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Conon

Κόνων).


1.

A distinguished Athenian commander, and one of the generals who succeeded Alcibiades in the command of the fleet during the Peloponnesian War. Having engaged Callicratidas, the Spartan admiral, he lost thirty vessels, and was compelled to take shelter in the harbour of Mytilené, where he was blockaded by his opponent. The victory gained by the Athenians at the Arginusae released him at length from his situation. Being subsequently appointed, with five others, to the command of a powerful fleet, he proceeded to the Hellespont, where Lysander had charge of the Lacedaemonian squadron. The negligence of his fellow-commanders, the result of overweening confidence in their own strength, led to the fatal defeat at Aegos Potamos, and the whole Athenian fleet was taken, except nine vessels of Conon 's division, with eight of which, thinking that the war was now desperate, he sailed to Salamis in the island of Cyprus. The ninth vessel was sent to Athens with the tidings of the defeat. In Cyprus, Conon remained at the court of Evagoras, watching for an opportunity to prove of service to his country. Such a state of affairs soon presented itself. The Lacedaemonians, having no more rivals in Greece, sent Agesilaüs with an army into Asia to make war upon the Persian king. Conon immediately repaired to Pharnabazus, the satrap of Lydia and Ionia, aided him with his counsels, and suggested to him the idea of exciting the Thebans and other Grecian communities against Sparta, so as to compel that State to recall Agesilaüs from the East. The plan was approved of by the king of Persia, and Conon , at the head of a Persian fleet, B.C. 394, attacked the Spartan admiral, Pisander, near Cnidus, and defeated him, with the loss of the greater part of his ships. Lacedaemon immediately lost the control of the sea, and her power in Asia Minor ceased. Conon thereupon, after ravaging the coasts of Laconia, returned to Attica, rebuilt the city walls as well as those of the Piraeus, with means which had been furnished by Pharnabazus, and gave on this occasion a public entertainment to all the Athenians. The Lacedaemonians, dispirited by the success of Conon , and alarmed at the re-establishment of the Athenian fortifications, sent Antalcidas to Tiribazus, one of the Persian generals, to negotiate a peace. The Athenians, on their part, deputed Conon and some others to oppose this attempt; but Tiribazus being favourably inclined towards Sparta, and in all probability jealous of Pharnabazus, imprisoned Conon , under the pretext that he was endeavouring to excite an insurrection in Aeolis and Ionia. The Persian king, however, disapproved of the conduct of the satrap, and Conon was released. The latter thereupon returned to the island of Cyprus, where he fell sick and died, about B.C. 390. His remains were conveyed to Athens (Conon; Hist. Gr. i. 4, 10; id. ib. ii. 1, 21, etc.).


2.

A native of Samos, distinguished as an astronomer and geometrician. None of his works have reached us; he is mentioned, however, by Archimedes, Vergil, Seneca, and others. Conon lived between about 300 and 260 years before our era. Apollonius, in the fourth book of his Conic Sections, thinks that many of Conon 's demonstrations might be rendered more concise. He is mentioned as an astronomer by one of the commentators on Ptolemy, and Seneca (Quaest. Nat. vii. 3) informs us that he had made out a list of the eclipses of the sun that had been visible in Egypt. He is mentioned also by Vergil (Eclog. iii. 40), and by Catullus in his translation of the Greek poem of Callimachus, on the tresses of Berenicé.


3.

A grammarian epitomized by Photius (q.v.).

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