3. An Athenian, the son of Lycus, of the deme Steiria.
He was zealously attached to the democratic party, and was a warm friend of Alcihiades.
The first occasion on which we find him mentioned is in B. C. 411, when he was in command of a galley in the Athenian fleet at Samos. and took an active part in the suppression of the oligarchical conspiracy (Thuc. 8.73
). When the news arrived of the establishment of the Four Hundred at Athens, Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus were among the most active in urging resistance to the oligarchy, and exacted a solemn oath from the Athenians of the fleet that they would maintain the democracy, and persevere in the war with the Peloponnesians.
In an assembly held soon after in the camp, some of the suspected generals were removed, and others appointed in their room. Among the latter was Thrasybulus. Through the influence of Thrasybulus a decree was passed by the camp-assembly, by which Alcibiades was pardoned and recalled. Thrasybulus himself sailed to fetch him from the court of Tissaphernes. Shortly afterwards he set out towards the Hellespont with five galleys, when news arrived of the revolt of Eresus.
After his junction with Thrasyllus was fought the battle of Cynossema, in which Thrasybulus commanded the right wing, and by a sudden attack upon the Peloponnesians, who had gained a partial success, turned the fortune of the day. (Thuc. 8.75
, &c.) Just before the battle of Cyzicus Thrasybulus joined Alcibiades with twenty galleys, having been despatched on an expedition to collect money from Thasos and other places in that quarter. (Xen. Helen.
1.1.12.) In 407 he was sent with a fleet of thirty ships to the coast of Thrace, where he reduced most of the revolted cities to submission. (Xen. Hell. 1.4.9
; Demosth. ad v. Lept.
p. 474; Diod. 13.72
He was about the same time elected one of the new generals, together with Alcibiades. While engaged in fortifying Phocaea, he received a visit from Alcibiades, who had left his fleet at Notium. (Xen. l.c.
After the unfortunate battle of Notium took place, he was involved in the disgrace of Alcibiades, and was superseded in his command, but still continued to serve in the fleet.
He was one of the subordinate officers at the battle of Arginusae, and was one of those charged with the duty of taking care of the wrecks. (Xen. 1.6.35.)
He is said to have had a dream before the battle, which portended the victory and the death of the generals (Diod. 13.97
). On the establishment of the Thirty Tyrants he was banished, and was living in exile at Thebes when the rulers of Athens were perpetrating their excesses of tyranny. Being aided by the Thebans with arms and money, he collected a small band, and seized the fortress of Phyle, where he was rapidly reinforced, and after repulsing an attack made upon the fortress, he defeated the forces placed to check the incursions of the garrison. Four days afterwards he descended with a body of 1000 men and marched into Peiraeus, taking up a strong position on the hill of Munychia. where he was joined by most of the population of Peiraeus.
The forces of the tyrants were immediately despatched against them, but were defeated, though with no great loss. The Ten, who were appointed in place of the Thirty, however, showed no less disposition to overpower Thrasybulus and his party, who strengthened themselves as much as possible, and made foraging excursions every day from Peiraeus.
In consequence of the application of the oligarchs Lysander and Libys were sent to blockade Peiraeus.
The exiles however were delivered from their perilous position through the machinations of Pausanias.
After they had sustained a severe defeat, Pausanias secretly sent to them, directing them to send an embassy to him, and suggesting the kind of language that they should hold.
An armistice was concluded with them, and deputies were despatched by them to plead their cause at Sparta.
The issue was a general reconciliation, accompanied by an amnesty, and the exiles entered the city in triumph, and offered a sacrifice to Athene on the Acropolis. Soon afterwards the oligarchical exiles at Eleusis, who were preparing to renew the civil war, were overpowered, and a new act of amnesty was passed with respect to them, the credit of which seems to have belonged to Thrasybulus and his friends. (Xen. Hell. 2.4
. §§ 2-43; Diod. 14.32
; Paus. 1.29.3
. § l; Plut. Lys. 27.
) In B. C. 395 we find Thrasybulus moving the decree for an alliance between Thebes and Athens, when the former was menaced by Sparta, and leading an army to the help of the Thebans (Paus. 3.5.4
; Xen. Hell. 3.5.16
, &c). In B. C. 390 Thrasybulus was sent with forty ships to aid the democratical Rhodians against Teleutias. Not finding that he could be of any service at Rhodes, he sailed away to Thrace, where he reconciled two Odrysian princes, Amadocus and Seuthes, and brought them to enter into alliance with Athens. Seuthes offered to give him his daughter in marriage.
He then proceeded to Byzantium, where by the aid of Archebius and Heracleides he established the democratical party, and restored the Athenian interest.
He also brought Chalcedon into alliance with Athens.
In the island of Lesbos he reduced Methymna and some other towns. From Lesbos he sailed southwards, and having anchored in the Eurymedon near Aspendus, the inhabitants of this place fell upon him in the night and killed him in his tent. (Diod. 14.94
; Xen. Hell. 4.8.25
, &c.; Demosth. ad v. Lept.
p. 475.) His tomb was on the road leading to the Academy, near those of Pericles, Chabrias, and Phormion. (Paus. 1.29.3