People - Ancient Greece: Cimon
Ancient Athenian statesman, strategos, and major
political figure, who flourished in mid-5th century
Cimon in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)
The son of Miltiades and of Hegesipylé, the daughter of Olorus, a Thracian prince. His education, according to Plutarch, was very much neglected, and he himself indulged, at first, in every species of excess. At his father's death he seems to have succeeded to a very scanty fortune, and he would perhaps have found it very difficult to pay the fine of fity talents which had been imposed upon his parent, and which the son was bound to pay to the public treasury, had not Callias, one of the wealthiest men of Athens, struck by the charms of his half-sister Elpinicé, undertaken to discharge the sum as the price of her hand. (See Elpinicé.) Cimon, however, had attracted notice and gained reputation by the spirit which he displayed on the occasion of leaving the city on the approach of the Persians, when he was the foremost to hang up a bridle in the Acropolis, as a sign that he placed all his hopes in the fleet; and also by the valour with which he fought at Salamis. Aristides, in particular, saw in him a fit coadjutor to himself and antagonist to Themistocles, and exerted himself in his favour; and the readiness with which the allied Greeks, when disgusted by the arrogance of Pausanias, united themselves with Athens, was owing in a great measure to Cimon's mild temper and to his frank and gentle manners. The popularity of Themistocles was already declining, while Cimon, by a series of successful enterprises, was rapidly rising in public favour. He defeated the Persians in Thrace, on the banks of the Strymon, took Eion, and made himself master of the whole country. He conquered the island of Scyros, the inhabitants of which were addicted to piracy; and brought thence to Athens what were deemed the bones of the national hero Theseus. He next subdued all the cities on the coast of Asia Minor, and went against the Persian fleet which lay at the mouth of the Eurymedon. The Persians, although superior in number, did not dare to abide an engagement, but sailed up the river to place themselves under the protection of their land forces. Cimon, however, provoked them to a battle, and, having defeated and sunk or taken two hundred ships, landed his men, flushed with victory, and completely routed the Persian army. Returning to Athens after these two victories thus achieved in a single day, he employed the perquisites of his command, and the resources which he had acquired from his successes over the barbarians, in the embellishment of his native city and in relieving the wants of the indigent. He laid a part of the foundations of the Long Walls with magnificent solidity at his own cost, and the southern wall of the citadel was built with the treasures which he brought from Asia into the coffers of the State. He also set the example of adorning the public places of the city with trees; and, by introducing a stream of water, converted the Academy, a spot about two miles north of the city, from an arid waste into a delightful grove. (See Academia.) He threw down the fences of his fields and orchards, that all who wished might enter and partake of their fruits. He not only gave the usual entertainments expected from the rich to the members of his own borough, but kept a table constantly open for them. He never appeared in public without a number of persons attending him in good apparel, who, when they met with any elderly citizen scantily clothed, would insist on exchanging their warm mantles for his threadbare covering. It was the office of the same persons respectfully to approach any of the poorer citizens of good character whom they might see standing in the market-place, and silently to put some small pieces of money into their hands. This latter kind of expenditure was certainly of a mischievous tendency; and was not the less that of a demagogue because Cimon sought popularity not merely for his own sake, but for that of his order and his party.
About B.C. 466, Cimon was sent to the Thracian Chersonesus, of which the Persians still kept possession, and having driven them out, next reduced the island of Thasus, and took possession of the Thasian gold mines on the neighbouring continent. Scarcely, however, had he returned to Attica, when an accusation was preferred against him of having been corrupted by the king of Macedonia, because he had refrained, not, according to the common account, from attacking the Macedonians then at peace with Athens, but from striking a blow at the Thracian tribes on the frontier of that kingdom, who had recently cut off the Athenian settlers on the banks of the Strymon. (See Amphipolis.) From this accusation Cimon had a very narrow escape. Having been sent, however, after this, with a body of troops to aid the Spartans before Ithomé, and the latter having, after some interval, sent back their Athenian allies, whom they suspected of not lending them any effectual assistance, the irritation produced by this national insult fell principally upon Cimon, who was known to be an admirer of the Spartan character and constitution, and he was accordingly driven into exile. Subsequent events, however, made the Athenians feel the want of this able commander, and he was recalled and sent on an expedition against Egypt and Cyprus; but was carried off by illness, or the consequences of a wound, in the harbour of Citium, which place he was besieging (B.C. 449). His spirit, however, still animated his countrymen; for the fleet, when sailing home with his remains, gained a naval victory over a large squadron of Phœnician and Cilician galleys near the Cyprian Salamis, and followed up this victory by another which they gained on shore, either over the troops which had landed from the enemy's ships, or over a land force by which they were supported.
Cimon was, beyond dispute, the ablest and most successful general of his day; and his victories shed a lustre on the arms of Athens which almost dimmed the glories of Marathon and Salamis.
Cimon in Wikipedia
Cimon (in Greek, Κίμων — Kimōn) (510, Athens – 450 BC, Citium, Cyprus), was an Athenian statesman, strategos, and major political figure in mid-5th century BC Greece. Cimon played a key role in creating the powerful Athenian maritime empire following the failure of the Persian invasion of Greece by Xerxes I in 480-479 BC. Cimon became a celebrated military hero and was elevated to the rank of admiral after fighting in the Battle of Salamis.
One of Cimon’s greatest exploits was his destruction of a Persian fleet and army at the Eurymedon River in 466 BC. In 462 BC, he led an unsuccessful expedition to support the Spartans during the helot uprisings. As a result, he was dismissed and ostracized from Athens in 461 BC. However, he was recalled from his exile before the end of his ten-year ostracism to broker a five-year peace treaty in 451 BC between Sparta and Athens. Cimon also led the Athenian aristocratic party against Pericles and opposed the democratic revolution of Ephialtes seeking to retain aristocratic party control over Athenian institutions.
Cimon was born into Athenian nobility in 510 BC. His father was the celebrated Athenian general Miltiades and his mother was Hegesipyle, daughter of the Thracian king Olorus and a relative of the historian Thucydides.
While Cimon was a young man, his father was fined 50 talents after an accusation of treason by the Athenian state. As Miltiades could not afford to pay this amount, he was put in jail, where he died in 489 BC. Cimon inherited this debt and had to look after his sister Elpinice. According to Plutarch, the wealthy Callias took advantage of this situation by proposing to pay the sum if Elpinice would marry him, to which Cimon agreed.
Cimon later married Isodice, Megacles' granddaughter and a member of the Alcmaeonidae family. Their first children were twin boys named Lacedaemonius (who would become an Athenian commander) and Eleus. Their third son was Thessalus (who would become a politician).
During the Battle of Salamis, Cimon distinguished himself by his bravery. He is mentioned as being a member of an embassy sent to Sparta in 479 BC.
Between 478 BC and 476 BC, a number of Greek maritime cities around the Aegean Sea did not wish to submit to Persian control again and offered their allegiance to Athens through Aristides at Delos. There, they formed the Delian League (also known as the Confederacy of Delos), and it was agreed that Cimon would be their principal commander. As strategos, Cimon commanded most of the League’s operations until 463 BC. During this period, he and Aristides drove the Spartans under Pausanias out of Byzantium.
Cimon also captured Eion on the Strymon from the Persian general Boges and established an Athenian colony nearby called Amphipolis with 10,000 settlers. He also conquered Scyros and drove out the pirates who were based there.. On his return, he brought the “bones” of the mythological Theseus back to Athens. To celebrate this achievement, three Herma statues were erected around Athens.
Battle of the Eurymedon
Around 466 BC, Cimon carried the war against Persia into Asia Minor and decisively defeated the Persians at the Battle of the Eurymedon on the Eurymedon River in Pamphylia. Cimon's land and sea forces captured the Persian camp and destroyed or captured the entire Persian fleet of 200 triremes manned by Phoenicians. Many new allies of Athens were then recruited into the Delian League, such as the trading city of Phaselis on the Lycian-Pamphylian border.
There is a view amongst some historians that while in Asia Minor, Cimon negotiated a peace between the League and the Persians after his victory at the Battle of the Eurymedon. This may help to explain why the Peace of Callias negotiated by his brother-in-law in 450 BC is sometimes called the Peace of Cimon as Callias’ efforts may have led to a renewal of the Cimon’s earlier treaty. He had served Athens well during the Persian Wars and according to Plutarch: "In all the qualities that war demands he was fully the equal of Themistocles and his own father Miltiades".
After his successes in Asia Minor, Cimon moved to the Thracian colony Chersonesus. There he subdued the local tribes and ended the revolt of the Thasians between 465 BC and 463 BC. Thasos had revolted from the Delian League over a trade rivalry with the Thracian hinterland and, in particular, over the ownership of a gold mine. Athens under Cimon laid siege to Thasos after the Athenian fleet defeated the Thasos fleet. These actions earned him the enmity of Stesimbrotus of Thasos (a source used by Plutarch in his writings about this period in Greek history).
Trial for Bribery
Despite these successes, Cimon was prosecuted by Pericles for allegedly accepting bribes from Alexander I of Macedon. During the trial, Cimon said: "Never have I been an Athenian envoy, to any rich kingdom. Instead, I was proud, attending to the Spartans, whose frugal culture I have always imitated. This proves that I don't desire personal wealth. Rather, I love enriching our nation, with the booty of our victories." As a result, Elpinice convinced Pericles not to be too harsh in his criticism of her brother. Cimon was in the end acquitted.
Helot Revolt in Sparta
Cimon was Sparta's Proxenos at Athens, he strongly advocated a policy of cooperation between the two states. He was known to be so fond of Sparta that he named one of his sons Lacedaemonius. In 462 BC, Cimon sought the support of Athens’ citizens to provide help to Sparta. Although Ephialtes maintained that Sparta was Athens' rival for power and should be left to fend for itself, Cimon's view prevailed. Cimon then led 4,000 hoplites to Mt. Ithome to help the Spartan aristocracy deal with a major revolt by its helots. However, this expedition ended in humiliation for Cimon and for Athens when, after an attempt to storm Mt. Ithome failed[clarification needed], the Spartans expelled Cimon and his army on suspicion of “revolutionary tendencies”.
This insulting rebuff caused the collapse of Cimon's popularity in Athens. As a result, he was ostracised for ten years beginning in 461 BC. The reformer Ephialtes then took the lead in running Athens and, with the support of Pericles, reduced the power of the Athenian Council of the Areopagus (filled with ex-archons and so a stronghold of oligarchy). Power was transferred to the people, i.e. the Council of Five Hundred, the Assembly, and the popular law courts. Some of Cimon’s policies were reversed including his pro-Spartan policy and his attempts at peace with Persia.
In 458 BC, Cimon sought to return to Athens to assist its fight against Sparta at Tanagra, but was rebuffed.
Return to Athens
Eventually, around 451 BC, Cimon returned to Athens. Although he was not allowed to return to the level of power he once enjoyed, he was able to negotiate on Athens’ behalf a five-year truce with the Spartans. Later, with a Persian fleet moving against a rebellious Cyprus, Cimon proposed an expedition to fight the Persians. He gained Pericles' support and sailed to Cyprus with two hundred triremes of the Delian League. From there, he sent sixty ships to Egypt to help the Egyptians under Amyrtaeus, who were fighting the Persians in the Nile Delta. Cimon used the remaining ships to aid the uprising of the Cypriot Greek city-states.
Cyprus and Death of Cimon
Cimon laid siege to the Persian stronghold of Citium on the southwest coast of Cyprus. However, the siege failed and Cyprus remained under Phoenician (and Persian) control. It was during this siege that Cimon either died or was killed. He was later buried in Athens where a monument was erected in his memory.
Cimon of Cleonae in Wikipedia
Cimon of Cleonae was an early painter of ancient Greece. He was said to have introduced great improvements in drawing. He represented figures, according to Pliny, "out of the straight", and he developed ways of representing faces looking back, up, or down; he also made the joints of the body clear, emphasized veins, worked out folds and doublings in garments (according to Pliny). Pliny also said Cimon of Cleonae's attention to detail and accuracy to life was so great, that he was famously able to dispense with what had always been the universal custom of affixing the name of generals to their portraits, since they were so readily recognizable. All these improvements may be traced in the drawing of early Greek red-figured vases.
There is some uncertainty concerning whether Cimon of Cleonae lived in the 8th century BC or the 6th century BC.
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