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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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(p.191) Conclusion
The Life of Alcibiades

Jacqueline de Romilly

, Elizabeth Trapnell Rawlings
Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter discusses how the story of Alcibiades' life requires consulting both historical and literary texts. The honors bestowed on his tomb by the emperor Hadrian have served as the epilogue of Alcibiades' death. This is not surprising since Hadrian was known to be an admirer of Greek culture. Nor is it surprising that cultivated Romans knew about Alcibiades. They read Plato, the Greek historians, and later Plutarch. And in addition to the biography written by Cornelius Nepos, one encounters Alcibiades in all the scholars of the imperial age. After that, a heavy veil of silence fell. There is no mention of Alcibiades through the Middle Ages until the reappearance of Greek texts. The chapter then offers an analogy between Alcibiades' life and the unification of Europe. When one looks back at his life, the crisis in democracy is what is most striking and moving today.

Keywords:   Alcibiades, Hadrian, Greek culture, Greek historians, Cornelius Nepos, Greek texts, democracy

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