), the chief of a conspiracy against the Spartan peers (ομοιοι
) in the first year of Agesilaus II. (B. C. 398-397.)
This plot appears to have arisen out of the increased power of the ephors, and the more oligarchical character which the Spartan constitution had by this time assumed. (Thirlwall's Greece,
iv. pp. 373-378; Manso's Sparta,
3.1, p. 219, &c.; Wachsmuth, Hellen. Alter.
1.2, pp. 214, 215, 260, 262.) Cinadon was a young man of personal accomplishment and courage, but not one of the peers.
The design of his conspiracy was to assassinate all the peers, in order, as he himself said, "that he might have no superior in Lacedaemon."
The first hint of the existence of the plot was given by a soothsayer, who was assisting Agesilaus at a sacrifice. Five days afterwards, a person came to the ephors, and told them the following story: He had been taken, he said, into the agora by Cinadon, who asked him to count the Spartans there. I-He did so, and found that, including one of the kings, the ephors, the senators, and others, there were less than forty. " These," said Cinadon, "account your enemies, but the others in the agora, who are more than four thousand, your confederates."
He then referred to the like disparity which might be seen in the streets and in the country.
The leaders of the conspiracy, Cinadon further told him, were few, but trustworthy; but their associates were in fact all the Helots, and Neodamodes, and Hypomeiones, who, if the Spartans were mentioned in their presence, were unable to conceal their ferocious hatred towards them. For arms, he added, there were at hand the knives, swords, spits, hatchets, and so forth, in the iron market; the rustics would use bludgeons and stones, and the artificers had each his own tools. Cinadon finally warned him, he said, to keep at home, for the time of action was at hand.
Upon hearing this account, the ephors called no assembly, but consulted with the senators as they happened to meet them. Cinadon, who had been at other times employed by the ephers on important commissions, was sent to Aulon in Messenia, with orders to take certain persons prisoners; but secret instructions were given to some young men who were sent with him, and the choice of whom was so managed as not to excite his suspicions.
This step was taken because the ephors were ignorant of the number of the conspirators. Accordingly, Cinadon was seized and tortured: letters were sent to Sparta mentioning the persons whom he had denounced as his confederates; and it is a remarkable proof of the formidable character of the conspiracy that among them was Tisamenus, the soothsayer, a descendant of Tisamenus the Eleian, who had been admitted to the full franchise. (Hdt. 9.33
.) Cinadon was then brought to Sparta, and he and the other conspirators were led in irons through the streets, and scourged as they went, and so they were put to death. (Xen. Hell. 3.3
, §§ 4-11; Aristot. Pol. 5.6.2