Lacedaemonius (Greek: Λακεδαιμόνιος)[n 1] was an Athenian general of the Philaid clan.[3] He served Athens, notably in the naval Battle of Sybota against the Corinthians in 433 BC.


Lacedaemonius was the son of Cimon, a pro-Sparta general and Athenian political figure,[4] and Isodice who was the daughter of Euryptolemus, a cousin of Pericles.[5][6] He was a grandson of the famous Miltiades IV. An accounted cited that he had a twin called Oulius.[5] He was also the brother of Miltiades VII, who was the oikist in the Adriatic in 324.[7]

Lacedaemonius comes from Lacedaemon, another name for the city state of Sparta. His father so admired the Spartans he showed them a sign of goodwill by naming his son after their city. Lacedaemonius was also identified as the proxenos of the Spartans at Athens.[8]

Accounts cited Lacedaemonius as one of the Athenian generals sent to aid Corcyra in its conflict with Corinth after an alliance agreement concluded in 433.[9] This is part of the series of events that led to the Peloponnesian War.[9] According to Plutarch, Lacedaemonius sailed with ten ships and was sent forth against his will.[10] Lacedaemonius, who according to Thucydides was sent with three other generals: Diotimus, Strombichus, and Proteas, was ordered not to engage with the Corinthians unless they attack Corcyra.[11] The Athenian fleet joined the Corcyraeans when the Corinthians finally invaded under Xenocleides.[11]

A view, which had been advanced by Plutarch, held that giving Lacedaemonius command with a meager fleet for his campaign was an insult to the sons of Cimon due their sympathy for Sparta.[12] Modern historians see Lacedaemonius appointment as a political move on the part of Pericles, who wanted to destroy political opposition by cementing his ties with the Cimonians.[13] There are also those who propose that Lacedaemonius appointment, his mission, and the size of his fleet was part of a strategy of "minimal deterrence" against Corinth.[14]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ The most ancient attestation of this word in Greek, referring as an ethnonym to the Spartans, is the Mycenaean Linear B 𐀨𐀐𐀅𐀖𐀛𐀍, ra-ke-da-mi-ni-jo, found on many tablets at Thebes, e.g. on the TH Fq 229 tablet.[1][2]
  1. ^ "The Linear B word ra-ke-da-mi-ni-jo". Palaeolexicon. Word study tool of Ancient languages.
  2. ^ "TH 229 Fq (305)". DĀMOS Database of Mycenaean at Oslo. University of Oslo.
  3. ^ Thucydides History of the Pelopponesian War I.45
  4. ^ Thucydides (11 June 2009). The Peloponnesian War. Translated by Hammond, Martin. New York: OUP Oxford. p. 679. ISBN 978-0-19-282191-1.
  5. ^ a b Nails, Debra (2002). The People of Plato: A Prosopography of Plato and Other Socratics. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing. p. 96. ISBN 0872205649.
  6. ^ Smith, William (1861). Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, Vol. I. London: Walton and Maberly. p. 751.
  7. ^ Cox, Cheryl Anne (1998). Household Interests: Property, Marriage Strategies, and Family Dynamics in Ancient Athens. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p. 157. ISBN 0-691-01572-4.
  8. ^ Rahe, Paul Anthony (2020). Sparta's Second Attic War: The Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta, 446-418 B.C. Yale University Press. p. 66. ISBN 978-0-300-24262-1.
  9. ^ a b Rhodes, P. J. (2018). Periclean Athens. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-350-01495-4.
  10. ^ Plutarch (2013). Delphi Complete Works of Plutarch (Illustrated). Delphi Classics. ISBN 978-1-909496-62-0.
  11. ^ a b Thucydides (2013). Delphi Complete Works of Thucydides (Illustrated). Delphi Classics. ISBN 978-1-909496-76-7.
  12. ^ Jacobs, Susan G. (2017). Plutarch's Pragmatic Biographies: Lessons for Statesmen and Generals in the Parallel Lives. Leiden: BRILL. p. 149. ISBN 978-90-04-27660-4.
  13. ^ Kagan, Donald (2013). The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. p. 243. ISBN 978-0-8014-9556-4.
  14. ^ Thomsen, Ole; Friis-Jensen, Karsten; Isager, Signe; Skydsgaard, Jens Erik; Smith, Ole L.; Haastrup, Birger Munk Olsen og Gudrun (1994). Classica et Mediaevalia vol.45. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. p. 54. ISBN 978-87-7289-327-3.