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[34] For he entered a larger number of teams in competition than even the mightiest cities had done, and they were of such excellence that he came out first, second, and third.1 Besides this, his generosity in the sacrifices and in the other expenses connected with the festival was so lavish and magnificent that the public funds of all the others2 were clearly less than the private means of Alcibiades alone. And when he brought his mission to an end he had caused the successes of his predecessors to seem petty in comparison with his own and those who in his own day had been victors to be no longer objects of emulation, and to future breeders of racing-steeds he left behind no possibility of surpassing him.

1 Cf. Thuc. 6.16.2 and Plut. Alc. 11, who give the same testimony; Alcibiades entered seven teams. Cf. Plutarch, Alcibiades: "His horse-breeding was famous, among other things, for the number of his racing-chariots. He was the only man, not excluding king, who ever entered at Olympia as many as seven. And his winning not only first place but second and fourth according to Thucydides—second and third according to Euripides—is the highest and most honorable distinction ever won in this field. Euripides' Ode contains the following passage: “‘But I will sing thy praises, son of Cleinias. A noble thing is victory, noblest of the noble to do what no Greek had ever done, be first and second and third in the chariot-race, and go unwearied yet, wreathed in the olive of Zeus, to make the herald cry you.’”—(Edmonds, Lyra Graeca ii. p. 241.)

2 i.e., the Θεωροί, representing the other states.

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  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (2):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.16.2
    • Plutarch, Alcibiades, 11
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