Plutarch, Alcibiades 31-35:

31 Meanwhile the Athenian generals who were besieging Chalcedon made peace with Pharnabazus on condition that they receive a sum of money, that Chalcedon be subject again to Athens, that the territories of Pharnabazus be not ravaged, and that the said Pharnabazus furnish safe escort for an Athenian embassy to the King. 2 Accordingly, when Alcibiades came back from Selymbria, Pharnabazus demanded that he too take oath to the treaty; but Alcibiades refused to do so until Pharnabazus had taken his oath to it.
After the oaths had been taken, he went up against Byzantium, which was in revolt against Athens, and surrounded the city with a wall. But after Anaxilaüs, Lycurgus, and certain men besides had agreed to surrender the city to him on condition that it be not plundered, he spread abroad the story that threatening complications in Ionia called him away. Then he sailed off in broad daylight with all his ships; 3 but in the night time stealthily returned. He disembarked with the men-at‑arms under his own command, and stationed himself quietly within reach of the city's walls. His fleet, meanwhile, sailed to the harbour, and forcing its way in with much shouting and tumult and din, terrified the Byzantians by the unexpectedness of its attack, while it gave the party of Athens in the city a chance to admit Alcibiades in all security, since everybody had hurried off to the harbour and the fleet. 4 However, the day was not won without a battle. The Peloponnesians, Boeotians and Megarians who were in garrison at Byzantium routed the ships' crews and drove them back on board again. Then, perceiving that the Athenians were inside the city, they formed in battle array and advanced to attack them. A fierce battle followed, but Alcibiades was victorious with the right wing, as well as Theramenes with the left, and they took prisoners no less than three hundred of the enemy who survived.
5 Not a man of the Byzantians was put to death or sent into exile after the battle, 209for it was on these conditions that the men who surrendered the city had acted, and this was the agreement with them; they exacted no special grace for themselves. Therefore it was that when Anaxilaüs was prosecuted at Sparta for treachery, his words showed clearly p93that his deeds had not been disgraceful. He said that he was not a Lacedaemonian, but a Byzantian, and it was not Sparta that was in peril. Considering therefore the case of Byzantium, he saw that the city was walled up, that no help could make its way in, 6 and that the provisions already in the city were being consumed by Peloponnesians and Boeotians, while the Byzantians were starving, together with their wives and children. He had, therefore, not betrayed the city to its enemies, but set it free from war and its horrors, therein imitating the noblest Lacedaemonians, in whose eyes the one unqualifiedly honourable and righteous thing is their country's good. The Lacedaemonians, on hearing this, were moved with sincere respect, and acquitted the men.
32 But Alcibiades, yearning at last to see his home, and still more desirous of being seen by his fellow citizens, now that he had conquered their enemies so many times, set sail. His Attic triremes were adorned all round with many shields and spoils of war; many that he had captured in battle were towed along in his wake; and still more numerous were the figure-heads he carried of triremes which had been overwhelmed and destroyed by him. There were not less than two hundred of these all together.
2 Duris the Samian, who claims that he was a descendant of Alcibiades, gives some additional details. He says that the oarsmen of Alcibiades rowed to the music of a flute blown by Chrysogonus the Pythian victor; that they kept time to a rhythmic call from the lips of Callippides the tragic actor; that both these artists were arrayed in thep95long tunics, flowing robes, and other adornment of their profession; and that the commander's ship put into harbours with a sail of purple hue, as though, after a drinking bout, he were off on a revel. 3 But neither Theopompus, nor Ephorus, nor Xenophon mentions these things, nor is it likely that Alcibiades put on such airs for the Athenians, to whom he was returning after he had suffered exile and many great adversities. Nay, he was in actual fear as he put into the harbour, and once in, he did not leave his trireme until, as he stood on deck, he caught sight of his cousin Euryptolemus on shore, with many other friends and kinsmen, and heard their cries of welcome.
4 When he landed, however, people did not deign so much as to look at the other generals whom they met, but ran in throngs to Alcibiades with shouts of welcome, escorting him on his way, and putting wreaths on his head as they could get to him, while those who could not come to him for the throng, gazed at him from afar, the elderly men pointing him out to the young. Much sorrow, too, was mingled with the city's joy, as men called to mind their former misfortunes and compared them with their present good fortune, counting it certain that they had neither lost Sicily, 5 nor had any other great expectation of theirs miscarried if they had only left Alcibiades at the head of that enterprise and the armament therefor. For now he had taken the city when she was almost banished from the sea, when on land she was hardly mistress of her own suburbs, and when factions raged within her walls, and had raised her up from this wretched and lowly plight, not only restoring her dominion over the sea, p97but actually rendering her victorious over her enemies everywhere on land.
33 Now the decree for his recall had been passed before this, on motion of Critias, the son of Callaeschrus, as Critias himself has written in his elegies, where he reminds Alcibiades of the favour in these words:—

"Mine was the motion that brought thee back; I made it in public;
Words and writing were mine; this the task I performed;
Signet and seal of words that were mine give warrant as follows."

2 At this time, therefore, the people had only to meet in assembly, and Alcibiades addressed them. 210He lamented and bewailed his own lot, but had only little and moderate blame to lay upon the people. The entire mischief he ascribed to a certain evil fortune and envious genius of his own. Then he descanted at great length upon the vain hopes which their enemies were cherishing, and wrought his hearers up to courage. At last they crowned him with crowns of gold, and elected him general with sole powers by land and sea. 3 They voted also that his property be restored to him, and that the Eumolpidae and Heralds revoke the curses wherewith they had cursed him at the command of the people. The others revoked their curses, but Theodorus the High Priest said: "Nay, I invoked no evil upon him if he does no wrong to the city."
p9934 But while Alcibiades was thus prospering brilliantly, some were nevertheless disturbed at the particular season of his return. For he had put into harbour on the very day when the Plynteria of the goddess Athene were being celebrated. The Praxiergidae celebrate these rites on the twenty-fifth day of Thargelion, in strict secrecy, removing the robes of the goddess and covering up her images. Wherefore the Athenians regard this day as the unluckiest of all days for business of any sort. 2 The goddess, therefore, did not appear to welcome Alcibiades with kindly favour and good will, but rather to veil herself from him and repel him. However, all things fell out as he wished, and one hundred triremes were manned for service, with which he was minded to sail off again; but a great and laudable ambition took possession of him and detained him there until the Eleusinian mysteries.
3 Ever since Deceleia had been fortified, and the enemy, by their presence there, commanded the approaches to Eleusis, the festal rite had been celebrated with no splendour at all, being conducted by sea. Sacrifices, choral dances, and many of the sacred ceremonies usually held on the road, when Iacchus is conducted forth from Athens to Eleusis, had of necessity been omitted. 4 Accordingly, it seemed to Alcibiades that it would be a fine thing, enhancing his holiness in the eyes of the gods and his good repute in the minds of men, to restore its traditional fashion to the sacred festival by escorting the rite with his infantry along past the enemy by land. He would thus either thwart and humble Agis, if the king kept entirely quiet, or would fight a fight that was sacred and approved by the p101gods, in behalf of the greatest and holiest interests, in full sight of his native city, and with all his fellow citizens eye-witnesses of his valour.
5 When he had determined upon this course and made known his design to the Eumolpidae and Heralds, he stationed sentries on the heights, sent out an advance-guard at break of day, and then took the priests, mystae, and mystagogues, encompassed them with his men-at‑arms, and led them over the road to Eleusis in decorous and silent array. So august and devout was the spectacle which, as general, he thus displayed, that he was hailed by those who were not unfriendly to him as High Priest, rather, and Mystagogue. 6 No enemy dared to attack him, and he conducted the procession safely back to the city. At this he was exalted in spirit himself, and exalted his army with the feeling that it was irresistible and invincible under his command. People of the humbler and poorer sort he so captivated by his leadership that they were filled with an amazing passion to have him for their tyrant, and some proposed it, and actually came to him in solicitation of it. He was to rise superior to envy, abolish decrees and laws, and stop the mouths of the babblers who were so fatal to the life of the city, that he might bear an absolute sway and act without fear of the public informer.
35 What thoughts he himself had about a tyranny, is uncertain. But the most influential citizens were afraid of it, and therefore anxious that he should sail away as soon as he could. They even voted him, besides everything else, the colleagues of his own choosing. Setting sail, therefore, p103with his one hundred ships, and assaulting Andros, he conquered the islanders in battle, as well as the Lacedaemonians who were there, 211but he did not capture the city. This was the first of the fresh charges brought against him by his enemies.
2 And it would seem that if ever a man was ruined by his own exalted reputation, that man was Alcibiades. His continuous successes gave him such repute for unbounded daring and sagacity, that when he failed in anything, men suspected his inclination; they would not believe in his inability. Were he only inclined to do a thing, they thought, naught could escape him. So they expected to hear that the Chians also had been taken, along with the rest of Ionia. 3 They were therefore incensed to hear that he had not accomplished everything at once and speedily, to meet their wishes. They did not stop to consider his lack of money. This compelled him, since he was fighting men who had an almoner of bounty in the Great King, to leave his camp frequently and sail off in quest of money for rations and wages. The final and prevailing charge against him was due to this necessity.
4 Lysander, who had been sent out as admiral by the Lacedaemonians, paid his sailors four obols a day instead of three, out of the moneys he received from Cyrus; while Alcibiades, already hard put to it to pay even his three obols, was forced to sail for Caria to levy money. The man whom he left in charge of his fleet, Antiochus,66 was a brave captain, but otherwise a foolish and low-lived fellow. p1055 Although he had received explicit commands from Alcibiades not to hazard a general engagement even though the enemy sailed out to meet him, he showed such wanton contempt of them as to man his own trireme and one other and stand for Ephesus, indulging in many shamelessly insulting gestures and cries as he cruised past the prows of the enemy's ships. 6 At first Lysander put out with a few ships only, and gave him chase. Then, when the Athenians came to the aid of Antiochus, Lysander put out with his whole fleet, won the day, slew Antiochus himself, captured many ships and men, and set up a trophy of victory. As soon as Alcibiades heard of this, he came back to Samos, put out to sea with his whole armament, and challenged Lysander to battle. But Lysander was satisfied with his victory, and would not put out to meet him.
36 There were those who hated Alcibiades in the camp, and of these Thrasybulus, the son of Thraso, his particular enemy, set sail for Athens to denounce him. He stirred up the city against him by declaring to the people that it was Alcibiades who had ruined their cause and lost their ships by his wanton conduct in office. He had handed over — so Thrasybulus said — the duties of commander to men who won his confidence merely by drinking deep and reeling off sailors' yarns, 2 in order that he himself might be free to cruise about collecting moneys and committing excesses of drunkenness and revelry with courtezans of Abydos and Ionia, and this while the enemy's fleet lay close to him. His enemies p107also found ground for accusation against him in the fortress which he had constructed in Thrace, near Bisanthe. It was to serve, they said, as a refuge for him in case he either could not or would not live at home. 3 The Athenians were persuaded, and chose other generals in his place, thus displaying their anger and ill-will towards him. On learning this, Alcibiades was afraid, and departed from the camp altogether, and assembling mercenary troops made war on his own account against the Thracians who acknowledge no king. He got together much money from his captives, and at the same time afforded security from barbarian inroads to the Hellenes on the neighbouring frontier.
4 Tydeus, Menander, and Adeimantus, the generals, who had all the ships which the Athenians could finally muster in station at Aegospotami,
were wont to sail out at daybreak against Lysander, who lay with his fleet at Lampsacus, and challenge him to battle. Then they would sail back again, to spend the rest of the day in disorder and unconcern, since, forsooth, they despised their enemy. 2125 Alcibiades, who was near at hand, could not see such conduct with calmness or indifference, but rode up on horseback and read the generals a lesson. He said their anchorage was a bad one; the place had no harbour and no city, but they had to get their supplies from Sestos, a long way off; and they permitted their crews, whenever they were on land, to wander and scatter about at their own sweet wills, while there lay at anchor over against them an armament which was trained to do everything silently at a word of absolute command.
p10937 In spite of what Alcibiades said, and in spite of his advice to change their station to Sestos, the generals paid no heed. Tydeus actually insulted him by bidding him begone: he was not general now, but others. So Alcibiades departed, suspecting that some treachery was on foot among them. He told his acquaintances who were escorting him out of the camp that, had he not been so grievously insulted by the generals, within a few days he would have forced the Lacedaemonians to engage them whether they wished to do so or not, or else lose their ships. 2 Some thought that what he said was arrant boasting; but others that it was likely, since he had merely to bring up his numerous Thracian javelineers and horsemen to assault by land and confound the enemy's camp.
However, that he saw only too well the errors of the Athenians the event soon testified. Lysander suddenly and unexpectedly fell upon them, and only eight of their triremes escaped with Conon; the rest, something less than two hundred, were captured and taken away. 3 Three thousand of their crews were taken alive and executed by Lysander. In a short time he also captured Athens, burned her ships, and tore down her long walls.
Alcibiades now feared the Lacedaemonians, who were supreme on land and sea, and betook himself into Bithynia, taking booty of every sort with him, but leaving even more behind him in the fortress where he had been living.4 In Bithynia he again lost much of his substance, being plundered by the Thracians there, and so he determined to go up to the court of p111Artaxerxes. He thought to show himself not inferior to Themistocles if the King made trial of his services, and superior in his pretext for offering them. For it was not to be against his fellow countrymen, as in the case of that great man, but in behalf of his country that he would assist the King and beg him to furnish forces against a common enemy. Thinking that Pharnabazus could best give him facilities for safely making this journey up to the King, he went to him in Phrygia, and continued there with him, paying him court and receiving marks of honour from him.
38 The Athenians were greatly depressed at the loss of their supremacy. But when Lysander robbed them of their freedom too, and handed the city over to thirty men, then, their cause being lost, their eyes were opened to the course they would not take when salvation was yet in their power. They sorrowfully rehearsed all their mistakes and follies, the greatest of which they considered to be their second outburst of wrath against Alcibiades. 2 He had been cast aside for no fault of his own; but they got angry because a subordinate of his lost a few ships disgracefully, and then they themselves, more disgracefully still, robbed the city of its ablest and most experienced general. And yet, in spite of their present plight, a vague hope still prevailed that the cause of Athens was not wholly lost so long as Alcibiades was alive. He had not, in times past, been satisfied to live his exile's life in idleness and quiet; nor now, if his means allowed, would he tolerate the insolence of the Lacedaemonians and the madness of the Thirty.