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date: 27 November 2022


, c. 440–c. 390 BCE


, c. 440–c. 390 BCE
  • George Law Cawkwell


A member of a distinguished aristocratic family whose grandfather had been one of the ten Athenian envoys who negotiated the *Thirty Years Peace of 446. In 415, shortly before the great expedition to Sicily was due to depart, the Athenians were greatly dismayed one morning to discover that in the night the statues of *Hermes around the city (see herms) had been mutilated: Hermes being the god of travellers, this act was presumably intended to affect the progress of the expedition, but it was also taken, curiously, as a sign that the democracy itself was in danger. In the subsequent accusations the young Andocides and his associates in a club, which was probably suspected of oligarchic tendencies (see hetaireiai), were named as having shared both in the mutilations and in the profanation of the Eleusinian mysteries (see demeter; eleusis), and were arrested. Andocides, to secure immunity and, as he claimed, to save his father, confessed to a share in the mutilations and gave an account of the whole affair which, though it may have been far from the truth, was readily accepted by the Athenians. This secured his release, but shortly afterwards, when the decree of Isotimides, aimed at him especially, forbade those who had confessed to an act of impiety to enter temples or the *Agora, Andocides preferred to leave the city and began to trade as a merchant, in which role he developed connections all over the Aegean and in Sicily and Italy.


  • Greek Law

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