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Thrasybulus (pronounced /ˌθræsɨˈbjuːləs/; Ancient Greek: Θρασύβουλος 'brave-willed'; d. 388 BC) was an Athenian general and democratic leader. In 411 BC, in the wake of an oligarchic coup at Athens, the pro-democracy sailors at Samos elected him as a general, making him a primary leader of the successful democratic resistance to that coup. As general, he was responsible for recalling the controversial nobleman Alcibiades from exile, and the two worked together extensively over the next several years. In 411 and 410, Thrasybulus commanded along with Alcibiades and others at several critical Athenian naval victories.

After Athens' defeat in the Peloponnesian War, Thrasybulus led the democratic resistance to the new oligarchic government, known as the Thirty Tyrants, that the victorious Spartans imposed on Athens. In 404 BC, he commanded a small force of exiles that invaded Attica and, in successive battles, defeated first a Spartan garrison and then the forces of the oligarchy. In the wake of these victories, democracy was re-established at Athens. As a leader of this revived democracy in the 4th century BC, Thrasybulus advocated a policy of resistance to Sparta and sought to restore Athens' imperial power. He was killed in 388 BC while leading an Athenian naval force during the Corinthian War.


Personal life and early career

Almost nothing is known of Thrasybulus's background or early life. His father was named Lycus,[1] and he was a native of the deme of Steiria in Athens.[2] He was probably born between 455 and 441 BC, although a date as late as the late 430s BC cannot be ruled out. He was married, and had two children. Several facts make it clear that he was from a wealthy family; he held the office of trierarch,[3] which involved significant personal expenditures, on several occasions, and in the fourth century his son was able to pay a substantial fine of 10 talents.[4]

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