1. A distinguished Athenian general, who lived in the latter part of the fifth and the beginning of the fourth century B. C. In 413, he was stationed in command of a fleet off Naupactus, to prevent the Corinthians from sending succours to the Syracusans.
In an engagement which ensued neither side gained a decisive victory. (Thuc. 7.31
.) In 410, according to Diolorus (13.48), he was strategus, and was sent to Corcyra to protect the Athenian interests in that quarter, when Corcyra became the scene of another massacre. In 409, he was elected strategus with Alcibiades and Thrasybulus (Xen. Hell. 1.4.10
), and again in 406 was made the first of the ten generals chosen to supersede Alcibiades. (Xen. Hell. 1.5.16
; Diod. 13.74
.) For an account of the operations which forced him to take refuge in Mytilene, of his blockade by Callicratidas, and the victory of the Athenians at Arginusae by which he was delivered, see Xen. Hell. 1.6
; Diod. 13.77
, &c. When all his colleagues were deposed, Conon retained his command. (Xen. Hell. 7.1
When the Athenian fleet was surprised by Lysander at Aegos-Potami (B. C. 405), Conon alone of the generals was on his guard.
He escaped with eight ships, and sought an asylum in Cyprus, which was governed by his friend Evagoras. (Xen. Hell. 2.1.20
, &c.; Diod. 13.106
; Corn. Nep. Conon,
1-3.) Here he remained for some years, till the war which the Spartans commenced against the Persians gave him an opportunity of serving his country.
There is some difficulty in reconciling the accounts which we have left of his proceedings.
He appears to have connected himself with Pharnabazus (Corn. Nep. Con.
2), and it was on the recommendation of the latter, according to Diodorus (14.39
) and Justin (6.1
), that he was appointed by the Persian king to the command of the fleet in B. C. 397. From Ctesias (Pers.
63) it would appear, that Conon opened a negotiation with the Persian court while at Salamis, and Ctesias was sent down to him with a letter empowering him to raise a fleet at the expense of the Persian treasury, and to act as admiral under Pharnabazus.
He was first attacked, though without success, by Pharax, the Lacedaemonian admiral, while lying at Caunus, and soon after succeeded in detaching Rhodes from the Spartan alliance. (Diod. 14.79
.) Though he received considerable reinforcements, the want of supplies kept him inactive. (Isocr. Paneg.
He therefore made a journey to the Persian court in 395.
The king granted him all that he wanted, and at his request appointed Pharnabazus as his colleague. (Diod. 14.81
; Isocr. Paneg.
100.39; Corn. Nep. Con.
2-4; Justin, 6.2
.) In B. C. 394, they gained a decisive victory over Pisander, the Spartan admiral, off Cnidus. (Xen. Hell. 4.3.10
, &c.; Diod. 14.83
; Corn. Nep. Con.
4.) Pharnabazus and Conon now cruised about the islands and coasts of the Aegean, expelled the Lacedaemonian harmosts from the maritime towns, and won over the inhabitants by assurances of freedom from foreign garrisons. (Xen. Hell. 4.8
; Diod. 14.84
In the course of the winter, Conon drew contributions from the cities on the Heilespont, and in the spring of 393, in conjunction with Pharnabazus, sailed to the coast of Laconia, made descents on various points, ravaged the vale of the Pamisus, and took possession of Cythera. They then sailed to Corinth, and Pharnabazus having left a subsidy for the states in alliance against Sparta, made preparations for returning home. Conon with his sanction proceeded to Athens, for the purpose of restoring the long walls and the fortifications of Peiraeeus.
He was received with the greatest enthusiasm, and with the aid of his crews great progress was in a short time made towards the restoration of the walls. (Xen. Hell. 4.8.7
, &c.; Diod. 14.84
; Paus. 1.2
; Corn. Nep. Corn.
4; Dem. in Lept.
p. 478; Ath. 1.5
, p. 3.) When the Spartans opened their negotiations with Tiribazus, Conon with some others was sent by the Athenians to counteract the intrigues of Antalcidas, but was thrown into prison by Tiribazus. (Xen. Hell. 4.8.16
; Diod. 14.85
; Corn. Nep. Con.
According to some accounts, he was sent into the interior of Asia, and there put to death. (Isocr. Paneg.
100.4]; Diod. 15.43
; Corn. Nep. l.c.
) But according to the most probable account, he escaped to Cyprus.
He had property in this island, and on his death left behind him a considerable fortune, part of which was bequeathed to different relations and temples, and the remainder to his son Timotheus. (Lys. de Arist. Bon.
p. 638, ed. Reiske ; Corn. Nep. l.c.
) His tomb and that of his son, in the Cerameicus, were to be seen in the time of Pausanias. (1.29.15.)