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cropped CAT 9  George Cooke Alcibiades BA 99.png

CAT 9. Engraved by George Cooke. Alcibiades. In Historic Gallery of Portraits and Paintings, vol. 1. Vernor, Hood, & Sharpe, 1807. Melville Memorial Room, Berkshire Athenaeum.

Alcibiades (450? – 404 B.C.), Athenian general, protégé of Socrates. From entry in HG 1:  Alcibiades “was descended from Ajax Salamis; and his riches and his beauty bespoke his illustrious origin. He was brought up in the house of his tutor, Pericles. Socrates was his master: but the pupil sometimes fled the trammels of philosophy, which gave rise to the remark of Cleanthes—‘That Socrates held the infant only by the ears.’ There are numerous sallies recorded by Plutarch, illustrative of his character . . . .  His manners, his affability, his follies, to which he even gave a charm, rendered him very shortly the idol of Athens, which induced the misanthrope, Timon, to say, ‘Bravo, my son, continue to aggrandize thyself—from thee shall the Athenians date their misfortunes.’ This prediction was very soon accomplished.” After Alcibiades was sent into exile, he endured stirring vicissitudes among the Spartans, the Tracians, the Bœthians, and the Ionians before being assassinated by the Spartans while serving the Persians. “Such was the end of this extraordinary man, who perished, says the learned author of the Voyage of Anacharsis, in his fortieth year. His death is an eternal disgrace to Lacedæmon” (1: 21-23).