Alcibiades, son of Cleinias, from the deme of Scambonidae
(/ˌælsɪˈbaɪ.ədiːz/; Greek: Ἀλκιβιάδης
Κλεινίου Σκαμβωνίδης, transliterated Alkibiádēs
Kleiníou Skambōnídēs; c. 450–404 BC), was a prominent Athenian
statesman, orator, and general. He was the last famous member of his
mother's aristocratic family, 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, but he fled to
Sparta after his
political enemies brought charges of sacrilege against him. In Sparta,
he served as a strategic adviser, proposing or supervising several
major campaigns against Athens. In
Sparta too, however, Alcibiades
soon made powerful enemies and felt forced to defect to Persia. There
he served as an adviser to the satrap
Tissaphernes until his Athenian
political allies brought about his recall. He then served as an
Athenian general (Strategos) for several years, but his enemies
eventually succeeded in exiling him a second time.
Alcibiades was a leading supporter of the Sicilian Expedition, and
scholars have argued that, had that expedition been under Alcibiades's
command instead of that of Nicias, the expedition might not have met
its eventual disastrous fate. In the years when he served Sparta,
Alcibiades played a significant role in Athens's undoing; the capture
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. 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 which he had
helped to rekindle in the early 410s, his days of political relevance
were a bygone memory.
1 Early years
2 Political career until 412 BC
2.1 Rise to prominence
2.2 Sicilian Expedition
2.3 Defection to Sparta
2.4 Defection to Persian Empire in Asia Minor
3 Recall to Athens
3.1 Negotiations with the Athenian oligarchs
3.2 Reinstatement as an Athenian General
3.3 Battles of Abydos and Cyzicus
3.4 Further military successes
4 Return to Athens, dismissal, and death
4.1 Return to Athens
4.2 Defeat at Notium
5.1 Political career
5.2 Military achievements
5.3 Skill in oratory
6 References in comedy, philosophy, art and literature
9.1 Primary sources
9.2 Secondary sources
10 Further reading
11 External links
Alcibiades from the Embrace
of Sensual Pleasure (1791)
Alcibiades was born in Athens. His father was Cleinias, who had
distinguished himself in the Persian War both as a fighter himself and
by personally subsidizing the cost of a trireme. The family of
Cleinias had old connections with the Spartan aristocracy through a
relationship of xenia, and the name "Alcibiades" was of Spartan
origin. 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. Alcibiades
thereby, through his mother, belonged to the powerful and
controversial family of the Alcmaeonidae; the renowned
his brother Ariphron were Deinomache's cousins, as her father and
their mother were siblings. His maternal grandfather, also named
Alcibiades, was a friend of Cleisthenes, the famous constitutional
reformer of the late 6th century BC. After the death of
the Battle of Coronea (447 BC),
Pericles and Ariphron became his
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
Alcibiades as a student because he
believed he could change
Alcibiades from his vain ways. Xenophon
attempted to clear Socrates' name at trial by relaying information
Alcibiades was always corrupt and that
Socrates merely failed in
attempting to teach him morality.
Alcibiades in the House of
Alcibiades took part in the
Battle of Potidaea in 432 BC, where
Socrates was said to have saved his life and again at the Battle
of Delium in 424 BC.c[›]
Alcibiades had a particularly close
relationship with Socrates, whom he admired and respected.
According to Plutarch,
Alcibiades "feared and reverenced Socrates
alone, and despised the rest of his lovers".
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. 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. She lived with him until her
death, which came soon after, and gave birth to two children, a
daughter and a son,
Alcibiades the Younger.
Alcibiades was famed
throughout his life for his physical attractiveness, of which he was
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
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
Alcibiades was offended that the Spartans had
negotiated that treaty through
Nicias and Laches, overlooking him on
account of his youth.
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
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. He urged them to
renounce their diplomatic authority to represent Sparta, and instead
allow him to assist them through his influence in Athenian
politics. The representatives agreed and, impressed with
Alcibiades, they alienated themselves from Nicias, who genuinely
wanted to reach an agreement with the Spartans. The next day,
during the Assembly,
Alcibiades asked them what powers
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
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". This alliance,
however, would ultimately be defeated at the Battle of Mantinea.
Somewhere in the years 416–415 BC, a complex struggle took place
Hyperbolos on one side and
Alcibiades on the other.
Hyperbolos tried to bring about the ostracism of one of this pair, but
Alcibiades combined their influence to induce the people to
Hyperbolos instead. This incident reveals that
Alcibiades each commanded a personal following, whose votes were
determined by the wishes of the leaders.
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. 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.
Roman copy of a late fifth-century BC Athenian herma. Vandalizing
hermai was one of the crimes of which
Alcibiades was accused.
Further information: Sicilian Expedition
In 415 BC, delegates from the Sicilian city of
Segesta (Greek: Egesta)
Athens to plead for the support of the Athenians in their
war against Selinus. During the debates on the undertaking,
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. 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.
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.
It was at his suggestion that the size of the fleet was significantly
increased from 60 ships to "140 galleys, 5,100 men at arms, and
about 1300 archers, slingers, and light armed men". 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. Against his wishes
appointed General along with
Alcibiades and Lamachus, all three of
whom were given full powers to do whatever was in the best interests
Athens while in Sicily.
One night during preparations for the expedition, the hermai, heads of
Hermes on a plinth with a phallus, were mutilated throughout
Athens. This was a religious scandal and was seen as a bad omen for
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. This request was denied, and the fleet set sail soon after,
with the charges unresolved.
"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[dead
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. According to Thucydides, the Athenians were always
in fear and took everything suspiciously. When the fleet arrived
in Catana, it found the state trireme Salaminia waiting to bring
Alcibiades and the others indicted for mutilating the hermai or
Eleusinian Mysteries back to
Athens to stand trial.
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. 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. With the death of
Lamachus in battle some time later,
command of the
Sicilian Expedition fell into the hands of Nicias, whom
modern scholars have judged to be an inadequate military leader.
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. 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. In the debate
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. 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. After making the
threat seem imminent,
Alcibiades advised the Spartans to send troops
and most importantly, a Spartan commander to discipline and aid the
"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
Alcibiades' Speech to the Spartans, as recorded by
Thucydides disclaims verbal accuracy[dead link]d[›].
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. By doing this, the Spartans
cut the Athenians off entirely from their homes and crops and the
silver mines of Sunium. 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.
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. Leotychides, the son born by Agis's
wife Timaia shortly after this, was believed by many to be
Alcibiades's son. Alcibiades's influence was further reduced
after the retirement of Endius, the ephor who was on good terms with
him. It is alleged that Astiochus, 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.
Defection to Persian Empire in Asia Minor
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.
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
Alcibiades tried to convince the satrap that it was in
Persia's interest to wear both
Sparta out at first, "and
after docking the Athenian power as much as he could, forthwith to rid
the country of the Peloponnesians". 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.
Recall to Athens
Negotiations with the Athenian oligarchs
Alcibiades seemed to assume that the "radical democracy" would never
agree to his recall to Athens. 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
bring with him Persian money and possibly the Persian fleet of 147
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
Alcibiades cared no more for the proposed oligarchy than for the
traditional democracy. 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". The members of the group
assembled and prepared to send Pisander, one of their number, on an
Athens to treat for the restoration of
Alcibiades and the
abolition of the democracy in the city, and thus to make Tissaphernes
the friend of the Athenians.
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
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. 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.
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.
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.
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. As Kagan points out, Tissaphernes
was a prudent leader and had recognized the advantages of wearing each
side out without direct Persian involvement.
this and, by presenting the Athenians with stiffer and stiffer demands
on Tissaphernes's behalf, attempted to convince them that he had
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. This fiasco at the court of Tissaphernes,
however, put an end to the negotiations between the conspirators and
Alcibiades. 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.
Reinstatement as an Athenian General
See also: Athenian coup of 411 BC
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. Further, the Athenian troops at
Samos formed themselves
into a political assembly, deposed their generals, and elected new
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.
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
Plutarch claims that the army sent for
Alcibiades so as to use his help in putting down the tyrants in
Athens. Kagan argues that this reinstatement was a disappointment
to Alcibiades, who had hoped for a glorious return to
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
Alcibiades had hoped to bring about through his own
prestige and perceived influence, was achieved through the patronage
At his first speech to the assembled troops,
bitterly about the circumstances of his exile, but the greatest part
of the speech consisted of boasting about his influence with
Tissaphernes. The primary motives of his speech were to make the
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. 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. 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
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
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,
Thucydides further speculates that the real reason was to flaunt
his new position to
Tissaphernes and try to gain some real influence
over him. According to the historian,
Alcibiades had long known
Tissaphernes never meant to bring the fleet at all.
Battles of Abydos and Cyzicus
For more details on this topic, see
Battle of Abydos and Battle of
The Athenian strategy at Cyzicus. Left: Alcibiades's decoy force
(blue) lures the Spartan fleet (black) out to sea. Right: Thrasybulus
Theramenes bring their squadrons in behind the Spartans to cut off
their retreat towards Cyzicus, while
Alcibiades turns to face the
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
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. While this was certainly his
goal, it was again a means to an end, that end being avoiding
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
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. 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.
Alcibiades was still en route, 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
eighteen triremes. The Persian satrap Pharnabazus, who had
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
Shortly after the battle,
Tissaphernes had arrived in the Hellespont
Alcibiades left the fleet at
Sestos to meet him, bringing gifts
and hoping to once again try to win over the Persian governor.
Alcibiades had gravely misjudged his standing with the
satrap, and he was arrested on arrival. Within a month he would
escape and resume command. 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.
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
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. Here the
Athenians devised a plot to draw the enemy into battle. According to
Alcibiades advanced with a small squadron in order
to draw the Spartans out to battle, and, after he successfully
Mindarus with this ploy, the squadrons of
Theramenes came to join him, cutting off the Spartans'
The Spartan fleet suffered losses in the flight and reached the shore
with the Athenians in close pursuit. Alcibiades's 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
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. 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". A short
Sparta petitioned for peace, but their appeals were
ultimately rejected by the Athenians.
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
After their victory,
Thrasybulus began the siege of
Chalcedon in 409 BC with about 190 ships. 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
Theramenes concluded an agreement with the Chalcedonians.
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 and imposed strict
discipline to see that they were observed. He did their city no injury
whatsoever, but merely took a sum of money from it, set a garrison in
it and left. Epigraphical evidence indicates the Selymbrians
surrendered hostages until the treaty was ratified in Athens. His
performance is judged as skillful by historians, since it saved time,
resources, and lives and still fully achieved his goal.
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.
Return to Athens, dismissal, and death
Return to Athens
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.
His inquiries assured him that the city was kindly disposed towards
him and that his closest friends urged him to return.
Therefore, he finally sailed into
Piraeus where the crowd had
gathered, desiring to see the famous Alcibiades. He entered the
harbor full of fear till 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. 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. 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
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
Eleusis (for the celebration of the Eleusinian
Mysteries) by land for the first time since the Spartans had occupied
Decelea. The procession had been replaced by a journey by sea, but
Alcibiades used a detachment of soldiers to escort the
traditional procession. His property was restored and the ecclesia
elected him supreme commander of land and sea (strategos
Defeat at Notium
Further information: Battle of 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. In the
Tissaphernes had been replaced by
Cyrus the Younger
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,
Notium and sailed to help
Thrasybulus in the siege of
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.
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
Lysander gained an entire victory.
returned and desperately tried to undo the defeat at
Notium by scoring
another victory, but
Lysander could not be compelled to attack the
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
unfairly blamed for Antiochus's mistake.
Diodorus reports that,
in addition to his mistake at Notium,
Alcibiades was discharged on
account of false accusations brought against him by his enemies.
According to Anthony Andrewes, professor of ancient history, the
extravagant hopes that his successes of the previous summer had
created were a decisive element in his downfall. Consequently,
Alcibiades condemned himself to exile. 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
also his allies like Thrasybulus,
Theramenes and Critias. 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.
Michele de Napoli
Michele de Napoli (1808–1892): Death of
Alcibiades (c. 1839), Naples
National Archaeological Museum
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,
Alcibiades recognized that the Athenians were
anchored in a tactically disadvantageous spot and advised them to move
Sestus where they could benefit from a harbor and a city.
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.
Days later the fleet would be annihilated by Lysander.
After the Battle of Aegospotami,
Alcibiades crossed the
took refuge in Phrygia, with the object of securing the aid of
Artaxerxes against Sparta.
Much about Alcibiades's death is now uncertain, as there are
conflicting accounts. According to the oldest of these, the Spartans
Lysander were responsible. Though many of his
details cannot be independently corroborated, Plutarch's version is
Lysander sent an envoy to Pharnabazus who then dispatched his
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. According to Aristotle, the site of
Alcibiades's death was Elaphus, a mountain in Phrygia.
Epitaph for Ipparetea, daughter of
Alcibiades (Kerameikos Cemetery,
In ancient Greece,
Alcibiades was a polarizing figure. According to
Thucydides, Alcibiades, being "exceedingly ambitious", proposed the
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". Plutarch
regards him as "the least scrupulous and most entirely careless of
human beings". On the other hand,
Diodorus argues that he was "in
spirit brilliant and intent upon great enterprises". Sharon Press
Brown University points out that
Xenophon emphasizes Alcibiades's
service to the state, rather than the harm he was charged with causing
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
Demosthenes and other orators,
the figure of the great man during the glorious days of the Athenian
democracy and became a rhetorical symbol. One of Isocrates'
speeches, delivered by
Alcibiades the Younger, argues that the
statesman deserved the Athenians' gratitude for the service he had
given them. 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". 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
"equanimity amid the vicissitudes of life and impatience of
Alcibiades excited in his contemporaries a fear
for the safety of the political order. Therefore,
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". 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".
Alcibiades divides scholars. For Malcolm F. McGregor,
former head of the Department of Classics in the University of British
Alcibiades was rather a shrewd gambler than a mere
opportunist. 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. 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". Walter
Ellis believes that his actions were outrageous, but they were
performed with panache. 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". 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". 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". Writing from a
different perspective, psychologist Anna C. Salter cites
exhibiting "all the classic features of psychopathy." A similar
assessment is made by
Hervey Cleckley at the end of chapter 5 in his
The Mask of Sanity
The Mask of Sanity .
Pietro Testa: The Drunken
Alcibiades Interrupting the Symposium (1648)
Félix Auvray (1800–1833):
Alcibiades with the Courtesans (1833)
Despite his critical comments,
Thucydides admits in a short digression
that "publicly his conduct of the war was as good as could be
Demosthenes regard him as a great
general. 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
Athens would have ruled Greece. On the other hand,
Paparrigopoulos believes that the Sicilian Expedition, prompted by
Alcibiades, was a strategic mistake. 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". For his part, Angelos Vlachos, a
Greek Academician, underlines the constant interest of
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. Vlachos asserts that
Alcibiades had already
conceived a broader plan: the conquest of the whole West. He
intended to conquer
Carthage and Libya, then to attack
after winning these, to seize
Italy and Peloponnesus. 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. Kagan criticizes
Alcibiades for failing to
recognize that the large size of the Athenian expedition undermined
the diplomatic scheme on which his strategy rested.
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
Cyzicus must be assigned to Thrasybulus. 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.
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
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. Even the lisp he had, which was noticed by
Aristophanes, made his talk persuasive and full of charm.
Eupolis says that he was "prince of talkers, but in speaking most
incapable"; 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". Paparrigopoulos does not accept
Demosthenes's opinion, but acknowledges that the Athenian statesman
could sufficiently support his case. 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. 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". According to Aristophanes, Athens
"yearns for him, and hates him too, but wants him back".
References in comedy, philosophy, art and literature
An engraving by Agostino Veneziano, reflecting a
Renaissance view of
Alcibiades has not been spared by ancient comedy and stories attest to
an epic confrontation between
Eupolis resembling that
Aristophanes and Cleon. 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." In his trial,
Socrates must rebut the
attempt to hold him guilty for the crimes of his former students,
including Alcibiades. Hence, he declares in Apology: "I have
never been anyone's teacher".
Long after his death,
Alcibiades continues to appear in art, both in
Renaissance works, and in several significant works of
modern literature as well. He still fascinates the modern world,
doing so most notably as the main character in historical novels of
authors like Anna Bowman Dodd, Gertrude Atherton, Rosemary Sutcliff,
Steven Pressfield and Peter Green.
Alcibiades is a major character in Paul Levinson's The Plot to Save
Socrates, whose plot assumes that
Alcibiades did not die when history
records, but lived on secretly and had many further adventures.
Timeline of Alcibiades' life (c. 450–404 BC)
Isocrates asserts that
Alcibiades was never a pupil of
Socrates. Thus he does not agree with Plutarch's narration.
According to Isocrates, the purpose of this tradition was to accuse
Socrates. The rhetorician makes
Alcibiades wholly the pupil of
^ b: According to Plutarch, who is however criticized for
using "implausible or unreliable stories" in order to construct
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?".
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
Hipponicus not only pardoned him but also bestowed upon him
the hand of his daughter. 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".
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."
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". Nonetheless,
Antisthenes insists that
Alcibiades at the Battle of
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."
^ e: 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. 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.
^ f: 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, Jean
Hatzfeld remarks that Diodorus's accounts contain many interesting and
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". B. Perrin regards
Xenophon's testimony as impeachable and prefers Diodorus's
account. 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".
^ h: According to Plutarch, some say that
provoked his death, because he had seduced a girl belonging to a
well-known family. 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. According to
Isocrates, when the Thirty Tyrants established their rule, all Greece
became unsafe for Alcibiades.
^ i: Since the beginning of the war, the Athenians had
already initiated two expeditions and sent a delegation to
Plutarch underscores that "on
Sicily the Athenians had
cast longing eyes even while
Pericles was living".
^ a b A. Vlachos, Thucydides' Bias, 59 &c.
^ a b c P.B. Kern, Ancient
Siege Warfare, 151.
^ a b c Smith, William (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography
and mythology. vol. 1. London: James Walton. p. 99.
Alcibiades 1, 121a.
^ C.A. Cox, Household Interests, 144.
^ a b c "Alcibiades". Encyclopaedic Dictionary The Helios. 1952.
^ N. Denyer, Commentary of Plato's Alcibiades, 88–89.
^ Plato, Symposium, 220e.
^ I. Sykoutris, Introduction to Symposium, 159–10.
^ Plato, Symposium, 215a–22b.
^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 6.
^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 8.
^ Thucydides, "The History of the Peloponnesian Wars", 5.43.
^ A.W. Gomme, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides, 339.
^ a b R. Sealey, A History of the Greek City States, 353.
^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 14.
^ Thucydides, V, 45.
^ A.W. Gomme, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides, 70.
^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 15.
^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 13.
^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, XVI.
^ Andocides, Against Alcibiades, 22.
^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 19.
^ a b Platias-Koliopoulos,
Thucydides on Strategy, 237–46.
^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 322
Thucydides History of the
Peloponnesian War VII 8
^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 20.
^ L. Strauss, The City and Man, 104.
^ Thucydides, 6.26.
^ Thucydides, 6.29.
^ Thucydides, 6.61.
^ a b Thucydides, 6.53.
^ D. Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 273
^ Thucydides, 6.74
^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 23.
^ Bury, J. B.; Meiggs, Russell (1956). A history of Greece to the
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great (3 ed.). London: Macmillan.
^ Smith, William (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and
mythology. London: James Walton. p. 100.
^ a b Thucydides, 6.89–90.
^ a b D. Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 282–83.
^ Thucydides, 7.18.
^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 24.
^ Thucydides, 8.26.
^ a b "Alcibiades". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2002.
^ Plutarch, Lysander, 22.
^ Plutarch, Agesilaus, III.
^ P.J. Rhodes, A History of the Classical Greek World, 144.
^ a b Thucydides, 8.45
^ Thucydides, 8.46
^ Thucydides, 8.47
^ T. Buckley, Aspects of Greek History, 411.
^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 25.
^ R. Sealey, A History of the Greek City States, 359.
^ Thucydides, 8.48.
^ Thucydides, 8.49.
^ Thucydides, 8.50.
^ Thucydides, 8.51.
^ Thucydides, 8.53.
^ a b D. Kagan, The Fall of the Athenian Empire, 136–38.
^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 366.
^ a b Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, 8.56.
^ Thucydides, 8.73.
^ Thucydides, 8.76.
^ Thucydides, 8.81.
^ a b c Plutarch, Alcibiades, 26.
^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 389.
^ a b Thucydides, 8.82.
^ Thucydides, 8.97.
^ Thucydides, 8.88.
^ Cartwright-Warner, A Historical Commentary on Thucydides, 301.
^ a b c Plutarch, Alcibiades, 27.
^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 406.
^ Xenophon, Hellenica, 1.1.5.
^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 408
^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 28.
^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 410.
^ Diodorus, XIII, 50–51.
^ a b Xenophon, Hellenica, 1.1.17–23.
^ a b c Diodorus, Library, xiii, 74.4
^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 410–13.
^ Diodorus, Library, 52–53.
^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 429
^ a b Diodorus, Library, xiii, 67.1
^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 30
^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 410
^ Xenophon, Hellenica, 1, 4, 8–12.
^ B. Due, The Return of Alcibiades, 39
^ Xenophon, Hellenica, 1, 4, 13.
^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 32.
^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 34.
^ D Kagan, The Fall of the Athenian Empire, 290.
^ S. Price, Religions of the Ancient Greeks, 54
^ Xenophon, Hellenica, 1, 4, 18
^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 33
^ a b A. Andrewes, The Spartan Resurgence, 490
^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 443
^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 444
^ For the accepted account of the battle see Plutarch, Alcibiades, 35
or the Hellenica Oxyrhynchia, 4.
^ G. Cawkwell,
Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War, 143
^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 447
^ a b B. Perrin, The Death of
Alcibiades , 25–37.
^ a b Xenophon, Hellenica, 2.1.25.
^ a b Diodorus, Library, xiii, 105.
^ One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text
from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.
(1911). "Alcibiades". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.).
Cambridge University Press. p. 522.
^ Isocrates, Concerning the Team of Horses, 16.40
^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 39.
^ 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.
^ a b Thucydides, VI, 15.
^ Plutarch, The Comparison of
Alcibiades with Coriolanus, 5
^ a b Diodorus, Library, xiii, 68.5.
^ a b S. Press, Was
Alcibiades a Good General?
^ Xenophon, Hellenica, 1.4. 18.
^ a b c Demosthenes, Against Meidias, 144–45[permanent dead link].
^ a b D. Gribble,
Alcibiades and Athens, 32–33.
^ Isocrates, Concerning the Team of Horses, 15.
^ Lysias, Against
Alcibiades 1, 1.
^ Lysias, Against
Alcibiades 2, 10.
^ Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 28.
^ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, ii, 13.
^ D. Gribble,
Alcibiades and Athens, 41.
^ Andocides, Against Alcibiades, 19.
^ Cornelius Nepos, Alcibiades, XI.
^ M.F. McGregor, The Genius of Alkibiades, 27–50.
^ a b Κ. Paparrigopoulos, History of the Greek Nation, Αβ,
^ W. Ellis, Alcibiades, 18.
^ D. Gribble,
Alcibiades and Athens, 55 &c.
^ A.G. Platias and C. Koliopoulos,
Thucydides on Strategy, 240.
^ Anna C. Salter, Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex
Offenders,Basic Books, 2005,pg. 128.
^ 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)
^ Κ. Paparrigopoulos, History of the Greek Nation, Αβ, 272.
^ A. Vlachos, Thucydides' Bias, 206.
^ a b A. Vlachos, Thucydides' Bias, 202–03.
^ a b Plutarch, Alcibiades, 17.
^ a b D. Kagan, The Fall of the Athenian Empire, 419–20.
^ Cornelius Nepos, Alcibiades, VII.
^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 10.
^ Aristophanes, Wasps, 44.
^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 1.
^ D. Kagan, The Fall of the Athenian Empire, 178.
^ a b T. Habinek, Ancient
Rhetoric and Oratory, 23–24.
^ Aristophanes, Frogs, 1425.
^ E. Corrigan, Plato's Dialectic at Play, 169; C. Kahn, "
Socratic Eros", 90.
^ G.A. Scott, Plato's
Socrates as Educator, 19
^ Plato, Apology, 33a
^ N. Endres,
Alcibiades Archived 2006-10-20 at the Wayback Machine.
^ T.T.B. Ryder, Alcibiades, 32
^ Isocrates, Busiris, 5.
^ a b c Plutarch, Alcibiades, 7.
^ Y. Lee Too, The
Rhetoric of Identity in Isocrates, 216.
^ D. Gribble,
Alcibiades and Athens, 30.
^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 12.
^ Andocides, Against Alcibiades, 20.
^ Plato, Symposium, 221a.
^ I. Sykoutris, Symposium of
Plato (Comments), 225.
^ Thucydides, 1.22.
^ Donald Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 385.
^ R.J. Buck,
Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy, 27–28.
^ R.J. Littman, The Strategy of the Battle of Cyzicus, 271.
^ J. Hatzfeld, Alcibiade, 271
^ Plutarch, Alcibiades, 36.
^ Plutarch, Comparison with Coriolanus, 2
^ A. Wolpert, Remembering Defeat, 5.
^ H.T. Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities and W. Smith,
New Classical Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography, 39.
^ Isocrates, Concerning the Team of Horses, 40.
^ A. Vlachos, Thucydides' Bias, 204.
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alcibiades.
Alcibiades was an Athenian general in the Peloponnesian War".
"Alcibiades". Endres, Nikolai. Archived from the original on 5
September 2006. Retrieved 22 September 2006.
"Alcibiades: Aristocratic Ideal or Antisocial Personality Disorder".
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Retrieved 5 August 2006.
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on 31 August 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2006.
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Archived from the original on 2008-02-22. Retrieved 5 August
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Texts and analyses
"Good Man, Bad Man, Traitor: Aspects of Alcibiades". Arcan, Gabriela.
Archived from the original on 11 September 2006. Retrieved 5 August
Thucydides and Civil War: the Case of Alcibiades". Faulkner, Robert.
Archived from the original on July 5, 2007. Retrieved 5 August
"Survie d'un lion: Alcibiade". Loicq-Berger, Marie-Paule. Archived
from the original on 27 August 2006. Retrieved 22 September
Alcibiades and the Sicilian Expedition". Rubio, Alexander G.
Retrieved 5 August 2006.
"Plato, Thucydides, and Alcibiades". Syse, Henrik. Archived from the
original on July 5, 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2006.
"Alcibiades, Athens, and the Human Condition in Thucydides' History".
Warren, Brian. Archived from the original on 19 August 2006. Retrieved
5 August 2006.
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