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By Plutarch

(died 404 B.C.E.)

Translated by John Dryden

Alcibiades, as it is supposed, was anciently descended from Eurysaces,
the son of Ajax, by his father's side; and by his mother's side from
Alcmaeon. Dinomache, his mother, was the daughter of Megacles. His
father, Clinias, having fitted out a galley at his own expense, gained
great honour in the sea-fight at Artemisium, and was afterwards slain
in the battle of Coronea, fighting against the Boeotians. Pericles
and Ariphron, the sons of Xanthippus, nearly related to him, became
the guardians of Alcibiades. It has been said not untruly that the
friendship which Socrates felt for him has much contributed to his
fame; and certain it is, that, though we have no account from any
writer concerning the mother of Nicias or Demosthenes, of Lamachus
or Phormion, of Thrasybulus or Theramenes, notwithstanding these were
all illustrious men of the same period, yet we know even the nurse
of Alcibiades, that her country was Lacedaemon, and her name Amycla;
and that Zopyrus was his teacher and attendant; the one being recorded
by Antisthenes, and the other by Plato. 

It is not, perhaps, material to say anything of the beauty of Alcibiades,
only that it bloomed with him in all the ages of his life, in his
infancy, in his youth, and in his manhood; and, in the peculiar character
becoming to each of these periods, gave him, in every one of them,
a grace and a charm. What Euripides says, that- 

"Of all fair things the autumn, too, is fair," is by no means universally
true. But it happened so with Alcibiades, amongst few others, by reason
of his happy constitution and natural vigour of body. It is said that
his lisping, when he spoke, became him well, and gave a grace and
persuasiveness to his rapid speech. Aristophanes takes notice of it
in the verses in which he jests at Theorus; "How like a colax he is,"
says Alcibiades, meaning a corax; on which it is remarked,-

"How very happily he lisped the truth." Archippus also alludes to
it in a passage where he ridicules the son of Alcibiades:-

"That people may believe him like his father, 
He walks like one dissolved in luxury, 
Lets his robe trail behind him on the ground, 
Carelessly leans his head, and in his talk 
Affects to lisp." 

His conduct displayed many great inconsistencies and variations, not
unnaturally, in accordance with the many and wonderful vicissitudes
of his fortunes; but among the many strong passions of his real character,
the one most prevailing of all was his ambition and desire of superiority,
which appears in several anecdotes told of his sayings whilst he was
a child. Once being hard pressed in wrestling, and fearing to be thrown,
he got the hand of his antagonist to his mouth, and bit it with all
his force; and when the other loosed his hold presently, and said,
"You bite, Alcibiades, like a woman." "No," replied he, "like a lion."
Another time as he played at dice in the street, being then but a
child, a loaded cart came that way, when it was his turn to throw;
at first he called to the driver to stop, because he was to throw
in the way over which the cart was to pass; but the man giving him
no attention and driving on, when the rest of the boys divided and
gave way, Alcibiades threw himself on his face before the cart and,
stretching himself out, bade the carter pass on now if he would; which
so startled the man, that he put back his horses, while all that saw
it were terrified, and, crying out, ran to assist Alcibiades. When
he began to study, he obeyed all his other masters fairly well, but
refused to learn upon the flute, as a sordid thing, and not becoming
a free citizen; saying that to play on the lute or the harp does not
in any way disfigure a man's body or face, but one is hardly to be
known by the most intimate friends when playing on the flute. Besides,
one who plays on the harp may speak or sing at the same time; but
the use of the flute stops the mouth, intercepts the voice, and prevents
all articulation. "Therefore," said he, "let the Theban youths pipe,
who do not know how to speak, but we Athenians, as our ancestors have
told us, have Minerva for our patroness, and Apollo for our protector,
one of whom threw away the flute, and the other stripped the Flute-player
of his skin." Thus, between raillery and good earnest, Alcibiades
kept not only himself but others from learning, as it presently became
the talk of the young boys, how Alcibiades despised playing on the
flute, and ridiculed those who studied it. In consequence of which,
it ceased to be reckoned amongst the liberal accomplishments, and
became generally neglected. 

It is stated in the invective which Antiphon wrote against Alcibiades,
that once, when he was a boy, he ran away to the house of Democrates,
one of those who made a favourite of him, and that Ariphon had determined
to cause proclamation to be made for him, had not Pericles diverted
him from it, by saying, that if he were dead, the proclaiming of him
could only cause it to be discovered one day sooner, and if he were
safe, it would be a reproach to him as long as he lived. Antiphon
also says, that he killed one of his own servants with the blow of
a staff in Sibyrtius's wrestling ground. But it is unreasonable to
give credit to all that is objected by an enemy, who makes open profession
of his design to defame him. 

It was manifest that the many well-born persons who were continually
seeking his company, and making their court to him, were attracted
and captivated by his brilliant and extraordinary beauty only. But
the affection which Socrates entertained for him is a great evidence
of the natural noble qualities and good disposition of the boy, which
Socrates, indeed, detected both in and under his personal beauty;
and, hearing that his wealth and station, and the great number both
of strangers and Athenians who flattered and caressed him, might at
last corrupt him, resolved, if possible, to interpose, and preserve
hopeful a plant from perishing in the flower, before its fruit came
to perfection. For never did fortune surround and enclose a man with
so many of those things which we vulgarly call goods, or so protect
him from every weapon of philosophy, and fence him from every access
of free and searching words, as she did Alcibiades; who, from the
beginning, was exposed to the flatteries of those who sought merely
his gratification, such as might well unnerve him, and indispose him
to listen to any real adviser or instructor. Yet such was the happiness
of his genius, that he discerned Socrates from the rest, and admitted
him, whilst he drove away the wealthy and the noble who made court
to him. And, in a little time, they grew intimate, and Alcibiades,
listening now to language entirely free from every thought of unmanly
fondness and silly displays of affection, finding himself with one
who sought to lay open to him the deficiencies of his mind, and repress
his vain and foolish arrogance- 

"Dropped like the craven cock his conquered wing." 

He esteemed these endeavours of Socrates as most truly a means which
the gods made use of for the care and preservation of youth, and began
to think meanly of himself and to admire him; to be pleased with his
kindness, and to stand in awe of his virtue; and, unawares to himself,
there became formed in his mind that reflex image and reciprocation
of Love, or Anteros, that Plato talks of. It was a matter of general
wonder, when people saw him joining Socrates in his meals and his
exercises, living with him in the same tent, whilst he was reserved
and rough to all others who made their addresses to him, and acted,
indeed, with great insolence to some of them. As in particular to
Anytus, the son of Anthemion, one who was very fond of him, and invited
him to an entertainment which he had prepared for some strangers.
Alcibiades refused the invitation; but, having drunk to excess at
his own house with some of his companions, went thither with them
to play some frolic; and, standing at the door of the room where the
guests were enjoying themselves, and seeing the tables covered with
gold and silver cups, he commanded his servants to take away the one-half
of them, and carry them to his own house; and then, disdaining so
much as to enter into the room himself, as soon as he had done this,
went away. The company was indignant, and exclaimed at his rude and
insulting conduct; Anytus, however, said, on the contrary, he had
shown great consideration and tenderness in taking only a part when
he might have taken all. 

He behaved in the same manner to all others who courted him except
only one stranger, who, as the story is told, having but a small estate,
sold it all for about a hundred staters, which he presented to Alcibiades,
and besought him to accept. Alcibiades, smiling and well pleased at
the thing, invited him to supper, and, after a very kind entertainment,
gave him his gold again, requiring him, moreover, not to fail to be
present the next day, when the public revenue was offered to farm,
and to outbid all others. The man would have excused himself, because
the contract was so large, and would cost many talents; but Alcibiades,
who had at that time a private pique against the existing farmers
of the revenue, threatened to have him beaten if he refused. The next
morning, the stranger, coming to the market-place, offered a talent
more than the existing rate; upon which the farmers, enraged and consulting
together, called upon him to name his sureties, concluding that he
could find none. The poor man, being startled at the proposal, began
to retire; but Alcibiades, standing at a distance, cried out to the
magistrates, "Set my name down, he is a friend of mine; I will be
security for him." When the other bidders heard this, they perceived
that all their contrivance was defeated; for their way was, with the
profits of the second year to pay the rent for the year preceding;
so that, not seeing any other way to extricate themselves out of the
difficulty, they began to entreat the stranger, and offered him a
sum of money. Alcibiades would not suffer him to accept of less than
a talent; but when that was paid down, he commanded him to relinquish
the bargain, having by this device relieved his necessity.

Though Socrates had many and powerful rivals, yet the natural good
qualities of Alcibiades gave his affection the mastery. His words
overcame him so much, as to draw tears from his eyes, and to disturb
his very soul. Yet sometimes he would abandon himself to flatterers,
when they proposed to him varieties of pleasure, and would desert
Socrates; who, then, would pursue him, as if he had been a fugitive
slave. He despised every one else, and had no reverence or awe for
any one but him. Cleanthes the philosopher, speaking of one to whom
he was attached, says his only hold on him was by his ears, while
his rivals had all the others offered them; and there is no question
that Alcibiades was very easily caught by pleasure; and the expression
used by Thucydides about the excesses of his habitual course of living
gives occasion to believe so. But those who endeavoured to corrupt
Alcibiades took advantage chiefly of his vanity and ambition, and
thrust him on unseasonably to undertake great enterprises, persuading
him, that as soon as he began to concern himself in public affairs,
he would not only obscure the rest of the generals and statesmen,
but outdo the authority and the reputation which Pericles himself
had gained in Greece. But in the same manner as iron which is softened
by the fire grows hard with the cold and all its parts are closed
again, so, as often as Socrates observed Alcibiades to be misled by
luxury or pride, he reduced and corrected him by his addresses, and
made him humble and modest, by showing him in how many things he was
deficient, and how very far from perfection in virtue. 

When he was past his childhood, he went once to a grammar-school,
and asked the master for one of Homer's books; and he making answer
that he had nothing of Homer's, Alcibiades gave him a blow with his
fist and went away. Another schoolmaster telling him that he had Homer
corrected by himself; "How?" said Alcibiades, "and do you employ your
time in teaching children to read? You, who are able to amend Homer,
may well undertake to instruct men." Being once desirous to speak
with Pericles, he went to his house and was told there that he was
not at leisure, but busied in considering how to give up his accounts
to the Athenians; Alcibiades, as he went away, said, it "were better
for him to consider how he might avoid giving up his accounts at all."

Whilst he was very young, he was a soldier in the expedition against
Potidaea, where Socrates lodged in the same tent with him, and stood
next to him in battle. Once there happened a sharp skirmish, in which
they both behaved with signal bravery; but Alcibiades receiving a
wound, Socrates threw himself before him to defend him, and beyond
any question saved him and his arms from the enemy, and so in all
justice might have challenged the prize of valour. But the generals
appearing eager to adjudge the honour to Alcibiades, because of his
rank, Socrates, who desired to increase his thirst after glory of
a noble kind, was the first to give evidence for him, and pressed
them to crown him, and to decree to him the complete suit of armour.
Afterwards, in the battle of Delium, when the Athenians were routed,
and Socrates with a few others was retreating on foot, Alcibiades,
who was on horseback, observing it, would not pass on, but stayed
to shelter him from the danger, and brought him safe off, though the
enemy pressed hard upon them, and cut off many. But this happened
some time after. 

He gave a box on the ear to Hipponicus, the father of Callias, whose
birth and wealth made him a person of great influence and repute.
And this he did unprovoked by any passion or quarrel between them,
but only because, in a frolic, he had agreed with his companions to
do it. People were justly offended at this insolence when it became
known through the city; but early the next morning, Alcibiades went
to his house and knocked at the door and being admitted to him, took
off his outer garment, and presenting his naked body, desired him
to scourge and chastise him as he pleased. Upon this Hipponicus forgot
all his resentment, and not only pardoned him, but soon after gave
him his daughter Hipparete in marriage. Some say that it was not Hipponicus,
but his son Callias, who gave Hipparete to Alcibiades, together with
a portion of ten talents, and that after, when she had a child, Alcibiades
forced him to give ten talents more, upon pretence that such was the
agreement if she brought him any children. Afterwards, Callias, for
fear of coming to his death by his means, declared, in a full assembly
of the people, that, if he should happen to die without children,
the state should inherit his house and all his goods. Hipparete was
a virtuous and dutiful wife, but, at last, growing impatient of the
outrages done to her by her husband's continual entertaining of courtesans,
as well strangers as Athenians, she departed from him and retired
to her brother's house. Alcibiades seemed not at all concerned at
this, and lived on still in the same luxury; but the law requiring
that she should deliver to the archon in person, and not by proxy,
the instrument by which she claimed a divorce, when, in obedience
to the law, she presented herself before him to perform this, Alcibiades
came in, caught her up, and carried her home through the market-place,
no one daring to oppose him nor to take her from him. She continued
with him till her death, which happened not long after, when Alcibiades
had gone to Ephesus. Nor is this violence to be thought so very enormous
or unmanly. For the law, in making her who desires to be divorced
appear in public, seems to design to give her husband an opportunity
of treating with her, and endeavouring to retain her. 

Alcibiades had a dog which cost him seventy minas, and was a very
large one, and very handsome. His tail, which was his principal ornament,
he caused to be cut off, and his acquaintances exclaiming at him for
it, and telling him that all Athens was sorry for the dog, and cried
out upon him for this action, he laughed, and said, "Just what I wanted
has happened then. I wished the Athenians to talk about this, that
they might not say something worse of me." 

It is said that the first time he came into the assembly was upon
occasion of a largess of money which he made to the people. This was
not done by design, but as he passed along he heard a shout, and inquiring
the cause, and having learned that there was a donative making to
the people, he went in amongst them and gave money also. The multitude
thereupon applauding him, and shouting, he was so transported at it,
that he forgot a quail which he had under his robe, and the bird,
being frightened with the noise, flew off; upon which the people made
louder acclamations than before, and many of them started up to pursue
the bird; and one Antiochus, a pilot, caught it and restored it to
him, for which he was ever after a favourite with Alcibiades.

He had great advantages for entering public life; his noble birth,
his riches, the personal courage he had shown in divers battles, and
the multitude of his friends and dependents, threw open, so to say,
folding-doors for his admittance. But he did not consent to let his
power with the people rest on anything, rather than on his own gift
of eloquence. That he was a master in the art of speaking, the comic
poets bear him witness; and the most eloquent of public speakers,
in his oration against Midias, allows that Alcibiades, among other
perfections, was a most accomplished orator. If, however, we give
credit to Theophrastus, who of all philosophers was the most curious
inquirer, and the greatest lover of history, we are to understand
that Alcibiades had the highest capacity for inventing, for discerning
what was the right thing to be said for any purpose, and on any occasion;
but aiming not only at saying what was required, but also at saying
it well, in respect, that is, of words and phrases, when these did
not readily occur, he would often pause in the middle of his discourse
for want of the apt word, and would be silent and stop till he could
recollect himself, and had considered what to say. 

His expenses in horses kept for the public games, and in the number
of his chariots, were matter of great observation; never did any one
but he, either private person or king, send seven chariots to the
Olympic games. And to have carried away at once the first, the second,
and the fourth prize, as Thucydides says, or the third, as Euripides
relates it, outdoes far away every distinction that ever was known
or thought of in that kind. Euripides celebrates his success in this

"-But my song to you, 
Son of Clinias, is due. 
Victory is noble; how much more 
To do as never Greek before; 
To obtain in the great chariot race 
The first, the second, and third place; 
With easy step advanced to fame 
To bid the herald three times claim 
The olive for one victor's name." The emulation displayed by the deputations
of various states in the presents which they made to him, rendered
this success yet more illustrious. The Ephesians erected a tent for
him, adorned magnificently; the city of Chios furnished him with provender
for his horses and with great numbers of beasts for sacrifice; and
the Lesbians sent him wine and other provisions for the many great
entertainments which he made. Yet in the midst of all this he escaped
not without censure, occasioned either by the ill-nature of his enemies
or by his own misconduct. For it is said, that one Diomedes, an Athenian,
a worthy man and a friend to Alcibiades, passionately desiring to
obtain the victory at the Olympic games, and having heard much of
a chariot which belonged to the state at Argos, where he knew that
Alcibiades had great power and many friends, prevailed with him to
undertake to buy the chariot. Alcibiades did indeed buy it, but then
claimed it for his own, leaving Diomedes to rage at him, and to call
upon the gods and men to bear witness to the injustice. It would seem
there was a suit at law commenced upon this occasion, and there is
yet extant an oration concerning the chariot, written by Isocrates
in defence of the son of Alcibiades. But the plaintiff in this action
is named Tisias, and not Diomedes. 

As soon as he began to intermeddle in the government, which was when
he was very young, he quickly lessened the credit of all who aspired
to the confidence of the people except Phaeax, the son of Erasistratus,
and Nicias the son of Niceratus, who alone could contest it with him.
Nicias was arrived at a mature age, and was esteemed their first general.
Phaeax was but a rising statesman like Alcibiades; he was descended
from noble ancestors, but was his inferior, as in many other things,
so, principally, in eloquence. He possessed rather the art of persuading
in private conversation than of debate before the people, and was,
as Eupolis said of him- 

"The best of talkers, and of speakers worst." There is extant an oration
written by Phaeax against Alcibiades, in which, amongst other things,
it is said, that Alcibiades made daily use at his table of many gold
and silver vessels, which belonged to the commonwealth, as if they
had been his own. 

There was a certain Hyperbolus, of the township of Perithoedae, whom
Thucydides also speaks of as a man of bad character, a general butt
for the mockery of all the comic writers of the time, but quite unconcerned
at the worst things they could say, and, being careless of glory,
also insensible of shame; a temper which some people call boldness
and courage, whereas it is indeed impudence and recklessness. He was
liked by nobody, yet the people made frequent use of him, when they
had a mind to disgrace or calumniate any persons in authority. At
this time, the people, by his persuasions, were ready to proceed to
pronounce the sentence of ten years' banishment, called ostracism.
This they made use of to humiliate and drive out of the city such
citizens as outdid the rest in credit and power, indulging not so
much perhaps their apprehensions as their jealousies in this way.
And when, at this time, there was no doubt but that the ostracism
would fall upon one of those three, Alcibiades contrived to form a
coalition of parties, and, communicating his project to Nicias, turned
the sentence upon Hyperbolus himself. Others say, that it was not
with Nicias, but Phaeax, that he consulted, and by help of his party
procured the banishment of Hyperbolus, when he suspected nothing less.
For, before that time, no mean or obscure person had ever fallen under
the punishment, so that Plato, the comic poet, speaking of Hyperbolus,
might well say- 

"The man deserved the fate; deny't who can? 
Yes, but the fate did not deserve the man; 
Not for the like of him and his slave-brands 
Did Athens put the sherd into our hands." But we have given elsewhere
a fuller statement of what is known to us of the matter.

Alcibiades was not less disturbed at the distinctions which Nicias
gained amongst the enemies of Athens than at the honours which the
Athenians themselves paid to him. For though Alcibiades was the proper
appointed person to receive all Lacedaemonians when they came to Athens,
and had taken particular care of those that were made prisoners at
Pylos, yet, after they had obtained the peace and restitution of the
captives, by the procurement chiefly of Nicias, they paid him very
special attentions. And it was commonly said in Greece, that the war
was begun by Pericles, and that Nicias made an end of it, and the
peace was generally called the peace of Nicias. Alcibiades was extremely
annoyed at this, and being full of envy, set himself to break the
league. First, therefore, observing that the Argives, as well out
of fear as hatred to the Lacedaemonians, sought for protection against
them, he gave them a secret assurance of alliance with Athens. And
communicating, as well in person as by letters, with the chief advisers
of the people there, he encouraged them not to fear the Lacedaemonians,
nor make concessions to them, but to wait a little, and keep their
eyes on the Athenians, who, already, were all but sorry they had made
peace, and would soon give it up. And afterwards, when the Lacedaemonians
had made a league with the Boeotians, and had not delivered up Panactum
entire, as they ought to have done by the treaty, but only after first
destroying it, which gave great offence to the people of Athens, Alcibiades
laid hold of that opportunity to exasperate them more highly. He exclaimed
fiercely against Nicias, and accused him of many things, which seemed
probable enough: as that, when he was general, he made no attempt
himself to capture their enemies that were shut up in the isle of
Sphacteria, but, when they were afterwards made prisoners by others,
he procured their release and sent them back to the Lacedaemonians,
only to get favour with them; that he would not make use of his credit
with them to prevent their entering into this confederacy with the
Boeotians and Corinthians, and yet, on the other side, that he sought
to stand in the way of those Greeks who were inclined to make an alliance
and friendship with Athens, if the Lacedaemonians did not like it.

It happened, at the very time when Nicias was by these arts brought
into disgrace with the people, that ambassadors arrived from Lacedaemon,
who, at their first coming, said what seemed very satisfactory, declaring
that they had full powers to arrange all matters in dispute upon fair
and equal terms. The council received their propositions, and the
people were to assemble on the morrow to give them audience. Alcibiades
grew very apprehensive of this, and contrived to gain a secret conference
with the ambassadors. When they were met, he said: "What is it you
intend, you men of Sparta? Can you be ignorant that the council always
act with moderation and respect towards ambassadors, but that the
people are full of ambition and great designs? So that, if you let
them know what full powers your commission gives you, they will urge
and press you to unreasonable conditions. Quit, therefore, this indiscreet
simplicity, if you expect to obtain equal terms from the Athenians,
and would not have things extorted from you contrary to your inclinations,
and begin to treat with the people upon some reasonable articles,
not avowing yourselves plenipotentiaries; and I will be ready to assist
you, out of good-will to the Lacedaemonians." When he had said thus,
he gave them his oath for the performance of what he promised, and
by this way drew them from Nicias to rely entirely upon himself, and
left them full of admiration of the discernment and sagacity they
had seen in him. The next day, when the people were assembled and
the ambassadors introduced, Alcibiades, with great apparent courtesy,
demanded of them, With what powers they were come? They made answer
that they were not come as plenipotentiaries. 

Instantly upon that, Alcibiades, with a loud voice, as though he had
received and not done the wrong, began to call them dishonest prevaricators,
and to urge that such men could not possibly come with a purpose to
say or do anything that was sincere. The council was incensed, the
people were in a rage, and Nicias, who knew nothing of the deceit
and the imposture, was in the greatest confusion, equally surprised
and ashamed at such a change in the men. So thus the Lacedaemonian
ambassadors were utterly rejected, and Alcibiades was declared general,
who presently united the Argives, the Eleans, and the people of Mantinea,
into a confederacy with the Athenians. 

No man commended the method by which Alcibiades effected all this,
yet it was a great political feat thus to divide and shake almost
all Peloponnesus, and to combine so many men in arms against the Lacedaemonians
in one day before Mantinea; and, moreover, to remove the war and the
danger so far from the frontier of the Athenians, that even success
would profit the enemy but little, should they be conquerors, whereas,
if they were defeated, Sparta itself was hardly safe. 

After this battle at Mantinea, the select thousand of the army of
the Argives attempted to overthrow the government of the people in
Argos, and make themselves masters of the city; and the Lacedaemonians
came to their aid and abolished the democracy. But the people took
arms again, and gained the advantage, and Alcibiades came in to their
aid and completed the victory, and persuaded them to build long walls,
and by that means to join their city to the sea, and so to bring it
wholly within reach of the Athenian power. To this purpose he procured
them builders and masons from Athens, and displayed the greatest zeal
for their service, and gained no less honour and power to himself
than to the commonwealth of Athens. He also persuaded the people of
Patrae to join their city to the sea, by building long walls; and
when some one told them, by way of warning, that the Athenians would
swallow them up at last, Alcibiades made answer, "Possibly it may
be so, but it will be by little and little, and beginning at the feet,
whereas the Lacedaemonians will begin at the head and devour you all
at once." Nor did he neglect either to advise the Athenians to look
to their interests by land, and often put the young men in mind of
the oath which they had made at Agraulos, to the effect that they
would account wheat and barley, and vines and olives, to be the limits
of Attica; by which they were taught to claim a title to all land
that was cultivated and productive. 

But with all these words and deeds, and with all this sagacity and
eloquence, he intermingled exorbitant luxury and wantonness, in his
eating and drinking and dissolute living; wore long purple robes like
a woman, which dragged after him as he went through the market-place;
caused the planks of his galley to be cut away, that so he might lie
the softer, his bed not being placed on the boards, but hanging upon
girths. His shield, again, which was richly gilded, had not the usual
ensigns of the Athenians, but a Cupid, holding a thunderbolt in his
hand, was painted upon it. The sight of all this made the people of
good repute in the city feel disgust and abhorrence, and apprehension
also, at his free living, and his contempt of law, as things monstrous
in themselves, and indicating designs of usurpation. Aristophanes
has well expressed the people's feelings toward him- 

"They love, and hate, and cannot do without him." And still more strongly,
under a figurative expression,- 

"Best rear no lion in your state, 'tis true; 
But treat him like a lion if you do." 

The truth is, his liberalities, his public shows, and other munificence
to the people, which were such as nothing could exceed, the glory
of his ancestors, the force of his eloquence, the grace of his person,
his strength of body, joined with his great courage and knowledge
in military affairs, prevailed upon the Athenians to endure patiently
his excesses, to indulge many things to him, and, according to their
habit, to give the softest names to his faults, attributing them to
youth and good nature. As, for example, he kept Agatharcus, the painter,
a prisoner till he had painted his whole house, but then dismissed
him with a reward. He publicly struck Taureas, who exhibited certain
shows in opposition to him and contended with him for the prize. He
selected for himself one of the captive Melian women, and had a son
by her, whom he took care to educate. This the Athenians styled great
humanity, and yet he was the principal cause of the slaughter of all
the inhabitants of the isle of Melos who were of age to bear arms,
having spoken in favour of that decree. When Aristophon, the painter,
had drawn Nemea sitting and holding Alcibiades in her arms, the multitudes
seemed pleased with the piece, and thronged to see it, but older people
disliked and disrelished it, and looked on these things as enormities,
and movements towards tyranny. So that it was not said amiss by Archestratus,
that Greece could not support a second Alcibiades. Once, when Alcibiades
succeeded well in an oration which he made, and the whole assembly
attended upon him to do him honour, Timon the misanthrope did not
pass slightly by him, nor avoid him, as did others, but purposely
met him, and taking him by the hand, said, "Go on boldly, my son,
and increase in credit with the people, for thou wilt one day bring
them calamities enough." Some that were present laughed at the saying,
and some reviled Timon; but there were others upon whom it made a
deep impression; so various was the judgment which was made of him,
and so irregular his own character. 

The Athenians, even in the lifetime of Pericles, had already cast
a longing eye upon Sicily; but did not attempt anything till after
his death. Then, under pretence of aiding their confederates, they
sent succours upon all occasions to those who were oppressed by the
Syracusans, preparing the way for sending over a greater force. But
Alcibiades was the person who inflamed this desire of theirs to the
height, and prevailed with them no longer to proceed secretly, and
by little and little, in their design, but to sail out with a great
fleet, and undertake at once to make themselves masters of the island.
He possessed the people with great hopes, and he himself entertained
yet greater; and the conquest of Sicily, which was the utmost bound
of their ambition, was but the mere outset of his expectation. Nicias
endeavoured to divert the people from the expedition, by representing
to them that the taking of Syracuse would be a work of great difficulty;
but Alcibiades dreamed of nothing less than the conquest of Carthage
and Libya, and by the accession of these conceiving himself at once
made master of Italy and Peloponnesus, seemed to look upon Sicily
as little more than a magazine for the war. The young men were soon
elevated with these hopes and listened gladly to those of riper years,
who talked wonders of the countries they were going to; so that you
might see great numbers sitting in the wrestling grounds and public
places, drawing on the ground the figure of the island and the situation
of Libya and Carthage. Socrates the philosopher and Meton the astrologer
are said, however, never to have hoped for any good to the commonwealth
from this war; the one, it is to be supposed, presaging what would
ensue, by the intervention of his attendant Genius; and the other,
either upon rational consideration of the project or by use of the
art of divination, conceived fears for its issue, and, feigning madness,
caught up a burning torch, and seemed as if he would have set his
own house on fire. Others report, that he did not take upon him to
act the madman, but secretly in the night set his house on fire, and
the next morning besought the people, that for his comfort, after
such a calamity, they would spare his son from the expedition. By
which artifice he deceived his fellow citizens, and obtained of them
what he desired. 

Together with Alcibiades, Nicias, much against his will, was appointed
general; and he endeavoured to avoid the command, not the less on
account of his colleague. But the Athenians thought the war would
proceed more prosperously, if they did not send Alcibiades free from
all restraint, but tempered his heat with the caution of Nicias. This
they chose the rather to do, because Lamachus, the third general,
though he was of mature years, yet in several battles had appeared
no less hot and rash than Alcibiades himself. When they began to deliberate
of the number of forces, and of the manner of making the necessary
provisions, Nicias made another attempt to oppose the design, and
to prevent the war; but Alcibiades contradicted him, and carried his
point with the people. And one Demostratus, an orator, proposing to
give the generals absolute power over the preparations and the whole
management of the war, it was presently decreed so. When all things
were fitted for the voyage, many unlucky omens appeared. At that very
time the feast of Adonis happened in which the women were used to
expose, in all parts of the city, images resembling dead men carried
out to their burial, and to represent funeral solemnities by lamentations
and mournful songs. The mutilation, however, of the images of Mercury,
most of which, in one night, had their faces all disfigured, terrified
many persons who were wont to despise most things of that nature.
It was given out that it was done by the Corinthians, for the sake
of the Syracusans, who were their colony, in hopes that the Athenians,
by such prodigies, might be induced to delay or abandon the war. But
the report gained no credit with the people, nor yet the opinion of
those who would not believe that there was anything ominous in the
matter, but that it was only an extravagant action, committed, in
that sort of sport which runs into licence, by wild young men coming
from a debauch. Alike enraged and terrified at the thing, looking
upon it to proceed from a conspiracy of persons who designed some
commotions in the state, the council, as well as the assembly of the
people, which were held frequently in a few days' space, examined
diligently everything that might administer ground for suspicion.
During this examination, Androcles, one of the demagogues, produced
certain slaves and strangers before them, who accused Alcibiades and
some of his friends of defacing other images in the same manner, and
of having profanely acted the sacred mysteries at a drunken meeting,
where one Theodorus represented the herald, Polytion the torch-bearer,
and Alcibiades the chief priest, while the rest of the party appeared
as candidates for initiation, and received the title of Initiates.
These were the matters contained in the articles of information which
Thessalus, the son of Cimon, exhibited against Alcibiades, for his
impious mockery of the goddesses Ceres and Proserpine. The people
were highly exasperated and incensed against Alcibiades upon this
accusation, which being aggravated by Androcles, the most malicious
of all his enemies, at first disturbed his friends exceedingly. But
when they perceived that all the seamen designed for Sicily were for
him, and the soldiers also, and when the Argive and Mantinean auxiliaries,
a thousand men at arms, openly declared that they had undertaken this
distant maritime expedition for the sake of Alcibiades, and that,
if he was ill-used, they would all go home, they recovered their courage,
and became eager to make use of the present opportunity for justifying
him. At this his enemies were again discouraged, fearing lest the
people should be more gentle to him in their sentence, because of
the occasion they had for his service. Therefore, to obviate this,
they contrived that some other orators, who did not appear to be enemies
to Alcibiades, but really hated him no less than those who avowed
it, should stand up in the assembly and say that it was a very absurd
thing that one who was created general of such an army with absolute
power, after his troops were assembled, and the confederates were
come, should lose the opportunity, whilst the people were choosing
his judges by lot, and appointing times for the hearing of the cause.
And, therefore, let him set sail at once, good fortune attend him;
and when the war should be at an end, he might then in person make
his defence according to the laws. 

Alcibiades perceived the malice of this postponement, and, appearing
in the assembly, represented that it was monstrous for him to be sent
with the command of so large an army, when he lay under such accusations
and calumnies; that he deserved to die, if he could not clear himself
of the crimes objected to him; but when he had so done, and had proved
his innocence, he should then cheerfully apply himself to the war,
as standing no longer in fear of false accusers. But he could not
prevail with the people, who commanded him to sail immediately. So
he departed, together with the other generals, having with them near
140 galleys, 5,100 men at arms, and about 1,300 archers, slingers,
and light-armed men, and all the other provisions corresponding.

Arriving on the coast of Italy, he landed at Rhegium, and there stated
his views of the manner in which they ought to conduct the war. He
was opposed by Nicias; but Lamachus being of his opinion, they sailed
for Sicily forthwith, and took Catana. This was all that was done
while he was there, for he was soon after recalled by the Athenians
to abide his trial. At first, as we before said, there were only some
slight suspicions advanced against Alcibiades, and accusations by
certain slaves and strangers. But afterwards, in his absence, his
enemies attacked him more violently, and confounded together the breaking
the images with the profanation of the mysteries, as though both had
been committed in pursuance of the same conspiracy for changing the
government. The people proceeded to imprison all that were accused,
without distinction, and without hearing them, and repented now, considering
the importance of the charge, that they had not immediately brought
Alcibiades to his trial, and given judgment against him. Any of his
friends or acquaintance who fell into the people's hands, whilst they
were in this fury, did not fail to meet with very severe usage. Thucydides
has omitted to name the informers, but others mention Dioclides and
Teucer. Amongst whom is Phrynichus, the comic poet, in whom we find
the following:- 

"O dearest Hermes! only do take care, 
And mind you do not miss your footing there; 
Should you get hurt, occasion may arise 
For a new Dioclides to tell lies." To which he makes Mercury return
this answer:- 

"will so, for I feel no inclination 
To reward Teucer for more information." The truth is, his accusers
alleged nothing that was certain or solid against him. One of them,
being asked how he knew the men who defaced the images, replying,
that he saw them by the light of the moon, made a palpable misstatement,
for it was just new moon when the fact was committed. This made all
men of understanding cry out upon the thing; but the people were as
eager as ever to receive further accusations, nor was their first
heat at all abated, but they instantly seized and imprisoned every
one that was accused. Amongst those who were detained in prison for
their trials was Andocides the orator, whose descent the historian
Hellanicus deduces from Ulysses. He was always supposed to hate popular
government, and to support oligarchy. The chief ground of his being
suspected of defacing the images was because the great Mercury, which
stood near his house, and was an ancient monument of the tribe Aegeis,
was almost the only statute of all the remarkable ones which remained
entire. For this cause, it is now called the Mercury of Andocides,
all men giving it that name, though the inscription is evidence to
the contrary. It happened that Andocides, amongst the rest who were
prisoners upon the same account, contracted particular acquaintance
and intimacy with one Timaeus, a person inferior to him in repute,
but of remarkable dexterity and boldness. He persuaded Andocides to
accuse him and some few others of this crime, urging to him that,
upon his confession, he would be, by the decree of the people, secure
of his pardon, whereas the event of judgment is uncertain to all men,
but to great persons, such as he was, most formidable. So that it
was better for him, if he regarded himself, to save his life by falsity,
than to suffer an infamous death, as really guilty of the crime. And
if he had regard to the public good, it was commendable to sacrifice
a few suspected men, by that means to rescue many excellent persons
from the fury of the people. Andocides was prevailed upon, and accused
himself and some others, and, by the terms of the decree, obtained
his pardon, while all the persons named by him, except some few who
had saved themselves by flight, suffered death. To gain the greater
credit to his information, he accused his own servants amongst others.
But notwithstanding this, the people's anger was not wholly appeased;
and being now no longer diverted by the mutilators, they were at leisure
to pour out their whole rage upon Alcibiades. And, in conclusion,
they sent the galley named Salaminian to recall him. But they expressly
commanded those that were sent to use no violence, nor seize upon
his person, but address themselves to him in the mildest terms, requiring
him to follow them to Athens in order to abide his trial, and clear
himself before the people. For they feared mutiny and sedition in
the army in an enemy's country, which indeed it would have been easy
for Alcibiades to effect, if he had wished it. For the soldiers were
dispirited upon his departure, expecting for the future tedious delays,
and that the war would be drawn out into a lazy length by Nicias,
when Alcibiades, who was the spur to action, was taken away. For though
Lamachus was a soldier, and a man of courage, poverty deprived him
of authority and respect in the army. Alcibiades, just upon his departure,
prevented Messena from falling into the hands of the Athenians. There
were some in that city who were upon the point of delivering it up,
but he, knowing the persons, gave information to some friends of the
Syracusans, and so defeated the whole contrivance. When he arrived
at Thurii, he went on shore, and, concealing himself there, escaped
those who searched after him. But to one who knew him, and asked him
if he durst not trust his own native country, he made answer, "In
everything else, yes; but in a matter that touches my life, I would
not even my own mother, lest she might by mistake throw in the black
ball instead of the white." When, afterwards, he was told that the
assembly had pronounced judgment of death against him, all he said
was, "I will make them feel that I am alive." 

The information against him was conceived in this form:-

"Thessalus, the son of Cimon, of the township of Lacia, lays information
that Alcibiades, the son of Clinias of the township of the Scambonidae,
has committed a crime against the goddesses Ceres and Proserpine,
by representing in derision the holy mysteries, and showing them to
his companions in his own house. Where, being habited in such robes
as are used by the chief priest when he shows the holy things, he
named himself the chief priest, Polytion the torch-bearer, and Theodorus,
of the township of Phegaea, the herald; and saluted the rest of his
company as Initiates and Novices, all which was done contrary to the
laws and institutions of the Eumolpidae, and the heralds and priests
of the temple at Eleusis." 

He was condemned as contumacious upon his not appearing, his property
confiscated, and it was decreed that all the priests and priestesses
should solemnly curse him. But one of them, Theano, the daughter of
Menon, of the township of Agraule, is said to have opposed that part
of the decree, saying that her holy office obliged her to make prayers,
but not execrations. 

Alcibiades, lying under these heavy decrees and sentences, when first
he fled from Thurii, passed over into Peloponnesus and remained some
time at Argos. But being there in fear of his enemies, and seeing
himself utterly hopeless of return to his native country, he sent
to Sparta, desiring safe conduct, and assuring them that he would
make them amends by his future services for all the mischief he had
done them while he was their enemy. The Spartans giving him the security
he desired, he went eagerly, was well received, and, at his very first
coming, succeeded in inducing them, without any further caution or
delay, to send aid to the Syracusans; and so roused and excited them,
that they forthwith despatched Gylippus into Sicily to crush the forces
which the Athenians had in Sicily. A second point was to renew the
war upon the Athenians at home. But the third thing, and the most
important of all, was to make them fortify Decelea, which above everything
reduced and wasted the resources of the Athenians. 

The renown which he earned by these public services was equalled by
the admiration he attracted to his private life; he captivated and
won over everybody by his conformity to Spartan habits. People who
saw him wearing his hair close cut, bathing in cold water, eating
coarse meal, and dining on black broth, doubted, or rather could not
believe, that he ever had a cook in his house, or had ever seen a
perfumer, or had worn a mantle of Milesian purple. For he had, as
it was observed, this peculiar talent and artifice for gaining men's
affections, that he could at once comply with and really embrace and
enter into their habits and ways of life, and change faster than the
chameleon. One colour, indeed, they say the chameleon cannot assume:
it cannot itself appear white; but Alcibiades, whether with good men
or with bad, could adapt himself to his company, and equally wear
the appearance of virtue or vice. At Sparta, he was devoted to athletic
exercises, was frugal and reserved; in Ionia, luxurious, gay, and
indolent; in Thrace, always drinking; in Thessaly, ever on horseback;
and when he lived with Tisaphernes the Persian satrap, he exceeded
the Persians themselves in magnificence and pomp. Not that his natural
disposition changed so easily, nor that his real character was so
variable, but, whether he was sensible that by pursuing his own inclinations
he might give offence to those with whom he had occasion to converse,
he transformed himself into any shape, and adopted any fashion, that
he observed to be most agreeable to them. So that to have seen him
at Lacedaemon, a man, judging by the outward appearance, would have
said, "'Tis not Achilles's son, but he himself; the very man" that
Lycurgus designed to form; while his real feeling and acts would have
rather provoked the exclamation, "'Tis the same woman still." For
while king Agis was absent, and abroad with the army, he corrupted
his wife Timaea, and had a child born by her. Nor did she even deny
it, but when she was brought to bed of a son, called him in public
Leotychides, but, amongst her confidants and attendants, would whisper
that his name was Alcibiades, to such a degree was she transported
by her passion for him. He, on the other side, would say, in his vain
way, he had not done this thing out of mere wantonness of insult,
nor to gratify a passion, but that his race might one day be kings
over the Lacedaemonians. 

There were many who told Agis that this was so, but time itself gave
the greatest confirmation to the story. For Agis, alarmed by an earthquake,
had quitted his wife, and for ten months after was never with her;
Leotychides, therefore, being born after these ten months, he would
not acknowledge him for his son which was the reason that afterwards
he was not admitted to the succession. 

After the defeat which the Athenians received in Sicily, ambassadors
were despatched to Sparta at once from Chios and Lesbos and Cyzicus,
to signify their purpose of revolting from the Athenians. The Boeotians
interposed in favour of the Lesbians, and Pharnabazus of the Cyzicenes,
but the Lacedaemonians, at the persuasion of Alcibiades, chose to
assist Chios before all others. He himself, also, went instantly to
sea, procured the immediate revolt of almost all Ionia, and, co-operating
with the Lacedaemonian generals, did great mischief to the Athenians.
But Agis was his enemy, hating him for having dishonoured his wife,
and also impatient of his glory, as almost every enterprise and every
success was ascribed to Alcibiades. Others, also, of the most powerful
and ambitious amongst the Spartans were possessed with jealousy of
him, and at last prevailed with the magistrates in the city to send
orders into Ionia that he should be killed. Alcibiades, however, had
secret intelligence of this, and in apprehension of the result, while
he communicated all affairs to the Lacedaemonians, yet took care not
to put himself into their power. At last he retired to Tisaphernes,
the King of Persia's satrap, for his security, and immediately became
the first and most influential person about him. For this barbarian,
not being himself sincere, but a lover of guile and wickedness, admired
his address and wonderful subtlety. And, indeed, the charm of daily
intercourse with him was more than any character could resist or any
disposition escape. Even those who feared and envied him could not
but take delight, and have a sort of kindness for him, when they saw
him and were in his company. So that Tisaphernes, otherwise a cruel
character, and, above all other Persians, a hater of the Greeks, was
yet so won by the flatteries of Alcibiades, that he set himself even
to exceed him in responding to them. The most beautiful of his parks,
containing salubrious streams and meadows, where he had built pavilions,
and places of retirement royally and exquisitely adorned, received
by his direction the name of Alcibiades, and was always so called
and so spoken of. 

Thus Alcibiades, quitting the interests of the Spartans, whom he could
no longer trust, because he stood in fear of Agis, endeavoured to
do them ill offices, and render them odious to Tisaphernes, who by
his means was hindered from assisting them vigorously, and from finally
ruining the Athenians. For his advice was to furnish them but sparingly
with money, and so wear them out, and consume them insensibly; when
they had wasted their strength upon one another, they would both become
ready to submit to the king. Tisaphernes readily pursued his counsel,
and so openly expressed the liking and admiration which he had for
him, that Alcibiades was looked up to by the Greeks of both parties,
and the Athenians, now in their misfortunes, repented them of their
severe sentence against him. And he, on the other side, began to be
troubled for them, and to fear lest, if that commonwealth were utterly
destroyed, he should fall into the hands of the Lacedaemonians, his

At that time the whole strength of the Athenians was in Samos. Their
fleet maintained itself here, and issued from these headquarters to
reduce such as had revolted, and protect the rest of their territories;
in one way or other still contriving to be a match for their enemies
at sea. What they stood in fear of was Tisaphernes and the Phoenician
fleet of one hundred and fifty alleys, which was said to be already
under sail; if those came, there remained then no hopes for the commonwealth
of Athens. Understanding this, Alcibiades sent secretly to the chief
men of the Athenians, who were then at Samos, giving them hopes that
he would make Tisaphernes their friend; he was willing, he implied,
to do some favour, not to the people, not in reliance upon them, but
to the better citizens, if only, like brave men, they would make the
attempt to put down the insolence of the people, and, by taking upon
them the government, would endeavour to save the city from ruin. All
of them gave a ready ear to the proposal made by Alcibiades, except
only Phrynichus, of the township of Dirades one of the generals, who
suspected, as the truth was, that Alcibiades concerned not himself
whether the government were in the people or the better citizens,
but only sought by any means to make way for his return into his native
country, and to that end inveighed against the people, thereby to
gain the others, and to insinuate himself into their good opinion.
But when Phrynichus found his counsel to be rejected and that he was
himself become a declared enemy of Alcibiades, he gave secret intelligence
to Astyochus, the enemy's admiral, cautioning him to beware of Alcibiades
and to seize him as a double dealer, unaware that one traitor was
making discoveries to another. For Astyochus, who was eager to gain
the favour of Tisaphernes, observing the credit Alcibiades had with
him, revealed to Alcibiades all that Phrynichus had said against him.
Alcibiades at once despatched messengers to Samos, to accuse Phrynichus
of the treachery. Upon this, all the commanders were enraged with
Phrynichus, and set themselves against him; he, seeing no other way
to extricate himself from the present danger, attempted to remedy
one evil by a greater. He sent to Astyochus to reproach him for betraying
him, and to make an offer to him at the same time to deliver into
his hands both the army and the navy of the Athenians. This occasioned
no damage to the Athenians, because Astyochus repeated his treachery
and revealed also this proposal to Alcibiades. But this again was
foreseen by Phrynichus, who, expecting a second accusation from Alcibiades
to anticipate him, advertised the Athenians beforehand that the enemy
was ready to sail in order to surprise them, and therefore advised
them to fortify their camp, and be in a readiness to go aboard their
ships. While the Athenians were intent upon doing these things, they
received other letters from Alcibiades, admonishing them to beware
of Phrynichus, as one who designed to betray their fleet to the enemy,
to which they then gave no credit at all, conceiving that Alcibiades,
who knew perfectly the counsels and preparations of the enemy, was
merely making use of that knowledge, in order to impose upon them
in this false accusation of Phrynichus. Yet, afterwards, when Phrynichus
was stabbed with a dagger in the market-place by Hermon, one of the
guards, the Athenians, entering into an examination of the cause,
solemnly condemned Phrynichus of treason, and decreed crowns to Hermon
and his associates. And now the friends of Alcibiades, carrying all
before them at Samos, despatched Pisander to Athens, to attempt a
change of government, and to encourage the aristocratical citizens
to take upon themselves the government, and overthrow the democracy,
representing to them, that upon these terms, Alcibiades would procure
them the friendship and alliance of Tisaphernes. 

This was the colour and pretence made use of by those who desired
to change the government of Athens to an oligarchy. But as soon as
they prevailed, and had got the administration of affairs into their
hands, under the name of the Five Thousand (whereas, indeed, they
were but four hundred), they slighted Alcibiades altogether, and prosecuted
the war with less vigour; partly because they durst not yet trust
the citizens, who secretly detested this change, and partly because
they thought the Lacedaemonians, who always befriended the government
of the few, would be inclined to give them favourable terms.

The people in the city were terrified into submission, many of those
who had dared openly to oppose the four hundred having been put to
death. But those who were at Samos, indignant when they heard this
news, were eager to set sail instantly for the Piraeus; sending for
Alcibiades, they declared him general, requiring him to lead them
on to put down the tyrants. He, however, in that juncture, did not,
as it might have been thought a man would, on being suddenly exalted
by the favour of a multitude, think himself under an obligation to
gratify and submit to all the wishes of those who, from a fugitive
and an exile, had created him general of so great an army, and given
him the command of such a fleet. But, as became a great captain, he
opposed himself to the precipitate resolutions which their rage led
them to, and, by restraining them from the great error they were about
to commit, unequivocally saved the commonwealth. For if they then
sailed to Athens, all Ionia and the islands and the Hellespont would
have fallen into the enemies' hands without opposition, while the
Athenians, involved in civil war, would have been fighting with one
another within the circuit of their own walls. It was Alcibiades,
alone, or, at least, principally, who prevented all this mischief;
for he not only used persuasion to the whole army, and showed them
the danger, but applied himself to them, one by one, entreating some,
and constraining others. He was much assisted, however, by Thrasybulus
of Stiria, who having the loudest voice, as we are told, of all the
Athenians, went along with him, and cried out to those who were ready
to be gone. A second great service which Alcibiades did for them was,
his undertaking that the Phoenician fleet, which the Lacedaemonians
expected to be sent to them by the King of Persia, should either come
in aid of the Athenians or otherwise should not come at all. He sailed
off with all expedition in order to perform this, and the ships, which
had already been seen as near as Aspendus, were not brought any further
by Tisaphernes, who thus deceived the Lacedaemonians; and it was by
both sides believed that they had been diverted by the procurement
of Alcibiades. The Lacedaemonians, in particular, accused him, that
he had advised the Barbarian to stand still, and suffer the Greeks
to waste and destroy one another, as it was evident that the accession
of so great a force to either party would enable them to take away
the entire dominion of the sea from the other side. 

Soon after this, the four hundred usurpers were driven out, the friends
of Alcibiades vigorously assisting those who were for the popular
government. And now the people in the city not only desired, but commanded
Alcibiades to return home from his exile. He, however, desired not
to owe his return to the mere grace and commiseration of the people,
and resolved to come back, not with empty hands, but with glory, and
after some service done. To this end, he sailed from Samos with a
few ships, and cruised on the sea of Cnidos, and about the isle of
Cos; but receiving intelligence there that Mindarus, the Spartan admiral,
had sailed with his whole army into the Hellespont, and that the Athenians
had followed him, he hurried back to succour the Athenian commanders,
and, by good fortune, arrived with eighteen galleys at a critical
time. For both the fleets having engaged near Abydos, the fight between
them had lasted till night, the one side having the advantage on one
quarter, and the other on another. Upon his first appearance, both
sides formed a false impression; the enemy was encouraged and the
Athenians terrified. But Alcibiades suddenly raised the Athenian ensign
in the admiral ship, and fell upon those galleys of the Peloponnesians
which had the advantage and were in pursuit. He soon put these to
flight, and followed them so close that he forced them on shore, and
broke the ships in pieces, the sailors abandoning them and swimming
away in spite of all the efforts of Pharnabazus, who had come down
to their assistance by land and did what he could to protect them
from the shore. In fine, the Athenians, having taken thirty of the
enemy's ships, and recovered all their own, erected a trophy. After
the gaining of so glorious a victory, his vanity made him eager to
show himself to Tisaphernes, and, having furnished himself with gifts
and presents, and an equipage suitable to his dignity, he set out
to visit him. But the thing did not succeed as he had imagined, for
Tisaphernes had been long suspected by the Lacedaemonians, and was
afraid to fall into disgrace with his king upon that account, and
therefore thought that Alcibiades arrived very opportunely, and immediately
caused him to be seized, and sent away prisoner to Sardis; fancying,
by this act of injustice, to clear himself from all former imputations.

But about thirty days after, Alcibiades escaped from his keeping,
and having got a horse, fled to Clazomenae, where he procured Tisaphernes
additional disgrace by professing he was a party to his escape. From
there he sailed to the Athenian camp, and, being informed there that
Mindarus and Pharnabazus were together at Cyzicus, he made a speech
to the soldiers, telling them that sea-fighting, land-fighting, and,
by the gods, fighting against fortified cities too, must be all one
for them, as unless they conquered everywhere, there was no money
for them. As soon as ever he got them on shipboard, he hastened to
Proconnesus, and gave command to seize all the small vessels they
met, and guard them safely in the interior of the fleet, that the
enemy might have no notice of his coming; and a great storm of rain,
accompanied with thunder and darkness, which happened at the same
time, contributed much to the concealment of his enterprise. Indeed,
it was not only undiscovered by the enemy, but the Athenians themselves
were ignorant of it, for he commanded them suddenly on board, and
set sail when they had abandoned all intention of it. As the darkness
presently passed away, the Peloponnesian fleet was seen riding out
at sea in front of the harbour of Cyzicus. Fearing, if they discovered
the number of his ships, they might endeavour to save themselves by
land, he commanded the rest of the captains to slacken, and follow
him slowly, whilst he, advancing with forty ships, showed himself
to the enemy, and provoked them to fight. The enemy, being deceived
as to their numbers, despised them, and, supposing they were to contend
with those only, made themselves ready and began the fight. But as
soon as they were engaged, they perceived the other part of the fleet
coming down upon them, at which they were so terrified that they fled
immediately. Upon that, Alcibiades, breaking through the midst of
them with twenty of his best ships, hastened to the shore, disembarked,
and pursued those who abandoned their ships and fled to land, and
made a great slaughter of them. Mindarus and Pharnabazus, coming to
their succour, were utterly defeated. Mindarus was slain upon the
place, fighting valiantly; Pharnabazus saved himself by flight. The
Athenians slew great numbers of their enemies, won much spoil, and
took all their ships. They also made themselves masters of Cyzicus
which was deserted by Pharnabazus, and destroyed its Peloponnesian
garrison, and thereby not only secured to themselves the Hellespont,
but by force drove the Lacedaemonians from out of the rest of the
sea. They intercepted some letters written to the ephors, which gave
an account of this fatal overthrow, after their short laconic manner.
"Our hopes are at an end. Mindarus is slain. The men starve. We know
not what to do." 

The soldiers who followed Alcibiades in this last fight were so exalted
with their success, and felt that degree of pride, that, looking on
themselves as invincible, they disdained to mix with the other soldiers,
who had been often overcome. For it happened not long before, Thrasyllus
had received a defeat near Ephesus, and, upon that occasion, the Ephesians
erected their brazen trophy to the disgrace of the Athenians. The
soldiers of Alcibiades reproached those who were under the command
of Thrasyllus with this misfortune, at the same time magnifying themselves
and their own commander, and it went so far that they would not exercise
with them, nor lodge in the same quarters. But soon after, Pharnabazus,
with a great force of horse and foot, falling upon the soldiers of
Thrasyllus, as they were laying waste the territory of Abydos, Alcibiades
came to their aid, routed Pharnabazus, and together with Thrasyllus
pursued him till it was night; and in this action the troops united,
and returned together to the camp, rejoicing and congratulating one
another. The next day he erected a trophy, and then proceeded to lay
waste with fire and sword the whole province which was under Pharnabazus,
where none ventured to resist; and he took divers priests and priestesses,
but released them without ransom. He prepared next to attack the Chalcedonians,
who had revolted from the Athenians, and had received a Lacedaemonian
governor and garrison. But having intelligence that they had removed
their corn and cattle out of the fields, and were conveying it all
to the Bithynians, who were their friends, he drew down his army to
the frontier of the Bithynians, and then sent a herald to charge them
with this proceeding. The Bithynians, terrified at his approach, delivered
up to him the booty, and entered into alliance with him.

Afterwards he proceeded to the siege of Chalcedon, and enclosed it
with a wall from sea to sea. Pharnabazus advanced with his forces
to raise the siege, and Hypocrites, the governor of the town, at the
same time, gathering together all the strength he had, made a sally
upon the Athenians. Alcibiades divided his army so as to engage both
at once, and not only forced Pharnabazus to a dishonourable flight,
but defeated Hypocrites, and killed him and a number of the soldiers
with him. After this he sailed into the Hellespont, in order to raise
supplies of money, and took the city of Selymbria, in which action,
through his precipitation, he exposed himself to great danger. For
some within the town had undertaken to betray it into his hands, and,
by agreement, were to give him a signal by a lighted torch about midnight.
But one of the conspirators beginning to repent himself of the design,
the rest, for fear of being discovered, were driven to give the signal
before the appointed hour. Alcibiades, as soon as he saw the torch
lifted up in the air, though his army was not in readiness to march,
ran instantly towards the walls, taking with him about thirty men
only, and commanding the rest of the army to follow him with all possible
speed. When he came hither, he found the gate opened for him and entered
with his thirty men, and about twenty more light-armed men, who were
come up to them. They were no sooner in the city, but he perceived
the Selymbrians all armed, coming down upon him; so that there was
no hope of escaping if he stayed to receive them; and, on the other
hand, having been always successful till that day, wherever he commanded,
he could not endure to be defeated and fly. So, requiring silence
by sound of a trumpet, he commanded one of his men to make proclamation
that the Selymbrians should not take arms against the Athenians. This
cooled such of the inhabitants as were fiercest for the fight, for
they supposed that all their enemies were within the walls, and it
raised the hopes of others who were disposed to an accommodation.
Whilst they were parleying, and propositions making on one side and
the other, Alcibiades's whole army came up to the town. And now, conjecturing
rightly that the Selymbrians were well inclined to peace, and fearing
lest the city might be sacked by the Thracians, who came in great
numbers to his army to serve as volunteers, out of kindness for him,
he commanded them all to retreat without the walls. And upon the submission
of the Selymbrians, he saved them from being pillaged, only taking
of them a sum of money, and, after placing an Athenian garrison in
the town, departed. 

During this action, the Athenian captains who besieged Chalcedon concluded
a treaty with Pharnabazus upon these articles: That he should give
them a sum of money; that the Chalcedonians should return to the subjection
of Athens, and that the Athenians should make no inroad into the province
whereof Pharnabazus was governor; and Pharnabazus was also to provide
safe conducts for the Athenian ambassadors to the King of Persia.
Afterwards, when Alcibiades returned thither, Pharnabazus required
that he also should be sworn to the treaty; but he refused it, unless
Pharnabazus would swear at the same time. When the treaty was sworn
to on both sides, Alcibiades went against the Byzantines, who had
revolted from the Athenians, and drew a line of circumvallation about
the city. But Anaxilaus and Lycurgus, together with some others, having
undertaken to betray the city to him upon his engagement to preserve
the lives and property of the inhabitants, he caused a report to be
spread abroad, as if by reason of some unexpected movement in Ionia,
he should be obliged to raise the siege. And, accordingly, that day
he made a show to depart with his whole fleet; but returned the same
night, and went ashore with all his men at arms, and, silently and
undiscovered, marched up to the walls. At the same time, his ships
rowed into the harbour with all possible violence coming on with much
fury, and with great shouts and outcries. The Byzantines, thus surprised
and astonished, while they all hurried to the defence of their port
and shipping, gave opportunity to those who favoured the Athenians
securely to receive Alcibiades into the city. Yet the enterprise was
not accomplished without fighting, for the Peloponnesians, Boeotians,
and Megarians, not only repulsed those who came out of the ships,
and forced them on board again, but, hearing that the Athenians were
entered on the other side, drew up in order, and went to meet them.
Alcibiades, however, gained the victory after some sharp fighting,
in which he himself had the command of the right wing, and Theramenes
of the left, and took about three hundred, who survived of the enemy,
prisoners of war. After the battle, not one of the Byzantines was
slain, or driven out of the city, according to the terms upon which
the city was put into his hands, that they should receive no prejudice
in life or property. And thus Anaxilaus, being afterwards accused
at Lacedaemon for this treason, neither disowned nor professed to
be ashamed of the action; for he urged that he was not a Lacedaemonian,
but a Byzantine, and saw not Sparta but Byzantium, in extreme danger;
the city so blockaded that it was not possible to bring in any new
provisions, and the Peloponnesians and Boeotians, who were in garrison,
devouring the old stores, whilst the Byzantines, with their wives
and children, were starving, that he had not therefore, betrayed his
country to enemies, but had delivered it from the calamities of war,
and had but followed the example of the most worthy Lacedaemonians,
who esteemed nothing to be honourable and just, but what was profitable
for their country. The Lacedaemonians, upon hearing his defence, respected
it, and discharged all that were accused. 

And now Alcibiades began to desire to see his native country again,
or rather to show his fellow-citizens a person who had gained so many
victories for them. He set sail for Athens, the ships that accompanied
him being adorned with great numbers of shields and other spoils,
and towing after them many galleys taken from the enemy, and the ensigns
and ornaments of many others which he had sunk and destroyed; all
of them together amounting to two hundred. Little credit, perhaps,
can be given to what Duris the Samian, who professed to be descended
from Alcibiades, adds, that Chrysogonus, who had gained a victory
at the Pythian games, played upon his flute for the galleys, whilst
the oars kept time with the music; and that Callippides, the tragedian,
attired in his buskins, his purple robes, and other ornaments used
in the theatre, gave the word to the rowers, and that the admiral
galley entered into the port with a purple sail. Neither Theopompus,
nor Ephorus, nor Xenophon, mention them. Nor, indeed, is it credible,
that one who returned from so long an exile, and such variety of misfortunes,
should come home to his countrymen in the style of revellers breaking
up from a drinking-party. On the contrary, he ventured the harbour
full of fear, nor would he venture to go on shore, till, standing
on the deck, he saw Euryptolemus, his cousin, and others of his friends
and acquaintance, who were ready to receive him, and invited him to
land. As soon as he was landed, the multitude who came out to meet
him scarcely seemed so much as to see any of the other captains, but
came in throngs about Alcibiades, and saluted him with loud acclamations,
and still followed him; those who could press near him crowned him
with garlands, and they who could not come up so close yet stayed
to behold him afar off, and the old men pointed him out, and showed
him to the young ones. Nevertheless, this public joy was mixed with
some tears, and the present happiness was alloyed by the remembrance
of the miseries they had endured. They made reflections, that they
could not have so unfortunately miscarried in Sicily, or been defeated
in any of their other expectations, if they had left the management
of their affairs formerly, and the command of their forces, to Alcibiades,
since, upon his undertaking the administration, when they were in
a manner driven from the sea, and could scarce defend the suburbs
of their city by land, and, at the same time, were miserably distracted
with intestine factions, he had raised them up from this low and deplorable
condition, and had not only restored them to their ancient dominion
of the sea, but had also made them everywhere victorious over their
enemies on land. 

There had been a decree for recalling him from his banishment already
passed by the people, at the instance of Critias, the son of Calloeschrus,
as appears by his elegies, in which he puts Alcibiades in mind of
this service:- 

"From my proposal did that edict come, 
Which from your tedious exile brought you home. 
The public vote at first was moved by me, 
And my voice put the seal to the decree." The people being summoned
to an assembly, Alcibiades came in amongst them, and first bewailed
and lamented his own sufferings, and, in gentle terms complaining
of the usage he had received, imputed all to his hard fortune, and
some ill-genius that attended him: then he spoke at large of their
prospects, and exhorted them to courage and good hope. The people
crowned him with crowns of gold, and created him general, both at
land and sea, with absolute power. They also made a decree that his
estate should be restored to him, and that the Eumolpidae and the
holy herald should absolve him from the curses which they had solemnly
pronounced against him by sentence of the people. Which when all the
rest obeyed, Theodorus, the high priest, excused himself, "For," said
he, "if he is innocent, I never cursed him." 

But notwithstanding the affairs of Alcibiades went so prosperously,
and so much to his glory, yet many were still somewhat disturbed,
and looked upon the time of his arrival to be ominous. For on the
day that he came into the port, the feast of the goddess Minerva,
which they call the Plynteria, was kept. It is the twenty-first day
of Thargelion, when the Praxiergidae solemnize their secret rites,
taking all the ornaments from off her image, and keeping the part
of the temple where it stands close covered. Hence the Athenians esteem
this day most inauspicious, and never undertake anything of importance
upon it; and, therefore, they imagined that the goddess did not receive
Alcibiades graciously and propitiously, thus hiding her face and rejecting
him. Yet, notwithstanding, everything succeeded according to his wish.
When the one hundred galleys, that were to return with him, were fitted
out and ready to sail, an honourable zeal detained him till the celebration
of the mysteries was over. For ever since Decelea had been occupied,
as the enemy commanded the roads leading from Athens to Eleusis, the
procession, being conducted by sea, had not been performed with any
proper solemnity; they were forced to omit the sacrifices and dances
and other holy ceremonies, which had usually been performed in the
way, when they led forth Iacchus. Alcibiades, therefore, judged it
would be a glorious action, which would do honour to the gods and
gain him esteem with men, if he restored the ancient splendour to
these rites, escorting the procession again by land, and protecting
it with his army in the face of the enemy. For either, if Agis stood
still and did not oppose, it would very much diminish and obscure
his reputation, or, in the other alternative, Alcibiades would engage
in a holy war, in the cause of the gods, and in defence of the most
sacred and solemn ceremonies; and this in the sight of his country,
where he should have all his fellow-citizens witness of his valour.
As soon as he had resolved upon this design, and had communicated
it to the Eumolpidae and heralds, he placed sentinels on the tops
of the hills, and at the break of day sent forth his scouts. And then
taking with him the priests and Initiates and the Initiators, and
encompassing them with his soldiers, he conducted them with great
order and profound silence; an august and venerable procession, wherein
all who did not envy him said he performed at once the office of a
high priest and of a general. The enemy did not dare to attempt anything
against them, and thus he brought them back in safety to the city.
Upon which, as he was exalted in his own thought, so the opinion which
the people had of his conduct was raised that degree, that they looked
upon their armies as irresistible and invincible while he commanded
them; and he so won, indeed, upon the lower and meaner sort of people,
that they passionately desired to have him "tyrant" over them, and
some of them did not scruple to tell him so, and to advise him to
put himself out of the reach of envy, by abolishing the laws and ordinances
of the people, and suppressing the idle talkers that were ruining
the state, that so he might act and take upon him the management of
affairs, without standing in fear of being called to an account.

How far his own inclinations led him to usurp sovereign power is uncertain,
but the most considerable persons in the city were so much afraid
of it, that they hastened him on shipboard as speedily as they could,
appointing the colleagues whom he chose, and allowing him all other
things as he desired. Thereupon he set sail with a fleet of one hundred
ships, and, arriving at Andros, he there fought with and defeated
as well the inhabitants as the Lacedaemonians who assisted them. He
did not, however, take the city; which gave the first occasion to
his enemies for all their accusations against him. Certainly, if ever
man was ruined by his own glory, it was Alcibiades. For his continual
success had produced such an idea of his courage and conduct, that
if he failed in anything he undertook, it was imputed to his neglect,
and no one would believe it was through want of power. For they thought
nothing was too hard for him, if he went about it in good earnest.
They fancied, every day, that they should hear news of the reduction
of Chios, and of the rest of Ionia, and grew impatient that things
were not effected as fast and as rapidly as they could wish for them.
They never considered how extremely money was wanting, and that, having
to carry on war with an enemy who had supplies of all things from
a great king, he was often forced to quit his armament in order to
procure money and provisions for the subsistence of his soldiers.
This it was which gave occasion for the last accusation which was
made against him. For Lysander, being sent from Lacedaemon with a
commission to be admiral of their fleet, and being furnished by Cyrus
with a great sum of money, gave every sailor four obols a day, whereas
before they had but three. Alcibiades could hardly allow his men three
obols, and therefore was constrained to go into Caria to furnish himself
with money. He left the care of the fleet, in his absence, to Antiochus,
an experienced seaman, but rash and inconsiderate, who had express
orders from Alcibiades not to engage, though the enemy provoked him.
But he slighted and disregarded these directions to that degree, that,
having made ready his own galley and another, he stood for Ephesus,
where the enemy lay, and, as he sailed before the heads of their galleys,
used every provocation possible, both in words and deeds. Lysander
at first manned out a few ships, and pursued him. But all the Athenian
ships coming in to his assistance, Lysander, also, brought up his
whole fleet, which gained an entire victory, He slew Antiochus himself,
took many men and ships, and erected a trophy. 

As soon as Alcibiades heard this news, he returned to Samos, and loosing
from hence with his whole fleet, came and offered battle to Lysander.
But Lysander, content with the victory he had gained, would not stir.
Amongst others in the army who hated Alcibiades, Thrasybulus, the
son of Thrason, was his particular enemy, and went purposely to Athens
to accuse him, and to exasperate his enemies in the city against him.
Addressing the people, he represented that Alcibiades had ruined their
affairs and lost their ships by mere self-conceited neglect of his
duties, committing the government of the army, in his absence, to
men who gained his favour by drinking and scurrilous talking, whilst
he wandered up and down at pleasure to raise money, giving himself
up to every sort of luxury and excess amongst the courtesans of Abydos
and Ionia at a time when the enemy's navy were on the watch close
at hand. It was also objected to him, that he had fortified a castle
near Bisanthe in Thrace, for a safe retreat for himself, as one that
either could not, or would not, live in his own country. The Athenians
gave credit to these informations, and showed the resentment and displeasure
which they had conceived against him by choosing other generals.

As soon as Alcibiades heard of this, he immediately forsook the army,
afraid of what might follow; and, collecting a body of mercenary soldiers,
made war upon his own account against those Thracians who called themselves
free, and acknowledged no king. By this means he amassed to himself
a considerable treasure, and, at the same time, secured the bordering
Greeks from the incursions of the barbarians. 

Tydeus, Menander, and Adimantus, the new-made generals, were at that
time posted at Aegospotami, with all the ships which the Athenians
had left. From whence they were used to go out to sea every morning,
and offer battle to Lysander, who lay near Lampsacus; and when they
had done so, returning back again, lay, all the rest of the day, carelessly
and without order, in contempt of the enemy. Alcibiades, who was not
far off, did not think so slightly of their danger, nor neglect to
let them know it, but, mounting his horse, came to the generals, and
represented to them that they had chosen a very inconvenient station,
where there was no safe harbour, and where they were distant from
any town; so that they were constrained to send for their necessary
provisions as far as Sestos. He also pointed out to them their carelessness
in suffering the soldiers, when they went ashore, to disperse and
wander up and down at their pleasure, while the enemy's fleet, under
the command of one general, and strictly obedient to discipline, lay
so very near them. He advised them to remove the fleet to Sestos.
But the admirals not only disregarded what he said, but Tydeus, with
insulting expressions, commanded him to be gone, saying, that now
not he, but others, had the command of the forces. Alcibiades, suspecting
something of treachery in them, departed, and told his friends, who
accompanied him out of the camp, that if the generals had not used
him with such insupportable contempt, he would within a few days have
forced the Lacedaemonians, however unwilling, either to have fought
the Athenians at sea or to have deserted their ships. Some looked
upon this as a piece of ostentation only; others said, the thing was
probable, for that he might have brought down by land great numbers
of the Thracian cavalry and archers, to assault and disorder them
in their camp. The event, however, soon made it evident how rightly
he had judged of the errors which the Athenians committed. For Lysander
fell upon them on a sudden, when they least suspected it, with such
fury that Conon alone, with eight galleys, escaped him; all the rest,
which were about two hundred, he took and carried away, together with
three thousand prisoners, whom he put to death. And within a short
time after, he took Athens itself, burnt all the ships which he found
there, and demolished their long walls. 

After this, Alcibiades, standing in dread of the Lacedaemonians, who
were now masters both at sea and land, retired into Bithynia. He sent
thither great treasure before him, took much with him, but left much
more in the castle where he had before resided. But he lost great
part of his wealth in Bithynia, being robbed by some Thracians who
lived in those parts, and thereupon determined to go to the court
of Artaxerxes, not doubting but that the king, if he would make trial
of his abilities, would find him not inferior to Themistocles, besides
that he was recommended by a more honourable cause. For he went not,
as Themistocles did, to offer his service against his fellow-citizens,
but against their enemies, and to implore the kings aid for the defence
of his country. He concluded that Pharnabazus would most readily procure
him a safe conduct, and therefore went into Phrygia to him, and continued
to dwell there some time, paying him great respect, and being honourably
treated by him. The Athenians, in the meantime, were miserably afflicted
at their loss of empire; but when they were deprived of liberty also,
and Lysander set up thirty despotic rulers in the city, in their ruin
now they began to turn to those thoughts which, while safety was yet
possible, they would not entertain; they acknowledged and bewailed
their former errors and follies, and judged this second ill-usage
of Alcibiades to be all the most inexcusable. For he was rejected
without any fault committed by himself, and only because they were
incensed against his subordinate for having shamefully lost a few
ships, they much more shamefully deprived the commonwealth of its
most valiant and accomplished general. Yet in this sad state of affairs
they had still some faint hopes left them, nor would they utterly
despair of the Athenian commonwealth while Alcibiades was safe. For
they persuaded themselves that if before, when he was an exile, he
could not content himself to live idly and at ease, much less now
if he could find any favourable opportunity, would he endure the insolence
of the Lacedaemonians, and the outrages of the Thirty. Nor was it
an absurd thing in the people to entertain such imaginations, when
the Thirty themselves were so very solicitous to be informed and to
get intelligence of all his actions and designs. In fine, Critias
represented to Lysander that the Lacedaemonians could never securely
enjoy the dominion of Greece till the Athenian democracy was absolutely
destroyed; and, though now the people of Athens seemed quietly and
patiently to submit to so small a number of governors, yet so long
as Alcibiades lived, the knowledge of this fact would never suffer
them to acquiesce in their present circumstances. 

Yet Lysander would not be prevailed upon by these representations,
till at last he received secret orders from the magistrates of Lacedaemon,
expressly requiring him to get Alcibiades despatched: whether it was
that they feared his energy and boldness in enterprising what was
hazardous, or that it was done to gratify King Agis. Upon receipt
of this order, Lysander sent away a messenger to Pharnabazus, desiring
him to put it in execution. Pharnabazus committed the affair to Magaeus,
his brother, and to his uncle Susamithres. Alcibiades resided at that
time in a small village in Phrygia, together with Timandra, a mistress
of his. As he slept, he had this dream: he thought himself attired
in his mistress's habit, and that she, holding him in her arms, dressed
his head and painted his face as if he had been a woman; others say,
he dreamed that he saw Magaeus cut off his head and burn his body;
at any rate, it was but a little while before his death that he had
these visions. Those who were sent to assassinate him had not courage
enough to enter the house, but surrounded it first, and set it on
fire. Alcibiades, as soon as he perceived it, getting together great
quantities of clothes and furniture, threw them upon the fire to choke
it, and, having wrapped his cloak about his left arm, and holding
his naked sword in his right, he cast himself into the middle of the
fire, and escaped securely through it before his clothes were burnt.
The barbarians, as soon as they saw him, retreated and none of them
durst stay to wait for him, or to engage with him, but, standing at
a distance, they slew him with their darts and arrows. When he was
dead the barbarians departed, and Timandra took up his dead body,
and, covering and wrapping it up in her own robes, she buried it as
decently and as honourably as her circumstances would allow. It is
said, that the famous Lais, who was called the Corinthian, though
she was a native of Hyccara, a small town in Sicily, from whence she
was brought a captive, was the daughter of this Timandra. There are
some who agree with this account of Alcibiades's death in all points,
except that they impute the cause of it neither to Pharnabazus, nor
Lysander, nor the Lacedaemonians; but they say he was keeping with
him a young lady of a noble house, whom he had debauched, and that
her brothers, not being able to endure the indignity, set fire by
night to the house where he was living, and, as he endeavoured to
save himself from the flames, slew him with their darts, in the manner
just related. 



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Translation of "The Deeds of the Divine Augustus" by Augustus is
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