Alcibiades was considered the best looking man in Athens, cute as a baby, pretty as a boy, and handsome as a man. He grew up in the household of Pericles, the greatest democratic Greek of them all, and the builder of the Parthenon. Alcibiades was also Socrates favorite student, the greatest Greek thinker of all, builder of the Western philosophical tradition. Perhaps no one else in history has had such an auspicious beginning. But he was born into difficult times as his life nearly perfectly coincided with the Peloponnesian War, that battle between Athens and Sparta that was mutually catastrophic. He was a great military commander and a leading advocate of war but was equally a philandering lecher. He was prone to controversy and nearly always found trouble. The driving element of his story is that during the war he switched sides three times. Athenian to start, then Spartan, then Persian, and finally Athenian again. Appointed commander of the ill-fated Athenian expedition to Sicily, he was recalled to face charges of religious sacrilege. He escaped to Sparta with advice for the King regarding the best way to defeat the Athenians. His advice was perfect and well taken but his carnal relations with the Queen sent him on to Persia. He arrived there with advice to the King regarding the best way to defeat the Athenians and Spartans. His advice was perfect and well taken but he longed for home and talked his way into becoming an Athenian commander again. But his betrayals could not be forgotten and his end was near. His formidable natural gifts were finally brought to bear upon his own undoing. Being handsome, well spoken, rich, privileged, and brilliant could not prevent him from also being arrogant, ruthless, cruel, devious, and in the end, the single person most responsible for the defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian War.