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    alcibiades sicilian expedition

    Abstract. The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. Then they crossed to Sicily and took Katana. 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. Alcibiades knew that this would only be possible if an oligarchy gained political control in Athens. [h] 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. 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. [f], 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". This was Alcibiades (al”sih-bigh’uh-deez). Alcibiades was the expedition's leading proponent, and the leader of the war party, Nicias its leading critic and the leader of the peace party. [68] The involvement in the plot of another General, Thrasybulus, remains unclear. The expedition ended in a devastating defeat for the Athenian forces, severely impacting Athens. The city-state and Sparta had led the Greek world against the Persians. This also Astyochus revealed to Alcibiades who informed the officers at Samos that they had been betrayed by Phrynichus. [108] He entered the harbor full of fear till he saw his cousin and others of his friends and acquaintance, who invited him to land. [66] 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 Athens and bring with him Persian money and possibly the Persian fleet of 147 triremes. [171] He has been the main character in historical novels of authors like Anna Bowman Dodd, Gertrude Atherton, Rosemary Sutcliff, Daniel Chavarria, Steven Pressfield and Peter Green. Alcibiades was accused. [135][138] 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 lost and Athens would have ruled Greece. [166] According to Aristophanes, Athens "yearns for him, and hates him too, but wants him back". According to Thucydides, Alcibiades, being "exceedingly ambitious", proposed the expedition in Sicily in order "to gain in wealth and reputation by means of his successes". In ancient Greece, Alcibiades was a polarizing figure. [127] Alcibiades was one of several Greek aristocrats who took refuge in the Achaemenid Empire following reversals at home, other famous ones being Themistocles, Hippias, Demaratos and Gongylos. Paparrigopoulos, Konstantinos (-Pavlos Karolidis) (1925), This page was last edited on 13 January 2021, at 14:28. According to Plutarch, the supposed purpose of this mission was to stop the Persian fleet from coming to the aid of the Peloponnesians. [115] Consequently, Alcibiades condemned himself to exile. [47] 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. [38] 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. [162] Even the lisp he had, which was noticed by Aristophanes, made his talk persuasive and full of charm. While Alcibiades was still en route, the two fleets clashed at Abydos, where the Peloponnesians had set up their main naval base. Quashing a rebellion at Andros was followed by an expedition to fight the poleis of northern Ionia. 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. The sailors of the Athenian fleet, like all sailors before and since, were a superstitious lot, and as Hermes was the patron of travellers, their confidence was badly affected by the attacks. According to Xenophon, Alcibiades had advised the Spartans to send the general Gylippos to aid the besieged Sicilians. However, in Furies, Alcibiades and his friends landed on the shore and fled. This ploy increased Alcibiades's standing while embarrassing Nicias, and Alcibiades was subsequently appointed General. [135] Sharon Press of Brown University points out that Xenophon emphasizes Alcibiades's service to the state, rather than the harm he was charged with causing it. The Peloponnesians fought to prevent their ships from being towed away, and Pharnabazus's troops came up to support them. In addition, according to popular opinion, the attacks on the hermai were somehow connected to an attack on the democratic system of Athens. According to Plutarch, who is however criticized for using "implausible or unreliable stories" in order to construct Alcibiades's portrait. [102], It was in the aftermath of these successes that Alcibiades resolved to finally return to Athens in the spring of 407 BC. Plutarch regards him as "the least scrupulous and most entirely ca… The Life of Alcibiades: The Idol of Athens, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. [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. [1] In the years when he served Sparta, Alcibiades played a significant role in Athens's undoing; the capture of Decelea and the revolts of several critical Athenian subjects occurred either at his suggestion or under his supervision. For the accepted account of the battle see Plutarch, The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues about the So-Called Psychopathic Personality. Shortly before the expedition’s departure from Athens, though, Alcibiades was perhaps the victim of an infamous conspiracy. Plutarch and 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". This was successful, and so democracy gave way to an oligarchy of 400. Alcibiades, known as one of the frivolous and impious ‘golden youth’ of the aristocracy, was held as the prime suspect along with several others. [73] Phrynichus in desperation wrote again to Astyochus, offering him a chance to destroy the Athenian fleet at Samos. In effect then, Alcibiades was now commander-in-chief of the Athenian armed forces. According to Meiggs his actions were dictated by selfish motives and his feud with Cleon and his successors undermined Athens. At the first assembly that authorized the expedition, the Athenians named Nicias, Alcibiades, and Lamachus as its commanders; that decision remained unchanged at the second assembly. According to the historian, Alcibiades, being “exceedingly ambitious,” proposed the expedition in Sicily in order “to gain in wealth and reputation by means of his successes.” Alcibiades is held responsible by Thucydides for the destruction of Athens, since “his habits gave offence to every one, and caused them to commit affairs to other hands, and thu… [31] This alliance, however, would ultimately be defeated at the Battle of Mantinea. [76] As Kagan points out, Tissaphernes was a prudent leader and had recognized the advantages of wearing each side out without direct Persian involvement. [138] For Demosthenes and other orators, Alcibiades epitomized the figure of the great man during the glorious days of the Athenian democracy and became a rhetorical symbol. According to Thucydides, Alcibiades, being "exceedingly ambitious", proposed the expedition in Sicily in order "to gain in wealth and reputation by means of his successes". Alcibiades was blamed for negligence in leaving only a helmsman in charge of the main fleet and was not re-elected strategos. He also advised the Spartans to take by force the Athenian fortress of Dekeleia (which they did in 413 BCE). [75], At this point, Alcibiades's scheme encountered a great obstacle. He seized her in court and carried her home again through the crowded Agora. The commanders were Lamachus, Nicias, and Alcibiades. [93], 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. [4] 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. Trusting in his exceptional skills as an orator he managed to convince the populace of Athens that their fleet could conquer the wealthy city of Syracuse, the crown jewel of Sicily. Nicias wanted to settle the quarrel between Segesta and Silenus, then walk around and rally people in Sicily. [150] 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". Alcibiades had remained behind at Samos with a small force while Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus led the greater part of the fleet to the Hellespont. [154], Despite his critical comments, Thucydides admits in a short digression that "publicly his conduct of the war was as good as could be desired". Hyperbolos tried to bring about the ostracism of one of this pair, but Nicias and Alcibiades combined their influence to induce the people to expel Hyperbolos instead. Alcibiades instead wanted to pursue a less risky but still active strategy of attacking Syracusan possessions and building a… The oligarchy of the 400 take over the democracy in, Nemesis: Alcibiades and the Fall of Athens, The Life of Alcibiades: Dangerous Ambition and the Betrayal of Athens. [71] The members of the group assembled and prepared to send Pisander, one of their number, on an embassy to Athens to treat for the restoration of Alcibiades and the abolition of democracy in the city, and thus to make Tissaphernes the friend of the Athenians. For his part, Demosthenes underscores the fact that Alcibiades was regarded as "the ablest speaker of the day". At Samos, however, a similar coup instigated by the conspirators did not go forward so smoothly. 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. Alcibiades was also the nephew of the great Athenian statesman Pericles, and he spent his childhood in the family home of his famous uncle. [14] Alcibiades was famed throughout his life for his physical attractiveness, of which he was inordinately vain. [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. [74], Despite these events, Pisander and the other envoys of the conspirators arrived at Athens and made a speech before the people. [155] 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". "Alcibiades." [158] Vlachos asserts that Alcibiades had already conceived a broader plan: the conquest of the whole West. Besides imperialist ambition, Alcibiades may well have been after the timber of Sicily, an immensely important material for the Athenian navy. The battle was evenly matched, and raged for a long time, but the balance tipped towards the Athenians when Alcibiades sailed into the Hellespont with eighteen triremes. [48] 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. 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. In 417 BC, an ostracism was held at Athens, but the Alcibiades and Nicias combined their forces to ensure the exile of the minor politician Hyperbolus , since neither of them could be sure exiling the other. Thucydides, "The History of the Peloponnesian Wars", 5.43. The cities of Corinth and Thebes, as well as others, refused to be bound by it. As for. Besides, why did Athens go to Sicily? [80], After a time, Thrasybulus persuaded the assembled troops to vote Alcibiades's recall, a policy that he had supported since before the coup. [6] Alcibiades thereby, through his mother, belonged to the powerful and controversial family of the Alcmaeonidae; the renowned Pericles and his brother Ariphron were Deinomache's cousins, as her father and their mother were siblings. Alcibiades, son of Cleinias[a] /ˌælsəˈbaɪədiz/ Ancient Greek: Ἀλκιβιάδης, romanized: Alkibiádēs, [alkibiádɛːs]; (c. 450–404 BC), from the deme of Scambonidae, was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. Thucydides reprehends the Athenian statesman for his political conduct and motives. [115] In the meanwhile Tissaphernes had been replaced by Cyrus the Younger (son of Darius II of Persia) who decided to financially support the Peloponnesians. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 08 Feb 2013. 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 was born in 451/450 BCE, the son of the Athenian politician Cleinias, and his mother Deinomache was from the ancient aristocratic family the Alkmeonidai. [4], Alcibiades first rose to prominence when he began advocating aggressive Athenian action after the signing of the Peace of Nicias. Since the beginning of the war, the Athenians had already initiated two expeditions and sent a delegation to Sicily. The expedition was hampered from the outset by uncertainty in its purpose and command structure—political maneuvering in Athens swelled a lightweight force of twenty ships into a massive armada, and the expedition's primary proponent, Alcibiades, was recalled from command to stand trial before the fleet even reached Sicily. [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. [42] Against his wishes Nicias was appointed General along with Alcibiades and Lamachus, all three of whom were given full powers to do whatever was in the best interests of Athens while in Sicily. Scholars have argued that had the Sicilian expedition been under Alcibiades's command instead of that of Nicias, the expedition might not have met its eventual disastrous fate. The Generals a lesson an end to the negotiations between the conspirators and Alcibiades Pharnabazos Abydos! Sicilian Expedition, according to Thucydides, Alcibiades was a polarizing figure ] his property misjudged his with... Was successful, and Lamachus 's plan to renew the war against the Persians important errors and serious.!, led by Alcibiades, Nicias, and was killed by a shower of arrows hates him too, they... 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