Brasidas, a Spartan leader in the Pelopon-nesian war, died in 422 B. C. He is first mentioned in history in connection with the succor of Methone (431 B. C), with a handful of men and by his personal bravery, from a powerful attack by the Athenians. This exploit gained him the first public honors conferred by the Spartans during the war. In 429 he was sent as one of three counsellors to Cnemus, after his defeat by Phormio. With Cnemus he made an unsuccessful plan to surprise the Pirseus; the reason of the failure is not satisfactorily explained by the historians. In 427 he served with'Alcidas, the Spartan admiral, and in 425 he led the attempt to drive Demosthenes, the Athenian leader, from Pylos. In 424, while he was preparing for an expedition to Chalcidice, Megara was suddenly attacked, and he promptly effected its relief. Shortly afterward, being sent against the Athenians in Thrace, he conducted a rapid and skilful march across the hostile country of Thessaly, assisted Perdiccas the Macedonian against a neighboring enemy, Arrhibseus, and then marched upon Acanthus, which, as well as Stagira and Argilus, he persuaded to revolt from Athens. Amphipolis, surprised by a quick march, surrendered to him, and before the end of a year Brasidas had either by arms or persuasion gained the accession of nearly every town in that district.
At Torone and Lecythus he encountered the chief resistance. In 423, after suppressing revolts in Scione and Mende, he undertook another expedition with Perdiccas against Arrhibseus; it was unsuccessful, but Brasidas made a masterly retreat. While this was going on the Athenians recaptured Mende and held it. In 422 Cleon brought a large Athenian army against Amphipolis, where the Spartans had their chief garrison; the cities around surrendered, leaving Brasidas exposed with his small force to greatly superior numbers. Seeing that the only hope of the city lay in a sally against the besiegers, the Spartan leader marched his men out of the place, and engaged the enemy with such success as to secure a complete victory. Cleon was killed, but Brasidas himself was mortally wounded, and died soon after. He was buried with extraordinary honors by the Spartans at Amphipolis, and yearly sacrifices were long offered to him there.