2015 Syllabus

9/9: Introduction

Primary reading in translation: Alcibiades I

Unit 1 (9/10-9/16): Alcibiades the Playboy and his importance (Hal Haskell)

Primary reading in translation: Plutarch, Alcibiades (especially sections 1-10)

Secondary reading: P. J. Rhodes, Alcibiades, Pen and Sword (2011): 21‐69.

Unit 2 (9/17-9/30): The Fortunes of Alcibiades (Håkan Tell and Ryan Fowler)

Primary reading in Greek: Alcibiades I  opening through 106a

Secondary reading: Deresiewicz, “Excellent Sheep: Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League”; Denyer, “The authenticity of the Alcibiades,” pp. 14-26 [NB: the whole introduction is linked, but read only the section on authenticity]

Unit 3 (10/1-10/14): The Dialogue Form and Socratic Elenchus (Ben DeSmidt and Polyvia Parara)

Primary reading in Greek: Alcibiades I 106b-107c

Primary reading in translation: Alcibiades I 106b-110d

Unit 4 (10/15-10/28): Spartans and Persians (Danilo Piana and Joseph Romero)

Primary reading in Greek: 123b2-124b6

Primary reading in translation: Alcibiades I 107a-124d; Thucydides 2.34-2.42; Aeschylus, Persians, 249-515

Secondary literature: K. Vlassopoulos, “The Barbarian repertoire in Greek culture.” In Greeks and Barbarians. Cambridge (2013): 161-215.

Unit 5 (10/29-11/11): Self-reflection/self-knowledge (Luis Salas and Danilo Piana)

Primary reading in Greek: Alcibiades I 129a2-130e8; 132b6-133e10

Primary reading in translation: Alcibiades I 124e1-133e10; Republic 507c1-508d

Secondary literature: Annas, Julia. 1985. “Self-knowledge in Early Plato,” in Platonic Investigations, ed. Dominic J. O’Meara (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press), 111–38

A Brief History of the Eye


Wohl, Victoria. 2012. “The Eye of the Beloved: Opsis and Eros in Socratic Pedagogy.” Alcibiades and the Socratic Lover-Educator. Ed. Marguerite Johnson and Harold Tarrant. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 45–60. 

Unit 6 (11-12-11/18): The Recipe for Success: Philosophy, Politics, and Paideia (Charles Platter and Ben DeSmidt)

Primary reading in Greek: Alcibiades I 133e4 through the end of the dialogue

Primary reading in translation: Symposium 215a-216cAristophanes, Frogs, 1417-1436