The Death of Alcibiades

The Death of Alcibiades

Alcibiades was made one of the three commanders of the Sicilian Expedition (the others were Nicias and Lamachus).

Shortly after their arrival, and after they had agreed to pursue Alcibiades’ tactics, he was recalled because he was believed to have been involved in a religious scandal

The expedition to Sicily ended in disaster too.

Understanding that his life was in danger, Alcibiades went into exile in Sparta, where – most probably- he convinced the authorities to start the war against Athens anew (the Decelean or Ionian War).

The moment was well-chosen, because in 413 the Athenians had supported Amorges, a rebel in the Persian empire.

Almost immediately, the Persians sided with Sparta. This was to be Athens’ undoing. It could overcome the loss of the Sicilian expedition force, but could not fight against Sparta and Persia at the same time.

Ironically, Alcibiades was able to return to Athens after he had made a false promise to forge an alliance between Persia and Athens, but he had to leave his home town when it became clear that he could not keep his word. Alcibiades went into exile again.

After the battle at the Aigospotamoi, Athens was forced to surrender (404); Alcibiades was killed almost immediately after.

Plutarch’s Life of Alcibiades


Philippe Chery

French 1759-1838.

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