He died while besieging Citium, of sickness, as most say.1
But some say it was of a wound which he got while fighting the Barbarians. As he was dying he bade those about him to sail away at once and to conceal his death. And so it came to pass that neither the enemy nor the allies understood what had happened, and the force was brought back in safety
‘under the command of Cimon,’ as Phanodemus says,
‘who had been dead for thirty days.’
After his death no further brilliant exploit against the Barbarians was performed by any general of the Hellenes, who were swayed by demagogues and partisans of civil war, with none to hold a mediating hand between them, till they actually clashed together in war. This afforded the cause of the King a respite, but brought to pass an indescribable destruction of Hellenic power.
It was not until long afterwards2
that Agesilaus carried his arms into Asia and prosecuted a brief war against the King's generals along the sea-coast. And even he could perform no great and brilliant deeds, but was over- whelmed in his turn by a flood of Hellenic disorders and seditions and swept away from a second empire.
So he withdrew, leaving in the midst of allied and friendly cities the tax-gatherers of the Persians, not one of whose scribes, nay, nor so much as a horse, had been seen within four hundred furlongs of the sea, as long as Cimon was general.
That his remains were brought home to Attica, there is testimony in the funeral monuments to this day called Cimonian. But the people of Citium also pay honors to a certain tomb of Cimon, as Nausicrates the rhetorician says, because in a time of pestilence and famine the god enjoined upon them not to neglect Cimon, but to revere and honor him as a superior being. Such was the Greek leader.