The mover of this proposal, and to outward appearance the most active partisan of the revolution, was-Peisander, but the real author and maturer of the whole scheme, who had been longest interested in it, was Antiphon, a man inferior in virtue to none of his contemporaries, and possessed of remarkable powers of thought and gifts of speech. He did not like to come forward in the assembly, or in any other public arena. To the multitude, who were suspicious of his great abilities, he was1
an object of dislike; but there was no man who could do more for any who consulted him, whether their business lay in the courts of justice or in the assembly.
And when the government of the Four Hundred was overthrown and became exposed to the of the people, and he being accused of taking part in the plot had to speak in his own case, his defence was undoubtedly the best ever made by ally man tried on a capital charge down to my time.
Phrynichus also showed extraordinary zeal in the interests of the oligarchy. He was afraid of Alcibiades, whom he knew to be cognisant of the intrigue which when at Samos he had carried on with Astyochus2
, and he thought that no oligarchy would ever be likely to restore him. Having once set his hand to the work he was deemed by the others to be the man upon whom they could best depend in the hour of danger.
Another chief leader of the revolutionary party was Theramenes the son of Hagnon, a good speaker and a sagacious man. No wonder then that, in the hands of all these able men, the attempt, however arduous, succeeded. For an easy thing it certainly was not, about one hundred years after the fall of the tyrants, to destroy the liberties of the Athenians, who not only were a free, but during more than one half of this time had been an imperial people.