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Lysander (lĪsănˈdər) [key], d. 395 B.C., Spartan naval commander and statesman. Toward the end of the Peloponnesian War 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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