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CALL. 15.01.2016: “Alcibiades and his Reception: historical, literary, philosophical approaches.” 9t


LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University College (Dublin, Ireland) ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Panel Chairs: A. David Newell (UCD) ; Prof. Timothy Duff (University of Reading)


“If ever a man was ruined by his own reputation, that man was Alcibiades.“ (Plutarch, Alcibiades 35.3)

Overview: Alcibiades was one of the most well-known and controversial figures of classical antiquity: a pupil of Socrates, and an Athenian commander during the Peloponnesian War, his outrageous personal life led both to wild adulation and to suspicions that he wanted to overthrow the democracy. Exiled twice, he advised both the Spartans and the Persians, before being assassinated shortly after the end of the war. Thucydides and Xenophon brought out both his brilliance and the difficulty his contemporaries had in judging him, a difficulty summed up by Aristophanes’ famous saying that the city ‘longs for him, and hates him and wants to have him’ (Frogs 1425). Socratic writers, on the other hand, tried to defend and explain Socrates’ failure to reform him. His career was debated in the Athenian courts, and he became the subject of later display speeches rhetorical exercises, and numerous anecdotes. Cornelius Nepos wrote a biography of him and Plutarch famously paired him with the Roman general Coriolanus, another exile who fought against his own city. He features in Shakespeare and is the subject of a tragedy by the seventieth-century dramatist Thomas Otway.

This panel aims to bring together scholars working on Alcibiades from diverse disciplines and approaches (e.g. history, literature, philosophy, art, reception studies, English, etc.). It is hoped that considerable cross-fertilisation will result. Papers discussing any aspect of Alcibiades will be welcome. For example:

  • · Historical aspects of Alcibiades’ life and career

  • · The construction or characterization of Alcibiades in any ancient text(s)

  • · The role of Alcibiades in philosophical texts

  • · The reception of Alcibiades in antiquity or after

  • · Source criticism of texts portraying Alcibiades

  • · Alcibiades in art

  • · Alcibiades as a rhetorical or moral exemplum

Conference Information The 9th Celtic Conference in Classics will take place at the University College Dublin from June 22–25, 2016. The conference provides panels with up to 15 hours of papers and discussion across three days. For this panel we are asking for papers of 35-40 minutes in length, with 10-15 minutes for questions and discussion, but short papers (20+10) are also welcome. It is expected that a number of the paper delivered at this panel will form part of an edited volume. The languages of the Celtic Conference in Classics are English and French.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to by the 15th of January. Applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision shortly thereafter.

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