Battle of Phyle

Battle of Phyle
Part of Phyle Campaign
Phyle map-en.svg
Map showing the three battles of the Phyle Campaign
Date404 BC or 403 BC
ResultAthenian exile victory
Athenian exilesSpartan garrison of Athens
Commanders and leaders
700 infantry700 infantry, two divisions of cavalry
Casualties and losses
Light123 killed

The Battle of Phyle was fought between Athenian exiles who were seeking to restore democracy to Athens and a Spartan garrison trying to protect the oligarchic Thirty Tyrants. In the battle, 700 Athenian exiles under Thrasybulus decisively defeated the Spartans and their Athenian cavalry in a dawn ambush.


Following Athens' defeat in the Peloponnesian War, a narrow oligarchic government was imposed on the city by Lysander and the victorious Spartans. This government, which came to be known as the Thirty Tyrants as a result of its brutal actions, exiled or drove away a number of citizens. Many of these gathered at Thebes, where they received support and assistance from the anti-Spartan government of Ismenias.[1] Late in 404 BC, 70 of these exiles, commanded by Thrasybulus, crossed the border into Attica and occupied the strong point of Phyle on Mount Parnes.[2]

The Thirty, seeking to dislodge this threat, marched out to attack Phyle, but, after an initial assault was repulsed, a snowstorm drove the force back to Athens. Meanwhile, more exiles began to arrive at Phyle, swelling the size of the force there. The Thirty dispatched the Spartan garrison of Athens, along with an Athenian cavalry force, to keep a watch on Phyle and prevent the exiles from raiding the countryside.[3]

Other Languages
Nederlands: Slag bij Phyle