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Aristides(ărĭstī`dēz), d. c.468 B.C., Athenian statesman and general. He was one of the 10 generals who commanded the Athenians at the battle of Marathon (490 B.C.) and in the next year became chief archon. In 483 he was ostracized because he opposed the naval policy of Themistocles. However, in 480 Aristides fought beside his countrymen at Salamis, and the following year he commanded the Athenian army at the battle of Plataea. Later he organized the finances of the Delian League. He is a classic example of probity in public life and was called Aristides the Just.
Born circa 540 B.C.; died circa 467 B.C. Athenian political and military leader during the period of the Greco-Persian Wars (500–449 B.C.).
Initially in his political career Aristides was an advocate of Cleisthenes’ democratic reforms. In 490 he took part as a strategos in the Battle of Marathon, and in 489 he was elected archon. After 490, expressing the views of the major landowning aristocracy and the rural population, who demanded that the military land forces be strengthened, Aristides spoke out against Themistocles. The latter, as the head of the most democratic merchant and artisan class, was advocating a plan for creating a naval fleet. In 483–482, after the triumph of Themistocles, Aristides was ostracized (that is, exiled from Athens). But in 480, when the law regarding exiles was abrogated, Aristides was granted amnesty. He took part in the Battle of Salamis, leading the hoplite landing force which captured the island of Psyttaleia. In 479 he commanded the Athenians at the Battle of Plataea. In the 470’s Aristides attained great political influence, heading an oligarchic group. He was one of the organizers of the Delian League.