Geographical sites:

  • Athens (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #579885)
    Pleiades_icon Athenae theatre, plaza, cemetery, stoa, settlement, temple Geocontext: Athina/Athens
    Description: A major Greek city-state and the principal city of Attika.


Text #3713

Xenophon. Hellenica. Vol. 1
[Xen. Hell. 2.4.3--2.4.14. Translated by Carleton L. Brownson. William Heinemann. 1918. (2 Vols.) pp. 145--151]

And while the Thirty1 were planning to invest the place2, so as to force them3 to surrender by shutting off their avenues for receiving provisions, a very heavy snow storm came on during the night and continued on the following day. So they came back to the city4 in the snow, after losing a goodly number of their camp followers by the attacks of the men in Phyle.[…]

[Thrasybulus’ speech] “For with arms in our hands we stand face to face with them5 ; and the gods, because once we were seized while dining or sleeping or trading, because some of us also were banished when we were not only guilty of no offence, but were not even in the city, are now manifestly fighting on our side. For in fair weather they6 send a storm, when it is to our advantage.”

  1. The Thirty Tyrants. [nE]

  2. i.e. Phyle. [nE]

  3. Thrasybulus and his forces. [nE]

  4. i.e. Athens. [nE]

  5. The Thirty Tyrants. [nE]

  6. The gods. [nE]

Text #3714

"Battle Phyle", in Wikipedia.

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.

After the defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian War, the Spartans led by Lysander imposed a government known as the Thirty Tyrants, which exiled many citizens. These exiles gathered at Thebes under the leadership of Thrasybulus, crossed to Attica and occupied Phyle, a suburb of Athens. The Thirty tried to disloge these exiles from Phyle, but were driven back by a snowstorm to Athens.

Before engaging the forces of the Thirty Tyrants in the Battle of Phyle, Thrasybulus, in his exhortation to his 700 soldiers, used the occurrence of this snowstorm as an omen that the gods were now fighting on their side. […]

This unexpected defeat shook the confidence of the government at Athens, and the Thirty began shortly afterward to prepare a refuge for themselves at Eleusis by seizing and executing a number of potential dissenters there. The exiles, meanwhile, received a great boost in prestige from the victory, and new recruits swelled their numbers rapidly. Just a few days after the battle at Phyle, Thrasybulus led a force of 1000 men to Piraeus. There, he won another victory, after which the Thirty fled to Eleusis. A stalemate then ensued, with Thrasybulus and his men holding the Piraeus while a new oligarchic government held Athens; this was brought to a close when a Spartan force under Pausanias arrived; after fighting an inconclusive battle with the men from Phyle, Pausanias arranged a settlement that restored democratic governance to Athens.

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