The Classical Quarterly (New Series)


II. The Philaids and the Chersonese

I. The Three Bearers of the Name ‘Miltiades’

N. G. L. Hammonda1

a1 Clifton College, Bristol

The discovery of the inscription with the name of [M]iltiades, which confirmed the statement in Dionysius Halicarnassensis 7. 3. 1 that a Miltiades was archon at Athens in 524/3, prompts a reconsideration of the problems presented by the accounts in Herodotus and in Marcellinus Life of Thucydides concerning the Philaid family. To the question, who is this Miltiades, the following answers have been given. ‘He is not a Philaid.’ The objection to this answer is that the Peisistratids either occupied the archonship themselves or gave it to members of leading families, such as Cleisthenes the Alcmeonid in 525/4; if then this Miltiades was a member of a leading family, he is almost certainly a member of the Philaid family. ‘He is the elder Miltiades who founded the settlement in the Chersonese.’ In Herodotus' account (6. 34–37) Miltiades left Athens, where he was already powerful, at the beginning of a tyranny by Peisistratus; then after several operations in the Chersonese Miltiades was rescued by Croesus. The year in which Miltiades left Athens was either 561/0 or 556/5 and almost certainly the latter; for in 561/0 Croesus was not on the throne. The year 546 may be excluded; for in 546 autumn and winter Croesus had neither the time nor the opportunity to concern himself with Miltiades, since Cyrus was then at war with Lydia and seized Sardis.2 If Miltiades was powerful in 556/5, he was at that date no youngster but at least in his thirties—a man born say c. 590. In 524/3, being well on in his sixties and having spent thirty years and more in the Chersonese (for Herodotus does not suggest that he ever came back to Athens), this Miltiades is unlikely to have been the eponymous archon. We conclude, then, that the archon Miltiades in 524/3 was a different and younger Miltiades. Having cleared the ground on these two points, I turn to the central problem, whether there were two men called Miltiades, one born c. 590 and the other the general who died of a wound soon after 489, or whether there were three men called Miltiades, one of whom was in a generation intermediate between Miltiades born c. 590 and Miltiades dead c. 489. Either solution is chronologically possible.