Callistratus of Aphidnae

Callistratus of Aphidnae (Greek: Καλλίστρατος, romanized: Kallistratos; died 350s BC) was an Athenian orator and general in the 4th century BCE.

For many years, as prostates, he supported Spartan interests at Athens, recognizing that Thebes posed a greater threat to Athens. In 371 BC he was one of the crafters of the peace treaty between Athens and Sparta which recognized the hegemony of Athens on the sea and that of Sparta on land. On account of the refusal of the Thebans to surrender Oropus, which on his advice they had been allowed to occupy temporarily, Callistratus, despite his magnificent defence (which, according to a later legend, so impressed Demosthenes that he resolved to study oratory), was condemned to death in 361 BC.[1] He fled to Methone in Macedonia, where he was accommodated by King Perdiccas III who drew on his financial expertise.

Later, he founded the city of Krenides or Daton with a group of colonists from Thasos. After the takeover of the area by Philip II of Macedon, he took refuge in Byzantium. Upon his return to Athens in the 350s he was executed. Following an uncertain suggestion made by Arnold Schaefer in the nineteenth century,[2] a date of death of 355 has often been repeated.[3] However, Isocrates in his On the Peace (24), written near the end of the Social War in 355, seems to know nothing of his return to Athens, and there is no reason why it could not have taken place after the end of the war.[3] On the other hand, Lycurgus' Against Leocrates (93) speaks of Callistratus' death as an event remembered by the older generation but known only by report to the younger generation, so that it cannot be dated after 350.[3]

He was an author of several reforms, notably with the Athenian fiscal administration, and forced the allies of Athens to pay contributions (syntaxeis) for taking part in the war effort.

See Xenophon, Hellenica, iii. 3, vi. 2; and Lycurgus, In Leocr. 93.


  • Pauly-Wissowa, Kallistratos,
  • P. Cloché La politique de l'Athénien Callistrate (391-361 avant J.-C.) (The Politics of the Athenian Callistratus (391 - 361 BCE)), XXV 1923, 5 - 3


  1.  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Callistratus". Encyclopædia Britannica. 5 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 58.
  2. A. Schaefer, Demosthenes und seine Zeit, vol. 1, p. 136: "during the Social War, I think."
  3. Carl Werner Müller, Die Kurzdialoge der Appendix Platonica, Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 1975, p. 103 n. 3
  • "Callistratus". The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed., Columbia University Press, 2012.
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