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In 404 BC, the Athenian General Alcibiades, exiled in the Achaemenid Empire province of Hellespontine Phrygia, was assassinated by Persian soldiers, who may have been following the orders of Satrap Pharnabazus II, at the instigation of Sparta's Lysander.[32][33][34] La mort d'Alcibiade. Philippe Chéry, 1791. Musée des Beaux-Arts, La Rochelle.

Unlike some of his predecessors the new Spartan general, Lysander, was not a member of the Spartan royal families and was also formidable in naval strategy; he was an artful diplomat, who had even cultivated good personal relationships with the Achaemenid prince Cyrus the Younger, son of Emperor Unlike some of his predecessors the new Spartan general, Lysander, was not a member of the Spartan royal families and was also formidable in naval strategy; he was an artful diplomat, who had even cultivated good personal relationships with the Achaemenid prince Cyrus the Younger, son of Emperor Darius II. Seizing its opportunity, the Spartan fleet sailed at once to the Dardanelles, the source of Athens's grain. Threatened with starvation, the Athenian fleet had no choice but to follow. Through cunning strategy, Lysander totally defeated the Athenian fleet, in 405 BC, at the Battle of Aegospotami, destroying 168 ships and capturing some three or four thousand Athenian sailors. Only twelve Athenian ships escaped, and several of these sailed to Cyprus, carrying the strategos (general) Conon, who was anxious not to face the judgment of the Assembly.

Facing starvation and disease from the prolonged siege, Athens surrendered in 404 BC,[2] and its allies soon surrendered as well. The democrats at Samos, loyal to the bitter last, held on slightly longer, and were allowed to flee with their lives. The surrender stripped Athens of its walls, its fleet, and all of its overseas possessions. Corinth and Thebes demanded that Athens should be destroyed and all its citizens should be enslaved. However, the Spartans announced their refusal to destroy a city that had done a good service at a time of greatest danger to Greece, and took Athens into their own system. Athens was "to have the same friends and enemies" as Sparta.[35]

Aftermath

The overall effect of the war in Greece proper was to replace the Athenian Empire with a Spartan empire. After the battle of Aegospotami, Sparta took over the Athenian empire and kept all of its tribute revenues for itself; Sparta's allies, who had made greater sacrifices for the war effort than had Sparta, got nothing.[3]

For a short period of time, Athens was ruled by the "Thirty Tyrants", and democracy was suspended. This was a reactionary regime set up by Sparta. In 403 BC, the oligarchs were overthrown and a democracy was restored by Thrasybulus.

Although the power of Athens was broken, it made something of a recovery as a result of the Corinthian Wa

Facing starvation and disease from the prolonged siege, Athens surrendered in 404 BC,[2] and its allies soon surrendered as well. The democrats at Samos, loyal to the bitter last, held on slightly longer, and were allowed to flee with their lives. The surrender stripped Athens of its walls, its fleet, and all of its overseas possessions. Corinth and Thebes demanded that Athens should be destroyed and all its citizens should be enslaved. However, the Spartans announced their refusal to destroy a city that had done a good service at a time of greatest danger to Greece, and took Athens into their own system. Athens was "to have the same friends and enemies" as Sparta.[35]

The overall effect of the war in Greece proper was to replace the Athenian Empire with a Spartan empire. After the battle of Aegospotami, Sparta took over the Athenian empire and kept all of its tribute revenues for itself; Sparta's allies, who had made greater sacrifices for the war effort than had Sparta, got nothing.[3]

For a short period of time, Athens was ruled by the "Thirty Tyrants", and democracy was suspended. This was a reactionary regime set up by Sparta. In 403 BC, the oligarchs were overthrown and a democracy was restored by Thrasybulus.

Although the power of Athens was broken, it made something of a recovery as a result of the Corinthian War and continued to play an active role in Greek politics. Sparta was later humbled by Thebes at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC, but the rivalry between Athens and Sparta was brought to an end a few decades later when Philip II of Macedon conquered all of Greece except Sparta, which was later subjugated by Philip's son Alexander in 331 BC.[36]

A symbolic peace treaty was signed by the mayors of Athens and Sparta on March 12, 1996; 2,500 years after the war ended.[37]