Journal #4

(Sept 15th)

Class — 0940–1100 1.5 hrs In this weeks episode of Weekly journals, we conclude our experiential analysis of Plutarch’s Life of Alcibiades. We discussed Alcibiades as we observed him in a few different settings. First was Alcibiades in a public speaking platform. He truly possessed the gift of gab. He was able to persuade his audience and acquire success in the most subtle of ways. The next angle in which we observed Alcibiades was his activity with cities and nations outside of Athens.

Alcibiades had no sooner sailed away than he robbed the Athenians of Messana. There was a party there who were on the point of surrendering the city to the Athenians, but Alcibiades knew them, and gave the clearest information of their design to the friends of Syracuse in the city, and so brought the thing to naught…And when he afterwards heard that the city had condemned him to death, “I’ll show them,” he said, “that I’m alive.”

Study Time — 1700–2000 3 hrs Alcibiades was able to blend into whatever environment he found himself in; granted the circumstance was a matter of life and death. Alcibiades had the ability to embody the culture he was in so as to retract any attention that may potentially put him in harms way.

But fearing his foes there, and renouncing his country altogether, he sent to the Spartans, demanding immunity and confidence, and promising to render them aid and service greater than all the harm he had previously done them as an enemy.

Another trait Alcibiades used to his advantage was the employment of bribery. The fact that he held positions of power in different cities meant Alcibiades had access to important information that could potentially be useful in the future. Anytime Alcibiades found himself in danger, he was able to get out of it by offering up some type of information or incentive in return for his well-being. On one hand, I can applaud Alcibiades in this useful tactic for obvious reasons such as him making it out alive, but another part of me also despises this technique because it goes to show that Alcibiades cannot be trusted; not 100%. There is a thin line between his so-called loyalty and betrayal. I find it interesting though because the Spartans are not labeled as people who betray each other if captured by the enemy — They will fight to the death, and if captured they would rather die than say anything. But here we have Alcibiades who offers sensitive information about Athens to Sparta, along with his services and expertise in return for immunity and confidence. I don’t even think there was a second thought of reluctance.

If I was an American Senator and I had to make a list of all the individuals and/or groups of people I would expect to have some responsibility to care of or obligation to serve or repay it would consist of:

  • My family
  • My church
  • NAACP
  • UNCF
  • HBCU’s
  • Lupus Foundation
  • Homeless shelters
  • Low-end communities
  • YMCA
  • Boys and Girls Club

My devotion to my home state compared to the United States as a whole would be a little stronger, because naturally I would have some type of loyalty to Georgia. That is where I grew up, met most of my childhood friends, developed most of my childhood memories and that is where my family lives. So for me to have the same obligations that I have for Georgia, and try to apply that to the rest of the country? — I’ve never been to Oklahoma.

Outside the United States, I would feel obligated to help lower-class individuals. My family is from Jamaica, and they did not come from the wealthiest of parts. So I feel somewhat empathetic to the hardships of being impoverished. And I know that there are people exposed to these types of conditions all over the world. Those are the people I would advocate for.

(Sept 17th)

Class — 0940–1100 1.5 hrs

It is said, and with good reason, that the favour and affection which Socrates showed him contributed not a little to his reputation. At school, he usually paid due heed to his teachers… But it was the love which Socrates had for him that bore strong testimony to the boy’s native excellence and good parts. These Socrates saw radiantly manifest in his outward person…

Alcibiades maintained a respectable reputation during his youthful years. He seemed obedient and mannerly based on the few times mentioned during his childhood. Socrates spoke highly of Alcibiades and he was extremely proud of him. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought Socrates was Alcibiades’ biological father.

Study Time — 1900–2200 3 hrs

Alcibiades declined the invitation, but after having drunk deep at home with some friends, went in revel rout to the house of Anytus, took his stand at the door of the men’s chamber, and, observing the tables full of gold and silver beakers, ordered his slaves to take half of them and carry them home for him.

Alcibiades also displayed certain traits during social events such as parties and public venues. He was a drinker (like most) and because he was handsome and wealthy, he was allowed to act a certain way without any repercussions. A leader in today’s society is expected to act with dignity and respect towards others, while still maintaining a sense of authenticity and charm. I think of president Obama at the correspondence dinner. it was a social event, and he is the President of the United States. He carried himself like a leader in today’s society should.

President Obama at the Correspondence Dinner