July 25, 2017

Aristides of Athens – a short biography

Aristides the Athenian, of noble birth, the son of Lysimachus, of the tribe Antioxidase. Still in his youth simply for his honesty earned the nickname the Fair. Before the battle of Marathon, Aristides, chiefs his knee (filoi), was one of ten polemarchus, or generals, who alternated daily in the main administration. Seeing the harm caused by these resolutions, and the impossibility of unity in military operations in this order of things, he conceded turn Miltiades, persuading and other polemarchus to do the same. The fruit of this noble and intelligent act was the Marathon victory. When, after the battle, the Athenians hastened to his own city, fearing an attack of the Persian fleet, Aristides with his left knee in the Marathon, for protection of mining and prisoners.

The following year, Aristide, as the head of the agrarian-aristocratic party was elected archon. The leader of the industrial-democratic groupings Themistocles, jealous of the esteem in which Aristide used in people, but not daring to accuse him publicly dismissed rumors that he is plotting to seize sole power. The result of people’s envy was that fair Aristide was expelled from the Fatherland, with the help of ostracism (vote shards in the national Assembly). Leaving his homeland, Aristide prayed to the gods to protect her from harm, which could make the ungrateful Athenians to repent of his actions.

Nevertheless, when three years later began the second Persian war, the army of Xerxes occupied Attica, and Athens burned them, citizens are reminded of the famous exile. Aristides from Aegina arrived on the island of Salamis, where was assembled the Greek fleet, and, after coming to terms with Themistocles, he announced that naval forces of the Persian king from all sides surrounded the Greeks. Themistocles, using a Ruse to prevent the Greeks to leave his lucrative position at Salamis, committed to Aristide that his secret. During the Salaminian battle of (480 B. H.) Aristide with a small detachment took the island Psyttalia, and gave it shelter his compatriots, whose ships were smashed in the battle. In Plateyan battle of (479 BC), he was the chief of the Athenians.

I believe that in the following year, Aristide was re-elected archon. As a conservative by conviction, but in no way opposing the idea of broad participation of people in governance, he contributed to the publication of the law, according to which all citizens without exception, were eligible for election to the highest public office. When Themistocles announced that he has in mind a very important case, which, however, cannot speak publicly to the people, the citizens of Athens have determined that Aristide had considered this matter and expressed his opinion. The proposal of Themistocles was to burn all the Greek ships gathered in the nearby harbor and to ensure that to the Athenians the dominion of the sea. Aristide told the people that nothing could be more advantageous for the Republic, and, however unjust the proposal of Themistocles, and due to the fact it was rejected.

Aristide rivalry with Themistocles never completely stopped. They say that going one day from the meeting after a heated dispute with Themistocles, it is said that the true benefit of the Fatherland demands that both of them threw in Varathron – abyss where overthrown by criminals.

Using the discontent of the Hellenic allies against the Spartan king Pausanias and command of Sparta in the Persian war, the leaders of the Athenian conservatives of Aristides and Miltiades the son of Kimon, his moderation, was able to bind allies to you after the creation of the First Athenian Sea Union to deliver his country the supremacy in Greece. Aristide was also able to persuade the allies to a constant contribution to wage war with Persia, and to him power of attorney, he was instructed to distribute them among the Greeks the size of this payment and collect the amount, which, in the treatises, were to be kept on the island of Delos. From the name of this island and the Union rallied around Athens, called the Delian League.

Aristide died in a ripe old age. Because of honesty after a long administration of his country and the finances of the Delian League was not even money for a private burial. Aristide was buried at the expense of the national Treasury. Fellow citizens erected a monument to him in the Athenian Harbor Phaleras, gave a dowry to his two daughters and a considerable sum of money from the estate to his son.

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