Athens is broke. The sole hope for retaining its empire rests in their fleet of triremes at Samos. To make matters worse a Spartan fleet, supported by a Persian army and Syracusian ships, has wedged itself into the Hellespont, the crucial route by which Athens receives most of its food. Alcibiades, though still refusing to return to Athens for fear of the death penalty on him, contributes to the fighting in any way he can. Some sort of miracle is needed for Athens to step back into security. This episode covers approximately 411 B.C. – 407 B.C.
Thrasybulus - One of the most respected generals of the Athenian fleet, he is in a leadership role during every naval battle we cover in this episode. He is part of the aristocracy and an advocate for bringing Alcibiades back to Athens.
Thrasyllus -A hoplite that was pulled out of the ranks at Samos and elected by a general by the men of the fleet. He fights bravely and represents himself and Athens well in several battles though his tactical leadership is occasionally lacking. He did allow the Spartan fleet to reach the Hellespont in the first place and later has trouble securing the Ionian Coast after the Battle of Cyzicus.
Theramenes - One of the primary people responsible for preventing the extreme oligarchs from successfully fortifying the Piraeus and gaining control of Athens. After the fall of the 400 he provided guidance and assistance on how to turn power back over to the 5,000 which eventually leads to the restoration of full democracy.
Mindarus - The Spartan general in charge of the fleet in the Hellespont.
Pharnabazus - A Persian satrap, Pharnabazus takes a more active approach in the Greek wars than his other satraps. He is found several times actually on the battlefield, even the front lines, while he leads Persian troops against Athens.
Alcibiades - When this episode begins he has been in exile for about 5 years. In Athens he is still a wanted man and he will need to prove himself to be an invaluable resource if he will ever be welcomed back to Athens.
Samos - An Athenian naval base located just off the coast of Asia Minor. This is often used as a base of operations by the Athenians while putting down rebellions in the east Aegean Sea.
Most of this episodes takes place in the Hellespont and in the cities along it. The three main naval battles are, in order, the Battle of Cynossema, Abydos and Cyzicus. Each of these areas are shown below in the maps.