[ΑΝΔΟΚΙΔΟΥ] ΚΑΤΑ ΑΛΚΙΒΙΑΔΟΥ
Οὐκ ἐν τῷ παρόντι μόνον γιγνώσκω τῶν πολιτικῶν πραγμάτων ὡς σφαλερόν ἐστιν ἅπτεσθαι, ἀλλὰ καὶ πρότερον χαλεπὸν ἡγούμην, πρὶν τῶν κοινῶν ἐπιμελεῖσθαί τινος. πολίτου δὲ ἀγαθοῦ νομίζω1 προκινδυνεύειν ἐθέλειν τοῦ πλήθους, καὶ μὴ καταδείσαντα τὰς ἔχθρας τὰς ἰδίας ὑπὲρ τῶν δημοσίων ἔχειν ἡσυχίαν· διὰ μὲν γὰρ τοὺς τῶν ἰδίων ἐπιμελουμένους οὐδὲν αἱ πόλεις μείζους καθίστανται, διὰ δὲ τοὺς τῶν κοινῶν μεγάλαι καὶ 2ἐλεύθεραι γίγνονται. ὧν [τῶν ἀγαθῶν]2 εἷς ἐγὼ βουληθεὶς ἐξετάζεσθαι μεγίστοις περιπέπτωκα3 κινδύνοις, προθύμων μὲν καὶ ἀγαθῶν ἀνδρῶν ὑμῶν τυγχάνων, δι᾿ ὅπερ σῴζομαι, πλείστοις δὲ καὶ δεινοτάτοις ἐχθροῖς χρώμενος, ὐφ᾿ ὧν διαβάλλομαι. ὁ μὲν οὖν ἀγὼν ὁ παρὼν οὐ στεφανηφόρος, ἀλλ᾿ εἰ χρὴ μηδὲν ἀδικήσαντα τὴν πόλιν δέκα ἔτη φεύγειν· οἱ δ᾿ ἀνταγωνιζόμενοι περὶ τῶν ἄθλων τούτων ἐσμὲν ἐγὼ καὶ Ἀλκιβιάδης καὶ Νικίας, ὧν ἀναγκαῖον ἕνα τῇ συμφορᾷ περιπεσεῖν.
This is not the first occasion upon which the perils of engaging in politics have come home to me; I regarded it as no less hazardous in the past, before I had concerned myself in any way with affairs of state. Yet I consider it the duty of the good citizen, not to withhold himself from public life for fear of making personal enemies, but to be ready to face danger for the benefit of the community. Those who think only of themselves contribute nothing to a state’s advancement; it is to those who think of the state that its greatness and its independence are due. I myself desired to be included in this number: and consequently I now find myself in the utmost peril. True, in yourselves I have an audience actively devoted to the public good, and that circumstance makes for my salvation; but I have innumerable enemies of the most dangerous kind, and by them I am being misrepresented. Nor is the contest in which I am engaged for the winning of a crown; it is to decide whether one who has done the state no wrong is to spend ten years in exile. The competitors for that prize are Alcibiades, Nicias, and myself. Upon one of us the blow must fall.