By P. J. Rhodes
Alcibiades is without doubt one of the most famed (or notorious) characters of Classical Greece. a tender Athenian aristocrat, he got here to prominence through the Peloponnesian battle (429-404 BC) among Sparta and Athens. Flamboyant, charismatic (and wealthy), this shut affiliate of Socrates persuaded the Athenians to try to face as much as the Spartans on land as a part of an alliance he used to be instrumental in bringing jointly. even supposing this resulted in defeat on the conflict of Mantinea in 418 BC, his status remained excessive. He used to be additionally a major mover in Athens' subsequent great strategic gambit, the Sicilian excursion of 415 BC, for which he used to be elected as one of many leaders. almost immediately after arrival in Sicily, although, he was once recalled to stand fees of sacrilege allegedly dedicated in the course of his pre-expedition reveling. leaping send at the go back trip, he defected to the Spartans. Alcibiades quickly ingratiated himself with the Spartans, encouraging them to assist the Sicilians (ultimately leading to the utter destruction of the Athenian excursion) and to maintain year-round strain at the Athenians. He then turns out to have overstepped the boundaries of hospitality through napping with the Spartan queen and was once quickly at the run back. He then performed a devious and unsafe online game of transferring loyalties among Sparta, Athens and Persia. He had a hand in engineering the overthrow of democracy at Athens in prefer of an oligarchy, which allowed him to come from exile, even though he then antagonistic the increasingly-extreme excesses of that regime. For a time he appeared to have restored Athens' fortunes within the warfare, yet went into exile back after being held accountable for the defeat of 1 of his subordinates in a naval conflict. This time he took shelter with the Persians, yet as they have been now allied to the Spartans, the cuckolded King Agis of Sparta was once in a position to manage his assassination through Persian brokers. there was no complete size biography of this colourful and critical personality for 20 years. Professor Rhodes brings the authority of an across the world well-known specialist within the box, making sure that this can be a really major addition to the literature on Classical Greece.
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Extra resources for Alcibiades
About the age of sixteen a boy was again presented to his father’s phratry, and through the koureotis (‘hair-cutting’) was formally admitted to membership of it. Finally, after reaching the age of eighteen, in Alcibiades’ case in 432, he was registered as a member of his deme, the act by which he was formally accepted as an adult citizen, eligible to attend the assembly and to fight in the army. We do not know at what age Alcibiades may have started associating with Socrates (see plate 3) and other sophists, but he was already intimate with Socrates when he served in the army in 432/1 (below).
About 457, in the course of the aggressive policy in mainland Greece which it had adopted, Athens gained control of Boeotia, the region immediately to the north of Attica, in which the strongest of several cities was Thebes. By the late 450s that policy had run out of steam, and in 447 a series of events which was to result in the loss of most of Athens’ mainland acquisitions began with a rising in Boeotia. The Athenians sent an army commanded by Tolmides, which captured Chaeronea, in the northwest of Boeotia, but was then defeated at Coronea, further south.
Athens had been ruled by tyrants from c. 9 This structure henceforth formed the basis of many aspects of the Athenians’ civic life, and in particular the council of five hundred which prepared the assembly’s business was recruited from all the demes in proportion to their size. The result was to unify the citizen community as a whole, by cutting across old loyalties (though older associations were not abolished), and by requiring large-scale participation at local as well as at city level it made the Athenians accustomed to political activity.
Alcibiades by P. J. Rhodes