People - Ancient Greece: Cynegeirus
Ancient Greek hero of Athens.
Cynaegīrus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
（Κυναίγειρος). An Athenian, celebrated for his courage. He was brother to the poet Aeschylus. After the battle of Marathon (B.C. 490) he pursued the flying Persians to their ships, and seized one of their vessels with his right hand, which was immediately severed by the enemy. Upon this he seized the vessel with his left hand, and when he had lost that also he still kept his hold with his teeth. Herodotus (vi. 114) merely relates that he seized one of the Persian vessels by the stern, and had his hand cut off with an axe. The more detailed account is given by Justin (ii. 9).
Cynaegirus in Wikipedia
Cynegeirus or Cynaegeirus (Greek: Κυνέγειρος or Κυναίγειρος, ?-490 B.C.) was an ancient Greek hero of Athens and brother of the playwright Aeschylus.
He was the son of Euphorion from Eleusis and member of the Eupatridae, the ancient nobility of Attica. In 490 B.C. Cynegeirus and his brother Aeschylus, fought to defend Athens against Darius's invading Persian army at the Battle of Marathon. Despite the numerical superiority of the Persians, they were routed and fled to their ships. The Athenians pursued the Persians back to their ships, and Cynegeirus in his attempt to push away a Persian ship with his bare hands had his hand cut off at the wrist and died. According to another version of his death, recorded by the Roman historian Justin, when Cynaegyrus lost his right hand, he grasped the enemy's vessel with his left. Here the hero, having successively lost both his hands, hangs on by his teeth, and even in his mutilated state fought desperately with the last mentioned weapons, " like a rabid wild beast!"
The incident of the heroic death of Cynegeirus became an emblem of cultural memory in ancient Greece and was described in literature in order to inspire patriotic feelings to future generations. It was also painted by Polygnotus on the Stoa Poikile in Athens in 460 B.C., while the ancient traveler and geographer Pausanias described the painting in his 2nd century A.D. work.
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