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Who was Alcibiades?

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Alcibiades (450-404 BC) was born in Athens and connected through his mother with the house of the Alcmaeonidae. He was left an orphan at a very early age, and was brought up in the household of Pericles. In his youth he was a friend of Socrates.

After the battle of Delium, 424 BC, he married Hipparete, and at this time he began to turn his attention to public affairs. He wanted to ally himself with the Spartans, but on their choosing his rival Nicias to negotiate for them in 421 BC he immediately became their enemy. Instead of taking part in the Sicilian expedition of 415, he joined the Spartans, escaping to their country because he was accused of the mutilation of the images of Hermes. He now became the enemy of the Athenians, but he soon tried to get them to recall him, promising them an alliance with Tissaphernes, the Persian satrap. This plan was not suc­cessful, but he was eventually recalled to Athens by Thrasybulus.

In 407 BC, on his return to that city, he was completely restored to his former position, but had his command taken from him in the next year. He then chose exile as his only means of safety, and in 404 BC he went to take refuge with Pharnabazus, intending to go thence to the court of Artaxerxes. However, the house at which he was staying was set on fire, and while escaping the flames he was killed by a Spartan emissary's arrow.

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