Andocides Analysis


(Literature and the Ancient World, Critical Edition)

Andocides (an-DAHS-uh-deez) came from an old family known as the Kerykes (Heralds), whose roots were in Eleusis. His life was, in scholar H. J. Rose’s description, “one long series of adventures and disgraces.” In 415 b.c.e. during the Peloponnesian War (431-404 b.c.e.), he was among those accused of mutilating the herms (statues of Hermes) the night before the Athenian fleet departed for Sicily. He saved his life by turning state’s evidence. After punishment by loss of civic rights, he went into exile and became a successful trader. His attempts to regain full citizenship in 411 and 410 b.c.e. failed, but he returned under Athenian general Thrasybulus in 403 b.c.e. and victoriously defended himself against the charge of impiety. Then after a brief time among those envoys negotiating peace during the Corinthian War (395-386 b.c.e.), he went into exile again in 392/391 b.c.e. when their treaty was rejected in Athens and Callistratus began prosecution of the peace team. Nothing further is known about him.