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By David Gribble

Alcibiades (c. 450-404 BC)--general, statesman, followed son of Pericles, lover of Socrates, profaner of the Mysteries-- used to be referred to as by way of a few the saviour of Athens and via others its maximum enemy. This e-book is a examine 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 strength, prestige, and ambition.

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37 If this were true, it would constitute the longest surviving Hellenistic treatment of the bios of Alcibiades, and indeed of any fifth-century political figure. Unfortunately, however, Wilamowitz probably overestimated the extent of the quotation 34 In fact there are two slightly different concepts at work here: on the one hand the man who combines great deeds with enervating luxury, and on the other the kolax, who adapts his behaviour to please or win over others (cf. Russell : ). 35 Russell (: –).

According to a later tradition, Alcibiades was so incensed by his treatment in comedy that he initiated a decree banning comic poets from mentioning individuals by name: see Halliwell (: –). For the theory that Alcibiades is covertly represented in certain comedies and tragedies, see the essays of Michael Vickers, now collected in Vickers (). –A. to Eupolis’ Baptae; and in Eupolis’ Kolakes, testimonium viii and frag. –A. 9 Cf. Xen. HG . . ; Momigliano (: –). Élite Individual and Democratic City  to the community, but at the same time one whose birth and supreme public achievement to a certain extent justify his claim to a position of superiority in the city.

Introduction  The key to the interest of the Socratics (most of whose treatments of Alcibiades are lost) in Alcibiades was of course his connection with Socrates. As I argue in Chapter , exploiting this connection in their dialogues enabled the Socratics to give their philosophy an authentic political context, by linking it to the debates about the experience of the fifth century and the position of the great individual in the city with which Alcibiades’ name was associated. The allegation that Socrates corrupted Alcibiades, the charge made by society against philosophy, is not just refuted but turned on its head: it is society which corrupts Alcibiades and others like him, while the philosopher mounts a rearguard action to direct the power of the great individual in a beneficial direction, through philosophy.

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