Online Encyclopedia

EVAGORAS

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 959 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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EVAGORAS, son of Nicocles, king of Salamis in Cyprus 410—374 B.C. He claimed descent from Teucer, half-brother of Ajax, son of Telamon, and his family had long been rulers of Salamis until supplanted by a Phoenician exile. When the usurper was in turn driven out by a Cyprian noble, Evagoras, fearing that his life was in danger, fled to Cilicia. Thence he returned secretly in 410, and with the aid of a small band of adherents regained possession of the throne. According to Isocrates, whose panegyric must however be read with caution, Evagoras was a model ruler, whose aim was to promote the welfare of his state and of his subjects by the cultivation of Greek refinement and civilization, which had been almost obliterated in Salamis by a long period of barbarian rule. He cultivated the friendship of the Athenians, and after the defeat of Conon at Aegospotami he afforded him refuge and hospitality. For a time he also maintained friendly relations with Persia, and secured the aid of Artaxerxes II. for Athens against Sparta. He took part in the battle of Cnidus (394), in which the Spartan fleet was defeated, and for this service his statue was placed by the Athenians side by side with that of Conon in the Ceramicus. But the energy and enterprise of Evagoras soon roused the jealousy of the Great King, and relations between them became strained. From 391 they were virtually at war. Aided by the Athenians and the Egyptian Hakor (Acoris), Evagoras extended his rule over the greater part of Cyprus, crossed over to Asia Minor, took several cities in Phoenicia, and persuaded the Cilicians to revolt. After the peace of Antalcidas (387), to which he refused to agree, the Athenians withdrew their support, since by its terms they recognized the lordship of Persia over Cyprus. For ten years Evagoras carried on hostilities single-handed, except for occasional aid from Egypt. At last he was totally defeated at Citium, and compelled to flee to Salamis. Here, although closely blockaded, he managed to hold his ground, and took advantage of a quarrel between the Persian generals to conclude peace (376). Evagoras was allowed to remain nominally king of Salamis, but in reality a vassal of Persia, to which he was to pay a yearly tribute. The chronology of the last part of his reign is uncertain. In 374 he was assassinated by a eunuch from motives of private revenge. The chief authority for the life of Evagoras is the panegyric of Isocrates addressed to his son Nicocles; see also Diod. Sic. xiv. 115, xv. 2-9; Xenophon, Hellenica, iv. 8; W. Judeich, Kleinasiatische Studien (Marburg, 1892), and art. HELLENISM.
End of Article: EVAGORAS
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