Kimon (507-449 BC) Greek nobleman

As son of the famous Miltiades, Kimon (also known as Cimon) was member of an old Greek aristocrat family. When Miltiades, the great hero of the Battle at Marathon (490), fell in disgrace after a tiny military letdown, he had to pay a fine of 50 talents, a huge amount of money. Because Miltiades did not pay, he was thrown in jail where he died one year later. Then Kimon had to take his place in prison to free his father's corpse for the funeral (as is expressed by ancient writers Diodoros Sikoulos and Iustinus).

The last chronicle might be apocryphal because the rich Kimon would have had no problem at all to pay the fine. His assets contributed to the fact that he could rival Themistocles at the Athens political stage after the Persian Wars. The main difference between him and Themistocles was Kimon's strive for peaceful relationships with the Spartans. Historian Plutarch has left us some writings about Kimon's huge contributions to the public services in Athens: he financed public buildings around the Agora, the main city square, such as the Hermenstoa, and let design public gardens. He was also responsible for the construction of the Theseion temple, where Theseus' mythical bones were laid to rest eternally. This was in silent remembrance of his father, who was said to be assisted by this mythological king at Marathon.

Under the democratic ruler Ephialtes, Kimon was forced into exile in 461 BC. This was probably because of his resistance towards the government, but according to Attic politician and orator Andocides because he supposedly had an incestuous affair with his sister Elpinike. Kimon was called back in 457, but could not play an important role on the political rostrum anymore. Plutarch writes about both cases in Life of Kimon:

They at once took open measures of hostility against the Laconizers, and above all against Kimon. Laying hold of a trifling pretext, they ostracised him for ten years. That was the period decreed in all cases of ostracism. (...) The Athenians did not long abide by their displeasure against Kimon, partly because, as was natural, they remembered his benefits, and partly because the turn of events favored his cause. For they were defeated at Tanagra in a great battle, and expected that in the following springtime an armed force of Peloponnesians would come against them, and so they recalled Kimon from his exile. The decree which provided for his return was formally proposed by Pericles.

During the siege of Kition (on Cyprus) in 449, he died of an infection.