Andocides, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Andoc.].
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1.8Now I am wondering at what point to begin my defence, gentlemen. Shall I start with what ought to be discussed last and prove that the prosecution disobeyed the law in lodging their information against me? [Note] Shall I take the decree of Isotimides and show that it has been annulled? Shall I start with the laws which have been passed and the oaths which have been taken? Or shall I tell you the story right from the beginning? I will explain the chief reason for my hesitation. Doubtless the different charges made have not moved you all to the same degree, and each of you has some one of them to which he would like me to reply first; yet to answer them all simultaneously is impossible. On the whole, I think it best to tell you the entire story from the beginning, omitting nothing; once you are properly acquainted with the facts, you will see immediately how unfounded are the charges which my accusers have brought against me.

1.9Now to return a just verdict is already, I feel sure, your intention; indeed, it was because I relied upon you that I stood my ground. I have observed that in suits public and private the one thing to which you attach supreme importance is that your decision should accord with your oath; and it is that, and that alone, which keeps our city unshaken, in spite of those who would have things otherwise. I do, however, ask you to listen to my defence with sympathy; do not range yourselves with my opponents; do not view my story with suspicion; do not watch for faults of expression. Hear my defence to the end: and only then return the verdict which you think best befits yourselves and best satisfies your oath. 1.10As I have already told you, gentlemen, my defence will begin at the beginning and omit nothing. I shall deal first with the actual charge which furnished grounds for the lodging of the information that has brought me into court today, profanation of the Mysteries. I shall show that I have committed no act of impiety, that I have never turned informer, that I have never admitted guilt, and that I do not know whether the statements made to you by those who did turn informers were true or false. Of all this you shall have proof.

1.11The Assembly had met [Note] to give audience to Nicias, Lamachus, and Alcibiades, the generals about to leave with the Sicilian expedition—in fact, Lamachus' flag-ship was already lying offshore—when suddenly Pythonicus rose before the people and cried: “Countrymen, you are sending forth this mighty host in all its array upon a perilous enterprise. Yet your commander, Alcibiades, has been holding celebrations of the Mysteries in a private house, and others with him; I will prove it. Grant immunity [Note] to him whom I indicate, and a non-initiate, a slave belonging to someone here present, shall describe the Mysteries to you. You can punish me as you will, if that is not the truth.” 1.12Alcibiades denied the charge at great length; so the Prytanes [Note] decided to clear the meeting of non-initiates and themselves fetch the lad indicated by Pythonicus. They went off, and returned with a slave belonging to Archebiades, son of Polemarchus. His name was Andromachus. As soon as immunity had been voted him, he stated that Mysteries had been celebrated in Pulytion's house. Alcibiades, Niciades and Meletus —those were the actual celebrants; but others had been present and had witnessed what took place. The audience had also included slaves, namely, himself, his brother, the fluteplayer Hicesius, and Meletus' slave.

1.13Such was the statement of Andromachus, the first of the informers. He gave the following list of persons concerned, [Note] all of whom, save Polystratus, fled the country and were sentenced to death by you in their absence; Polystratus was arrested and executed. Take the list, please, and read out their names. [Note]NamesThe following were denounced by Andromachus: Alcibiades, Niciades, Meletus, Archebiades, Archippus, Diogenes, Polystratus, Aristomenes, Oeonias, Panaetius.

1.14This was the first information, gentlemen; it was due to Andromachus, and implicated the persons mentioned. Now call Diognetus, please. WitnessYou were on the commission of inquiry, [Note] Diognetus when Pythonicus impeached Alcibiades before the Assembly?

Yes.

You recollect that Andromachus laid an information as to what was going on in Pulytion's house?

Yes.

And these are the names of those implicated by that information?

Yes.

1.15A second information followed. An alien named Teucrus, resident in Athens, quietly withdrew to Megara. From Megara he informed the Council that if immunity were granted him, he was prepared not only to lodge an information with regard to the Mysteries—as one of the participants, he would reveal the names of his companions—but he would also tell what he knew of the mutilation of the Hermae. The Council, which had supreme powers at the time, voted acceptance; and messengers were sent to Megara to fetch him. He was brought to Athens, and on being granted immunity, furnished a list of his associates. No sooner had Teucrus denounced them than they fled the country. Take the list, please, and read out their names. NamesThe following were denounced by Teucrus: Phaedrus, Gniphonides, Isonomus, Hephaestodorus, Cephisodorus, himself, Diognetus, Smindyrides, Philocrates, Antiphon, [Note] Teisarchus, Pantacles.

Let me remind you, gentlemen, that you are receiving confirmation of these further facts in every detail. [Note]



Andocides, Speeches (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose; rhetoric] [word count] [Andoc.].
<<Andoc. 1.1 Andoc. 1.11 (Greek) >>Andoc. 1.19

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