CODRUS, in Greek legend, the last king of Athens. According to the story, it was prophesied at the time of the Dorian invasion of Peloponnesus (c.1068 B.C.) that only the death of their king at the enemy's hands could ensure victory to the Athenians. Devoting himself to his country, Codrus, in the disguise of a peasant, made his way into the enemy's camp, and provoked a quarrel with some Dorian soldiers. He fell, and the Dorians, on discovering that Codrus had been slain, retreated homeward, despairing of success. No one being thought worthy to succeed Codrus, the title of king was abolished, and that of archon (q.v.) substituted for it.
See Lycurgus, Leocr. xx. [=84-87]; Justin ii. 6; Vell. Pat. i. 2; Grote, Hist. of Greece, pt. i. ch. 18; Busolt, Griechische Geschichte, i.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)