By P. J. Rhodes
Alcibiades is without doubt one of the most famed (or notorious) characters of Classical Greece. a tender Athenian aristocrat, he got here to prominence throughout the Peloponnesian warfare (429-404 BC) among Sparta and Athens. Flamboyant, charismatic (and wealthy), this shut affiliate of Socrates persuaded the Athenians to aim to face as much as the Spartans on land as a part of an alliance he was once instrumental in bringing jointly. even if this resulted in defeat on the conflict of Mantinea in 418 BC, his status remained excessive. He used to be additionally a primary mover in Athens' subsequent tremendous strategic gambit, the Sicilian day trip of 415 BC, for which he used to be elected as one of many leaders. presently after arrival in Sicily, besides the fact that, he was once recalled to stand fees of sacrilege allegedly devoted in the course of his pre-expedition reveling. leaping send at the go back trip, he defected to the Spartans. Alcibiades quickly ingratiated himself with the Spartans, encouraging them to assist the Sicilians (ultimately leading to the utter destruction of the Athenian excursion) and to maintain year-round strain at the Athenians. He then turns out to have overstepped the limits of hospitality via sound asleep with the Spartan queen and was once quickly at the run back. He then performed a devious and hazardous online game of moving loyalties among Sparta, Athens and Persia. He had a hand in engineering the overthrow of democracy at Athens in desire of an oligarchy, which allowed him to come from exile, notwithstanding he then adverse the increasingly-extreme excesses of that regime. For a time he regarded to have restored Athens' fortunes within the conflict, yet went into exile back after being held answerable for the defeat of 1 of his subordinates in a naval conflict. This time he took shelter with the Persians, yet as they have been now allied to the Spartans, the cuckolded King Agis of Sparta used to be capable of manage his assassination through Persian brokers. there was no complete size biography of this colourful and demanding personality for 20 years. Professor Rhodes brings the authority of an across the world famous specialist within the box, making sure that this may be a really major addition to the literature on Classical Greece.
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71 Another suggestion has been that Athens and Argos were thrown together by the logic of the situation, and that Alcibiades’ intervention in fact made little difference but Alcibiades exaggerated its importance when he himself (as the champion of this view believed) told Thucydides about it later. 74 It must at least have been a public fact that in the assembly Alcibiades denounced the Spartan embassy, although Endius was a member of it, and argued against a settlement with Sparta. What happened in the council and in private conversations must be less certain.
Above), and this is likely to have been particularly true in Pericles’ household. 18 The Socratic memoirs of Xenophon, known as the Memorabilia, include a conversation between Alcibiades (‘not yet twenty years old’) and Pericles on the nature of law, which displays similar cleverness: Alcibiades induces Pericles to say that law is whatever the assembly enacts, or indeed whatever the ruling body of whatever kind in any state enacts; but he then argues that whatever the ruling body, even a democratic assembly, enacts without gaining the consent of the subjects is violence and illegality.
He is a man about whom the truth is exceptionally hard to rescue from the caricature of him by Aristophanes in Clouds in 423 and from the presentations of him by Plato and by Xenophon in the fourth century, but it seems clear that, from whatever mixture of motives on his side and on theirs, he did attract upper-class young men to him, and he did among other things see it as his duty to teach them how to think. One other lover is said to have been well treated by Alcibiades. 39 He had the tail of his dog cut off, allegedly so that the Athenians should talk about that rather than about worse things he had done.
Alcibiades by P. J. Rhodes
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