Who is the Spartan Chilon (Khilon)?June 26, 2021
Chilon of Sparta is the son of Damagetes. Like Cleobulos, his birth and death dates are unknown. He was one of the five ephoros, or five high-ranking rulers elected annually. VI. BC. He made great contributions to the development of Sparta towards the 19th century. Sparta had two kings as representatives of two hostile families, Chilon was an ardent enemy of kings.
He ensured that the Ephoros were given the right to impeach kings. It is said that he wrote an elegy of two hundred lines. According to Diogenes Laertios, Chilon said, “Man is great because he can see the future.” He got weaker in his advanced years. When his son won the fist fight in the Olympic games, his heart could not stand this joy and died. All the participants in the game took this very beloved person to his grave and laid him down. Diogenes Laertios wrote the following poem on this event: “Infinite thanks to Polydeukes, the bearer of light. / Chilon’s son wins a gilded olive branch in a fistfight. / If his father died with joy when he saw his son crowned / The gods did not punish him, I wish I could die a death like this.” (Polydeukes, mentioned in the poem, is known as the son of Zeus and Leda and the brother of Castor. These two heroic sons of Zeus are the gods who are the protectors of sports in Sparta.) The following two lines were written under the statue representing him: “The warrior Sparta Khilon She gave birth to ‘, / The wisest of the Seven Sages.” Diogenes Laertios delivers a letter from Chilon to Periandros: “You are writing to me that you will make an expedition abroad and that you will join the expedition. It seems to me that an absolute ruler is not safe from his own country, and for a tyrant it is bliss to die his beautiful death at home.” In the eyes of his compatriots, Chilon was a hero. His compatriots had built a temple in his name. Let’s take here some of the proverbs we have left over from Chilon:
– Know yourself.
– Be careful not to talk too much while drinking, otherwise you will not be able to stop yourself from making mistakes.
– Don’t threaten free people, that’s not right.
– Don’t taunt anyone, or you’ll hear things you don’t like.
– If you are going to eat and drink with your friends, take it slow, if you are running to the help of others, hurry.
– To call a person happy, wait until he dies.
– Respect your elders.
– Avoid those who are unduly interested in other people’s affairs.
– A loss is worth more than an embarrassing gain; In the first case you get upset once, in the second case all the time.
– Don’t laugh at the poor.
– Manage your house well.
– Do not let your tongue stand out from your reason.
– Restrain your anger.
– Don’t be in a hurry while walking on the road, don’t raise your hand, crazy people do this.
– Obey the law.
– When faced with an injustice, reconcile with those who did it, take revenge if there is an insult.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook