Traitor is Such an Ugly Word

After the disaster of the Sicilian Expedition, the largest defeat in the history of Athenian Democracy, the whole Mediterranean world expected Athens to fall. Refusing to surrender the Athenian assembly accepts previously unthinkable changes in order to continue to the fight against Sparta, the revolting cities across the Empire, and to keep the ever ambitious Persians in check. Amid this pressure the democracy in Athens is reexamined and some citizens desire a change, either through legal reforms or terror tactics. This episode covers approximately 413 BC – 411 BC.

Show Notes:


Alcibiades: The insatiable rouge is taking refuge in Sparta until he decides he will pass some time by seducing the wife of King Agis. Unsurprisingly, he decides to leave Sparta soon afterwards and heads east across the Aegean Sea to take refuge in Persia. Here he spends his time by trying to convince Persian and Greek alike that he is very, very important.

Theramenes: Representative of the moderate oligarchs, he wants to temper the democracy of Athens but still has the end goal of winning the war. Active in both Samos and Athens, he spends time trying to convince the rest of the Athenians to dial back their democracy while also holding the more extreme oligarchs in check.

Peisander: Representative of the extreme oligarchs, he doesn’t care about the war but instead just wants Athens to go back to a true oligarchy. Tempering the government is only the first step in his plan to bring back peace with Sparta, no matter the cost, while getting the common people out of government.