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The Thirty Tyrants were a pro-Spartan oligarchy installed in Athens after Athens' defeat in the Peloponnesian War in April 404 BC. Its two leading members were Theramenes (Θηραμένης) and Critias, a former acolyte of Socrates.

The Thirty severely reduced the number of rights of Athenian citizens. Instead of all Athenians participating in legal functions, only a specially selected 500 could. Only 3,000 people had the right to carry weapons or receive a jury trial. Hundreds of Athenians were killed (they were ordered to drink hemlock) and thousands more were exiled.

The Thirty Tyrants were overthrown by Thrasybulus, with help from Thebes, the following year.

List of the Thirty Tyrants

Charmides

Critias

Eratosthenes

Theramenes

  Spirit of freedom! when on Phyle’s brow
   Thou sat’st with Thrasybulus and his train,
   Couldst thou forebode the dismal hour which now
   Dims the green beauties of thine Attic plain?
   Not thirty tyrants now enforce the chain, Lord Byron

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