Week 17

Alcibiades (c. 450–404 BC) is the most interesting leader in the later Athenian democracy as it faced demands for an empire and failed to live up to its own democratic ideals. The international event that manifests the failure of Athenian democracy is the Peloponnesian War in which Alcibiades was a major figure. He was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. He was the last famous member of his mother's aristocratic family, the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominence after the Peloponnesian War. He played a major role in the second half of that conflict as a strategic advisor, military commander, and politician. During the course of the Peloponnesian War, Alcibiades changed his political allegiance several times. In his native Athens in the early 410's BC, he advocated an aggressive foreign policy and was a prominent proponent of the Sicilian Expedition, but he fled to Sparta after his political enemies brought charges of sacrilege against him. In Sparta, he served as a strategic adviser, proposing or supervising several major campaigns against Athens. In Sparta too, however, Alcibiades soon made powerful enemies and felt forced to defect to Persia. (Wikipedia)


David Stuttard,

Nemesis: Alcibiades and the Fall of Athens,

Harvard University Press; First Edition edition (April 16, 2018),

ISBN 0674660447