He was a student and perhaps a lover of Socrates, and he was one of the youths that Socrates' accusers used as an example of his corrupting young men. According to Plutarch, who is however criticized for using "implausible or unreliable stories" in order to construct Alcibiades's portrait. Cartwright, Mark. Alcibiades's troops, leading the Athenian pursuit, landed and attempted to pull the Spartan ships back out to sea. In a typically bold gesture he led the procession to the Eleusinian festival by road in spite of the danger from the Spartan force at Decelea; but, in the same year, after a minor naval defeat in his absence, his political enemies persuaded the people to reject him, and he retired to a castle in Thrace. Cartwright, Mark. 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.". Upon arriving on shore he was greeted with a hero's welcome. In 424 BC, he returned the favour by guarding the other man at the Battle of Delium. His advice, whether to Athens or Sparta, oligarchs or democrats, was dictated by selfish motives, and the Athenians could never trust him enough to take advantage of his talents. His special interests include pottery, architecture, world mythology and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share in common. Going against the actions of Nicias, who had brokered the peace, he led Athens towards an anti-Spartan alliance with three city-states of the Peloponnese: Argos, Elis, and Mantineia. Ancient History Encyclopedia. He vehemently demanded aggressive Athenian measures after the Peace of Nicias was signed. According to Plutarch, some say that Alcibiades himself provoked his death, because he had seduced a girl belonging to a well-known family. By order of the Spartans, Solon’s laws were set aside, and thirty men were chosen to govern the city. The family prided themselves for being the descendants of Eurysaces and the Telamonian Ajax. Samian democrats learned of the conspiracy and … Never short of enemies or admirers - amongst whom was Socrates - he was one of the most colourful leaders in the history of Classical Athens.

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. Only the support of the Persian land army and the coming of night saved the Peloponnesian fleet from complete destruction. During the course of the Peloponnesian War, Alcibiades changed his political allegiance several times. [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. [159] Kagan criticizes Alcibiades for failing to recognize that the large size of the Athenian expedition undermined the diplomatic scheme on which his strategy rested. In Sparta, he served as a strategic adviser, proposing or supervising several major campaigns against Athens. At the instigation of the Spartan commander Lysander (?- 395 BCE) and with the approval of the Thirty Tyrants in Athens, Alcibiades is murdered in the Phrygian town of Melissa. We know not what to do".

[88][90] 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.

He subsequently embarked on the second self-imposed exile of his life and spent some time at a castle in Thrace. "[168] In his trial, Socrates must rebut the attempt to hold him guilty for the crimes of his former students, including Alcibiades. [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. 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. Evidently Alcibiades had gravely misjudged his standing with the satrap, and he was arrested on arrival. [139] 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). Between 411 and 408 BC, he played a vital role in securing victories against the Spartan fleet in the Hellespont at Abydos (411 BC) and Cyzicus (410 BC). Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. 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. As he grew up, Alcibiades was strikingly handsome and keen witted, but he was extravagant, irresponsible, and self-centred as well. He told the Spartans to deploy a general to aid the Syracusans and secure Decelea in Attica by constructing a permanent fort there. "Alcibiades." In addition, according to popular opinion, the attacks on the hermai were somehow connected to an attack on the democratic system of Athens. 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. 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. When some Athenian officers in the fleet began to plan an oligarchic coup, he held out hopes that if the democracy was overthrown he could secure financial support from Persia. [172], Alcibiades is a character in Giannina Braschi's postcolonial novel United States of Banana, the final section of which is composed of Socratic dialogues and features Parmenides, Diotima, and Laches.

[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.

Despite not being present during the battle, Alcibiades was found responsible for the defeat, and his political enemies convinced the people to remove him. [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. [81] Plutarch claims that the army sent for Alcibiades so as to use his help in putting down the tyrants in Athens. 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. [132], In ancient Greece, Alcibiades was a polarizing figure. C. 420 BCE Alcibiades was made a general or strategos (at the minimum age of 30) and therefore became a member of the strategoi, the influential military council in Athens which could propose items for the agenda of the assembly. [109] 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. He advised caution to the increasingly reckless Athenians in the days leading up to the Battle of Aegospotami.

Alcibiades, waking up suddenly, tried to escape with his household; but no sooner had he reached the door than he found himself surrounded by enemies. The Persians, frightened at his approach, fled in haste; but they came to a stop at a safe distance, and flung so many stones and spears at him that he soon fell dead from the blows. [35], 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. [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. Pisander won the argument, putting Alcibiades and his promises at the center. Whilst occupied there, Alcibiades left Antiochos in charge of the fleet at Samos.