On King Codrus- fragments….

ΚΟΔΡΟΥΤΟΥΤΟΠΕΣΗΜΑΜΕΛΑΝΘΕΙΔΑΟ[ΑΝΑΚΤΟΣ

ΞΕΙΝΕΤΟΚΑΙΜΕΓΑΛΗΝΑΣΙΔΑΤΕΙΧΙΣΑΤ[Ο

ΣΩΜΑΔΥΠΑΚΡΟΠΟΛΗΙΦΕΡΩΝΤΑΡΧΥΣΕΝ[ΑΘΗΝΣ or ΑΘΗΝΕΩΝ

ΛΑΟΣΕΣΑΘΑΝΑΤΟΥΣΔΟΖ[Ξ]ΑΝΑΕΙΡΑΜΕ[ΝΟΣ]

 

“Here is where king Codrus son of Melanthus fell,

     stranger, a death which also fortified great Asia.

And the people of Athens carried his body and buried it beneath the Acropolis,

     raising his glory to the Immortals.”

“This Codrus was noble not in family alone,

but was entirely noble, in a spiritual sense.

For once when the Laconians and Athenians were fighting,

an oracle was given to the Laconians that they would be entirely defeated

if one of them were to kill the leader of the Athenians.

Learning which, Codrus, putting on the outfit of a woodsman,

killed a certain Laconian with an axe, then was killed in return.

And when they understood what they had done, the Laconians fled immediately.”

Tzetzes Chiliades Hist. 4-5, 170-199

 

“Do you suppose,’ she asked, ‘that Alcestis would have died for Admetus, or Achilles have sought death on the corpse of Patroclus, or your own Codrus have welcomed it to save the children of his queen, if they had not expected to win “a deathless memory for valor,” which now we keep? Of course not. I hold it is for immortal distinction and [208e] for such illustrious renown as this that they all do all they can, and so much the more in proportion to their excellence. They are in love with what is immortal.”

Plato Symposium 208d

 

“Codrus was a descendant of Deucalion, as Hellanicus says . . . (3) And Codrus the son of Melanthus received the kingship, he who died for his country in following manner. When the Athenians were at war with the Dorians, the god gave an oracle to the Dorians that they would conquer Athens provided they did not kill king Codrus. Having learned this, Codrus clothed himself in the simple garb of a woodsman, took a scythe, and went forth to the camp of his enemies. When two of these enemies met him, he struck and felled one, and, since the other did not recognize who he was, he smote Codrus, who died, leaving the rule of Athens to Medon, the older of his sons.”

Hellenicus, FGH 323a F 23 = Schol. Plato Symposium 208d

 

“His [Plato’s] father too is said to be in the direct line from Codrus, the son of Melanthus, and, according toThrasylus, Codrus and Melanthus also trace their descent from Poseidon.”

Diogenes Laertius Plato 1

 

“They (the Pisistratid family) had ruled the Athenians for thirty-six years and were in lineage of the house of Pylos and Neleus, born of the same ancestors as the families of Codrus and Melanthus, who had formerly come from foreign parts to be kings of Athens. It was for this reason that Hippocrates gave his son the name Pisistratus as a remembrance, calling him after Pisistratus the son of Nestor.”

Herodotus Histories 5.65

 

“Whose son was Codrus, who became king? Was it not of Melanthus, an exile from Messenê?”

Plutarch On Exile 607B

 

“More noble than Codrus. The son of Melanthus of Messene, father of Medon and Neleus. This Codrus — when the Dorians were making war against the Athenians (after they received the exiles from the Peloponnese, among whom was Melanthus) and when an oracle was given to the Dorians that they would sack the city, if they would not harm the king of their enemies – when he had learned of the oracle, he put on the clothes of a woodsman and chancing upon some guards of the Dorians, he killed one of them; and the rest of the guards, capturing him, killed him in a rage, as Demon writes.”

Demon FGH 327 F 22 =  Photius Lexicon s.v. eugenesteros Kodrou

 

“The greatest virtue of your city is that she has set the Greeks an example of noble conduct. In age she surpasses every city, and in valor too our ancestors have no less surpassed their fellows.

Remember the reign of Codrus. The Peloponnesians, whose crops had failed at home, decided to march against our city and, expelling our ancestors, to divide the land amongst themselves. They sent first to Delphi and asked the God if they were going to capture Athens, and when He replied that they would take the city so long as they did not kill Codrus, the king of the Athenians, they marched out against Athens.

But a Delphian Cleomantis, learning of the oracle, secretly told the Athenians. Such, it seems, was the goodwill which our ancestors always inspired even among strangers. And when the Peloponnesians invaded Attica, what did our ancestors do, gentlemen of the jury? They did not desert their country and retire as Leocrates did, nor surrender to the enemy the land that reared them and its temples. No. Though they were few in number, shut inside the walls, they endured the hardships of a siege to preserve their country.

And such was the nobility, gentlemen, of those kings of old that they preferred to die for the safety of their subjects rather than to purchase life by the adoption of another country. That at least is true of Codrus, who, they say, told the Athenians to note the time of his death and, taking a beggar’s clothes to deceive the enemy, slipped out by the gates and began to collect firewood in front of the town. When two men from the camp approached him and inquired about conditions in the city he killed one of them with a blow of his sickle.

The survivor, it is said, enraged with Codrus and thinking him a beggar drew his sword and killed him. Then the Athenians sent a herald and asked to have their king given over for burial, telling the enemy the whole truth and the Peloponnesians restored the body but retreated, aware that it was no longer open to them to secure the country. To Cleomantis of Delphi the city made a grant of maintenance in the Prytaneum for himself and his descendants for ever.

Is there any resemblance between Leocrates’ love for his country and the love of those ancient kings who preferred to die for her and outwit the foe, giving their own life in exchange for the people’s safety? It is for this reason that they and only they have given the land their name and received honors like the Gods, as is their due. For they were entitled, even after death, to a share in the country which they so zealously preserved.”

Lycurgus Against Leocrates 84-87

 

“And Codrus is said in the war against the Dorians and Peloponnesians voluntarily to have died on behalf of his land.Therefore even those people who can tell of such acts of their fellow citizens can say nothing more than what you have done, but the city initiated such acts through its great and still more numerous examples, and no more could be done either publicly or privately. Then it has befallen to the city not to be inferiour to other peoples even in a single respect, nor when it defeated all the enemies whom I named, to have been deficient in gratitude to those who on its side made these resolves on its behalf. But it will also clearly have surpassed these in its benefits: in respect to Codrus by having given office to his sons and by having honored his race at home and abroad; and for the maidens by having established a temple for them and in honoring them by having thought them worthy of a divine instead of a mortal portion; and by having given Erechtheus a share in the ceremonies of the gods on the Acropolis.”

Aristides The Panathenaic Oration 87

 

“On Codrus: The Peloponnesians, making war against the Athenians, received an oracle stating that they should not kill Codrus the king. But they killed him before the wall as he was gathering sticks, and so they lost their chance for victory.”

Anecdota Graeca (Bekker 1 192)

 

“The rivers that flow through Athenian territory are the Ilisus and its tributary the Eridanus, whose name is the same as that of the Celtic river. This Ilisus is the river by which Oreithyia was playing when, according to the story, she was carried off by the North Wind. With Oreithyia he lived in wedlock, and be cause of the tie between him and the Athenians he helped them by destroying most of the foreigners’ warships. The Athenians hold that the Ilisus is sacred to other deities as well, and on its bank is an altar of the Ilisian Muses. The place too is pointed out where the Peloponnesians killed Codrus, son of Melanthus and king of Athens.”

Pausanias Description of Greece 1.19.5

 

“By the orators, indeed, to die for our country is always considered not only as glorious, but even as happy: they go back as far as Erechtheus, whose very daughters underwent death, for the safety of their fellow-citizens: they instance Codrus, who threw himself into the midst of his enemies, dressed like a common man, that his royal robes might not betray him, because the oracle had declared the Athenians conquerors, if their king was slain. ”

Cicero Tusculan Disputations 1.48

 

“After the return of the Heraclidæ, and the partition of the country, many of the former possessors were banished from their own land by the Heraclidæ, and by the Dorians, who came with them, and migrated to Attica. Among these was Melanthus, the king of Messene. He was voluntarily appointed king of the Athenians, after having overcome in single combat, Xanthus, the king of the Bœotians. When Attica became populous by the accession of fugitives, the Heraclidæ were alarmed, and invaded Attica, chiefly at the instigation of the Corinthians and Messenians; the former of whom were influenced by proximity of situation, the latter by the circumstance that Codrus, the son of Melanthus, was at that time king of Attica. They were, however, defeated in battle and relinquished the whole of the country, except the territory of Megara, of which they kept possession, and founded the city Megara, where they introduced as inhabitants Dorians in place of Ionians. They destroyed the pillar also which was the boundary of the country of the Ionians and the Peloponnesians.”

Strabo Geography 9.1.7

 

“Pherecydes says concerning this seaboard that Miletus and Myus and the parts round Mycale and Ephesus were in earlier times occupied by Carians, and that the coast next thereafter, as far as Phocaea and Chios and Samos, which were ruled by Ancaeus, was occupied by Leleges, but that both were driven out by the Ionians and took refuge in the remaining parts of Caria. He says that Androclus, legitimate son of Codrus the king of Athens, was the leader of the Ionian colonization, which was later than the Aeolian, and that he became the founder of Ephesus; and for this reason, it is said, the royal seat of the Ionians was established there. And still now the descendants of his family are called kings; and they have certain honors, I mean the privilege of front seats at the games and of wearing purple robes as insignia of royal descent, and staff instead of sceptre, and of the superintendence of the sacrifices in honor of the Eleusinian Demeter. Miletus was founded by Neleus, a Pylian by birth. The Messenians and the Pylians pretend a kind of kinship with one another, according to which the more recent poets call Nestor a Messenian; and they say that many of the Pylians accompanied Melanthus, father of Codrus, and his followers to Athens, and that, accordingly, all this people sent forth the colonizing expedition in common with the Ionians. There is an altar, erected by Neleus, to be seen on the Poseidium. Myus was founded by Cydrelus, bastard son of Codrus; Lebedus by Andropompus, who seized a place called Artis; Colophon by Andraemon a Pylian, according to Mimnermus in his Nanno;3 Priene by Aepytus the son of Neleus, and then later by Philotas, who brought a colony from Thebes; Teos, at first by Athamas, for which reason it is by Anacreon called Athamantis, and at the time of the Ionian colonization by Nauclus, bastard son of Codrus, and after him by Apoecus and Damasus, who were Athenians, and Geres, a Boeotian; Erythrae by Cnopus, he too a bastard son of Codrus; Phocaea by the Athenians under Philogenes; Clazomenae by Paralus; Chios by Egertius, who brought with him a mixed crowd; Samos by Tembrion, and then later by Procles.”

Strabo Geography 14.1.3

 

“Since we have now come to the wars of the Athenians, which were carried on, not only beyond expectation as to what could be done, but even beyond belief as to what was done, the efforts of that people having been successful beyond their hopes, the origin of their city must be briefly set forth; for they did not, like other nations, rise to eminence from a mean commencement, but are the only people that can boast, not only of their rise, but also of their birth. It was not a concourse of foreigners, or a rabble of people collected from different parts, that raised their city, but men who were born on the same ground which they inhabit; and the country which is their place of abode, was also their birthplace. It was they who first taught the art of working wool, and the use of oil and wine. They also showed men, who had previously fed on acorns, how to plough and sow. Literature and eloquence, it is certain, and the state of civil discipline which we enjoy, had Athens as their temple. Before Deucalion’s time, they had a king named Cecrops, whom, as all antiquity is full of fables, they represented tc have been of both sexes, because he was the first to join male and female in marriage. To him succeeded Cranaus, whose daughter Atthis gave name to the country. After him reigned Amphictyon, who first consecrated the city to Minerva, and gave it the name of Athens. In his days, a deluge swept away the greater part of the inhabitants of Greece. Those only escaped, whom a refuge on the mountains protected, or who went off in ships to Deucalion, king of Thessaly, by whom, from this circumstance, the human race is said to have been restored. The crown then descended, in the course of succession, to Erectheus, in whose reign the sowing of corn was commenced by Triptolemus at Eleusis; in commemoration of which benefit the nights sacred to the mysteries of Ceres were appointed. Aegeus also, the father of Theseus, was king of Athens, from whom Medea divorcing herself, on account of the adult age of her step-son, returned to Colchis with her son Medus, whom she had had by Aegeus. After Aegeus reigned Theseus, and after Theseus his son Demophoon, who afforded aid to the Greeks against the Trojans. Between the Athenians and Dorians there had been animosities of long standing, which the Dorians, intending to revenge in war, consulted the oracle about the event of the contest. The answer was, that the “Dorians would have the advantage, if they did not kill the king of the Athenians.” When they came into the field, the Doric soldiers were charged above all things to take care not to attack the king. At that time the king of the Athenians was Codrus, who, learning the answer of the god and the directions of the enemy, laid aside his royal dress, and entered the camp of the enemy in rags, with a bundle of sticks on his back. Here, among a crowd of people that stood in his way, he was killed by a soldier whom he had purposely wounded with a pruning knife. His body being recognized as that of the king, the Dorians went off without coming to battle; and thus the Athenians, through the bravery of a prince who submitted to death for the safety of his country, were relieved from war. AfterCodrusthere was no king at Athens; a circumstance which is attributed to the respect paid to his memory. The government of the state was placed in the hands of magistrates elected annually. At this period the people had no laws, for the wills of their princes had always been received instead of laws. Solon, a man of eminent integrity, was in consequence chosen to found the state, as it were afresh, by the establishment of laws.”

Pompeius Trogus = Justin Epitome ii. 6

 

“About eighty years after the capture of Troy, and a hundred and twenty after Hercules had departed to the gods, the descendans of Pelops, who, during all this time had sway in the Peloponnesus after they had driven out the descendants of Hercules, were again in turn driven out by them. The leaders in the recovery of the sovereignty were Temenus, Cresphontes, and Aristodemus, the great-great-grandsons of Hercules.

It was about this time that Athens ceased to be governed by kings. The last king of Athens was Codrus the son of Melanthus, a man whose story cannot be passed over. Athens was hard pressed in war by the Lacedaemonians, and the Pythian oracle had given the response that the side whose general should be killed by the enemy would be victorious. Codrus, therefore, laying aside his kingly robes and donning the garb of a shepherd, made his way into the camp of the enemy, deliberately provoked a quarrel, and was slain without being recognized. By his death Codrus gained immortal fame, and the Athenians the victory. Who could withhold admiration from the man who sought death by the selfsame artifice by which cowards seek life? His son Medon was the first archon at Athens. It was after him that the archons who followed him were called Medontidae among the people of Attica. Medon and all the succeeding archons until Charops continued to hold that office for life. The Peloponnesians, when they withdrew from Attic territory, founded Megara, a city midway between Corinth and Athens.”

Velleius Paterculus History of Rome I.2

 

“[1136 -] Castoris de regno Athenensium: exponemus autem et Atheniensium reges cognomento Erechthidas a Cecrope Diphye usque ad Thymoeten, quorum omne tempus invenitur ann. CCCCXXVIIII. Post quos suscepit regnum Melanthus Pyliensis, Andropompi filius, et huius filius Codrus, qui imperarunt simul ann. LVIII.

1128  Erechthidarum imperio destructo Atticorum principum regnum ad aliud genus translatum est, cum Thymoetes provocasset Xanthus Boeotius et Thymoete recusante Melanthius Pyliensis Andropompi filius suscepisset singulare certamen ac deinde regnasset, hinc et Apatourion, id est fallaciarum sollemnitas celebratur quia victoria fraude processerit.

1101  in Lacedaemone regnavit primus Eurystheus ann XLII. Corinthi regnavit primus Aletes ann. XXXV.

[1101] Heraclidarum descensus in Peloponnesum.

1090/85  Iones profugi Athenas se contulerunt.

1086/80  Peloponnenses contra Athenas dimicant.

1069  Post quem principes quos mors finiebat, quorum primus Medon, Codri filius ann. XX

[1069  ] Peloponnenses contra Athenas dimicant. Codrus iuxta responsum se ipsum morti tradens interimitur bello Peloponnensiaco. In quo Erechthidarum regnum destructum est, quod CCCCLXXXVII ann. perseveraverat.”

Eusebius of Caesarea Chronikon

 

“It is recorded that Panyasis was a cousin of Herodotus the historian; for Panyasis was the son of Polyarchus, while Herodotus was the son of Lyxes, Polyarchus’ brother. But some have recorded that it was not Lyxes [sc. who connects the two of them], but that [it was] Rhoea, the mother of Herodotus, a sister of Panyasis. Panyasis was alive in the 78th Olympiad, but according to some [he was] much older; for he was alive at the time of the Persian Wars. He was killed by Lygdamis, third tyrant of Halicarnassus. Among poets he is ranked behind Homer, and according to some, also behind Hesiod and Antimachus. He wrote a Heracleias in 14 books, consisting of 9,000 verses, and an Ionica in pentameter, which is about Codrus and Neleus and the Ionian colonies, and consists of 7,000 verses.”

Panyassis Ionica = Suda s.v. Panyassis

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s