By David Gribble

Alcibiades (c. 450-404 BC)--general, statesman, followed son of Pericles, lover of Socrates, profaner of the Mysteries-- was once known as via a few the saviour of Athens and by way of others its maximum enemy. This booklet is a learn of the explosive mix of worry and fascination he excited in his contemporaries and in classical texts. It examines the intense rigidity among the classical urban and the person of superlative energy, prestige, and ambition.

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Extra resources for Alcibiades and Athens: A Study in Literary Presentation (Oxford Classical Monographs)

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Cf. Bruns (: –). 17 Frags. in FGH , –. 18 See Connor (); Lane Fox (). 19 See Connor (: –). 20 Schmitt-Pantel (: –). 21 Alcibiades’ speaking ability is praised by Demosthenes (. ), Theophrastus (frag.  Wehrli), and even by his enemy the speaker of Lys. . . 14 15 Élite Individual and Democratic City  tions of political life. 22 Even today, ancient historians find it difficult to locate Alcibiades in their models of fifth-century political development:23 his impeccable aristocratic birth and use of traditional aristocratic forms of display like horse-rearing seem to set him apart from a generation of ‘new politicians’ relying on a more direct, more democratic popular appeal.

24 Lane Fox (: ). 22 23  Élite Individual and Democratic City imitate their habits, that the Persians themselves greatly admired the way he mastered them. As a result, whatever peoples he was among, Alcibiades was able to see to it that he achieved a leading role and was held in great affection. (Nepos, Alc. ) Apart from the specific negative points (the ‘barbarian’ pursuit of pleasure in wine, sex, and luxury) the direction of such an analysis in Theopompus (if he is Nepos’ source for this topos) can hardly have been favourable.

The context is Achilles’ rejection of Odysseus’ supplication to accept Agamemnon’s gifts and rejoin the fighting, and the barb is primarily aimed at Odysseus. 77 Cf. Cic. de Offic. . . , . 78 Cf. Mason (), who associates this distrust of deceit with a ‘Stoic’ ideal of the city. 79 Ath. . b; Nepos, Alc. ; Plut. Alc. . , Mor. e; Aelian, VH . .  Introduction slightly back from the urgent question of Alcibiades’ position in the city characteristic of rhetoric, towards the wider concerns of history and philosophy.

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