Cleon


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Cleon

(klē`ən), d. 422 B.C., Athenian political leader. The son of a tanner, he had little education; nevertheless, he was a gifted speaker. He began his political career with a series of relentless attacks on PericlesPericles
, c.495–429 B.C., Athenian statesman. He was a member of the Alcmaeonidae family through his mother, a niece of Cleisthenes. He first came to prominence as an opponent of the Areopagus (462) and as one of the prosecutors of Cimon, whom he replaced in influence.
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. He was antagonistic to Sparta and successfully opposed (425 B.C.) Sparta's peace proposals. In the same year he was given command of the Athenian force blockading Sphacteria (an island at the mouth of the Bay of Pylos) and was brilliantly successful against the Spartans. Three years later he was given another command against the Spartans at AmphipolisAmphipolis
, ancient city of Macedonia, on the Strymon (Struma) River near the sea and NE of later Thessaloníki. The place was known as Ennea Hodoi [nine ways] before it was settled and was of interest because of the gold and silver and timber of Mt.
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, but he failed and was killed in action. His reputation as a vulgar and unprincipled demagogue is chiefly due to accounts by his enemies ThucydidesThucydides
, c.460–c.400 B.C., Greek historian of Athens, one of the greatest of ancient historians. His family was partly Thracian. As a general in the Peloponnesian War he failed (424 B.C.
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 and AristophanesAristophanes
, c.448 B.C.–c.388 B.C., Greek playwright, Athenian comic poet, greatest of the ancient writers of comedy. His plays, the only full extant samples of the Greek Old Comedy, mix political, social, and literary satire.
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.

Cleon

 

Died 422 B.C. Greek political figure of antiquity, leader of the most radical wing of the Athenian slaveholding democrats. He came from the trade and craftsman strata of the demos (he owned a leather enterprise).

As a politician Cleon came to the fore in 430 B.C., heading the opposition to Pericles. After Pericles’ death in 429, he opposed Nicias, the leader of the moderate democratic group. He attained political predominance with policies that were popular among the radical democrats, including increasing the pay for jurors to three obols; introducing the eisphora (an extraordinary war tax levied on wealthy citizens); doubling the tax tribute levied on the allies; establishing cleruchy (colonies) on the lands of the allies (for example, on Lesbos); strengthening Athens’ role in the Delian League; and cruelly suppressing discontent among the allies (the reprisals againt Mytilene, which had revolted against Athens in 428). Cleon was the champion of military operations against Sparta and its allies, and he himself participated in the Peloponnesian War of 431–404 as a strategos. In 425, with Demosthenes, he seized the island of Sphacteria. In 422 he directed military operations against the Spartan general Brasidas in Thrace but was defeated and killed in battle before Amphipolis.

The classical authors who provide information on Cleon come from the camp of his political opponents.

S. S. SOLOV’EVA

Cleon

died 422 bc, Athenian demagogue and military leader
References in periodicals archive ?
175), Heller claims that "Aristophanes was taken to court by Cleon for a play in which he blamed Pericles for starting the war and Athens and Cleon for continuing it".
Jackson was at once thoroughly gracious in entrusting his kingdom to Helicanus, humble in his charity to Cleon and Dionyza in Tarsus, and then brilliantly athletic in executing the rope tricks that won Thaisa in Pentapolis.
The carnage that Darius and Xerxes once could only hope for at Marathon and Salamis, Pericles, Cleon, Alcibiades, Brasidas, Gylippus, and Lysander a half century later brought about, killing more of their own people in a year than had the Persians in a decade.
Named Big50 in 1992, Shirley Landels lost her husband and business partner of 14 years, Cleon, less than a year later.
Oddly, the only discussion of the most infamous demagogue in wartime Athens, Cleon, occurs not in this section but in another essay, on a fundamentally different topic--an attempt by Josiah Ober to reconcile Thucydides the realist strategic theorist with Thucydides the consummate historian of the Peloponnesian War.
Byatt focuses on Browning's "Epistle of Karshish"; other writers have recently tackled "Cleon," "A Death in the Desert," and various poems of love or mourning.
By examining Thucydides' extensive, but too often ignored, accounts of the Spartan regime, the statesmen Pericles, Brasidas, Hermocrates, Nicias, and Alcibiades, the Corcyrean civil war, and the debate between Cleon and Diodotus, this volume reminds us not only that there is much more to Thucydides' thought than the frequently excerpted arguments presented in the Melian Dialogue, but that one cannot even adequately understand those justly famous arguments without a comprehensive study of the rest of the book.
The new foams and the wetting agent are used by numerous French fire brigades; French chemical processing companies, including Atochem in Pierre-Benite and Aventis in Villefranche; car manufacturer Renault in Cleon; and uranium processor Cogema in Marcoule.
Based on his book, Eight Habits of the Heart: The Timeless Values That Build Community--Within Our Homes and Our Lives, author Cleon L.
Cleon's speech condemning the Mytilenean revolt against Athens in 428 BC is a classic statement of `conspiracism' -- of which Tiberius and Nero were also major practitioners.
Thucydides seems to acknowledge this resemblance explicitly by attributing the same startling phrase - you hold a "tyranny" (II.63.2 and III.37.2) - to both Pericles and Cleon.(4) The term "tyranny" would have resonated among Athenian readers.
As an alternative to this picture, Saxonhouse offers the Mytelenean debate in which she sees Cleon as an ugly but legitimate heir of Pericles' vision and Diodotus as "the true democratic theorist from antiquity" (p.