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Nemesis

Nemesis

Alcibiades and the Fall of Athens

David Stuttard

ISBN 9780674660441

Publication date: 04/16/2018

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Alcibiades was one of the most dazzling figures of the Golden Age of Athens. A ward of Pericles and a friend of Socrates, he was spectacularly rich, bewitchingly handsome and charismatic, a skilled general, and a ruthless politician. He was also a serial traitor, infamous for his dizzying changes of loyalty in the Peloponnesian War. Nemesis tells the story of this extraordinary life and the turbulent world that Alcibiades set out to conquer.

David Stuttard recreates ancient Athens at the height of its glory as he follows Alcibiades from childhood to political power. Outraged by Alcibiades’ celebrity lifestyle, his enemies sought every chance to undermine him. Eventually, facing a capital charge of impiety, Alcibiades escaped to the enemy, Sparta. There he traded military intelligence for safety until, suspected of seducing a Spartan queen, he was forced to flee again—this time to Greece’s long-term foes, the Persians. Miraculously, though, he engineered a recall to Athens as Supreme Commander, but—suffering a reversal—he took flight to Thrace, where he lived as a warlord. At last in Anatolia, tracked by his enemies, he died naked and alone in a hail of arrows.

As he follows Alcibiades’ journeys crisscrossing the Mediterranean from mainland Greece to Syracuse, Sardis, and Byzantium, Stuttard weaves together the threads of Alcibiades’ adventures against a backdrop of cultural splendor and international chaos. Navigating often contradictory evidence, Nemesis provides a coherent and spellbinding account of a life that has gripped historians, storytellers, and artists for more than two thousand years.

Praise

  • Alcibiades will always be remembered as one of the slipperiest statesmen in history…Nemesis is a rich and rewarding biography, as thorough as it is bracing and as measured as it is entertaining. Stuttard is to be praised for capturing the complexity of both the man and the world he lived in with such sensitivity and clarity.

    —Daisy Dunn, New Criterion

Author

  • David Stuttard is an independent scholar, theater director, and Fellow of Goodenough College who has written more than ten books about ancient Greece, including Nemesis: Alcibiades and the Fall of Athens.

Book Details

  • 400 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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