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Alcibiades Speech

Alcibiades Speech - Glynn 1 Nathan D Glynn Classical...

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Glynn 1 Nathan D. Glynn Classical Political Thought Tuesday, February 07, 2006 Alcibiades in Sparta Thucydides places Alcibiades at the heart of his account of the Athenians’ defeat in their war against the Spartans. While this represents a specific historical claim on Thucydides’ part, it is also a critical moment in Thucydides’ articulation of his work’s largest themes about history and humanity. In this respect, an important feature of Thucydides’ presentation of Alcibiades involves the broad analogy his work establishes between Alcibiades and Athens. This analogy between a man and a polis in many ways anticipates Plato’s Republic , a work which exploits such an analogy at the same time it shares Thucydides’ thematic preoccupations with questions about justice, private ambition, the common good, and tyranny. While Alcibiades has often been viewed as an incarnation of the spirit of imperial Athens both as an historical figure and as a figure in Thucydides’ history and while his special place in Thucydides’ history has received thought-provoking treatment I propose to extend these lines of inquiry by situating Thucydides’ Alcibiades in the context of his work’s articulation of his fundamental historical principles. At 1.22.4, Thucydides
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