previous next
35.

What thoughts he himself had about a tyranny, is uncertain. But the most influential citizens were afraid of it, and therefore anxious that he should sail away as soon as he could. They even voted him, besides everything else, the colleagues of his own choosing. Setting sail,1 therefore, with his one hundred ships, and assaulting Andros, he conquered the islanders in battle, as well as the Lacedaemonians who were there, but he did not capture the city. This was the first of the fresh charges brought against him by his enemies. [2]

And it would seem that if ever a man was ruined by his own exalted reputation, that man was Alcibiades. His continuous successes gave him such repute for unbounded daring and sagacity, that when he failed in anything, men suspected his inclination; they would not believe in his inability. Were he only inclined to do a thing, they thought, naught could escape him. So they expected to hear that the Chians also had been taken, along with the rest of Ionia. [3] They were therefore incensed to hear that he had not accomplished everything at once and speedily, to meet their wishes. They did not stop to consider his lack of money. This compelled him, since he was fighting men who had an almoner of bounty in the Great King, to leave his camp frequently and sail off in quest of money for rations and wages. The final and prevailing charge against him was due to this necessity. [4]

Lysander, who had been sent out as admiral by the Lacedaemonians, paid his sailors four obols a day instead of three, out of the moneys he received from Cyrus; while Alcibiades, already hard put to it to pay even his three obols, was forced to sail for Caria to levy money. The man whom he left in charge of his fleet, Antiochus,2 was a brave captain, but otherwise a foolish and low-lived fellow. [5] Although he had received explicit commands from Alcibiades not to hazard a general engagement even though the enemy sailed out to meet him, he showed such wanton contempt of them as to man his own trireme and one other and stand for Ephesus, indulging in many shamelessly insulting gestures and cries as he cruised past the prows of the enemy's ships. [6] At first Lysander put out with a few ships only, and gave him chase. Then, when the Athenians came to the aid of Antiochus, Lysander put out with his whole fleet, won the day, slew Antiochus himself, captured many ships and men, and set up a trophy of victory. As soon as Alcibiades heard of this, he came back to Samos, put out to sea with his whole armament, and challenged Lysander to battle. But Lysander was satisfied with his victory, and would not put out to meet him.

1 Towards the end of October, 408 B.C.

2 Cf. Plut. Nic. 10.1.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Bernadotte Perrin, 1916)
hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Plutarch, Nicias, 10.1
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: