Cornelius Nepos

IX. Conon

1. Conon Atheniensis Peloponnesio bello accessit ad rem publicam, in eoque eius opera magni fuit; nam et praetor pedestribus exercitibus praefuit et praefectus classis res2 magnas mari gessit. Quas ob causas praecipuus ei honos habitus est. Namque omnibus unus insulis praefuit, in qua potestate Pheras 2cepit, coloniam Lacedaemoniorum. Fuit etiam extremo Peloponnesio bello praetor, cum apud Aegos flumen copiae Atheniensium ab Lysandro sunt devictae. Sed tum afuit, eoque peius res administrata est; nam et prudens rei militaris et diligens erat 3imperator. Itaque nemini erat iis3 temporibus dubium, si adfuisset, illam Athenienses calamitatem accepturos non fuisse.

2. Rebus autem adflictis, cum patriam obsideri audisset, non quaesivit ubi ipse tuto viveret, sed

  • 2magnas mari victorias, P; magnas mari res, Nipp.
  • 3his, MSS.

IX. Conon

IX. Conon

1. Conon the Athenian began his public career at the time of the Peloponnesian war, and in that war413 b.c. he rendered important service; for he commanded the land forces with the rank of general, and as admiral of the fleet he did great deeds on the sea. In recognition of this an unusual honour was conferred upon him; he was given sole charge of all the islands, and while holding that commission2 he took Pherae, a colony3 of the Lacedaemonians. He was also commander-in-chief at the close of the Peloponnesian war, when the Athenian forces were defeated by Lysander at Aegospotamoi; but he was absent at the time, and in consequence the affair was badly managed; for he was skilled in military science and a careful commander. Hence no one who lived in those times doubted that, if he had been present, the Athenians would not have suffered that disaster.

2. But when the calamity came and he heard that his native city was in a state of siege, he looked about for a place, not where he could himself live in

  • 2The islands between Greece and Asia Minor are meant. Conon never had such a commission. He took Pherae in 393 b.c., when he was in the service of the Persian king; see 4. 2 ff.
  • 3 “Colony” is used in the Roman, not the Greek, sense; Pherae had been made subject to Sparta.
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.cornelius_nepos-book_great_generals_foreign_nations_conon.1929