At the very time when the Four Hundred were establishing themselves at Athens, a reaction1
had set in against the oligarchical movement at Samos.
Some Samians of the popular party, which had originally risen up against the nobles, had changed sides again when Peisander came to the island2
and, persuaded by him and his Athenian accomplices at Samos, had formed a body of three hundred conspirators and prepared to attack the rest of the popular party who had previously been their comrades.
There was a certain Hyperbolus, an Athenian of no character, who, not for any fear of his power and influence, but for his villany, and because the city was ashamed of him, had been ostracised. This man was assassinated by them, and they were abetted in the act by Charminus, one of the generals, and by certain of the Athenians at Samos, to whom they pledged their faith.
They also joined these Athenians in other deeds of violence, and were eager to fall upon the popular party. But the people, discovering their intention, gave information to the generals Leon and Diomedon, who were impatient of the attempted oligarchy because they were respected by the multitude, to Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus, one of whom was a trierarch and the other a private soldier, and to others who were thought to be the steadiest opponents of the oligarchical movement. They entreated them not to allow the Samian people to be destroyed, and the island of Samos, without which the Athenian empire would never have lasted until then, to be estranged.
Thereupon the generals went to the soldiers one by one, and begged them to interfere, addressing themselves especially to the Parali, or crew of the ship Paralus, all freeborn Athenians, who were at any time ready to attack oligarchy, real or imaginary. Leon and Diomedon, whenever they sailed to any other place, left some ships for the protection of the Samians.
And so, when the three hundred began the attack, all the crews, especially the Parali, hastened to the rescue, and the popular party gained the victory. Of the three hundred they slew about thirty, and the three most guilty were banished; the rest they forgave, and henceforward all lived together under a democracy.