Eros Tyrannos: Alcibiades as the Model of the Tyrant in Book IX of the Republic

in The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition

Abstract

The aim of this article is to make use of recent research on ‘political eros’ in order to clarify the connection that Plato establishes between erosand tyranny in RepublicIX, specifically by elucidating the intertextuality between Plato’s work and the various historical accounts of Alcibiades. An examination of the lexicon used in these accounts will allow us to resolve certain interpretive difficulties that, to my knowledge, no other commentator has elucidated: why does Socrates blame erosfor the decline from democracy into tyranny? What does he mean by ‘ eros’ here, and what link existed between erosand tyranny in the minds of his contemporaries? And finally, who are the mysterious ‘tyrant-makers’ ( turannopoioí, 572e5-6) who, according to Socrates, introduce a destructive erosin the soul of the future tyrant? After a careful examination of the passage from book IX on the genesis of the tyrannical man (focused on the last stage of the metamorphosis, which is concerned with éros túrannos, 572d-573b), I will offer answers to these questions by turning to the writings of Thucydides, Aristophanes and Plutarch while examining the portrait of Alcibiades that Plato paints in the Alcibiades Iand Symposium.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

Eros Tyrannos: Alcibiades as the Model of the Tyrant in Book IX of the Republic

in The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition

Sections

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 8 8 0
Full Text Views 357 357 17
PDF Downloads 81 81 17
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0