Xanthippus (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Xanthippus, as commander of the Athenian fleet, led the Greeks in a battle that won the Asiatic Greeks liberation from Persian rule.
A member of the aristocracy with strong democratic tendencies, Xanthippus married Agariste, the niece of the Athenian reformer, Cleisthenes. About five years before the Greeks’ first victory over the Persians at Marathon (490 b.c.e.), Xanthippus and Agariste had a son destined to become one of the most important figures in Athenian history—Pericles.
Xanthippus, a political ally of Cleisthenes, secured the impeachment of Miltiades, the hero of Marathon, shortly after the latter’s ill-conceived and catastrophic attack on Paros (489 b.c.e.), charging the general with defrauding the Athenian people. Ironically, although Xanthippus opposed the return of the oligarchs and desired to protect the state from the danger of tyranny, he was banished as an enemy of democracy (485/484 b.c.e.). Four years later, the Athenians recalled Xanthippus because the Persian king Xerxes I was invading and the Athenians had abandoned their city to take refuge on Salamis, Aegina, and Troezen.
In 479 b.c.e., Xanthippus was elected strategos or general, succeeding Themistocles as the commander of the Athenian fleet that fought at the Battle of Mycale—a decisive encounter that liberated the Asiatic Greeks from Persian rule. In the spring of 478 b.c.e.,...
(The entire section is 370 words.)
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