After this the Four Hundred were overthrown,1
the friends of Alcibiades now zealously assisting the party of the people. Then the city willingly ordered Alcibiades to come back home. But he thought he must not return with empty hands and without achievement, through the pity and favour of the multitude, but rather in a blaze of glory. So, to begin with, he set sail with a small fleet from Samos and cruised off Cnidus and Cos.
There he heard that Mindarus the Spartan admiral had sailed off to the Hellespont with his entire fleet, followed by the Athenians, and so he hastened to the assistance of their generals. By chance he came up, with his eighteen triremes, at just that critical point when both parties, having joined battle with all their ships off Abydos, and sharing almost equally in victory and defeat until evening, were locked in a great struggle.
The appearance of Alcibiades inspired both sides with a false opinion of his coming: the enemy were emboldened and the Athenians were confounded. But he quickly hoisted Athenian colors on his flagship and darted straight upon the victorious and pursuing Peloponnesians. Routing them, he drove them to land, and following hard after them, rammed and shattered their ships. Their crews swam ashore, and here Pharnabazus came to their aid with his infantry and fought along the beach in defence of their ships.
But finally the Athenians captured thirty of them, rescued their own, and erected a trophy of victory.
Taking advantage of a success so brilliant as this, and ambitious to display himself at once before Tissaphernes, Alcibiades supplied himself with gifts of hospitality and friendship and proceeded, at the head of an imperial retinue, to visit the satrap.
His reception, however, was not what he expected. Tissaphernes had for a long time been accused by the Lacedaemonians to the King, and being in fear of the King's condemnation, it seemed to him that Alcibiades had come in the nick of time. So he arrested him and shut him up in Sardis, hoping that such an outrage upon him as this would dispel the calumnies of the Spartans.