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The restoration of democracy

With Alcibiades as one of the commanders, the revived Athenian fleet won a great victory1 over the Spartans in 410 at Cyzicus2 on the southern shore of the Black Sea. The Athenians intercepted the plaintive and typically brief dispatch sent by the defeated Spartans to their leaders at home: “Ships lost. Commander dead. Men starving. Do not know what to do.”3 The pro-democratic fleet now demanded the restoration of full democracy at Athens, and in this year Athenian government returned to the form4 and membership that it had possessed before the oligarchic coup of 411. It also, according to a later source, returned to the same uncompromising bellicosity that had characterized the decisions of the Athenian assembly in the mid-420s. Just as after the defeat at Pylos in 425, the Spartans offered peace after their defeat at Cyzicus in 410. Athens refused. 5 In any case, the Athenian fleet went on to reestablish the safety of the grain routes to Athens and to compel some of the allies who had revolted to return to the alliance.

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