***Students are to have obtained and read Steven Pressfield's Tides of War (2000) by the first week of classes in September.
Brilliant at war, a master of politics, and a charismatic lover, Alcibiades was Athens’ favorite son and the city’s greatest general.
A prodigal follower of Socrates, he embodied both the best and the worst of the Golden Age of Greece. A commander on both land and sea, he led his armies to victory after victory.
But like the heroes in a great Greek tragedy, he was a victim of his own pride, arrogance, excess and ambition. Accused of crimes against the state, he was banished from his beloved Athens, only to take up arms in the service of his former enemies.
For nearly three decades, Greece burned with war and Alcibiades helped bring victories to both sides — and ended up trusted by neither.
Narrated from death row by Alcibiades’ bodyguard and assassin, a man whose own love and loathing for his former commander mirrors the mixed emotions felt by all Athens, Tides of War tells an epic saga of an extraordinary century, a war that changed history, and a complex leader who seduced a nation.