Thrasybulus | coup of 411 bc
In 413 BC, a massive
In this general atmosphere of crisis,
A dispute has arisen among modern historians over Thrasybulus' involvement in this plot. Donald Kagan has suggested that Thrasybulus was one of the founding members of the scheme and was willing to support moderate oligarchy, but was alienated by the extreme actions taken by the plotters. R. J. Buck, on the other hand, maintains that Thrasybulus was probably never involved in the plot, possibly because he was absent from Samos at the time of its inception.
Upon their return to Athens, the conspirators succeeded in ending democratic rule and imposing an oligarchy of 400 rulers. At Samos, however, the coup did not go forward so smoothly. Samian democrats learned of the conspiracy and notified four prominent Athenians, the generals Leon and Diomedon, Thrasybulus, and
A ship was dispatched to Athens to notify the city of this success against the oligarchs. Upon its arrival, however, the crew was arrested, as the news of a democratic victory was far from welcome to the new oligarchic government. Learning of this, the army at Samos deposed its generals and elected new generals who were believed to be more steadfast in their support of democracy, Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus among them. The army, stating that they had not revolted from the city but that the city had revolted from them, resolved to stand by the democracy while continuing to prosecute the war against
One of the first actions Thrasybulus took as general was to bring about the recall of Alcibiades, a policy that he had supported since before the coup. After persuading the sailors to support his plan, Thrasybulus sailed to retrieve Alcibiades and returned with him to Samos. The aim of this policy was to win away