Iphicrates, an Athenian general in the first half of the 4th century B. C. At the battle of Cnidus he captured one of the Spartan trier-archs. In 393 he commanded the Athenian auxiliaries at the battle of Lechaeum, in which the allies were defeated by the Lacedaemonians under Praxitas. The guerilla system subsequently adopted by the belligerents in that war seems to have suggested to Iphicrates the formation of a body of light-armed foot soldiers called peltastae, with whom he attacked a division of the Lacedaemonian army near Corinth, and almost destroyed it. He next captured Sidus, Crommyon, and CEnoe from the Spartans; but the Athenians, listening to Argive calumnies, deprived him of his command. In 389 he was reinvested with authority, and sent to the Hellespont to counteract the operations of the Lacedaemonian Anaxibius, who was defeated by him and slain in the following year. After the peace of Antalcidas, Iphicrates entered into alliance with Cotys, a Thracian prince, who gave him his daughter in marriage, and allowed him to found the town of Drys in his territory. In 377 he was sent with 20,000 Greek mercenaries to aid the Persian satrap Pharnabazus in reducing Egypt to obedience. The policy of Iphicrates was too daring for the wary barbarian.
The commanders quarrelled, and the Greek, fearing for his safety, fled to Athens, where he was denounced by Pharnabazus for causing the failure of the expedition. The Athenians promised to punish him, but in the next year (373) they appointed him to the joint command of the armament which they sent against Corcyra. That town was brought over to the Athenian alliance, and the fleet which the Syracusan tyrant Dionysius had sent to the assistance of the Lacedaemonians was defeated. In the war which grew out of the seizure of Thebes by the Spartans, Iphicrates commanded the Athenian forces sent against the Thebans. He afterward commanded in Thrace and in the social war, in conjunction with Timotheus, Menestheus, and Chares, the last of whom sought to shield himself from the consequences of his ignorance by prosecuting his colleagues. Iphicrates was acquitted, and spent his latter days at Athens.