Andokides (speaker)

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Andokides , son of Leogoras, ( ancient Greek Ἀνδοκίδης Andokídēs ; * around 440 BC probably in Athens ; † after 391 BC ) was an Attic orator . In the famous ranking of Attic speakers according to the Alexandrian canon, Andokides is named second. His exact life dates are not known.


Andokides belonged to the old eupatrid family of the Kerykes, who traced their ancestors back to Odysseus and derived their origin from the god Hermes . He was a grandson of the eponymous politician and Admiral Andokides , who was known in Greece at the time and who - as his grandson describes in the speech "On Peace with the Lacedaemonians" - at the time of Pericles together with nine other politicians (including Kallias and Chares) a member of one The Athenian delegation negotiated a 30-year peace with the Lacedaemonians in the third year of the 83rd Olympiad (445 BC). His uncle Epilykos (the brother of the mother of Andokides) had been active as a peacemaker for Athens and had 423 BC. BC re-affirmed the so-called "Peace of Callias" for his native city in negotiations with the Persians.


415 BC Around the age of 25, Andokides became involved in the affair of the famous Hermen crime. In a single night in Athens a short time before the start of the Sicilian expedition, a large number of herms , figures standing at the doorways, were mutilated. In the course of the investigation of this crime, which meant a religious outrage, but could also be understood as a common misdeed of a political secret society, several people were also accused of holding private mysteries in their homes, which was also a criminal offense. One of the main accused was the famous general Alkibiades , who was therefore also recalled from Sicily to be convicted and fled to Sparta ( Thucydides 6,27,1-28,2).

Andokides appeared as a key witness in one of the above-mentioned crimes. In order to save his own life and the life of his relatives, he was forced to denounce some aristocratic participants in this event before the Athenian city authorities, which made him feud with his peers. Despite the impunity promised by the Athenian authorities, he fell victim to the so-called atimia (loss of civil rights) and had to leave Athens.

In Cyprus he was able to successfully conduct business in the next few years. Around 411 he attempted to return to Athens with his speech “On his return”. However, this attempt initially failed. Only after 403 BC After the fall of the reign of terror of the Thirty Tyrants , he was allowed to return under a general amnesty . In his most famous speech “About the Mysteries”, which is the main source of the events of 415 in addition to the Thucydides passage, he defended himself in 400/399 BC. Again before the courts for his behavior in the year 415 BC. Despite further violent attacks by his opponents, he succeeded in holding state offices and playing a political role.

391 BC BC, during the Corinthian War , he was sent to Sparta to negotiate a peace treaty. The draft treaty he presented on his return met with fierce opposition. In the above-mentioned speech “On peace with the Lacedaemonians” he defended the draft and advised his fellow citizens to accept the peace treaty negotiated with Sparta to end the Corinthian War. In this speech, the concept of koiné eiréne , universal peace , is used for the first time . This idea of ​​peace shaped the politics between the Greek Poleis in the following decades. The use of the term in Andokides' speech shows that it must have been common knowledge at the time.

After his proposal was rejected, charges were brought against Andokides and he went into exile . Nothing is known about his further life or the place and time of his death.

Another speech that is often ascribed to him, the speech "Against Alkibiades" must probably be assigned to the politician Phaiax .

Andokides' style of speech is simple and unadorned, he uses expressions from everyday language.

Editions and translations

  • Andokides: About the peace with the Lacedaemonians , translated and explained by Albert Gerhard Becker, Quedlinburg / Leipzig 1832.
  • Andokides: Orationes , ed. by Fr. Blass, C. Fuhr. Stuttgart, Teubner 1965.
  • Andocides , edited and translated by Michael Edwards. Warminster, Aris and Philipps 1995, ISBN 0-85668-527-5 , ISBN 0-85668-528-3 .
  • Klaus Geus, Eike Lutz-Schmidt: Andokides. Talk. Greek and German. Darmstadt, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 2006, ISBN 3-534-18945-0 .


  • William D. Furley : Andokides and the Herms: a Study of Crisis in Fifth-Century Athenian Religion (BICS Suppl. 65), London 1996.
  • David Gribble: "Rhetoric and History in [Andocides] 4, Against Alcibiades", in: The Classical Quarterly 47, 1997, pp. 367-391.
  • Herbert Heftner : "Ps.-Andokides' speech against Alkibiades ([And.] 4) and the political discussion after the fall of the 'Thirty' in Athens", in: Klio 77, 1995, pp. 75-104.
  • Herbert Heftner: “The pseudo-Andokidean speech 'Against Alkibiades' ([And.] 4): an authentic contribution to an ostracophoria debate in 415 BC. Chr.? “, In: Philologus 145, 2001, pp. 39–56.
  • Anna Missiou: The Subversive Oratory of Andokides: Politics, Ideology and Decision-Making in Democratic Athens , Cambridge 1992.
  • Thomas Paulsen : Andokides . In: Bernhard Zimmermann (Hrsg.): Handbook of the Greek literature of antiquity , Volume 1: The literature of the archaic and classical times . CH Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-57673-7 , pp. 445-447
  • Timothy T. Ryder: Koine Eirene. General Peace and Local Independence in Ancient Greece , London 1965.
  • Theodor Thalheim : Andokides 1 . In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume I, 2, Stuttgart 1894, Col. 2124-2129.

Web links

Wikisource: Andokides  - Sources and full texts (Greek)
Wikisource: Andokides  - Sources and full texts