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Mindarus was a Spartan admiral who commanded the Peloponnesian fleet during the Peloponnesian War. He suffered from strained relationships with Persia during his command; he was promised ships by the satrap Tissaphernes, but they were never delivered, and he was forced to turn to Pharnabazus for support instead. Although he succeeded in greatly alarming the Athenians by his tactical decision to relocate to the Hellespont, where he could threaten the Athenian grain supply, he was repeatedly unsuccessful in combat; he was defeated at Cynossema, Abydos, and Cyzicus. At the latter, in 410 BC, the entire Spartan fleet was destroyed, and Mindarus himself was killed.

Placed in command of the Spartan fleet when Athens' defeat in the Sicilian expedition had opened up great opportunities for Sparta in the Aegean, Mindarus largely failed to capitalize on these opportunities. He seized several cities, and temporarily threatened Athens' Black Sea lifeline, but never displayed the tactical ability necessary to defeat the Athenian fleet, at a time when a Spartan naval victory could have brought a swift end to the war.

References

  • Diodorus Siculus, Library
  • Hornblower, Simon, and Anthony Spawforth ed., The Oxford Classical Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 2003) ISBN 019866172X
  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War
  • Xenophon, Hellenica

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