Aristeides «The Just» : a Politician Beyond Factions

Surikov Igor E.

The article deals with political activities of Aristeides, son of Lysimachos, who was one of the most prominent statesmen of Early Classical Athens. The narrative tradition steadily characterizes Aristeides as «the Just» (δικαιος); he and only he of all Greek politicians always has such an epithet in the sources. The author tries to demonstrate that, notwithstanding all sharpness of internal political struggle, Aristeides was in a unique position of a «politician beyond factions». His style of political behaviour presupposed a possibility of constructive cooperation with any other leader, but only in cases when, as he thought, such co-operation could be useful for the polis. Aristeides always put common interests of the State above any personal or group interest. It was this very feature that was highly unusual under the conditions of Greek competitive mentality with a strict opposition between «we» and «others». For Aristeides there were no «others» in the native polis; all citizens fell into the category of «we». He practiced that approach from the time of Marathon to the end of his political career, and this kind of impartiality won him admiration of his contemporaries and extremely high reputation in the generations to come.