After the flight of the Medes from Hellas, Cimon was sent out as a commander,1
before the Athenians had obtained their empire of the sea, and while they were still under the leadership of Pausanias and the Lacedaemonians. During this campaign, the citizen-soldiers he furnished on expeditions were always admirably disciplined and far more zealous than any others;
and again, while Pausanias was holding treasonable conference with the Barbarians, writing letters to the King, treating the allies with harsh arrogance, and displaying much wantonness of power and silly pretension, Cimon received with mildness those who brought their wrongs to him, treated them humanely, and so, before men were aware of it, secured the leadership of Hellas, not by force of arms, but by virtue of his address and character.
For most of the allies, because they could not endure the severity and disdain of Pausanias, attached themselves to Cimon and Aristides, who had no sooner won this following than they sent also to the Ephors and told them, since Sparta had lost her prestige and Hellas was in confusion, to recall Pausanias.
It is said that a maiden of Byzantium, of excellent parentage, Cleonice by name, was summoned by Pausanias for a purpose that would disgrace her. Her parents influenced by constraint and fear, abandoned their daughter to her fate, and she, after requesting the attendants before his chamber to remove the light, in darkness and silence at length drew near the couch on which Pausanias was asleep, but accidentally stumbled against the lamp-holder and upset it.
Pausanias, startled by the noise, drew the dagger which lay at his side, with the idea that some enemy was upon him, and smote and felled the maiden. After her death in consequence of the blow, she gave Pausanias no peace, but kept coming into his sleep by night in phantom form, wrathfully uttering this verse:—
Draw thou nigh to thy doom; 'tis evil for men to be wanton.
At this outrage the allies were beyond measure incensed, and joined Cimon in forcing Pausanias to give up the city.
Driven from Byzantium, and still harassed by the phantom, as the story goes, he had recourse to the ghost-oracle of Heracleia, and summoning up the spirit of Cleonice, besought her to forgo her wrath. She came into his presence and said that he would soon cease from his troubles on coming to Sparta, thus darkly intimating, as it seems, his impending death. At any rate, this tale is told by many.