Miltiădes in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)

The son of Cypselus. He was a man of considerable distinction in Athens in the time of Pisistratus. The Doloncians, a Thracian tribe dwelling in the Chersonesus, being hard pressed in war by the Absinthians, applied to the Delphic oracle for advice, and were directed to admit a colony led by the man who should be the first to entertain them after they left the temple. This was Miltiades, who, eager to escape from the rule of Pisistratus, gladly took the lead of a colony under the sanction of the oracle, and became tyrant of the Chersonesus, which he fortified by a wall built across its isthmus. In a war with the people of Lampsacus he was taken prisoner, but was set at liberty on the demand of Croesus. He died without leaving any children, and his sovereignty passed into the hands of Stesagoras, the son of his half-brother Cimon. Sacrifices and games were instituted in his honour, in which no Lampsacene was suffered to take part (Herod. vi. 34, 38, 103). 2. The son of Cimon and brother of Stesagoras. He became tyrant of the Chersonesus on the death of the latter, being sent out by Pisistratus from Athens to take possession of the vacant inheritance. By a stratagem he got the chief men of the Chersonesus into his power and threw them into prison, and took a force of mercenaries into his pay. In order to strengthen his position still more, he married Hegesipylé, the daughter of a Thracian prince named Olorus. He joined Darius Hystaspis on his expedition against the Scythians, and was left with the other Greeks in charge of the bridge over the Danube. When the appointed time had expired, and Darius had not returned, Miltiades recommended the Greeks to destroy the bridge and leave Darius to his fate. Some time after the expedition of Darius, an inroad of the Scythians drove Miltiades from his possessions; but after the enemy had retired the Doloncians brought him back. It appears to have been between this period and his withdrawal to Athens, that Miltiades conquered and expelled the Pelasgian inhabitants of Lemnos and Imbros and subjected the islands to the dominion of Attica. Lemnos and Imbros belonged to the Persian dominions; and it is probable that this encroachment on the Persian possessions was the cause which drew upon Miltiades the hostility of Darius, and led him to fly from the Chersonesus, when the Phœnician fleet approached, after the subjugation of Ionia. Miltiades reached Athens in safety, but his eldest son Metiochus fell into the hands of the Persians. At Athens Miltiades was arraigned, as being amenable to the pen Miltiades. alties enacted against tyranny, but was acquitted. When Attica was threatened with invasion by the Persians under Datis and Artaphernes, Miltiades was chosen one of the ten generals. Miltiades by his arguments induced the polemarch Callimachus to give the casting vote in favour of risking a battle with the enemy, the opinions of the ten generals being equally divided. Miltiades waited till his turn came, and then drew his army up in battle array on the ever-memorable field of Marathon. (See Marathon.) After the defeat of the Persians, Miltiades endeavoured to urge the Athenians to measures of retaliation, and induced them to intrust to him an armament of seventy ships, without knowing the purpose for which they were designed. He proceeded to attack the island of Paros, for the purpose of gratifying a private enmity. His attacks, however, were unsuccessful; and after receiving a dangerous hurt in the leg, while penetrating into a sacred enclosure on some superstitious errand, he was compelled to raise the siege and return to Athens, where he was impeached by Xanthippus for having deceived the people. His wound had turned into a gangrene, and, being unable to plead his cause in person, he was brought into court on a couch, his brother Tisagoras conducting his defence for him. He was condemned; but on the ground of his services to the State the penalty was commuted to a fine of fifty talents, the cost of the equipment of the armament. Being unable to pay this, he was thrown into prison, where he not long after died of his wound. The fine was subsequently paid by his son Cimon. See Herod.iv. 137; 41, Herod.132-136; Pausan. i. 15, 3; Nepos, Miltiades.

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