Diodotus (son of Eucrates)

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Diodotus (Greek: Διόδοτος), son of Eucrates,[1] was an opponent to the proposal of Cleon — leader of the radical, imperialist faction in Athens — in 427 BC to kill all adult Mytilenean males and to enslave their women and children after the defeat of Mytilene [2] (see also Mytilenean revolt). He seems to represent the moderate faction in Athens (in favour of Pericles' policy).[3]

Diodotus' proposal won in the assembly,[4] so that in the end only Cleon's next proposal was carried out: to punish by death those Mytileneans who were sent by Paches to Athens[5] (which were a little over a thousand; this was probably about 10% of the adult male population of the rebelling cities on Lesbos. The execution took place without proper trial.[6]

Diodotus' one speech in Thucydides is all we know of him.

Notable quotations[edit]

"The good citizen ought to triumph not by frightening his opponents but by beating them fairly in argument" (3.42.5).

"All, states and individuals, are alike prone to error, and there is no law that will prevent them; or why should men have exhausted the list of punishments in search of enactments to protect them from evildoers?" (3.45.3).[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War/Book 3, 41. (2007, April 11). In Wikisource, The Free Library. Retrieved 10:37, August 19, 2007, from wikisource
  2. ^ Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War/Book 3, 36. (2007, April 11). In Wikisource, The Free Library. Retrieved 10:37, August 19, 2007, from wikisource
  3. ^ Donald Kagan, The Peloponnesian War: Athens and Sparta in Savage Conflict 431-404 BC, HarperCollinsPublishers, 2003 (First published in the USA by Penguin Putnam 2003), page 109.
  4. ^ Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War/Book 3, 49. (2007, April 11). In Wikisource, The Free Library. Retrieved 10:37, August 19, 2007, from wikisource
  5. ^ Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War/Book 3, 50. (2007, April 11). In Wikisource, The Free Library. Retrieved 10:37, August 19, 2007, from wikisource
  6. ^ Donald Kagan, The Peloponnesian War: Athens and Sparta in Savage Conflict 431-404 BC, HarperCollinsPublishers, 2003 (First published in the USA by Penguin Putnam 2003), page 111.
  7. ^ Robert B. Strassler, The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War, Free Press, 1996, pages 180–1.