Plutarch Life of Alcibiades


Plutarch, Life of Alcibiades, 10-16

Cover

10

Greek

[1] πρώτην δ᾽ αὐτῷ πάροδον εἰς τὸ δημόσιον γενέσθαι λέγουσι μετὰ χρημάτων ἐπιδόσεως, οὐκ ἐκ παρασκευῆς, ἀλλὰ παριόντα θορυβούντων Ἀθηναίων ἐρέσθαι τὴν αἰτίαν τοῦ θορύβου, πυθόμενον δὲ χρημάτων ἐπίδοσιν γίνεσθαι παρελθεῖν καὶ ἐπιδοῦναι: τοῦ δὲ δήμου κροτοῦντος καὶ βοῶντος ὑφ᾽ ἡδονῆς, ἐπιλαθέσθαι τοῦ ὄρτυγος ὃν ἐτύγχανεν ἔχων ἐν τῷ ἱματίῳ: πτοηθέντος οὖν καὶ διαφυγόντος ἔτι μᾶλλον ἐκβοῆσαι τοὺς Ἀθηναίους, πολλοὺς δὲ συνθηρᾶν ἀναστάντας, λαβεῖν δ᾽ αὐτὸν Ἀντίοχον τὸν κυβερνήτην καὶ ἀποδοῦναι: διὸ προσφιλέστατον τῷ Ἀλκιβιάδῃ γενέσθαι.

[2] μεγάλας δ᾽ αὐτῷ κλεισιάδας ἐπὶ τὴν πολιτείαν ἀνοίγοντος τοῦ τε γένους καὶ τοῦ πλούτου τῆς τε περὶ τὰς μάχας ἀνδραγαθίας, φίλων τε πολλῶν καὶ οἰκείων ὑπαρχόντων, ἀπ᾽ οὐδενὸς ἠξίου μᾶλλον τῆς τοῦ λόγου χάριτος ἰσχύειν ἐν τοῖς πολλοῖς. καὶ ὅτι μὲν δυνατὸς ἦν εἰπεῖν, οἵ τε κωμικοὶ μαρτυροῦσι καὶ τῶν ῥητόρων δυνατώτατος ἐν τῷ κατὰ Μειδίου, λέγων τὸν Ἀλκιβιάδην καὶ δεινότατον εἰπεῖν γενέσθαι πρὸς τοῖς ἄλλοις.

[3] εἰ δὲ Θεοφράστῳ πιστεύομεν, ἀνδρὶ φιληκόῳ καὶ ἱστορικῷ παρ᾽ ὁντινοῦν τῶν φιλοσόφων, εὑρεῖν μὲν ἦν τὰ δέοντα καὶ νοῆσαι πάντων ἱκανώτατος Ἀλκιβιάδης, ζητῶν δὲ μὴ μόνον δεῖ λέγειν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὡς δεῖ τοῖς ὀνόμασι καὶ τοῖς ῥήμασιν, οὐκ εὐπορῶν δέ, πολλάκις ἐσφάλλετο καὶ μεταξὺ λέγων ἀπεσιώπα καὶ διέλειπε, λέξεως διαφυγούσης αὐτόν, ἀναλαμβάνων καὶ διασκοπούμενος.

PerseusParallelLinks

[1] They say that his first entrance into public affairs was associated with a donation of money, not by design, but while going past some noisy Athenians he had asked the cause of the noise, and having learned that a donation of money was taking place, he went forward and donated: and as the people were clapping and shouting through pleasure, he forgot about the quail which he happened to have in his cloak; and so when it took fright and fled, the Athenians shouted even more, many stood up and joined the chase, and Antiochus the ship-captain caught and returned it: and due to this he became most dear to Alcibiades.

[2] Although his birth, his wealth and his courage in battle opened great doors for him into public life, with many friends and kinsmen from the start, he believed nothing gave him more influence among the masses than his eloquence of speech. And the fact that he was a capable speaker the comic poets testify, as well as the most capable of all orators, in his Against Meidias, when he says that Alcibiades was the most clever speaker, on top of his other attributes.

[3] If we are to believe Theophrastus, a man fond of discussion and precise compared to philosophers, Alcibiades was most skilful of all people at finding and understanding what was necessary, seeking not only what it was necessary to say, but also the necessary words and phrases, but if he couldn’t find them, he would often stumble, and in the middle of speaking he would stay silent and pause, the words escaping him, while lifting his hands and looking in different ways.

11

PerseusParallelLinks

[1] His stables were famous, especially for the number of chariots: for no one else, private individual or king, registered seven for the Olympics, only him. And his winning, and coming second and fourth, as Thucydides says, but Euripides third, surpassed in splendour and glory every ambition in these matters. Euripides says this in verse:

I shall sing of you, child of Cleinias,
A fine thing is victory, but the finest no other Greek (has achieved)
To run first place with the chariot, and second and third,
To go without fatigue, garlanded with the olive of Zeus,
To provide an exclamation for a herald.

12

Greek

[1] τοῦτο μέντοι τὸ λαμπρὸν ἐπιφανέστερον ἐποίησεν τῶν πόλεων φιλοτιμία. σκηνὴν μὲν γὰρ αὐτῷ κεκοσμημένην διαπρεπῶς ἔστησαν Ἐφέσιοι, τροφὰς δὲ ἵπποις καὶ πλῆθος ἱερείων παρεῖχεν Χίων πόλις, οἶνον δὲ Λέσβιοι καὶ τὴν ἄλλην ὑποδοχὴν ἀφειδῶς ἑστιῶντι πολλούς. οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ καὶ διαβολή τις κακοήθεια γενομένη περὶ τὴν φιλοτιμίαν ἐκείνην πλείονα λόγον παρέσχε.

[2] λέγεται γὰρ ὡς ἦν Ἀθήνησι Διομήδης, ἀνὴρ οὐ πονηρός, Ἀλκιβιάδου φίλος, ἐπιθυμῶν δὲ νίκην Ὀλυμπικὴν αὐτῷ γενέσθαι: καὶ πυνθανόμενος ἅρμα δημόσιον Ἀργείοις εἶναι, τὸν Ἀλκιβιάδην εἰδὼς ἐν Ἄργει μέγα δυνάμενον καὶ φίλους ἔχοντα πολλούς, ἔπεισεν αὐτῷ πρίασθαι τὸ ἅρμα.

[3] πριάμενος δὲ Ἀλκιβιάδης ἴδιον ἀπεγράψατο, τὸν δὲ Διομήδη χαίρειν εἴασε χαλεπῶς φέροντα καὶ μαρτυρόμενον θεοὺς καὶ ἀνθρώπους. φαίνεται δὲ καὶ δίκη συστᾶσα περὶ τούτου, καὶ λόγος Ἰσοκράτει γέγραπται περὶ τοῦ ζεύγους ὑπὲρ τοῦ Ἀλκιβιάδου παιδός, ἐν Τισίας ἐστίν, οὐ Διομήδης, δικασάμενος.

PerseusParallelLinks

[1] However the rivalry of the cities made this splendour more apparent. For the Ephesians erected a magnificently adorned tent for him, and the city of Chios provided food for his horses and a number of sacrifices, and the Lesbians provided him with wine and the other means for entertaining many at his hearth unsparingly. Nevertheless there was some slander or bad manners surrounding that rivalry which caused further discussion.

[2] For it is said that Diomedes, not a worthless man, was in Athens, a friend of Alcibiades, who desired an Olympic victory for him: and having heard that the Argives had a chariot which belonged to the people, and knowing that Alcibiades held great influence and had many friends in Argos, he persuaded him to purchase the chariot.

[3] Alcibiades bought it and registered it as his own, and spurned Diomedes, who took it badly, calling to witness gods and men. It also appears that a lawsuit was put together concerning this matter, and a speech was written by Isocrates, On the Team of Horses, on behalf of the son of Alcibiades, in which it is Teisias, not Diomedes, who is the plaintiff.

13

Greek

[1] ἐπεὶ δ᾽ ἀφῆκεν αὑτὸν εἰς τὴν πολιτείαν ἔτι μειράκιον ὤν, τοὺς μὲν ἄλλους εὐθὺς ἐταπείνωσε δημαγωγούς, ἀγῶνα δ᾽ εἶχε πρός τε Φαίακα τὸν Ἐρασιστράτου καὶ Νικίαν τὸν Νικηράτου, τὸν μὲν ἤδη καθ᾽ ἡλικίαν προήκοντα καὶ στρατηγὸν ἄριστον εἶναι δοκοῦντα, Φαίακα δ᾽ ἀρχόμενον, ὥσπερ αὐτός, αὐξάνεσθαι τότε καὶ γνωρίμων ὄντα πατέρων, ἐλαττούμενον δὲ τοῖς τε ἄλλοις καὶ περὶ τὸν λόγον.

[2] ἐντευκτικὸς γὰρ ἰδίᾳ καὶ πιθανὸς ἐδόκει μᾶλλον φέρειν ἀγῶνας ἐν δήμῳ δυνατός. ἦν γάρ, ὡς Εὔπολίς φησι,

λαλεῖν ἄριστος, ἀδυνατώτατος λέγειν.

φέρεται δὲ καὶ λόγος τις κατ᾽ Ἀλκιβιάδου ὑπὸ Φαίακος γεγραμμένος, ἐν μετὰ τῶν ἄλλων γέγραπται καὶ ὅτι τῆς πόλεως πολλὰ πομπεῖα χρυσᾶ καὶ ἀργυρᾶ κεκτημένης Ἀλκιβιάδης ἐχρῆτο πᾶσιν αὐτοῖς ὥσπερ ἰδίοις πρὸς τὴν καθ᾽ ἡμέραν δίαιταν.

[3] ἦν δέ τις Ὑπέρβολος Περιθοίδης, οὗ μέμνηται μὲν ὡς ἀνθρώπου πονηροῦ καὶ Θουκυδίδης. τοῖς δὲ κωμικοῖς ὁμοῦ τι πᾶσι διατριβὴν ἀεὶ σκωπτόμενος ἐν τοῖς θεάτροις παρεῖχεν. ἄτρεπτος δὲ πρὸς τὸ κακῶς ἀκούειν καὶ ἀπαθὴς ὢν ὀλιγωρίᾳ δόξης, ἣν ἀναισχυντίαν καὶ ἀπόνοιαν οὖσαν εὐτολμίαν ἔνιοι καὶ ἀνδρείαν καλοῦσιν, οὐδενὶ μὲν ἤρεσκεν, ἐχρῆτο δ᾽ αὐτῷ πολλάκις δῆμος ἐπιθυμῶν προπηλακίζειν τοὺς ἐν ἀξιώματι καὶ συκοφαντεῖν.

[4] ἀναπεισθεὶς οὖν ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ τότε τὸ ὄστρακον ἐπιφέρειν ἔμελλεν, κολούοντες ἀεὶ τὸν προὔχοντα δόξῃ καὶ δυνάμει τῶν πολιτῶν ἐλαύνουσι, παραμυθούμενοι τὸν φθόνον μᾶλλον τὸν φόβον. ἐπεὶ δὲ δῆλον ἦν ὅτι ἑνὶ τῶν τριῶν τὸ ὄστρακον ἐποίσουσι, συνήγαγε τὰς στάσεις εἰς ταὐτὸν Ἀλκιβιάδης, καὶ διαλεχθεὶς πρὸς τὸν Νικίαν κατὰ τοῦ Ὑπερβόλου τὴν ὀστρακοφορίαν ἔτρεψεν.

ὡς δ᾽ ἔνιοί φασιν, οὐ πρὸς Νικίαν, ἀλλὰ πρὸς Φαίακα διαλεχθεὶς καὶ τὴν ἐκείνου προσλαβὼν ἑταιρίαν ἐξήλασε τὸν Ὑπέρβολον οὐδ᾽ ἂν προσδοκήσαντα.

[5] φαῦλος γὰρ οὐδεὶς ἐνέπιπτεν εἰς τοῦτον τὸν κολασμὸν οὐδ᾽ ἄδοξος, ὥς που καὶ Πλάτων κωμικὸς εἴρηκε τοῦ Ὑπερβόλου μνησθείς,

καίτοι πέπραχε τῶν προτέρων μὲν ἄξια,
αὑτοῦ δὲ καὶ τῶν στιγμάτων ἀνάξια.
οὐ γὰρ τοιούτων εἵνεκ᾽ ὄστραχ᾽ εὑρέθη.

περὶ μὲν οὖν τούτων ἐν ἑτέροις μᾶλλον εἴρηται τὰ ἱστορούμενα.

PerseusParallelLinks

[1] When he threw himself into politics, while still a young adult, he immediately humbled the other demagogues, but he had a struggle with Phaiax son of Erasistratos and Nicias son of Niceratos, the latter already advanced in age and considered to be the best general, but Phaiax was beginning, like him, to increase in power at that time and although he was from a noble family, he was inferior in other respects, especially in regards to speech.

[2] For he was reputed to be likeable and convincing in private, more than he was capable of winning contests in public. For he was, as Eupolis says:

The best at gabbling, the most incapable at speaking.

And there exists one speech, Against Alcibiades, written by Phaiax, in which along with other things he also wrote that after the city had acquired many ceremonial cups of gold and silver, Alcibiades used them all as if they were his own, as part of his day-to-day life.

[3] There was a certain Hyperbolus of Perithoedae, whom Thucydides mentions as a worthless person. He provided material for all the comic poets without exception, being constantly mocked in the theatres. Being indifferent to being spoken badly about and unaffected due to his contempt of public opinion, which some call boldness and bravery when it is actually shamelessness and insanity, he pleased no one, but the people often used him when they were keen to bespatter with mud and falsely accuse those in in positions of honour.

[4] Having been persuaded by him, (the people) then were about to bring an ostracism, by which, with constant pruning, they drive away the one who excels in reputation and influence among the citizens, spurred on more by envy than by fear. When it was clear that they would carry out an ostracism on one of the three, Alcibiades brought together the factions to the same side, and, having conferred with Nicias, flipped the ostracism vote down onto Hyperbolus.

However some say that he conversed not with Nicias but with Phaiax, and having won in addition that man’s supporter base, he drove out Hyperbolus, who could never have expected it.

[5] For no one worthless nor inglorious fell into this punishment, as Plato the comic somewhere said, referencing Hyperbolus:

And yet he suffered things worthy of his ancestors,
but undeserved of him and his brands.
For ostracism was not invented for such men.

My research about these things has been recorded in more detail in other works.

14a

Greek

[1] τὸν δ᾽ Ἀλκιβιάδην Νικίας οὐχ ἧττον ἠνία θαυμαζόμενος ὑπὸ τῶν πολεμίων τιμώμενος ὑπὸ τῶν πολιτῶν. πρόξενος μὲν γὰρ ἦν Ἀλκιβιάδης τῶν Λακεδαιμονίων, καὶ τοὺς ἁλόντας αὐτῶν περὶ Πύλον ἄνδρας ἐθεράπευσεν:

[2] ἐπεὶ δ᾽ ἐκεῖνοί τε διὰ Νικίου μάλιστα τῆς εἰρήνης τυχόντες καὶ τοὺς ἄνδρας ἀπολαβόντες ὑπερηγάπων αὐτόν, ἔν τε τοῖς Ἕλλησι λόγος ἦν ὡς Περικλέους μὲν συνάψαντος αὐτοῖς, Νικίου δὲ λύσαντος τὸν πόλεμον, οἵ τε πλεῖστοι τὴν εἰρήνην Νικίειον ὠνόμαζον, οὐ μετρίως ἀνιώμενος Ἀλκιβιάδης καὶ φθονῶν ἐβούλευε σύγχυσιν ὁρκίων.

[3] καὶ πρῶτον μὲν Ἀργείους αἰσθανόμενος μίσει καὶ φόβῳ τῶν Σπαρτιατῶν ζητοῦντας ἀποστροφήν, ἐλπίδας αὐτοῖς ἐνεδίδου κρύφα τῆς Ἀθηναίων συμμαχίας, καὶ παρεθάρρυνε πέμπων καὶ διαλεγόμενος τοῖς προεστῶσι τοῦ δήμου μὴ δεδιέναι μηδ᾽ ὑπείκειν Λακεδαιμονίοις, ἀλλὰ πρὸς Ἀθηναίους τρέπεσθαι καὶ περιμένειν ὅσον οὐδέπω μεταμελομένους καὶ τὴν εἰρήνην ἀφιέντας.

[4] ἐπεὶ δὲ Λακεδαιμόνιοι πρός τε τοὺς Βοιωτοὺς ἐποιήσαντο συμμαχίαν καὶ Πάνακτον οὐχ ἑστός, ὥσπερ ἔδει, τοῖς Ἀθηναίοις παρέδωκαν, ἀλλὰ καταλύσαντες, ὀργιζομένους λαβὼν τοὺς Ἀθηναίους ἔτι μᾶλλον ἐξετράχυνε, καὶ τὸν Νικίαν ἐθορύβει καὶ διέβαλλεν εἰκότα κατηγορῶν,

[5] ὅτι τοὺς ἐν Σφακτηρίᾳ τῶν πολεμίων ἀποληφθέντας αὐτὸς μὲν ἐξελεῖν οὐκ ἠθέλησεν στρατηγῶν, ἑτέρων δ᾽ ἐξελόντων ἀφῆκε καὶ ἀπέδωκε χαριζόμενος Λακεδαιμονίοις: εἶτ᾽ ἐκείνους μὲν οὐκ ἔπεισε φίλος ὢν Βοιωτοῖς μὴ συνόμνυσθαι μηδὲ Κορινθίοις, Ἀθηναίοις δὲ κωλύει τὸν βουλόμενον τῶν Ἑλλήνων φίλον εἶναι καὶ σύμμαχον, εἰ μὴ δόξειε Λακεδαιμονίοις.

PerseusParallelLinks

[1] Nicias caused grief for Alcibiades no less because he was admired by the enemy than because he was honoured by the citizens. For Alcibiades was the representative for the Spartans, and he looked after their men who were captured around Pylos:

[2] When the Spartans, having come to peace above all due to Nicias and having taken back their men, were greatly praising him, and there was a saying among the Greeks that Pericles had joined them together in war, but Nicias had freed them, and most called it the Peace of Nicias, Alcibiades, immoderately distressed, in his envy plotted a violation of the treaty.

[3] And first, noticing that the Argives were seeking an escape due to their hatred and fear of the Spartans, he secretly instilled in them hopes of an alliance with the Athenians, and encouraged them by sending messages and conversing with the leaders of the people, not to fear breaking away from the Spartans, but to turn towards and await the Athenians, who were all but feeling regret and abandoning the peace.

[4] And when the Spartans made an alliance with the Boeotians and handed over Panactum to the Athenians, not in one piece, as was necessary, but having destroyed it, he took the furious Athenians and riled them still further, and he ranted at Nicias and slandered him by making plausible accusations,

[5] that while he was general he refused to take away those of the enemy who had been captured on Sphacteria, but when others had taken them away he discharged them and gave them up as a favour to the Spartans: next, that he did not persuade the Spartans, even though he was their friend, not to make a pact with the Boeotians nor with the Corinthians, but he hindered any of the Greeks who wanted to be a a friend and ally of the Athenians, unless the it seemed good to the Spartans.

14b

Greek

[6] ἐκ δὲ τούτου κακῶς φερομένῳ τῷ Νικίᾳ παρῆσαν ὥσπερ κατὰ τύχην πρέσβεις ἀπὸ τῆς Λακεδαίμονος, αὐτόθεν τε λόγους ἐπιεικεῖς ἔχοντες καὶ πρὸς πᾶν τὸ συμβιβαστικὸν καὶ δίκαιον αὐτοκράτορες ἥκειν φάσκοντες. ἀποδεξαμένης δὲ τῆς βουλῆς, τοῦ δὲ δήμου τῇ ὑστεραίᾳ μέλλοντος ἐκκλησιάζειν, δείσας Ἀλκιβιάδης διεπράξατο τοὺς πρέσβεις ἐν λόγοις γενέσθαι πρὸς αὐτόν.

[7] ὡς δὲ συνῆλθον ἔλεγε: ‘τί πεπόνθατε, ἄνδρες Σπαρτιᾶται; πῶς ἔλαθεν ὑμᾶς ὅτι τὰ τῆς βουλῆς ἀεὶ μέτρια καὶ φιλάνθρωπα πρὸς τοὺς ἐντυγχάνοντάς ἐστιν, δὲ δῆμος μέγα φρονεῖ καὶ μεγάλων ὀρέγεται; κἂν φάσκητε κύριοι πάντων ἀφῖχθαι, προστάττων καὶ βιαζόμενος ἀγνωμονήσει. φέρε δή, τὴν εὐήθειαν ταύτην ἀφέντες, εἰ βούλεσθε χρήσασθαι μετρίοις Ἀθηναίοις καὶ μηδὲν ἐκβιασθῆναι παρὰ γνώμην, οὕτω διαλέγεσθε περὶ τῶν δικαίων ὡς οὐκ ὄντες αὐτοκράτορες. συμπράξομεν δ᾽ ἡμεῖς Λακεδαιμονίοις χαριζόμενοι.’

[8] ταῦτα δ᾽ εἰπὼν ὅρκους ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς καὶ μετέστησεν ἀπὸ τοῦ Νικίου, παντάπασι πιστεύοντας αὐτῷ καὶ θαυμάζοντας ἅμα τὴν δεινότητα καὶ σύνεσιν, ὡς οὐ τοῦ τυχόντος ἀνδρὸς οὖσαν. τῇ δ᾽ ὑστεραίᾳ συνήχθη μὲν δῆμος, εἰσῆλθον δ᾽ οἱ πρέσβεις. ἐρωτώμενοι δ᾽ ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἀλκιβιάδου πάνυ φιλανθρώπως ἐφ᾽ οἷς ἀφιγμένοι τυγχάνουσιν, οὐκ ἔφασαν ἥκειν αὐτοκράτορες.

[9] εὐθὺς οὖν Ἀλκιβιάδης ἐνέκειτο μετὰ κραυγῆς καὶ ὀργῆς, ὥσπερ οὐκ ἀδικῶν, ἀλλ᾽ ἀδικούμενος, ἀπίστους καὶ παλιμβόλους ἀποκαλῶν καὶ μηδὲν ὑγιὲς μήτε πρᾶξαι μήτ᾽ εἰπεῖν ἥκοντας, ἐπηγανάκτει δ᾽ βουλή, καὶ δῆμος ἐχαλέπαινε, τὸν δὲ Νικίαν ἔκπληξις εἶχε καὶ κατήφεια τῶν ἀνδρῶν τῆς μεταβολῆς, ἀγνοοῦντα τὴν ἀπάτην καὶ τὸν δόλον.

PerseusParallelLinks

[6] After this, while Nicias was hard pressed, there were present for him, fortunately as it were, ambassadors from Sparta, saying that they had come from there with reasonable proposals and full powers for anything that led to reconciliation and was just. When the council had welcomed them, and the people were about to hold an assembly on the next day, Alcibiades, through fear, arranged for the ambassadors to be in conversation with him.

[7] When they met he said: ‘What has happened to you, men of Sparta? How have you not noticed that the attitude of the council is always moderate and benevolent to those meeting with it, whereas the people have big attitude and big ambition? If you say that you have come with powers for everything, ordering and constraining you they will act unfairly. Come now, give up this simplicity, if you want to deal with moderate Athenians and not be forced contrary to your opinion, and thus converse with them about matters of fairness, saying that you do not have full powers. We will cooperate favourably to the Spartans.’

[8] Having said this he pledged oaths to them and won them over from Nicias, trusting him completely and at the same time admiring his cleverness and natural wit, since it was not that of the average man. On the next day the people were assembled, and the ambassadors came in. When they were being questioned by Alcibiades on what terms they happened to have come, they said that they had come without full powers.

[9] So Alcibiades immediately laid into them with yelling and anger, as if he were not the wrongdoer but the one being wronged, calling them untrustworthy and double-crossing, that having come they said and did nothing sound, and the council were indignant, the people were furious, and a shock held Nicias, as well as a sadness from the men’s change of heart, as he was unaware of the deceit and trickery.

15

Greek

[1] οὕτω δὲ τῶν Λακεδαιμονίων ἐκπεσόντων, στρατηγὸς ἀποδειχθεὶς Ἀλκιβιάδης εὐθὺς Ἀργείους καὶ Μαντινεῖς καὶ Ἠλείους συμμάχους ἐποίησε τοῖς Ἀθηναίοις. καὶ τὸν μὲν τρόπον οὐδεὶς τῆς πράξεως ἐπῄνει, μέγα δ᾽ ἦν τὸ πεπραγμένον ὑπ᾽ αὐτοῦ, διαστῆσαι καὶ κραδᾶναι Πελοπόννησον ὀλίγου δεῖν ἅπασαν, καὶ τοσαύτας ἀσπίδας ἐν ἡμέρᾳ μια περὶ Μαντίνειαν ἀντιτάξαι Λακεδαιμονίοις, καὶ πορρωτάτω τῶν Ἀθηνῶν ἀγῶνα κατασκευάσαι καὶ κίνδυνον αὐτοῖς, ἐν μέγα μὲν οὐδὲν νίκη προσέθηκε κρατήσασιν, εἰ δ᾽ ἐσφάλησαν, ἔργον ἦν τὴν Λακεδαίμονα περιγενέσθαι.

[2] μετὰ δὲ τὴν μάχην εὐθὺς ἐπέθεντο καταλύειν ἐν Ἄργει τὸν δῆμον οἱ χίλιοι καὶ τὴν πόλιν ὑπήκοον ποιεῖν: Λακεδαιμόνιοι δὲ παραγενόμενοι κατέλυσαν τὴν δημοκρατίαν. αὖθις δὲ τῶν πολλῶν ἐξενεγκαμένων τὰ ὅπλα καὶ κρατησάντων, ἐπελθὼν Ἀλκιβιάδης τήν τε νίκην ἐβεβαίωσε τῷ δήμῳ, καὶ τὰ μακρὰ τείχη συνέπεισε καθεῖναι καὶ προσμίξαντας τῇ θαλάσσῃ τὴν πόλιν ἐξάψαι παντάπασι τῆς Ἀθηναίων δυνάμεως.

[3] καὶ τέκτονας καὶ λιθουργοὺς ἐκ τῶν ᾿Αθηνῶν ἐκόμισε καὶ πᾶσαν ἐνεδείκνυτο προθυμίαν, οὐχ ἧττον ἑαυτῷ κτώμενος τῇ πόλει χάριν καὶ ἰσχύν. ἔπεισε δὲ καὶ Πατρεῖς ὁμοίως τείχεσι μακροῖς συνάψαι τῇ θαλάσσῃ τὴν πόλιν. εἰπόντος δέ τινος τοῖς Πατρεῦσιν ὅτι ‘καταπιοῦνται ὑμᾶς Ἀθηναῖοι’: ‘ἴσως,’ εἶπεν Ἀλκιβιάδης, ‘κατὰ μικρὸν καὶ κατὰ τοὺς πόδας, Λακεδαιμόνιοι δὲ κατὰ τὴν κεφαλὴν καὶ ἀθρόως.’

[4] οὐ μὴν ἀλλὰ καὶ τῆς γῆς συνεβούλευεν ἀντέχεσθαι τοῖς Ἀθηναίοις, καὶ τὸν ἐν Αγραύλου προβαλλόμενον ἀεὶ τοῖς ἐφήβοις ὅρκον ἔργῳ βεβαιοῦν. ὀμνύουσι γὰρ ὅροις χρήσασθαι τῆς Ἀττικῆς πυροῖς, κριθαῖς, ἀμπέλοις, ἐλαίαις, οἰκείαν ποιεῖσθαι διδασκόμενοι τὴν ἡμερον καὶ καρποφόρον.

PerseusParallelLinks

[1] When the Spartans had failed in this way, Alcibiades was appointed general and immediately made the Argives, the Mantineans and the Eleans allied to the Athenians. And while no one praised the method of the deed, it was still a big feat that was done by him, to divide and agitate almost all the Peloponnese, and in a single day to set up so many shields around Mantinea against the Spartans, and far away from Athens to arrange a conflict, and its risk to them, in which victory delivered nothing significant to the Spartans if they won, but if they were defeated, it would have been a matter of survival for Sparta.

[2] After the battle the Thousand immediately set about destroying the people’s party in Argos and making the city subject to them: and the Spartans came and abolished democracy. But when the many had taken up weapons again and had got the upper hand, Alcibiades came and secured victory for the people, and persuaded them to lay down long walls, and having connected the city with the sea to attach it completely to the power of the Athenians.

[3] He even brought carpenters and stonemasons from Athens, and displayed every eagerness, since he was winning favour and strength no less for himself than for the city. Likewise, he also persuaded the people of Patrae to attach their city to the sea by long walls. When someone said to the people of Patrae that ‘the Athenians will swallow you:’ ‘Perhaps,’ said Alcibiades, ‘little by little and by the feet, but the Spartans will swallow you by the head and in one go.’

[4] Not only that but he advised the Athenians to hold out by land as well, and to carry out in deed the oath which is always sworn by the ephebes in the sanctuary of Agraulus. For they swear to treat as the boundary of Attica the wheat, the barley, the vine and the olive, having been taught to regard the cultivated and fruitful land as their own.

16

Greek

[1] ἐν δὲ τοιούτοις πολιτεύμασι καὶ λόγοις καὶ φρονήματι καὶ δεινότητι πολλὴν αὖ πάλιν τὴν τρυφὴν τῆς διαίτης καὶ περὶ πότους καὶ ἔρωτας ὑβρίσματα, καὶ θηλύτητας ἐσθήτων ἁλουργῶν ἑλκομένων δι᾽ ἀγορᾶς, καὶ πολυτέλειαν ὑπερήφανον, ἐκτομάς τε καταστρωμάτων ἐν ταῖς τριήρεσιν, ὅπως μαλακώτερον ἐγκαθεύδοι, κειρίαις, ἀλλὰ μὴ σανίσι, τῶν στρωμάτων ἐπιβαλλομένων, ἀσπίδος τε διαχρύσου ποίησιν οὐδὲν ἐπίσημον τῶν πατρίων ἔχουσαν, ἀλλ᾽ Ἔρωτα κεραυνοφόρον.

[2] ἅπερ ὁρῶντες οἱ μὲν ἔνδοξοι μετὰ τοῦ βδελύττεσθαι καὶ δυσχεραίνειν ἐφοβοῦντο τὴν ὀλιγωρίαν αὐτοῦ καὶ παρανομίαν, ὡς τυραννικὰ καὶ ἀλλόκοτα, τοῦ δὲ δήμου τὸ πάθος τὸ πρὸς αὐτὸν οὐ κακῶς ἐξηγούμενος Ἀριστοφάνης ταῦτ᾽ εἴρηκε:

ποθεῖ μέν, ἐχθαίρει δέ, βούλεται δ᾽ ἔχειν,

ἔτι δὲ μᾶλλον τῇ ὑπονοίᾳ πιέζων:

μάλιστα μὲν λέοντα μὴ ν᾽ πόλει τρέφειν:
ἢν δ᾽ ἐκτρέφῃ τις, τοῖς τρόποις ὑπηρετεῖν.

[3] ἐπιδόσεις γὰρ καὶ χορηγίαι καὶ φιλοτιμήματα πρὸς τὴν πόλιν ὑπερβολὴν μὴ ἀπολείποντα καὶ δόξα προγόνων καὶ λόγου δύναμις καὶ σώματος εὐπρέπεια καὶ ῥώμη μετ᾽ ἐμπειρίας τῶν πολεμικῶν καὶ ἀλκῆς πάντα τἆλλα συγχωρεῖν ἐποίει καὶ φέρειν μετρίως τοὺς Ἀθηναίους, ἀεὶ τὰ πρᾳότατα τῶν ὀνομάτων τοῖς ἁμαρτήμασι τιθεμένους, παιδιὰς καὶ φιλοτιμίας.

[4] οἷον ἦν καὶ τὸ Ἀγάθαρχον εἷρξαι τὸν ζωγράφον, εἶτα γράψαντα τὴν οἰκίαν ἀφεῖναι δωρησάμενον: καὶ Ταυρέαν ἀντιχορηγοῦντα ῥαπίσαι φιλοτιμούμενον ὑπὲρ τῆς νίκης: καὶ τὸ Μηλίαν γυναῖκα ἐκ τῶν αἰχμαλώτων ἐξελόμενον καὶ συνόντα θρέψαι παιδάριον ἐξ αὐτῆς.

[5] καὶ γὰρ τοῦτο φιλάνθρωπον ἐκάλουν: πλὴν ὅτι τοὺς Μηλίους ἡβηδὸν ἀποσφαγῆναι τὴν πλείστην αἰτίαν ἔσχε, τῷ ψηφίσματι συνειπών.

Ἀριστοφῶντος δὲ Νεμέαν γράψαντος ἐν ταῖς ἀγκάλαις αὑτῆς καθήμενον Ἀλκιβιάδην ἔχουσαν, ἐθεῶντο καὶ συνέτρεχον χαίροντες. οἱ δὲ πρεσβύτεροι καὶ τούτοις ἐδυσχέραινον ὡς τυραννικοῖς καὶ παρανόμοις. ἐδόκει δὲ καὶ Ἀρχέστρατος οὐκ ἀπὸ τρόπου λέγειν ὡς Ἑλλὰς οὐκ ἂν ἤνεγκε δύο Ἀλκιβιάδας.

PerseusParallelLinks

[1] Among such political business and speeches and purpose and cleverness, (the people saw) in turn much luxuriousness in his daily life and wantonness concerning his drinking and love affairs, and femininity as he dragged his sea-purple robes through the agora, and excessive extravagance, the cutting out of floorboards on triremes, so that he might sleep more softly, with his mattress laid on cords, but not planks, and the construction of his golden shield, not having an emblem of his ancestors, but Eros wielding a thunderbolt.

[2] When the well-respected saw these things, with loathing and disgust they feared his contempt and lawlessness, as being tyrannical and unusual attributes, but as to the people’s feelings towards him, Aristophanes explains it not badly when he says this:

They love him, they hate him, but they want to have him,

Weighing down still more with a metaphor:

Best not to raise a lion in the city:
But if one is raised, submit to his ways.

[3] For his voluntary donations and his public contributions and his acts of ambition for the city which spared no extravagance and the fame of his ancestors and the power of his speech and his physical beauty and strength, along with his experience and prowess in warfare, made the Athenians concede all the other things and tolerate them moderately, always giving the most euphemistic of names to his faults: boyishness and ambition.

[4] There was for instance the fact that he imprisoned Agatharchus the painter, then gave him gifts and released him once he had painted: and that he struck Taureas, a rival choregus, because of his victory: and that he chose a Melian woman from among the captives and lived with her and raised a son born from her.

[5] For this too they called kindheartedness: except that he had the most responsibility for the slaughter of the Melians from the youth upwards, having spoken in support of the proposal.

And when Aristophon painted Nemea holding Alcibiades sitting in her arms, they happily gathered and gazed at it. But the old men were also disgusted at these things as being tyrannical and lawless. And it would seem also that Archestratus did not speak far off the mark when he said that Greece could not endure two Alcibiades.