He was a member of the Philaidae, a wealthy Athenian family that was opposed to the Peisistratos family. During his term as archon he set up the statue of Athena Promachos (πρὀμαχος) in Athens and oversaw a reorganization of the Panathenaia festival.
As a young man he competed for the hand of Agariste, the daughter of Cleisthenes, the tyrant of Sicyon. By the end of the competitions, only Hippocleides and Megacles remained. According to Herodotus (6.129-130), Hippocleides became intoxicated during a dinner party with Cleisthenes, and began to act like a fool; at one point he stood on his head and kicked his legs in the air, keeping time with the flute music. When Hippocleides was informed by Cleisthenes "Oh son of Teisander, you have just danced away your marriage," his response was "οὐ φροντὶς Ἱπποκλείδῃ", ("Hippocleides doesn't care" or literally "No care for Hippocleides"). The phrase, according to Herodotus, became a common expression in the Greek world.
The phrase was well known to later authors; Aristophanes paraphrases it in The Wasps,. Lucian uses it in his essay Apology for the Dependent Scholar. Plutarch, who disliked Herodotus, says the author "would dance away the truth" like Hippocleides.
John Henry Newman applied this saying to himself: "I am aware that what I have been saying will, with many men, be doing credit to my imagination at the expense of my judgment—'Hippoclides doesn't care;' I am not setting myself up as a pattern of good sense or of anything else: I am but vindicating myself from the charge of dishonesty."
- Terry Buckley, Aspects of Greek history, 750-323 BC: A Source-Based Approach (Routledge, 1996), pp. 120-121.
- Herodotus (1954). The Histories. Translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt. Penguin Books. pp. 406-407.
- Aristophanes (1962). "The Wasps". In Moses Hadas (ed.). The Complete Plays of Aristophanes. Translated by Moses Hadas. New York: Bantam Books. p. (Line 1410) – via Internet Archive.
- "Apology for the Dependent Scholar". The Works of Lucian of Samosata. Complete with exceptions specified in the preface. II. Translated by Fowler, H. W.; Fowler, F. G. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1905. p. 34. Retrieved 20 May 2021 – via Internet Archive.
- Plutarch, "Of Herodotus' Malice", in Plutarch's Lives, vol. 4, ed. William W. Goodwin (Boston, 1874), pg. 356.
- John Henry Newman (1864), Apologia pro Vita Sua, 1946 reprint, New York: Dutton, Part III, "History of My Religious Opinions from 1833 to 1839", p. 51.
- The History of Herodotus. III. Translated by George Rawlinson. New York: The Tandy-Thomas Company. 1909. pp. 200-201. Retrieved 27 November 2021 – via Online Library of Liberty.