Codrus


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Codrus

 

(Kódros), according to legend, the last king of Attica (ancient Greece); he ruled at the time of the Dorian migration (12th–11th centuries B.c.). After learning of the Delphic oracle’s prophecy that the Dorians would not conquer Attica if the king of Attica died at their hands, Codrus disguised himself as a woodcutter and went to the Dorian camp, where he started a quarrel and was killed. The legend of Codrus, which was probably created after the Greco-Persian wars (fifth century B.C.), was invoked to explain the abolition of kings in Attica; in fact the office was exchanged for that of archon as the result of a prolonged social struggle.

References in classic literature ?
A kingdom, as we have said, partakes much of the nature of an aristocracy, and is bestowed according to worth, as either virtue, family, beneficent actions, or these joined with power; for those who have been benefactors to cities and states, or have it in their powers to be so, have acquired this honour, and those who have prevented a people from falling into slavery by war, as Codrus, or those who have freed them from it, as Cyrus, or the founders of cities, or settlers of colonies, as the kings of Sparta, Macedon, and Molossus.
53) "I die, I am eaten by worms; but my children, my brothers will live as I have lived, and by the order of nature, I do for all men what Codrus, Curtius, the Decii, the Philaeni, and a thousand others did voluntarily for a small number of men" [22]; also To Philopolis [12]; and the parallel passages in Lucretius, De rerum natura, 3:931-63, and 1024-35.