When in 415 he helped argue Athens into its fateful Sicilian expedition
, against the sensible warning of the Athenian general Nicias, who saw the folly of Athens entering on two major wars at once, Alcibiades did so chiefly in the hope of self-aggrandizement.
After reviewing regional ancient history, Desantis discusses the invention of the trireme ship and galley that made the Athenian fleet dominant in the Mediterranean Sea for a century, and recounts the major battles of the Archidamian War, the Sicilian Expedition
, and the Ionian War.
No terceiro estudo, "Athens' Sicilian Expedition
: Contemporary Scenarios of its Outcome" (pp.
The Sicilian Expedition
During the Peloponnesian War
Alcibiades' desire to extend the empire led to the failed Sicilian expedition
. Before the departure of the fleet, protective statues known as Herms were damaged.
* The Peloponnesian War had three phases: the Archidamian War (431 B.C-421 B.C), the Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition
(421 B.C-413 B.C), and the Ionan War (413 B.C-404 B.C)
For Norton, we are "on the ground" in Bagdad, not to protect ourselves and others, including Muslims, but we are on a "Sicilian Expedition
" that is equally as senseless as that described by Thucydides and promoted by Alcibiades.
The chapters focus on the variety of military experience during the war: ravaging of the land ("fire"), the Athenian epidemic ("disease"), political coups and unconventional fighting ("terror"), infantry battle ("armor"), sieges ("walls"), Athens' disastrous Sicilian expedition
("horses" because of the Sicilians' decisive superiority in cavalry), and the war at sea ("ships").
Kagan, Sterling Professor of Classics and History at Yale University, has for many years been the foremost authority to consult on fine points of history and interpretation of the events of the period in large and specialized volumes such as Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy, The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition
, and The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, to name only some of his earlier works.
(25) Strauss argues further that a connection exists between the immoderate and impious Athenian position at Melos and the disastrous Sicilian Expedition
. For Strauss's first Thucydides, "a sound regime is a moderate regime dedicated to moderation." (26) But that is not all.
Though Athens continued to fight Sparta for another 10 years, until losing the naval battle of Aegospotami in 404, the Sicilian expedition
was an emblematic disaster.
Perhaps this was because of its strangeness (as Dunbar points out, 'Alone among [Aristophanes'] eleven extant plays it concentrates not on life at Athens but on a non-human world'), perhaps because of certain implied criticisms of Athens, perhaps even because of its relative freedom from obscenity - but not because it was to be interpreted as an unfavourable allegory on the contemporaneous Sicilian expedition
. A few points of detail: it is notoriously a long way into the play before the protagonists are named (not something that ever worried Aristophanes, nor, presumably, his audience): Dunbar tightly plumps for Peisetairos rather than the impossible Peisthetairos or the dramatically implausible Pisthetairos.