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Encyclopedia > Thrasybulus
Thrasybulus
c. 440s BC – 388 BC

Thrasybulus receiving an olive crown for his successful campaign against the Thirty Tyrants. From Andrea Alciato's Emblemata.
Allegiance Athens
Battles/wars Peloponnesian War, Corinthian War

Thrasybulus (Ancient Greek: Θρασύβουλος, brave-willed, Eng. /θræsɪ'bju:ləs/; d. 388 BC) was an Athenian general and democratic leader. In 411 BC, in the wake of an oligarchic coup at Athens, the pro-democracy sailors at Samos elected him as a general, making him a primary leader of the successful democratic resistance to that coup. As general, he was responsible for recalling the controversial nobleman Alcibiades from exile, and the two worked together extensively over the next several years. In 411 and 410, Thrasybulus commanded along with Alcibiades and others at several critical Athenian naval victories. Image File history File links Thrasybulus1. ... The Thirty Tyrants were a pro-Spartan oligarchy installed in Athens after Athens defeat in the Peloponnesian War in April 404 BC. Its two leading members were Tharamenes and Critias, a former acolyte of Socrates. ... Emblema CLXXXIX stating Mentem, non formam, plus pollere Andrea Alciato (1492-1550), was a jurist born in Alzano, near Milan, Italy on the 1492-01-12. ... Usually known simply as the Emblemata, the first emblem book appeared in Augsburg (Germany) in 1531 under the title . ... Athens (Greek: Αθήνα, Athína IPA: ) is the capital and largest city of Greece and the birthplace of democracy. ... Combatants Delian League led by Athens Peloponnesian League led by Sparta Commanders Pericles Cleon Nicias Alcibiades Archidamus II Brasidas Lysander The Peloponnesian War (431 BC–404 BC) was an Ancient Greek military conflict fought by Athens and its empire and the Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta. ... Combatants Sparta, Peloponnesian League Athens, Argos, Corinth, Thebes, and other allies Commanders Agesilaus and others Numerous The Corinthian War (395 BC-387 BC) was an ancient Greek military conflict between Sparta and four allied states, Thebes, Athens, Corinth, and Argos, which were initially backed by Persia. ... The Greek language (Greek Ελληνικά, IPA // – Hellenic) is an Indo-European language with a documented history of some 3,000 years. ... Athens (Greek: Αθήνα, Athína IPA: ) is the capital and largest city of Greece and the birthplace of democracy. ... A General is an officer of high military rank. ... Democracy (literally rule by the people, from the Greek δῆμος demos, people, and κράτος kratos, rule) is a form of government for a nation state, or for an organization in which all the citizens have a voice in shaping policy. ... Oligarchy is a form of government where most or all political power effectively rests with a small segment of society (typically the most powerful, whether by wealth, family, military strength, ruthlessness, or political influence). ... Samos (Greek Σάμος) is a Greek island in the Eastern Aegean Sea, located between the island of Chios to the North and the archipelagic complex of the Dodecanese islands to the South and in particular the island of Patmos and off the coast of Turkey, on what was formely known as... Alcibiades Alcibiades Cleiniou Scambonides (also Alkibiades) (Greek: Αλκιβιάδης Κλεινίου Σκαμβωνίδης)¹ (c. ...


After Athens' defeat in the Peloponnesian War, Thrasybulus led the democratic resistance to the new oligarchic government, known as the Thirty Tyrants, that the victorious Spartans imposed on Athens. In 404 BC, he commanded a small force of exiles that invaded Attica and, in successive battles, defeated first a Spartan garrison and then the forces of the oligarchics. In the wake of these victories, democracy was re-established at Athens. As a leader of this revived democracy in the 4th century BC, Thrasybulus advocated a policy of resistance to Sparta and sought to restore Athens' imperial power. He was killed in 388 BC while leading an Athenian naval force during the Corinthian War. Combatants Delian League led by Athens Peloponnesian League led by Sparta Commanders Pericles Cleon Nicias Alcibiades Archidamus II Brasidas Lysander The Peloponnesian War (431 BC–404 BC) was an Ancient Greek military conflict fought by Athens and its empire and the Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta. ... The Thirty Tyrants were a pro-Spartan oligarchy installed in Athens after Athens defeat in the Peloponnesian War in April 404 BC. Its two leading members were Tharamenes and Critias, a former acolyte of Socrates. ... Sparta (Doric: , Attic: ) is a city in southern Greece. ... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 450s BC 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC - 400s BC - 390s BC 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC Years: 409 BC 408 BC 407 BC 406 BC 405 BC - 404 BC - 403 BC 402 BC... Attica (in Greek: Αττική, Attike; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a periphery (subdivision) in Greece, containing Athens, the capital of Greece. ... Combatants Sparta, Peloponnesian League Athens, Argos, Corinth, Thebes, and other allies Commanders Agesilaus and others Numerous The Corinthian War (395 BC-387 BC) was an ancient Greek military conflict between Sparta and four allied states, Thebes, Athens, Corinth, and Argos, which were initially backed by Persia. ...

Contents

Personal life and early career

Almost nothing is known of Thrasybulus's background or early life. His father was named Lycus,[1] and he was a native of the deme of Steiria in Athens.[2] He was probably born between 455 and 441 BC, although a date as late as the late 430s BC cannot be ruled out. He was married, and had two children. Several facts make it clear that he was from a wealthy family; he held the office of trierarch,[3] which involved significant personal expenditures, on several occasions, and in the third century his son was able to pay a substantial fine of 10 talents.[4] He was probably also of an aristocratic family, since his daughter married a grandson of the notable nobleman Nicias. In biology, a deme (rhymes with team) is another word for a local population of organisms of one species that actively interbreed with one another and share a distinct gene pool. ... A Greek trireme Triremes were ancient war galleys with three rows of oars on each side. ... The Attic talent was a unit of weight and a denomination of money equal to 6,000 drachmae or 60 minae. ... Nicias (d. ...


By 411 BC, Thrasybulus was clearly established to some degree as a pro-democracy politician, as events discussed below make clear. He is not mentioned before that time, however, in any sources, so it is impossible to present a picture of his actions.


As a politician, Thrasybulus consistently advocated several policies throughout his career. He was an advocate of Athenian imperialism and expansionism, and a strong supporter of Periclean democracy. He seems to have been an unspectacular public speaker, although Plutarch notes that he had "the loudest voice of the Athenians."[5] During his period of prominence within the democracy, he seems to have led what might now be termed a populist faction.[6] Pericles or Perikles (ca. ... Populism is a political ideology or rhetorical style that holds that the common person is oppressed by the elite in society, which exists only to serve its own interests, and therefore, the instruments of the State need to be grasped from this self-serving elite and instead used for the...


Coup of 411 BC

In 413 BC, a massive Athenian expedition force was completely obliterated in Sicily. In the wake of this defeat, Athens found itself facing a crisis of unprecedented magnitude. Cities throughout its Aegean empire began to rebel, and a Peloponnesian fleet sailed to assist them. Seeking to contain the crisis, Athens tapped its reserve fund to rebuild its fleet and dispatched what ships it had to establish an advance naval base at Samos. The Athenian coup of 411 BC was a revolutionary movement during the Peloponnesian War which overthrew the democratic government of ancient Athens, replacing it with a short-lived oligarchy. ... The Sicilian Expedition was an Athenian expedition to Sicily from 415 BC to 413 BC, during the Peloponnesian War. ... Sicily (Sicilia in Italian and Sicilian, Σικελία in Greek) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,700 sq. ... The Aegean Sea. ...


In this general atmosphere of crisis, aristocrats at Athens who had long desired to overthrow the democracy there began to agitate publicly for a change of government, and formed a conspiracy to bring oligarchic government to Athens. Their plans included recalling Alcibiades, who had been exiled by the democratic government. These oligarchs initiated their plans at Samos, where they successfully encouraged a number of Samian oligarchs to begin a similar conspiracy.[7] Aristocracy is a form of government in which rulership is in the hands of an upper class known as aristocrats. ... Oligarchy is a form of government where most or all political power effectively rests with a small segment of society (typically the most powerful, whether by wealth, family, military strength, ruthlessness, or political influence). ... Alcibiades Alcibiades Cleiniou Scambonides (also Alkibiades) (Greek: Αλκιβιάδης Κλεινίου Σκαμβωνίδης)¹ (c. ...


A dispute has arisen among modern historians over Thrasybulus' involvement in this plot. Donald Kagan has suggested that Thrasybulus was one of the founding members of the scheme and was willing to support moderate oligarchy, but was alienated by the extreme actions taken by the plotters.[8] R.J. Buck, on the other hand, maintains that Thrasybulus was probably never involved in the plot, possibly because he was absent from Samos at the time of its inception.[9]


Upon their return to Athens, the conspirators succeeded in ending democratic rule and imposing an oligarchy of 400 rulers. At Samos, however, the coup did not go forward so smoothly. Samian democrats learned of the conspiracy and notified four prominent Athenians, the generals Leon and Diomedon, Thrasybulus, and Thrasyllus, at that time a hoplite in the ranks. With the support of these men and the Athenian soldiers in general, the Samian democrats were able to defeat the conspirators when they attempted to seize power.[7] Thrasyllus of Mendes was an Egyptian astrologer, astronomer and mathematician who lived during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius, whom he served. ... A hoplite armed with a spear. ...


A ship was dispatched to Athens to notify the city of this success against the oligarchs. Upon its arrival, however, the crew was arrested, as the news of a democratic victory was far from welcome to the new oligarchic government. Learning of this, the army at Samos deposed its generals and elected new generals who were believed to be more steadfast in their support of democracy, Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus among them. The army, stating that they had not revolted from the city but that the city had revolted from them, resolved to stand by the democracy while continuing to prosecute the war against Sparta.[10] Sparta (Doric: , Attic: ) is a city in southern Greece. ...


One of the first actions Thrasybulus took as general was to bring about the recall of Alcibiades, a policy that he had supported since before the coup. After persuading the sailors to support his plan, Thrasybulus sailed to retrieve Alcibiades and returned with him to Samos. The aim of this policy was to win away Persian support from the Spartans, as it was believed that Alcibiades had great influence with Tissaphernes. Alcibiades was elected as general alongside Thrasybulus and the others.[11] Shortly after this, following the revolt of Euboea, the government of the 400 at Athens was overthrown and replaced by a broader oligarchy, which would eventually give way to democracy.[12] The Persepolis Ruins The Achaemenid dynasty (Old Persian:Hakamanishiya, Persian: هخامنشیان) - was a dynasty in the ancient Persian Empire. ... Tissaphernes (Pers. ... Euboea or Negropont (Modern Greek: Εύβοια Evia, Ancient Greek Εúβοια Eúboia; see also List of traditional Greek place names), is the largest island of the Greek archipelago. ...


In command

In the months following these events, Thrasybulus commanded the Athenian fleet in several major engagements. At the Battle of Cynossema, he commanded one wing of the fleet and prevented Athenian defeat by extending his flank to prevent encirclement; the battle ended in Athenian victory.[13] Shortly afterwards Thrasybulus again commanded a wing of the Athenian fleet at Abydos, another Athenian victory.[14] Battle of Cynossema Conflict Peloponnesian War Date 411 BC Place Off Cynossema Result Athenian victory The Battle of Cynossema was a naval battle in the Hellespont in 411 BC between Athens and Sparta, around the same time the Athenian democracy was overthrown in favour of a short_lived oligarchy. ... Battle of Abydos (410 BC) Battle of Abydos (322 BC) Battle of Abydos (200 BC) Battle of Abydos (989) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

The Athenian strategy at Cyzicus. Left: Alcibiades' decoy force (blue) lures the Spartan fleet (black) out to sea. Right: Thrasybulus and Theramenes bring their squadrons in behind the Spartans to cut off their retreat towards Cyzicus, while Alcibiades turns to face the pursuing force.
The Athenian strategy at Cyzicus. Left: Alcibiades' decoy force (blue) lures the Spartan fleet (black) out to sea. Right: Thrasybulus and Theramenes bring their squadrons in behind the Spartans to cut off their retreat towards Cyzicus, while Alcibiades turns to face the pursuing force.

Thrasybulus was again in command of a squadron of the Athenian fleet at the Battle of Cyzicus, a stunning Athenian victory. In this battle, the Athenians drew the Spartan fleet out to pursue a small force led by Alcibiades; when the Spartans had gotten a good distance from land, two squadrons under the command of Thrasybulus and Theramenes appeared in their rear to cut off their retreat. The Spartans were forced to flee to a nearby beach, where Alicbiades landed his men in an attempt to seize the Spartan ships. The Spartans, however, with the assistance of a Persian army, began to drive this Athenian force into the sea; seeing this, Thrasybulus landed his own force to temporarily relieve pressure on Alcibiades, and meanwhile ordered Theramenes to join up with Athenian land forces nearby and bring them to reinforce the sailors and marines on the beach. The Spartans and Persians, overwhelmed by the arrival of multiple forces from several directions, were defeated and driven off, and the Athenians captured all the Spartan ships which were not destroyed.[15] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1230x518, 21 KB) A diagram of the naval maneuvering at the Battle of Cyzicus that I drew. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1230x518, 21 KB) A diagram of the naval maneuvering at the Battle of Cyzicus that I drew. ... The Battle of Cyzicus in 410 BC was a small-scale naval battle during the Peloponnesian War between an Athenian fleet led by Alcibiades and a Peloponnesian fleet led by Sparta. ... Theramenes (d. ...


In 409 and 408, Thrasybulus remained in command, but his actions are difficult to trace. He appears to have spent much of the time campaigning in Thrace, recapturing cities for the empire and restoring the flow of tribute from the region. In 407 BC, he was in command of a fleet sent to besiege Phocaea; this siege had to be lifted, however, after the Spartans under Lysander defeated the main Athenian fleet at Notium. This defeat led to the downfall and exile of Alcibiades. Thrasybulus was either removed from command on the spot by Alcibiades or not reelected at the end of his term; either way, he was out of office from then until the end of the war.[16] Thrace (Bulgarian: Тракия, Trakiya; Greek: Θράκη, ThrákÄ“; Latin: Thracia or Threcia, Turkish: Trakya, Macedonian: Тракија) is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. ... Satellite photo showing location of the ancient cities of Phocaea, Cyme and Smyrna Phocaea (modern-day Foça in Turkey) was an ancient Ionian Greek city on the western coast of Anatolia. ... Lysander (d. ... Combatants Sparta Athens Commanders Lysander Antiochus Strength 70 ships 80 ships Casualties none 22 ships Th Battle of Notium (or Ephesus) in 406 BC, was a Spartan naval victory in the Peloponnesian War. ...


Thrasybulus did return to action, however, at the Battle of Arginusae in 406 BC. There, he was a trierarch in the Athenian relief fleet sent out to assist the admiral Conon, who was blockaded at Mytilene. That battle was a major Athenian victory; after the battle, the generals in charge took the majority of their ships to attack the Peloponnesian fleet blockading Conon, leaving behind a force under Thrasybulus and his fellow trierarch Theramenes to rescue the survivors. This operation was thwarted, however, by a sudden storm which drove the rescue force to land, and a great number of Athenians—estimates as to the precise figure have ranged from near 1,000 to as many as 5,000—drowned.[17] The result was one of the great Athenian political scandals of the war, which culminated in a vicious debate between Theramenes and the generals at Athens over who was to blame for the disaster, after which the generals were executed. Thrasybulus, for unknown reasons, seems to have had very little involvement in this debate.[18] The naval Battle of Arginusae took place in 406 BCE during the Peloponnesian War. ... Conon was an Athenian general at the end of the Peloponnesian War, in charge during the decisive loss of the navy at the battle of Aegospotami. ... This city is not ot be confused with a village in the island of Samos named Mytilinii Mytilene (Μυτιλήνη in Greek) is the capital city of Lesbos, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. ... Conon was an Athenian general at the end of the Peloponnesian War, in charge during the decisive loss of the navy at the battle of Aegospotami. ... Theramenes (d. ...


The Thirty Tyrants

In 404 BC, following a defeat at the Battle of Aegospotami, Athens was forced to surrender, ending the Peloponnesian War. In the wake of this surrender, the Spartan navarch Lysander imposed a strict oligarchic government on Athens, which came to be known as the Thirty Tyrants. This government executed a number of citizens and deprived all but a few of their rights, eventually growing so extreme that even the moderate oligarch Theramenes fell afoul of the government and was executed. Fearing for their lives, numerous Athenians fled to Thebes.[19] Combatants Sparta Athens Commanders Lysander 6 generals Strength 170 ships Casualties Very few All but 10 ships, thousands of sailors The Battle of Aegospotami was the last major battle of the Peloponnesian War. ... Navarch is a Greek word meaning leader of the ships. ... Lysander (d. ... The Thirty Tyrants were a pro-Spartan oligarchy installed in Athens after Athens defeat in the Peloponnesian War in April 404 BC. Its two leading members were Tharamenes and Critias, a former acolyte of Socrates. ... Theramenes (d. ... Thebes (in modern Greek: Θήβα — Thíva, in ancient Greek and Katharevousa: — Thēbai or Thívai) is a city in Greece, situated to the north of the Cithaeron range, which divides Boeotia from Attica, and on the southern edge of the Boeotian plain. ...


Thrasybulus had been one of the first to oppose the oligarchy and had been exiled to Thebes shortly after its rise to power.[20] There, he was welcomed and supported by the Theban leader Ismenias and his followers, who assisted him in preparing for a return to Athens. In 403 BC, he led a party of 70 exiles to seize Phyle, a defensible location on the border of Attica and Boeotia. A storm prevented the forces of the Thirty from expelling him immediately, and numerous exiles flocked to join him. When the Spartan garrison of Athens, supported by Athenian cavalry, was sent out to oppose him, Thrasybulus led his force, now 700 strong, in a surprise daybreak raid on their camp, killing 120 Spartans and putting the rest to flight. Ismenias was an ancient Theban politician of the 4th century BC. He rose to power in the years after the Peloponnesian War and pursued an anti-Spartan policy, which included harboring exiles fleeing the Thirty Tyrants in Athens. ...


Five days later, Thrasybulus led his force, which had already grown to the point that he could leave 200 men at Phyle while taking 1,000 with him, to Piraeus, the port of Athens. There, he fortified the Munychia, a hill that dominated the port, and awaited the coming attack. The forces of the Thirty, supported by the Spartan garrison, marched to Piraeus to attack him. Thrasybulus and his men were outnumbered 5 to 1, but held a superior position and presumably benefited from consternation amidst the ranks of the oligarchs. In the battle, the exiles put the oligarchic forces to flight, killing Critias, the leader of the Thirty.[21] View of Piraeus A night ferry about to leave the port of Piraeus for the Dodecanese Piraeus, or Peiraeus (Modern Greek: Πειραιάς Peiraiás or Pireás, Ancient Greek / Katharevousa: Πειραιεύς Pireéfs) is a city in the periphery of Attica, Greece, located south of Athens. ... Critias, 460-403 BC, was the uncle of Plato, leading member of the Thirty Tyrants, and one of the most violent. ...


After this victory, the remainder of the Thirty fled to Eleusis, and the oligarchs within Athens began squabbling amongst themselves. New leaders were selected, but were unable to deal with Thrasybulus, and were forced to send to Sparta for help. From Sparta, however, came not the aggressive Lysander, but the more conservative Pausanias. Pausanias' force narrowly defeated Thrasybulus' men, but only with great effort, and, unwilling to push the issue, he arranged a settlement between the forces of Thrasybulus and the oligarchs in the city. Democracy was restored, while those oligarchs who wished to do so withdrew to Eleusis.[22] In power, Thrasybulus pushed through a law which pardoned all but a few of the oligarchs, preventing a brutal reprisal by the victorious democrats. For his actions, Thrasybulus was awarded an olive crown by his countrymen.[20] Eleusis (Game) The cardgame invented by Robert Abbott in 1962, and later popularized in 1977 by Martin Gardner in his Mathematical Games column in Scientific American magazine. ... Pausanias was King of Sparta from 409 BC. In 395 BC, Pausanias failed to join forces with Lysander, and for this was condemned to death and replaced as king by his son Agesipolis I. Pausanias escaped execution, and left Sparta to live in exile in Tegea. ...


Later actions

In the revived democracy established in 403 BC, Thrasybulus became a major and prestigious leader, although he was soon superseded at the head of the state by Archinus. Thrasybulus seems to have advocated a more radically democratic policy than the populace was willing to accept at the time; he called for reinstating pay for political service, and sought to extend citizenship to all the metics and foreigners who had fought alongside him against the Thirty. He was initially cautious about offending Sparta, but, when Persian support became available at the start of the Corinthian War, he became an advocate of aggressive action, and about this time seems to have regained his preeminence in Athenian politics. He initiated the rebuilding of the long walls, which had been demolished at the end of the Peloponnesian War, and commanded the Athenian contingents at Nemea and Coronea; these two defeats, however, damaged his political stature, and he was replaced at the head of the state by Conon, whose victory at Cnidus had ended Sparta's dreams of naval empire.[23] Archinus was an Athenian democratic politician who wielded substantial influence between the restoration of democracy in 403 BCE and the beginning of the Corinthian War in 395 BCE. In the early days of the restored democracy, he acted to weaken the oligarchic exiles at Eleusis by ending the ending the... In Ancient Greece, the term metic meant simply a foreigner, a non-Greek, living in one of the Greek city-states. ... Combatants Sparta, Peloponnesian League Athens, Argos, Corinth, Thebes, and other allies Commanders Agesilaus and others Numerous The Corinthian War (395 BC-387 BC) was an ancient Greek military conflict between Sparta and four allied states, Thebes, Athens, Corinth, and Argos, which were initially backed by Persia. ... The Long Walls generally refers to the walls connecting Athens to its port at Piraeus which were constructed in the mid 5th century BC, destroyed by the Spartans in 404 BC after Athens defeat in the Peloponnesian War, and rebuilt again with Persian support during the Corinthian War. ... Combatants Sparta Thebes Argos Athens Corinth Commanders Aristodemus Unknown Strength 18,000 hopites 24,000 hoplites Casualties 1,100 dead or wounded 2,800 dead or wounded {{{notes}}} The Battle of Nemea (394 BC) was a battle in the Corinthian War, between Sparta and the allied cities of Argos, Athens... The Battle of Coronea can refer to: Battle of Coronea (447 BC) Battle of Coronea (394 BC) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Conon was an Athenian general at the end of the Peloponnesian War, in charge during the decisive loss of the navy at the battle of Aegospotami. ... Combatants Persia Sparta Commanders Conon and Pharnabazus Peisander Strength 90 triremes 85 triremes Casualties Minimal Entire fleet At the Battle of Cnidus (394 BC), the Persian fleet, led by the former Athenian admiral Conon, utterly destroyed the Spartan fleet led by the inexperienced Peisander, ending Spartas brief bid for...


Thrasybulus largely faded from view for several years as Conon led the Athenian fleet to a series of victories, but in 392 BC Conon was imprisoned by the Persian satrap Tiribazus while attending a peace conference at Sardis; although released, he died in Cyprus without returning to Athens. Thrasybulus, leading the faction that sought to reject the peace offer, regained his position atop Athenian politics. In 389 BC, he led a force of triremes to levy tribute from cities around the Aegean and support Rhodes, where a democratic government was struggling against Sparta. On this campaign, Thrasybulus relaid much of the framework for an Athenian empire on the fifth century model; he captured Byzantium, imposed a duty on ships passing through the Hellespont, and collected tribute from many of the islands of the Aegean.[24] In 388 BC, as he led his fleet South through the Aegean, his soldiers ravaged the fields of Aspendus. In retaliation, the Aspendians raided the Athenian camp by night; Thrasybulus was killed in his tent.[25] Tiribazus was the Persian satrap of Sardis during part of the Corinthian War. ... Sardis, (also Sardes) the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, the seat of a conventus under the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province Lydia in later Roman and Byzantine times, was situated in the middle Hermus valley, at the foot of Mt. ... A Greek trireme Triremes (Greek Τριήρεις) are several different types of ancient warships. ... Location map of Rhodes Rhodes, (Greek: Ρόδος (pron. ... Hellespont (i. ... Aspendos, an ancient greek city in Asia Minor, is known for his best-preserved theater of antiquity with seating for 15000. ...


The gains that Thrasybulus made on this campaign were soon reversed, however, by Persian intervention. Alarmed by the sudden reappearance of something resembling the Athenian empire that had driven them from the Aegean in the fifth century, the Persians began supporting Sparta, and a Persian fleet was soon in the Hellespont, threatening Athens' grain supply. Peace was quickly concluded, on the same terms that the Athenians had rejected in 392; Thrasybulus' campaigns, though impressively successful in spreading Athenian influence, had little long-term effect, since they prompted Persia to force the Athenians to give up what they had gained.[26]


Historical opinions

Thrasybulus has been widely recognized as a successful military commander. Most of the major ancient historians assigned credit for the dramatic Athenian victories of 411 BC to Alcibiades, but a few, such as Cornelius Nepos, pointed to the decisive role that was played in these battles by Thrasybulus. More recent historians, such as Donald Kagan and R.J. Buck, have tended to support this analysis, pointing to the role that Thrasybulus played in crafting Athenian strategy in all these battles, and specifically to the decisive action he took at Cyzicus, which saved Alcibiades's force from being swamped, and turned a potential Athenian defeat into a stunning victory.[27][28] R.J. Buck has suggested that Thrasybulus suffered from an "anti-democratic tradition of ancient historiography," which led many writers to minimize the accomplishments of one of democracy's strongest advocates.[29] Cornelius Nepos (c. ... Donald Kagan (born 1932) is a Yale historian specializing in ancient Greece, notable for his four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War. ...


Throughout his career, Thrasybulus defended democracy at Athens against its opponents. He was one of the few prominent citizens who the Samians trusted to defend their democracy, and who the fleet selected to lead it through the troubled time of conflict with the 400. Later, in his opposition to the Thirty Tyrants, Thrasybulus risked his life when few others would, and his actions were responsible for the quick restoration of democracy. In the words of Cornelius Nepos,

This most noble action, then, is entirely Thrasybulus's; for when the Thirty Tyrants, appointed by the Lacedaemonians, kept Athens oppressed in a state of slavery, and had partly banished from their country, and partly put to death, a great number of the citizens whom fortune had spared in the war, and had divided their confiscated property among themselves, he was not only the first, but the only man at the commencement, to declare war against them.[20]

John Fine points to the clemency shown by Thrasybulus and other democrats in the wake of their victory over the Thirty as a key contribution towards reestablishing stable government in Athens. While many city-states throughout the Greek world broke down into vicious cycles of civil war and reprisal, Athens remained united and democratic, without interruption, until near the end of the third century, and democracy, albeit interrupted several times by conquest or revolution, continued there until Roman times, several centuries later.[30]


Thus Thrasybulus won praise as an Athenian patriot and staunch, principled democrat. He has been criticized by modern historians, however, for failing to recognize that Athens in the 4th century could not sustain an imperial policy.[31] R.J. Buck suggests that Thrasybulus, who came of age in the heady days when the democracy and empire under Pericles were at their fullest extent, never accepted that the devastating losses Athens had suffered in the Peloponnesian War made the return of those times impossible.[32] (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 4th century BC started on January 1, 400 BC and ended on December 31, 301 BC. // Overview Events Bust of Alexander the Great in the British Museum. ... Pericles or Perikles (ca. ...


Thrasybulus was a capable general, particularly successful in naval warfare, and a competent speaker, but was frequently overshadowed or pushed aside by more charismatic or spectacularly successful leaders. Buck has compared him to Winston Churchill, another advocate of imperial policies who held fast to his beliefs after the tide of history had turned against him, and who rose to his peak of prominence at his country's darkest hour. Throughout his two decades of prominence, whether in or out of leadership, Thrasybulus remained a steady advocate of traditional Athenian imperial democracy, and he died fighting for the same cause he was advocating on his first appearance in 411.


References

Ancient sources

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek: Δημοσθένης) was a prominent Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. ... Diodorus Siculus (c. ... Cornelius Nepos (c. ... Bust of Thucydides residing in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. ... Xenophon, Greek historian Xenophon (In Greek , c. ...

Modern sources

  • Buck, RJ (1998). Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy: the Life of an Athenian Statesman (= Historia Einzelschriften, vol. 120), Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. ISBN 3-515-07221-7.
  • Fine, JVA (1983). The Ancient Greeks: A critical history, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-03314-0.
  • Hornblower, S & Spawforth A. (2003). The Oxford Classical Dictionary Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-866172-X.
  • Kagan, D (2003). The Peloponnesian War, New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-670-03211-5.

Donald Kagan (born 1932) is a Yale historian specializing in ancient Greece, notable for his four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 8.75.2
  2. ^ Xenophon, Hellenica 4.8.25
  3. ^ Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 8.73.4
  4. ^ Demosthenes, On the False Embassy 280
  5. ^ Plutarch, Life of Alcibiades
  6. ^ All otherwise unsourced information in this section is from R. J. Buck, Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy
  7. ^ a b Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 8.73
  8. ^ Donald Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 385
  9. ^ R.J. Buck, Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy, 27-28
  10. ^ Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 8.76
  11. ^ Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 8.81
  12. ^ Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 8.97
  13. ^ Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 8.105-106
  14. ^ Xenophon, Hellenica 1.1
  15. ^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 410-413. See also Diodorus Siculus, Library 13.50-51
  16. ^ Buck, Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy, 46
  17. ^ Kagan (The Peloponnesian War, 459) gives the number as "perhaps a thousand", while Fine (The Ancient Greeks, 515) states it as "between 4,000 and 5,000"
  18. ^ Buck, Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy, 56-60
  19. ^ Xenophon, Hellenica 2.3
  20. ^ a b c Cornelius Nepos, Life of Thrasybulus
  21. ^ Buck, Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy, 71-79. See also Xenophon, Hellenica 2.4
  22. ^ Buck, Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy, 79-83
  23. ^ Buck, Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy, 100-105
  24. ^ Buck, Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy, 115-118
  25. ^ Xenophon, Hellenica 4.8.25-30
  26. ^ J.V. Fine, The Ancient Greeks: A Critical History, 553-555
  27. ^ Kagan, The Peloponnesian War, 414
  28. ^ Buck, Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy, 39
  29. ^ Buck, Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy, 122
  30. ^ J.V. Fine, The Ancient Greeks: A Critical History, 522-525
  31. ^ Henry Dickinson Westlake and Simon Hornblower, "Thrasybulus," from the Oxford Classical Dictionary, Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth ed.
  32. ^ Buck, Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy, 123


Athenian statesmen | Ancient Greece
Aeschines - Agyrrhius - Alcibiades - Andocides - Archinus - Aristides - Aristogeiton - Aristophon - Autocles
Callistratus - Chremonides - Cleisthenes - Cleon - Critias - Demades - Demetrius Phalereus - Demochares - Democles - Demosthenes
Ephialtes - Eubulus - Hyperbolus - Hypereides - Cimon - Cleophon - Laches- Lycurgus - Lysicles
Miltiades - Moerocles - Nicias - Peisistratus - Pericles - Philinus - Phocion - Themistocles
Theramenes - Thrasybulus - Thucydides - Xanthippus
Persondata
Thrasybulus
Θρασύβουλος
Athenian general and politician
c 440s BC
Athens
388 BC

 
 

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