Download Alcibiades and Athens: A Study in Literary Presentation by David Gribble PDF

By David Gribble

Alcibiades (c. 450-404 BC)--general, statesman, followed son of Pericles, lover of Socrates, profaner of the Mysteries-- was once known as through a few the saviour of Athens and by means of others its maximum enemy. This publication is a learn of the explosive mix of worry and fascination he excited in his contemporaries and in classical texts. It examines the extreme pressure among the classical urban and the person of superlative strength, prestige, and ambition.

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70 Thus the rhetorical depiction of Alcibiades, and his status as ostracism victim, assimilate him to the polarized schemata of anticivic individualism, of the individual ‘outside the city’. 71 But ostracism and invective are not the only perspectives from which the great individual may be viewed. Both Aristotle in the Politics and Aeschylus in Aristophanes’ Frogs advocated accepting the presence of the great individual in the city and submitting to his ways. While expulsion from the city may be the characteristic fate for such a problematic figure, these texts imply that he may also work in co-operation with the city, and in a sense be (temporarily, imperfectly) integrated within it.

This may be because the classical Greeks did not feel any particular concern about the deceptive and flexible character. 74 75 Cf. Pelling (a: ). On this figure, see Vernant and Detienne (). Introduction  Despite Achilles’ sentiment that ‘hateful to me as the gates of Hades is the man who says one thing, but hides another in his heart’,76 Odysseus is not a problematic character in the way that Achilles is: his distinctive qualities can be more unequivocally admired. Thus Thucydides clearly admires Themistocles’ Odysseuslike twists and turns to escape his pursuers, his ability to learn the Persian tongue and Persian ‘ways’, and his ability to appear clever, seeing them as a sign of an admirable political intuition and creativity (.

G. through the epitome of Satyrus composed by Heracleides Lembos in the nd c. L. . , . , . ). Cf. Uxkull-Gyllenband (:  n. ). 38 Nevertheless, the passage of Athenaeus is still evidence of Satyrus’ approach to Alcibiades in his writing about him. 40 In Alcibiades’ case, the word kalos, ‘beautiful’, may have provided the leitmotif: ‘writing about the beautiful Alcibiades, Satyrus says . . ’. In Athenaeus’ presentation of Alcibiades, beauty is virtually a term of moral analysis: it describes a vain desire to appear beautiful, even at inappropriate times.

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