Dēmos · Classical Athenian Democracy · a Stoa Publication

[ link colors: Demos | External Source | Citation to Evidence| Word Tools ]

Demos Home



→ Andocides.










Index of Citations

General Index

Demos Home

Orator Biographies 

David D. Phillips, with K. Kapparis, edition of March 27, 2003

page 3 of 12

· Andocides ·

Plot on a Map

Andocides son of Leogoras (ca. 440-post 391) came from a wealthy Athenian family and belonged to a hetaireia, an oligarchic political club. Andocides and his hetaireia attained notoriety as a result of the Hermocopid conspiracy of 415. One morning soon before the scheduled departure of the Sicilian expedition, the Athenians awoke to discover that the majority of the herms (ithyphallic stone pillars topped with the head of Hermes, god of travelers) in Athens had suffered mutilation. This, together with a report of the profanation of the Eleusinian Mysteries, threw Athens into an uproar. Among those accused in connection with the two scandals were Andocides and some of his relatives, including his father, who were thrown into prison to await condemnation. In return for a grant of immunity, Andocides confessed that his hetaireia had been responsible for the vandalism. Thus Andocides and his relatives were spared, but a number of his friends were executed.

Read about the evidence
Andocides (Andoc. 2).
Andocides (Andoc. 1).
Plot on a Map

Andocides’ subsequent unpopularity led to the passage of the “Isotimides decree,” which barred anyone who had confessed to an act of impiety from entering the temples and agora of Athens. As a result, Andocides went into exile. He twice attempted to return to Athens without success: once in 411, during the regime of the Four Hundred, and again after the restoration of the democracy. In support of his second attempt he delivered the speech “On his Return” (2). The Amnesty of 403 finally allowed Andocides to return home; but in 400 he was put on trial for violating the Isotimides decree. He won an acquittal with his defense speech, “On the Mysteries” (1), which is one of our most valuable sources of information regarding the scandals of 415.

Read about the evidence
Andocides (Andoc. 3).
Plot on a Map

In 392/1 Andocides went to Sparta as a member of an Athenian embassy to discuss peace. Upon the return of the ambassadors, he delivered the speech “On the Peace with the Spartans” (3) in support of Sparta’s offer. The Athenians rejected the offer; the ambassadors, facing accusations of corruption, fled the city. No subsequent details of Andocides’ life are known. (See also Oratory.)

[ back to top ]

page 3 of 12