Studies on Cimon
: Essay in Greek history, ca. 478-461 B.C.

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The monograph proposes an analysis of the period ca. 478-461 b.C. of Athenian history and of the events related to Cimon, son of Miltiades, within the contemporary context. The study of Athens, and more in general of various Aegean Hellenic communities, during the first ‘post-Persian’ years, is organised into two parts: the former reviews in chronological order available evidence, mostly literary, on political and military activities of Athens, as leader of the Hellenic alliance; the latter offers a broader view based on the previous analysis, looking for an assessment of the period and of the character leaving apart literary stereotypes and conditionings. Within such an approach I propose a reflection, moving from the brief Thucydidean treatment, on the dynamics through which tradition has deformed and settled available information, leading to the definition of a ‘Cimonian era’ which is possible to question in some of its fundamental traits. I thus aim to propose an assessment of the period devoid of several elements, essentially prominent in the Plutarchean approach, which appear alien to the context of the former part of the V century: the main themes are those of Athenian imperialism, of philolaconism, of democracy/oligarchy bipolarity and of political and mythological propaganda. The contacts of Athens with Sparta, the Ionians, and further entities of the Aegean world is read in the light of available evidence about the character of the instability and weak balance born in the aftermath of the withdrawal of Persian forces. The proposed portrait of Cimon is that of an undoubtedly prominent figure in contemporary politics but, at the same time, one who was strongly influenced and sometime shrouded by the Athenian political scenario, characterised by the need and will to fulfil those objectives which tradition would turn into archetypical elements of the democratic paradigm.
Date of Award2013
Original languageItalian
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorHugh Bowden (Supervisor)

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