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when the Lacedaemonians had made a league with the
Bsotians, and had not delivered up Panadum to the Athe-
nians entire, as they ought to have done by the treaty/
but defaced and ruined, which gave great offence to the
people of Athens, Alcibiades laid hold of that opportu-
nity to exafperate them more highly. He exclaimed
fiercely againft Nicias, and accufed him of many things
which feemed probable enough -, as that when he was
General, he would not feize upon thofe men who were
deferted by the enemy's army, (8) and left in the ifle
of Sphaderia ^ and that when they were afterwards made
prifoners by others, he procured their releafe, and fent


(8) After the Lacedemonians under the command ofEpifadas the

had loft the forirefs of Pylos in fon of Molobrus. Nicias negledted

Meffenia. they left in the ifle ef making himfelf mafter of thatifl.-

Sphafteria, which lay over-a^ainft duiing the time he was General ;

it at the mouth of the haven, a butCleon,who in conjunction with

gatrifou of j 20 men, b-lkksHelots Demofthenes fucceedsd him in the

A L C I B I A D E S. 105

them back, only that he might ingratiate himfelfwith the
Lacedaemonians ; that he would not make life of his credit
with them, to prevent their entering into this confederacy
with the Boeotians, and Corinthians ; and yet, on the other
fide when any of the Grecians were inclined to enter into
an alliance with the Athenians, he hindered the league from
being formed, if the Lacedaemonians were not pleafed
with it.

It happened at the very time when Nicias was by thefe
arts brought intodifgrace with the people, that ambafla-
dors arrived from Lacedaemon, who at their firft coming,
faid what feemed very fatisfadlory, declaring that they
had full power to adjuft all their differences upon equal
terms. The council received their proportions, and the
people was to aflemble on the morrow to give them au-
dience. (9) Alcibiades was very apprehenfive of this, and
contrived to have a fecret conference with the ambafladors.
When they were met, he faid, " What is it you intend,
" Spartans ? Canyon be ignorant, that the council always
u behave with moderation and refpect towards ambafla-
u dors, but that the people are haughty, and affect great
" things ? So that if you let them know what full powers
iC your commifTion gives you, they will prefs you to yield
* c to unreafbnable conditions. Quit therefore thisindifcreet
u method, if you expect to obtain equal terms from the
*' Athenians, and would not have things extorted from you
" contrary to your inclination ^ treat with the people with-
*' out owning that you are plenipotentiaries, and I will be
" ready to ailiflyou, as being very zealous to fervetheLa-
" cedaemonians." When he had faid thus, he gave them his
oath for the performance of what he promifed ; and by this
way drew them from Nicias to rely entirely upon himfelf,
and to admire him as a perfon extraordinary for wifdom
and dexterity in affairs. The next day, when the people
were afTembled, and the ambafladors introduced, Alci-

command of the army, got poffef- be releafed.

fion after a long difpute, wherein (9) He was afraid left the people

feveral of the garrifon were (lain, fhould come to an agreement with

jand the reft made prifoners, and the Lacedemonians, andrejeft the

fent to Athens. Among thofe Argive alliance, whichwould Lave

prifoners, were 120 Spartans, broken all his meafures.

whom Nicias got afterwards to CO That

106 We LIFE of

blades with great civility demanded of them with what
powers they were come ? They anfwered, that they were
not come as plenipotentiaries. Inftantly upon that,
Alcibiades with aloud voice (as though he had received,
and not done the wrong) began to call them faithlefs
and inconftant, and to (how that fuch men could not
poilibly come with a purpofe to fay or do any thing
that was fmcere. The council was highly incenfed, the
people were in a rage ; and Nicias, who knew nothing
of the deceit and the impofture, was in the greateft con-
fufion imaginable, being equally furprized and amamed
at fuch a change in the men. So that the Lacedaemo-
nian ambafladors were utterly rejected, and Alcibiades
was declared General, v/ho prefently drew the Argives,
the Elians, and thofe of Mantinea, into a confederacy
with the Athenians.

No man commended the method by which Alcibiades
effected all this, yet it was a great flroke of politicks,
thus to divide and make almoft all Pelopennefus, and to
bring together fb many men in arms againft the Lace-
daemonians in one day before (i) Mantinea ; thereby re-
moving the war and the danger fo far from the fron-
tier of the Athenians, that even fuccefs would profit
the enemy but little, mould they be conquerors ;
whereas if they were defeated, Sparta itfelf was hardly

(2) After this battle at Mantinea, the officers of the
army of the Argives attempted to deflroy the popular
government in Argos, and make themfelves mafters of
the city ; and this they effected by the affiftance of the
Lacedaemonians. But the people took arms again :, and
having gained fome advantage, Alcibiades came to their


(1) That battle was fought oppofe them* The Lacedasmoni-
near three years after theconclu- ans fupported them in their under-
fion of the treaty with Argos. taking, from a perfuafion that

(2) They took advantage of the they themfelves fhould foon be
condensation the people of Ar- mafters of Argos, if they could
gos were in after the lofs of that once abolilh the popular govern-
battle ; for they juftiy concluded hient, and eftablifn an ariftocracy.
that they would be To nmc-hdifpi- (5) Cecrops had three daugh-
ited as no: to be jn a condition to ters, Agraulos, Herfe, andPandro-



aid, and made their victory compleat. Then he per-
fuaded them to build long walls, and by that means to
join their city to the fea, that fo at all times they might
more fecurely receive fuccour from the Athenians. To
this purpofe he procured them many mafons and {lone-
cutters from Athens, and in all things (hewed thegreateft
zeal for their fervice, and thereby gained no lefs honour
and power to himielf, than to the commonwealth of
Athens. He alfo perfuaded the Patrenfians to join their
city to the fea, by lengthening their walls; and when
they were warned, that the Athenians would fwallow
them up at laft, Alcibiades anfwered, " Poflibly it may
*' be fo, but it will be by little and little, and beginning at
" the feet ; whereas the Lacedaemonians will begin at the
" head, and devour you all at once." He alfo advifed the
Athenians to exercife their power at land, and often put
the young men in mind (3) of the oath which they had
taken in the temple of Agraulos, and excited them to the
effectual performance of it ; for there they were wont
to fwear, that they would repute wheat and barley, and
vines and olives to be the limits of Attica ; by which
they were taught to claim a title to all lands . that were
manured and fruitful.

But to thefe great political talents, to this wifdom
and eloquence, he joined exorbitant luxury in his eat-
ing and drinking and amours, vaft profufion in his
expences, and an exceflive gaiety and effeminacy in his
drefs. He wore a long purple robe, which dragged
after him as he went through the market-place. He
caufed the planks of his galley to be cut away, that fb
he might lie the fofter, his bed not being placed on the
boards, but hanging upon girths. And his fhield,


fos. During the war between the flung herfelf headlong from the
Athenians and the inhabitants of citadel, and by her death procured
Eleufis, the Athenians confulted the victory for her grandfather
the Oracle ofApollo, who anfwer- Erechtheus. In memory of this he-
ed that the event would be un- roic action, the Athenians confe-
profperous to them unlefs fome crated]to Agraulos a wood and tem-
one among them devoted himfelf pie at the entrance into the citadel,
for his country. As foon asthisan- and ordained that for the future be-
fwer was made publick, Agraulos forethey fet out upon any expediti-

io8 We LIFE ef

which was richly gilded, (4) had not the ufual enfigns of
the Athenians, but a Cupid holding a thunderbolt in his
hand was reprefenteduponit. The principal men of the
city obferved thefe things with the highefl indignation,
and were afraid of his diiTblute manners, and infolent
contempt of the laws, as things monftrous in themfelves,
and tending to a change of the government. Arifto-
phanes has well exprefTed in what manner the people
ftood affected towards him.

They hate him, yet they love and court him too.

And in another place he fatirizes him more feverely by
the following allufion ;

Tes, Jons of Athens, youjhouldfirjl take care
For your own fakes to breed no lion there ;
But if by chance a Honjhould be bred,
'Tis your next work to have himfootb'd and fed.

The truth is, his liberalities^ his publick fhows, and
other inflances of his munificence to the people (which
nothing could exceed) the glory of his anceftors, the
force of his eloquence, the lovelinefs of his perfon, his


on, all the youth fhould be obliged fpeaklng of a Prince, who had ne~
to take in that wood the oath men- ver performed any exploit, expref-
tioned here by Plutarch, and which fes it " Parmaque inglorius alba,"
was a fort of devoting themfelves upon which the reader may fee
for the good of their country. the notes of Servius. I did not
(4) The ufual enfigns of the fpeak improperly when I called
Athenians, were Minerva, the owl, thefe arms devices, for there are
and the olive ; for in the earlieft inftances of what we call devices
ages, private perfons and cities among the ancients. We meet
had their particular enfigns, or as with feveral in one of ./Efchylus's
they are now called arms, which tragedies ; Capaneus bore on his
were properly the emblems either fhield the figure of a naked man
of their original, their actions, or ' holding a torch in his hand, with
inclinations. None but people of this motto, Arpijuw w >, " I will
figure and reputation in the world " burn the city." Eteocles bore on
were allowed to bear thefe arms, bis afoldier fcaling a tower, with
and thefe devices. The (hields this motto " in fpite of Mars him-
wornby the common foldierswere " felf ;" and Polinices's fhield had
all fmooth and white ; for which on it a man in golden armour, and
reafon ^Efchylus calls the Theban Juftice marching before, and con-
troops, XitixncrTw Xaoif, " The dueling him, with this motto, *' I
" people with white fhields."Virgi] " will replace him on the throne."

(5) This


ftrength of body joined with his great courage and ex-
traordinary knowledge in military affairs, prevailed
upon the Athenians to endure patiently his exceffes, to
indulge many things to him, and to give the fofteft
names to his faults, attributing them only to his viva-
city and good-nature. (5) He kept Agotharcus the pain-
ter a pritbner, till he had painted his whole houfe, but
then difmiifed him with a reward. He publickly ftruck
Taureas, who exhibited certain mows in oppofition to
him, and contended with him for the prize. He took
to himfelf one of the captive (6) Melian women, and
had a fbn by her, whom he took care to educate. This
the Athenian fliled great humanity ; and yet he was the
principal caufe of the flaughter of all the inhabitants
of the ifle of Melos, who were of age to bear arms, by
fpeaking in favour of that cruel (7) decree. When
Ariftophon the painter had drawn Nemea the courtezan,
fitting and holding Alcibiades in her arms, the multitude
feemed pleafed with the piece, and thronged to fee it ; but
the graver fort were highly offended, and looked on thefe
things as infults upon the laws, and as fo many fteps
towards afluming arbitrary power. So that it was not


(5} This painter had been fa- with new fupplies from Athens,

miliar with Alcibiades's miftrefs ; the Melians furrendered at difcre-

and Alcibiades having caught him tion. The Athenians put to the

in the faft, by way of punifhment fword all thofe that were of age

kept him prifoner till he had to bear arms, and carried the wo-

painted his whole houfe for him. men and children prifoners to

Demofthenes touches upon this Athens. Thucyd. lib. 5.
adventure in his fpeech againft
Midias. (7) Thucidydes, who has given

(6) The ifle of Melos, one of us an account of this flaughter of
the Cyclades, and a ^plonyof La- the Melians, makes no mention
cedzmon.refufed to fubmitto the of the decree. Perhaps he was
Athenians, who therefore fent Al- willing to have it buried in ii-
cibiades againft it with fix and lence, as a thing difliorionrable
<hirty fhips, and' : three thoufand to his country, and would have
men, the laft year of the goth O- pofterity confider that barbarous
lympiad. Alcibiades only blocked a&ion as the effeft of a fuddent
up the town with thefe forces, tranfport in forces, who had been
but Philocrates the fon of Eude- provoked to it by the long and
mus arriving the year following obftinate Tefiftance of the Me-
an the beginning .of the winter lians.

(S) Pericles

,. IO We LIFE of

ill faid by Archeftratus, that Greece could not bear two
Alcibiades. Once when Alcibiades fucceeded well in an
oration which he made, and the whole aflembly attended
upon him to do him honour, Timon, furnamed the Man-
hater, would not pafs flightly by him, nor avoid him
as he did others, but purpofely met him, and taking
him by the hand, faid, " Go on boldly my fon, mayeft
" thou encreafe in credit with the people ; for thou
" wilt one day bring them calamities enough." Some
that were prefent laughed at the faying, and fome re-
proached Timon ; but there were others upon whom it
made a deep impreflion j fo various was. the judgment
which was made of him, by reafon of the inequality of
his manners.

The Athenians in the life-time of Pericles, had caft a
longing eye upon Sicily, but did not attempt any thing
in relation to it, (8) till after his death. For then,
under pretence of aiding their confederates, they fent
fuccours upon all occafions to thofe who were oppref-
fed by the Syracufans, and thereby made way for the
fending over a greater force. But Alcibiades was the
perfon who inflamed this defire of theirs to the height,
and prevailed with them no longer to proceed fecretly
in their defign, and by little and little, but to fend
out a great fleet, and undertake at once to make them-
felves matters of the iiland. Thus he pofleiTed the
people with great hopes, whilft he himfelf had much
greater -, and the conqueft of Sicily, which was the ut-
moft bound of their ambition, was but the beginning
of thofe things which he thought of. Nicius endea-
voured to divert the people from this expedition, by
reprefenting to them, that the taking of Syracufe would
be a work of great difficulty. But ALcibiades dreamed


(8) Pericles during his life had gium, to the fuccour of the Leon-
prevented the Athenians from en- tines, who were attacked by thf
gaging in any of thefe extrava- Syracufans. The year following
gant projects. He died the laft they fent ftill a greater number j
year of the 8 7 th Olympiad, in and two years after that they
the 3d year of the Peloponnefian fitted out another fleet of a greater
war. Two years after this, the force than the former; but the
Athenians fent fome (hips to Rhe- Sicilians having put an end to


A L C I B I A D E. S. 1 1 1

of nothing lefs than the conqueft of Carthage andLibyia,
and by the acceffion of thefe, fancied himfelf already
matter of Italy and Peloponnefus ; fo that he feemed to
look upon Sicily as little more than a magazine for the
war. The young men were foon elated with thefe
hopes, and hearkened gladly to thofe of riper years, who
told, them ftrange things of this expedition ; ib that you
might fee great numbers fitting in the places of exer-
cife, fome defcribing the figure of the ifland, and others
the fituation of Libyia and Carthage. But it is faid, that
Socrates the philoibpher, and Meton the aftronomer,
never hoped for any good to the commonwealth from
this war : the one (as it is probable) prefaging what
would enfue, by the affiflance of his Daemon, who con-
verfed with him familiarly ; and the other either upon
a rational confideration of the project, or by making
life of the art of divination, was become fearful of the
fuccefs : and therefore difiembling madnefs, he caught
up a burning torch, and feemed as if he would have
fet His own houfe on fire. Others report that he did
not pretend to be mad, but that fecretly in the night
he fet his houfe on fire, and the next morning befought
the people, that for his comfort after fuch a calamity >
they would fpare his fon from the expedition. By which
artifice he deceived his fellow-citizens, and obtained of
them what he defired.

Nicias, much againft his will, was appointed Gene-
ral together with Alcibiades ; for he endeavoured to
avoid the command, as diiliking his collegue. But
the Athenians thought the war would proceed more
profperoufly, if they did not (end Alcibiades free from
all reflraint, but tempered his heat with the caution of
Nicias. This they chofe the rather to do, becaufe La-


their divifions, and united them- and laid a heavy fine upon Eury-

felves in their common defence, medon : fo infatuated were they

by the advice of Hennocrates, the by their profperity, which had

fleet was fen t back, and the A- made them flatter themfelves, that

thenians were fo enraged at their they were irrefiftible, that they

generals for not having conquered could as well efteft things of the

Sicily, that they banilhed two of greateft difficulty as thofe that

them. Pythodorus and Sophocles, were the moft eafy, and fucceed


The LIFE cf
machus the third General, though he was in his declin-
ing years, yet in feveral battles had appeared no lefe
hot and rafh than Alcibiades himfelf. When they be-
gan to deliberate concerning the number of forces, and
the manner of making the necefTary provifions, Nicius
made another attempt to oppofe the defign, and to-
prevent the war ; but Alcibiades contradicted him, and
carried his point with the people. And one Demo-
flratus, an orator, propofing to them, that they fhould
give the generals abfolute power, both as to the great-
nefs of the preparations, and the management of the
war, it was prefently decreed fo. But juft when all
things were prepared for the voyage, many unlucky
omens appeared. At that very time (9) the feaft of
Adonis happened, in which the women were ufed to
expofe in all parts of the city, images refembling dead
men carried out to their burial, and to reprefent fu-
neral folemnities by their lamentations and mournful
fongs. The maiming alfoof the (i) images of Mercury,
molt of which in one night had their faces broken, ter-
rified many perfons who were wont to defpife things of
that nature. It was given out, that this was done by
the Corinthians, for the fake of the Syracufans, who were
a colony of theirs, in hopes that the Athenians, obferv-
ing fuch prodigies, might be induced todefift from the
war. Yet this report gained not any credit with the
people ; nor did they regard tlje opinion of thofe who
thought there was nothing ominous in the matter, and
that it was only an extravagant action, committed by
fbme wild young men coming from a debauch ; but
they were both enraged and terrified at the thing,


as well with a few (hips as with felves in rtSnrning on that occa-

n numerous fleet. lion ; coffins were expofed at eve-

(9) Venus was to afflicted at the ry door, the ftatues of Venus and

deathof Adonis, that the heathens, Adonis were borne in proceffion

in teftirnony of their devotion with certain veffeis filled with

for that goddefs, eiHiblifhed a cer- earth, in which they had with

tain feaft at the beginning of the great care raifed corn, herbs, and

iummer, wherein they comme- lettuce, and thefe cifterns were

morated the death of that favour- called " the gardens of Adonis."

ite. All the cities put them- Lettuce had a place in this fo-


A L C I B I A D E S. 113

imagining it to proceed from a confpiracy of perfons,
who dellgned fome great commotions in the ftate. And
therefore both the council, and the aiYembly of the peo
pie, which upon this occafion was held frequently, in
a few days fpace examined diligently every thing that
might adminifter ground for fufpicion. During this ex
animation, Aiidrocles, one of the Demagogues, pro '
duced certain ilaves and flrangers before them, who
accufed Alcibiades, and fome of his friends, of defacing
other images in the fame manner, and of having pro-
fanely acted the facred myfteries at a drunken meet-
ing, wherein one Theodorus reprefented the herald,
Polition the torch-bearer, and Alcibiades the chief pri eft,
while the reft of his companions attended, as perfons
initiated in the holy myfteries. Thefe were the mat-
ters contained in the accuiation which ThefTalus, the
ion of Cimon, exhibited againft Alcibiades, for his impi-
ous mockery of the goddefles Ceres and Proferpine. The
people were highly exafperated and enraged againft Al-
cibiades upon th's accuiation, which being aggravated
by Androcles the moft malicious of all his enemies, at
firft gave him great uneafmefs. But when he perceived
that all the feamen defigned for Sicily were fond of him,
and that at the fame time the forces of the Argives and
the Mantineans, which confifted of a thoufand men,
openly declared that they had undertaken this tedious
maritime expedition for the fake of Alcibiades, and that
if he was ill ufed, they would all prefently be gone, he
recovered his -courage, and became eager to make ufe
of the prefect opportunity for juftifying himielf. At
this his enemies were again difcouraged, as fearing left


Jemnity, becaufe they pretended the feail was over, they threw the

that the dead body of Adonis was gardens int 'the lea, or into fome

by Venus laid out upon a bed of river.

lettuce. Thefe fetlivals were not (i) The Athenians had ftatues

only folemnizcd at Athens, but of Mercury at the doors of their

throughout ;ili Greece, in the ifles houfcs made of of a cu-

and in Egypt. We find alfo that bical form, to denote their fo-

the Jews imitated thefe rites ; lidity of reafon and the ftabili-

Ezek. cap. 8. v. 14. " and behold ty of truth, which, howfoever

"there fat women weeping for turned are always fixed and uni-

44 Tammuz," that is Adonis. When form.

VOL. II. H (.) A

u 4 Tbe LIFE of

the people fhould be more gentle towards him in their
fentence, by reafon of the prefent occafion which they had
for his fervice. Therefore, to obviate this mifchief, they
contrived that fome other orators, who did not appear to
be enemies to Alcibiades, but really hated him no lefs
than thofe who avowed themfelves to be fo, fhould (land
up in theafiembly, and fay, "that it was a very abfurd
" thing, that one who was created General of fuch an ar~
" my with abiblute power, after his troops were com-
" pleated, and the confederates were arrived, fhould lofe
" the prefent opportunity, whilft the people were chufing
" his judges by lot, Bnd appointing times for the hearing
" of the caufe. Therefore faid they, let him fail immedi-
" ately (and may gocd fortune attend him ; but when the
"' war is at an end, then let him appear and make his de-
" fence according to the laws."

But Alcibiades icon perceived the malice of this delay,
and appearing in the aflembly, reprefented to them, " that
" it was a very grievous thing to him, to be fent forth with
" the command of fo great an army, when he lay under
" fuch accufations and calumnies, that he deferved to die,
" if he could not clear himfelfof the crimes objected to him.
" But when he had anfwered the accufations, and proved
" his innocence, he mould then chearfully apply himfelf
" to the war, as (landing no longer in fear of falfe accu-
" fers." But he could not prevail with the people, who
commanded him to fail immediately. So he departed to-
gether with the other generals, having with him near a
hundred and forty galleys, five thoufand one hundred
heavy-armed fbldiers, and about one thoufand three hun-
dred archers, {lingers, and light-armed men ; and ail
the other provisions were anfwerable, and every way

Arriving on the coaft of Italy, he landed at Rhegium,
and there propofed his advice in what manner they fhould
manage the war. He was oppofed by Nicias; but La-
machus being of his opinion, they failed from Sicily

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