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Antiphon and Andocides

Antiphon and Andocides

Michael Gagarin
Douglas M. MacDowell
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  • Book Info
    Antiphon and Andocides
    Book Description:

    Classical oratory is an invaluable resource for the study of ancient Greek life and culture. The speeches offer evidence on Greek moral views, social and economic conditions, political and social ideology, and other aspects of Athenian culture that have been largely ignored: women and family life, slavery, and religion, to name just a few.

    This volume contains the works of the two earliest surviving orators, Antiphon and Andocides. Antiphon (ca. 480-411) was a leading Athenian intellectual and creator of the profession of logography ("speech writing"), whose special interest was law and justice. His six surviving works all concern homicide cases. Andocides (ca. 440-390) was involved in two religious scandals-the mutilation of the Herms (busts of Hermes) and the revelation of the Eleusinian Mysteries-on the eve of the fateful Athenian expedition to Sicily in 415. His speeches are a defense against charges relating to those events.

    eISBN: 978-0-292-79911-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    M. G.
    (pp. ix-xxviii)
    Michael Gagarin

    From as early as Homer (and undoubtedly much earlier) the Greeks placed a high value on effective speaking. Even Achilles, whose greatness was primarily established on the battlefield, was brought up to be “a speaker of words and a doer of deeds” (Iliad 9.443); and Athenian leaders of the sixth and fifth centuries,¹ such as Solon, Themistocles, and Pericles, were all accomplished orators. Most Greek literary genres—notably epic, tragedy, and history—underscore the importance of oratory by their inclusion of set speeches. The formal pleadings of the envoys to Achilles in the Iliad, the messenger speeches in tragedy reporting...

    (pp. 1-92)

    Antiphon of Rhamnus (a deme, or precinct, in northern Attica) came from an old Athenian family.¹ Born around 480, he achieved enough prominence in the city to rate occasional mention by the comic poets, but for the most part he avoided public life. In 411, however, he was apparently one of the leaders of a group of aristocrats who staged a coup, replacing the democratic government with a ruling council of 400. This new government soon collapsed, and almost all its leaders went into exile, but Antiphon remained in Athens and was tried, convicted, and executed for treason. In his...

    (pp. 93-170)

    Andocides was born not long before 440 BC. He was descended from a distinguished Athenian family. As a young man he became a member of a group of friends, including Euphiletus and Meletus, who shared a political interest. They held oligarchic opinions, in the sense that they disliked the Athenian democracy; they disapproved of the power of the mass of ordinary citizens in the Assembly and the demagogic politicians who led them.

    In 415, during a period of peace in the middle of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, the Athenians were preparing a great naval expedition against Syracuse...

  7. INDEX
    (pp. 171-174)