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Headword: Χαίρων
Adler number: chi,175
Translated headword: Chairon, Chaeron
Vetting Status: high
A Spartan, who went on an embassy to Rome; a man both intelligent and practical, but young and of humble origins with a commonplace level of education. This man, pandering to the mob and innovating in ways nobody else had ventured, quickly acquired a successful image with the masses. And first of all he took away from the sisters and wives and mothers and children left behind by the tyrants the lands which the tyrants had given them, and gave it to the poor, at random and unfairly, as his own inclination dictated. After this, using public money as if it were his own, he spent the revenues, without reference to any law or community decree or official. At this [some people] were indignant and took steps to have themselves appointed auditors of the public funds, as the laws required. Seeing what had happened and conscious that he had misused city property, Chairon murdered Apollonidas, the most distinguished of the auditors and the one most capable of exposing his greed, as he returned during the daytime from his trip to the bath-house. The [Achaian] people were outraged at these events, and the general set off for Sparta, where he put Chairon on trial for the murder of Apollonidas; and having secured his conviction he imprisoned him, while encouraging the remaining auditors to pursue their serious investigation of public affairs, and to see to it that the relatives of the exiles recovered the properties of which Chairon had recently robbed them.
Greek Original:
Χαίρων, Λακεδαιμόνιος, ὃς ἐπρέσβευσεν εἰς τὴν Ῥώμην, ἄνθρωπος ἀγχίνους μὲν καὶ πρακτικός, νέος δὲ καὶ ταπεινὸς καὶ δημοτικῆς ἀγωγῆς τετευχώς. οὗτος ὀχλαγωγῶν καὶ κινήσας, ὃ μηθεὶς ἕτερος ἐθάρρει, ταχέως περιεποιήσατο φαντασίαν παρὰ τοῖς πολλοῖς. καὶ τὸ μὲν πρῶτον ἀφελόμενος τὴν χώραν, ἣν οἱ τύραννοι συνεχώρησαν ταῖς ὑπολειφθείσαις τῶν τυράννων ἀδελφαῖς καὶ γυναιξὶ καὶ μητράσι καὶ τέκνοις, ταύτην διέδωκε τοῖς λεπτοῖς εἰκῆ καὶ ἀνίσως κατὰ τὴν ἰδίαν ἐξουσίαν. μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα τοῖς κοινοῖς ὡς ἰδίοις χρώμενος ἐξεδαπάνα τὰς προσόδους, οὐ νόμου στοχαζόμενος, οὐ κοινοῦ δόγματος, οὐκ ἄρχοντος. ἐφ' οἷς ἀγανακτήσαντες κατεστάθησαν δοκιμαστῆρες τῶν κοινῶν κατὰ τοὺς νόμους. ὁ δὲ Χαίρων θεωρῶν τὸ γινόμενον καὶ συνειδὼς αὑτῷ κακῶς κεχειρικότι τὰ τῆς πόλεως, τὸν ἐπιφανέστατον τῶν δοκιμαστήρων Ἀπολλωνίδην, ἀποπορευόμενον ἡμέρας ἐκ βαλανείου ἐξεκέντησε. τοῦ δὲ πλήθους ἀγανακτήσαντος ἐπὶ τοῖς γεγονόσιν, ὁ στρατηγὸς παραγενόμενος εἰς Λακεδαίμονα τὸν Χαίρωνα παρήγαγεν εἰς κρίσιν ὑπὲρ τοῦ φόνου τοῦ κατὰ τὸν Ἀπολλωνίδην καὶ κατακρίνας ἐποίησε δέσμιον τούς τε λοιποὺς δοκιμαστῆρας παρώξυνε πρὸς τὸ ποιεῖσθαι τὴν ζήτησιν τῶν δημοσίων ἀληθινήν, φροντίσαι δὲ καὶ περὶ τοῦ κομίσασθαι τὰς οὐσίας τοὺς τῶν φυγάδων ἀναγκαίους πάλιν, ἃς ὁ Χαίρων αὐτῶν ἀφείλετο βραχεῖ χρόνῳ πρότερον.
From Polybius 24.7, on events of (?)180 BCE.
P. Cartledge and A. Spawforth, Hellenistic and Roman Sparta (London & New York 1989) 82-3
F.W. Walbank, A Historical Commentary on Polybius, iii (Oxford 1979) 259-60
Keywords: biography; children; economics; ethics; geography; historiography; history; law; military affairs; politics; women
Translated by: David Whitehead on 26 November 2001@03:40:23.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added keywords) on 6 September 2002@05:42:47.
William Hutton (modified translation, set status) on 9 July 2003@11:12:59.
David Whitehead (augmented bibliography; cosmetics) on 10 July 2003@08:14:30.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 16 November 2005@08:09:56.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 7 August 2011@10:18:10.
David Whitehead on 10 November 2013@06:17:34.


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