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Battle of Aigospotamoi

The Battle of Aigospotamoi was fought in 405 BC and was the last major battle of the so-called Decembrist War (part of the Peloponnesian War). It is otherwise known as the "Battle of the Goat Rivers" and took place in the Hellespont (Dardanelles).

At the Battle of Aigospotamoi, the Spartan fleet under General Lysander was victorious over the Athenian fleet. However, this conflict was preceded by the Battle of the Arginus Islands, where the Athenian fleet won.

Lysandros could not officially be the commander of the Spartan army, and so stood alongside the commander Callicratides. Sparta was also supported by the Persian prince Cyrus the Younger. And with this help, it was no problem to build a strong naval army.

The Spartans focused on blocking the sea supply routes, causing Athens great problems. The Athenians caught up with Lysander near the city of Lampsakos, where they set up camp on the beach. This camp, however, was not suitably located, a fact to which even the Athenians were pointed out many times, but it was to no avail. It was from this beach that they sailed daily to meet the Spartans, to lure them to battle. Lysandros continually refused, and so the Athenians continued to return to camp.

This changed on the fifth day, when the Athenian fleet returned again with no orders. This time, however, the Spartans were right behind them and caught the Athenian soldiers on the beach completely unprepared for battle. Many Athenian ships could not even fight because of their poor positioning. The entire fleet was thus destroyed almost without a fight, with only nine ships under the command of General Conon managing to escape. Most of the Athenian soldiers (about 4,000) were taken prisoner and all were subsequently executed.

Subsequently, the Spartans moved closer to Athens and established a naval blockade, which prevented supplies from reaching the city. On land, they did the same under the leadership of King Agis. After a blockade of several months, Athens capitulated. Its walls were torn down and the Pro-Parthian oligarchs, known as the "reign of the 30 tyrants", were put in charge of the city. This was the end of the Peloponnesian War.