Ameinias of Athens

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Native name Ἀμεινίας
Born Pallene or Decelea
Allegiance Athens
Rank Trireme commander
Awards Judged to have been the bravest (together with Eumenes) among all the Athenians at the battle of Salamis.

Ameinias or Aminias (Ancient Greek: Ἀμεινίας) was a younger brother of the playwright Aeschylus and a hero of the battle of Marathon Cynaegirus. He also had a sister, named Philopatho, who was the mother of the Athenian tragic poet Philocles. His father was Euphorion. Ameinias was from the Attica deme of Pallene according to Herodotus,[1] or of that of Decelea according to Plutarch.[2] He distinguished himself at the battle of Salamis as a Trireme commander, revenging the death of his brother Cynaegirus at Marathon.

He made the first attack upon the Persian ships (according to Athenians his ship made the first attack, but Aeginetans said that one of their ships made the first attack), he also pursued the ship of Artemisia, and she rammed and sunk the ship of Damasithymos who was her ally to escape. When Ameinias saw that he thought that her ship was Greek and he changed the direction of his Trireme to chase other Persian ships.

Herodotus believed that Ameinias didn't know that Artemisia was on the ship, because otherwise he would not have ceased his pursuit until either he had captured her or had been captured himself, because orders had been given to the Athenian captains. Moreover, a prize had been offered of ten thousand drachmas for the man who should take her alive, since they thought it intolerable that a woman should lead an expedition against Athens.[3]

In addition, according to Plutarch, he and the Socles of Pallene were the men who killed Ariamenes (Herodotus says that his name was Ariabignes), brother of Xerxes and admiral of the Persian navy. When Ariamenes attempted to board on their ship, they hit him with their spears, and thrust him into the sea.[4]

Ameinias and Eumenes of Anagyrus (Anagyrus is the modern Vari) were judged to have been the bravest on this occasion among all the Athenians.[5] Aelian mentions that Ameinias prevented the condemnation of his brother Aeschylus by the Areopagus.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Herodotus, Histories viii. 84, 93
  2. ^ Plutarch, Themistocles 14
  3. ^ Herodotus Book 8: Urania, 93 "Now if he had known that Artemisia was sailing in this ship, he would not have ceased until either he had taken her or had been taken himself; for orders had been given to the Athenian captains, and moreover a prize was offered of ten thousand drachmas for the man who should take her alive; since they thought it intolerable that a woman should make an expedition against Athens."
  4. ^ Themistocles By Plutarch "Ariamenes, admiral to Xerxes, a brave man and by far the best and worthiest of the king's brothers, was seen throwing darts and shooting arrows from his huge galley, as from the walls of a castle. Aminias the Decelean and Sosicles the Pedian (This is wrong translation his name was Socles and he was from Palene), who sailed in the same vessel, upon the ships meeting stem to stem, and transfixing each the other with their brazen prows, so that they were fastened together, when Ariamenes attempted to board theirs, ran at him with their pikes, and thrust him into the sea..."
  5. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica xi. 27
  6. ^ Claudius Aelianus, Varia Historia v. 19
  7. ^ Smith, William (1867). "Ameinias". In William Smith. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 141.