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Headword: Νικίας
Adler number: nu,389
Translated headword: Nikias, Nicias
Vetting Status: high
A general of [the] Athenians.[1] This man captured the island of Kythera[2] and made the Lakedaimonians afraid about Sparta, such that they actually set up a guard in the polis.[3] But he obtained a fifty-year peace for the poleis; for he was a man of peace, such that he was actually considered to be a coward on account of this. But the peace was broken in the seventh year, when Alkibiades[4] broke it. He made an expedition to Sicily with Alkibiades, and, weakened and distressed by kidney disease, he wrote to the Athenians either to send for the force already in existence or to dispatch another. They dispatched another under the general Demosthenes,[5] who was himself also defeated. Some fled, but the generals were taken alive, and after being pursued they were captured. Nikias and Demosthenes were led off as prisoners of war, but the Sicilians killed them.[6]
Greek Original:
Νικίας, Ἀθηναίων στρατηγός. οὗτος Κύθηρα τὴν νῆσον εἷλε καὶ περὶ τῆς Σπάρτης εἰς φόβον κατέστησε Λακεδαιμονίους, ὡς καὶ φρουρὰν αὐτοὺς ἐν τῇ πόλει καταστῆσαι. εἰρήνην δὲ πεντηκονταέτη ταῖς πόλεσιν ἐπρυτάνευσεν: ἦν γὰρ εἰρηνικός, ὡς καὶ δειλὸς εἶναι διὰ τοῦτο νομίζεσθαι. ἡ δὲ εἰρήνη ἑβδόμῳ ἔτει διαλύεται, λύσαντος αὐτὴν Ἀλκιβιάδου. στρατεύει δὲ ἐπὶ Σικελίαν σὺν Ἀλκιβιάδῃ καὶ ἡττηθεὶς καὶ νόσῳ νεφρίτιδι συσχεθεὶς ἔγραψε πρὸς Ἀθηναίους, ἢ τὴν οὖσαν μεταπέμψασθαι δύναμιν ἢ ἑτέραν ἀποστέλλειν. καὶ ἀπέστειλαν ὑπὸ στρατηγῷ Δημοσθένει, ὃς καὶ αὐτὸς ἡττήθη. καὶ οἱ μὲν ἔφυγον, οἱ δὲ στρατηγοὶ ἐζωγρήθησαν, καὶ διωχθέντες ἑάλωσαν. Νικίας δὲ καὶ Δημοσθένης αἰχμάλωτοι ἤχθησαν, ἀπέκτειναν δὲ αὐτοὺς οἱ Σικελοί.
c.470-413 BC. See generally Simon Hornblower in OCD(4) s.v. Nicias(1).
[1] Robert Develin, Athenian Officials 684-321 BC (Cambridge, 1989), Index I no. 2116.
[2] For the expedition against Kythera see Thucydides 4.53-54, 56-57; Diodorus Siculus 12.65.8; Plutarch, Nicias 6.
[3] Again at phi 739.
[4] alpha 1280; Develin Index I no.84.
[5] (no Suda entry); Develin Index I no.792.
[6] On the deaths of Nikias and Demosthenes see Debra Hamel, Athenian Generals: Military Authority in the Classical Period (Leiden 1998) 206 and 208.
Keywords: biography; chronology; ethics; geography; history; medicine; military affairs; politics
Translated by: Debra Hamel on 12 August 1999@19:58:32.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (added headwords; cosmetics) on 20 September 2000@06:02:32.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 9 October 2005@06:18:14.
David Whitehead (x-ref) on 29 April 2011@06:36:27.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; raised status) on 9 June 2013@08:26:04.
David Whitehead on 7 August 2014@04:27:07.


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