1. A Spartan, was sent to the Hellespont in the spring of B. C. 411 to excite the cities there to revolt from Athens, and succeeded in bringing over Abydus and Lampsacus, the latter of which, however, was almost immediately recovered by the Athenians under Stromlichides. (Thuc. 8.61
.) In B. C. 399 he was sent to supersede Thibron in the command of the army which was employed in the protection of the Asiatic Greeks against Persia. On his arrival, he took advantage of the jealousy between Pharnabazus and Tissaphernes to divide their forces, and having made a truce with the latter, proceeded against the midland Aeolis, the satrapy of Pharnabazus, towards whom he entertained a personal dislike, as having been once subjected through his means to a military punishment when he was harmost at Abydus under Lysander. In Aeolis he gained possession of nine cities in eight days, together with the treasures of Mania, the late satrapess of the province. [MANIA; MEIDIAS.] As he did not wish to burden his allies by wintering in their country, he concluded a truce with Pharnabazus, and marched into Bithynia, where he maintained his army by plunder.
In the spring of 398 he left Bithynia, and was met at Lampsacus by Spartan commissioners, who announced to him the continuance of his command for another year, and the satisfaction of the home government with the discipline of his troops as contrasted with their condition under Thibron. Having heard from these commissioners that the Greeks of the Thracian Chersonesus had sent an embassy to Sparta to ask for aid against the neighbouring barbarians, he said nothing of his inten tion, but concluded a further truce with Pharnabazus, and, crossing over to Europe, built a wall for the protection of the peninsula. Then returning, he besieged Atarneus, of which some Chiian exiles had taken possession, and reduced it after an obstinate defence. Hitherto there had been no hostilities between Tissaphernes and Dercyllidas, but in the next year, B. C. 397, ambassadors came to Sparta from the Ionians, representing that by an attack on Caria, where the satrap's own property lay, he might be driven into acknowledging their independence, and the ephori accordingly desired Dercyllidas to invade it. Tissaphernes and Pharnabazus now united their forces, but no engagement took place, and a negotiation was entered into, Dercyllidas demanding the independence of the Asiatic Greeks, the satraps the withdrawal of the Lacedaemonian troops.
A truce was then made till the Spartan authorities and the Persian king should decide respectively on the requisitions. In B. C. 396, when Agesilaus crossed into Asia, Dercyllidas was one of the three who were commissioned to ratify the short and hollow armistice with Tissaphernes.
After this, he appears to have returned home. In B. C. 394 he was sent to carry the news of the battle of Corinth to Agesilaus, whom he met at Amphipolis, and at whose request he proceeded with the intelligence to the Greek cities in Asia which had furnished the Spartans with troops.
This service, Xenophon says, he gladly undertook, for he liked to be absent from home,--a feeling possibly arising from the mortifications to which, as an unmarried man (so Plutarch tells us), he was subjected at Sparta. (See Dict. of Ant.
He is said to have been characterized by roughness and cunning,-- qualities denoted respectively by his nicknames of "Scythus" and "Sisyphus," if indeed the former of these be not a corrupt reading in Athenaeus for the second. (Xen. Hell. 3.1
. §§ 8-28, 2. §§ 1-20, 4.. § 6, 4.3. §§ 1-3, Anab.
5.6.24 ; Diod. 14.38
; Plut. Lyc. 15
; Atheen. xi. p. 500. c.)