Miltiades the Elder

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Miltiades the Elder (Greek: Μιλτιάδης ὁ Πρεσβύτερος; died c. 519 BC) was a member of an immensely wealthy Athenian noble family, the Philaids. The name "Miltiades" derives from miltos, a red ochre clay used as paint. It was a name often given to red-haired babies.

Miltiades is said to have opposed the tyrant Peisistratus, which may explain why he left Athens around 555 BC to found a colony in the Thracian Chersonese (now the Gallipoli Peninsula). The colony was semi-independent of Athens and was ruled by Miltiades until his death around 519 BC. Before his death he fortified the peninsula, building a wall across it to defend against incursions by hostile native peoples.

Miltiades died childless, leaving his lands to Stesagoras, the son of his half-brother Cimon the Elder. His step-nephew, Miltiades the Younger, later became tyrant of the Thracian Chersonese. Named after his uncle, the junior Miltiades is best known for his victory over the Persians at Marathon. The Philaid dynasty was continued by his son, Cimon the Younger.