Cimon – Statesman of Ancient Greece
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Cimon was an Athenian general in Greece during the Fifth Century B.C. He assisted in creating the Athenian maritime empire after Xerses and the Persians invaded Greece. He made an impact during the Persian Wars and he eventually became a statesman 0nce his military career was over. Here’s more information about this important figure in Ancient Greek history:
Life Before the Military
Cimon was born into a noble Athenian family in the year 510 BC. His father was arrested and jailed for treason against the Athenians until 489 B.C. He died while he still owed time on his sentence. As a result of his death, Cimon inherited both his father’s debt and the leftover prison time in order to insure that his father had a proper burial. Otherwise, he would have been considered a traitor and his death would have been without honor.
Cimon became the head of the household and took care of his sister Elpinice. Callias took her hand in marriage per Cimon’s agreement, and Cimon’s debt were freed. Many called Cimon more of a Spartan as he often behaved in ill mannered ways and was a drunk. There are many rumors that Cimon had relations with his sister Elpinice. Many believe that these rumors were lies created due to military politics. He married Isodice later and had three sons.
Cimon’s Military Career
Cimon made himself distinguished as a leader at the Battle of Salamis. Cimon defeated much of Spartan control when he became leader of the Delian League. He continued defeating, even bringing back the bones of Theseus to Athens.
The Battle of Eurymedon was Cimon’s most famous battle and one that is considered his greatest achievement. He defeated the Persians at the Eurymedon River. There is rumor that he even negotiated a peace treaty between the Persians and his league after the battle. After the battle was over, Cimon moved to Chersonesus where he ended the revolts occurring in the town. Pericles soon after began to put Cimon on trial for accepting bribery. Cimon was acquitted through the persuasion of his sister.
Cimon’s Exile and Treason
Cimon, however, faced the possibility of another trial after this initial trouble was over. Cimon had always been fond of Sparta and wanted to negotiate peace treaties between Sparta and Athens. He went to Sparta, with the support of many of his followers, to stop a revolt that was occurring against its people. Sparta ended up attacking.
Cimon’s fame began to diminish. He was exiled from Athens for ten years. After some years, Cimon attempted to come back through offering to fight for Athens against Sparta but this was refused. He was eventually able to return to Athens, however, where he initiated a five year peace treaty between Athens and Sparta. Cimon continued to lead sanctions of the Athenian military power.
After Cimon’s military career, he used much of his money to rebuild Athens. He assisted in construction of political buildings and other public spaces to make the city much more appealing. Cimon ended his military career by attacking Citum. This failed, leading to Cimon’s death. Cimon will forever be held in Greek history as wanting to uphold diplomacy and relations.
Categorized in: Ancient Greek History
This post was written by Greek Boston