Thrasybulus was an Athenian general and democratic leader. He advocated a policy of resistance to Sparta and sought to restore Athens’ imperial power. In 411 BC, the pro-democracy sailors at Samos elected him as a general. He commanded a small force of exiles that invaded the Spartan-ruled Attica and defeated first a Spartan garrison and then the forces of the oligarchy.
About Thrasybulus in brief
Thrasybulus was an Athenian general and democratic leader. He was a proponent of Athenian imperialism and expansionism. He advocated a policy of resistance to Sparta and sought to restore Athens’ imperial power. According to the historical account provided by Xenophon, he was murdered by locals during the night while acting as general of a military expedition on its way to Rhodes while on a stopover in Aspendus on the Eurymedon River on account of his soldiers’ recent transgressions against local farmers and their farmsteads. 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 ultimately successful democratic resistance to the coup. In 404 BC, he commanded a small force of exiles that invaded the Spartan-ruled Attica and, in successive battles, defeated first a Spartan garrison and then the forces of the oligarchy. In 388 BC he was killed in 388 BC while leading an Athensian naval force during the Corinthian War. In the 4th century BC his son was able to pay a substantial fine of 10 talents. By 411 BC he had established a reputation as a pro- democracy politician. During his period of prominence within the democracy, he seems to have led what might now be termed a populist faction. In 413 BC, a massive Athenian expedition force was completely obliterated in Sicily. 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 an oligarchy to power in Athens.
Their plans included recalling Alcibiades, who had been exiled by the democratic government. A dispute has arisen among modern historians over Thrasy Bulus’ 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 oligarchs but was alienated by the extreme actions taken by the plotters. R. J. Buck, on the other hand, maintains that he was probably never involved in the plot, possibly because he was absent from Samos at the time of its inception. Upon the return of their return to Athens, 400 BC, the conspirators succeeded in ending the democratic rule and imposing an oligarchs. With the support of these men and the general Athenian soldiers in the ranks, the Samats were able to defeat the oligarchs in the 400 BC battle of the Peloponnesian War and restore democracy to Athens. In that battle, ThrasybulUS was in command along with Alcibiade and others at several critical Athenian naval victories. He died in 388BC while leading a naval force in the Corinthians War. His son, Diomedon, and Thrasyllus, were among the hoplite men and soldiers in that time that supported the Samatian democrats in the battle.