The World of Christian Cameron

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Phocion (c. 402–c. 318 BC) was born the son of a swordsmith. He became a leading politician and the greatest Athenian soldier of the 4th century.

He was renowned for the simplicity of his living, his fidelity in marriage, his loyalty to his friends and his military expertise. He was a guest-friend to Philip II of Macedon, Alexander’s father, and through him helped to mediate Athens’ bitter enmity to the domination of Macedon, even though he had the remarkable distinction of having defeated the Macedonians on a number of occasions. Phocion was a student of Plato and maintained his friendships from the Academy throughout his life. He worked to mitigate Antipater’s reprisals against Athens after the Second Lamian War and was eventually executed for his loyalty to the Macedonian administration, taking hemlock (like Socrates) on May 19, 318 BC. Phocion, like Leosthenes, was one of the characters from history who shaped Kineas.