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The Life of AlcibiadesDangerous Ambition and the Betrayal of Athens$
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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

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In Asia Minor

In Asia Minor

(p.104) 7 In Asia Minor
The Life of Alcibiades

Jacqueline de Romilly

, Elizabeth Trapnell Rawlings
Cornell University Press

This chapter addresses the defections of the islands and the cities of Asia Minor following the disaster of the Sicilian expedition which left Athens' empire badly shaken. The empire represented its power; now Athens had been shown to be weak. Very quickly, the effects were felt in Ionia, in the islands close to Asia Minor, and in the Greek cities of Asia Minor. This was a key region for Greece because, in general, Asia Minor was part of Persia, and an old rivalry existed between the two peoples. During the Peloponnesian War, Sparta had, from the beginning, thought about an alliance with Persia; it knew the barbarians wanted to destroy Athens. As soon as the disaster in Sicily became known, defections of Greek cities took place one by one, and negotiations between Sparta and the Persian satraps began. In Sparta, there was one person who knew better than anyone else what these defections meant to Athens, and how much Athens feared an alliance between Sparta and Persia. This person had every reason to encourage Sparta, and to show it the price of these two means for destroying Athenian power. That was, of course, Alcibiades. The strategy in Ionia was his third counsel.

Keywords:   Asia Minor, Sicilian expedition, Athens, Ionia, Persia, Peloponnesian War, Sparta, Athenian power, alliance, Alcibiades

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