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Headword: Brasidas
Adler number: beta,519
Translated headword: Brasidas
Vetting Status: high
The son of Tellis,[1] a general of [the] Lakedaimonians. When Methone went over to the Athenian side, he waged war against it and restored it [sc. to the Spartans].[2] He also distinguished himself as a general at Pylos,[3] being the first to leap from the ship. There he was also wounded and lost his shield. After these events a year-long truce resulted, which the Athenians were the first to break. Because he was popular in Amphipolis and Thrace they registered him as their city-founder in place of Hagnon.[4] The war, up until the deaths of Brasidas and Kleon,[5] lasted ten years, and was called the Archidamian.[6]
'[Attacking] on the pretense that one favors Brasidas' side.'[7] Meaning that of the Lakedaimonians' side.
Greek Original:
Brasidas, ho Tellidos, Lakedaimoniôn stratêgos, Methônên apostasan pros Athênaious polemêsas anekalesato. êristeuse de kai peri Pulon stratêgôn, prôtos tês nêos ekpêdêsas: hou kai etrôthê kai tên aspida apôlesen: epi toutois spondai egenonto eniausioi, has Athênaioi luein êrxanto. peri de Amphipolin kai Thraikên eudokimounta auton oikistên anti Hagnônos epegrapsanto. ho de polemos ho mechri tês Brasida kai Kleônos teleutês etê epesche deka, eklêthê de Archidamios. aitias de peri autou prostithentes, hôs phronei ta Brasida. anti tou tôn Lakedaimoniôn.
C5 BCE (died 422). See generally OCD(4) s.v. (p.248). The source(s) of the present mini-biography of him (ending at 'the Archidamian') cannot be identified.
[1] Tellis is attested as one of the Spartan signatories to the Peace of Nikias in 421 (Thucydides 5.19.2). Brasidas' mother was named Argileonis (Plutarch, Moralia 240C).
[2] Contrary to the impression given here, Methone never revolted against Sparta. It was a perioikic town on the Messenian coast, which an Athenian naval expedition raided in 431, the first year of the Peloponnesian War. Brasidas, who happened to be nearby, rushed to the town with one hundred hoplites and managed to save it from capture by the Athenians (Thuc. 2.25.2.). In the following year, possibly as a result of his services at Methone, Brasidas was chosen as eponymous ephor at Sparta (Xenophon, Hellenica 2.3.10; Diodorus Siculus 12.43.2).
[3] A site on the west coast of Messenia, which an Athenian force occupied in 425. The Spartans and their allies initially attempted to dislodge the Athenians with an amphibious landing, but were repulsed despite Brasidas' heroics (Thuc. 4.11f).
[4] Hagnon was the original Athenian founder of the strategic colony at Amphipolis in 437 (Thuc. 4.102). Brasidas captured the town from the Athenians in 424 (Thuc. 4.103-7); cf. epsilon 2026.
[5] Brasidas and Kleon (kappa 1731), his counterpart for belligerence on the Athenian side, were both killed in the battle of Amphipolis in 422 (Thuc. 5.2f, 6-11), and the "Peace of Nicias" in the following year caused a temporary cessation of hostilities.
[6] After Archidamos II, king of Sparta, who led the first Spartan and allied invasion of Attica in 431. See alpha 4108.
[7] An approximation of Aristophanes, Peace 640, with comment from the scholia there.
Der Neue Pauly, Band 2, pp.760-1
Keywords: biography; chronology; comedy; ethics; geography; historiography; history; military affairs; politics; religion; women
Translated by: John Hyland on 7 April 2000@21:42:16.
Vetted by:
Helma Dik on 9 April 2000@18:59:23.
David Whitehead (added note and keyword; restorative and other cosmetics) on 25 September 2002@08:21:44.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 20 November 2005@10:06:38.
Catharine Roth (added cross-reference) on 29 August 2007@22:07:44.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 3 June 2012@08:16:02.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 1 August 2014@05:50:40.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 7 December 2014@00:21:19.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 23 September 2015@09:25:12.
David Whitehead (expanded primary note) on 21 January 2016@06:16:23.


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