rich and noble 5th‐cent. bc Athenian, son of Miltiades and the daughter of the Thracian king Olorus; Cimon and Thucydides (2), son of an Olorus, were thus related. His sister Elpinīcē married Callias (1); an ostrakon (see Ostracism) alleges incest between them (‘let Cimon take his sister Elpinice and get out’). He married an Alcmaeonid. His sons were: Lacedaemonius, Oulios, Thettalus, programmatic names (he was proxenos for Sparta and Thessaly). On Miltiades' death in 489 he paid his 50‐talent fine. He joined an embassy to Sparta in 479 and thereafter was often strategos. In 478 he helped Aristides bring the maritime Greeks into the Delian League and commanded most of its operations 476–463. He drove Pausanias (1) out of Byzantium; captured Eion‐on‐Strymon from the Persians (?476/5); and conquered Scӯros, expelling the Dolopians (pirates), installing a cleruchy, and bringing back the ‘bones of Theseus’ to Athens. Cimon's greatest achievement was the Eurymedon victory over Persia, c.466; this brought places as far east as Phaselis into the league. Next he subdued Thracian Chersonese and reduced revolted Thasos in 465–463, but was prosecuted on his euthyna by Pericles for allegedly accepting bribes from Alexander 1 I of Macedon; he was acquitted. He next persuaded Athens to send him (462) with a large hoplite force to help Sparta against the helots, now in revolt. But the Athenians were sent humiliatingly home on suspicion of ‘revolutionary tendencies’, and Cimon's ostracism followed (461). The exact connection between this and Ephialtes' reforms is obscure, but Cimon was no hoplite conservative. True, he spent lavishly on entertainments and public works, as part of rivalry with radical leaders like Themistocles, Ephialtes, and Pericles. Again, after his ostracism his pro‐Spartan policy was abandoned. But despite personal ties and sympathies with Sparta he was no enemy of the democracy or the empire: Eurymedon was as much the achievement of the naval thetes as of hoplites; hoplites and thetes admittedly competed for military glory in the post‐Persian War period, but both were excluded from top office until 458; so that opposition is unreal; Sparta at least saw Cimon and his hoplites as revolutionaries, i.e. compromised by the reforms hatching back home; and Cimon approved the Ionian propaganda of the empire, expanded it as much as Pericles, and like him forcibly opposed secession from it.
In 457 Cimon tried to help fight for Athens against Sparta at Tanagra but was rebuffed and not yet recalled from ostracism. When he did return at the end of the 450s, he arranged a five‐year truce with Sparta and fought Persia on Cyprus, where he died.
Subjects: Classical Studies.