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The New International Encyclopædia/Aristides the Just

AR'ISTI'DES (Gk. Άριστειδης), Aristeidës), called The Just (c.550-467 B.C.). An Athenian statesman. He was the son of Lysimachus, descended from one of the best families in Athens. His birth is to be placed shortly after the middle of the Sixth Century B.C. At the battle of Marathon (B.C. 490) he was one of the ten Athenian generals who held command successively, each for a single day. In the following year he was chief archon. His policy in State politics was opposed to that of the other great statesman of his time, Themistocles, and the rivalry between these two became so pronounced that the Athenians, in order to obtain quiet, finally resorted to the means of ostracism. Aristides received the necessary vote for banishment, and retired to Ægina, Athens's bitter enemy. The date of this ostracism was apparently B.C. 484. The story is told that on the day of voting, an ignorant citizen, personally unknown to the statesman, being asked why he voted against Aristides, answered; "Because he was tired of hearing him always called The Just." Four years later, when Xerxes invaded Greece, a general amnesty for all exiles was declared by Athens, and in consequence thereof Aristides joined the Athenian fleet at Salamis and took a prominent part in the battle that followed. Being thus restored to favor, he was appointed commander of the Athenian troops that fought at Platæa, in B.C. 479. In B.C. 477 he was joint commander with Cimon of the Athenian contingent in the combined Greek fleet which was engaged in driving the Persians from the Greek cities on the coast of the Ægean Sea. After the fall of Pausanias, he took the chief part in organizing the Delian League. It is said that after the battle of Platæa he carried through a law opening the archonship to the whole body of Athenian citizens. He died poor, in B.C. 467, leaving a son and two daughters. His body was carried to Athens and buried at Phalerum, at the cost of the State.