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For other uses, see Xanthippus (disambiguation).
Ostrakon mentioning Xanthippus (484 BC)

Xanthippus (/zænˈθɪpəs/; Greek: Ξάνθιππος) was a wealthy Athenian politician and general during the early part of the 5th century BC. He was the son of Ariphron and father of Pericles.[1] Xanthippus served as eponymous archon of Athens in 479 BC.

Xanthippus was directly responsible for the impeachment of Miltiades the Younger following Miltiades' failure to capture Paros in 489 BC. Xanthippus was ostracised in 484 BC. In 479 BC, Xanthippus succeeded Themistocles, an old rival, as commander of the Athenian fleet.[2]

Xanthippus' greatest military accomplishment was his command of the Athenian naval forces at the decisive Battle of Mycale against the Persians, which was fought off the coast of Lydia in Asia Minor under the command of Leotychidas of Sparta.[2]

After the Spartans withdrew from the Hellenic League, Xanthippus led a Greek force in an assault upon Sestus, which was captured from the Persians after a winter siege. The Persian governor Artayctes attempted to escape, but was captured and then left by Xanthippus to the vengeance of the inhabitants of Elaeus, who crucified Artayctes.[2]

Xanthippus was married to Agariste (Greek: Αγαρίστη), the niece of Cleisthenes.[3] Xanthippus and Agariste were the parents of the prominent Athenian statesman Pericles.


  1. ^ Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, v. 3, page 191
  2. ^ a b c Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, v. 3, page 1285
  3. ^ Herodotus, vi. 131.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Xanthippos at Wikimedia Commons