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Alcibiades

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Alcibiades
Alcibades being taught by Socrates, François-André Vincent.jpg
Alcibiades Being Taught by Socrates (1776) by François-André Vincent (Musée Fabre)
Bornc. 450 BC
Athens, Greece
Died404 BC (aged 45-46)
Mount Elafos, Phrygia, Achaemenid Empire
(modern-day Turkey)
AllegianceAthens
Sparta (415–412 BC)
Persia (412–411 BC)
RankGeneral (Strategos)
Battles/wars

Alcibiades (/ˌælsɪˈb.ədz/ AL-sib-EYE-ə-deez (listen); Greek: Ἀλκιβιάδης; c. 450 – 404 BC) was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. He was the last of the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominence after the Peloponnesian War. He played a major role in the second half of that conflict as a strategic advisor, military commander, and politician.

During the course of the Peloponnesian War, Alcibiades changed his political allegiance several times. In his native Athens in the early 410s BC, he advocated an aggressive foreign policy and was a prominent proponent of the Sicilian Expedition. After his political enemies brought charges of sacrilege against him, he fled to Sparta, where he served as a strategic adviser, proposing or supervising several major campaigns against Athens. However, Alcibiades made powerful enemies in Sparta too, and defected to Persia. There he served as an adviser to the satrap Tissaphernes until Athenian political allies brought about his recall. He served as an Athenian general (strategos) for several years, but enemies eventually succeeded in exiling him a second time.

Scholars have argued that had the Sicilian expedition been under Alcibiades's command instead of that of Nicias, the expedition might not have met its eventual disastrous fate.[1] In the years when he served Sparta, Alcibiades played a significant role in Athens's undoing; the capture of Decelea and the revolts of several critical Athenian subjects occurred either at his suggestion or under his supervision. Once restored to his native city, however, he played a crucial role in a string of Athenian victories that eventually brought Sparta to seek a peace with Athens. He favored unconventional tactics, frequently winning cities over by treachery or negotiation rather than by siege.[2] Alcibiades's military and political talents frequently proved valuable to whichever state currently held his allegiance, but his propensity for making powerful enemies ensured that he never remained in one place for long; and, by the end of the war that he had helped to rekindle in the early 410s, his days of political relevance were a bygone memory.

Discover more about Alcibiades related topics

Greek language

Greek language

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus, southern Italy, southern Albania, and other regions of the Balkans, the Black Sea coast, Asia Minor, and the Eastern Mediterranean. It has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning at least 3,400 years of written records. Its writing system is the Greek alphabet, which has been used for approximately 2,800 years; previously, Greek was recorded in writing systems such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Public speaking

Public speaking

Public speaking, also called oratory or oration, has traditionally meant the act of speaking face to face to a live audience. Today it includes any form of speaking to an audience, including pre-recorded speech delivered over great distance by means of technology.

Alcmaeonidae

Alcmaeonidae

The Alcmaeonidae or Alcmaeonids were a wealthy and powerful noble family of ancient Athens, a branch of the Neleides who claimed descent from the mythological Alcmaeon, the great-grandson of Nestor.

Peloponnesian War

Peloponnesian War

The Peloponnesian War was an ancient Greek war fought between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies for the hegemony of the Greek world. The war remained undecided for a long time until the decisive intervention of the Persian Empire in support of Sparta. Led by Lysander, the Spartan fleet built with Persian subsidies finally defeated Athens and started a period of Spartan hegemony over Greece.

Sicilian Expedition

Sicilian Expedition

The Sicilian Expedition was an Athenian military expedition to Sicily, which took place from 415–413 BC during the Peloponnesian War between Athens on one side and Sparta, Syracuse and Corinth on the other. The expedition ended in a devastating defeat for the Athenian forces, severely impacting Athens.

Sacrilege

Sacrilege

Sacrilege is the violation or injurious treatment of a sacred object, site or person. This can take the form of irreverence to sacred persons, places, and things. When the sacrilegious offence is verbal, it is called blasphemy, and when physical, it is often called desecration. In a less proper sense, any transgression against what is seen as the virtue of religion would be a sacrilege, and so is coming near a sacred site without permission.

History of Sparta

History of Sparta

The History of Sparta describes the history of the ancient Doric Greek city-state known as Sparta from its beginning in the legendary period to its incorporation into the Achaean League under the late Roman Republic, as Allied State, in 146 BC, a period of roughly 1000 years. Since the Dorians were not the first to settle the valley of the Eurotas River in the Peloponnesus of Greece, the preceding Mycenaean and Stone Age periods are described as well. Sparta went on to become a district of modern Greece. Brief mention is made of events in the post-classical periods.

Satrap

Satrap

A satrap was a governor of the provinces of the ancient Median and Achaemenid Empires and in several of their successors, such as in the Sasanian Empire and the Hellenistic empires.

Nicias

Nicias

Nicias was an Athenian politician and general during the period of the Peloponnesian War. Nicias was a member of the Athenian aristocracy and had inherited a large fortune from his father, which was invested in the silver mines around Attica's Mt. Laurium. Following the death of Pericles in 429 BC, he became the principal rival of Cleon and the democrats in the struggle for the political leadership of the Athenian state. He was a moderate in his political views and opposed the aggressive imperialism of the democrats. His principal aim was to conclude a peace with Sparta as soon as it could be obtained on terms favourable to Athens.

Decelea

Decelea

Decelea, Dekéleia), was a deme and ancient village in northern Attica serving as a trade route connecting Euboea with Athens, Greece. It was situated near the entrance of the eastern pass across Mount Parnes, which leads from the northeastern part of the Athenian plain to Oropus, and from thence both to Tanagra on the one hand, and to Delium and Chalcis on the other. It was situated about 120 stadia from Athens, and the same distance from the frontiers of Boeotia: it was visible from Athens, and from its heights also might be seen the ships entering the harbour of Peiraeeus.

Delian League

Delian League

The Delian League, founded in 478 BC, was an association of Greek city-states, numbering between 150 and 330, under the leadership of Athens, whose purpose was to continue fighting the Persian Empire after the Greek victory in the Battle of Plataea at the end of the Second Persian invasion of Greece.

Polis

Polis

Polis, plural poleis, literally means "city" in Greek. In Ancient Greece, it originally referred to an administrative and religious city center, as distinct from the rest of the city. Later, it also came to mean the body of citizens under a city's jurisdiction. In modern historiography, the term is normally used to refer to the ancient Greek city-states, such as Classical Athens and its contemporaries, and thus is often translated as "city-state". The poleis were not like other primordial ancient city-states like Tyre or Sidon, which were ruled by a king or a small oligarchy; rather, they were political entities ruled by their bodies of citizens.

Early years

Jean-Baptiste Regnault: Socrates dragging Alcibiades from the Embrace of Sensual Pleasure (1791) (Louvre)
Jean-Baptiste Regnault: Socrates dragging Alcibiades from the Embrace of Sensual Pleasure (1791) (Louvre)

Alcibiades was born in Athens. The family of his father, Cleinias,[3] had old connections with the Spartan aristocracy through a relationship of xenia, and the name "Alcibiades" was of Spartan origin.[4][5] Alcibiades' mother was Deinomache, the daughter of Megacles, head of the powerful Alcmaeonid family, and could trace her family back to Eurysaces and the Telamonian Ajax.[6] Alcibiades thereby, through his mother, belonged to the powerful and controversial family of the Alcmaeonidae; the renowned Pericles and his brother Ariphron were Deinomache's cousins, as her father and their mother were siblings.[7] His paternal grandfather, also named Alcibiades, was a friend of Cleisthenes, the famous constitutional reformer of the late sixth century BC.[8] After the death of Cleinias at the Battle of Coronea (447 BC), Pericles and Ariphron became his guardians.[9]

According to Plutarch, Alcibiades had several famous teachers, including Socrates, and was well trained in the art of rhetoric.[a] He was noted, however, for his unruly behavior, which was mentioned by ancient Greek and Latin writers on several occasions.[b] It was believed that Socrates took Alcibiades as a student because he believed he could change Alcibiades from his vain ways. Xenophon attempted to clear Socrates's name at trial by relaying information that Alcibiades was always corrupt and that Socrates merely failed in attempting to teach him morality.[17]

Battle of Potidaea (432 BC): Athenians against Corinthians (detail). Scene of Socrates saving Alcibiades. 18th-century engraving.
Battle of Potidaea (432 BC): Athenians against Corinthians (detail). Scene of Socrates saving Alcibiades. 18th-century engraving.

Alcibiades took part in the Battle of Potidaea in 432 BC, where Socrates was said to have saved his life.[18] Alcibiades later returned the favour by rescuing Socrates at the Battle of Delium in 424 BC.[c] Alcibiades had a particularly close relationship with Socrates, whom he admired and respected.[21][22] Plutarch and Plato[23] describe Alcibiades as Socrates's beloved, the former stating that Alcibiades "feared and reverenced Socrates alone, and despised the rest of his lovers".[24]

Jean-Léon Gérôme: Socrates seeking Alcibiades in the House of Aspasia (1861)
Jean-Léon Gérôme: Socrates seeking Alcibiades in the House of Aspasia (1861)

Alcibiades was married to Hipparete, the daughter of Hipponicus, a wealthy Athenian. His bride brought with her a large dowry, which significantly increased Alcibiades' already substantial family fortune.[4] According to Plutarch, Hipparete loved her husband, but she attempted to divorce him because he consorted with courtesans but prevented her from appearing at court. He seized her in court and carried her home again through the crowded Agora.[25]: 185  She lived with him until her death, which came soon after, and gave birth to two children, a son named Alcibiades the Younger and a daughter.[14] Alcibiades was famed throughout his life for his physical attractiveness, of which he was inordinately vain.[4]

Discover more about Early years related topics

Jean-Baptiste Regnault

Jean-Baptiste Regnault

Jean-Baptiste Regnault was a French painter.

Louvre

Louvre

The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world's most-visited museum, and an historic landmark in Paris, France. It is the home of some of the best-known works of art, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement. At any given point in time, approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are being exhibited over an area of 72,735 square meters. Attendance in 2021 was 2.8 million due to the COVID-19 pandemic, up five percent from 2020, but far below pre-COVID attendance. Nonetheless, the Louvre still topped the list of most-visited art museums in the world in 2021.

Classical Athens

Classical Athens

The city of Athens during the classical period of ancient Greece was the major urban centre of the notable polis (city-state) of the same name, located in Attica, Greece, leading the Delian League in the Peloponnesian War against Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny of Isagoras. This system remained remarkably stable, and with a few brief interruptions remained in place for 180 years, until 322 BC. The peak of Athenian hegemony was achieved in the 440s to 430s BC, known as the Age of Pericles.

Cleinias

Cleinias

Cleinias, father of Alcibiades, brother of Axiochus, and member of the Alcmaeonidae family, was an Athenian who married Deinomache, the daughter of Megacles, and became the father of the famous Alcibiades. Plutarch tells us that he traced his family line back to Eurysaces, the son of Telamonian Ajax. Cleinias died at the Battle of Coronea in 447 BC.

Megacles

Megacles

Megacles or Megakles was the name of several notable men of ancient Athens, as well as an officer of Pyrrhus of Epirus.

Alcmaeonidae

Alcmaeonidae

The Alcmaeonidae or Alcmaeonids were a wealthy and powerful noble family of ancient Athens, a branch of the Neleides who claimed descent from the mythological Alcmaeon, the great-grandson of Nestor.

Eurysaces

Eurysaces

Eurysaces in Greek mythology was the son of the Ajax and the former-princess captive-slave girl Tecmessa. He was venerated in Athens. Eurysaces was named after his father's famous shield. In Sophocles' tragedy Ajax, the protagonist hands the shield to his young son before committing suicide. Eurysaces was then taken to Ajax's native land, Salamis Island, and he soon became king there. Eurysaces's uncle Teucer, founded the town of Salamis on Cyprus, and later attempted to return to the island, but he was repelled by Eurysaces. Teucer later established Galacia in Spain. Sophocles wrote a play titled Eurysaces, but only one quotation from it survives.

Ajax the Great

Ajax the Great

Ajax or Aias is a Greek mythological hero, the son of King Telamon and Periboea, and the half-brother of Teucer. He plays an important role, and is portrayed as a towering figure and a warrior of great courage in Homer's Iliad and in the Epic Cycle, a series of epic poems about the Trojan War, being second only to Achilles among Greek heroes of the war. He is also referred to as "Telamonian Ajax", "Greater Ajax", or "Ajax the Great", which distinguishes him from Ajax, son of Oileus, also known as Ajax the Lesser.

Pericles

Pericles

Pericles was a Greek politician and general during the Golden Age of Athens. He was prominent and influential in Athenian politics, particularly between the Greco-Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian War, and was acclaimed by Thucydides, a contemporary historian, as "the first citizen of Athens". Pericles turned the Delian League into an Athenian empire and led his countrymen during the first two years of the Peloponnesian War. The period during which he led Athens, roughly from 461 to 429 BC, is sometimes known as the "Age of Pericles", but the period thus denoted can include times as early as the Persian Wars or as late as the following century.

Cleisthenes

Cleisthenes

Cleisthenes, or Clisthenes, was an ancient Athenian lawgiver credited with reforming the constitution of ancient Athens and setting it on a democratic footing in 508 BC. For these accomplishments, historians refer to him as "the father of Athenian democracy." He was a member of the aristocratic Alcmaeonid clan. He was the younger son of Megacles and Agariste making him the maternal grandson of the tyrant Cleisthenes of Sicyon. He was also credited with increasing the power of the Athenian citizens' assembly and for reducing the power of the nobility over Athenian politics.

Battle of Coronea (447 BC)

Battle of Coronea (447 BC)

The Battle of Coronea took place between the Athenian-led Delian League and the Boeotian League in 447 BC during the First Peloponnesian War.

Battle of Potidaea

Battle of Potidaea

The Battle of Potidaea was fought in 432 BC between Athens and a combined army from Corinth and Potidaea, along with their various allies. Along with the Battle of Sybota, it was one of the catalysts for the Peloponnesian War.

Political career until 412 BC

Rise to prominence

Alcibiades first rose to prominence when he began advocating aggressive Athenian action after the signing of the Peace of Nicias. That treaty, an uneasy truce between Sparta and Athens signed midway through the Peloponnesian War, came at the end of seven years of fighting during which neither side had gained a decisive advantage. Historians Arnold W. Gomme and Raphael Sealey believe, and Thucydides reports,[26] that Alcibiades was offended that the Spartans had negotiated that treaty through Nicias and Laches, overlooking him on account of his youth.[27][28]

Disputes over the interpretation of the treaty led the Spartans to dispatch ambassadors to Athens with full powers to arrange all unsettled matters. The Athenians initially received these ambassadors well, but Alcibiades met with them in secret before they were to speak to the ecclesia (the Athenian Assembly) and told them that the Assembly was haughty and had great ambitions.[29] He urged them to renounce their diplomatic authority to represent Sparta, and instead allow him to assist them through his influence in Athenian politics.[30] The representatives agreed and, impressed with Alcibiades, they alienated themselves from Nicias, who genuinely wanted to reach an agreement with the Spartans.[29] The next day, during the Assembly, Alcibiades asked them what powers Sparta had granted them to negotiate and they replied, as agreed, that they had not come with full and independent powers. This was in direct contradiction to what they had said the day before, and Alcibiades seized on this opportunity to denounce their character, cast suspicion on their aims, and destroy their credibility. This ploy increased Alcibiades's standing while embarrassing Nicias, and Alcibiades was subsequently appointed General. He took advantage of his increasing power to orchestrate the creation of an alliance between Argos, Mantinea, Elis, and other states in the Peloponnese, threatening Sparta's dominance in the region. According to Gomme, "it was a grandiose scheme for an Athenian general at the head of a mainly Peloponnesian army to march through the Peloponnese cocking a snook at Sparta when her reputation was at its lowest".[31] This alliance, however, would ultimately be defeated at the Battle of Mantinea.[32]

Somewhere in the years 416–415 BC, a complex struggle took place between Hyperbolos on one side and Nicias and Alcibiades on the other. Hyperbolos tried to bring about the ostracism of one of this pair, but Nicias and Alcibiades combined their influence to induce the people to expel Hyperbolos instead.[33] This incident reveals that Nicias and Alcibiades each commanded a personal following, whose votes were determined by the wishes of the leaders.[28]

Alcibiades was not one of the Generals involved in the capture of Melos in 416–415 BC, but Plutarch describes him as a supporter of the decree by which the grown men of Melos were killed and the women and children enslaved.[34] An oration urging Alcibiades' ostracism, "Against Alcibiades" (historically attributed to the orator Andocides but not in fact by him), alleges that Alcibiades had a child by one of these enslaved women.[35]

Sicilian Expedition

Roman copy of a late fifth-century BC Athenian herma. Vandalizing hermai was one of the crimes of which Alcibiades was accused.[36]
Roman copy of a late fifth-century BC Athenian herma. Vandalizing hermai was one of the crimes of which Alcibiades was accused.[36]

In 415 BC, delegates from the Sicilian city of Segesta (Greek: Egesta) arrived at Athens to plead for the support of the Athenians in their war against Selinus. During the debates on the undertaking, Nicias was vehemently opposed to Athenian intervention, explaining that the campaign would be very costly and attacking the character and motives of Alcibiades, who had emerged as a major supporter of the expedition.[37] On the other hand, Alcibiades argued that a campaign in this new theatre would bring riches to the city and expand the empire, just as the Persian Wars had. In his speech Alcibiades predicted (over-optimistically, in the opinion of most historians) that the Athenians would be able to recruit allies in the region and impose their rule on Syracuse, the most powerful city of Sicily.[38] In spite of Alcibiades's enthusiastic advocacy for the plan, it was Nicias, not he, who turned a modest undertaking into a massive campaign and made the conquest of Sicily seem possible and safe.[39] It was at his suggestion that the size of the fleet was significantly increased from 60 ships[40] to "140 galleys, 5,100 men at arms, and about 1300 archers, slingers, and light armed men".[41] Philosopher Leo Strauss underscores that the Sicilian expedition surpassed everything undertaken by Pericles. Almost certainly Nicias's intention was to shock the assembly with his high estimate of the forces required, but, instead of dissuading his fellow citizens, his analysis made them all the more eager.[42] Against his wishes Nicias was appointed General along with Alcibiades and Lamachus, all three of whom were given full powers to do whatever was in the best interests of Athens while in Sicily.[43]

One night during preparations for the expedition, the hermai, heads of the god Hermes on a plinth with a phallus, were mutilated throughout Athens. This was a religious scandal, resulted in a charge of asebeia (impiety) against Alcibiades, and was seen as a bad omen for the mission. Plutarch explains that Androcles, a political leader, used false witnesses who accused Alcibiades and his friends of mutilating the statues, and of profaning the Eleusinian Mysteries. Later his opponents, chief among them being Androcles and Thessalus, Cimon's son, enlisted orators to argue that Alcibiades should set sail as planned and stand trial on his return from the campaign. Alcibiades was suspicious of their intentions, and asked to be allowed to stand trial immediately, under penalty of death, in order to clear his name.[36] This request was denied, and the fleet set sail soon after, with the charges unresolved.[44]

"Men do not rest content with parrying the attacks of a superior, but often strike the first blow to prevent the attack being made. And we cannot fix the exact point at which our empire shall stop; we have reached a position in which we must not be content with retaining but must scheme to extend it, for, if we cease to rule others, we are in danger of being ruled ourselves. Nor can you look at inaction from the same point of view as others, unless you are prepared to change your habits and make them like theirs."
Alcibiades' Oration before the Sicilian expedition, as recorded by Thucydides (VI, 18); Thucydides disclaims verbal accuracy[d]

As Alcibiades had suspected, his absence emboldened his enemies, and they began to accuse him of other sacrilegious actions and comments and even alleged that these actions were connected with a plot against the democracy.[46] According to Thucydides, the Athenians were always in fear and took everything suspiciously.[47] When the fleet arrived in Catania, it found the state trireme Salaminia waiting to bring Alcibiades and the others indicted for mutilating the hermai or profaning the Eleusinian Mysteries back to Athens to stand trial.[47] Alcibiades told the heralds that he would follow them back to Athens in his ship, but in Thurii he escaped with his crew; in Athens he was convicted in absentia and condemned to death. His property was confiscated and a reward of one talent was promised to whoever succeeded in killing any who had fled.[48] Meanwhile, the Athenian force in Sicily, after a few early victories, moved against Messina, where the Generals expected their secret allies within the city to betray it to them. Alcibiades, however, foreseeing that he would be outlawed, gave information to the friends of the Syracusans in Messina, who succeeded in preventing the admission of the Athenians.[49] With the death of Lamachus in battle some time later, command of the Sicilian Expedition fell into the hands of Nicias, admired by Thucydides (however a modern scholar has judged him to be an inadequate military leader[1]).

Defection to Sparta

After his disappearance at Thurii, Alcibiades quickly contacted the Spartans, "promising to render them aid and service greater than all the harm he had previously done them as an enemy" if they would offer him sanctuary.[50] The Spartans granted this request and received him among them. Because of this defection, the Athenians condemned him to death in absentia and confiscated his property.[51][52] In the debate at Sparta over whether to send a force to relieve Syracuse, Alcibiades spoke and instilled fear of Athenian ambition into the Spartan ephors by informing them that the Athenians hoped to conquer Sicily, Italy, and even Carthage.[53] Yale historian Donald Kagan believes that Alcibiades knowingly exaggerated the plans of the Athenians to convince the Spartans of the benefit they stood to gain from his help. Kagan asserts that Alcibiades had not yet acquired his "legendary" reputation, and the Spartans saw him as "a defeated and hunted man" whose policies "produced strategic failures" and brought "no decisive result". If accurate, this assessment underscores one of Alcibiades's greatest talents, his highly persuasive oratory.[54] After making the threat seem imminent, Alcibiades advised the Spartans to send troops and most importantly, a Spartan commander to discipline and aid the Syracusans.[53]

"Our party was that of the whole people, our creed being to do our part in preserving the form of government under which the city enjoyed the utmost greatness and freedom, and which we had found existing. As for democracy, the men of sense among us knew what it was, and I perhaps as well as any, as I have the more cause to complain of it; but there is nothing new to be said of a patent absurdity—meanwhile we did not think it safe to alter it under the pressure of your hostility."
Alcibiades' Speech to the Spartans, as recorded by Thucydides (VI, 89); Thucydides disclaims verbal accuracy

Alcibiades served as a military adviser to Sparta and helped the Spartans secure several crucial successes. He advised them to build a permanent fort at Decelea, just over ten miles (16 km) from Athens and within sight of the city.[55] By doing this, the Spartans cut the Athenians off entirely from their homes and crops and the silver mines of Sunium.[54] This was part of Alcibiades's plan to renew the war with Athens in Attica. The move was devastating to Athens and forced the citizens to live within the long walls of the city year round, making them entirely dependent on their seaborne trade for food. Seeing Athens thus beleaguered on a second front, members of the Delian League began to contemplate revolt. In the wake of Athens's disastrous defeat in Sicily, Alcibiades sailed to Ionia with a Spartan fleet and succeeded in persuading several critical cities to revolt.[56][57]

In spite of these valuable contributions to the Spartan cause, Alcibiades fell out of favor with the Spartan government at around this time, ruled by Agis II.[58] Leotychides, the son born by Agis's wife Timaea, Queen of Sparta, shortly after this, was believed by many to be Alcibiades's son.[59][60] An alternate account asserts that Alcibiades took advantage of King Agis' absence with the Spartan Army in Attica and seduced his wife, Timonassa.[25]: 207 

Alcibiades's influence was further reduced after the retirement of Endius, the ephor who was on good terms with him.[61] It is alleged that Astyochus, a Spartan Admiral, was sent orders to kill him, but Alcibiades received warning of this order and defected to the Persian satrap Tissaphernes, who had been supporting the Peloponnesian forces financially in 412 BC.[62]

Defection to Achaemenid Empire in Asia Minor

Coinage of Achaemenid Satrap Tissaphernes, who received Alcibiades as an advisor. Astyra, Mysia. Circa 400–395 BC
Coinage of Achaemenid Satrap Tissaphernes, who received Alcibiades as an advisor. Astyra, Mysia. Circa 400–395 BC

On his arrival in the local Persian court, Alcibiades won the trust of the powerful satrap and made several policy suggestions which were well received. According to Thucydides, Alcibiades immediately began to do all he could with Tissaphernes to injure the Peloponnesian cause. At his urging, the satrap reduced the payments he was making to the Peloponnesian fleet and began delivering them irregularly.[62] Alcibiades next advised Tissaphernes to bribe the Generals of the cities to gain valuable intelligence on their activities. Lastly, and most importantly, he told the satrap to be in no hurry to bring the Persian fleet into the conflict, as the longer the war dragged out the more exhausted the combatants would become. This would allow the Persians to more easily conquer the region in the aftermath of the fighting. Alcibiades tried to convince the satrap that it was in Persia's interest to wear both Athens and Sparta out at first, "and after docking the Athenian power as much as he could, forthwith to rid the country of the Peloponnesians".[63]

Although Alcibiades's advice benefited the Persians, it was merely a means to an end; Thucydides tells us that his real motive was to use his alleged influence with the Persians to effect his restoration to Athens.[64] Alcibiades was one of several Greek aristocrats who took refuge in the Achaemenid Empire following reversals at home, other famous ones being Themistocles, Demaratos or Gongylos.[65] According to Thucydides (Thuc.8.47), Alcibiades also advised the Achaemenid king (Darius II), and therefore he may also have traveled to Susa or Babylonia to encounter him.[65][64]

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Thucydides

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Battle of Mantinea (418 BC)

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Ostracism

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Andocides

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Segesta

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Greek language

Greek language

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus, southern Italy, southern Albania, and other regions of the Balkans, the Black Sea coast, Asia Minor, and the Eastern Mediterranean. It has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning at least 3,400 years of written records. Its writing system is the Greek alphabet, which has been used for approximately 2,800 years; previously, Greek was recorded in writing systems such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Syracuse, Sicily

Syracuse, Sicily

Syracuse is a historic city on the Italian island of Sicily, the capital of the Italian province of Syracuse. The city is notable for its rich Greek and Roman history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture, and as the birthplace of the pre-eminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes. This 2,700-year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world. Syracuse is located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, next to the Gulf of Syracuse beside the Ionian Sea. It is situated in a drastic rise of land with 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) depths being close to the city offshore although the city itself is generally not so hilly in comparison.

Recall to Athens

Negotiations with the Athenian oligarchs

Alcibiades seemed to assume that the "radical democracy" would never agree to his recall to Athens.[66] Therefore, he exchanged messages with the Athenian leaders at Samos and suggested that if they could install an oligarchy friendly to him he would return to Athens and bring with him Persian money and possibly the Persian fleet of 147 triremes.[67] Alcibiades set about winning over the most influential military officers, and achieved his goal by offering them a threefold plan: the Athenian constitution was to be changed, the recall of Alcibiades was to be voted, and Alcibiades was to win over Tissaphernes and the King of Persia to the Athenian side. Most of the officers in the Athenian fleet accepted the plan and welcomed the prospect of a narrower constitution, which would allow them a greater share in determining policy. According to Thucydides, only one of the Athenian Generals at Samos, Phrynichus, opposed the plan and argued that Alcibiades cared no more for the proposed oligarchy than for the traditional democracy.[68] The involvement in the plot of another General, Thrasybulus, remains unclear.[e]

These officers of the Athenian fleet formed a group of conspirators, but were met with opposition from the majority of the soldiers and sailors; these were eventually calmed down "by the advantageous prospect of the pay from the king".[71] The members of the group assembled and prepared to send Pisander, one of their number, on an embassy to Athens to treat for the restoration of Alcibiades and the abolition of democracy in the city, and thus to make Tissaphernes the friend of the Athenians.[72]

Phrynichus, fearing that Alcibiades if restored would avenge himself upon him for his opposition, sent a secret letter to the Spartan Admiral, Astyochus, to tell him that Alcibiades was ruining their cause by making Tissaphernes the friend of the Athenians, and containing an express revelation of the rest of the intrigue. Astyochus went up to Alcibiades and Tissaphernes at Magnesia and communicated to them Phrynichus's letter. Alcibiades responded in kind, sending to the authorities at Samos a letter against Phrynichus, stating what he had done, and requiring that he should be put to death.[73] Phrynichus in desperation wrote again to Astyochus, offering him a chance to destroy the Athenian fleet at Samos. This also Astyochus revealed to Alcibiades who informed the officers at Samos that they had been betrayed by Phrynichus. Alcibiades however gained no credit, because Phrynichus had anticipated Alcibiades's letter and, before the accusations could arrive, told the army that he had received information of an enemy plan to attack the camp and that they should fortify Samos as quickly as possible.[74]

Despite these events, Pisander and the other envoys of the conspirators arrived at Athens and made a speech before the people. Pisander won the argument, putting Alcibiades and his promises at the center. The Ecclesia deposed Phrynichus and elected Pisander and ten other envoys to negotiate with Tissaphernes and Alcibiades.[75]

At this point, Alcibiades's scheme encountered a great obstacle. Tissaphernes would not make an agreement on any terms, wanting to follow his policy of neutrality.[76] As Kagan points out, Tissaphernes was a prudent leader and had recognized the advantages of wearing each side out without direct Persian involvement.[77] Alcibiades realized this and, by presenting the Athenians with stiffer and stiffer demands on Tissaphernes's behalf, attempted to convince them that he had persuaded Tissaphernes to support them, but that they had not conceded enough to him. Although the envoys were angered at the audacity of the Persian demands, they nevertheless departed with the impression that Alcibiades could have brought about an agreement among the powers if he had chosen to do so.[78] This fiasco at the court of Tissaphernes, however, put an end to the negotiations between the conspirators and Alcibiades.[76] The group was convinced that Alcibiades could not deliver his side of the bargain without demanding exorbitantly high concessions of them and they accordingly abandoned their plans to restore him to Athens.[78]

Reinstatement as an Athenian General

In spite of the failure of the negotiations, the conspirators succeeded in overthrowing the democracy and imposing the oligarchic government of the Four Hundred, among the leaders of which were Phrynichus and Pisander. At Samos, however, a similar coup instigated by the conspirators did not go forward so smoothly. Samian democrats learned of the conspiracy and notified four prominent Athenians: the generals Leon and Diomedon, the trierarch Thrasybulus, and Thrasyllus, at that time a hoplite in the ranks. With the support of these men and the Athenian soldiers in general, the Samian democrats were able to defeat the 300 Samian oligarchs who attempted to seize power there.[79] Further, the Athenian troops at Samos formed themselves into a political assembly, deposed their generals, and elected new ones, including Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus. The army, stating that they had not revolted from the city but that the city had revolted from them, resolved to stand by the democracy while continuing to prosecute the war against Sparta.[80]

After a time, Thrasybulus persuaded the assembled troops to vote Alcibiades's recall, a policy that he had supported since before the coup. Then he sailed to retrieve Alcibiades and returned with him to Samos. The aim of this policy was to win away Persian support from the Spartans, as it was still believed that Alcibiades had great influence with Tissaphernes.[81] Plutarch claims that the army sent for Alcibiades so as to use his help in putting down the tyrants in Athens.[82] Kagan argues that this reinstatement was a disappointment to Alcibiades, who had hoped for a glorious return to Athens itself but found himself only restored to the rebellious fleet, where the immunity from prosecution he had been granted "protected him for the time being but not from a reckoning in the future"; furthermore, the recall, which Alcibiades had hoped to bring about through his own prestige and perceived influence, was achieved through the patronage of Thrasybulus.[83]

At his first speech to the assembled troops, Alcibiades complained bitterly about the circumstances of his exile, but the largest part of the speech consisted of boasting about his influence with Tissaphernes. The primary motives of his speech were to make the oligarchs at Athens afraid of him and to increase his credit with the army at Samos. Upon hearing his speech the troops immediately elected him General alongside Thrasybulus and the others. In fact, he roused them so much that they proposed to sail at once for Piraeus and attack the oligarchs in Athens.[84] It was primarily Alcibiades, along with Thrasybulus, who calmed the people and showed them the folly of this proposal, which would have sparked civil war and led to the immediate defeat of Athens.[82] Shortly after Alcibiades's reinstatement as an Athenian general, the government of the Four Hundred was overthrown and replaced by a broader oligarchy, which would eventually give way to democracy.[85]

Presently Alcibiades sailed to Tissaphernes with a detachment of ships. According to Plutarch, the supposed purpose of this mission was to stop the Persian fleet from coming to the aid of the Peloponnesians.[82] Thucydides is in agreement with Plutarch that the Persian fleet was at Aspendus and that Alcibiades told the troops he would bring the fleet to their side or prevent it from coming at all, but Thucydides further speculates that the real reason was to flaunt his new position to Tissaphernes and try to gain some real influence over him.[84] According to the historian, Alcibiades had long known that Tissaphernes never meant to bring the fleet at all.[86]

Battles of Abydos and Cyzicus

The Athenian strategy at Cyzicus. Left: Alcibiades's decoy force (blue) lures the Spartan fleet (black) out to sea. Right: Thrasybulus and Theramenes bring their squadrons in behind the Spartans to cut off their retreat towards Cyzicus, while Alcibiades turns to face the pursuing force.
The Athenian strategy at Cyzicus. Left: Alcibiades's decoy force (blue) lures the Spartan fleet (black) out to sea. Right: Thrasybulus and Theramenes bring their squadrons in behind the Spartans to cut off their retreat towards Cyzicus, while Alcibiades turns to face the pursuing force.

Alcibiades was recalled by the "intermediate regime" of The Five Thousand, the government which succeeded the Four Hundred in 411, but it is most likely that he waited until 407 BC to actually return to the city.[87] Plutarch tells us that, although his recall had already been passed on motion of Critias, a political ally of his, Alcibiades was resolved to come back with glory.[88] While this was certainly his goal, it was again a means to an end, that end being to avoid prosecution upon his return to Athens.

The next significant part he would play in the war would occur at the Battle of Abydos. Alcibiades had remained behind at Samos with a small force while Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus led the greater part of the fleet to the Hellespont. During this period, Alcibiades succeeded in raising money from Caria and the neighboring area, with which he was able to pay the rowers and gain their favor.[89] After the Athenian victory at Cynossema, both fleets summoned all their ships from around the Aegean to join them for what might be a decisive next engagement. While Alcibiades was still en route, the Athenians fought off the arrival of the Rhodian admiral Dorieus who appeared with 14 ships and was forced into Rhoeteium.[90] The Spartans sailed to assist him and the two fleets clashed at Abydos, where the Peloponnesians had set up their main naval base. The battle was evenly matched, and raged for a long time, but the balance tipped towards the Athenians when Alcibiades sailed into the Hellespont with eighteen triremes.[88][91] The Persian satrap Pharnabazus, who had replaced Tissaphernes as the sponsor of the Peloponnesian fleet, moved his land army to the shore to defend the ships and sailors who had beached their ships. Only the support of the Persian land army and the coming of night saved the Peloponnesian fleet from complete destruction.[92]

Shortly after the battle, Tissaphernes had arrived in the Hellespont and Alcibiades left the fleet at Sestos to meet him, bringing gifts and hoping once again to try to win over the Persian governor. Evidently Alcibiades had gravely misjudged his standing with the satrap, and he was arrested on arrival.[88] Within a month he would escape with another Athenian, Mantitheos, and resume command.[93] It was now obvious, however, that he had no influence with the Persians; from now on his authority would depend on what he actually could accomplish rather than on what he promised to do.[94]

After an interlude of several months in which the Peloponnesians constructed new ships and the Athenians besieged cities and raised money throughout the Aegean, the next major sea battle took place the spring of 410 BC at Cyzicus. Alcibiades had been forced to flee from Sestos to Cardia to protect his small fleet from the rebuilt Peloponnesian navy, but as soon as the Athenian fleet was reunited there its commanders led it to Cyzicus, where the Athenians had intelligence indicating that Pharnabazus and Mindarus, the Peloponnesian fleet commander, were together plotting their next move. Concealed by storm and darkness, the combined Athenian force reached the vicinity without being spotted by the Peloponnesians.[93] Here the Athenians devised a plot to draw the enemy into battle. According to Diodorus Siculus, Alcibiades advanced with a small squadron in order to draw the Spartans out to battle, and, after he successfully deceived Mindarus with this ploy, the squadrons of Thrasybulus and Theramenes came to join him, cutting off the Spartans' retreat.[f][97]

The Spartan fleet suffered losses in the flight and reached the shore with the Athenians in close pursuit. Alcibiades' troops, leading the Athenian pursuit, landed and attempted to pull the Spartan ships back out to sea. The Peloponnesians fought to prevent their ships from being towed away, and Pharnabazus's troops came up to support them.[98] Thrasybulus landed his own force to temporarily relieve pressure on Alcibiades, and meanwhile ordered Theramenes to join up with Athenian land forces nearby and bring them to reinforce the sailors and marines on the beach. The Spartans and Persians, overwhelmed by the arrival of multiple forces from several directions, were defeated and driven off, and the Athenians captured all the Spartan ships which were not destroyed.[99][100] A letter dispatched to Sparta by Hippocrates, vice-admiral under Mindarus, was intercepted and taken to Athens; it ran as follows: "The ships are lost. Mindarus is dead. The men are starving. We know not what to do".[98] A short time later Sparta petitioned for peace, but their appeals were ultimately rejected by the Athenians.[101]

Further military successes

Satellite image of the Thracian Chersonese (now known as the Gallipoli Peninsula) and surrounding area. Alcibiades traveled to the Chersonese in 408 BC and attacked the city of Selymbria on the north shore of the Propontis.
Satellite image of the Thracian Chersonese (now known as the Gallipoli Peninsula) and surrounding area. Alcibiades traveled to the Chersonese in 408 BC and attacked the city of Selymbria on the north shore of the Propontis.

After their victory, Alcibiades and Thrasybulus began the siege of Chalcedon in 409 BC with about 190 ships.[102] Although unable to attain a decisive victory or induce the city to surrender, Alcibiades was able to win a small tactical land battle outside of the city gates and Theramenes concluded an agreement with the Chalcedonians.[103] Afterwards they concluded a temporary alliance with Pharnabazus which secured some much needed immediate cash for the army, but despite this Alcibiades was still forced to depart in search for more booty to pay the soldiers and oarsmen of the fleet.

In pursuit of these funds he traveled to the Thracian Chersonese and attacked Selymbria. He plotted with a pro-Athenian party within the city and offered the Selymbrians reasonable terms, imposing strict discipline on his men to see that they were observed. He did the Selymbrians's city no injury whatsoever, but merely took a sum of money from it, set a garrison there and left.[104] Epigraphical evidence indicates the Selymbrians surrendered hostages until the treaty was ratified in Athens.[2] His performance is judged as skillful by historians, since it saved time, resources, and lives and still fully achieved his goal.[2][105]

From here Alcibiades joined in the siege of Byzantium along with Theramenes and Thrasyllus. A portion of the citizens of the city, demoralized and hungry, decided to surrender the city to Alcibiades for similar terms as the Selymbrians had received. On the designated night the defenders left their posts, and the Athenians attacked the Peloponnesian garrison in the city and their boats in the harbor. The portion of the citizenry that remained loyal to the Peloponnesians fought so savagely that Alcibiades issued a statement in the midst of the fighting which guaranteed their safety and this persuaded the remaining citizens to turn against the Peloponnesian garrison, which was nearly totally destroyed.[103]

Discover more about Recall to Athens related topics

Samos

Samos

Samos is a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea, south of Chios, north of Patmos and the Dodecanese, and off the coast of western Turkey, from which it is separated by the 1.6-kilometre (1.0 mi)-wide Mycale Strait. It is also a separate regional unit of the North Aegean region, and the only municipality of the regional unit.

Oligarchy

Oligarchy

Oligarchy is a conceptual form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may or may not be distinguished by one or several characteristics, such as nobility, fame, wealth, education, or corporate, religious, political, or military control.

Magnesia on the Maeander

Magnesia on the Maeander

Magnesia or Magnesia on the Maeander was an ancient Greek city in Ionia, considerable in size, at an important location commercially and strategically in the triangle of Priene, Ephesus and Tralles. The city was named Magnesia, after the Magnetes from Thessaly who settled the area along with some Cretans. It was later called "on the Meander" to distinguish it from the nearby Lydian city Magnesia ad Sipylum. It was earlier the site of Leucophrys mentioned by several ancient writers.

Athenian coup of 411 BC

Athenian coup of 411 BC

The Athenian coup of 411 BC was the result of a revolution that took place during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. The coup overthrew the democratic government of ancient Athens and replaced it with a short-lived oligarchy known as the Four Hundred.

Hoplite

Hoplite

Hoplites were citizen-soldiers of Ancient Greek city-states who were primarily armed with spears and shields. Hoplite soldiers used the phalanx formation to be effective in war with fewer soldiers. The formation discouraged the soldiers from acting alone, for this would compromise the formation and minimize its strengths. The hoplites were primarily represented by free citizens – propertied farmers and artisans – who were able to afford a linen armour or a bronze armour suit and weapons. Most hoplites were not professional soldiers and often lacked sufficient military training. Some states maintained a small elite professional unit, known as the epilektoi ("chosen") since they were picked from the regular citizen infantry. These existed at times in Athens, Argos, Thebes, and Syracuse, among other places. Hoplite soldiers made up the bulk of ancient Greek armies.

Piraeus

Piraeus

Piraeus is a port city within the Athens urban area, in the Attica region of Greece. It is located in the Athens Riviera, eight kilometres (5 mi) southwest of Athens' city centre, along the east coast of the Saronic Gulf.

Battle of Abydos

Battle of Abydos

The Battle of Abydos was an Athenian naval victory in the Peloponnesian War. In the battle, the Spartan fleet, under Mindarus, attempted to rescue a small allied fleet that had been driven ashore at Dardanus, but was attacked by the Athenian fleet, under Thrasybulus. The fighting was evenly contested for a great length of time, but towards evening, the arrival of Alcibiades with Athenian reinforcements tipped the balance in favor of the Athenians, and the Peloponnesians were forced to flee back to their base at Abydos, suffering heavy losses along the way.

Battle of Cyzicus

Battle of Cyzicus

The naval Battle of Cyzicus took place in May or June 410 BC during the Peloponnesian War. During the battle, an Athenian fleet commanded by Alcibiades, Thrasybulus, and Theramenes routed and destroyed a Spartan fleet commanded by Mindarus. The victory allowed Athens to recover control over a number of cities in the Hellespont over the next year. In the wake of their defeat, the Spartans made a peace offer, which the Athenians rejected.

Critias

Critias

Critias was an ancient Athenian political figure and author. Born in Athens, Critias was the son of Callaeschrus and a first cousin of Plato's mother Perictione. He became a leading and violent member of the Thirty Tyrants. He also was an associate of Socrates, a fact that did not endear Socrates to the Athenian public.

Caria

Caria

Caria was a region of western Anatolia extending along the coast from mid-Ionia (Mycale) south to Lycia and east to Phrygia. The Ionian and Dorian Greeks colonized the west of it and joined the Carian population in forming Greek-dominated states there. Carians were described by Herodotus as being of Minoan descent, while he reports that the Carians themselves maintained that they were Anatolian mainlanders intensely engaged in seafaring and were akin to the Mysians and the Lydians. The Carians spoke Carian, a native Anatolian language closely related to Luwian. Also closely associated with the Carians were the Leleges, which could be an earlier name for Carians.

Battle of Cynossema

Battle of Cynossema

The naval Battle of Cynossema took place in 411 BC during the Second Peloponnesian War. In the battle, an Athenian fleet commanded by Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus, although initially thrown on the defensive by a numerically superior Spartan fleet, won a narrow victory. This victory had an impact out of proportion to its tactical significance, coming when Athens' traditional democratic government had been replaced by an oligarchy and an Athenian defeat could have ended the war. The newly confident Athenian fleet proceeded to win two more victories in the Hellespont in quick succession, the second being the dramatic rout at Cyzicus, which ended the immediate Spartan threat to Athens' Black Sea lifeline.

Dorieus (Rhodian athlete and naval commander)

Dorieus (Rhodian athlete and naval commander)

Dorieus of Ialysos in Rhodes commanded small naval contingents supporting the Spartan fleet during the last decade of the Peloponnesian War and is attributed with a Rhodian revolt from Athens and a synoecism. He was also a renowned Olympic athlete.

Return to Athens, dismissal, and death

Return to Athens

The multitude saluting the return of Alcibiades with loud acclamations.[106]
The multitude saluting the return of Alcibiades with loud acclamations.[106]

It was in the aftermath of these successes that Alcibiades resolved to finally return to Athens in the spring of 407 BC. Even in the wake of his recent victories, Alcibiades was exceedingly careful in his return, mindful of the changes in government, the charges still technically hanging over him, and the great injury he had done to Athens. Thus Alcibiades, instead of going straight home, first went to Samos to pick up 20 ships and proceeded with them to the Ceramic Gulf where he collected 100 talents. He finally sailed to Gytheion to make inquiries, partly about the reported preparations of the Spartans there, and partly about the feelings in Athens about his return.[107] His inquiries assured him that the city was kindly disposed towards him and that his closest friends urged him to return.[108]

Therefore, he finally sailed into Piraeus where the crowd had gathered, desiring to see the famous Alcibiades.[109] He entered the harbor full of fear until he saw his cousin and others of his friends and acquaintance, who invited him to land. Upon arriving on shore he was greeted with a hero's welcome.[110] Nevertheless, some saw an evil omen in the fact that he had returned to Athens on the very day when the ceremony of the Plynteria (the feast where the old statue of Athena would get cleansed) was being celebrated.[111] This was regarded as the unluckiest day of the year to undertake anything of importance. His enemies took note of this and kept it in mind for a future occasion.[112]

All the criminal proceedings against him were canceled and the charges of blasphemy were officially withdrawn. Alcibiades was able to assert his piety and to raise Athenian morale by leading the solemn procession to Eleusis (for the celebration of the Eleusinian Mysteries) by land for the first time since the Spartans had occupied Decelea.[113] The procession had been replaced by a journey by sea, but this year Alcibiades used a detachment of soldiers to escort the traditional procession.[114] His property was restored and the ecclesia elected him supreme commander of land and sea (strategos autokrator).[115]

Defeat at Notium

In 406 BC Alcibiades set out from Athens with 1,500 hoplites and a hundred ships. He failed to take Andros and then he went on to Samos. Later he moved to Notium, closer to the enemy at Ephesus.[116] In the meanwhile Tissaphernes had been replaced by Cyrus the Younger (son of Darius II of Persia) who decided to financially support the Peloponnesians. This new revenue started to attract Athenian deserters to the Spartan navy. Additionally the Spartans had replaced Mindarus with Lysander, a very capable admiral. These factors caused the rapid growth of the Peloponnesian fleet at the expense of the Athenian. In search of funds and needing to force another decisive battle, Alcibiades left Notium and sailed to help Thrasybulus in the siege of Phocaea.[117] Alcibiades was aware the Spartan fleet was nearby, so he left nearly eighty ships to watch them under the command of his personal helmsman Antiochus, who was given express orders not to attack. Antiochus disobeyed this single order and endeavored to draw Lysander into a fight by imitating the tactics used at Cyzicus. The situation at Notium, however, was radically different from that at Cyzicus; the Athenians possessed no element of surprise, and Lysander had been well informed about their fleet by deserters.[118] Antiochus's ship was sunk, and he was killed by a sudden Spartan attack; the remaining ships of the decoy force were then chased headlong back toward Notium, where the main Athenian force was caught unprepared by the sudden arrival of the whole Spartan fleet. In the ensuing fighting, Lysander gained an entire victory. Alcibiades soon returned and desperately tried to undo the defeat at Notium by scoring another victory, but Lysander could not be compelled to attack the fleet again.[119]

Responsibility for the defeat ultimately fell on Alcibiades, and his enemies used the opportunity to attack him and have him removed from command, although some modern scholars believe that Alcibiades was unfairly blamed for Antiochus's mistake.[120] Diodorus reports that, in addition to his mistake at Notium, Alcibiades was discharged on account of false accusations brought against him by his enemies.[99] According to Antony Andrewes, professor of ancient history, the extravagant hopes that his successes of the previous summer had created were a decisive element in his downfall.[116] Consequently, Alcibiades condemned himself to exile.[99] Never again returning to Athens, he sailed north to the castles in the Thracian Chersonese, which he had secured during his time in the Hellespont. The implications of the defeat were severe for Athens. Although the defeat had been minor, it occasioned the removal of not only Alcibiades but also his allies such as Thrasybulus, Theramenes, and Critias.[115] These were likely the most capable commanders Athens had at the time, and their removal would help lead to the Athenian surrender only two years later, after their complete defeat at Aegospotami.[121]

Death

Alcibiades finished his days in Hellespontine Phrygia, an Achaemenid Empire satrapy ruled by Satrap Pharnabazus II.
Alcibiades finished his days in Hellespontine Phrygia, an Achaemenid Empire satrapy ruled by Satrap Pharnabazus II.

With one exception, Alcibiades's role in the war ended with his command. Prior to the Battle of Aegospotami, in the last attested fact of his career,[122] Alcibiades recognized that the Athenians were anchored in a tactically disadvantageous spot and advised them to move to Sestus where they could benefit from a harbor and a city.[123] Diodorus, however, does not mention this advice, arguing instead that Alcibiades offered the generals Thracian aid in exchange for a share in the command.[g] In any case, the Generals of the Athenians, "considering that in case of defeat the blame would attach to them and that in case of success all men would attribute it to Alcibiades", asked him to leave and not come near the camp ever again.[123][126] Days later the fleet would be annihilated by Lysander.

In 404 BC, Alcibiades, exiled in the Achaemenid Empire province of Hellespontine Phrygia, was assassinated by Persian soldiers, who may have been following the orders of Satrap Pharnabazus II, at the instigation of Sparta. La mort d'Alcibiade. Philippe Chéry, 1791. Musée des Beaux-Arts, La Rochelle.
In 404 BC, Alcibiades, exiled in the Achaemenid Empire province of Hellespontine Phrygia, was assassinated by Persian soldiers, who may have been following the orders of Satrap Pharnabazus II, at the instigation of Sparta. La mort d'Alcibiade. Philippe Chéry, 1791. Musée des Beaux-Arts, La Rochelle.

After the Battle of Aegospotami, Alcibiades crossed the Hellespont and took refuge in Hellespontine Phrygia, with the object of securing the aid of the Achaemenid King Artaxerxes against Sparta.[128] Alcibiades was one of several Greek aristocrats who took refuge in the Achaemenid Empire following reversals at home, other famous ones being Themistocles, Hippias, Demaratos and Gongylos.[65] In general, those were generously welcomed by the Achaemenid kings, and received land grants to support them, and ruled in various cities of Asia Minor.[65]

Much about Alcibiades's death is now uncertain, as there are conflicting accounts. According to the oldest of these, the Spartans and specifically Lysander were responsible.[129] Though many of his details cannot be independently corroborated, Plutarch's version is this: Lysander sent an envoy to Pharnabazus who then dispatched his brother to Phrygia where Alcibiades was living with his mistress, Timandra.[h]

In 404 BC, as he was about to set out for the Persian court, his residence was surrounded and set on fire. Seeing no chance of escape he rushed out on his assassins, dagger in hand, and was killed by a shower of arrows.[130] According to Aristotle, the site of Alcibiades's death was Elaphus, a mountain in Phrygia.[133]

Discover more about Return to Athens, dismissal, and death related topics

Omen

Omen

An omen is a phenomenon that is believed to foretell the future, often signifying the advent of change. It was commonly believed in ancient times, and still believed by some today, that omens bring divine messages from the gods.

Plynteria

Plynteria

Plynteria was a festival of ancient Greece celebrated at Athens every year, on the 22nd of Thargelion, in honor of Athena Polias, with the heroine Aglauros, whose temple stood on the Acropolis. The festival's name came from plynein (πλύνειν), a Greek verb meaning "to wash".

Athena

Athena

Athena or Athene, often given the epithet Pallas, is an ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom, warfare, and handicraft who was later syncretized with the Roman goddess Minerva. Athena was regarded as the patron and protectress of various cities across Greece, particularly the city of Athens, from which she most likely received her name. The Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens is dedicated to her. Her major symbols include owls, olive trees, snakes, and the Gorgoneion. In art, she is generally depicted wearing a helmet and holding a spear.

Blasphemy

Blasphemy

Blasphemy, as defined in some religions or religion-based laws, is an insult that shows contempt, disrespect or lack of reverence concerning a deity, an object considered sacred or something considered inviolable.

Autokrator

Autokrator

Autokrator or Autocrator is a Greek epithet applied to an individual who is unrestrained by superiors. It has been applied to military commanders-in-chief as well as Roman and Byzantine emperors as the translation of the Latin title imperator. Its connection with Byzantine-style absolutism gave rise to the modern terms autocrat and autocracy. In Modern Greek, it means "emperor", and its feminine form is autokráteira (αὐτοκράτειρα).

Battle of Notium

Battle of Notium

The Battle of Notium in 406 BC was a Spartan naval victory in the Peloponnesian War. Prior to the battle, the Athenian commander, Alcibiades, left his helmsman, Antiochus, in command of the Athenian fleet, which was blockading the Spartan fleet in Ephesus. In violation of his orders, Antiochus attempted to draw the Spartans into battle by tempting them with a small decoy force. His strategy backfired, and the Spartans under Lysander scored a small but symbolically significant victory over the Athenian fleet. This victory resulted in the downfall of Alcibiades, and established Lysander as a commander who could defeat the Athenians at sea.

Andros

Andros

Andros is the northernmost island of the Greek Cyclades archipelago, about 10 km (6 mi) southeast of Euboea, and about 3 km (2 mi) north of Tinos. It is nearly 40 km (25 mi) long, and its greatest breadth is 16 km (10 mi). It is for the most part mountainous, with many fruitful and well-watered valleys. The municipality, which includes the island Andros and several small, uninhabited islands, has an area of 380 km2 (146.719 sq mi). The largest towns are Andros (town), Gavrio, Batsi, and Ormos Korthiou.

Ephesus

Ephesus

Ephesus was a city in ancient Greece on the coast of Ionia, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) southwest of present-day Selçuk in İzmir Province, Turkey. It was built in the 10th century BC on the site of Apasa, the former Arzawan capital, by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists. During the Classical Greek era, it was one of twelve cities that were members of the Ionian League. The city came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 BC.

Cyrus the Younger

Cyrus the Younger

Cyrus the Younger was an Achaemenid prince and general. He ruled as satrap of Lydia and Ionia from 408 to 401 BC. Son of Darius II and Parysatis, he died in 401 BC in battle during a failed attempt to oust his elder brother, Artaxerxes II, from the Persian throne.

Lysander

Lysander

Lysander was a Spartan military and political leader. He destroyed the Athenian fleet at the Battle of Aegospotami in 405 BC, forcing Athens to capitulate and bringing the Peloponnesian War to an end. He then played a key role in Sparta's domination of Greece for the next decade until his death at the Battle of Haliartus.

Phocaea

Phocaea

Phocaea or Phokaia was an ancient Ionian Greek city on the western coast of Anatolia. Greek colonists from Phocaea founded the colony of Massalia in 600 BC, Emporion in 575 BC and Elea in 540 BC.

Antiochus (admiral)

Antiochus (admiral)

Antiochus of Athens was a commander of ancient Greece during the Peloponnesian War who was left by the Athenian commander Alcibiades at Notium in command of the Athenian fleet in 407 BCE, with strict injunctions not to engage the Spartan commander Lysander.

Assessments

Political career

Epitaph for Hipparete, daughter of Alcibiades (Kerameikos Cemetery, Athens).
Epitaph for Hipparete, daughter of Alcibiades (Kerameikos Cemetery, Athens).

In ancient Greece, Alcibiades was a polarizing figure. According to Thucydides, Alcibiades, being "exceedingly ambitious", proposed the expedition in Sicily in order "to gain in wealth and reputation by means of his successes". Alcibiades is not held responsible by Thucydides for the destruction of Athens, since "his habits gave offence to every one, and caused the Athenians to commit affairs to other hands, and thus before long to ruin the city".[134] Plutarch regards him as "the least scrupulous and most entirely careless of human beings".[135] On the other hand, Diodorus argues that he was "in spirit brilliant and intent upon great enterprises".[136] Sharon Press of Brown University points out that Xenophon emphasizes Alcibiades's service to the state, rather than the harm he was charged with causing it.[137][138] Demosthenes defends Alcibiades's achievements, saying that he had taken arms in the cause of democracy, displaying his patriotism, not by gifts of money or by speeches, but by personal service.[139] For Demosthenes and other orators, Alcibiades epitomized the figure of the great man during the glorious days of the Athenian democracy and became a rhetorical symbol.[140] One of Isocrates' speeches, delivered by Alcibiades the Younger, argues that the statesman deserved the Athenians' gratitude for the service he had given them.[141] Lysias, on the other hand, argued in one of his orations that the Athenians should regard Alcibiades as an enemy because of the general tenor of his life, as "he repays with injury the open assistance of any of his friends".[142][143] In the Constitution of the Athenians, Aristotle does not include Alcibiades in the list of the best Athenian politicians, but in Posterior Analytics he argues that traits of a proud man like Alcibiades are "equanimity amid the vicissitudes of life and impatience of dishonor".[144][145] Alcibiades excited in his contemporaries a fear for the safety of the political order.[146] Therefore, Andocides said of him that "instead of holding that he ought himself to conform with the laws of the state, he expects you to conform with his own way of life".[147] Central to the depiction of the Athenian statesman is Cornelius Nepos' famous phrase that Alcibiades "surpassed all the Athenians in grandeur and magnificence of living".[148]

Even today, Alcibiades divides scholars. For Malcolm F. McGregor, former head of the Department of Classics in the University of British Columbia, Alcibiades was rather a shrewd gambler than a mere opportunist.[149] Evangelos P. Fotiadis, a prominent Greek philologist, asserts that Alcibiades was "a first class diplomat" and had "huge skills". Nevertheless, his spiritual powers were not counterbalanced with his magnificent mind and he had the hard luck to lead a people susceptible to demagoguery.[8] K. Paparrigopoulos, a major modern Greek historian, underlines his "spiritual virtues" and compares him with Themistocles, but he then asserts that all these gifts created a "traitor, an audacious and impious man".[150] Walter Ellis believes that his actions were outrageous, but they were performed with panache.[151] For his part, David Gribble argues that Alcibiades's actions against his city were misunderstood and believes that "the tension which led to Alcibiades's split with the city was between purely personal and civic values".[152] Russell Meiggs, a British ancient historian, asserts that the Athenian statesman was absolutely unscrupulous despite his great charm and brilliant abilities. According to Meiggs his actions were dictated by selfish motives and his feud with Cleon and his successors undermined Athens. The same scholar underscores the fact that "his example of restless and undisciplined ambition strengthened the charge brought against Socrates".[58] Even more critically, Athanasios G. Platias and Constantinos Koliopoulos, professors of strategic studies and international politics, state that Alcibiades's own arguments "should be sufficient to do away with the notion that Alcibiades was a great statesman, as some people still believe".[153] Writing from a different perspective, psychologist Anna C. Salter cites Alcibiades as exhibiting "all the classic features of psychopathy."[154] A similar assessment is made by Hervey Cleckley at the end of chapter 5 in his The Mask of Sanity.[155]

Military achievements

Despite his critical comments, Thucydides admits in a short digression that "publicly his conduct of the war was as good as could be desired".[134] Diodorus and Demosthenes regard him as a great general.[136][139] According to Fotiadis, Alcibiades was an invincible general and, wherever he went, victory followed him; had he led the army in Sicily, the Athenians would have avoided disaster and, had his countrymen followed his advice at Aegospotami, Lysander would have lost and Athens would have ruled Greece.[8] On the other hand, Paparrigopoulos believes that the Sicilian Expedition, prompted by Alcibiades, was a strategic mistake.[156] In agreement with Paparrigopoulos, Platias and Koliopoulos underscore the fact that the Sicilian expedition was a strategic blunder of the first magnitude, resulting from a "frivolous attitude and an unbelievable underestimation of the enemy".[38] For his part, Angelos Vlachos, a Greek Academician, underlines the constant interest of Athens for Sicily from the beginning of the war.[i] According to Vlachos, the expedition had nothing of the extravagant or adventurous and constituted a rational strategic decision based on traditional Athenian aspirations.[159] Vlachos asserts that Alcibiades had already conceived a broader plan: the conquest of the whole West.[160] He intended to conquer Carthage and Libya, then to attack Italy and, after winning these, to seize Italy and Peloponnesus.[158] The initial decision of the ecclesia provided however for a reasonable military force, which later became unreasonably large and costly because of Nicias's demands.[160] Kagan criticizes Alcibiades for failing to recognize that the large size of the Athenian expedition undermined the diplomatic scheme on which his strategy rested.[161]

Kagan believes that while Alcibiades was a commander of considerable ability, he was no military genius, and his confidence and ambitions went far beyond his skills. He thus was capable of important errors and serious miscalculations. Kagan argues that at Notium, Alcibiades committed a serious error in leaving the fleet in the hands of an inexperienced officer, and that most of the credit for the brilliant victory at Cyzicus must be assigned to Thrasybulus.[161] In this judgement, Kagan agrees with Cornelius Nepos, who said that the Athenians' extravagant opinion of Alcibiades's abilities and valor was his chief misfortune.[162]

Press argues that "though Alcibiades can be considered a good General on the basis of his performance in the Hellespont, he would not be considered so on the basis of his performance in Sicily", but "the strengths of Alcibiades's performance as a General outweigh his faults".[137]

Skill in oratory

Plutarch asserts that "Alcibiades was a most able speaker in addition to his other gifts", while Theophrastus argues that Alcibiades was the most capable of discovering and understanding what was required in a given case. Nevertheless, he would often stumble in the midst of his speech, but then he would resume and proceed with all the caution in the world.[163] Even the lisp he had, which was noticed by Aristophanes, made his talk persuasive and full of charm.[164][165] Eupolis says that he was "prince of talkers, but in speaking most incapable";[33] which is to say, more eloquent in his private discourses than when orating before the ecclesia. For his part, Demosthenes underscores the fact that Alcibiades was regarded as "the ablest speaker of the day".[139] Paparrigopoulos does not accept Demosthenes's opinion, but acknowledges that the Athenian statesman could sufficiently support his case.[150] Kagan acknowledges his rhetorical power, whilst Thomas Habinek, professor of Classics at the University of Southern California, believes that the orator Alcibiades seemed to be whatever his audience needed on any given occasion.[166][167] According to Habinek, in the field of oratory, the people responded to Alcibiades's affection with affection of their own. Therefore, the orator was "the institution of the city talking to—and loving—itself".[167] According to Aristophanes, Athens "yearns for him, and hates him too, but wants him back".[168]

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Ancient Greece

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Diodorus Siculus

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Demosthenes

Demosthenes

Demosthenes was a Greek statesman and orator in ancient Athens. His orations constitute a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provide insight into the politics and culture of ancient Greece during the 4th century BC. Demosthenes learned rhetoric by studying the speeches of previous great orators. He delivered his first judicial speeches at the age of 20, in which he successfully argued that he should gain from his guardians what was left of his inheritance. For a time, Demosthenes made his living as a professional speechwriter (logographer) and a lawyer, writing speeches for use in private legal suits.

Athenian democracy

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Isocrates

Isocrates

Isocrates was an ancient Greek rhetorician, one of the ten Attic orators. Among the most influential Greek rhetoricians of his time, Isocrates made many contributions to rhetoric and education through his teaching and written works.

Lysias

Lysias

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Constitution of the Athenians (Aristotle)

Constitution of the Athenians (Aristotle)

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Aristotle

Aristotle

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatetic school of philosophy within the Lyceum and the wider Aristotelian tradition. His writings cover many subjects including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics, meteorology, geology, and government. Aristotle provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him. It was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry. As a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on almost every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion.

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References in popular culture

An engraving by Agostino Veneziano, reflecting a Renaissance view of Alcibiades
An engraving by Agostino Veneziano, reflecting a Renaissance view of Alcibiades

Alcibiades has not been spared by ancient comedy and stories attest to an epic confrontation between Alcibiades and Eupolis resembling that between Aristophanes and Cleon.[140] He also appears as a character in several Socratic dialogues (Symposium, Protagoras, Alcibiades I and II, as well as the eponymous dialogues by Aeschines Socraticus and Antisthenes). Purportedly based on his own personal experience, Antisthenes described Alcibiades's extraordinary physical strength, courage, and beauty, saying, "If Achilles did not look like this, he was not really handsome."[169] In his trial, Socrates must rebut the attempt to hold him guilty for the crimes of his former students, including Alcibiades.[170] Hence, he declares in Apology: "I have never been anyone's teacher".[171]

Alcibiades has been depicted regularly in art, both in Medieval and Renaissance works, and in several significant works of modern literature as well.[172] He has been the main character in historical novels of authors like Anna Bowman Dodd, Gertrude Atherton, Rosemary Sutcliff, Daniel Chavarria, Steven Pressfield and Peter Green.[173]

Alcibiades is also involved in the plot of the video game Assassin's Creed Odyssey, under the name Alkibiades.

Alcibiades' military prowess was cited by the eponymous character in the Academy Award winner for best picture in 1970, "Patton", within a scene in which Allied generals discuss possible plans for their forthcoming invasion of Sicily in 1943 during a lavish dinner hosted by U. S. Lieutenant General George S. Patton Jr.

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Cultural depictions of Alcibiades

Cultural depictions of Alcibiades

The prominent Athenian statesman Alcibiades has been criticized by ancient comic writers and appears in several Socratic dialogues. He enjoys an important afterlife, in literature and art, having acquired symbolic status as the personification of ambition and sexual profligacy. He also appears in several significant works of modern literature.

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Eupolis

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Eupolis was an Athenian poet of the Old Comedy, who flourished during the time of the Peloponnesian War.

Cleon

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Protagoras (dialogue)

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First Alcibiades

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The First Alcibiades, also referred to as Alcibiades Major and abbreviated as Alcibiades I, is a dialogue depicting Socrates in conversation with Alcibiades. It is ascribed to Plato, although scholars are divided on the question of its authenticity.

Antisthenes

Antisthenes

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Achilles

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Apology (Plato)

Apology (Plato)

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Timeline

Timeline of Alcibiades' life (c. 450–404 BC)

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ Isocrates asserts that Alcibiades was never a pupil of Socrates.[10] Thus he does not agree with Plutarch's narration.[11] According to Isocrates, the purpose of this tradition was to accuse Socrates. The rhetorician makes Alcibiades wholly the pupil of Pericles.[12]
  2. ^ According to Plutarch, who is however criticized for using "implausible or unreliable stories" in order to construct Alcibiades's portrait,[13] Alcibiades once wished to see Pericles, but he was told that Pericles could not see him, because he was studying how to render his accounts to the Athenians. "Were it not better for him," said Alcibiades, "to study how not to render his accounts to the Athenians?".[11] Plutarch describes how Alcibiades "gave a box on the ear to Hipponicus, whose birth and wealth made him a person of great influence." This action received much disapproval, since it was "unprovoked by any passion of quarrel between them". To smooth the incident over, Alcibiades went to Hipponicus's house and, after stripping naked, "desired him to scourge and chastise him as he pleased". Hipponicus not only pardoned him but also bestowed upon him the hand of his daughter.[14] Another example of his flamboyant nature occurred during the Olympic games of 416 where "he entered seven teams in the chariot race, more than any private citizen had ever put forward, and three of them came in first, second, and fourth".[15] According to Andocides, once Alcibiades competed against a man named Taureas as choregos of a chorus of boys and "Alcibiades drove off Taureas with his fists. The spectators showed their sympathy with Taureas and their hatred of Alcibiades by applauding the one chorus and refusing to listen to the other at all."[16]
  3. ^ Plutarch and Plato agree that Alcibiades "served as a soldier in the campaign of Potidaea and had Socrates for his tentmate and comrade in action" and "when Alcibiades fell wounded, it was Socrates who stood over him and defended him".[11][19] Nonetheless, Antisthenes insists that Socrates saved Alcibiades at the Battle of Delium.[20]
  4. ^ Thucydides records several speeches which he attributes to Pericles; but Thucydides acknowledges that: "it was in all cases difficult to carry them word for word in one's memory, so my habit has been to make the speakers say what was in my opinion demanded of them by the various occasions, of course adhering as closely as possible to the general sense of what they really said."[45]
  5. ^ Kagan has suggested that Thrasybulus was one of the founding members of the scheme and was willing to support moderate oligarchy, but was alienated by the extreme actions taken by the plotters.[69] Robert J. Buck, on the other hand, maintains that Thrasybulus was probably never involved in the plot, possibly because he was absent from Samos at the time of its inception.[70]
  6. ^ In the case of the battle of Cyzicus, Robert J. Littman, professor at Brandeis University, points out the different accounts given by Xenophon and Diodorus. According to Xenophon, Alcibiades's victory was due to the luck of a rainstorm, while, according to Diodorus, it was due to a carefully conceived plan. Although most historians prefer the accounts of Xenophon,[95] Jean Hatzfeld remarks that Diodorus's accounts contain many interesting and unique details.[96]
  7. ^ Plutarch mentions Alcibiades's advice, writing that "he rode up on horseback and read the generals a lesson. He said their anchorage was a bad one; the place had no harbor and no city, but they had to get their supplies from Sestos".[124][125] B. Perrin regards Xenophon's testimony as impeachable[122] and prefers Diodorus's account.[126] According to A. Wolpert, "it would not have required a cynical reader to infer even from Xenophon's account that he (Alcibiades) was seeking to promote his own interests when he came forward to warn the generals about their tactical mistakes".[127]
  8. ^ According to Plutarch, some say that Alcibiades himself provoked his death, because he had seduced a girl belonging to a well-known family.[130] Thus there are two versions of the story: The assassins were probably either employed by the Spartans or by the brothers of the lady whom Alcibiades had seduced.[131] According to Isocrates, when the Thirty Tyrants established their rule, all Greece became unsafe for Alcibiades.[132]
  9. ^ Since the beginning of the war, the Athenians had already initiated two expeditions and sent a delegation to Sicily.[157] Plutarch underscores that "on Sicily the Athenians had cast longing eyes even while Pericles was living".[158]

Source: "Alcibiades", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcibiades.

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Citations
  1. ^ a b A. Vlachos, Thucydides' Bias, 59 etc.
  2. ^ a b c P. B. Kern, Ancient Siege Warfare, 151.
  3. ^ Plato, Alcibiades 1, 103a.
  4. ^ a b c W. Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 99
  5. ^ Herodotus 8.17, Thucydides 8.6.
  6. ^ Plato, Alcibiades 1, 121a.
  7. ^ C.A. Cox, Household Interests, 144.
  8. ^ a b c "Alcibiades". Encyclopaedic Dictionary The Helios. 1952.
  9. ^ N. Denyer, Commentary of Plato's Alcibiades, 88–89.
  10. ^ Isocrates, Busiris, 5.
  11. ^ a b c Plutarch, Alcibiades, 7.
  12. ^ Y. Lee Too, The Rhetoric of Identity in Isocrates, 216.
  13. ^ D. Gribble, Alcibiades and Athens, 30.
  14. ^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 8.
  15. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 12.
  16. ^ Andocides, Against Alcibiades, 20.
  17. ^ long, Roderick T. "Ethics Study Guide: Socrates in the Alcibiades and Symposium". praxeology.com. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  18. ^ Plato, Symposium, 220e.
  19. ^ Plato, Symposium, 221a.
  20. ^ I. Sykoutris, Symposium of Plato (Comments), 225.
  21. ^ I. Sykoutris, Introduction to Symposium, 159–10.
  22. ^ Plato, Symposium, 215a–22b.
  23. ^ "Alcibiades I, by Plato (see Appendix I)". www.gutenberg.org. Retrieved 2020-09-18.
  24. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 6.
  25. ^ a b Hale, John R. (2010). Lords of the Sea: The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy (2nd ed.). New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 9780143117681.
  26. ^ Thucydides, "The History of the Peloponnesian Wars", 5.43.
  27. ^ A.W. Gomme, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides, 339.
  28. ^ a b R. Sealey, A History of the Greek City States, 353.
  29. ^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 14.
  30. ^ Thucydides, V, 45.
  31. ^ A.W. Gomme, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides, 70.
  32. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, [1].
  33. ^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, [2].
  34. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, XVI.
  35. ^ Andocides, Against Alcibiades, 22.
  36. ^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 19.
  37. ^ Thucydides 6.8–23
  38. ^ a b Platias-Koliopoulos, Thucydides on Strategy, 237–46.
  39. ^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 322
  40. ^ Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War VII 8
  41. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 20.
  42. ^ L. Strauss, The City and Man, 104.
  43. ^ Thucydides, 6.26.
  44. ^ Thucydides, 6.29.
  45. ^ Thucydides, 1.22.
  46. ^ Thucydides, 6.61.
  47. ^ a b Thucydides, 6.53.
  48. ^ D. Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 273
  49. ^ Thucydides, 6.74
  50. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 23.
  51. ^ Bury, J. B.; Meiggs, Russell (1956). A history of Greece to the death of Alexander the Great (3 ed.). London: Macmillan. p. 469.
  52. ^ W. Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 100
  53. ^ a b Thucydides, 6.89–90.
  54. ^ a b D. Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 282–83.
  55. ^ Thucydides, 7.18.
  56. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 24.
  57. ^ Thucydides, 8.26.
  58. ^ a b "Alcibiades". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.
  59. ^ Plutarch, Lysander, 22.
  60. ^ Plutarch, Agesilaus, III.
  61. ^ P.J. Rhodes, A History of the Classical Greek World, 144.
  62. ^ a b Thucydides, 8.45
  63. ^ Thucydides, 8.46
  64. ^ a b Thucydides, 8.47
  65. ^ a b c d Miller, Margaret C. (2004). Athens and Persia in the Fifth Century BC: A Study in Cultural Receptivity. Cambridge University Press. p. 98. ISBN 9780521607582.
  66. ^ T. Buckley, Aspects of Greek History, 411.
  67. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 25.
  68. ^ R. Sealey, A History of the Greek City States, 359.
  69. ^ Donald Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 385.
  70. ^ R.J. Buck, Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy, 27–28.
  71. ^ Thucydides, 8.48.
  72. ^ Thucydides, 8.49.
  73. ^ Thucydides, 8.50.
  74. ^ Thucydides, 8.51.
  75. ^ Thucydides, 8.53.
  76. ^ a b D. Kagan, The Fall of the Athenian Empire, 136–38.
  77. ^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 366.
  78. ^ a b Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, 8.56.
  79. ^ Thucydides, 8.73.
  80. ^ Thucydides, 8.76.
  81. ^ Thucydides, 8.81.
  82. ^ a b c Plutarch, Alcibiades, 26.
  83. ^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 389.
  84. ^ a b Thucydides, 8.82.
  85. ^ Thucydides, 8.97.
  86. ^ Thucydides, 8.88.
  87. ^ Cartwright-Warner, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides, 301.
  88. ^ a b c Plutarch, Alcibiades, 27.
  89. ^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 406.
  90. ^ Xenophon, Hellenica, 1.1.2-5. See Kelly, Xenophon’s Hellenika: a Commentary, 70-5.
  91. ^ Xenophon, Hellenica, 1.1.5.
  92. ^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 408
  93. ^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 28; Xenophon, Hellenica, 1.1.10. See Kelly, Xenophon’s Hellenika: a Commentary, 77-8
  94. ^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 410.
  95. ^ R.J. Littman, The Strategy of the Battle of Cyzicus, 271.
  96. ^ J. Hatzfeld, Alcibiade, 271
  97. ^ Diodorus, XIII, 50–51.
  98. ^ a b Xenophon, Hellenica, 1.1.17–23.
  99. ^ a b c Diodorus, Library, xiii, 74.4
  100. ^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 410–13.
  101. ^ Diodorus, Library, 52–53.
  102. ^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 429
  103. ^ a b Diodorus, Library, xiii, 67.1
  104. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 30
  105. ^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 410
  106. ^ Text on page 257, image on the following page. Macgregor, Mary (190). The story of Greece : told to boys and girls. London : T.C. & E.C. Jack. p. 257.
  107. ^ Xenophon, Hellenica, 1, 4, 8–12.
  108. ^ B. Due, The Return of Alcibiades, 39
  109. ^ Xenophon, Hellenica, 1, 4, 13.
  110. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 32.
  111. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 34.
  112. ^ D Kagan, The Fall of the Athenian Empire, 290.
  113. ^ S. Price, Religions of the Ancient Greeks, 54
  114. ^ Xenophon, Hellenica, 1, 4, 18
  115. ^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 33
  116. ^ a b A. Andrewes, The Spartan Resurgence, 490
  117. ^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 443
  118. ^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 444
  119. ^ For the accepted account of the battle see Plutarch, Alcibiades, 35 or the Hellenica Oxyrhynchia, 4.
  120. ^ G. Cawkwell, Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War, 143
  121. ^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 447
  122. ^ a b B. Perrin, The Death of Alcibiades , 25–37.
  123. ^ a b Xenophon, Hellenica, 2.1.25.
  124. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 36.
  125. ^ Plutarch, Comparison with Coriolanus, 2
  126. ^ a b Diodorus, Library, xiii, 105.
  127. ^ A. Wolpert, Remembering Defeat, 5.
  128. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Alcibiades". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 522.
  129. ^ Isocrates, Concerning the Team of Horses, 16.40
  130. ^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 39.
  131. ^ H.T. Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities and W. Smith, New Classical Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography, 39.
  132. ^ Isocrates, Concerning the Team of Horses, 40.
  133. ^ Aristotle, History of Animals, 578b27 Archived 2007-10-13 at the Wayback Machine ; cf. John & William Langhorne, Plutarch's Lives (1819), vol. 2, p. 172, n. 99.
  134. ^ a b Thucydides, VI, 15.
  135. ^ Plutarch, The Comparison of Alcibiades with Coriolanus, 5
  136. ^ a b Diodorus, Library, xiii, 68.5.
  137. ^ a b S. Press, Was Alcibiades a Good General?
  138. ^ Xenophon, Hellenica, 1.4. 18.
  139. ^ a b c Demosthenes, Against Meidias, 144–45.
  140. ^ a b D. Gribble, Alcibiades and Athens, 32–33.
  141. ^ Isocrates, Concerning the Team of Horses, 15.
  142. ^ Lysias, Against Alcibiades 1, 1.
  143. ^ Lysias, Against Alcibiades 2, 10.
  144. ^ Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 28.
  145. ^ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, ii, 13.
  146. ^ D. Gribble, Alcibiades and Athens, 41.
  147. ^ Andocides, Against Alcibiades, 19 Archived 2020-05-18 at the Wayback Machine.
  148. ^ Cornelius Nepos, Alcibiades, XI.
  149. ^ M.F. McGregor, The Genius of Alkibiades, 27–50.
  150. ^ a b Κ. Paparrigopoulos, History of the Greek Nation, Αβ, 264–68.
  151. ^ W. Ellis, Alcibiades, 18.
  152. ^ D. Gribble, Alcibiades and Athens, 55 &c.
  153. ^ A.G. Platias and C. Koliopoulos, Thucydides on Strategy, 240.
  154. ^ Anna C. Salter, Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders, Basic Books, 2005, p. 128.
  155. ^ The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues about the So-Called Psychopathic Personality. Martino Fine Books; 2 edition (February 18, 2015) (original ed. 1941)
  156. ^ Κ. Paparrigopoulos, History of the Greek Nation, Αβ, 272.
  157. ^ A. Vlachos, Thucydides' Bias, 204.
  158. ^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 17.
  159. ^ A. Vlachos, Thucydides' Bias, 206.
  160. ^ a b A. Vlachos, Thucydides' Bias, 202–03.
  161. ^ a b D. Kagan, The Fall of the Athenian Empire, 419–20.
  162. ^ Cornelius Nepos, Alcibiades, VII.
  163. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 10.
  164. ^ Aristophanes, Wasps, 44.
  165. ^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 1.
  166. ^ D. Kagan, The Fall of the Athenian Empire, 178.
  167. ^ a b T. Habinek, Ancient Rhetoric and Oratory, 23–24.
  168. ^ Aristophanes, Frogs, 1425.
  169. ^ E. Corrigan, Plato's Dialectic at Play, 169; C. Kahn, "Aeschines on Socratic Eros", 90.
  170. ^ G.A. Scott, Plato's Socrates as Educator, 19
  171. ^ Plato, Apology, 33a
  172. ^ N. Endres, Alcibiades Archived 2014-12-18 at the Wayback Machine "GLBTQ >> social sciences >> Alcibiades". Archived from the original on 2006-10-20. Retrieved 2017-05-19.
  173. ^ T.T.B. Ryder, Alcibiades, 32
General references

Primary sources

Secondary sources

  • "Alcibiades". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2005.
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  • Andrewes, A. (1992). "The Spartan Resurgence". The Cambridge Ancient History edited by David M. Lewis, John Boardman, J.K. Davies, M. Ostwald (Volume V). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-23347-7.
  • Buck, R.J. (1998). Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy: the Life of an Athenian Statesman. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. ISBN 978-3-515-07221-2.
  • Buckley, Terry (1996). Aspects of Greek History 750–323 BC. Routledge (UK). ISBN 978-0-415-09957-8.
  • Cartwright David, Warner Rex (1997). A Historical Commentary on Thucydides: A Companion to Rex Warner's Penguin Translation. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-08419-7.
  • Cawkwell, George (1997). Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War. Routledge (UK). ISBN 978-0-415-16552-5.
  • Corrigan, Elena (2004). "Alcibiades and the Conclusion of the Symposium". Plato's Dialectic at Play. Penn State Press. ISBN 978-0-271-02462-2.
  • Cox, C.A. (1997). "What Was an Oikos?". Household Interests. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-01572-9.
  • Denyer, Nicolas (2001). Alcibiades (commentary). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-63414-4.
  • Due, Bodil (1991). The Return of Alcibiades in Xenophon's Hellenica. "Classica et Mediaevalia – Revue Danoise de Philologie et d'Histoire". Vol. XLII. pp. 39–54. ISBN 978-0-521-38867-2. Retrieved 2006-09-23.
  • Ellis, Walter M. (1989). Alcibiades. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-00994-2.
  • Gomme, A.W.; A. Andrewes; K.J. Dover (1945–81). An Historical Commentary on Thucydides (I–V). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-814198-3.
  • Gribble, David (1999). Alcibiades and Athens: A Study in Literary Presentation. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-815267-5.
  • Habinek, Thomas N. (2004). Ancient Rhetoric and Oratory. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-0-631-23515-6.
  • Hatzfeld, Jean (1951). Alcibiade (in French). Presses Universitaires de France.
  • Kagan, Donald (1991). The Fall of the Athenian Empire. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-9984-5.
  • Kagan, Donald (2003). The Peloponnesian War. Viking Penguin (Penguin Group). ISBN 978-0-670-03211-2.
  • Kahn, C. (1994). "Aeschines on Socratic Eros". In Paul A. Vander Waerdt (ed.). The Socratic Movement. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-9903-6.
  • Kelly, D. H. (2019). J. McDonald (ed.). 'Xenophon's Hellenika: a Commentary. Hakkert. ISBN 978-90-256-1344-0.
  • Kern, Paul Bentley (1999). "Treatment of Captured Cities". Ancient Siege Warfare. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-33546-3.
  • Lee Too, Yun (1995). "The Politics of Discipleship". The Rhetoric of Identity in Isocrates. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-47406-1.
  • Littman, Robert J. (1968). "The Strategy of the Battle of Cyzicus". Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association. 99: 265–72. doi:10.2307/2935846. JSTOR 2935846.
  • McCann David, Strauss Barry (2001). War and Democracy: A Comparative Study of the Korean War and the Peloponnesian War. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0-7656-0695-2.
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  • Peck, Harry Thurston (1898). Harper's Dictionary Of Classical Literature And Antiquities.
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  • Platias Athanasios G., Koliopoulos Constantinos (2006). Thucydides on Strategy. Eurasia Publications. ISBN 978-960-8187-16-0.
  • Press, Sharon (1991). "Was Alcibiades a Good General?". Brown Classical Journal. 7.
  • Price, Simon (1999). "Religious Places". Religions of the Ancient Greeks. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-38867-2.
  • Rhodes, P.J. (2005). A History of the Classical Greek World. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 978-0-631-22564-5.
  • Rhodes, P.J. (2011). Alcibiades: Athenian Playboy, General and Traitor. Pen and Sword Military Books. ISBN 978-1-84884-069-0.
  • Sealey, Raphael (1976). "The Peloponnesian War". A History of the Greek City States, 700–338 BC. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03177-7.
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  • Sykoutris, Ioannis (1934). Symposium (Introduction and Comments). Estia. In Greek.
  • Vlachos, Angelos (1974). Thucydides' Bias. Estia (in Greek).
  • Wolpert, Andrew (2002). Remembering Defeat: Civil War and Civic Memory in Ancient Athens. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-6790-3.
Further reading
  • Atherton, Gertrude (2004). The Jealous Gods. Kessinger Publishing Co. ISBN 978-1-4179-2807-1.
  • Benson, E.F. (1929). The Life of Alcibiades: The Idol of Athens. New York: D. Appleton Co. ISBN 978-1-4563-0333-4.
  • Bury, J.B.; Meiggs, Russell (1975). A History of Greece (4th ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press.
  • Bury, J.B.; Cook, S.A.; Adcock, F.E., eds. (1927). The Cambridge Ancient History. Vol. 5. New York: Macmillan.
  • Chavarria, Daniel (2005). The Eye Of Cybele. Akashic Books. ISBN 978-1-888451-67-2.
  • Forde, Steven (1989). The Ambition to Rule Alcibiades and the Politics of Imperialism in Thucydides. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
  • Green, Peter (1967). Achilles his Armour. Doubleday.
  • Henderson, Bernard W. (1927). The Great War Between Athens and Sparta: A Companion to the Military History of Thucydides. London: Macmillan.
  • Hughes-Hallett, Lucy (2004). Heroes: A History of Hero Worship. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. ISBN 1-4000-4399-9.
  • Meiggs, Russell (1972). The Athenian Empire. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Pressfield, Steven (2000). Tides of War: A Novel of Alcibiades and the Peloponnesian War. Doubleday, New York. ISBN 0-385-49252-9.
  • Robinson, Cyril Edward (1916). The Days of Alkibiades. E. Arnold.
  • Romilly de, Jacqueline (1997). Alcibiade, ou, Les Dangers de l'Ambition (in French). LGF. ISBN 978-2-253-14196-9.
  • Stuttard, David (2018). Nemesis: Alcibiades and the Fall of Athens. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674660441.
  • Sutcliff, Rosemary (1971). Flowers of Adonis. Hodder & Stoughton Ltd. ISBN 978-0-340-15090-0.
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