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Ancient Corinth's political position in Hellas during the 360's .

Timophanes was an Ancient Corinthian and brother of the renowned Greek statesman and general Timoleon. During the 360s BC, the city-state of Corinth found herself in an unfamiliar and radically changing world. In the forty plus years since the end of the Peloponesian War, the political power houses of the eastern Mediterranean had changed fairly drastically. The city-states of Athens, Sparta and Thebes had each contended to become the political and military leaders of Hellas. This, in conjunction with interference from the Achaemenid Empire in the form of the so-called King’s Peace, dictated by Artaxerxes II, and the rise of Jason of Pherae had created an unprecedented complex political environment on the Greek peninsula.

To the end of protecting her own interests, Corinth, a demokratia, gave Timophanes a force of four hundred mercenaries to act as a deterrent to her many rivals in the Peloponnese and Attica, with Athens being named by Xenophon as a particular threat.[1] Timophanes was, as noted by Diodorus Siculus a man "of outstanding wealth"[2] and used this to turn the mercenaries towards their previous employers. Diodorus relates how Timophanes would walk about the Corinthian market with “a band of ruffians”[3] aiming towards installing himself as tyrant. He would go as far as putting to death a “great number of leading citizens”[4] before being publicly assassinated by Timoleon.


  1. ^ Xenophon Hellenika 7.4.6
  2. ^ Diodorus Siculus 16.65.3
  3. ^ Diodorus Siculus 16.65.3
  4. ^ Plutarch Timoleon 4.5
The Death of Timophanes by Léon Comerre (1874)