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Summary.

Introduction: Cimon’s Family and Character.

→ Cimon’s Early Career.

Cimon’s Successes.

The Beginning of Conflict with the Democrats.

Democratic Reforms Behind Cimon’s Back.

The Reforms that Cimon Opposed.

Cimon’s Last Years and Death.

Secondary Works Cited.

Index of Citations

General Index

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Cimon 

Christopher W. Blackwell, edition of January 31, 2003

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· Cimon’s Early Career ·

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Plutarch (Plut. Cim.).
 
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Susa, Persepolis (in text as “Persia”).
Attica.
Peloponnese.
Salamis.
Athens.

Cimon came to public prominence for the first time, it seems, in 480 BCE, when the army from Persia was marching toward Athens (source for date: OCD3). Faced with an invasion of Attica, the politician Themistocles urged the Athenians to abandon the territory of Attica to the enemy, take refuge on the island of Salamis and in the Peloponnese, and trust in Athens’ fleet of warships. Cimon made a flamboyant and effective gesture of support for this proposal: he marched up to the Acropolis and gave his horse’s bridle as a gift to the goddess Athene, thus indicating that he would not need his cavalry equipment, since he would trust in the navy. In the ensuing naval battle off the island of Salamis he performed bravely, and from those events became well known in Athens (Plut. Cim. 5.2-3).

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Aristotle (Aristot. Ath. Pol.).
Plutarch (Plut. Cim.).
 
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Athens.

Many ancient writers, often unsympathetic or actively hostile toward the idea of democracy, describe the history of Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries as an ongoing struggle between the rich and the poor (who were often referred to as the People)—or between “aristocracy” (after aristoi, “the best people,” a euphemism for the rich) and “democracy” (after the demos, the People)—with prominent Athenians championing one side or the other. Aristotle, for example, summarizes Athenian history in terms of this struggle, saying that at the end of the 6th century Cleisthenes took the side of the People, while Isagoras represented the rich; later, Xanthippus took the side of the People, and Miltiades took the side of the rich; and then, after the Persian Wars, Themistocles and Ephialtes took the side of the People, while Aristides and Cimon took the side of the rich (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 28.2). Plutarch tells the same story of “party politics” (Plut. Cim. 5.4), and goes so far as to say that Cimon restored Athens to a “the legendary community of Cronus” ( τὴν ἐπὶ Κρόνου μυθολογουμένην κοινωνίαν ) by resisting Themistocles and Ephialtes as they tried to enact democratic reforms (Plut. Cim. 10.6-8).

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