his wife, who was a decent woman, to present herself before the Archon, as she was legally entitled to do, and divorce him. At that he gave conspicuous proof of his power. He called in his friends, and carried off his wife from the Agora by force, showing the whole world his contempt for the magistrates, the laws, and his fellow Athenians in general. Nor was this one outrage enough for him. He went further. [15] In order to possess himself of Hipponicus' estate, he planned the assassination of Callias. Callias himself accused him of it before you all in the Assembly, and, for fear that his wealth would cost him his life, made over his property to the state in the event of his dying without issue. However, Callias neither lacks friends nor is he an easy victim. Thanks to his riches he can be sure of protection in plenty. None the less, when a man offers violence to his own wife and plots the death of his brother-in-law, how is he to be expected to behave towards such of his fellow-citizens as cross his path? Everyone has more regard for members of his own family than he has for strangers. [16]

But most monstrous of all is the fact that a man of his character should talk as though he were a friend of the people, and call others oligarchs and foes of the democracy. Yes, although he himself deserves death for behaving as he does, he is chosen by you to proceed against any whose sympathies conflict with yours ; and he poses as guardian of the constitution, in spite of the fact that he refuses to be the equal of, or but little superior to, his fellows. So completely, indeed, does he despise you that he spends his time flattering you in a body and insulting you individually. [17] Why, there are no limits to his impudence. He persuaded Agatharchus, the artist, to accompany him home,11 and then forced him to paint; and when Agatharchus appealed to him, stating with perfect truth that he could not oblige him at the moment because he had other engagements, Alcibiades threatened him with imprisonment, unless he started painting straight away. And he carried out his threat. Agatharchus only made his escape three months later, by slipping past his guards and running away as he might have done from the king of Persia. But so shameless is Alcibiades that he went to Agatharchus and accused him of doing him a wrong; instead of apologizing for his violence, he uttered threats against him for leaving his work unfinished. Democracy, freedom went for nothing: Agatharchus had been put in chains exactly like any acknowledged slave. [18] It makes me angry to think that while you yourselves cannot place even malefactors under arrest without risk, because it is enacted that anyone who fails to gain one-fifth of the votes shall be liable to a fine of a thousand drachmae, Alcibiades, who imprisoned a man for so long and forced him to paint, went unpunished—nay, increased thereby the awe and the fear in which he is held. In our treaties with other states12 we make it a condition that no free man shall be imprisoned or placed in durance, and a heavy fine is prescribed as the penalty for so doing. Yet when Alcibiades behaved as he did, no one sought satisfaction, whether for himself or for the state. [19] Obedience to the magistrates and the laws is to my mind the one safeguard of society; and anyone who sets them at nought is destroying at one blow the surest guarantee of security which the state possesses. It is hard enough to be made to suffer by those who have no conception of right and wrong; but it is far more serious when a man who knows what the public interest requires, acts in defiance of it. He shows clearly, as Alcibiades has done, that instead of holding that he ought himself to conform with the laws of the state, he expects you to conform with his own way of life. [20]

Then again, remember Taureas13 who competed against Alcibiades as Choregus of a chorus of boys.14 The law allows the ejection of any member whatsoever of a competing chorus who is not of Athenian birth, and it is forbidden to resist any attempt at such ejection. Yet in your presence, in the presence of the other Greeks who were looking on, and before all the magistrates in Athens, Alcibiades drove off Taureas with his fists.15 The spectators showed their sympathy with Taureas and their hatred of Alcibiades by applauding the one chorus and refusing to listen to the other at all. Yet Taureas was none the better off for that. [21] Partly from fear, partly from subservience, the judges pronounced Alcibiades the victor, treating him as more important than their oath. And it seems to me only natural that the judges should thus seek favour with Alcibiades, when they could see that Taureas, who had spent so vast a sum, was being subjected to insults, while his rival, who showed such contempt for the law, was all-powerful. The blame lies with you. You refuse to punish insolence; and while you chastise secret wrongdoing, you admire open effrontery. [22] That is why the young spend their days in the courts instead of in the gymnasia; that is why our old men fight our battles, while our young men make speeches— they take Alcibiades as their model, Alcibiades who carries his villainy to such unheard-of lengths that, after recommending that the people of Melos16 be sold into slavery, he purchased a woman from among the prisoners and has since had a son by her, a child whose birth was more unnatural than that of Aegis—thus,17 since he is sprung from parents who are each other's deadliest enemies, and of his nearest kin the one has committed and the other has suffered the most terrible of wrongs. [23] Indeed it would be well to make such shamelessness still plainer. He got himself a child by the very woman whom he had turned from a free citizen into a slave, whose father and kinsfolk he had put to death and whose city he had made a waste, that he might thereby make his son the deadly enemy of himself and of this city; so inevitably is the boy driven to hate both. When you are shown things of this kind on the tragic stage, you regard them with horror; but when you see them taking place in Athens, you remain unmoved—and yet you are uncertain whether the tales of tragedy are founded on the truth or spring merely from the imagination of the poets; whereas you well know that these other lawless outrages, which you accept with indifference, have occurred in fact. [24]

In addition to all this, some dare to say that the like of Alcibiades has never been before. For my part, I believe that Athens will meet with terrible calamities at his hands, that he will be deemed responsible hereafter for disasters so awful that no one will remember his past misdeeds; for it is only to be expected that one who has begun his life in such a fashion will make its close no less portentous. Men of sense should beware of those of their fellows who grow too great, remembering that it is such as they who set up tyrannies. [25]

I imagine that Alcibiades will make no reply to this, but will talk instead of his victory at Olympia,18 and that he will seek to defend himself on any grounds rather than those on which he has been charged. But I will use the very facts upon which he relies to prove that he deserves death rather than acquittal. Let me explain. [26]

Diomedes took a chariot-team to Olympia. He was a man of moderate means, but desired to win a garland for Athens and for his family with such resources as he had, since he held that the chariot-races were for the most part decided by chance. Diomedes was no casual competitor, but a citizen of Athens.19 Yet thanks to his influence with the Masters of the Games20 at Elis, Alcibiades deprived him of his team and competed with it himself. What would he have done, may we ask, had one of your allies arrived with a team? [27] I imagine he would have been all eagerness to let him compete against himself, considering that he had forcibly ousted an Athenian rival and then had the impudence to contest the race with another man's horses—after he had, in fact, warned the Greeks in general that they must not be surprised at his offering violence to any of them, seeing that he does not treat his own fellow Athenians as his equals, but robs them, strikes them, throws them into prison, and extorts money from them, yes, shows the democracy to be nothing better than a sham, by talking like a champion of the people and acting like a tyrant, since he has found out that while the word “tyranny” fills you with concern, the thing for which leaves you undisturbed. [28] Indeed, so different is he from the Spartans that whereas the Spartans accept defeat even at the hands of their allies, when they compete against them, Alcibiades will not endure it even at the hands of his fellow-citizens; in fact, he has openly stated that he will brook no rivals. It is inevitable that such behaviour should cause the states within our confederacy to feel sympathy for our enemies and loathing for us. [29]

In order to make it clear, however, that he was insulting Athens as a whole in addition to Diomedes, he asked the leaders of the Athenian deputation to lend him the processional vessels, alleging that he intended to use them for a celebration of his victory on the day before the sacrifice; he then abused the trust placed in him and refused to return them, as he wanted to use the golden basins and censers next day before Athens did so. Naturally, when those strangers who did not know that they belonged to us saw the state-procession taking place after that of Alcibiades, they imagined that we were using his vessels: while those who had either heard the truth from the Athenians present or else knew the ways of Alcibiades, laughed at us when they saw one man showing himself superior to our entire community. [30]

Then again, look at the arrangements which he made for his stay at Olympia as a whole. For Alcibiades the people of Ephesus erected a Persian pavilion twice as large as that of our official deputation: Chios furnished him with beasts for sacrifice and with fodder for his horses: while he requisitioned wine and everything else necessary for his maintenance from Lesbos. And so lucky is he that although the Greek people at large can testify to his lawlessness and corruption, he has gone unpunished. While those who hold office within a single city have to render account of that office, [31] Alcibiades, whose authority extends over all our allies and who receives monies from them, is not liable to answer for any of his public acts; on the contrary, after behaving as I have described, he was rewarded with free entertainment in the Prytaneum21; and not content with that, he is for ever taking credit for his victory, as though he had not so much brought Athens into disgrace as won her a garland of honour. Only reflect, and you will find that men who have given way even temporarily to any single one of the excesses in which Alcibiades has indulged time and again, have brought ruin upon their houses; yet Alcibiades, whose entire life is devoted to extravagance, has doubled his wealth. [32] You regard as misers those who are niggardly and close-fisted; but you are mistaken. It is the spendthrift, with his endless wants, who stoops lowest to fill his pockets. In fact, it will be a public disgrace, if you show tolerance towards a man who has achieved his success only with the help of your money, when in ostracizing Callias, son of Didymius, who won victories at all the great games by his personal prowess, you took no account whatsoever of his achievement, although it was by his own efforts that he brought glory to Athens. [33]

Then again, remember how steadfast, how true to their principles your fathers showed themselves, when they ostracized Cimon for breaking the law by taking his own sister to wife22; and yet not only was Cimon himself an Olympic victor; his father, Miltiades, had been one likewise. Nevertheless, they took no account of his victories; for it was not by his exploits at the games, but by his manner of life that they judged him. [34]

Furthermore, if account is to be taken of our families, I on my side cannot claim any acquaintance with ostracism. No one could show that any kinsman of mine has ever had the misfortune to suffer it. Alcibiades, on the other hand, knows more of it than any other member of the community. His mother's father, Megacles, and his father's father, Alcibiades, were both ostracized twice; so it will be neither surprising nor unnatural if he receives the same treatment as his ancestors. Indeed, not even Alcibiades himself would venture to maintain that they, the worst miscreants of their time though they were, did not have more regard for decency and honesty than he himself; for no one in the world could frame an accusation which would do justice to his misdeeds. [35]

Moreover, the legislator who instituted ostracism appears to me to have had the following intention. Observing that whenever members of the community are more powerful than the magistrates and the laws, it is impossible for an individual to obtain redress from them, he arranged that punishment for their misdeeds should be exacted by the state. Now I myself have been publicly tried four times, and have never prevented any private person who so desired from bringing me to justice. On the other hand, Alcibiades, who has worked such mischief, has never yet dared to answer for it in any way whatsoever. [36] So forbidding is he that instead of punishing him for the wrongs which he has done already, men fear him for what he will do hereafter; and while it pays his victims to suffer in silence, he himself is not satisfied unless he can work his will in the future also. Yet I hardly deserve to be ostracized, gentlemen, if I do not deserve to be put to death23; and if I was acquitted when brought to trial, I cannot deserve to be sent into exile when no trial has taken place; nor after vindicating myself so many times in court can I be thought to merit banishment on the same grounds of accusation again. [37]

It may be objected that when I was prosecuted, the attack made upon me was a weak one, that my accusers were unimpressive, or that the case was conducted by casual enemies instead of by those who excel both as speakers and as men of action and who, in fact, brought about the death of two of the persons charged with the same offences as myself. I answer that justice requires you to banish, not those whom, after repeated inquiry, you have found to be innocent, but those who refuse to render to the state an account of their past. [38] Indeed what seems strange to me is this. If one sought to vindicate persons who have been put to death by showing that they met their end unjustly, such an attempt would not be tolerated. If, on the other hand, those who have been declared innocent should once more be accused on the same charge—is it not only right that you should behave in the case of the living as you would in the case of the dead? [39]

It is characteristic of Alcibiades to pay no attention to laws or oaths himself, and to try to teach you to disregard them as well, and while he is ruthless in bringing about the banishment and the death of others, to have recourse to heartrending tears and appeals for mercy on his own account. Nor does such behaviour surprise me—he has done much that calls for tears. But whose goodwill will he gain by his entreaties, I wonder? That of the young, upon whom he has brought the disfavour of the people by his insolence, by his emptying of the gymnasia, and by behaviour which his years do not warrant? Or that of the old, whose ways are the exact opposite of his own, and whose mode of life he has treated with contempt? [40]

However, it is not the mere exaction of punishment from wrongdoers themselves that should be your object; you should seek also to render everyone else more upright and more self-controlled by the sight of that punishment. If, then, you send me into exile, you will strike fear into all men of worth. If, on the other hand, you punish Alcibiades, you will inspire a greater respect for the law in those whose insolence is uncontrolled. [41]

I wish, further, to remind you of what I have done. I have been sent on missions to Thessaly, to Macedonia, to Molossia, to Thesprotia, to Italy, and to Sicily. In the course of them I have reconciled such as had quarrelled with you, others I have won over to friendship, others I have detached from your enemies. If every representative of yours had done the same, you would have few foes, and you would have gained many an ally. [42]

Of my public services I do not intend to speak. I will say only this: the expenditure required of me I meet, not from monies belonging to the state, but from my own pocket. And yet I have in fact gained victories in the contest of physique,24 in the torch-race, and at the tragic competitions without striking rival Choregi, and without feeling shame at my possessing less power than the laws. Citizens of this kind, it seems to me, deserve to remain in Athens far more than to be sent into exile.

1 Cleisthenes, in 510 B.C ., cf. Aristot. Ath. Pol. 22. καὶ γὰρ συνέβη τοὺς μὲν Σόλωνος νόμους ἀφανίσαι τὴν τυραννίδα διὰ τὸ μὴ χρῆσθαι, καινοὺς δÕ ἄλλους θεῖναι τὸν Κλεισθένην στοχαζόμενον τοῦ πλήθους, ἐν οἷς ἐτέθη καὶ ὁ περὶ τοῦ ὀστρακισμοῦ νόμος. For the procedure cf. Philochorus frag. 79b, F.G.H. i. 396.

2 The evidence on the subject of ostracism in Greece at large is too inconclusive to enable us either to accept or to reject this statement with confidence. It is known that the institution existed for a time at least at Argos (Aristot. Pol. 8.3, 1302b 18), at Miletus (Schol. Aristoph. Kn. 855), at Megara (ibid.), and at Syracuse (Dio. Sic. 11.87.6). It was introduced at Syracuse in 454 B.C. under the name of πεταλισμός, definitely in imitation of Athens.

3 Dalmeyda (Andoc., ed. Bude) is probably right in explaining this as a reference to the procedure observed when an ὀστρακισμός was held. According to the Scholiast on Aristoph. Kn. 855, the people met under the presidency of the Archons and the Boule, i.e. the Archons together with the Prytanes in office for the time being. These last would have one of their members as ἐπιστάτης or president for the day. The speaker is therefore urging his audience to regard themselves as placed in the same responsible position as the Archons and ἐπιστάτης τῶν πρυτανέων

4 i.e. by a majority of one. If the jury was equally divided, the accused was acquitted. Cf. Antiph. 5.51.

5 In 478 B.C., at the formation of the Confederacy of Delos. According to Thucydides (Thuc. 1.96), the tribute as assessed by Aristeides amounted to 460 talents. It is difficult to accept this statement, as the existing quota-lists show that even between 450 B.C. and 436 B.C., when the Confederacy was far larger and contributions of money had almost entirely superseded those of ships, the total sum collected never exceeded 455 talents. The original assessment of Aristeides cannot have produced much more than 250 talents.

6 Nothing is known of this reassessment. In 425 B.C. the existing tribute had been practically doubled, probably at the instigation of Cleon (I.G. i1. 63); and the speaker may conceivably be making a mistaken reference to this, although Alcibiades would have been only about twenty-five at the time, and therefore too young to be concerned in it. A second attempt to increase the revenue was made c. 413, when a 5 per cent toll on maritime commerce was instituted in lieu of tribute (Thucyd. vii. 28).

7 i.e. he used his position to extort blackmail, under threat of an excessive assessment.

8 A colony founded in 453 B.C. on the site of Sybaris in S. Italy. The bulk of the settlers were Athenian, although numbers came from all parts of the Greek world.

9 For Hipponicus and Callius cf. Andoc. 1.115, 130.

10 In 424 B.C. Demosthenes and Hippocrates planned a joint invasion of Boeotia. The scheme miscarried; and the Athenians were heavily defeated at Delium.

11 Plutarch also mentions this episode (Plut. Alc. 16) but adds that Alcibiades sent Agatharchus away with a reward.

12 For σύμβολα see Antiph. 5.78 note 2.

13 Cf. Dem. 21.147.

14 For the duties of such a Choregus see Antiph. 6.11-13. Choruses of boys selected from each of the ten tribes competed against one another at all the major festivals of the Attic year.

15 The speaker is not very clear. Apparently Taureas attempted to secure the ejection of a member of Alcibiades' chorus, but met with violent resistance from Alcibiades himself. Cf. Dem. 21.147 Ταυρέαν ἐπάταξε χορηγοῦντ᾽ ἐπὶ κόρρης

16 In 425 B.C. Melos refused to pay the increased tribute demanded of her, and during the years which followed displayed a general defiance of Athens. Athens finally acted in the summer of 416. A fleet attacked the island, the male population was massacred, and the women and children sold as slaves. See Thuc. 5.

17 Son of Thyestes by his own daughter, Pelopeia. He was exposed as a child, but saved by shepherds. His uncle, Atreus, then brought him up as his own son. Later he murdered Atreus and placed Thyestes on his throne.

18 Cf. Plut. Alc. 13 ff.

19 Or possibly: “Diomedes was a citizen of Athens and a person of some distinction.”

20 Properly known as Ἑλλανοδίκαι. In the time of Pausanias they numbered eight. They were appointed by lot from the whole body of Eleans and had the general superintendence of the Games.

21 σίτησις ἐν Πρυτανείῳ was the usual reward for a victory at the games or signal service to the state. The same privilege was granted Diocleides in 415, after his information in the matter of the Hermae. Cf. Andoc. 1.45.

22 The story is mentioned by Plutarch (Plut. Cim. 15), who, however, gives the correct reason for C.'s ostracism—the failure of his pro-Spartan policy. He was ostracized almost immediately after his return in disgrace from Ithome in 461.

23 A quibble. The speaker tries to argue that if he was acquitted when tried for his life, he must similarly be acquitted when the penalty in question is exile for ten years.

24 See Harpocration, s.v., and Athenaeus 13.565f. The ἀγὼν εὐανδρίας was held at the Panathenaea.

text/andocides_orations.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/15 11:55 (external edit)