Timon of Athens (person)

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Timon of Athens
Timon renounces society (1803 engraving for Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, Act IV, Scene 1)
Bornc. 5th Century BC

Timon of Athens ( /ˈtmən/ TY-mən; Ancient Greek : Τίμων ὁ Ἀθηναῖος, romanized: Tímōn ho Athēnaîos, gen.Τίμωνος, Tímōnos) was a citizen of Athens whose reputation for misanthropy grew to legendary status. According to the historian Plutarch, Timon lived during the era of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC). [1]



According to Lucian, Timon was the wealthy son of Echecratides who lavished his money on flattering friends. When his funds ran out, the friends deserted him and Timon was reduced to working in the fields. One day, he found a pot of gold and soon his fair-weather friends were back. This time, he drove them away with dirt clods.

Both Aristophanes and Plato Comicus mention Timon as an angry despiser of mankind, who held Alcibiades in high regard because he correctly believed Alcibiades would someday harm Athens. another source is Parallel Lives by Plutarch in which Plutarch mentioned briefly Timon as the one who represented in Greek writer's works. He says: "Timon was an Athenian, and lived about the time of the Peloponnesian War, as may be gathered from the plays of Aristophanes and Plato. For he is represented in their comedies as peevish and misanthropical; but though he avoided and repelled all intercourse with men . . ." [2]

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  1. Plutarch, The Parallel Lives, Vol. IX, p. 70
  2. Plutarch, The Parallel Lives, Vol. IX, p. 70
  3. M. Tullius Cicero, Laelius de Amicitia, §87