Cleon (/ - /,; Ancient Greek: Κλέων Kleon, Ancient Greek: [kléɔːn]; died 422 BCE) was an Athenian politician and general known for his support of the Peloponnesian War. The historian Thucydides writes that Cleon was a demagogue and that he once ordered the Athenians to massacre an entire city for rebelling against Athens.
Cleon also dragged Aristophanes to court to prosecute him for his play The Babylonians. Aristophanes at the beginning of his next play The Acharnians said he would have revenge on Cleon. Aristophanes also wrote a comedy called The Knights to try and convince the people not to re-elect Cleon and another called The Wasps about Cleon being a populist.
According to Aristotle, Cleon was the first one who would shout down anyone who disagreed with him and accuse any and all opponents of being essentially traitors to ‘the people’ and who did everything he could to convince the people that the only way for them to have power was to let him do what he wanted even if it were against the Constitution.