Alcibiades I & II

Charmides. Alcibiades I and II. Hipparchus. The Lovers. Theages. Minos. Epinomis
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His father, Cleinias, fitted out a trireme at his own cost and fought it gloriously at Artemisium. The Athenians were at Cardia, a city of the Thracian Chersonese. Then the city willingly ordered Alcibiades to come back home. For he had put into harbour on the very day when the Plynteria of the goddess Athene were being celebrated. His adversary, letting go his hold, cried: "You bite, Alcibiades, as women do! Now it happened that, of all those lying in prison with him under the same charge, Andocides became most intimate and friendly with a man named Timaeus, of less repute than himself, it is true, but of great sagacity and daring.

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Alcibiades I and II

Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising. If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of cookies on this website. See our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. See our Privacy Policy and User Agreement for details. Published on Jul 12, It is ascribed to Plato, although scholars are divided on the question of its authenticity The Second Alcibiades or Alcibiades II is a dialogue traditionally ascribed to Plato.

Plato's Alcibiades II -- Brief Introduction

In it, Socrates attempts to persuade Alcibiades that it is unsafe for him to pray to the gods if he does not know whether what he prays for is actually good or bad for him. SlideShare Explore Search You. Submit Search. Successfully reported this slideshow. We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. Cyrus later told the Spartans what had passed between Tissaphernes and Alcibiades cannot indeed be ruled out, but we may note that while Thucydides professes to know what Alcibiades advised and wanted, he ventures only to conjecture thereat intentions of Tissaphernes 46,5.

It is then probable that the information came from Alcibiades' side. And it was not information that Alcibiades can himself have wished to publish. To the Athenians at Samos Alcibiades represented himself as using his great influence with Tissaphernes to win him over to an alliance with Athens, and after the battle of Syme this was in fact just what he was trying to do But at an earlier stage he had urged the satrap to let both sides wear each other down and to cut off a large slice from the Athenian dominion before getting rid of the Peloponnesians 46,4 , and it is hard to conceive a time when Alcibiades would have wished this to be revealed to the world at large.

Unless Thucydides' account is sheer invention, a possibility that I shall consider on p. As an adviser of Tissaphernes, Alcibiades had passed from Spartan into Persian service. He had become suspect to the Spartans after the death of Ghalcideus and the battle of Miletus 45,i. The cause is obscure.

Thucydides remarks that he was an enemy of Agis ; but this was an old story.

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He was also, says Thucydides, generally regarded as untrustworthy. This opinion was amply justified, but it requires explanation why the Spartans should have adopted it just at this moment. Obscure intrigues were evidently at work on the other side of the Aegean ;. That Thucydides too should have been ignorant of the nature of these intrigues, whereas he had been so well informed about the disputes of the rival factions at Sparta in the previous winter, is easily explicable if his source for those disputes had been none other than Alcibiades himself. I come now to the negotiations between Alcibiades and the oligarchs.

What transpired soon became public and there were. But this is-not true of the incidents that concern Phrynichus. On the rejection of his warning against the plan for the establishment of oligarchical government at Athens, Phrynichus sent word to Astyochus of Alcibiades' efforts to reconcile Athens and Tissaphernes. Astyochus, who was said to be in the pay of Tissaphernes 2 , simply informed Alcibiades and Tissaphernes of Phrynichus' message. Alcibiades wrote to the Athenian generals demanding the execution of Phrynichus.

To save himself, Phrynichus sent once more to Astyochus, suggesting a plan by which he might surprise the Athenian fleet. He was of course well aware by now with what manner of man he was dealing ; his intention was not to betray the Athenians but to exculpate himself in a most adroit way. Once again, as Phrynichus now expected, Astyochus informed Alcibiades and Alcibiades the Athenians ; but as Phrynichus had in the meanwhile himself recommended the Athenians to take precautions against a.

It is plain that the full facts can at first have been known to very few. Alcibiades must therefore have been content to say that he had learnt 'the plan from a highly reliable source. The only other informants who could have given that -confirmation were Tissaphernes whom we may surely disregard and Astyochus, who is hardly likely to have put an Athenian writer in a position to tell the world how he had betrayed his city's interests and co-operated with an adventurer whom he- had been instructed to put to death.

After this curious episode Thucydides records in some detail negotiations between the Athenians and Tissaphernes.. Alcibiades was now urging Tissaphernes no longer to be content with letting Athenians and Peloponnesians wear each other out but to take the Athenian side When the Athenian envoys arrived, however, Tissaphernes still remained attached to Alcibiades1 former plan There was thus no hope of agreement. For Alcibiades it was necessary that the Athenians should continue to believe that his influence with Tissaphernes was decisive.

He therefore resorted to pitching the Persian demands so high that the Athenians were bound to reject them. What is really significant is simply that he appears to know so much about the negotiations from the Persian side. Here, however, we must consider Wilamowitz' view Hermes 43, p. The breaking point was reached when Alcibiades required the Athenians to permit the Persian king to build ships in any part of his dominions and to sail with them along his own coasts.

According to Thucydides Alcibiades put forward this demand on his own initiative in the knowledge that it would not be accepted ; the onus of a breach must rest with the Athenians; for they must not become aware that Alcibiades did not possess enough influence with Tissaphernes to secure his support for them, no matter what concessions they made. Wilamowitz points out that the agreement made immediately afterwards by Tissaphernes with the Spartans did entitle him to bring the Persian fleet into Ionian waters ; he infers that Tissaphernes was unwilling to make a compact with either party which did.

This is not a necessary inference. In 59 we are told that after the third agreement with the Spartans Tissaphernes prepared to bring up the Phoenician fleet and to make good his other promises, or at all events he wished it to appear that he was making preparations. As Tissaphernes was then anxious to. The Spartans had probably long been asking for this reinforcement; it was no doubt their appeals that Alcibiades had countered in the previous autumn with the advice that Tissaphernes should spare himself the expense and risk involved and let the two sides wear each other out 46,1.

As Tissaphernes was meeting the costs of the war out of his own resources 43,6 , this advice was all the more palatable and he had hitherto put the Spartans off with promises 46,5. This was indeed the course that he continued to adopt. There is absolutely no ground for the supposition that he had set his heart on bringing his own fleet into Ionian waters or that if he had been otherwise ready for an understanding with Athens, he would have stuck on this point.

We may then accept the account that Thucydides gives of the negotiations between Alcibiades and the Athenians in But once, it is granted that Thucydides was well informed on this incident, the contrast is all the more remarkable with the uncertainty that he himself professes about the reasons for the departure of Tissaphernes for Aspendus in the summer of Now when Tissaphernes went to Aspendus, Alcibiades had already left his headquarters for Samos 85,4.

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It is true that he sailed at once towards Aspendus with a small squadron 88 , and Thucydides. Thus1 it appears that Thucydides was best informed about the policy of Tissaphernes in circumstances in which Alcibiades. The easiest explanation is that Alcibiades was- Thucydides' informant. Wilamowitz [op. This certainly contradicts Thucydides' repeated statements 46,1 ; 59 that Tissaphernes was himself responsible for fitting out the Phoenician ships ; but it is not inconceivable that Tissaphernes deceived Alcibiades, the Spartans and everyone else about the extent of his powers.

It has also been conjectured that the fleet was not used against the Athenians because it was needed against the Egyptians 3 ; but such an employment must have been a matter of com-. There is at least no ground for thinking that Thucydides' uncertainty about the explanation of Tissaphernes1 failure to intervene with it is incompatible with the hypothesis that he derived his information about affairs at he satrap's court from Alcibiades. With this the positive case for my theory closes. If Altei- biades was Thucydides' principal or sole informant for the incidents analysed above, it is natural to suppose that he learned much else from him which he could and probably did confirm from other sources.

The Mantinea campaign ef. It is not impossible that it was Alcibiades who enabled him to correct the erroneous tradition about the expulsion of the Pisistrati- dae, an affajr in which Alcibiades' great-grandfather Ditten- berger, Hermes 37 had taken a leading part and of which a true account might well have been handed down in the family. But these are possibilities not susceptible of proof.

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Objections considered. It remains to consider certain possible objections to the theory : '. I Wilamowitz propounded views about the composition of Thucydides' eighth book which, if accepted, would be fatal to the theory that Thucydides derived much of his information from Alcibiades. According to Wilamowitz op.

Later he received the texts of the treaties and inserted them or parts of them at the appropriate points of his narrative. He then rewrote and 37 in the light of his. Now it is' precisely those last chapters which give us an account of the advice tendered by Alcibiades to Tissaphernes.

If Alcibiades. But Alcibiades could not have been ignorant of the terms of the treaties whether or not it was he who gave Thucydides the actual texts or of the circumstances 'in which they vere made or of the agreement recorded in Either then Alcibiades could not have been an informant of Thucydides or Wilamowitz is wrong in holding that there is any inconsistency between and the treaties or that part of the narrative which certainly presupposes knowledge of the treaties.

I shall try to show that the second alternative is right by considering. Wilamowitz' arguments seriatim. In evaluating these arguments it should always be remembered that Book VIII is a rough draft, as none has shown better than Wilamowitz, and that it is only natural that it should be in places slipshod and obscure. For the future he was willing to pay only three obols, pending further instructions from Darius.

This need not be so. The agreement recorded in 29 was made at the beginning of winter just after the capture of Iasus. Astyochus evidently arrived at Miletus only after the conclusion of the treaty 1 and it may only have been after his arrival with instructions to put Alcibiades to death that Alcibiades took refuge with Tissaphernes 45,1. We may suppose that the first month during which pay was given at a drachma was only just running out; and that what Alcibiades persuaded Tissaphernes to do was to go back on the agreement of 29 to the extent of paying three obols and no more, and to pay even that irregularly.

An explicit reference to the agreement of 29 would certainly have made everything plain, but the omission is just the sort of defect that we ought to expect from the rough state in which Book VIII was left by its author. There is of course nothing surprising in the fact that Hermocrates is once again foremost in protesting against Tissaphernes' meanness ; that certainly does not prove that we have here nothing but a doublet of the narrative in An alternative explanation is, however, possible.

Book VIII is in an inchoate state; perhaps we have two drafts referring to the same events from different standpoints, which Thucy- dides did not live to correlate.

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In 29 his object was to give a precise statement of the pay agreement, in 43 to describe Alci- biades1 influence with Tissaphernes. But it need not follow that he wrote 45 in ignorance of the facts recorded in 29 ; those facts were not, in detail, relevant to his purpose in the later chapter. Of course for clarity he must eventually have fused the two narratives, but it is easy to imagine that in the early stage of composition in which Book VIII was left at the author's death, he had not yet sufficiently mastered the complex subject.

For Wilamowitz all this is Thucydides' free invention, written before he knew of the treaties. Doubtless the first objective of Persia should have been to destroy the Athenian Empire, but it needed no great foresight to see that, treaty or no treaty, the Spartans would act as, with Agesilaus as leader, they did act, once the. There is no reference to the second treaty which bound him 37,4 to meet the cost of any Peloponnesian armament sent for by the king a category in which the fleet at Miletus undoubtedly came ; and yet, says Wilamowitz, that treaty was concluded after Alcibiades gave this advice to Tissaphernes ; in other words Tissaphernes did not consistently follow Alcibiades' advice, as proved by the terms of the treaty; and Thucydides could not have failed to mention this, if he had known of the treaty when writing But, as argued above, it is at least possible that Alcibiades only began to advise Tissaphernes after Therimenes' treaty was concluded ; in that case the statement in 46,5 means in effect that Tissaphernes was not complying with an agreement already concluded.

It would have been cjearer if Thucydides had said this expressly. Alternatively if Wilamowitz is right in thinking that Alcibiades became Tissaphernes' adviser before the conclusion of Therimenes' treaty, or indeed the agreement of 29, his argument still fails, if we suppose that in Thucydides is treating of the same events recorded in 29 sqq.

Alcibiades I and II

In 52 there is an actual reference to the treaties. Wilamowitz regards this as a later addition. His grounds are unconvincing. He holds that 52 gives us no new information about the relations between Alcibiades and Tissaphernes and that Thucydides merely felt the need to say a word about what Alcibiades was doing during the negotiations for his return at Athens. Laterr when he came to know of the treaties, he inserted a reference to the quarrel between Tissaphernes and Lichas as a note of time. In fact Wilamowitz has misapprehended the sequence of events. The arrival of Antisthenes' squadron gave the Peloponnesians a strong numerical superiority.

Tissaphernes, owing to his adoption of Alcibiades' original advice, must already have been on bad terms with the Peloponnesians, and now that they were the stronger, he began to be afraid of them 52, cf. Alcibiades took advantage of this fear to modify his advice. Hitherto, while hinting the desirability of an accommodation with Athens 46,3 , he had gone no further in express proposals than to urge Tissaphernes to let both sides wear each other out 46,4. In 52 he is represented as taking a further step ; he now openly recommends alliance with Athens 1.

After Tissaphernes' breach with Lichas his recommendation becomes more pressing. The refe-! No doubt Wilamowitz was right in saying that Thucydides intended a contrast between what Alcibiades and Pisander and his fellows were. On the contrary the reference to the treaties in 52, a chapter which forms an integral - part of the whole narrative of Alcibiades' doings at Tissapher- nes' court, should be regarded as conclusive evidence that Thucydides wrote this narrative in full knowledge of the treaties.

Finally Wilamowitz finds an inconsistency between 56 and According to 57, he went to Caunus and concluded a treaty with the Spartans including a provision for payment of their fleet, because he feared that without pay the Peloponnesians would either fight prematurely and lose a sea-battle or abandon their ships or plunder the mainland. This is not so. The fear of the Peloponnesians attributed to him in 56,2 is; doubtless simply the fear that they would turn against him and plunder his territory.

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In both chapters Thucydides stresses that he aimed at prer serving an equality between the two sides. A hypothesis that credits the historian with so little good sense in revising hj s draft really betokens as little tn its modern inventor.

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The Second Alcibiades or Alcibiades II is a dialogue traditionally ascribed to Plato. In it, Socrates attempts to persuade Alcibiades that it is unsafe for him to pray. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg.

Wilamowitz thought that the text of the treaties came from a Spartan source, a view that is possible, though unnecessary if Alcibiades was one of Thucydides' informants. He saw that the information in could only have come from some one then at Sparta, but did not observe that the facts related in 12 could not have been known generally even there. Wila- raowitz indeed would doubtless have regarded Alcibiades' alleged advice to Endius as free invention by Thucydides ; at least he appears to explain in this way what Thucydides professes to tell of Alcibiades' advice to Tissaphernes p.

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And in his account of the advice that Alcibiades gave to Endius and Tissaphernes Thucydides gives only a bare summary, in which there is surely no room for invention ; here are none of the rhetorical sophistries or profound reflections with which he did perhaps think it appropriate to embellish the arguments actually used in the Athenian Assembly. There is no reason whatever to question that Thucydides is here offering us an account of what he believed to have been said; and Thucydides' beliefs, if his own claim be accepted, were founded on first-hand evidence.

Ill It may be objected to my theory that if Alcibiades was a principal informant of Thucydides and more particularly if he exercised an influence over him which at times led the historian to magnify Alcibiades' part in shaping events, we should expect Thucydides to give us full and accurate information about all Alcibiades1 doings, so far as they were relevant to the subject to which he chose to confine himself — the war between Athens and Sparta 1 , but that even from the scanty evidence available to supplement Thucydides we can prove that this is not so.