Xenophon: Audio Recording from Hellenica – The Conspiracy of Cinadon

This recording is from Xenophon’s Hellenica, Book IV, Chapter 3, lines 4 – 11. It describes the conspiracy of Cinadon (Κιναδων) to stage a Helot rebellion in Sparta, about 395 B.C.E.

It’s notable for the many categories of “under-citizens,” that Cinadon believes will participate in the rebellion. While Spartan society included many different classes, only those at the top, the Spartiatai, held any real power. I was also curious about the phony errand that the ephors sent Cinadon on: to arrest “the most beautiful woman in Aulon, who was corrupting the Spartans who went there, both young and old.”

Lastly, in lines 9 – 11, Cinadon confesses, identifies his co-conspirators, and is then convicted. The text does not mention what methods were used to make him talk. Perhaps that was obvious to the contemporary audience, or perhaps I misunderstand, and he talked freely. However, his subsequent torturous punishment and death are briefly described.

The text (both English & Greek) can be found at the Perseus Collection.