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In ancient Greece, a proboulos was a commissioner or magistrate. Classical scholar Xavier Riu writes that it was a position created during the Peloponnesian War "to cope with the difficult situation of Athens at that moment of the war, and it was formed by aged and probably very respected men."

Among the notable probouloi were the playwright Sophocles and the general Hagnon.

In the comedy Lysistrata, a proboulos goes on a tirade against Lysistrata after losing a long debate.