Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Life of AlcibiadesDangerous Ambition and the Betrayal of Athens$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jacqueline de Romilly

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501719752

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501719752.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 13 June 2021

The Grand Design

The Grand Design

Chapter:
(p.52) 4 The Grand Design
Source:
The Life of Alcibiades
Author(s):

Jacqueline de Romilly

, Elizabeth Trapnell Rawlings
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501719752.003.0004

This chapter focuses on the Sicilian expedition. In every respect, at the end of 416, Alcibiades has good reason to be content with his life and confident about his future. Out of all this grew his great ambition. And to begin, he threw himself into the Athenian effort to conquer Sicily. His ideas resonated in an Athens captivated by glory and adventure. First, though, he had to obtain approval by the Assembly of the people for his expedition. At first, everything was simple; the project was quickly approved. However, Nicias, seeing clearly the dangers that lay behind the overly broad and vague objectives, was appalled by the risks Athens was taking. He used a subsequent session of the Assembly, supposedly to deal with armaments, to raise the question of the whole affair once more. Thucydides provided the two main speeches of Nicias and Alcibiades, followed by Nicias's final pitch. During the rest of his speech, Alcibiades is the bold defender of Athenian imperialism. Ultimately, however, the expedition ended in disaster. At the very moment of the triumphant and flamboyant departure, Alcibiades must have begun to worry. If not, he should have, because a dark cloud began to take shape: into the grand plan there suddenly arose the taint of scandal.

Keywords:   Sicilian expedition, Alcibiades, Athens, Nicias, Thucydides, Athenian imperialism

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.