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Cimon or Kimon (Template:Lang-grc-gre; Template:CircaTemplate:Nbsp– 450Template:NbspBC) was an Athenian statesman and general in mid-5th century BC Greece. He was the son of Miltiades, the victor of the Battle of Marathon. Cimon played a key role in creating the powerful Athenian maritime empire following the failure of the Persian invasion of Greece by Xerxes I in 480Template:Ndash479 BC. Cimon became a celebrated military hero and was elected to the rank of strategos after fighting in the Battle of Salamis.

One of Cimon's greatest exploits was his destruction of a Persian fleet and army at the Battle of the Eurymedon river in 466 BC. In 462 BC, he led an unsuccessful expedition to support the Spartans during the helot uprisings. As a result, he was dismissed and ostracized from Athens in 461 BC; however, he was recalled from his exile before the end of his ten-year ostracism to broker a five-year peace treaty in 451 BC between Sparta and Athens. For this participation in pro-Spartan policy, he has often been called a laconist. Cimon also led the Athenian aristocratic party against Pericles and opposed the democratic revolution of Ephialtes seeking to retain aristocratic party control over Athenian institutions.


This insulting rebuff caused the collapse of Cimon's popularity at Athens. As a result, in 461 BC Ephialtes and Pericles were able to get agreement that Cimon be ostracised for ten years. With Cimon’s departure, the reformer Ephialtes took the lead in running Athens. Ephialtes, with the support of Pericles, reduced the power of the Athenian Council of Areopagus (filled with ex-archons and so a stronghold of oligarchy) and transferred them to the people, i.e. the Council of Five Hundred, the Assembly and the popular law courts. Some of Cimon’s policies were reversed including his pro-Spartan policy and his attempts at peace with Persia.

In 458 BC, Cimon sought to return to Athens to assist it in its fight against Sparta at Tanagra but was rebuffed.

See also

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