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Rhetoric and history in (Andocides) 4, 'Against Alcibiades.'

The work transmitted to us as the fourth speech in the manuscripts of Andocides is an invective against Alcibiades on the occasion of the last ostracism to occur in Athens, the ostracism of Hyperbolus. Despite a challenging article by Raubitschek(1) pointing to certain authentic-looking details in the speech, most scholars would probably now agree that [And.] 4 is neither by Andocides, nor a genuine speech delivered on the occasion of the last ostracism, but is most likely to be a product of the fourth century. But if this general feeling is correct, why and in what context was the speech written? When in the fourth century did rhetoricians spend their time composing works like [And.] (4)?

Before we can attempt to find a literary context against which the speech can be set, we must attempt to identify its interests and generic affiliations. In the first part of this article, I will set out what I think can be said with reasonable certainty about the status of the speech. The succeeding sections shift the focus away from the question of authenticity, to consider the relationship of the speech to three ancient genres: declamation, constitutional history, and anecdotal writing about individuals.


The speaker of [And.] (4) imagines that he and Alcibiades are involved in a debate (note [subsections] 25, 39, where it is assumed that Alcibiades will speak next) associated with an ostracism to which he, Alcibiades, and Nicias are in danger of falling victim ([sections] 2). The speaker claims ([sections] 22) that Alcibiades has bought a woman slave from among the captives taken after the fall of Melos. Melos fell to the Athenians at the beginning of winter 416, while Alcibiades left Athens for Sicily around the middle of 415, so that the ostracism imagined by the speaker must be supposed to have taken place in the Athenian year 416/15.(2) The work purports to be a speech delivered on the occasion of this ostracism, but we might also regard it as a pamphlet composed in or after and taking the form of an ostracism debate.

Most of the theoretically imaginable possibilities for the origin of [And.] (4) have at some stage been proposed in the long history of scholarship on the speech. The following list, where the speech is either by Andocides [A] or by another [B], sets out the main theories:

A1 composed by Andocides as a written version(3) of a speech delivered by himself for an ostracism held in 415 B.C.;(4)

A2 composed by Andocides as a written version of a speech which he had composed for delivery by another person at the said ostracism;(5)

A3 composed by Andocides after the ostracism had taken place, either (i) in 415(6) or (ii) later,(7) as a speech purporting to have been given on the occasion of the ostracism by another, or by himself;

B1 a written version of a speech composed and delivered by a contemporary of Andocides for the occasion of the said ostracism;(8)

B2 an exercise or display piece published at some later date.(9)

Despite a recent attempt by Furley(10) to revive the idea, there has never been any good reason for believing that Andocides is the author of the speech. There is certainly no firm support from ancient attributions of authorship.(11) Although the speech is attributed to Andocides by the pseudo-Plutarchean Life of Andocides,(12) and by Harpocration and Photius,(13) Athenaeus (9.408C) attributes it to Lysias.(14) Most importantly, however, the earliest attribution of authorship we know of (Plutarch Alc. 13.3) appears to ascribe the speech not to Andocides, but to Phaeax. The text of Plutarch Alc. 13.3 reads, in [Gamma]:



It is theoretically possible that a speech other than [And.] 4 is here intended, attacking both Alcibiades and Phaeax, and containing a story in which Alcibiades used the sacred vessels of the city in his day-to-day life.(15) But (i) it is hard to make sense of this version of the story of the sacred vessels (how could anyone have claimed that Alcibiades used the sacred [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of the city for his day-to-day life?), and it is better taken as a misunderstanding of the anecdote in [sections] 29 of the speech; (ii) a text which refers to a speech of which Phaeax is either the speaker or the (alleged)author can be produced with minor emendation, for example with Ziegler, simply by following N in omitting the second [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and writing [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII],(16) and (iii) the context of this passage demands information about Phaeax, rather than material which takes us back to the theme of Alcibiades. We must conclude that Plutarch, or his source, or the tradition on which the source is based, has confused the details of a citation of [And.] 4.

So Plutarch or his source attributed the speech in some sense to Phaeax, but with some doubt attached ([GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]): Andocides is not mentioned.(17) It is very likely that the later commentators who attributed the speech to Andocides did so on the basis of the same evidence that is now available to us. Nor is it hard to see why an attribution to Phaeax was overturned or forgotten by later commentators on rhetoric, few of whom had even heard of Phaeax, in favour of an attribution to one of the canon of ten Attic orators.(18) Those, therefore, who wish to argue that the speech is by Andocides must do so wholly on the basis of other considerations. The arguments brought forward by Furley to demonstrate Andocides' authorship which are not based on the ancient ascription of the speech to him are either negative (i.e. they seek to demonstrate that there is no reason that the speech could not have been composed by Andocides) or unconvincing (Furley's central argument is that both the speech and Andocides in On the Mysteries make use of a comparison with Aegisthus(19)). If the speech does belong to the fifth century, the most economical explanation is clearly that it was composed and published by the speaker himself, rather than put into the mouth of this figure by Andocides, a theory for which the speech itself provides no good evidence.(20) The stylistic arguments brought by Feraboli(21) against the attribution to Andocides are moreover too lightly brushed aside by Furley.(22)

The speaker, even if he is not the same as the author of the speech, is clearly intended to be a specific personality rather than simply an unidentified figure involved in the ostracism, for he provides specific details about himself: he has been tried four times, once at least on a capital charge, on which his two co-defendants were condemned. At one or all of these trials, charges of [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII](23) and [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] were brought against him ([subsections] 8-9, cf. 35-6). He has served on an embassy or embassies to Thessaly, Macedonia, Thesprotia, Italy, and Sicily ([sections] 41). These details cannot be made to square with the idea that Andocides is the intended speaker.(24) The identification of the speaker with the relatively unknown Phaeax, on the other hand, with whom the speech is associated in the earliest ancient sources, is unlikely to have been the result of the sort of guesswork which produced attributions to Lysias or Andocides. We know from Thucydides (5.4-5) that the real Phaeax had served on an embassy to Sicily and Italy, and from Aristophanes (Knights 1377) that he had been on trial for his life, and ostrakon evidence shows that he was involved in the last ostracism.(25) It would be very surprising, though perhaps not impossible, to find two figures, both involved in the ostracism of Hyperbolus, both of whom who had been on trial for their lives, and both of whom who had served on an embassy to Sicily. Thus even if the association of the speech with Phaeax is due to later scholars working on the basis of Phaeax's association in the tradition with the ostracism of Hyperbolus, the identification of the speaker at least with Phaeax is probably correct.(26) But perhaps the speech itself originally provided information, for example in the title, associating it with Phaeax.

There is, then, no good reason for believing that Andocides is either the speaker or the author of the speech, and the speaker at least is very likely to be Phaeax. This leaves us with two possibilities (B1 and B2 above). Either the speech is `authentic' in the sense that it is what it purports to be, a speech composed against Alcibiades by a contemporary in connection with an ostracism held in 415 B.C. (in what follows, the word `authentic' will be used to refer to this account of the speech). Or it is an exercise or demonstration piece by an orator writing in or after the fourth century B.C., put into the mouth of Phaeax.

The most remarkable feature of the speech is its failure to mention any detail of Alcibiades' career after the capture of Melos at the end of 416.(27) The situation with regard to Alcibiades developed very swiftly. Months or weeks after the dramatic date of the speech, Alcibiades had been accused of religious crimes which were thought to threaten the security of the polis itself, and which led to the widespread perception that Alcibiades was aiming to overthrow the democracy and establish an oligarchy or tyranny.(28) Because an ostracism debate taking place in the spring of 415 would have been so rapidly overtaken by events in this way, we can rule out the idea that the speech is a pamphlet produced in the years between 415 and Alcibiades' death, designed to damage Alcibiades politically. It would be ridiculous to write a work accusing Alcibiades of allegedly undemocratic actions committed exclusively before the end of 416, after he had been accused of plotting to undermine the religious and political foundation of the city, and even more ridiculous after he had been exiled and curses heaped on him. The failure to mention any event after 416 presents us with a stark choice: it is the sign either of a real composition in 415, or of a very careful attempt by a later orator to frame the speech in a specific historical setting.(29)

It would be possible to save the theory that the speech is a post-ostracism pamphlet if one supposed that its primary purpose was not to attack Alcibiades, but rather to publicize the rhetorical abilities and political importance of its speaker. This would fit well with Phaeax, who was a minor politician, apparently, but highly regarded, at least in some circles, as a brilliant orator of the new style.(30) But on this scenario the speech is still, as it were, a reverberation of a real ostracism debate, rather than just a political pamphlet: it would have a similar status to the published speeches of Demosthenes, and would have a claim to be regarded as authentic. It would involve the supposition that there really were speeches at an ostracism debate, one of which [And.] 4 as we have it is claiming to reproduce.

But, as has long been seen, there are serious problems with regarding the speech as a representation of a real speech for a debate at an ostracism. Not the least of these is the idea of an ostracism debate itself.(31) The speaker of [And.] 4 appears to envisage the debate as taking place on the actual day of the ostrakophoria ([sections] 5 `I think that your [i.e. the Athenians'] friends are grieving and your enemies rejoicing on this day above all days, knowing that if you mistakenly expel the best man, the city will not get any benefit out of this man for ten years'). Philochorus' description(32) of the procedure on the day of the ostracism appears to leave no scope for formal debate. But we might suppose that the speech was delivered on some other occasion, and that [sections]5 means that the speeches delivered on the day in question will be decisive to the outcome of the ostracism. This occasion could be either the day, probably in the sixth prytany, when the decision to hold an ostracism was taken, or an informal meeting in the interval between this decision and the actual ostrakophoria.(33) That there was an interval of this sort implies the deliberate provision of a period during which voting patterns could be clarified. Political activity during this time must have resembled an inverse election campaign, with no formal list of candidates, and with just one 'post' to be filled. If there was no absolutely clear candidate from the start, Athenian political figures must have become involved in a complex exercise in game theory, whose moves, would be hard to predict.(34) Nevertheless, the difficulties in the scenario imagined in [And.] 4 ([subsections] 1-2) are obvious.(35) Why would a man stand up and identify himself as a candidate for ostracism, thereby showering himself in exactly the sort of publicity he must have been striving to avoid? Why would he firmly identify himself and two other named figures as the only possible candidates?(36) If this meeting is an informal contio, why would Alcibiades agree to participate in a meeting where he would be reviled by his opponent and have himself firmly identified as one of the candidates for ostracism? If the point of the speech is to divert as many votes as possible against Alcibiades, what is the point of bringing in Nicias as a possible candidate? The purpose of [subsections] 1-2 of the speech is apparently not to further the interests of a speaker at a genuine debate, but to introduce and explain the rhetorical occasion of the speech to a readership unfamiliar with the idea of an ostracism debate.(37)

Some of these considerations would still apply if one were to suppose that the idea of an ostracism debate is merely a fiction to provide a setting for a pamphlet designed to concentrate the vote against Alcibiades in the lead-up to a 415 ostracism (which to my mind would be the best way of defending the 'authenticity' of the speech). For example, we would still have to explain the point of the exclusive list of possible candidates for the ostracism in [sections] 2. Unlike a speech, the pamphlet form would give its author a chance to remain anonymous, an option that one would think he would be foolish to relinquish. The careful attempts of the author to create a dramatic occasion for the speech are strictly superfluous to the needs of such a political pamphlet.

These considerations suggest that the elaborate attempt at scene-setting in the speech (including imagined interruptions from the crowd [[sections] 7] and the anticipation that a speech from Alcibiades is to follow [[sections] 39], at which Alcibiades will shed tears in an attempt to arouse pity),(38) and the care taken to exclude all events after 416 B.C. should be interpreted not as signs of authenticity, but as the attempts of a later author to compose an oration painstakingly situated at a famous rhetorical crux of classical Greek history. Let us see whether by proceeding on the basis of this hypothesis an account of the speech can be built up which is both consistent and persuasive.


I argued above that if [And.] 4 is an invented speech composed after 415, it cannot have been designed as an attack on Alcibiades. This rules out, in particular, the theory(39) that it is to be associated with the extensive literary and rhetorical debate about Alcibiades which we know to have taken place at the beginning of the fourth century. The careful setting of the speech in the precise circumstances of 415 B.C. make it an invented speech of a different sort: a historical declamation. Whereas earlier types of rhetorical exercise (such as the invented speeches of Isocrates or Polycrates) normally take as their basis a real or at least realistic contemporary event, it is a distinctive feature of later `historical declamation' (such as that practised under the Roman Empire) to eschew occasions taken from the contemporary world of the orator, preferring historical themes, often with an imaginary or fantastic twist. By setting his composition at a rhetorical-historical crux, and abandoning his own persona for that of a historical character, the declaimer shows off both his rhetorical ingenuity and his contact with the classical past, rather than his ability to tackle contemporary issues in rhetoric.(40)

Though I shall go on to argue that [And.] 4 is a much earlier work than the great age of declamation, there are very clear similarities between the speech and this later genre. The theme is the familiar one of the man who is aiming at tyranny. In later declamations, where this theme is frequent,(41) the role of the tyrannical figure is in fact often filled by Alcibiades himself.(42) The topics of Alcibiades and aiming at tyranny have clear attractions for declamation. As the aristeus,(43) upon whom the city's safety and success depend, but at the same time the potential tyrant, whose greatness and hybris threaten values of equality and community central to the politeia, Alcibiades is a focus for ideological conflict in the classical city. Taking the role of Alcibiades, the orator becomes the representative of Athenian power at its confident and ambitious height, sweeping the Athenians along through charisma and the force of his oratory. As Alcibiades' opponent, the orator takes on the role of the protector of Athens in the last days of its greatness, the rhetorical defender of democratic values which Alcibiades is trying to overthrow. Whichever side one took, there was considerable scope for building up one's case through the presentation of stories illustrating Alcibiades' outrageous lifestyle, and this provided the opportunity for character drawing.(44)

In his interest in these themes, the author of [And.] 4 was apparently attracted by the same sort of artificial classicism as the later declaimers. There are, moreover, other features of the speech suggestive of declamation: the choice of a debate not actually recorded by Thucydides, but suggested by him,(45) and inspired by a close knowledge of his work;(46) the close relationship between private and public;(47) and the tragic set-piece associated with Alcibiades' alleged child by the Melian captive ([subsections] 21-3).(48) The law of ostracism which is the motivation of the speech, though it is a real law, fulfils the same role as the various leges scholasticae which motivate so many declamations.(49)

The point of such imaginary laws in declamation is to generate a novel and challenging rhetorical situation to exercise the orator's talents, especially in that area which especially interested declamation theorists, stasis theory, i.e. the categorization of speeches with a view to establishing the division of thought within them.(50) An ostracism debate provides an intriguing rhetorical conundrum for those interested in rhetorical categories. Is it symbouleutic or forensic? Defence or prosecution? The speech displays features from all: the topoi in [sections] 1 suggest symbouleutic; those in [sections] 2 and the apologia in [subsections] 8-9 and [subsections] 41-2 suggest a defence speech. But the most important model is the speech for the prosecution: the speaker sometimes even seems to forget he is not accusing Alcibiades before a court, as in [sections] 25:

I expect that he will not attempt to refute any of these points, but will speak about his victory at Olympia, basing his defence on every possible issue except the things he actually stands accused of. But I will show that on the basis of the very factors he will rely on he should be put to death rather than acquitted.

--as though the occasion of the speech were a trial on a capital charge rather than an ostracism debate. Thus also [sections] 39, where for the sake of a neat antithesis, the speaker anticipates the possibility that Alcibiades in his own speech will have recourse to tears and appeals for pity--a standard topos from a prosecution speech, but most inappropriate here.

The double role of the speaker of [And.] 4 as prosecutor and defendant together presented problems for later stasis theorists, as we see from the attempts to define the stasis of the speech recorded in the ancient hypothesis. The ancient authorities cited by the author of the hypothesis disagreed as to whether the speech should be classed under the stasis of metalepsis (i.e. it constitutes a demurrer that the speaker is not liable to the law of ostracism), or that of horos (definition--because it tries to show that Alcibiades' actions are of the sort governed by the law of ostracism). Since the speech argues that the speaker is not a suitable subject for ostracism, whereas Alcibiades is, it might be thought to fit either category. The actual author of the hypothesis maintains that the speech is stasis metaleptike at the beginning, while the rest of the speech is stasis pragmatike. This latter was a stasis reserved for various types of non-judicial oratory:(51) the type of speech the author of the hypothesis may well have in mind is the competition between two orators for a prize (a similarity I will return to shortly).

If we look in detail at the speech, we can see that this double rhetorical aim of self-defence and invective against Alcibiades is artfully carried out. The speaker turns the fact that he has been on trial so many times into an advantage, claiming that this demonstrates his willingness to submit himself and his [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to scrutiny,(52) so that whatever problems one might find with his behaviour, he is not a suitable victim for ostracism ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [[sections] 36]): hence the speaker can restrict his own self-defence to a minimum. This willingness to give an account of himself is set against Alcibiades' apparent immunity to the sanctions of law:

As for myself, I have faced judgement four times before the state a whole [[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]], and when it comes to private suits [[GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]] I have never tried to prevent anyone proceeding against me. Alcibiades, on the other hand, despite his outrageous actions has never been prepared to submit himself to trial. ([sections] 35, cf. also [sections] 18)

It is not people like this that it is right to expel, people whom you have put to the test many times and found to be innocent, but rather those who refuse to submit to the city an account of their way of life [[GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]]. ([sections] 37)

The main argument of the speech is articulated through a ring structure, beginning and ending with critique of the institution of ostracism. Initially ([subsections] 3-6), ostracism is portayed as an unconstitutional, undemocratic procedure, permitting the punishment of citizens without the proper process of accusation and defence normally accorded accused citizens in Athens. Because voting is not protected by secrecy, it is open to manipulation by those with improper power in the form of [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ([sections] 4). The punishment imposed by ostracism--ten years' exile--appears too severe for private offences and too lenient for crimes against the state.(53) After the main invective against Alcibiades ([subsections] 10-34), which portrays him as a tyrannical anti-citizen, immune from the sanction of laws and the authority of officials, and which places constant emphasis on Alcibiades' ability to escape punishment.(54) the speaker takes up again the critique of an institution whose purpose has now become more obvious. Since citizens such as Alcibiades threaten the politeia, but cannot be called to account through the normal channels, exceptional measures are called for:

The intention of the person who framed the law was, I think, this: having regard to those citizens who are more powerful than the magistrates and the laws, since it not possible to obtain redress from such figures on a private basis, to establish a public sanction on behalf of the victims of their wrong-doing. ([sections] 35)

In the course of his invective, the speaker has also shown that the actions of Alcibiades, while often apparently behaviour in the private sphere, are of the greatest significance for his attitude and intentions vis-a-vis the polis. It has now become apparent why ostracism is not too great a punishment for private crimes (cf. [sections] 4), for, as the speaker has shown, private behaviour has important implications for a person's attitude towards the constitution.(55) Alcibiades' treatment of his relatives is indicative of his attitude towards other citizens ([sections] 15), and his treatment of other citizens shows his intentions with regard to the whole city ([subsections] 25-9). Insulting behaviour towards his wife is thus symptomatic of the same fundamental behaviour pattern of [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] seen in his shameful handling of whole cities, of a type of behaviour which calls for his removal from the sphere of the city through ostracism.

The order in which the speaker presents the stories of the central invective assists his case. This order could be chronological, but it also provides a rhetorical crescendo from the domestic to the international, from Alcibiades' treatment of his wife to his behaviour at the Olympics, in which the speaker's thesis that Alcibiades' private actions are evidence of his attitude to the city as a whole becomes gradually more plausible.

The speaker himself demonstrates the opposite, commendable qualities to his opponent's anti-social attitudes and behaviour. (The opportunity of using the speaker's character as a foil to Alcibiades in this way may be the reason why the author put the speech into his mouth, rather than that of the grey and law-abiding Nicias.(56)) He is prepared to take upon himself the responsibility of representing the public interests of the Athenians ([subsections] 1-2), regardless of the resulting risk from powerful opponents. His criticism of the law of ostracism on the grounds that it compels citizens to break their oaths and act contrary to the [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ([sections] 3) presents him as the opposite sort of citizen to Alcibiades, who, as the speaker goes on to describe, encourages citizens to act in precisely these ways ([sections] 39). It is Alcibiades who will exploit ostracism for factional purposes (manipulating its outcome through his [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [[sections] 4] in order to exile his opponent, the wise counsellor whose advice Athens is in imminent danger of losing [[sections] 5]). Ostracism of the speaker, it is implied, would represent an overturning of the authority of the demos (as expressed in the judgement of the democratic courts [[subsections] 8-9, 38]) similar to the sorts of overturnings of the demos' authority which will shortly be attributed to Alcibiades. This use of the character of the speaker as a foil recurs in the epilogue: in contrast to the behaviour of Alcibiades as described in the speech, he has submitted himself to trial, and been acquitted, four times; none of his ancestors has been ostracized; he has secured and enhanced the external security of Athens through his diplomatic missions rather than endangering it by his behaviour towards the allies; his spending on liturgies has been within the normal bounds, using his own money rather than the city's; and he has not struck the rival choregos, or tried to show himself superior to the laws ([subsections] 41-2).(57)

Ethos in the speech thus works closely with its critique of ostracism, offering the audience a choice between ostracizing the speaker, who presents no threat to the city, or Alcibiades, a person whom we have come to see as the necessary and natural victim of such an institution. In fact only through the selection of Alcibiades as the victim of this ostracism can the law be made to have any sense, and the original intention of the law-maker fulfilled. The main argument of the speech can thus be seen as an elaborate version of the topic of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII](58) (the real intention of the law-giver--cf. [sections] 35).

In view of the opportunites for rhetorical originality offered by an ostracism debate, it is surprising that there is no other instance of this theme amongst the various declamation topics we know of from ancient sources.(59) An ostracism debate could perhaps be seen as a negative version of that declamatory schema in which two figures compete for a reward.(60) The speaker of [And.] 4, pointing to the generic originality of his theme, seems to hint at this connection ([sections] 2):

The contest in which I am engaged is not one for the winning of a crown, but to decide if one who has done the city no wrong should be sent into exile for ten years.

Like other schemata involving competition for a prize, an ostracism debate puts the competing parties on a level of rhetorical equality. This requires a method and structure unlike those of the real speeches from the contemporary world of the author (hence perhaps the occasional slips into the mode of a prosecution speech we have already noticed). This sort of artificiality is a key feature of declamation.

But [And.] 4 is clearly a much earlier declamation than any of the others which have come down to us. This is clear from the greater command of historical detail demonstrated in the speech and its whole attitude to the role of history, to which I now turn.


Although the later declamatory tradition often tried at least to avoid obvious anachronism, and sometimes produced perceptive and sympathetic rhetorical imitations of the historical period in which they were set,(61) they inevitably display signs of the difference of perspective brought about by the 700-year period separating them from their subject. For example, declamations which take Alcibiades as their theme concentrate unrealistically on his relationship with Socrates,(62) or bring forward unhistorical or implausible episodes (Alcibiades applies to become a torch-bearer at the Mysteries;(63) Timon the misanthrope is in love with Alcibiades(64)). [And.] 4 avoids solecisms of this kind. The omission of Socrates is particularly significant, in view of the strong tradition identifying Alcibiades as one of the youths corrupted by the teaching of Socrates.(65) The silence on allegations about Alcibiades' erotic life (note [sections] 10 where the speaker implies he could have told a story or two on this topic if he had wanted) is also indicative of the author's restraint (contrast rhetorical works attributed to Lysias and Antiphon, where such allegations featured strongly in attacks on Alcibiades(66)). Perhaps the author believed that stories of Alcibiades' erotic life could not be used to show that he was a suitable victim of ostracism,(67) or perhaps he thought them not worthy of mention.

Not only does the speech maintain historical integrity in this way, it is much more closely involved with a specific historical setting than is declamation, where the setting often serves merely as a background for the disposition of typical debate types and argument structures.(68) The speech in fact brings forward a wealth of historical material relating to persons, in some cases providing our only source for details of substance from fifth-century history:

(i) The appointment of Alcibiades to a board of ten responsible for a tribute reassessment ([subsections] 11-12) which must be that of 425 B.C. Doubted in the past on the grounds that Alcibiades was too young to hold such an office before 421, this detail has recently received some confirmation from the assessment decree of 425,(69) which shows that such boards existed, and did in fact have ten members. Moreover the tribute lists show that the speaker's claim that the 425 reassessment doubled the tribute of the allied cities is a possible way of representing the figures.(70)

(ii) The appointment of Alcibiades as public prosecutor, [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII](71) ([sections] 16). Though nowhere explicitly stated in an ancient text, this claim is almost proved by Aristophanes fr. 205 KA, and Ach. 715-16. Like the mention of Alcibiades' role as tribute assessor, this detail (overlooked by most of the commentators on the speech, and the modern biographies of Alcibiades) is the more significant because it is not mentioned in Plutarch, or elsewhere outside comedy.

(iii) Information on ostracism: as well as the well-known ostracism of Cimon ([sections] 33), the speaker alludes ([sections] 34) to the ostracism of two grandfathers of Alcibiades--Megacles and Alcibiades II--and that of Callias son of Didymius ([sections] 32). While the ostracism of Megacles and Alcibiades is also mentioned in Lysias 14.39, that of Callias is not found in another text, and is now supported by the discovery of ostraka bearing the name of Callias.(72) Also relevant here is the involvement of Phaeax in the ostracism of 415 B.C., now supported by ostraka bearing Phaeax's name.

(iv) Personal detail ([subsections] 35, 41-2) about the career of the speaker, presumably Phaeax, not all of which can be traced to Thucydides and the surviving plays of Aristophanes.

Such details serve to locate the speech in a world which is consistently identifiable as fifth-century Athens, rather than a generalized `Sophistopolis' with Athenian features (thus the institution which motivates the speech is not some artificial lex scholastica, but the real Athenian institution of ostracism). The scholarship revealed in the detail, and the attempt to imagine what a speaker in the chosen situation would really have said, make the speech not just a rhetorical exercise, but an attempt at genuine historical empathy.

The level of historical knowledge displayed by the author of the speech should serve as a warning: our own knowledge of the fifth century, and our sense of what a fifth-century orator might be capable of saying are rarely such that we can safely declare a fact untrue or an argument impossible. Whenever the author of the speech wrote, he apparently knew more about the fifth century than we do, and allegations of absurdity or historical error have often been levelled against the speech on false grounds.(73) To take one example, as far as we know Hipponicus did not die as general at Delium, as the speech claims ([sections] 13), while Hippocrates did.(74) On the other hand, we do know that Hipponicus died at around this time,(75) and he may have died at Delium, either as general or in command of some other unit while not actually [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].(76) Again, when the speaker accuses Alcibiades of fathering a son by one of the captives from the Athenian capture of Melos, the apparent anachronism involved is perhaps best explained as a simple mistake on the part of a later author who was not interested in this level of historical precision. But if one imagines that the child was born before its full term, there may be just enough chronological room for the claim to be at least rhetorically plausible at the time of the ostracism.(77)

But though the author goes to great trouble in his creation of the right period atmosphere through historical detail, for some reason he does not remember to use the standard forms of address normal before an Athenian demos audience ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and so on).(78)

Moreover, while in some cases knowledge of historical details in the speech is impressive, their disposition in the argumentation is often very odd. To cite ([sections] 12), as proof of the hardship endured by the allied cities as the result of Alcibiades' tribute assessment, the detail that many of their members were migrating to Thurii is to suggest that mass migration could be induced by high tribute payments. When the speaker underlines the shocking nature of Alcibiades' imprisonment of Agatharchus by pointing out that such behaviour is prohibited by inter-state treaties ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [[sections] 18]) the detail is not only irrelevant but argumentatively bathetic: if a man imprisons others at his own whim, it is already clear that he is acting in a high-handed and unconstitutional way. Similar is [sections] 28, where, after describing Alcibiades' appropriation of Diomedes' chariot-team, the speaker goes on to contrast this with the sporting behaviour of the Lacedaimonians in allowing their own allies to compete against them: the addition of this otiose detail seems rather to deflate the speaker's argument.

In general the author is over-keen to deploy historical detail. Why do we need to be told that Hipponicus died fighting at Delium ([sections] 13), or how does it help the speaker's argument to tell us that the Athenians are the only ones to practise ostracism ([sections] 6)? This apparent desire of the author to flaunt his historical knowledge, even at inappropriate opportunities, is a remarkable feature of the speech: if the speech is an exercise, a declamation, most of this detail is superfluous. Whereas in declamation history provides the setting for a primarily rhetorical exercise, in [And.] 4 historical details are apparently introduced for their own sake, even at the risk of impairing the rhetorical purpose. The decision to put the speech into the mouth of the obscure Phaeax, rather than a more mainstream figure like Nicias or even Hyperbolus, is of a piece with this keen interest in recondite historical detail.

This tendency to include history even at the expense of rhetoric is particularly obvious in the lengthy excursus on ostracism at [subsections] 3-6. Many of the author's observations here recall the sort of theorizing on ostracism found in Peripatetic or Peripatetic-influenced sources.(79) The author points to the way ostracism is outside the normal judicial process(80) and is not concerned with a question of juridical wrong-doing.(81) Its mechanism gives excessive opportunity for factional politics,(82) and it is practised in no other city except for Athena.(83) In particular, as we have already seen, the speech argues that the purpose of ostracism is to curtail superlative individuals whose behaviour demonstrates that they cannot be satisfied with equality with their fellow-citizens, but whose [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] makes them immune to prosecution through the normal channels.(84) The speaker also points out the peculiarity of the penalty attached to ostracism, which leaves the victim's person and property intact (so that his ability to plot against the city is unchecked) and restricts the period of exile to ten years. Much of this is superfluous to the speaker's purpose.(85) When he goes so far as to call the institution of ostracism [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] ([sections] 6), on the grounds that good laws must find favour not just with democracies but with oligarchies,(86) this strain of theorizing becomes not just redundant, but actually inimical to his supposed aim of appealing to an Athenian democratic audience. His statement in [sections] 7--`I do not see why I should say any more about these things [i.e. the peculiarities of the ostracism law], for it will not help me at all in my present position'--suggests an awareness on the part of the author that his theorizing has been otiose.(87)

This interest in, and command of, constitutional detail and theorizing shows that the author was not just a declaimer at heart, but also something of a constitutional historian. His demonstration of the purpose of ostracism, which, as we have seen, constitutes the main argument of the speech, is not just a rhetorical display of the definition of action with regard to law in the spirit of the declaimer, but also an examination of ostracism as an institution in the spirit of the constitutional historian. Like Aristotle in the Politics, the author of the speech asks `Is ostracism just?', and comes, like Aristotle, to the conclusion that it is just in a limited sense.(88) Thus the theme of ostracism supplies the author's taste for the exegesis of arcane laws just as much as it does his search for rhetorical originality.

The author of [And.] 4 is well-informed, but is he really interested in history? The details of the speech which so impress us relate to persons, to `biography', rather than `history'. Indeed, it is a peculiarity of the speech that discussion of key contemporary historical events, such as the Argive alliance and the Mantinea campaign, is avoided in favour of a series of rhetorically elaborated stories relating to Alcibiades' personal life. This failure to discuss issues of policy is surprising if, as most historians of ostracism appear nowadays to believe, some crucial and unresolved issue of policy formed the publicly acknowledged background of an ostracism. Particularly remarkable is the failure to make any mention of an Athenian expedition to Sicily, which on any reconstruction of the chronology of 416/15 was already being contemplated by the sixth prytany of that year,(89) with Alcibiades as its most vocal champion.(90)

Two factors must, however, be borne in mind here. The first is that what evidence we have for the sort of issues which were discussed in the period leading up to an ostracism suggests that a prominent role may have been played by gossip and rumour, particularly that relating to the candidates' personal lives.(91) The second is that since Alcibiades' conduct of public and military affairs was excellent, while his private life led him to be widely distrusted (Thuc. 6.15.4), an invective against Alcibiades might be expected to de-emphasize public affairs and to play up his private life.(92) Nevertheless, the apparent opportunities for portraying Alcibiades' championing of a Sicilian expedition as yet another instance of his overweening pride and desire to profit at the city's expense (as Nicias does in Thucydides' Sicilian debate), suggest that the failure to mention it in [And.] 4 is due to the author's belief that the expedition had not yet been considered.

The avoidance of well-known historical material is a factor which must be taken on board by any account of the speech, including one which sees it as a later rhetorical exercise. If the speech is such an exercise, part of the explanation for the absence of such material may be a desire to avoid tackling themes already covered by Thucydides in the speeches in book 6. But the emphases of the speech may also provide clues as to its origin. While avoiding mention of important historical events, the speech excels in its knowledge of constitutional detail, and of detail about persons. An interest in collecting details about people for the discussion of character and details about laws for the discussion of constitutional theory is characteristic of the Peripatetic approach, which saw the past as a quarry for detail which could be used for making generalizations. We can explore this connection further by turning to consider the speech's use of personal detail.


Impressed by the strong overlap of material between [And.] 4 and the first section of Plutarch's Alcibiades, and by the artificial `anecdotal' style of the speech, A. R. Burn(93) suggested that the author of [And.] 4 got his Alcibiades stories from a biographical source. I will discuss Burn's specific hypothesis in Appendix II. In this section, I would like to explore the general question of the relationship between the speech and biography.

In [And.] 4, the speaker argues that Alcibiades' [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII](94) (`way of life', revealing of moral character) shows him to be a certain type of person: the tyrannical man whose failure to recognize a restriction to his ambition or his personal behaviour threatens the constitution and the community. In order to depict the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] characteristic of Alcibiades, the speaker brings foward a series of ten reasonably distinct anecdotes (i.e. self-contained and pithy stories illustrating a character trait(95)). These are remarkable not only for the peculiarly abrupt way they are introduced (sometimes directly linked to one another by use of the relative pronoun(96)), but also for their sometimes confusing absence of circumstantial detail.(97) The resulting structure of anecdotal episodes filled out with minimal rhetorical elaboration is hard to parallel in Attic oratory.

The use of a string of anecdotes surrounding a famous individual to illustrate a type of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] or for other purposes recalls Peripatetic biographical works.(98) The technique in these works of building up a picture of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] through a collection of anecdotes may reflect the Aristotelian principle that the collection of material should precede the making of generalizations. The collected stories were not connected in the form of a narrative with the aim of creating the impression that the subject's life was being told from beginning to end, but were allowed to stand on their own. The work on Alcibiades by Satyrus, a part of which is apparently reproduced, perhaps in abridged form, in Athenaeus 12.534b ff.(99) is like this, moving from one anecdote to the next without any explicit attempt to provide links. [And.] 4 works in a similar way. In fact, the anecdotes of [And.] 4, set out seriatim without the rhetorical elaboration, would produce a text similar to the Satyrus excerpt quoted by Athenaeus. There is, moreover, a considerable overlap of actual material between the speech and the biographical tradition: of the ten anecdotes narrated in the speech, eight (or nine if one includes the confused notice of Alcibiades' appropriation of the sacred vessels in Alc. 13.3) are also found in Plutarch's Alcibiades, and one is found in Satyrus.(100)

That anecdotes about Alcibiades were already current by the mid fourth century is clear from the Against Meidias of Demosthenes ([subsections] 143ff.), where two of the anecdotes of [And.] 4, the Taureas and the Agatharchus episodes, appear (in slightly different form). As in [And.] 4, stories about Alcibiades in the Against Meidias are self-contained, compartmentalized episodes from the life of a remarkable figure from another age, i.e. they have already been `anecdotalized':

`We are told [[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]] that there was in Athens during its golden age [[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]] a man named Alcibiades. Just consider what public services he had to his credit and of what kind they were, and how your ancestors dealt with him when he thought fit to be unpleasant and insolent .... Yet what insolence did Alcibiades commit that was as serious as what Meidias has now been proved to have committed? He struck Taureas, a choregus, in the face. All right, but that was one choregus striking another, and not in contravention of this law, which had not yet been passed. He imprisoned Agatharchus the painter; they say [[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]]] he did this too. Yes, but it was because he caught him in some transgression, they say [[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]]]; that was not even reprehensible.' (Dem. 21.143ff)(101)

Demosthenes' use of repeated [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]] identifies the episodes he recounts as stories from a popular tradition--as anecdotes. Like the author of [And.] 4, Demosthenes sees Alcibiades as a representative of a sort of anti-civic, paranomic character. Despite Alcibiades' dangerous [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]], however, both authors also regard him as a magnificent figure associated with the great days of the Athenian past:

`There are some who go so far as to say about him that a man like him has never existed before.(102) But I believe that the city will suffer the greatest harm at his hands, and in future times will hold him responsible for things of such magnitude that no one will remember his former misdeeds.' ([And.] 4.24)

The Against Meidias shows how anecdotes about Alcibiades could be useful to the orator as well as to the philosopher of character. It suggests that moralizing biographical writing might not be the only literary impulse encouraging the formation of an anecdotal tradition around an historical figure. Rhetoric (particularly historical declamation) might be important too. So we are not compelled to think of the author of [And.] 4 using biographical writing as a source: the rhetorician, like the writer on moral themes, had his own reasons for collecting and developing Alcibiades anecdotes. Still, the interest of the speech in depicting Alcibiades' way of life and the strong overlap of stories between the speech and the biographical tradition do suggest a quite close relationship with actual [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]] literature.

If [And.] 4 is a declamation, composed in the time of Demosthenes or later, one would expect that its stories and arguments would leave traces of the interests and preconceptions of the author's own time. Granted that it is hard to be confident exactly what sort of arguments a speech written for a late fifth-century ostracism debate would use, can we detect such incongruities?

In some respects, the speech's arguments are plausible in a fifth-century context. When, shortly after the dramatic date of the speech, Alcibiades was suspected of involvement in illicit performances of the Mysteries, these allegations were immediately converted into the charge or fear that he was aiming at tyranny.(103) Alcibiades' recent unprecedented Olympic success would also have been one of the main issues at an ostracism occurring in early 415 (as it is in Thucydides' Sicilian Debate(104)): this victory must have given Alcibiades an astonishing and dangerous accession of prestige in the city at a crucial time in Athenian policy-making. But the convincing feel of these arguments is not necessarily an indication of authenticity. The danger posed by Alcibiades to the community is precisely the point of many anecdotes about him, and something that could be appreciated by a citizen of a Greek polis at most times and places, while the type of argument likely to be used against Alcibiades in 415 would be apparent to a declaimer who was an attentive reader of Thucydides book 6.

Where the speech is most unconvincing is on the subject of the Athenian empire, starting with the story of Alcibiades' involvement in the tribute reassessment ([subsections] 11-12). The speaker implausibly alleges that Alcibiades raised the tribute to such a level that many of the allies were forced to emigrate to Thurii ([sections] 11).(105) He then goes on to argue that by increasing the tribute Alcibiades has shown himself the very opposite sort of citizen to the good and just Aristides; that Alcibiades' reassessment is a demagogic measure designed to provide `what is most pleasing to the plethos' ([sections] 12); and that since `our whole safety depends on the allies', allied discontent will result in disaster for Athens `as soon as there is a naval war between us and the Spartans'.(106) This sort of criticism stems not from the perspective of the fifth-century democracy, but from a later tradition which traced the collapse of the Athenian empire to its oppressive treatment of the subject-allies.(107) In this conception, the justice of the assessment of Aristides and its undermining by subsequent politicians for demagogic reasons is a familiar theme:

Aristides ... drew up the list of his assessments not only with scrupulous integrity and justice, but in such a way that all the states felt that they had been appropriately and satisfactorily dealt with .... [But Pericles raised the assessment and] after Pericles died, the demagogues gradually increased it to a total of 1,300 talents. The reason for this was ... that the demagogues themselves had led the people into accepting doles, money for public entertainments and the erection of temples and statues. (Plut. Arist. 24)

The association of Alcibiades with the decline of Athenian imperial policy into cruelty and demagogy may have been traditional.(108) It is a natural one for a figure credited with the decree putting to death the adult male inhabitants of Melos,(109) an episode which regularly appears in catalogues of the crimes of the Athenian empire.(110) Alcibiades' authorship of the Melos decree is treated in [subsections] 22-3 of the speech, where it is compounded with the charge that he has fathered a child by one of the women taken as slaves from the island. The presentation here of Alcibiades' treatment of Melos as tragic and cruel(111) also seems to reflect later views of the Athenian empire.

Later in the speech, after describing Alcibiades' appropriation of Diomedes' chariot-team, the speaker surprisingly adds ([sections] 28): `Behaviour like Alcibiades' must inevitably lead the cities [i.e. presumably, those of the empire] to long for our enemies, and hate us.' This bizarre interpretation of the significance of Alcibiades' treatment of a fellow-citizen is apparently influenced by the author's preoccupation with the theme of discontent amongst Athenian allies and Alcibiades' association with it, which dominates his whole presentation. Rather than playing up Alcibiades' unorthodox, undemocratic personal relationship with the allied cities as one might expect,(112) the speaker argues that his repressive behaviour of the allies (or indeed seemingly unrelated actions on his part) will endanger the security of the empire.(113) Thus, the story of how Alcibiades used three allied cities to subsidize his display at the Olympics ([sections] 30), with its suggestions of a Persian-style relationship of subservience, is used by the speaker not to demonstrate Alcibiades' dangerous unorthodox power among the allies, but simply as yet another example of his ability to get away with his outrageous behaviour.

In this last case it looks as though we are dealing with a story whose original point (Alcibiades' dangerous influence with the allies) has been lost.(114) It is possible that the original context of this story was an anti-Alcibiades speech from around Alcibiades' own lifetime. A possible context for such a story is the claim for damages brought against Alcibiades' son in the 390s for the chariot-team incident described in [subsections] 26-7 of [And.] 4.(115) A version of the speech for the defence on this occasion has survived (Isocrates 16).(116) The corresponding prosecution speech must have aimed to show how Alcibiades' treatment of his victim was suggestive of a wider contempt of the city evident throughout his behaviour at the Olympic festival, a rhetorical line which would have led naturally to stories like those found in [And.] 4. In addition to rhetoric, there was, as Plutarch points out,(117) a great wealth of writing about Alcibiades,(118) and it is possible that other stories in the speech owe their origins to literary sources (as distinct from a general store of Alcibiades anecdotes). For example, the speaker's claim that Alcibiades' attractively outrageous behaviour has caused Athens' youth to spend their time in the law-courts while the old go on campaign ([sections] 22), and that Alcibiades has `abolished the gymnasia' ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] [[sections] 39]) is strongly reminiscent of Old Comedy.(119) Comedy may also be the origin of the report of Alcibiades' activity as public prosecutor.(120)

If some of the anecdotes in [And.] 4 owe their origin to such sources, this might explain why some of the stories themselves seem plausible as components of a genuine invective against Alcibiades, while their rhetorical development seems odd or inconsistent with a fifth-century context.


If [And.] 4 is not authentic it must have been composed at some time after the Alcibiades debates at the beginning of the fourth century (because its failure to mention events after 416 would make it incomprehensible in this context), and long enough before the composition of Plutarch's Alcibiades for Plutarch to have treated it as a possibly fifth-century work.

Can we suggest any more precise literary or historical context? We have seen that the rhetorical aims and attitudes of the speech are typical of historical declamation, but that the historical knowledge and consistency it displays, and its interest in historical details which are strictly unnecessary for the declamatory purpose, make it unique. These features are consistent with the idea that it is much earlier than other declamations. They suggest that [And.] 4 can be regarded as the oldest surviving example of historical declamation.(121)

Although some of the features of the genre of declamation may have been anticipated as early as the fifth century,(122) there are quite good independent grounds for believing in the idea found in later writers on rhetoric that the origins of declamation should be placed in the last twenty years of the fourth century. An artificial genre of rhetoric, focusing on a past when the orator was of paramount importance in the city, is likely to have grown up after the rise of Macedon had undermined the contact of rhetoric with the most important public affairs, turning it towards artificial displays set in a past increasingly regarded as `classical'.(123) Later writers associate the beginnings of such rhetoric with Aeschines after his banishment from Athens, when he founded a school on Rhodes,(124) and with Demetrius of Phaleron,(125) another Athenian political exile, who removed to Ptolemy's court and advised Ptolemy Soter on the foundation of the library at Alexandria.(126) These men were both famous orators who lived to see their rhetorical skills, which had been the key to their central involvement in public life, becoming increasingly irrelevant to deciding the most important issues in the city. In exile they were unable to exercise their rhetorical skills at all, unless in the practice of declamation.(127) At the same time, the growing importance and increasingly official position of scholarly enquiry in Athens and Alexandria encouraged a notion of the past as a field for historical enquiry rather than as living tradition: this would have helped the development of a genre of artificial speeches located in a past reconstructed and imagined through books.

The intellectual and political milieu at the very end of the fourth century provides an appropriate background against which to locate a work like [And.] 4. Inspired by a desire to locate an ingeniously artificial debate in a carefully reconstructed historical past, much concerned with constitutional history and biographical anecdotal material, and influenced by theoretical questions like the purpose of ostracism and the reasons for the decline of the Athenian empire, the speech well reflects the preoccupations of the early Hellenistic period.

We do not know what Hellenistic display oratory was like, but it would be attractive to suppose that it reflected the scholastic and recondite character we know to have been characteristic of the poetry of the period. Like Hellenistic poetry, [And.] 4 seeks out one of those poorly illuminated moments of the classical heritage which demand the learning and empathy of the scholar to identify, imagine, and describe.(128) The scholasticism of the Hellenistic poets inspired their art, making their work a seamless blend of poetry and abstruse learning, just as (as I hope to have shown) [And.] 4 blends declamation and historical detail. In the speech, this detail produces a feeling of `realism', another feature often associated with Alexandrian literature.(129) The closely imagined dramatic setting of the speech--the interrupting crowd and the archons in attendance ([sections] 7), Alcibiades' pity-arousing tears ([sections] 39)--serve a similar function to the `realistic' details (neighing horses and creaking axles) in a poem like Callimachus' fifth hymn: they re-create an environment which is no longer present to the world of the scholar.(130) Like Hellenistic poetry, [And]. 4 uses scholarship to expand our imaginative grasp of the classical past.

Quintilian(131) says `it is established that subjects invented in imitation of the law-courts and of deliberations were introduced among the Greeks around [`circa'] Demetrius of Phaleron'. Whatever degree of responsibility for beginning a genre of imitated speech Quintilian or his source wanted to attach to Demetrius of Phaleron himself,(132) Demetrius is an excellent representative of the sort of early Hellenistic intellectual currents which might have given rise to a speech like [And.] 4. In addition to his political career(133) Demetrius was a prolific Peripatetic author(134) on a vast range of themes, including Athenian constitutional history and constitutional theory, the conduct of politicians, and the types of character.(135) His Socrates, which Plutarch drew on for such details as the wealth of Aristides and the date of his archonship, shows an interest in personal data of fifth-century figures.(136) No substantial fragment of Demetrius' oratory survives,(137) and none of the works attributed to him can securely be regarded as a declamation.(138) We do know, however, that Cicero regarded his oratory as `academic',(139) while a theoretical work like the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] was influenced by rhetorical form.(140) While it would be foolhardy to suggest that Demetrius himself was the author of [And.] 4, a figure from his polymathic milieu would be the right person to compose a work which can be seen as an elaborate rhetorical comment on the purpose of a constitutional measure, and which combines the interests of the orator and the constitutional historian.

Whatever view one takes of this, I hope to have shown that if [And.] 4 is a later rhetorical exercise, as there is good reason to believe, its interest for us goes beyond its status as a mine of doubtful historical information. It presents us with a fascinating example of the attempt of a later generation to re-create a classical past through scholarship, and sheds important light on the little-understood origins of Greek declamation.


The ancient tradition regarding the ostracism of Hyperbolus is represented principally by Plutarch, Alc. 13.4-9, Nic. 11, and Arist. 7.3-4. Phaeax features only in Alc., though at the end of the account in Nic. his involvement in the ostracism is recorded as a variant attributed to Theophrastus. Raubitschek(141) suggested (a) that it was Theophrastus who introduced the idea that Phaeax was involved in the ostracism of Hyperbolus into the tradition, and (b) that he did so on the basis of his knowledge of [And.] 4. If correct, the theory would require that the speech is, if not authentic, then at least old enough to convince Theophrastus. But even if (a) is right,(142) (b) is purely conjectural, and it is just as plausible that the author of the speech chose Phaeax as his speaker because he was familiar with a tradition in which Phaeax played an important role in the ostracism as that the tradition of Phaeax's involvement arose from knowledge of the speech.

We can only conjecture how it was that the apparently unimportant Phaeax came to figure so prominently in the tradition surrounding the ostracism of Hyperbolus. We now know from the evidence of the ostraka that Phaeax was, as a matter of historical fact, involved in the final ostracism. Phaeax's family was an important one in the fourth century,(143) and thus capable of helping to publicize the memory of their ancestor's involvement in the famous last ostracism, side by side with Nicias and Alcibiades. Phaeax's nephew Eristratus even provided one of the principal characters in the spurious Platonic dialogue Eryxias.(144)


Of the ten anecdotes narrated by [And.] 4, eight (or nine if one includes the confused notice of Alcibiades' appropriation of the sacred vessels in 13.3) are also found in Plut. Alc., with considerable variation, but also significant points of correspondence. As Burn(145) pointed out, resemblances between the way the stories are told and the order in which they occur suggests that the similarities between the two texts are not the result of their authors drawing on a common tradition of Alcibiades anecdotes, but that the two are in some way intertextually related.(146)

Burn further argued that it can be demonstrated that the speech and Plutarch were both dependent on a common, no longer extant, `biographical' source, and he took this to show that the speech was written at a relatively late date, after a time at which biographical works about Alcibiades were written. But Burn employed a rather inflexible source criticism which did not take into account the capacity of either of the authors to rely on memory, to adapt or elaborate a story for their own purposes, or to introduce variant details or another version of a story known to them from another source, or from the tradition of stories surrounding Alcibiades.

Thus Burn argued(147) that Plutarch could not have used [And.] 4 directly or indirectly on two grounds: first that the words used by [And.] 4 ([sections] 30) to describe the contribution of the Lesbians towards Alcibiades' entertainment expenses at Olympia ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) could not have been elaborated by Plutarch (Alc. 12.1) into [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. But for what other purpose could the [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] have been intended, particularly in the context of olvov, than that of entertainment? Moreover in Athenaeus 1.1e we read that after his victory at Olympia, Alcibiades `sacrificed to Olympian Zeus and entertained the entire assemblage [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]'. Plutarch may have introduced this detail because of knowledge of the story that underlies this statement of Athenaeus--a good example of the unknown (in this case to Burn) third version of an anecdote, which may displace the version of the story the author finds in his main source.(148)

Burn's second argument was the different way the two texts report the anecdote of Alcibiades' imprisonment of Agatharchus: whereas in [And.] 4.17, Agatharchus is only able to escape after three months, upon which he is sued by Alcibiades for non-completion of the job, in Alc. 16.5 he is released and given a reward. But Plutarch may here have substituted another version of the story known to him from elsewhere (or himself adapted the details of the story). The stories in this section of Alc. are introduced to support the claim (16.4) that the Athenians always found a way of giving a kindly description to Alcibiades' actions, calling them practical jokes [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] or competitiveness [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. The striking of Taureas is thus attributed to [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] while the story of the Melian woman could also be given a charitable explanation.(149) In keeping with this pattern, in the Agatharchus story Plutarch adopts (or, less probably, himself fashions(150) a version in which Alcibiades lets the painter go, giving him a reward, a version which makes it possible for the Athenians to see the incident as a [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Whereas in [And.] 4 Agatharchus only escapes after three months `as though from the Persian king' with the job left uncompleted, in Plutarch he completes the work and is released with a reward.

These differences would be just as problematic under Burn's favoured theory that a common source underlies the two versions of the story. They illustrate the capacity for variation within the anecdotal tradition, where varying the details of a story allows it to be used to illustrate either Alcibiades' dangerous and tyrannical tendencies, or a more enigmatic quality in which the danger is masked by a sort of playfulness.(151) But they do not provide us with any evidence as to the nature of the intertextual relationship between [And.] 4 and Plut. Alc.

I argued above that Alc. 13.3 is a confused reference to [And.] 4, so Alc. is later than the speech, and the author of the speech cannot have relied upon Plutarch. This means the intertextuality between the two works is either that Plutarch's anecdotes (or at least some of them) stem in some way from the speech, or that both Plutarch's anecdotes and those in the speech stem from some unknown common source. Even if the latter explanation were correct, it would not follow that the unknown source was a `biography'; it could be, for example, a speech, or some sort of moralizing literature involving anecdotes about Alcibiades.

(*) Originally composed for the Gaisford Dissertation Prize 1994, this article has benefited tremendously from the general guidance and many specific suggestions of Doreen Innes, Arnd Kerkhecker, Christopher Pelling, Peter Wilson, and, in particular, Donald Russell. A recent commentary on the speech came to my notice just as this article was going to print: P. C. Ghiggia, [Andocide] Contro Alcibiade (Pisa, 1995). It has not been possible to respond to it here.

(1) A. E. Raubitschek, 'The Case against Alcibiades (Andocides IV)', TAPA 79 (1948), 191-210 (=Raubitschek, The School of Athens [New York 1991], 116-31).

(2) Also, the Olympic Games referred to in the speech ([subsections] 25-31), must be those of 416 (J. Hatzfeld, Alcibiade [Paris, 1940], p. 130 n. 3). But W. D. Furley, `Andokides IV (`Against Alcibiades'): Fact or Fiction?', Hermes 117 (1989), 138-56 argues that [And.] 4, though published in 415, purports to represent a speech given on the occasion of an ostracism held in 417 or 416. Furley is thus compelled to maintain that the author of the speech was prepared to engage in deliberate and obvious anachronism in order to update the invective against Alcibiades with the material regarding Melos and the Olympics.

The true date of the ostracism would be important for arguments regarding the authenticity of the speech if there were any agreement as to what the true date actually is; there is, however, no such agreement. The latest discussion of this ostracism (P. J. Rhodes, `The Ostracism of Hyperbolus', in S. Hornblower and R. Osborne [edd.], Ritual, Finance, Politics. Athenian Democratic Accounts Presented to David Lewis [Oxford, 1994], pp. 85-98) in fact uses the speech as one of the main arguments for a dating of the ostracism to 415. Cf. also C. Fuqua, `Possible Implications of the Ostracism of Hyperbolus', TAPA 96 (1965), 165-79.

(3) This is an important proviso. Since the speech has been `published', this raises the question of the relationship between the published speech and the original which it purports to represent. There is a wide variety of possible relationships, including, for example, that between the written and originally delivered versions of the speeches of Demosthenes, or that between the Apology of Plato and the speech actually delivered by Socrates at his trial.

(4) Thus A. Schroff, Zur Echtheitsfrage der vierten Rede des Andokides (Erlangen, 1901).

(5) Thus L. C. Valckenaer, in J. O. Sluiter, Lectiones Andocideae (Ludgduni-Batavorum, 1804), pp. 17-26.

(6) Furley (n. 2) believes the ostracism of Hyperbolus in fact took place in 417. If he had accepted the date for the ostracism implied by the speech itself, thus arguing for A2 or A3 (i), he would have avoided the difficulty pointed out in n. 2 above.

(7) Thus Dover in HCT iv.287-8, arguing that the speech was composed by Andocides in the 390s and that the intended speaker was Leagoras, Andocides' father: cf. Dover, Lysias and the Corpus Lysiacum (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1968), 191-2. Dover later abandoned this viewpoint: Greek Popular Morality in the Time of Plato and Aristotle (Oxford, 1974), p. 8, n. 1. E. Drerup, `Die Anfange der rhetorischen Kunstprosa', in Untersuchungen zur alteren griechischen Prosalitteratur. Wilhelm v. Christ zum 70. Geburtstag (Jahrbucher fur klassische Philologie, Supp. 27 [1901], 219-351), pp. 327-8 also thought the speech was composed in the 390s by Andocides, but that the intended speaker was probably Phaeax.

(8) This is the favoured solution of Raubitschek (above n. 1). Cf. also E Vater, Dissertatio, qua Andocidea Oratio de Ostracismo Phaeaci Vindicatur, sive Rerum Andocidearum Caput Quartum (Neue Jahrbucher fur Philologie und Padagogik, suppl. 11 [1845], 426-447).

(9) All other accounts of the speech so far proposed can be grouped under this heading.

(10) See n. 2, above.

(11) Discussions of the testimonia: E Blass, Die attische Beredsamkeit (Leipzig, 1887-982), pp. i.336-7; R. Jebb, The Attic Orators (London, 1893(2)), pp. 134-5; L. Gernet, `Notes sur Andocide', part II: `Le discours Contre Alcibiade', RPh 57 (1931), 313-26; Raubitschek (n. 1), 191-2; Furley (n. 2), 138-40.

(12) [Plut.] Mor. 835: the speech referred to is called [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which ought to mean a defence given on an occasion when Phaeax was prosecutor. But it is likely that [And.] (4) is intended.

(13) Harpocration s.v. `[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Photius Bibliotheca 488a.

(14) In addition, D.L. 2.63 ascribes a work [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to Aeschines of Sphettus, the Socratic. Possibly this conceals another reference to the speech with another guess at its authorship: thus Blass (n. 11), p. i.337; cf. ii.345, n. 1; and J. K. Davies, Athenian Propertied Families (Oxford 1971), p. 522. But why attribute [And.] 4, the most obvious feature of which is its dramatic date of around 415, to Aeschines, whose activity as a speech writer belongs to the 360s (D.L. 2.62)? Philostratus (VS 481) says that Aeschines the orator began the tradition of declamatory speeches. Perhaps, as Doreen Innes suggests to me, the speech mentioned by Diogenes is really [And.] 4, but Diogenes has misunderstood an attribution to Aeschines the orator. Such an attribution would be consistent with the account of [And.] 4 offered at the end of this article: cf. n. 124 below.

(15) Schroff (n. 4), pp. 8-9.

(16) For other ways of emending the text see M. H. E. Meier, Commentationes de Andocidei quae vulgo fertur oratione contra Alcibiadem, in Meier's Opuscula Academica (1861-3) pp. i.75ff., pp. 146-8; Blass (n. 11) p. i.337; Raubitschek (n. 1), p. 210.

(17) There is a remarkable overlap of material between [And.] 4 and Plut. Alc. (cf. Appendix II below). Had Plutarch then read the speech, but, not having it to hand as he wrote, misremembered it? But then he would surely have remembered and mentioned the most important feature of the speech for the present context, namely that it is written for the occasion of the ostracism which he is actually discussing at this point of Alc. Perhaps, then, Plutarch had not read the speech himself, and is here recording a notice he found in a source which referred to the speech. Cf. Gernet (n. 11), pp. 321-2; Raubitschek (n. 1), p. 210; D. A. Russell, `Plutarch, Alcibiades 1-16', PCPS n.s. 12 (1966), 37-47, pp. 43-4. Note that Plutarch also gives the impression of not having read the so-called [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], of Antiphon which he cites at Alc. 3.1.

(18) Raubitschek (n. 1), pp. 191-2.

(19) Furley (n. 2), pp. 150-3. Furley's other points are arguments that the speech was composed by a contemporary Athenian, not that it was composed by Andocides: the speech is `inspired by the resentment of a less glamorous rival' (p. 153), and its speaker belongs to the `oligarchic' camp (p. 154). Both of these considerations, even if valid, would apply equally well to Phaeax (and indeed a great many other contemporary Athenians). For other objections to Furley, see Rhodes (n. 2), p. 90.

(20) The main ground for trying to maintain Andocidean authorship of the speech is thus apparently a desire to preserve the traditional attribution at all costs. Thus Drerup (n. 7), p. 331: `Ich kann mich...nicht dazu verstehen, unsere Uberlieferung anzutasten.'

(21) S. Feraboli, `Lingua e Stile della Orazione "Contro Alcibiade" attribuita ad Andocide', SIFC 44 (1972), 5-37, summarized by M. Edwards, Greek Orators IV. Andocides (Warminster, 1995), pp. 208-11.

(22) I doubt whether the stylistic differences between [And.] 4 and the other speeches of Andocides can be explained away simply by attributing them to `the different purpose and circumstances of our speech' (Furley [n. 2], p. 149). Cf. Jebb (n. 11), pp. 135-6, and now Edwards (n. 21), p. 134.

(23) Presumably meaning `revolutionary conspiracy'. Though an odd word, this goes better in combination with [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], than the variant reading [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], (which might refer to a charge of having squandered one's patrimony).

(24) Meier (n. 16), pp. 96-108; Jebb (n. 11), p. 135.

(25) H. B. Mattingly, `The Practice of Ostracism at Athens', Antichthon 25 (1991), 1-26, pp. 24-5: so far five ostraka bearing Phaeax's name have been found. See Davies (n. 14) no. 13921 for the other ancient texts relating to Phaeax.

(26) We would have to assume that Plutarch (Alc. 13.1) is wrong in making Phaeax, like Alcibiades, a young man at the start of his political career: cf. Davies (n. 14), p. 522.

(27) Cf. Furley (n. 2), pp. 142-3; Rhodes (n. 2), p. 90.

(28) Thuc. 6.52-61, Plut. Alc. 22.

(29) Cf. Raubitschek (n. 1), p. 207.

(30) Aristophanes, Knights 1377-80.

(31) See J. Carcopino, L'ostracisme athenien (Pais, 1935(2)), pp. 57-72; and most recently Rhodes (n. 2), p. 89.

(32) FGH 328, F30.

(33) Raubitschek (n. 1), p. 197.

(34) On pre-ostracism activity see Carcopino (n. 31), pp. 71-2; G. M. Calhoun, Athenian Clubs in Politics and Litigation (Bulletin of the University of Texas 262, Texas, 1913), pp. 139-40.

(35) Jebb (n. 11), pp. 137-8.

(36) The speaker indicates that Alcibiades will speak after him ([subsections] 25, 39, cf. [sections] 7): there is no suggestion that Nicias, the other named figure, will speak.

(37) In particular, the purpose of mentioning Nicias as one of the figures involved is presumably to make it clear to the reader that the speaker is not Nicias.

(38) Such scene-setting devices suggest a strong desire to imitate real speech: cf. Plato, Apol. 17c10, 20e4, 27b1-2, 30c2-3. It is, of course, also normal for published versions of really delivered speeches to retain the `dramatic' details of the original trial: cf. E. Hall, `Lawcourt Dramas: the Power of Performance in Greek Forensic Oratory', BICS 40 (1995), 39-58. (39) See especially Gernet (n. 11), pp. 313-20; and cf. also Fuqua (n. 2), pp. 172-5.

(40) Cf. D. C. Innes, `Gorgias, Antiphon and Sophistopolis', Argumentation 5 (1991), 221-31, p. 222.

(41) D. A. Russell Greek Declamation (Cambridge 1983), pp. 32-3.

(42) R. Kohl, De Scholasticarum Declamationum Argumentis ex Historia Petitis (Rhet. Stud. 4, 1915), nos 112-19; cf. Russell (n. 41), pp. 47-50, 123-4.

(43) Alcibiades won the aristeia at Potidaea (Plato Symp. 220e), won an Olympic victory, and after a series of victories against the Spartans enjoyed a triumphal return to Athens in 407 at which he was said to have been awarded a golden crown by the city (Plut. Alc. 33a).

(44) Cf. Sopater 8.2.4-10 in C. Walz, Rhetores Graeci (Tubingen, 1832-6): henceforward RG.

(45) Thuc. 8.73.3.

(46) Russell (n. 41), p. 112 (`the declaimers studied Thucydides minutely'). Note esp. the Sicilian speeches of Aelius Aristides, and cf. L. Pernot, Les Discours Siciliens d'Aelius Aristide (New York, 1981), pp. 25-9.

(47) Russell (n. 41), p. 32. Cf. esp. [And.] 4, [subsections] 10, 13.

(48) On Sopater's interest in `tragic' forms, see D. C. Innes and M. Winterbottom, Sopatros the Rhetor. Studies in the Text of the the [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] BICS Suppl. 48 (London, 1988), p. 11. Such comparisons to the action of tragedy were also characteristic of fourth-, though not fifth-century Athens: see P. J. Wilson, `Tragic Rhetoric: the Use of Tragedy and the Tragic in the Fourth Century', in M. S. Silk (ed.) Tragedy and the Tragic (Oxford, 1996), which includes an analysis of the relationship between tragedy and politics in [And.] 4.21-3.

(49) Russell (n. 41), pp. 33-9.

(50) Ibid., ch. 3.

(51) Ibid., pp. 63-5.

(52) Cf. Aesch. 3.194; Dem. 18.219.

(53) Criticism of the law-giver is a declamatory topos: Libanius, Decl. 26.4, Decl. 33.9, with Russell (n. 41), p. 91. Cf. Pericles in the Funeral Speech (Thuc. 2.35), where such criticism also serves a rhetorical-structural purpose.

(54) [subsections] 14, 18, 21, 23, 30.

(55) On the necessity of state supervision of the [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] of citizens, cf. Aristotle, Pol. 1308b16-24.

(56) Compare the way Plutarch uses the more dynamic and controversial Phaeax as a foil to Alcibiades in his account of the ostracism of Hyperbolus in Alc., whereas in Nic. he had depicted Alcibiades and Nicias as the two main contestants. Cf. C. B. R. Pelling, `Plutarch and Thucydides', in P. A. Stadter (ed.), Plutarch and the Historical Tradition (London, 1991), pp. 10-40, p. 28, and p. 37, n. 48.

(57) The details the speaker gives about himself in the last two paragraphs of the speech have been seen as an uncomfortable afterthought, in a place where we might have expected an appeal for pity. But throughout the speech the speaker has maintained that his past actions do not now require defence, and he has concentrated instead on prosecution, which he has just brought to a triumphant rhetorical conclusion in [subsections] 39-40, so that an appeal for pity would be bathetic. His tactics are in keeping with traditional rhetorical practice: brief summary of what he has argued in the course of the speech ([GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), and reaffirmation of his opponent's bad character ([GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]).

(58) Russell (n. 41), 52, 69.

(59) These are listed by Kohl (n. 42).

(60) The classic example is Ajax and Odysseus competing for the arms of Achilles. Cf. also RG 8.98, 403. This type of exercise, the ultimate ancestor of which is perhaps Demosthenes' On the Crown, was classed under stasis pragmatike by Syrianus (RG 4.226).

(61) Russell (n. 41), pp. 111-17.

(62) Sopater, RG 8.4, 8.10.

(63) Libanius, fr. 50 Forster; RG 5.10, cf. 6.468.

(64) Libanius, Decl. 12.

(65) Xen. Mem. 1.2.12ff; Isoc. 11.5-6. Replying to the charge that Socrates corrupted Alcibiades is an important theme in Libanius' Defence of Socrates. Note also the preoccupation with the education Alcibiades received from Socrates in Plut. Alc. 4-6.

(66) Lysias, fr. 4 Thalheim; Antiphon, fr. 67 Thalheim.

(67) Yet according to Thuc. 6.15.4 fear of [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which must include his erotic life, was one of the main origins for the Athenians' belief that Alcibiades was aiming at tyranny.

(68) Cf. Innes (n. 40), pp. 221-2.

(69) IG [1.sup.3] 71 (R. Meiggs and D. Lewis, A Collection of Greek Historical [Inscriptions.sup.2] [Oxford, 1988], p. 69), 11. 8ff. Alcibiades too young: A. Andrewes, in HCT iv.49. See also Hatzfeld (n. 2), pp. 68-9. Cf. also Aristides 3.119-20 with the scholion ad loc. (Dindorf iii, 510).

(70) Raubitschek (n. 1), pp. 198-9.

(71) On public prosecutors, see M. Lavency, Aspects de la logographie judicaire attique (Louvain, 1964), p. 84, n. 1; and Sommerstein on Aristophanes, Ach. 685.

(72) O. W. Reinmuth, in RE 18.1683; cf. Raubitschek (n. 1), pp. 203-5. But Mattingly (n. 25), pp. 13-14 doubts the historicity of the ostracism of Alcibiades II and Callias.

(73) Cf. Schroff's (above n. 4) demolition of many of Meier's arguments, and in general Raubitschek (n. 1).

(74) Thuc. 4.101.2.

(75) Ath. 5.218bc suggests a date in the years before 421: see Davies (n. 14), p. 262.

(76) Raubitschek (n. 1), p. 199. Note that Hipponicus did lead an expedition against Boeotia in summer 426 (Thuc. 3.91.4).

(77) Melos fell at the beginning of winter 416/5 (Thuc. 5.116.2-4). The ostracism imagined by the speaker must have taken place in or before the eighth prytany (Philochorus, FGH 328, F 30) of the Athenian year, i.e. before the end of May 415 at any rate, allowing a maximum of 7-8 months for the conception, gestation, and birth of the child. For the complex question of the chronology of the Athenian year 416/15 see HCT iv. 264-76; Furley (n. 2), pp. 141-4, and the works cited there. The idea that the woman had been enslaved in an Athenian attack on the island earlier in 416 is impossible to reconcile with [sections] 22 of the speech (Blass [n. 11] pp. i.335, n. 5). For other suggestions, see Raubitschek (n. 1), pp. 200-1; Furley (n. 2), pp. 141-3. As Donald Russell points out to me, it may be significant that Alcibiades' son by his wife Hipparete (Davies' Alcibiades IV) was actually born at around this time (see Davies In. 14], pp. 19-21): might the origin of this story be a slur on the birth of Alcibiades IV?

(78) The only instance is [sections] 36, [[GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] add. Blass].

(79) Like [And.] 4, later theorizing on ostracism concentrated on the final ostracism in the search for the cause of the institution's obsolescence (W. R. Connor and J. J. Keaney, `Theopompus on the End of Ostracism', AJP 90 [1969], 313-19). In [And.] 4 a figure involved in the final ostracism discourses at length about the problems of ostracism.

(80) When the author says ([sections] 3) that there is no accusation or defence associated with ostracism, and no secret vote (reading [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), he means that none of the institutions of a formal trial are present: Raubitschek (n. 2), p. 196. There is thus no direct inconsistency with the supposed occasion of the speech.

(81) Cf. Plut. Arist. 7.2; D.S. 11.87 (on petalismos).

(82) Cf. Ar. Pol. 1284620-2.

(83) Cf. Aristotle (Poi. 1302b18) and Theophrastus (fr. 640B Fortenbaugh with Connor-Keaney [n. 79]) note the existence of institutions resembling ostracism in other cities (and cf. D.S. 11.87 for Syracusan petalismos). So on this point the author of [And.] 4 is either contentious or pedantic.

(84) Ar. Pol. 1284a3ff, cf. Ath. Pol. 22.3; Demetrius of Phaleron fr. 95 Wehrli; Theophrastus fr. 640B Fortenbaugh; Plutarch Arist. 7.2 (where Plutarch questions this traditional interpretation of ostracism). This is also Thucydides' view of ostracism: 8.73.3.

(85) It is right to point out that there had apparently been no ostracism held in Athens since the ostracism of Thucydides in the 440s (though Aristophanes, Knights 855-7 shows that it was still seen as an active political tool). This would go some way towards providing a context for these lengthy observations on the institution.

(86) Lys. 1.2 (where the speaker underlines the importance of the Athenian law on adultery by pointing to similar punishments in oligarchic law systems) is also odd, but does not go nearly as far as [And.] 4.6. For ostracism as an inherently democratic institution, cf. Ar. Pol. 1284a17-20.

(87) The desire of the author to use every opportunity to bring in details of constitutional history also explains the peculiar request ([sections] 7) to the audience [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]: according to Theophrastus (fr. 640B Fortenbaugh), on the day of the ostracism [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. Raubitschek (n. 1), p. 197 took [sections] 7 of the speech as an attempt by the speaker to give an official character to an informal meeting, rejecting the association with the role of the archons on the day of the ostracism (`their only duty was to guard the ballot boxes'). But (i) the only time when the archons were ever involved in assembly procedure was the day of the ostracism, and (ii) if there had been debates on the day of the ostracism (as the author of the speech apparently imagines), it would be logical to suppose that the archons would also have helped in their organization.

(88) Ar. Poi. 1284ab.

(89) Thuc. 6.1.1 dates the beginning of Athenian plans to send a major expedition to Sicily to the winter of 416/15 when ambassadors were first sent to assess the appeal of the Egestans. The ambassadors returned at the beginning of spring and the Athenians immediately voted to send an expedition of sixty ships with Alcibiades and Nicias in command (Thuc. 6.8). We know from IG [i.sup.3] 93 (Meiggs and Lewis, no. 78) that it was at one stage contemplated to appoint just one general (presumably Alcibiades): see HCT iv.224-5.

(90) Thuc. 6.15-18.

(91) Plut. Arist. 7 with Carcopino (n. 31), p. 72 and Calhoun (n. 34), pp. 139-40. On the gossip associated with Cimon's ostracism see [sections] 33 of the speech with Plut. Cim. 15.2-3, 17.2. For the gossipy comments inscribed on ostraka see Meiggs and Lewis (n. 69), p. 42, and D. Lewis in A. R. Burn, Persia and the Greeks ([1984.sup.2]), pp. 605-6.

(92) Raubitschek (n. 1), p. 207 adds that the expedition may have been so popular, and Alcibiades' involvement so important to it, that the speaker may have preferred not to mention it.

(93) A. R. Burn, `A Biographical Source on Phaiax and Alkibiades?', CQ n.s. 4 (1954), 138-42.

(94) cf. [sections] 10: [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII].

(95) On anecdotes see R. Saller, `Anecdotes as Historical Evidence for the Principate', G&R 27 (1980), 69-83; K. J. Dover, `Anecdotes, Gossip, and Scandal', in The Greeks and Their Legacy (Oxford, 1988), pp. 45-52.

(96) [subsections] 13, 17, 22.

(97) It is important to remember, however, that if the speech is authentic the speaker may be short of time (cf. [sections] 10), and the stories he recounts familiar to his audience.

(98) F. Wehrli, `Gnome, Anekdote und Biographie', MH 30 (1973), 193-208, pp. 193-4; A. Momigliano, The Development of Greek Biography ([1993.sup.2]), pp. 65-73. Like such works, [And.] 4 avoids the well-known public deeds of its subject, preferring those more personally revealing episodes which do not figure in the historians (cf. Plut. Alex. 1, Nic. 1).

(99) Russell (n. 17), p. 37, n. 5 warns that `there is no good reason for thinking that Satyrus' anecdotes about Alcibiades ... come from a formal Life'.

(100) [And.] 4.30, cf. Ath. 534d.

(101) Translation slightly adapted from D. M. MacDowell, Demosthenes. Against Meidias (Oxford, 1990), pp. 173-5.

(102) It is hard to believe that, as early as 415, people were saying this sort of thing about Alcibiades, or that if they were, a speaker would choose to highlight this in a speech against Alcibiades. The context for this passage is perhaps the Aristotelian belief that the purpose of ostracism was to remove the superb and outstanding individual from the community (Pol. 1284a3ff.).

103) Thuc. 6.28, 6.15.4: cf. [And.] 4.24, 27. On allegations of tyranny against Alcibiades see R. Seager, `Alcibiades and the Charge of Aiming at Tyranny', Historia 16 (1967), 6-18.

(104) Thuc. 6.15-16.

(105) For an equally unlikely anecdotal elaboration of this story, cf. scholion to Aristides Or. 3, 119-20 [iii, 510 Dindort]): Alcibiades set the tribute so high that the allies were forced to sell their own children to pay it. On Thurii (founded in 443 B.C.), see A. J. Graham, Colony and Mother City in Ancient Greece (Manchester, 1964), pp. 198-9.

(106) This statement has traditionally been read as a vaticinium ex eventu, though taken alone there is nothing particularly unlikely in a speaker mentioning the possibility of a Spartan-led naval revolt of the allies before 413: this had been a fear even in the 420s (Thuc. 2.24, 3.36.2). Cf. Raubitschek (n. 1), p. 201.

(107) Rhodes (n. 2), pp. 90-1.

(108) Cf. Aristides, Or. 3.119-20 (n. 105 above), which cannot derive from Plutarch since the story of Alcibiades' raising the tribute is the only anecdote of the speech not found in Plut. Alc.

(109) Plut. Alc. 16.6, etc.

(110) Xen. H.G. 2.2.3; Isoc. 4.100, 12.63.

(111) Cf. [sections] 23: `[Alcibiades turned the Melian woman] from a free woman into a slave, he killed her father and relatives, and uprooted her city'.

(112) In [sections] 11, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] does not refer to such unorthodox influence. The power and fearfulness referred to by the speaker consist in Alcibiades' oppressive raising of the tribute: the point is not that Alcibiades' actions display excessive influence, but that they lead the allies to hate and fear him, and through him Athens.

(113) In this context, it is important that [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in [sections] 31 (already objected to by L. Radermacher, WS 67 [1939], 165, on the grounds that it forces the genitive [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] to perform two different tasks after [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) is the wrong supplement: the objection to Alcibiades' behaviour has not been that he has demonstrated his illicit authority over the allies, but that he has mishandled them. In a work like [And.] 4, I am not sure whether it is a valid objection to Radermacher's own suggested supplement, [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (which he wants to refer to the Melian slave anecdote) that the Melians were never Athenian allies.

(114) In Satyrus' version of this story (534d), the point is even further submerged through the loss of the original Olympic context. See Russell (n. 17), p. 43.

(115) [And.] 4.26, Plut. Alc. 12.3, D.S. 13.74 all present differing accounts of the original incident which led to this trial.

(116) There were also other anti-Alcibiades trials in the 390s: at Isoc. 16.1-4, Alcibiades IV complains that his enemies have `often' brought trumped-up charges against him designed to attack the reputation of his dead father. Lys. 14 and 15 are speeches written for such a trial.

(117) Plut. Alc. 1.3.

(118) For example, Satyrus in the work discussed above (Ath. 12.534bff.) quotes the orators Lysias and Antiphon, the comic poets Eupolis and Pherecrates, and the Socratic Antisthenes. On comedy and oratory as a source for anecdotes, see Dover (n. 95), esp. pp. 49-50.

(119) Cf. Aristophanes, Clouds 1052-3, Frogs 1069-71.

(120) Comedy is our only other source for this detail: Aristoph. Ach. 715-16, fr. 205 KA.

(121) The Peri Politeias ascribed to Herodes Atticus is another work purporting to be a speech delivered in the late fifth century. Unlike [And.] 4, this speech does not contain the sort of features which might lead one to distinguish it from later declamation, but the case for regarding it as a fifth-century composition has been made: see H. T. Wade-Gery, `Kritias and Herodes', CQ 39 (1945), 19-33; and cf. Russell (n. 41), p. 111.

(122) Cf. Russell (n. 41), pp. 15-20; Innes (n. 40), p. 222.

(123) U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, `Klagen uber den Verfall der Beredsamkeit', in Wilamowitz, Der Glaube der Hellenen (Berlin, 1932) pp. ii.545-8; Russell (n. 41), pp. 17-18; Innes (n. 40), p. 222. Modern scholars of the history of rhetoric have been suspicious of this later association of the beginnings of (artificial, decadent) declamation with the onset of Asianism and rhetorical decline: see Blass (n. 11), pp. iii.2, 350; E Wehrli, Demetrios von Phaleron. Die Schule des Aristoteles iv (Basel/Stuttgart, 1968), p. 84; K. Heldmann, Antike Theorien fiber Entwicklung und Verfall der Redekunst, Zetemata 77 (Munich, 1982), pp. 98-122. But one does not have to believe in the idea of a simple starting date for declamation in order to think that the early Hellenistic period may well have been the time that declamation really took off.

(124) Philostratus VS 481. Note that there is some evidence for an ancient ascription of [And.] 4 to Aeschines the orator: see D.L. 2.63 with n. 14 above.

(125) Quint. 2.4.41.

(126) P. M. Fraser, Ptolemaic Alexandria (Oxford, 1972), pp. 314f., 321; R. Pfeiffer, History of Classical Scholarship (Oxford, 1968), pp. 96, 99f.

(127) Cf. Blass (n. 11), pp. iii.2, 265-6.

(128) Thus Callimachus' Hecale describes how Theseus was entertained by an old woman before vanquishing the Marathonian bull, while his Victoria Berenices describes Heracles' rustic dinner before his combat with the Nemean lion. This characteristic of Alexandrian poetry is further explored in an unpublished paper [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]--Dichter und Dichtung am Ptolemaerhof') given to the 23rd meeting of the Mommsen Society in June 1995 by Amd Kerkhecker. I am most grateful to him for letting me see a copy of this paper, and for suggesting to me these points of contact between [And.] 4 and Hellenistic poetry.

(129) G. Zanker, `The Nature and Origin of Realism in Alexandrian Poetry', A&E 29 (1983), 125-45, and Realism in Alexandrian Poetry (Kent, 1987), esp. ch. 1.

(130) See A. W Bulloch, Callimachus. The Fifth Hymn (Cambridge, 1985), pp. 4-5.

(131) 2.4.41.

(132) See Russell (n. 41), pp. 18-19.

(133) Demetrius was political supremo in Athens under Cassander from 317 to 307 B.C. Since this political activity must have kept him pretty busy, it is probable that most of his prodigious literary output was produced later during his time with Ptolemy (from before 297 B.C. until after 283 B.C.). On Demetrius see E. Bayer, Demetrios Phalereus der Athener (Tubinger Beitrage zur Altertumswissenschaft 36, Stuttgart/Berlin, 1942); C. Mosse, Athens in Decline 404-86 (London and Boston, 1973), pp. 102-8; E. Will, Histoire politique du monde hellenistique (Nancy, [1979.sup.2]), pp. 50-1; Fraser (n. 126), pp. 314-15; Pfeiffer (n. 126), pp. 96, 99-104; and J. Williams, 'The Peripatetic School and Demetrius of Phalerum's Reforms in Athens', Ancient World 15 (1987), 87-98. Demetrius' fragments are collected in Wehrli (n. 123).

(134) He studied under Theophrastus (Wehrli frs. 2-4, 27), and later helped Theophrastus to find a home for the School (Wehrli fr. 5).

(135) As one would expect from the author of works entitled [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] Demetrius was interested in ostracism, arguing on the basis of Aristides' ostracism that he was wealthy, since `only those from the great houses and those who incurred envy through the prestige of their birth were liable to ostracism' (fr. 95 Wehrli).

(136) Wehrli frs. 91-8. Demetrius' interest in historical figures is also suggested by works attributed to him with the titles Aristides, Cleon, Dionysius, etc. (D.L. 5.81).

(137) For Demetrius' rhetoric see Wehrli frs. 156-73.

(138) Though Wehrli fr. 185 (Rutilius Lupus de Fig Sent. et Eloc. 2.16) is apparently from a funeral speech.

(139) Wehrli fr. 175.

(140) This work may have been a dialogue. Note Wehrli fr. 81 where a speaker addresses an audience with much use of rhetorical questions.

(141) Raubitschek (n. 1), pp. 209-10.

(142) Although in Plut. Nic. 11, Theophrastus is recorded as claiming that Phaeax and not Nicias was the person with whom Alcibiades was competing ([GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), Plut. Alc. 13.8 states simply that `some' (i.e. presumably Theophrastus) claimed that it was Phaeax and not Nicias with whom Alcibiades hem negotiations [GREEK WORD NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]. So it is possible that Theophrastus agreed with the main account according to which all three were involved in the ostracism, disagreeing only as to the identity of the figures who had done the final deal. It is certainly not safe to conclude that the reason for the appearance of Phaeax in Alc. but not in Nic. is that Plutarch had been reading Theophrastus in between writing the two Lives This variation is caused by Plutarch's different purposes in the two Lives. Cfi Pelling (n. 56), pp. 28 and 37, n. 48; W. R. Connor, The New Politicians of Fifth Century Athens (Princeton, 1971), pp. 80-1.

(143) See Davies (n. 14), no. 13921. Davies' Phaeax II was still alive in 322.

(144) See A. E. Taylor, Plato: The Man and His Work (London, 1926), pp. 548-50. Eristratus is actually identified as `the nephew of Phaeax' in this dialogue, the dramatic date of which is roughly the same as that of [And.] 4.

(145) See n. 93, above.

(146) Burn (n. 93), p. 140. In particular, the two descriptions of Alcibiades' relations with Callias ([And.] 4.13-15; Plut. Alc. 8.3-5) have close points of similarity, and the anecdotes in Plut. Alc. 16.5-6 (the Taureas, Agatharchus, and Melian captive stories) appear in the same order as they do in the speech.

(147) Burn (n. 93), p. 141.

(148) Russell (n. 17), p. 43 maintained that [And.] 4 can be shown to be derivative on the source of Athenaeus: he argued that since the list of cities which subsidized Alcibiades at Olympia is longer in the version of this episode in Athenaeus (12.534d) than in that of [And.4], it follows that Athenaeus presents an earlier version of this anecdote than [And.] 4. But in the similar story in which the King gives Themistocles cities in Asia to support him, Thucydides (1.138.5) lists only three cities, whereas Neanthes and Phaenias (Plut. Them. 29.7) list five cities, and Athenaeus (l.29f-30a) six, i.e. the versions with the more cities are the later versions. Thus in the story found in [And.] 4 and Athenaeus, the fact that the speech has fewer cities may indicate that it is the earlier version.

(149) Plutarch's purpose in recording these varying interpretations of Alcibiades' actions is apparently to underline the difficulty of interpretation which surrounds him. Compare Alc. 3 (Antiphon records various libellous stories about Alcibiades, but can they be believed?), and Alc. 8 (variations are recorded for an anecdote concerning Callias: Alcibiades either hits Callias and then offers his body to Callias for punishment, or, as in [And.] 4, plots against his life, forcing Callias to make his fortune public).

(150) The existence of another `mitigating' version of the story, where Alcibiades' actions are a legitimate revenge for an injury done to him by Agatharchus (Dem. 21.147 with scholiast ad loc.), suggests that in Alc. we are dealing with another version of the story known to Plutarch, rather than an invention on Plutarch's own part.

(151) Cf. the variation in the story of Alcibiades' relations with Callias in Alc. 8, or in that of the chariot team incident in Alc. 12. On built-in variation in Alcibiades anecdotes, cf. Gernet (n. 11), pp. 324-5.
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Author:Gribble, David
Publication:The Classical Quarterly
Date:Jul 1, 1997
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