A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890


1. Of Euboea, son of a woman of Oreus by an obscure father, if we may believe the account of Demosthenes in a speech filled with invective against him. (Dem. c. Aristocr. p. 691.) On the same authority, we learn that he began his military career as a slinger among the light-armed, that he then became commander of a pirate vessel, and finally the captain of a mercenary band of " free companions." (Dem. c. Aristocr. pp. 668, 669.) In this capacity he first entered the Athenian service under Iphicrates, who had been sent against Amphipolis, about B. C. 367. At the end of somewhat more than three years, Amphipolis agreed to surrender to the Athenians and delivered hostages to Iphicrates for the performance of the promise: these, on being superseded by Timotheus, he entrusted to Charidemus, who restored them to the Amphipolitans in spite of the decree of the Athenian people requiring them to be sent to Athens, and then passed over to Cotys, king of Thrace, who was hostile to the Athenians at the time. In B. C. 360, when Timotheus was meditating his attack on Amphipolis, Charidermus was engaged to enter the service of the Olynthians, who were preparing to defend it; but, on his passage from Cardia in the Chersonesus, he was captured by the Athenians, and consented to aid them against Olynthus. After the failure of Timotheus at Amphipolis in the same year, Charidemus crossed over to Asia and entered the service of Memnon and Mentor, brothers-in-law of Artabazus, who had been imprisoned by Autophradates, but whose cause they still maintained. [ARTABAZUS, No. 4.] He deceived his employers, however, and seized the towns of Scepsis, Cebren, and Ilium; but, being closely pressed by Artabazus after his release from prison, he applied to the Athenians to interpose in his behalf, promising to help them in recovering the Chersonesus. Artabazus, however, allowed him to depart uninjured, by the advise of Sielnnon and Melltor,

before the arrival of the Athenian squadron destined for the Hellespont under Cephisodotus; and Charidemus, on his return to Europe, in spite of his promise, lent his services to Cotys, whose daughter he married, and laid siege to Crithote and Elaeus. (Dem. c. Aristocr. pp. 669-674.) On the murder of Cotys, B. C. 358, he adhered to the cause of Cersobleptes, on whose behalf he conducted the struggle with the Athenians, both by war and diplomacy, for the possession of the Chersonesus. He compelled Cephisodotus to submit, with respect to it, to a compromise most unfavorable to his country; and though Athenodorus (uniting with Amadocus and Berisades, and taking advantage of the national indignation excited by the murder of Miltocythes, which Charidemus had procured from the Cardians) obliged Cersobleptes to consent to a threefold division of the kingdom, and to the surrender of the Chersonesus to Athens,--yet, on the arrival of Chabrias with only one ship, the crafty Euboean again renounced the treaty, and drove the Atherian general to accept another still more unfavourable to Athens than that of Cephisodotus. But this was repudiated by the Athenians; and, at length, after much fruitless negotiation, Chares having arrived in the Hellespont with a sufficient force and with the authority of commander autocrator, Charidemus consented to ratify the treaty of Athenodorus, still, however, contriving to retain the town of Cardia; and his partizans among the orators at Athens having persuaded the people that they owed to him the cession of the Chersonesus (a strange delusion, if the narrative of events in Demosthenes may be depended on), they rewarded his supposed services with the franchise of the city and a golden crown. (Dem. c. Aristocr. pp. 650, 674-682; Arist. Rhet. 2.23.17; comp. Isocr. de Pac. p. 169c.) This appears to have been in B. C. 357. In B. C. 352, hoping perhaps to recover Amphipolis through his aid, they passed a decree in spite of the opposition of Demosthenes and his party (c. Aristocr. paisssim), pronouncing the person of Charidemus inviolable, and rendering any one who should kill him amenable to justice from any part of the Athenian empire. [CERSOBLEPTES.] In B. C. 349, after the recall of Chares, Charidemus was appointed by the Athenians as commander in the Olynthian war. In conjunction with the Olynthians, he ravaged Pallene and Bottiaea, which seem to have been then in the hands of Philip; but he caused much offence by his insolent and profligate conduct at Olynthus, and in the ensuing year he was superseded and replaced by Chares. (Philochor. apud Dionys. p. 735; Theopomp. apud Athen. x. p. 436c.) Henceforth he disappears from history, though he has been identified by some with the Charidemus mentioned immediately below, in opposition, we think, to internal evidence. (Mitford's Greece, ch. 48, sec. 1; Thirlwall's Greece, vol. v. p. 192, note 4, vol. vi. p. 101.)