Friday, December 12, 2014

Statue of Kimonas the Athenian – Larnaka, Cyprus

Walking along the famous Finikoudes one comes across a number of beautiful and historic statues. One of them is the statue depicting Kimona the Athenian. He was an Athenian general and politician, son of Miltiades, victor against the Persian Empire at Marathon in 490 BC. Born in 510 BC, he died in 449 BC during the Athenian campaign to Cyprus, which aimed at liberating the island from the Persians.

The Athenian operations in Cyprus had many victorious moments, the first one being the liberation of Marion, where Kimon replaced the Phoenician king Sussman with the Greek Stasioiko. He then besieged Kition. During the siege he died suddenly of a plague that hit the Athenian army. Due to this unexpected development, the fleet sailed to Salamina, where the Athenians defeated the Persians on land and sea.

Plutarch writes that Kimon’s body was transferred to Attica, where it was buried. The city which succeeded Kition, Larnaca, is also known as the city of Zenon and Kimona, never forgetting the Athenian general. That is why Kimonas is honoured to this day in Larnaka, due to his sacrifice for the freedom of Cyprus from the Persian yoke. 

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