previous next


*Xabri/as), the Athenian general, makes his first appearance in history as the successor of Iphicrates in the command of the Athenian force at Corinth in B. C. 393, according to Diodorus (14.92), who places it, however, at least a year too soon, since it was in 392 that Iphicrates, yet in command, defeated the Spartan Mora. (See Xen. Hell. 4.8.34; Schneid. ad Xen. Hell. 4.5.19.) In B. C. 388, on his way to Cyprus to aid Evagoras against the Persians, Chabrias landed in Aegina, and gained by an ambuscade a decisive victory over the Spartans, who lost their commander Gorgopas in the engagement. The consequence of his success was, that the Athenians were delivered for a time from the annoyance to which they had been subjected from Aegina by the Spartans and Aeginetans. (Xen. Hell. 5.1.10, &c.; comp. 4.8.24; Polyaen. 3.10; Dem. c. Lept. p. 479, ad fin.) In B. C. 378 he was joined with Timotheus and Callistratus in the command of the forces which were despatched to the aid of Thebes against Agesilaus, and it was in the course of this campaign that he adopted for the first time that manœuvre for which he became so celebrated,-- ordering, his men to await the attack with their spears pointed against the enemy and their shields resting on one knee. The attitude was a formidable one, and the Spartans did not venture to charge. A statue was afterwards erected at Athens to Chabrias in the posture above described. (Xen. Hell. 5.4.34, &c.; Diod. 15.32, 33; Polyaen. 2.1; Dem. c. Lept. l.c. ; Arist. Rhet. 3.10.7.) It was perhaps in the next year that he accepted the offer of Acoris, king of Egypt, to act as general of the mercenaries in his service against the Persians: the Athenians, however, recalled him on the remonstrance of Pharnabazus. (Diod. 15.29.) But other distinction awaited him, of a less equivocal nature, and in the service of his own country. The Lacedaemonians had sent out Pollis with a fleet of 60 ships to cut off from Athens her supplies of corn. Chabrias, being appointed to act against him with more than 80 triremes, proceeded to besiege Naxos, and, the Lacedaemonians coming up to relieve it, a battle ensued (Sept. 9, B. C. 376), in which the Athenians gained a decisive and important victory,--the first they had won with their own ships since the Peloponnesian war. According to Diodorus, the whole of the Lacedaemonian fleet might have been easily destroyed, had not Chabrias been warned by the recollection of Arginusae to look before everything to the saving of his own men from the wrecks. (Xen. Hell. 5.4. §§ 60, 61; Diod. 15.34, 35; Polyaen. 3.11; Dem. c. Aristocr. p. 686; Plut. Phoc. 6, Camill. I9, de Glor. Ath. 7.) In B. C. 373, Chabrias was joined with Iphicrates and Callistratus in the command of the forces destined for Corcyra [see p. 577b.]; and early in 368 he led the Athenian troops which went to aid Sparta in resisting at the Isthmus the second invasion of the Peloponnesus by Epaminondas, and repulsed the latter in an attack which he made on Corinth. (Xen. Hell. 7.1. §§ 15-19; Diod. 15.68, 69; Paus. 9.15.) Two years after this, B. C. 366, he was involved with Callistratus in the accusation of having caused the loss of Oropus to Athens [CALLISTRATUS, No. 3] (comp. Dem. c. Meid. p. 535); and Clinton suggests, that this may have been the occasion on which he was defended by Plato, according to the anecdote in Diogenes Laertius (3.24)--a suggestion which does not preclude us from supposing, that it was also the occasion referred to by Aristotle. (Rhet. 3.10.7; see Clint. Fast. ii. p. 396, note w, and sub anno 395; comp. Dict. of Ant. s. v. συνήγορος.) On the authority of Theopompus, we hear that Chabrias was ever but too glad to enter on any foreign service, not only because it gave him more opportunity to gratify his luxurious propensities, but also from the jealousy and annoyance to which men of note and wealth were exposed at Athens. Accordingly we find him, early in B. C. 361, taking the command of the naval force of Tachos, king of Egypt, who was in rebellion against Persia. The king's army of mercenaries was entrusted to Agesilaus, who however deserted his cause for that of Nectanabis, while Chabrias remained faithful to his first engagement. On the course and results of the war there is a strange discrepancy between Xenophon and Plutarch on the one side, and Diodorus on the other. (Theopomp. apud A then. xii. p. 532b.; Nep. Chabr. 3; Xen. Ages.; Plut. Ages. 37; Diod. 15.92, 93; Wesseling, ad loc.) About B. C. 358 Chabrias was sent to succeed Athenodorus as commander in Thrace; but he arrived with only one ship, and the consequence was that Charidemus renounced the treaty he had made with Athenodorus, and drove Chabrias to consent to another most unfavourable to the interests of Athens. [CHARIDEMUS.] On the breaking out of the social war in 357, Chares was appointed to command the Athenian army, and Chabrias was joined with him as admiral of the fleet; though, according to C. Nepos, the latter accompanied the expedition merely in a private capacity. At the siege of Chios, which was the first operation of the war, he advanced with gallant rashness into the harbour, before the rest of the fleet, and, when his ship was disabled, he refused to save his life by abandoning it, and fell fighting. (Diod. 16.7; Nep. Chabr. 4; Dem. c. Lept. p. 481.) Plutarch tells us, that Chabrias was slow in devising and somewhat rash in executing, and that both defects were often in some measure corrected and supplied by his young friend Phocion. Yet his death seems to have been a real loss to Athens. His private qualities, notwithstanding the tendency to profligate self-indulgence which has been mentioned above on the authority of Theopompus, were at least such as to attract and permanently retain the friendship of Phocion. His public services were rewarded with the privilege of exemption from liturgies; and the continuation of the privilege to. his son Ctesippus, from whom the law of Leptines would have taken it, was successfully advocated by Demosthenes in B. C. 355. (Plut. Phoc. 6, 7; Dem. c. Lept. pp. 479-483.) Pausanias (1.29) speaks of the tomb of Chabrias as lying between those of Pericles and Phormion on the way from the city to the Academy.


hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
393 BC (1)
388 BC (1)
378 BC (1)
376 BC (1)
373 BC (1)
366 BC (1)
361 BC (1)
358 BC (1)
355 BC (1)
hide References (21 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (21):
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 15.33
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 15.34
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 15.68
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 15.69
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 15.93
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 14.92
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 15.29
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 15.32
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 15.35
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 15.92
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 16.7
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.15
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.29
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 4.8.34
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 5.1.10
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 5.4.34
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 5.4
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 7.1
    • Plutarch, Phocion, 6
    • Plutarch, Agesilaus, 37
    • Plutarch, Phocion, 7
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: