Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Christopher Nadon

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Alcibiades was one of the most dynamic and engaging figures of the Peloponnesian War. Like a chameleon, he managed to change himself to fit almost any occasion and audience; few historical figures can claim to have successfully switched allegiances as many times during a conflict. Starting as a general in Athens, he moved on to side with the Spartans, then the Persians, and then returned to Athens. Some would consider him a young and impulsive egoist, but a closer investigation indicates that he more than likely had a larger, pragmatic goal motivating his actions. This essay will aim first to establish his break from the philosophical status quo of Athens, and then to determine the nature of these larger goals. It will pivot around Alcibiades’ address to the Athenian assembly, using it in a comparative analysis of both Pericles’ Funeral Oration, and briefly supplementing it with Plato’s Alcibiades I.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.