Plutarch was a Greek biographer and essayist, known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is classified as a Middle Platonist, Plutarchs surviving works were written in Greek, but intended for both Greek and Roman readers. Plutarch was born to a prominent family in the town of Chaeronea, about 80 km east of Delphi. The name of Plutarchs father has not been preserved, but based on the common Greek custom of repeating a name in alternate generations, the name of Plutarchs grandfather was Lamprias, as he attested in Moralia and in his Life of Antony. His brothers and Lamprias, are mentioned in his essays and dialogues. Rualdus, in his 1624 work Life of Plutarchus, recovered the name of Plutarchs wife, from internal evidence afforded by his writings. A letter is still extant, addressed by Plutarch to his wife, bidding her not to grieve too much at the death of their two-year-old daughter, interestingly, he hinted at a belief in reincarnation in that letter of consolation. The exact number of his sons is not certain, although two of them and the second Plutarch, are often mentioned.
Plutarchs treatise De animae procreatione in Timaeo is dedicated to them, another person, Soklarus, is spoken of in terms which seem to imply that he was Plutarchs son, but this is nowhere definitely stated. Plutarch studied mathematics and philosophy at the Academy of Athens under Ammonius from 66 to 67, at some point, Plutarch took Roman citizenship. He lived most of his life at Chaeronea, and was initiated into the mysteries of the Greek god Apollo. For many years Plutarch served as one of the two priests at the temple of Apollo at Delphi, the site of the famous Delphic Oracle, twenty miles from his home. By his writings and lectures Plutarch became a celebrity in the Roman Empire, yet he continued to reside where he was born, at his country estate, guests from all over the empire congregated for serious conversation, presided over by Plutarch in his marble chair. Many of these dialogues were recorded and published, and the 78 essays, Plutarch held the office of archon in his native municipality, probably only an annual one which he likely served more than once.
He busied himself with all the matters of the town. The Suda, a medieval Greek encyclopedia, states that Emperor Trajan made Plutarch procurator of Illyria, most historians consider this unlikely, since Illyria was not a procuratorial province, and Plutarch probably did not speak Illyrian. Plutarch spent the last thirty years of his serving as a priest in Delphi. He thus connected part of his work with the sanctuary of Apollo, the processes of oracle-giving
The Palatine Anthology, sometimes abbreviated AP, is the collection of Greek poems and epigrams discovered in 1606 in the Palatine Library in Heidelberg. It is based on the lost collection of Constantine Cephalas of the 10th century and it contains material from the 7th century BC until 600 AD and on was the main part of the Greek Anthology which included the Anthology of Planudes and more material. The manuscript of the Palatine Anthology was discovered by Saumaise in 1606 in the Palatine library at Heidelberg. In 1623, after the Thirty Years War, it was sent with the rest of the Palatine Library to Rome as a present from Maximilian I of Bavaria to Pope Gregory XV and it was kept in the Vatican Library. In 1797 it was taken to Paris by order of the French Directory and in 1816 it was returned to Heidelberg when the war ended, the manuscript of the Palatine Anthology consists of 709 pages. It was written by four scribes around 980, one of the scribes made comments and additions and part of the manuscript was corrected by a Corrector.
Epigrammatum anthologia palatina cum planudeis et appendice nova, Johann Friedrich Dübner-Cougny,3 voll, editore Ambrosio Firmin-Didot, Instituti francici typographo, 1881-90, vol. Greek text at Perseus Digital Library of the Tufts University, in five volumes, volume 1, volume 2, volume 3, volume 4, bilingual edition at the Internet Archive, originals with English translation,1,2,3,4,5
The Greek Anthology is a collection of poems, mostly epigrams, that span the classical and Byzantine periods of Greek literature. Most of the material of the Greek Anthology comes from two manuscripts, the Palatine Anthology of the 10th century and the Anthology of Planudes of the 14th century and it contained poems by the compiler himself and forty-six other poets, including Archilochus, Alcaeus and Simonides. Meleagers Anthology was popular enough that it attracted additions, prefaces to the editions of Philippus of Thessalonica and Agathias were preserved in the Greek Anthology to attest to their additions of poems. The scholar Maximus Planudes made an edition of the Greek Anthology and his anthology was the only one known to Western Europe until 1606 when Claudius Salmasius found in the library at Heidelberg a fuller collection based on Cephalas. The copy made by Salmasius was not, published until 1776, the first critical edition was that of F. Jacobs. Since its transmission to the rest of Europe, the Greek Anthology has left an impression on its readers.
Its influence can be seen on writers as diverse as Propertius, Ezra Pound, since full and uncensored English translations became available at the end of the 20th century, its influence has widened still further. e. The modern use of the word is a departure from the original sense, the term was soon extended to any piece by which these conditions were fulfilled. These causes came into operation during the Alexandrian era, in which we find every description of epigrammatic composition perfectly developed. About 60 BC, the sophist and poet Meleager of Gadara undertook to combine the choicest effusions of his predecessors into a body of fugitive poetry. The arrangement of his collection was alphabetical, according to the letter of each epigram. In the age of the emperor Tiberius the work of Meleager was continued by another epigrammatist, Philippus of Thessalonica and his collection, which included the compositions of thirteen writers subsequent to Meleager, was arranged alphabetically, and contained an introductory poem.
It was of quality to Meleagers. These and other collections made during the Middle Ages are now lost, of his compilation extant, but who probably lived during the temporary revival of letters under Constantine Porphyrogenitus, at the beginning of the 10th century. His arrangement, to which we shall have to recur, is founded on a principle of classification and his principle of selection is unknown, it is only certain that while he omitted much that he should have retained, he has preserved much that would otherwise have perished. We are, indebted to him for the preservation of the epigrams on works of art, the Planudean Anthology was the only recension of the anthology known at the revival of classical literature, and was first published at Florence, by Janus Lascaris, in 1494. The manuscript itself had changed its quarters. In 1816 it went back to Heidelberg, but in an incomplete state and it is now represented at Heidelberg by a photographic facsimile
Ialysos is a town and a former municipality on the island of Rhodes, in the Dodecanese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Rhodes, the municipal unit has an area of 16.700 km2. It is the second-largest town on the island of Rhodes and it has a population of approximately 11,300, and is located eight kilometres west of the town of Rhodes, the islands capital, on the islands northwestern coast. The town is situated near the site of the ancient Doric polis of Ialysos, the municipal unit consists of the town Trianta/Ialysos and the surrounding areas. While official sources use Trianta as a name for the town, Ialysos has in addition become a tourist destination, with several hotels and resorts located on the coast, especially in the new settlement of Ixia, situated between the towns of Ialysos and Rhodes. Being on the usually windward north-western coast of the island, it is a location for wind-surfing. The municipal unit has an area of 16.700 square kilometres.
Timocreon poet Diagoras of Rhodes boxer Ialysos Official website Temple of Athena Polias at Ialysus Museum of mineralogy & paleontology Stamatiadis
Greek lyric is the body of lyric poetry written in dialects of Ancient Greek. It is primarily associated with the early 7th to the early 5th centuries BC, sometimes called the Lyric Age of Greece, Greek lyric is the product of the political and intellectual milieu of the Greek polis. Much of Greek lyric is occasional poetry, composed for public or private performance by a soloist or chorus to mark particular occasions, the symposium was one setting in which lyric poems were performed. Lyric indicates that these poems were conceived of as belonging to the tradition of poetry sung or chanted to the accompaniment of the lyre, known as melic poetry. Modern surveys of Greek lyric often include relatively short poems composed for similar purposes or circumstances that were not strictly song lyrics in the sense, such as elegies. Greek lyric poems celebrate athletic victories, commemorate the dead, exhort soldiers to valor, and offer religious devotion in the forms of hymns, partheneia, maiden-songs, were sung by choruses of maidens at festivals.
Love poems praise the beloved, express unfulfilled desire, proffer seductions, in this last mood, love poetry might blur into invective, a poetic attack aimed at insulting or shaming a personal enemy, an art at which Archilochus, the earliest known Greek lyric poet, excelled. The themes of Greek lyric include politics, sports, money, old age, the heroic past, the gods, and hetero- and homosexual love. In the 3rd century BC, the movement at Alexandria produced a canon of the nine melic poets, Alcman, Bacchylides, Pindar, Simonides. Only a small sampling of lyric poetry from Archaic Greece, the period when it first flourished, survives. For example, the poems of Sappho are said to have filled nine papyrus rolls in the Library of Alexandria, only one of Sapphos poems exists intact, with fragments from other sources that would scarcely fill a chapbook. Greek poetry meters are based on patterns of long and short syllables, apart from the shift between long and short syllables, stress must be considered when reading Greek poetry.
The interplay between the metric shifts, the syllables and caesuras is an integral part of the poetry. It allows the poet to stress certain words and shape the meaning of the poem. The nine melic poets composed in complex triadic forms of strophe, antistrophe and trochaic meters, most commonly iambic trimeter and trochaic tetrameter, alternate long and short syllables. Iambic meters were thought to reflect most closely the rhythms of Greek as spoken in everyday life, earlier, it was usually used for invective or satire, as suggested by the word iambos, which meant lampoon or scurrilous abuse, and as found in Archilochus and Hipponax. Semonides of Amorgos uses iambic trimeter for both his misogynistic satirizing of women and for his poem on the theme of the vanity of human wishes, literary histories usually treat elegies, a category which includes any poetry written in elegiac couplets, as part of the lyric tradition. Since the first line of a couplet is dactylic hexameter
Ostracism was a procedure under the Athenian democracy in which any citizen could be expelled from the city-state of Athens for ten years. While some instances clearly expressed popular anger at the citizen, ostracism was often used preemptively and it was used as a way of neutralizing someone thought to be a threat to the state or potential tyrant. It has been called an honourable exile by scholar P. J. Rhodes, the word ostracism continues to be used for various cases of social shunning. The name is derived from the ostraka, referring to the shards that were used as voting tokens. Broken pottery and virtually free, served as a kind of scrap paper, each year the Athenians were asked in the assembly whether they wished to hold an ostracism. The question was put in the sixth of the ten months used for business under the democracy. If they voted yes, an ostracism would be two months later. The presiding officials counted the ostraka submitted and sorted the names into separate piles, according to a fragment of Philochorus, the winner of the ostracism must have obtained at least 6,000 votes.
The person nominated had ten days to leave the city, if he attempted to return, the penalty was death. Notably, the property of the man banished was not confiscated, after the ten years, he was allowed to return without stigma. Similarly, ostracised in 461 BC, was recalled during an emergency, Ostracism was crucially different from Athenian law at the time, there was no charge, and no defence could be mounted by the person expelled. The two stages of the procedure ran in the order from that used under almost any trial system — here it is as if a jury are first asked Do you want to find someone guilty. And subsequently asked Whom do you wish to accuse, equally out of place in a judicial framework is perhaps the institutions most peculiar feature, that it can take place at most once a year, and only for one person. In this it resembles the Greek pharmakos or scapegoat — though in contrast, by contrast, an Athenian trial needed the initiative of a particular citizen-prosecutor. While prosecution often led to a counterattack, no response was possible in the case of ostracism as responsibility lay with the polity as a whole.
In contrast to a trial, ostracism generally reduced political tension rather than increased it, ten years of exile usually resolved whatever had prompted the expulsion. Ostracism was simply a measure, the concept of serving out the full sentence did not apply as it was a preventative measure. One curious window on the practicalities of ostracism comes from the cache of 190 ostraka discovered dumped in a next to the acropolis
In Greek mythology, Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe, the sister of Asteria, and the mother, by Zeus, of Apollo and Artemis. The island of Kos is claimed as her birthplace, in the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins and Artemis, the Letoides, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eyes of Zeus. Finally, she finds an island that is not attached to the floor so it is not considered land. This is her one active mythic role, once Apollo and Artemis are grown, Leto withdraws, to remain a dim and benevolent matronly figure upon Olympus, in Roman mythology, Letos equivalent is Latona, a Latinization of her name, influenced by Etruscan Letun. Walter Burkert notes that in Phaistos she appears in connection with an initiation cult, Leto was identified from the fourth century onwards with the principal local mother goddess of Anatolian Lycia, as the region became Hellenized. In Greek inscriptions, the Letoides are referred to as the gods of the country.
Her sanctuary, the Letoon near Xanthos predated Hellenic influence in the region, the Hellenes of Kos claimed Leto as their own. Another sanctuary, more recently identified, was at Oenoanda in the north of Lycia, there was, of course, a further Letoon at Delos. Letos primal nature may be deduced from the natures of her father and mother, the name of Letos mother, Phoebe, is identical to the epithet of her son Apollo, Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων, throughout Homer. Several explanations have been put forward to explain the origin of the goddess, older sources speculated that the name is related to the Greek λήθη lḗthē and λωτός lotus. It would thus mean the hidden one, in 20th-century sources Leto is traditionally derived from Lycian lada, wife, as her earliest cult was centered in Lycia. Lycian lada may be the origin of the Greek name Λήδα Leda, other scholars have suggested a Pre-Greek origin. She was powerless to stop the flow of events, Latona for her intrigue with Zeus was hunted by Hera over the whole earth, till she came to Delos and brought forth first Artemis, by the help of whose midwifery she afterwards gave birth to Apollo.
Hera banned Leto from giving birth on terra firma, the mainland, any island at sea, the island was surrounded by swans. As a gesture of gratitude, Delos was secured with four pillars and it is remarkable that Leto brought forth Artemis, the elder twin, without travail, as Callimachus wrote, as if she were merely revealing another manifestation of herself. Only Hera kept apart, perhaps to kidnap Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, instead Artemis, having been born first, assisted with the birth of Apollo. The dynastic rite of the witnessed birth must have been familiar to the hymns hearers, demeter is not present, her mother Rhea attends. The goddess Dione is sometimes taken by mythographers as a feminine form of Zeus, if this were so
Xanthippus was a wealthy Athenian politician and general during the early part of the 5th century BC. He was the son of Ariphron and father of Pericles and he is often associated with the Alcmaeonid clan. Although not born to the Alcmaeonidae, he married into the family when he wed Cleisthenes niece Agariste and he distinguished himself in the Athenian political arena, championing the aristocratic party. His rivalry with Themistocles led to his ostracism, only to be recalled from exile when the Persians invaded Greece and he distinguished himself during the Greco-Persian Wars making a significant contribution to the victory of the Greeks and the subsequent ascendancy of the Athenian Empire. As a citizen-soldier of Athens and a member of the aristocracy, Xanthippus first appears in the historical record the following year, when he led the prosecution of Miltiades the Younger, the general who led Athenians to victory at Marathon. The Athenians granted his wish, but when he met with set-backs and injury during an attack on Paros he had to return empty handed, many Athenians suspected him of deceiving them.
He died there of his wounds, Athenians would come to regret their treatment of their war hero, but immediately following the trial Xanthippus became the pre-eminent politician of the day, if only briefly. Xanthippus leadership was short lived due to the rise of Themistocles, the lower classes had begun to flex their political muscle with Themistocles, and the results of the ostracisms reflected their new-found power. There were 5 prominent ostracisms of aristocrats during the clashes of the 480s BCE. Xanthippus was ostracised in 484 BCE, normally, an ostracism led to a 10-year exile. But when the Persians returned to attack Greece in 480 BCE, the rival politicians settled their differences and prepared for war. The dog was so loyal that it jumped into the sea and swam after Xanthippus boat, managing to swim across to the isle, in Plutarchs day there was still a place on Salamis called the dogs grave. Xanthippus was elected to the position of eponymous archon the following year, at that time a large force of Persian infantry still remained in Greece and Athens was still under threat.
He succeeded Themistocles as commander of the Athenian fleet that year, the remains of the Persian fleet that had survived the Battle of Salamis were stationed at the island of Samos. The Greek forces launched an attack on them, with Xanthippus leading his Athenian contingent on the left flank, Xanthippus men had easier terrain to cross than the other flank, so they engaged in combat with the Persians first and fought ferociously to earn all the credit. They broke through the line and sent the Persian troops running to their fort for safety, but the Athenians were able to breach the wall and when the other flank joined them they set to slaughtering the enemy. After the rout, the Greeks, led by Xanthippus and Leotychidas, went back to the beach, with these two decisive battles the war was won and Athens was now safe. After the Battle of Mycale, the Spartans suggested that the defence of the Ionian colonies of Asia Minor should be abandoned, however, refused to consider the proposal
Aristophanes, son of Philippus, of the deme Kydathenaion, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete and these, together with fragments of some of his other plays, provide the only real examples of a genre of comic drama known as Old Comedy, and are used to define it. Also known as the Father of Comedy and the Prince of Ancient Comedy and his second play, The Babylonians, was denounced by the demagogue Cleon as a slander against the Athenian polis. In my opinion, he says through the Chorus in that play, less is known about Aristophanes than about his plays. In fact, his plays are the source of information about him. It was conventional in Old Comedy for the Chorus to speak on behalf of the author during a called the parabasis. However, these facts relate almost entirely to his career as a dramatist, Aristophanes claimed to be writing for a clever and discerning audience, yet he declared that other times would judge the audience according to its reception of his plays.
He sometimes boasts of his originality as a dramatist yet his plays consistently espouse opposition to new influences in Athenian society. He caricatured leading figures in the arts, in politics, such caricatures seem to imply that Aristophanes was an old-fashioned conservative, yet that view of him leads to contradictions. It has been argued that Aristophanes produced plays mainly to entertain the audience, an elaborate series of lotteries, designed to prevent prejudice and corruption, reduced the voting judges at the City Dionysia to just five in number. These judges probably reflected the mood of the audiences yet there is uncertainty about the composition of those audiences. The theatres were certainly huge, with seating for at least 10000 at the Theatre of Dionysus, the conservative views expressed in the plays might therefore reflect the attitudes of the dominant group in an unrepresentative audience. The production process might have influenced the views expressed in the plays, throughout most of Aristophanes career, the Chorus was essential to a plays success and it was recruited and funded by a choregus, a wealthy citizen appointed to the task by one of the archons.
Thus the political conservatism of the plays may reflect the views of the wealthiest section of Athenian society, when Aristophanes first play The Banqueters was produced, Athens was an ambitious, imperial power and the Peloponnesian War was only in its fourth year. His plays often express pride in the achievement of the older generation yet they are not jingoistic, the plays are particularly scathing in criticism of war profiteers, among whom populists such as Cleon figure prominently. However it is whether he led or merely responded to changes in audience expectations. Aristophanes won second prize at the City Dionysia in 427 BC with his first play The Banqueters and he won first prize there with his next play, The Babylonians. Some influential citizens, notably Cleon, reviled the play as slander against the polis, Cleon seems to have had no real power to limit or control Aristophanes, the caricatures of him continued up to and even beyond his death
Simonides of Ceos
Simonides of Ceos was a Greek lyric poet, born at Ioulis on Ceos. The scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria included him in the canonical list of nine lyric poets, along with Bacchylides, both Bacchylides and Pindar benefited from his innovative approach to lyric poetry and he was more involved than either of them in the major events and personalities of their times. Such accounts include fanciful elements yet he had a influence on the sophistic enlightenment of the classical era. His fame as a poet rests largely on his ability to present basic human situations with affecting simplicity, few clear facts about Simonides life have come down to modern times in spite of his fame and influence. Ancient sources are uncertain even about the date of his birth, according to the Byzantine encyclopaedia, Suda, He was born in the 56th Olympiad or according to some writers in the 62nd and he survived until the 78th, having lived eighty-nine years. Other ancient sources have awkward consequences, the Parian Marble is known to be unreliable and possibly it was not even the grandfather but a grandson that won the aforementioned victory in Athens.
According to the Suda, this grandson was yet another Simonides, Simonides is identified in the Suda as the son of a Leoprepes. He was born in Ioulis on Ceos, the outermost island of the Cyclades, the innermost island, was the reputed birthplace of Apollo, where the people of Ceos regularly sent choirs to perform hymns in the gods honour. Carthaea, another Cean town, included a choregeion or school where choirs were trained, the grandfather of Simonides nephew, was one of the islands notable athletes. These were two of the most powerful families in the Thessalian feudal aristocracy yet they seemed notable to Greeks such as Theocritus only for their association with Simonides, thessaly at that time was a cultural backwater, remaining in the Dark Ages until the close of the 5th century. According to an account by Plutarch, the Ionian poet once dismissed the Thessalians as too ignorant to be beguiled by poetry, among the most colourful of his ignorant patrons was the head of the Scopadae clan, named Scopas.
Simonides embellished his ode with so many references to the twins Castor, Simonides however ended up getting much more from the mythical twins than just a fee, he owed them his very life. According to this story he was called out of the feast hall to see two visitors who had arrived and were asking for him – presumably Castor and Pollux, as soon as he left the hall, it collapsed, killing everyone within. These events were said to have inspired him to develop a system of mnemonics based on images and places called the method of loci, the method of loci is one component of the Art of memory. According to Plutarch, the Cean had a statue of himself made about this time, the last years of the poets life were spent in Sicily where he became a friend and confidant of Hieron of Syracuse. According to a scholiast on Pindar, he acted as peace-maker between Hieron and another Sicilian tyrant, Theron of Acragas, thus ending a war between them. Scholiasts are the authority for stories about rivalry between Simonides and Pindar at the court of Hieron, traditionally used to explain some of the meanings in Pindars victory odes.
However, Pindar scholiasts are generally considered unreliable and there is no reason to accept their account, the Hellenistic poet Callimachus revealed in one of his poems that Simonides was buried outside Acragas and that his tombstone was mis-used in the construction of a tower
Castor and Pollux
In Greek and Roman mythology and Pollux, or Kastor and Polydeuces, were twin brothers, together known as the Dioscuri or Dioskouroi. Their mother was Leda, but they had different fathers, Castor was the son of Tyndareus, the king of Sparta, while Pollux was the divine son of Zeus. Though accounts of their birth are varied, they are said to have been born from an egg, along with their twin sisters or half-sisters Helen of Troy. In Latin the twins are known as the Gemini or Castores. When Castor was killed, Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together, the pair were regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmos fire, and were associated with horsemanship. They are sometimes called the Tyndaridae or Tyndarids, seen as a reference to their father and stepfather Tyndareus, the best-known story of the twins birth is that Zeus disguised himself as a swan and seduced Leda. Thus Ledas children are said to have hatched from two eggs that she produced.
The Dioscuri can be recognized in vase-paintings by the skull-cap they wear, the pilos, whether the children are thus mortal or half-immortal is not consistent among accounts, nor is whether the twins hatched together from one egg. In some accounts, only Pollux was fathered by Zeus, while Leda and this explains why they were granted an alternate immortality. It is a belief that one would live among the gods. Castor and Pollux are sometimes both mortal, sometimes both divine, one consistent point is that if only one of them is immortal, it is Pollux. In Homers Iliad, Helen looks down from the walls of Troy, the narrator remarks that they are both already dead and buried back in their homeland of Lacedaemon, thus suggesting that at least in some early traditions, both were mortal. Their death and shared immortality offered by Zeus was material of the lost Cypria in the Epic cycle, the Dioscuri were regarded as helpers of humankind and held to be patrons of travellers and of sailors in particular, who invoked them to seek favourable winds.
Their role as horsemen and boxers led to them being regarded as the patrons of athletes and they characteristically intervened at the moment of crisis, aiding those who honoured or trusted them. Ancient Greek authors tell a number of versions of the story of Castor, homer portrays them initially as ordinary mortals, treating them as dead in the Iliad, but in the Odyssey they are treated as alive even though the corn-bearing earth holds them. The author describes them as having honour equal to gods, living on alternate days due to the intervention of Zeus, in both the Odyssey and in Hesiod, they are described as the sons of Tyndareus and Leda. In Pindar, Pollux is the son of Zeus while Castor is the son of the mortal Tyndareus, the theme of ambiguous parentage is not unique to Castor and Pollux, similar characterisations appear in the stories of Hercules and Theseus. The Dioscuri are invoked in Alcaeus Fragment 34a, though whether this poem antedates the Homeric Hymn to the twins is unknown and they appear together in two plays by Euripides and Elektra
Themistocles was an Athenian politician and general. He was one of a new breed of politicians who rose to prominence in the early years of the Athenian democracy. As a politician, Themistocles was a populist, having the support of lower class Athenians, elected archon in 493 BC, he convinced the polis to increase the naval power of Athens, a recurring theme in his political career. During the first Persian invasion of Greece, he fought at the Battle of Marathon, in the years after Marathon, and in the run up to the second Persian invasion he became the most prominent politician in Athens. He continued to advocate a strong Athenian navy, and in 483 BC he persuaded the Athenians to build a fleet of 200 triremes, during the second invasion, he was in effective command of the Greek allied navy at the battles of Artemisium and Salamis. After the conflict ended, Themistocles continued to be pre-eminent among Athenian politicians, however, he aroused the hostility of Sparta by ordering Athens to be re-fortified, and his perceived arrogance began to alienate him from the Athenians.
In 472 or 471 BC, he was ostracised, and went into exile in Argos, the Spartans now saw an opportunity to destroy Themistocles, and implicated him in the treasonous plot of their own general Pausanias. He was made governor of Magnesia, and lived there for the rest of his life, Themistocles died in 459 BC, probably of natural causes. Themistocless reputation was rehabilitated, and he was re-established as a hero of the Athenian cause. Themistocles can still reasonably be thought of as the man most instrumental in achieving the salvation of Greece from the Persian threat and his naval policies would have a lasting impact on Athens as well, since maritime power became the cornerstone of the Athenian Empire and golden age. Themistocles was born in Athens around 524 BC, the son of Neocles and his mother is more obscure, according to Plutarch, she was either a Thracian woman called Abrotonon, or Euterpe, a Carian from Halicarnassus. Like many contemporaries, little is known of his early years, some authors report that he was unruly as a child and was consequently disowned by his father.
Plutarch considers this to be false, however, in an early example of his cunning, Themistocles persuaded well-born children to exercise with him in Cynosarges, thus breaking down the distinction between alien and legitimate. Plutarch further reports that Themistocles was preoccupied, even as a child and his teacher is said to have told him, My boy, you will be nothing insignificant, but definitely something great, either for good or evil. Themistocles left three sons by Archippe, daughter to Lysander of Alopece, —Archeptolis and Cleophantus, plato the philosopher mentions Cleophantus as a most excellent horseman, but otherwise insignificant person. And Themistocles had two older than these three and Diocles. Neocles died when he was young by the bite of a horse, Themistocles grew up in a period of upheaval in Athens. The tyrant Peisistratos had died in 527 BC, passing power to his sons, Hipparchus was murdered in 514 BC, and in response to this, Hippias became paranoid and started to rely increasingly on foreign mercenaries to keep a hold on power