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Lysander(līsăn`dər), d. 395 B.C., Spartan naval commander and statesman. Toward the end of the Peloponnesian WarPeloponnesian War
, 431–404 B.C., decisive struggle in ancient Greece between Athens and Sparta. It ruined Athens, at least for a time. The rivalry between Athens' maritime domain and Sparta's land empire was of long standing. Athens under Pericles (from 445 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. he was made admiral and built up the Spartan fleet so that it defeated (407 B.C.) the Athenians off Notium. Later he was responsible for the capture (405 B.C.) of the Athenian fleet at the mouth of the Aegospotamos and for the final submission (404 B.C.) of Athens to Sparta. He set up, in each of Athens' allied states, 10 oligarchs and, in Athens, the Thirty Tyrants. Sparta itself soon changed his severe system by modifying the oligarchies and by restoring Athenian democracy. Ambitious that Sparta should control all Greece and that he should be the leading power in Sparta, Lysander supported the succession of Agesilaus II as king, but the latter proved more able and independent than had been anticipated. When in 395 B.C. the Boeotians, with Thebes and Corinth at their head, made war upon Sparta, Lysander led an army against them, but he fell in battle at Haliartus.
Died 395 B.C. in Haliartos, Beoetia. Spartan warlord.
Lysander came to prominence during the second period of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 B.C.). As a nauarchus (naval commander) in 407 he won a victory over the Athenians near Cape Notium. As an epistoleus (assistant nauarchus) in 405 he inflicted a crushing defeat upon the Athenian Navy at Aegospotami. He left Spartan regents and garrisons in the cities seized by the Spartans, formed governments called committees of ten (decarchies) with members of the local oligarchic hetaerae, and carried out a campaign of terror against democratic circles, allies of Athens, and the Cleruchy. In 405–404 he conducted a siege of Athens from the sea and forced the Athenians to surrender and sign a truce on conditions dictated by Sparta. Under pressure from Lysander, the democratic order in Athens was destroyed, and the extremely oligarchic government of the “Thirty Tyrants,” which Lysander supported by military force, was instituted. Lysander’s striving for autocratic authority led to his removal from command (after 404). During the Corinthian War, Lysander commanded a Spartan detachment, was defeated, and died in combat with the Beoetians at Haliartos.
REFERENCESFrolov, E. D. “Iz predystorii mladshei tiranii.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1972, no. 2.
Lotze, D. Lysander und der Peloponnessische Krieg. Berlin, 1964.