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Old July 11th, 2018, 05:05 AM   #1

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Alcibiades: how good of a general and war chieftain was he really?


How would you rate him among the great generals of antiquity?
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Old July 11th, 2018, 07:51 AM   #2

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It is difficult to tell, isn't it, because he was undermined on the home front.
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Old July 11th, 2018, 01:16 PM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linschoten View Post
It is difficult to tell, isn't it, because he was undermined on the home front.
Well didn't he personally steer the events of the Peloppenesian war? He was clearly the most gifted commander and strategist right?
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Old July 11th, 2018, 08:06 PM   #4

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Quote:
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Well didn't he personally steer the events of the Peloppenesian war? He was clearly the most gifted commander and strategist right?

As with all such things, it pays to be careful with the sources. Here the real source is Thukydides. Alkibiades retired to Thrace after Notium where he saw out the rest of the war. There was another notable Athenian seeing out his exile in Thrace at the same time: Thukydides. While one can never be certain, the amount of information Thukydides presents involving Alkibiades strongly suggests the two were in contact. There is, then, the possibility that Thukydides' portrait of Alkibiades is somewhat sympathetic.


My view has always been that the commanders in the Hellespont (Thrasybulus, Theramenes) were the main reasons behind the victories in the first part of the Ionian War. The Athenians fought in squadrons at Kyzikos and did so again at Arginusai. Those two names are present at both. Alkibiades is, perhaps, a little over credited?
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Old July 12th, 2018, 05:06 AM   #5

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Do we know anything about Alkibiades' battlefield prowess?
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