23 Facts About Nicias


Nicias was an Athenian politician and general during the period of the Peloponnesian War.


Nicias was a member of the Athenian aristocracy and had inherited a large fortune from his father, which was invested in the silver mines around Attica's Mt.


Nicias was a moderate in his political views and opposed the aggressive imperialism of the democrats.


Nicias was regularly elected to serve as strategos for Athens during the Peloponnesian War.


Nicias led his forces in a desperate attempt to escape by land.


Nicias inherited from his father, Niceratus, a considerable fortune, which was invested mainly in the silver mines of Laurium.


Plutarch states that Nicias was exceedingly generous with his wealth, using his money for charitable activities in Athens and funding many religious festivals.


Nicias' rise to prominence occurred while Pericles was at the head of the Athenian government.


Nicias lacked the eloquence or charm to win popularity among Athenians, according to the later historian Plutarch.


Nicias funded and organized choruses for Athenian dramas, sporting events, public exhibitions, and new or restored statues and temples.


Nicias funded the building of a bridge of boats between Delos and the Rhenean islands.


Nicias then provided a 10,000 drachma fund to the Delians so they would continue this event into the future, praying on his behalf.


Nicias avoided engaging in any important military enterprise during his time as commander.


The Athenian general, Laches, with the support of Nicias, successfully moved in the Athenian Assembly in 423 BC for an armistice with Sparta to check the progress of Sparta's most effective general, Brasidas.


The essence of the Peace of Nicias was a return to the pre-war situation: most wartime gains were to be returned.


Nicias's first move was convincing Argos to form an alliance.


Nicias urged them to renounce their diplomatic authority to represent Sparta, and instead allow him to assist them through his influence in Athenian politics.


Nicias took advantage of his increasing power to orchestrate the creation of an alliance between Argos, Mantinea, Elis, and other states in the Peloponnese, threatening Sparta's dominance in the region.


Nicias attacked the character and motives of Alcibiades, who was a strong supporter of the expedition.


Against his wishes Nicias was appointed General along with Alcibiades and Lamachus, all three of whom were given full powers to do whatever was in the best interests of Athens while in Sicily.


Nicias soon began offering advice to the Spartans on how the situation in Syracuse could be made to benefit them at Athens' expense.


Athens responded to appeals from Nicias by sending out in 414 BC 73 vessels and 5,000 soldiers to Sicily under the command of Athenian generals, Demosthenes and Eurymedon, to assist Nicias and his forces with the siege of Syracuse.


Nicias was captured as well, and both were executed by allied forces despite Gylippus' orders to the contrary.