Cimon


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Cimon

(sī`mən), d. 449 B.C., Athenian general and statesman; son of Miltiades. He fought at Salamis and shared command (with Aristides) of the fleet sent to rescue the Asian Greek cities from Persian domination. From 478 to 477 he helped Aristides form the Delian League. He conquered Skíros, subdued Asia Minor, and in 468 defeated the Persian sea and land forces on the Eurymedon River. On the death of Aristides he led the Athenian aristocratic and pro-Spartan party and was its chief statesman in succession to Themistocles. He was later sent into exile, from which he was recalled in 451 to conclude a peace with Sparta. He died while besieging Citium, in Cyprus.

Cimon

 

Born circa 504; died in 449 B.C. in Citium on Cyprus. Athenian military commander and statesman during the Greco-Persian wars.

Cimon was the son of Miltiades. From his youth he took part in campaigns against the Persians, showing outstanding military abilities. Elected strategus in 478–477, he helped Aristides to organize the Delian League. In 476–475, as strategus, Cimon took the fortress of Eion in Thrace and occupied Scyrus. These victories consolidated the political position of Cimon, who had become the leader of the oligarchical group opposing the democratization of the state system of Athens and the political rival of Themistocles and later of Pericles. In 469 he won major victories over the Persians in Asia Minor, capturing many cities in Caria and Lycia and defeating the Persians at the mouth of the Eurymedon River. In 468, Cimon drove the Persians out of the Thracian Chersonesus. In 466–465 he suppressed revolts against Athens by its allies on Naxos and Thasos. An ardent Laconophile, Cimon followed a pro-Spartan foreign policy. In 464 he insisted on aiding Sparta in its struggle against the insurgent Messenians. (The Spartans, however, distrusted the Athenian army, and it was recalled.) In 461, Cimon was ostracized. Returning around 456, he again took part in military operations against the Persians. In 449, he led a naval expedition against the Persians to recapture Cyprus, where he died during the siege of Citium. Plutarch and Cornelius Nepos wrote biographies of Cimon.

D. P. KALLISTOV

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