Xenophon characterized Critias as a ruthless

Xenophon characterized Critias as a ruthless, amoral tyrant and this negative view of him was continued by Philostratus who called him “the most evil of all men” (Lives of the Sophists 1.16) He was held in especially low esteem for his practice of confiscating citizen’s property by misusing his power and executing those who disagreed with or challenged him. (Mark 2018) Lysias through the character of Critias highlights the brutal actions of the Thirty when several Athenians were exiled, imprisoned or executed gorily during Critias’ reign. Unlike Critias who was the extremist, Theramanes who had been executed by now, was a leading member of the board of Thirty and a moderate oligarch. However, he soon came into conflict with the more extreme members of the Thirty (such as Critias) as he protested against the evil deeds that they were committing.
Critias, being the main leader of the Thirty made this administration a veritable reign of terror as around 1500 citizens were put to death for no reason including Polemarchus, Lysias’ brother. Aristotle emphasizes the mood of brutality stating that “when the Thirty had tightened their grip on the city, there was no type of citizen they did not attack.” (Ath. Pol.35.4) Large amounts of private properties were confiscated and even the treasures and revenues of the temples were not spared. Moreover, regular courts (including the Aeropagus) were suspended and denunciation from the most infamous informers were received, without any form of a trial. Finally, as to complete their own and their countries degradation they introduced a Spartan garrison into the Acropolis to be maintained at the cost of the city. It is in this historical context that the oppressive actions of the Thirty are highlighted in the speech “Against Eratosthenes.” As Lysias says “????? ??? ??????? ??? ??? ???????… ?????? ?? ????????? ????????? ?????????? ????????.” (Lysias. 12.21) Moreover, The Thirty very much devoid of revenue would seize the metics property who were resident of a wealthy class and had contributed to the economy in many ways, Lysias’ family has been amongst these victims. This is highlighted as an example by the character of Peison when Lysias mentions that he stole his property even though they agreed on a proposal “???????? ?????????? ??????????… ??????? ????? ?????? ??? ??????” (Lysias. 12.10-11)