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Fame, Money, and Power

Fame, Money, and Power
B. M. Lavelle
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Lavelle, Brian M., +,+
Fame, money, and power : the rise of Peisistratos and democratic tyranny at Athens /
B. M. Lavelle.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN o-;:-++:-; (cloth : alk. paper)
+. Pisistratus, oo?: or ; B.C. :. Athens (Greece)HistoryAge of Tyrants,
oo+o B.C. . DictatorsGreeceAthensBiography. I. Title.
DF::.PL :oo
ISBN13 978-0-472-11424-5 (cloth)
ISBN13 978-0-472-02581-7 (electronic)
This book is dedicated to my mother and my father
who gave of themselves, all that they had,
and who taught their children that
a life not led for others is no life at all.
Te amo, te amo.
This book is the result of several years study of Peisistratid tyranny at
Athens. It was prompted not by an interest in tyranny as much as by a de-
sire to know more about the genesis of Athenian democracy. In a short
time, it became clear that fth-century controversies about the tyranny
had warped the history of the period, distorting its record by revision,
apology, or silence.Thucydides denes the problem to some extent in his
account of the murder of Hipparchos, the son of the tyrant Peisistratos
(o.,). Popular memory and accounts of the murder and what it
brought about were at variance with what Thucydides believed and pur-
ported to be the facts about it. Differences and distortions are generally
detectable in relation to the historyof the tyranny, and it is clear that the
Athenians who remembered or told themselves or others what they did
about it were not above altering facts to obtain apparently desired results.
The record was further affected by the passage of time under these con-
ditions. Source criticism must be the bedrock for establishing what might
be reliable in the record and so the history of the period. A preliminary
work, The Sorrow and the Pity: A Prolegomenon to a History of Athens under
the Peisistratids (+,,) took up the problem of sources for the tyranny.
The tyrant Peisistratos did not operate or become tyrant in a political
vacuum. Athens was functioning at least semidemocratically as early as
Solons time, and Peisistratos inherited conditions that he could neither
end nor alter fundamentally. The Athenian de

mos (the people) was a

partner in his tyranny, as what little there is of a reliable historical record
attests. Peisistratos and his successors adapted to these circumstances, as
they and their contemporary competitors had to do.They must court the

mos to keep it.This was a lesson that Kleisthenes, the author of Athe-
nian democracy but also a high ocial under the tyrants, had learned well
by the end of the sixth century B.C.E. His formulation of Athens democ-
racy was surely inuenced by these conditions.
In fact, the patterns of political behavior of outstanding early demo-
cratic politicians of Athens are not dissimilar to Peisistratos. Military lead-
ership and success led rst to credibility and then to popularity; wealth
gained thereby or to be gotten was passed on in some form to the de

enrichment, in turn, sustained popularity and so political power. This
symbiotic systemseems to have been in place by Solons time; it appears
to have become entrenched by the early fth century.Democracy, in a
form recognizable in the early fth century B.C.E., was present and work-
ing in Athens before and during the time of the regimes of Peisistratos
and his sons.There was in fact no day/nightbreak between tyranny and
democracy at the time of Kleisthenesreforms.
This book is the result of a study of the rise of Peisistratos amid these
conditions. It is a compilation of material about Peisistratos to Palle


arranged in chronological fashion, as well as an analysis of the political

conditions at Athens at the time (and later) and how Peisistratos t into
them. It seeks to set the facts as much as possible with a view toward the
limitations of the sources for doing so. I have therefore supplemented
what little remains about the tyranny and the period by introducing con-
text, both immediate and extended, and the possibilities that context en-
ables. In view of the dearth of evidence about this crucial period in
Athens development, such supplementation is really the only creditable
means by which to extend information about it and so to better under-
stand not only the rise of the tyrant but also democratic tyranny, the

mos relation to it, and so the democracy of Athens.

viii r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
This book and its author owe much to many ne people. First of all I
thank Dr. John Camp and Dr. Steven Diamant for their generous help at
a very early stage of things and Ms. Margaret Beck for very kindly shar-
ing with me her excellent, still unpublished study of the topography of
Brauron/Philadai. Use of that impressive study was invaluable.
Thanks, too, to Dr. Z. Bonias and Dr. D. Malamidou for their help and
Dr. C. Koukouli-Chrysanthaki for the gift of an article offprint concern-
ing the mines of Mt. Pangaion. I owe a substantial debt of gratitude to Dr.
Andronike Makres for supplying information relating to the site of
Dikaia. I am very grateful, too, to Dr. Pedro Barcel, Dr. Carmine Cate-
nacci, Dr. Greg Anderson, and Dr. Sarah Forsdyke for kindly sharing their
work with me; and to Sarah again for a timely and most helpful loan of
an important work bearing on topics considered here that was not avail-
able to me.
Thanks also to Christopher Collins, Sarah Mann, and Mary Hashman
of the University of Michigan Press, who were always kind, patient, gen-
erous, cheerful, and extremely helpful during the process leading to the
books publication. May all their own endeavors be as trouble free as they
helped to make this one for me.The referees for this book offered many
helpful suggestions and sound guidance for revising the original manu-
script, and I thank them, too.
Several agathoi philoi have encouraged me in this work and offered in-
valuable help all along the way. The pioneering work of Frank Frost on
the subject of Peisistratid tyranny has illuminated many dark halls in the
historical tradition about the tyrants. His researches and publications have
been indispensable. I thank him, too, for sharing some of his unpublished
work with me. Kurt Raaaub offered benecial guidance at an early stage
of the work, and I am very grateful for this and, in particular, his com-
ments on a portion of what has become this book. One of the boni, Larry
Tritle, provided encouragement for the work and very helpful comments
on a part of this book. A. J. Podlecki was a constant source of inspiration
and encouragement, rst embarking me on the study of Athenian tyrants
and then sustaining my efforts with good counsel and advice. Good
friends and outstanding scholars. I thank them all. As usual, all errors that
remain in this work are entirely my own.
Finally, I offer sincerest thanks to those who helped me through some
pretty rough patches over the past several years. Catherine Mardikes is a
redoubtable friend: she has lent her assistance to many aspects of the proj-
ect.Thanks, Cathy.Annice Kelly, a person of understanding, bestowed on
me the benet of her wit and practical wisdom through many of the
later stages of the project, and I am most grateful to her.
Roseann Kerby, Bernadette Lynch, and Bill Lavelle and their spouses
have all offered timely, practical, intellectual, loving, and, for that matter,
every other kind of support for their brother. I stand in awe of their char-
itable capacities and will remain deeply and eternally grateful to them.
Last, my children,Trevor, Leah, Kieran, and Sean, have enabled this work:
without their presence, their love, their patience and enthusiasm, and their
unstinting kindness and understanding, it would not have come into be-
ing.This work is also theirs. I couldnt love them more than I do.
x :ckxoviritxrx+s
I. Introduction +
+. Foreword +
:. Sources ,
. Method +
. Democratic Tyranny +
II. The Path to Fame
The Early Life and Career of Peisistratos +;
+. Introduction +;
:. Pylians and Neleidai +
A. Testimony and Introduction +
B. Mycenaeans in Eastern Attika +,
C. Political Advantages of the Neleid Myths :
D. Conclusions :;
. Family Background and Incipient Ambition :,
. Peisistratos and the Megarian War o
A. Background to the Peisistratan Phase of the War o
+. The Stakes and Course of the War to the Late
Seventh Century i.c.r. o
:. The Kylonian Episode, Its Results, and Their Significance
for the Megarian War o
. Solon and Salamis
B. Peisistratos War Leadership o
C. Megala Erga (Great Deeds) ,
xii cox+rx+s
D. Nisaia :
+. The Testimonies of Aineias Taktikos and Others :
:. Toward a Reconstruction from Context o
E. Manipulation of Myth and the Megarian War oo
F. Summary o
III. Money, Persuasion, and Alliance
The Early Tyrannies of Peisistratos oo
+. Introduction oo
:. Peisistratos First Tyranny o;
A. Herodotos and the Parties of Attika o;
+. Introduction o;
:. The Solonian Factions ;
. Solonian Context/Herodotean Conformance ;o
. Appearances and Realities in Herodotos ;
. The Herodotean Context for the Parties :
o. The Parties and the Deception of the De

mos: Spliced
Strands of Explanation for the First Tyranny
;. The Herodotean Re-creation of Megakles Role
in the Events ;
B. Reconstruction of Events Leading to Peisistratos First Tyranny ,
C. Peisistratos First Tyranny: Its Nature and Functioning ,o
+. The Early Partnership with Megakles ,o
:. The Akropolis and the Club-Bearers (korune

phoroi ) ,:
. Peisistratos Governance and the End of the First Entente
with Megakles ,o
. Peisistratos Second Tyranny ,
A. Introduction ,
B. Peisistratos and Athena:The Significance of the
Phye Pageant ,,
C. Peisistratos and Megakles Daughter: A Fathers
Righteous Indignation +o;
D. Summary ++:
+. Herodotos and Megakles ++:
:. Peisistratos Second Tyranny ++
IV. The Tide of Wealth and Power
Peisistratos Exile, Return, and Rooting of the Tyranny ++o
+. The Thracian Sojourn ++o
A. Introduction:The Strategy for Return ++o
B. Rhaike

los ++,
+. Location of the Peisistratid Settlement ++,
:. The Settlements Nature and Functions +:o
. Peisistratos Role in the Thermaic Gulf: Oikiste

s, Condottiere,
or Strate

gos? +:+
. Peisistratos Company at Rhaike

los +:
. Summary +:
C. The Strymon Enterprise +:o
+. Introduction: Lures and Deterrents of the Regions
around Pangaion +:o
:. Location of the Peisistratid Settlement +:;
. Peisistratos and the Mines of Pangaion +:,
. The Nature and Purpose of the Peisistradid Settlement on
the Strymon:The Examples of Histiaios and Aristagoras ++
. Summary +
:. The Palle


Campaign +
A. Preliminaries: Eretria +
+. Koisyra and the Eretrian Hippeis +
:. Lygdamis and Deeds before Palle


B. Resources +,
+. The Catalogue of Allies +,
:. Peisistratos Chre

mata and Its Uses +:

C. The Battle +
+. Tactics Implied by Herodotos Account +
:. Palle


in Fifth-Century Context: Problems at Source +o

. Toward Reconstruction +,
D. Aftermath +o
+. The End of the Campaign +o
:. Exiles and Hostages? ++
. Summary +
V. Summary +
+. The Three Reins of the DemocraticTyrant +
A. Fame and Popularity +
B. Chre

mata and Persuasion +;

C. Power Begetting Power +oo
:. Reflections of the Sixth-Century Democratic
Prototype in Democratic Athens +o:
Contents xiii
A. The Formula for Leadership +o:
B. Patterns of Tyrannical Behavior among Early
Democratic Athenian Leaders +o
A. The Site of the Attic Deme Philadai +;+
B. The Environment of Eastern Attika in the
Sixth Century B.C.E. +o
C. Prosopography +,+
D. Peisistratos Chronology :+o
E. The Origins of the Herodotean Parties :+,
F. The Site of Rhaike

los :::
G. Peisistratos and the Purication of Delos
Actions and Intentions ::
H. Sophokles and Herodotos on the Foundations of Tyranny
Oedipous Tyrannos :+
Notes :;
Illustrations following page +o
xiv cox+rx+s
+. rorrvori
Peisistratos, the son of Hippokrates, and his sons dominated affairs at
Athens from o to +o i.c.r., a period that was obviously a crucial one
in Athens development.Yet we know almost nothing about these impor-
tant years. Most of what we have about the Peisistratids clusters at the be-
ginning of Peisistratos tyrannies and at the end of Hippias rule.This could
be taken to indicate that the establishment and dissolution of the tyranny
were the most distinguishing and memorable events associated with it,
that things might have gone pretty dim in between or otherwise did not
bear recollection in the aftermath of the tyranny.At all events, the period
of Peisistratid tyranny is one of the most opaque in Athens history not
only because of a lack of hard information about it but also because much
of what little does survive is problematic.
The implications of the meager evidence about the tyranny are in fact
belied by Athens achievements even immediately after the regimes de-
mise and by the relatively rich material record of the tyranny itself,
particularly that to be found in its architectural, sculptural, and pottery re-
These indicate continuous, impressive progress in art and artistic
technology through the period, an increasing sophistication in culture
among the Athenians more generally, and, it must follow, a prospering
From well before the tyrannys establishment to long after its
demise, Athens art and culture continued to evolve toward their classi-
cal forms of the fth century.This evolution was in fact not only unim-
peded by the tyranny but actually stimulated by it and the widening pros-
perity over which the tyrants presided. (There is in fact some corrobora-
tion for this stimulation in the written record, as we shall presently see.)
The range of dedications on the Athenian akropolis datable to the later stages
of the tyranny, made apparently by citizens (astoi) spanning the spectrum
of social and economic statuses; grand festivals common to all, established
even before Peisistratos; and, within them, poetic performances available
to the Athenians en masse all imply that many rather than few were par-
ticipant in the citys growing cultural life during the time of the tyrants.
The rened aesthetic sensibilities of the Athenians, which in the fth cen-
tury were realized in a number of remarkable forms, had clearly evolved
through the later sixth century and were actually quite well developed by
the tyrannys end.
This burgeoning of Athenian culture accords with what little we know,
especially about the later Peisistratids as notable patrons of architecture
and literature.
The scope of Peisistratid era wealth and its employment
by the younger tyrants for the production of art may be gauged to some
extent by the number and size of public and artistic works undertaken
during the period, most notably the temple of Olympian Zeus, and by
their retention at Athens of the foremost Greek poets of the age.
to the contrary of what the near silence of the historical record between
the beginning and end of the tyranny implies, the Peisistratids were quite
at the forefront of Athens cultural progress and, on the evidence, had
much to do with laying the foundations for that which we call Classi-
So the material remains, but the tyrants must also have gured some-
how in the genesis of Athens democracy, that greatest of Athenian insti-
tutions of the Classical period. The Peisistratid regime and its politics
functioned without apparent disruption for more than three decades, en-
during until just a few years before Kleisthenes promulgated his reforms
in o; i.c.r. Political participation involving the de

mos, attested as early

as the seventh century i.c.r. at Athens, continued through the period of
the tyranny, as elections to public oces, howsoever they may have been
rigged, occurred regularly and apparently without fundamental
Herodotos and Thucydides agree that the Athenian laws and the
political processes that existed before the tyranny were adhered to dur-
ing its time. Thucydides says in fact that the Peisistratids observed the
laws that had been established before the tyranny(o..o), and Herodotos
says that Peisistratos ruled having upset none of the existing oces or
changed any of the laws (+.,.o).
: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
In fact, the Peisistratids seem to have presided over what might be
called a protodemocracy.Solons poems prove that political assemblies,
oratory persuasive of the de

mos, and campaigns for leadership occurred

in his day and imply that elections occurred; Herodotos indicates very
clearly that Peisistratos was essentially voted into his rst tyranny by the
assembled Athenians.
Political participation by the de

mos was thus by

no means a new thing when Kleisthenes introduced his reformist pro-
gram near the end of the sixth century i.c.r.
The Alkmeonid had him-
self been a very high-ranking cooperative of the Peisistratids, attaining
the archonship conspicuously just after Hippias in :: i.c.r., and it
is in any case impossible to imagine that his earlier political experiences
during the tyranny did not in some way inform his political thinking.
It is a question indeed whether Kleisthenes did more to formulate the
Athenian democracy than he did to formalize what had evolved
through the period of tyranny.
In fact, Herodotos says that Kleisthenes
changed things the way he did in emulation of his grandfather, the tyrant
of Sikyon: he was thus perceived by Herodotos as being rather a far cry
from an ideological democrat.
Like the reformerhimself, many of the most signicant statesmen of
early democratic Athens were aliates of or collaborators with the tyrants
during their regime.The most prominent of the ane-politicians of the
early democracy was Hipparchos, the son of Charmos, namesake of
Peisistratos son, and archon for ,o, i.c.r. Hipparchos is described by
the author of the Ath.Pol. (A.P.) as leader of a tyrannist faction that not
only weathered the fall of the tyranny but even prospered at Athens in
spite of it.
Ostracized in ;, Hipparchos was followed into exile the
next year by another syngene

s (kinsman) of Peisistratos, the Alkmeonid

Megakles, the son of Hippokrates and nephew of Kleisthenes. The
Alkmeonidai must have served the tyrants well for Kleisthenes to have at-
tained the archonship; actually, members of the genos (clan, family) seem
to have become relations by marriage to the Peisistratids during the
tyrannys heyday.The Alkmeonidai apparently managed to turn coat just
at the right moment, surviving implication with Hippias at the end of the
tyranny and so any cleansing that followed it. Unlike Kleisthenes, who
disappears pretty rapidly from the picture after introducing his demo-
cratic program, other Alkmeonids managed successfully to ride out the
political turbulence at Athens until just after Marathon, when, unfortu-
nately for some, accounts for association with the Peisistratids, past and
present, came due. Three of Peisistratos kin, two of them Alkmeonidai
and one of these Megakles, obviously all of political signicance, were os-
tracized in consecutive years beginning with the son of Charmos.
Of greater political prominence, though no apparent kin to the Peisis-
tratids, was Miltiades, the son of Kimon koalemos (vacant) who and whose
forebears acted in the signicant role of agents for the tyrants in the Thra-
cian Chersone

se. In fact, they had been tyrants there themselves.

It is
worth noting that Miltiades failure at Paros, not his former association
with the Peisistratids or his status as tyrant in the Chersone

se, accounted
for his political free fall after Marathon.
These were, of course, the notable friendsand relations of the tyrants
whose political lives prospered until the aftermath of the rst Persian in-
vasion of Attika.There were certainly other, lower-prole, and so presum-
ably lower-level, politicians who had been archontes (elected ocials) or
functionaries of the tyrants (e.g., Harpaktides, Skamandrios, etc.) but who
also seem to have remained in Athens after the tyrannys demise.
As it
happens, many of the politically successful gene

of Athens for some period

after +o i.c.r., and obviously the majority of the Council of the Areopa-
gos before Marathon, were associated with the government of the tyrants
in some way or other.
Presumably, following the lead of Miltiades and
the other notable politicians, these tyrannist apparatchiks prudently and
publicly proclaimed for the democracy no later than at the approach of
the Persians and their Peisistratid allies to Attika just before ,o i.c.r.
Astute political trimmersthe Athenian term was kothurnoithese ap-
parently made the transition relatively easily from tyranny to democracy.
Most of them also survived the post-Marathon ostracisms.
How much did Athenian politics actually change after Kleisthenes?
Obviously, the Peisistratid xwas no longer in, but some leading politi-
cians of the early democracy comported themselves in ways that re-
minded even the Athenians themselves of the tyrants and prompted them
to enact curbs for such imitations.
Precisely how democraticthe Pei-
sistratid regime was we cannot say, but the tyranny was certainly based on
the consent of the governed. However, whatever lasting marks were left
by the tyranny upon the democracy were dimmed or otherwise obscured
either purposefully or inadvertently in memory and then record. Conse-
quently, references to the tyranny and its achievements were most times
oblique if reference was made at all; there was in fact no explicit histori-
cal connection between institutions of the tyranny and the early democ-
racy for good reasons, as we shall see.There are, however, substantial in-
r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
dications that the political game established well before Peisistratos, but
rened by him, was essentially the same game for democratic politicians.
The Athenians of the early fth century denied connections with the
Peisistratids, and that denial, made in one form or another, profoundly af-
fected what was recalled about the tyranny and the Athenians relation-
ship to it.The record of the tyranny presents real problems for historians
not only because it is mostly mute in respect of the tyrannys cultural en-
dowments, its political legacies, and the details of its routine activities but
also because it is inconsistent and contradictory. On the one hand, on the
face of what little we have, the tyrant regime was, as Greek tyrannies typi-
cally were, at odds with those it governed, its subjects both disarmed and
disenfranchised and the tyranny generally pernicious. At the outset of his
digression on Athens, for example, Herodotos says that Attika was riven
and torn apart by Peisistratos, implying that the tyrant was of the violent
type and the tyranny itself lawless.
Of course, the image of the bad
tyrant is stock in ancient Greek literature.
Herodotos characterization of
Peisistratid tyranny agrees with Otanes generalizing description of the
vicissitudes of normal (Greek) tyranny in the famous, ctional Persian
Debate on Government(.o.): under tyrants, laws are suspended, con-
victions come about without due process, and women and boys are sexu-
ally abused.
In short, cities are torn apart by tyranny. Prima facie, then,
the tyranny of the Peisistratids was no different: a repressive monarchy es-
tablished and maintained by overbearing force.
Herodotos echoes the
ocial fth-century Athenian polarity of tyrants and tyrannized at Athens
by implying that,after Palle


,the latter exchanged freedom for tyranny.

Yet, even in Herodotos things are not at all so clear-cut.The historian
contradicts his own negative pronouncement on the tyranny when he
says in the same account of Peisistratos rise that Peisistratos ruled well
and fairly (+.,.).
Peisistratos is thus unmade as the typical evil tyrant
and becomes instead an untyrannical tyrant,rather more along the lines
of Tynnondas of Chalkis and Pittakos of Mityle


. As we shall see,
Herodotos actually supplies the most substantial evidence for believing
the opposite of the typical in the case of Peisistratos: his tyranny was pop-
ular; the Athenian de

mos did consent to it, at least initially; and so the

polarity of tyranny and de

mos did not obtain during that period of

the sixth century.
In fact, both Thucydides and Herodotos imply that
the Athenians continued to consent to the tyranny nearly to its end.The
popularity of the tyranny actually makes sense, especially when the little
we have about it is put into the context of other historical evidence for
periods before and after it.
For his part,Thucydides undermines the image of badtyranny by as-
serting that the Peisistratids were generally just and reasonable.
In fact,
the historian asserts that the Peisistratids beautied the city, fought wars
through, and made the sacrices in the temples(o..), that is, that they
ruled Athens pretty well.
In this characterization, which goes well be-
yond Herodotos statement, the tyrants, including Peisistratos, appear to
be benefactors of the city, patriots, and righteous governors of the people,
in short, good rulers and models in fact for what good leaders anywhere
in Greece should be.Yet the characterization is confounded by Thucy-
dides further description of Hipparchos as a textbook tyrant who at-
tempted to suborn Harmodios, arrogantly, sexually, and publicly, and who,
failing in that, went on to insult his sister by impugning her chastity.
Later authors, most prominently the author of the Ath.Pol., contrive to
compose or explain these earlier conicting accounts of Peisistratid
tyranny, with obviously imperfect results.
The contradictoriness in sources for the tyranny did not come about
because of confusion about historical facts but rather because of attempts
by the Athenians themselves to come to terms with a past about which
they seem to have felt ambivalently. On the one hand, undoubtedly due
to the real or the imputed treachery of the surviving Peisistratids dur-
ing the Persian wars, the tyrants and the tyranny were ocially reviled
through the fth century.This ocial execration is revealed above all in
the cult of the tyrant slayers, whom the Athenians made heroes, patriots,
and freedom ghters for killing Hipparchos, the son of Peisistratos. Con-
comitantly, the Peisistratids were ocially proscribed, bounties were
placed on the heads of those that survived, and condemnation (damnatio)
apparently was decreed for both the living and the dead. Negative views
about Peisistratid tyranny that surface later in literary sources were in-
uenced by the anger of the Athenians for the collaboration of the Peisis-
tratids with the Persians if they were not actually engendered in such an
environment.They are in any case quite in accord with the execration of
the tyrants, which hardened after the Persian wars into an essential aspect
of popular fth-century Athenian democratic ideology.
From such a
standpoint, for some Athenians reecting on the Peisistratid past, unremit-
ting force and compulsion could alone account for the tyrants dominance
in an Athens that never wanted them. Of course, popular ideology, which
need owe history very little, could not only countenance but encourage
o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
such revisionism.Thus, for some, the tyrant period was either bad (when
it began), nothing to speak of or recall (during the intervening years), or
something to celebrate because it was ended.After all, those most famous
symbols of Athens early democracy, Harmodios and Aristogeiton, owed
their place to their assassination of Hipparchos and the popular belief that
they had ended the tyranny.
Positive views of the tyranny might seem inexplicable in view of such a
prevailing, popular attitude, but these exist.They may even have been en-
couraged because they helped to rationalize and so ease the discomfort of
the painful memories of the establishment of the tyranny and its embar-
rassing longevity.Things were quiet, the rationale would run, nothing was
upset really, and the city was well governed after all.As it happened, Peisis-
tratos was a special person, a war hero, very smart, and above all divinely fa-
vored. He was a product of forces beyond the Athenians powers to resist
him: what could they do? This is myth of course, yet we see from the ac-
counts that the Athenianshistoryof the tyranny could include topoi, tall
tales, and even outright lies. Leave to revise in this way, howsoever it was
generated, could account for the contradictions of such as Herodotos
sources, who supplied him with the conicting information he passes on.
Notwithstanding such rationalizations, there survives even what ap-
pears to be genuine appreciation of the tyrant regime that contradicted
the ocial attitude of execration outright. This is perhaps clearest in
Thucydides account of the death of Hipparchos (o.,), wherein the
historian seems to praise the tyrants and criticize the Athenians. It is very
possible that some of the positive estimations of the tyranny came about
either to scold the de

mos for allowing the tyranny or because there were

some at Athens who, contemporaries of Thucydides, were actually nos-
talgic for the tyranny.
Alkibiades the Younger, for example, proclaimed
his blood connection to the Peisistratids rather proudly before the Athe-
Yet such positive views of the Peisistratids must have been mostly
privately held, especially during the fth century, since these were directly
at variance with the ocial, public, and popular line on tyranny.
Because of the strata of recollection and varying attitudesthe ocial
execration of the tyrants seems to have been more and less vehement and
then more so again over the course of the fth century
sources for
the tyranny were inherited and so provide us with rather a mixed bag of
evidenceabout the Peisistratids.
That consists of, among other things,
apologies to, revisions of, and spins upon the facts that are delimited
sometimes only by the revisions themselves. Of course, silence as a con-
Introduction ;
tradiction to the history of the tyranny also gures in the tradition about
the Peisistratids. (I return to this in chapter III.)
The thinness of the record, its silence or contradictoriness, and, addi-
tionally, the unusual, patently nonhistorical nature of a good deal of what
remains conspire to hamper historical reconstructions of this crucial
period. Substantial gaps in information even concerning events at the
beginning and end of the tyranny add to the problems.
What limited
attempts have been made to reconstruct the history of the tyranny have
relied, for the most part, upon acceptance and restatement of the sources
testimonies; these have been made largely uncritically.
The results have
been predictably unsatisfactory since these, like the sources, owe little to
logic, reason, reality, or historicity but much to predilection, fancy, or even
blatant falsehood. In essence, until recently, popular Athenian history
has merely been restated.
Adding to all these problems has been a certain tendency by modern
scholars to construe ancient tyrannies in the context of more recent and
familiar ones.The apparent goad for this has been the political dichotomy
that the Athenians of the fth century ocially observed and that
Herodotos echoes in his work to some extent.
In assuming that the
polarity of de


mokratia and tyranny actually obtained for the period

of the Peisistratid regime, scholars have simply followed the lead of the
Athenians and their ocial view of tyranny and its anachronism into
the sixth century.
Thus, though the historical text of Peisistratid
tyranny has been mostly constructed upon Athenian bias toward or reac-
tion to it, its subtext has been informed to some degree by modern biases
encouraged by ancient ones.
The results are the same in any case. Such reconstructions are enfee-
bled by the adulteration of the obviously nonhistorical elements in the
Athenian tradition. As a thread connected to fth-century Athenian
democracy,tyranny treated in Greek sources seems to give us far more
substantive information about the Athenians democratic ideology then
than it does about the Peisistratid era of the sixth century.Their primary
political preoccupations, their political fears and aspirations, their self-
perceptions, and even the mirrorsthey most sought to avoid in the fth
century are far more illumined by this thread than is the tyranny.
Notwithstanding such problems, it is the purpose of this book to re-
construct, as much as possible, the history of the early tyrannies of Pei-
sistratos at Athens, adopting a source-critical approach to this dicult
evidence. It is thus comprised of a series of studies, presented in a roughly
r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
chronological arrangement so as to arrive at the most comprehensive and
continuous narrative possible, proceeding from critical appraisal of that
evidence. As this is a history, and so must depend for the most part on
the written sources, ancillary topics such as the art, religion, and other
cultural aspects of the period will be introduced only as they pertain to
analysis of the written evidence and, in this volume, to location of reli-
able facts about the earliest phases of Peisistratid tyranny at Athens in
those sources.
:. sourcrs
Herodotos must be the basis for any attempt to reconstruct the early
tyranny at Athens; his sources for the rise and nal establishment of Pei-
sistratos tyranny had to have been the Athenians of the midfth century
Part Karian, part Greek, Herodotos was born in Halikarnassos in
Greek-speaking Karia a little before the Persian invasion of Greece; he
was in exile apparently sometime before i.c.r.
He appears to have
traveled a great deal but at length arrived at Athens where he is said to
have recited portions of his work for which he received handsome pay
from the Athenians.
Scholars have noticed a pronounced Athenian bias
in his work, and the readings he chose for them were likely intended to
please them, if not to atter them outright. Inasmuch as Herodotos be-
came one of the leaders of Athens new colony at Thourioi in southern
Italy in i.c.r., he would have made some quite important friends in
rather high places.
There is evidence for just that.
Herodotos was reputed to have been a friend of the tragedian Sopho-
kles, and it was perhaps through him that he became part of the circle of
Perikles, the apparent architect of the colony to Thourioi.
The latest ref-
erence in Herodotos Histories is datable to o i.c.r., so that all of the in-
formation he got about the Peisistratids had to have been obtained some
time before then or about a century and a half after the events involving
the earlier tyranny.
Megakles, an Alkmeonid, plays quite a prominent
role in Herodotos account of Peisistratos rise, and it is thus likely that
Herodotos relied on Alkmeonid sources.
It is actually quite on the cards
that Perikles, an Alkmeonid, was Herodotos specic source for Peisistratos
rise to the tyranny. It is likely, too, that because of this, Herodotos passes
on much of the Alkmeonid party lineon the historythat is to say, their
historyof the early tyranny.
Perhaps his favorable inclinations toward
the Alkmeonids in his work helped to earn him a place at Thourioi.
Introduction ,
+o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
Herodotos treats the rise of Peisistratos as part of his account of Kroisos
fall.The end of the Lydian empire brought the Persians to the shores of
the Aegean and led to the great conict of the early fth century i.c.r.
on the Greek mainland.The logos that relates events from before Peisis-
tratos birth to Palle


and the rootingof the tyranny (+.,o) explains

why the Athenians did not assist Kroisos when he cast about for Greek
allies before invading the land across the Halys River; it is balanced by an
excursus explaining the Spartan failure to support the Lydians in the eld.
Herodotos account contains a basic set of plausible facts, but many of
its details are very questionable. In its essentials, the account amounts to
quite limited descriptions of three attempts by Peisistratos to establish a
tyranny, the last of which is successful and roots the regime for over
three decades. The factualness of the account is obscured and much is
called into question because it is replete with extraordinary occurrences,
from the prodigy of Hippokrates pot boiling over without re beneath
it to the pageant of Phye-as-Athena leading Peisistratos back into Athens
and the prophecy of Amphilytos, who foretells the outcome of the battle
of Palle


.The overriding messageof these occurrences and of the logos

itself is that Peisistratos rule as tyrant was inevitable; that inevitability is
predicted right at its outset by Herodotos report of Chilons prophetic
monition to Hippokrates to avoid having children and is conrmed by
Peisistratos easy victory at Palle


.There are, to be sure, a number of facts

embedded in this digression, but these take second seat to the paramount
Herodotos source(s) obviously did not relate these things to
him as history but as reactive treatments of the historical record.
The aim of the logos was surely to revise the history of Peisistratos rise
apparently in order to absolve the Athenians to some degree for allowing
it. The factual narrative is thus overwritten by that which explains how
Peisistratos tyranny was unavoidable but also by that which partially
moots the role of the Athenians in its establishment.Yes, it admits, some
Athenians (notably the Alkmeonids) did abet the tyrant, and actually
helped him to come to rule Athens, but Athens was helpless anyway be-
fore a power ordained by the gods.Yes, Megakles married his daughter to
Peisistratos, but he reacted properly and vigorously when the tyrant
proved himself to be depraved. It is the Athenians, and most notably the
Alkmeonidai, who are served by this sort of treatment, and it is they surely
who passed along their history of the tyrants rise to Herodotos.
The reasons for these effects on Herodotos account must be reviewed
in the context of the Persian war and the attitude of execration toward
the tyrants, which seems to have come about then.Among those most es-
pecially called upon to explain their relations with the Peisistratids, even
as late as Herodotos day, were the Alkmeonidai.Their actual history in-
cluded rather close association with the tyrants during their reign, as we
have seen; they were accused of treason when the Persians and Hippias
invaded Attika in ,o i.c.r., a charge Herodotos duly records (o.++).
Herodotos goes on to apologize for the Alkmeonids and to emphasize
their innocence, averring that, since the Alkmeonidai were inveterate
tyrant haters, they could hardly have been tyrant lovers on Marathon day
The root of Alkmeonid hatred of the tyrants is in fact to be
found in Herodotos logos on the tyrants rise, and this, too, is apology. Of
course, the lie, specically that the Alkmeonidai were inveterate tyrant
haters and absent from Athens after Palle


, is exposed by the appearance

of Kleisthenes name on the archon list for ::.
Since such an apol-
ogy must have originated with the Alkmeonidai, we imagine that they
said much the same thing to the Athenians as we nd in Herodotos, al-
beit more emphatically nearer in time to the alleged treason and so to
their greater need to apologize.
Inasmuch as the featured playerin Herodotos logos on Peisistratos rise
is Megakles, it would be dicult to accept that the Alkmeonidai were not
Herodotos source(s) here. Megakles is most in evidence after Peisistratos,
and his crucial part in the establishment of the second tyranny is quite ex-
plicitly stated. (It is implicit as such for the rst tyranny, as we shall see.)
Megakles collaboration is, however, eclipsed by the portrayal of his subse-
quent hostility to Peisistratos as outraged father and by his role as chief op-
ponent to the tyrant at Palle


.Although the inconsistencies in Herodotos

account are strikingMegakles trail of alliance with Peisistratos is hardly
the historians Alkmeonid sources did what they could to
apologize for, distract from, or otherwise stonewall information about the
tyranny and their ancestors role in it in order to defend or rehabilitate his
memory, but surely more to lessen the heat on themselves.
The Alkme-
onid account of Peisistratosrise was perhaps deemed the richest,most cred-
ible, and complete by Herodotos because of the level of coherency it had
reached from polish and iteration. Then again the authority of such as
Perikles would have added to its credibility for the historian. On the other
hand, it is hard to imagine that the implausibilities of the resulting account
escaped Herodotos notice. (I return to this in chapter III.)
We expect that Thucydides,an Athenian,would have known much more
about the establishment of the tyranny and its character than Herodotos
Introduction ++
did, but he does not supply much. In explanation of that, it might be said
that since it was not really his interest he was purposefully silent about it.
In any case,other than in his excursus on the death of Hipparchos (o.,),
he offers next to nothing about the tyranny. As we have seen, he general-
izes about the Peisistratid regime at o.., rating it good overall. A vaguer
statement made at +.+;, while ostensibly encompassing Archaic tyrants and
tyrannies in general, must nevertheless have been made with regard to the
Athenian Peisistratids.
Thucydides informs us in this passage that Archaic
tyrants mainly looked to their own safety, substance, and succession and so
did nothing really dramatic or noteworthy. Of course, his statement is pur-
poseful in context: in these chapters of the Archaiologia, Thucydides is at-
tempting to prove that the Peloponnesian war was the most signicant
event to occur in Greece up to his time and so must diminish the accom-
plishments of the past and, in this case, the tyrants and their deeds.
On the other hand,Thucydides vague summary of Archaic tyrannies,
including that of the Peisistratids, might best be taken as an indication that
there was not a great deal of information available even to him.
tainly, apart from the myth and apology that appear in Herodotos ac-
count, testimonies about the Athenian tyrants in particular were surely
lacking due to the dampering effect of the ocial attitude of execration
prevalent in Athens from the earlier fth century.
There is some proof
that Thucydides did not have access to much information about the
tyranny. At o..+, he argues on basis of the ste


adikias (the stone bear-

ing the ocial decree of condemnation of the Peisistratids), but cannot
prove outright, that Hippias was older than Hipparchos. In this, he is un-
able to appeal to anything stronger than his own argument from reason.
He adduces no explicit information about the succession, no irrefutable
proof even for him in his day; instead, he must argue from likelihood.
Apparently, though an Athenian himself, Thucydides had little to go on
for the period of Peisistratid tyranny.
The nal major source for the earlier tyranny is the Ath.Pol. (+.+;.+),
which in most cases, understandably, is inferior to the two of the fth cen-
tury. While the Ath.Pol. preserves some independent information, pre-
sumably derived from Atthides, the chronicles of Athens, and some of it
appears not only plausible but valid,
much of its account of the earlier
tyrannies is grounded in Herodotos.
There are in addition many obvi-
ously nonhistorical topoi in the Peisistratid sections.The theme of Peisis-
tratos cleverness, for example, which is apparent in Herodotos, is embel-
lished to provide the account of his tricky disarming of the Athenians near
+: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
Introduction +
the The

seion (+.).
Peisistratos righteousness and popularity also
gure in his imagined encounter with the poor husbandman of Hymet-
tos, who, knowing the exactions of the tyrant only too well but not the
tyrant himself, proceeds to criticize him to his face.
This is actually
folktale. The Peisistratid sections of the Ath.Pol. possess a nugget here
and there, presumably deriving from the Atthides, and must be sifted care-
(So, too, it seems, must Aineias Taktikos et al.)
Beyond these and some odd bits and pieces that emerge in late sources,
there is nothing about the earlier tyrannies of Peisistratos that is not either
derivative, invented, or altogether fanciful. Later sources transmit little that
may be deemed reliable or, for that matter, of any real worth.
This may
be due largely to times passage and, with it, the loss of memory about the
tyrants. The suppression or perversion of evidence about Peisistratid
tyranny however undoubtedly contributed to the degradation of the store
of information about them. By necessity, this study must be concerned
with, above all, Herodotos account of Peisistratos rise and so the infor-
mation rendered to him by his Athenian sources of the midfth century.
. xr+noi
How will material obviously affected by such ltration be evaluated?
How are facts to be determined and separated from what is not factual?
My study will employ two primary means of evaluation: categorization
and contextualization. First, facts that are not controversial, that seem rm
and do not entail interested reporting, I shall take to be true and elemen-
tal for any historical reconstruction. These would include, for example,
that there was a tyranny, that Peisistratos was a tyrant, that he did in fact
go north to Thrace, and so on. Information that is less plausible or evi-
dently affected by controversies, for example, how the tyranny came about
and who helped and how, must be taken as less veracious but possibly con-
taining valid data. Finally, facts that are clearly adulterated must be con-
sidered least historically valid. For example, the incident involving Chilon
and Hippokrates, and the pronouncement of Amphilytos the seer before


entail marked implausibilities and strongly resemble folktales.The

account of Peisistratos mistreatment of Megakles daughter portrays the
generic behavior of tyrants but is uncharacteristic for him and quite un-
likely in context, as we shall see.These seem to be nonhistorical.
Manus manum lavat: context, contemporary or near contemporary and
established by the sources themselves, assists as a kind of control to fur-
ther verify or to disprove, but it may also add to the information about
the tyranny. Unassailable facts must determine context primarily, yet their
implications can be extended. For example, though the events of the
Megarian war of the late seventh and early sixth centuries i.c.r. are not
at all clear from our sources, the indisputable facts are that there was a war
between Athens and Megara, that it lasted a very long time, and that Pei-
sistratos played some role in it at a minimum.
We may proceed further
from the following facts.As Salamis, the island between the two belliger-
ents, was a key to the struggle, we must conclude that at some point in
the war there was naval action involving the two warring parties. If there
was naval action, there were naval commanders. Peisistratos was thus al-
most surely a naval commander. In fact, one of our more questionable
sources,Aineias Taktikos, says exactly that, though we should be forced to
assume it anyway. The explicit information is seconded by what
Herodotos says and implies (+.,.): Peisistratos became a general and did
many great things in the war ending with the capture of Nisaia,
Megaras major Saronic Gulf port. It follows that Peisistratos was a pro-
cient and successful military man, that he had proven himself in action
before he attained high command (strate

gia) and with it command of the

Athenians, and that his competency included the use of ships. As with
some epigraphic readings, we might thus call some of these forced.
Other information enhances the context of the tyrannies. Solon por-
trays Athenian politics of the later seventh and early sixth centuries in his
It is in fact the only evidence we have whose context is that
As we have seen, Solon attests to political assemblies, public
speakers, and decisions made about government by the de

mos in them.
Solons testimony about politics in his day helps to clarify political con-
ditions at the time of Peisistratos tyrannies. He says unequivocally that
politics was played out in Athens (not the countryside) among two
groups; that the Athenians met in assembly to hear political speakers and
to vote on issues; and that they were persuaded by public speech.
Herodotos says that two parties preexisted Peisistratos third one and
that the de

mos voted Peisistratos a bodyguard after he pleaded for one in

a political assembly in the marketplace (agora).The coincidence between what
Solon portrays and what Herodotos says cannot be fortuitous.
Thus, the evidence will be evaluated in several ways. At the top of the
list, most valuable but most rare, are what I shall call the unassailable
facts. Peisistratos was tyrant, and so on. Next comes information that,
while not attested, follows logically: these are essentially forced readings.
+ r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
Peisistratos earned his spurs before becoming war leader (strate

gos) of
the Athenians; the war with Megara entailed naval operations. Following
this are testimonia that do not bear the stamp of apology or other inter-
ested treatments, that t the contexts portrayed by the sources themselves
or by such sources as Solon, and that might nd agreement in other
sources: the factualness of these will be assumed but not unquestionably.
For example, Aineias Taktikos seems to describe an amphibious attack on
Nisaia by Peisistratos.That is plausible, but its origination in Eleusis is not:
the logical concomitants of war between Athens and Megara come into
play in relation to this information. Finally, testimonia that obviously bear
the stamp of apology or other interested treatment will be evaluated for
facts they indicate directly, obliquely, or otherwise, but they will not be
assumed to be factual. For example, the ground for the disruption of the
marriage of Megakles daughter to Peisistratos indicates an attempt not
only to dim memory of Megakles political kingmaking of Peisistratos
but also very likely to occlude the memory of a later, more lasting mar-
riage alliance between Alkmeonidai and Peisistratidai.Yet only that which
is quite obviously implausible or completely unhistorical will be held to
be of no value. Of course, the principle that factualness is guaranteed just
because of appearance in Herodotos or other sources will not be observed
in this book.
. irxocr:+i c +.r:xx.
A major thesis of this work is that Peisistratos was a democratic tyrant.
He was elected to the tyranny on the rst two occasions; that he was
allowed to remain tyrant for many years after o and the victory at


also points to majority consent of the Athenians. In this recon-

struction, it will become evident that Peisistratos was more of a proto-
type for democratic leaders of the early fth century than a countertype.
Distinctions between him (and presumably his sons until nearly the end
of the tyranny) and Athenian politicians of the early fth century are
exaggerated; substantial similarities exist between the likes of Miltiades,
Kimon, and even Perikles on the one hand and Peisistratos on the other,
and these cannot be fortuitous.
Solons poems offer proof that the Athenian de

mos was sovereign in

bestowing power on or removing it from its leaders: its consent was re-
quired for those who aspired to power and to retain it. The de

mos was
swayed by public speech from politicians, especially involving promises of
Introduction +
+o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
gain. Solon was one of them. In fact, Solon might be considered the rst
democratic tyrantof Athens for the powers that he wielded, as lawgiver
exceeded those of other traditional oces. As mentioned, Herodotos
arms that the de

mos was decisive in political affairs involving Peisis-

tratos. Popularly acclaimed twice, Peisistratos resorted to force nally to
overcome opposition to his third and nal tyranny.Yet even before the
rout of Palle


, masses of Athenians from the citywere defecting to Pei-

sistratos camp, thus voting, as it were, with their feet. Ejected easily by the
Athenians when they were united against him, Peisistratos simply could
not have maintained himself in power over time without their ongoing
The uctuations in Peisistratos earlier career can be taken, in fact, as
an indication that he got and then lost the favor of the de

mos more than

once. In fact, the ebb and ow of his political fortunes accord well with
the Solonian context, as well as with the later democratic one.As an out-
sider, Peisistratos was no match to begin with for older city hands like
Megakles, whose constituency was the de

mos. It was Megakles who

manipulated it for a time, deploying the wealth acquired by Alkmeon in
exile. Indeed, it was only after Peisistratos secured money enough to
loosen Megakles grip once for all that he could roothis tyranny rmly,
even as Herodotos states. Chre

mata (money, wealth) was the key to get-

ting and maintaining power, even as it was in the democracy of the fth
century. Peisistratos, grasping the principle, spent the most part of a decade
striving to acquire it.
As Solon before him, Megakles during his own political heyday, and
democratic politicians after him, Peisistratos maintained himself in power
with the agreement of the Athenians.This he procured rst by means of
his war-record (and the fame and popularity that it generated) and, ulti-
mately, by means of chre

mata. (Oratory, that is, public-speaking ability, was

a further necessary ingredient, even as the career of Solon demonstrates.)

mata, along with his allies, are explicitly cited by Herodotos as the
pillarsof Peisistratos ultimate triumph. Fame through war heroism and
victory, together with chre

mata, led to Peisistratos extended reign: it was

apparently never a question for him or, for that matter, politicians before
or after him of the de

mos simply recognizing its betters and, sheeplike,

yielding governance to superiors in birth and wealth. Rather it is fact
that politicians, including Peisistratos, recognized the strength of the
Athenian de

mos and the need to co-opt it.This co-option was necessary

in order rst to gain political primacy and then to retain it.
The Path to Fame
+. i x+roiuc+i ox
Peisistratos was born ca. ooo i.c.r. His home was Philadai (gs. : and ),
very near the coast of eastern Attika at Brauron (g. +). Presumably, he grew
to adulthood in that region, training for war there from boyhood. Unlike
most, however, Peisistratos became especially adept at warfare, debuting in
Athenian history as strate

gos in the latest stages of the war with Megara.

He must have served with some distinction in the conict before achiev-
ing that high rank and been recognized both for his prowess in war and for
his command capability.As strate

gos Peisistratos led the Athenians to what

appears to have been a decisive victory over the Megarians at their port of
Nisaia, concluding thereby the long war in Athens favor and earning grat-
itude and great regard from his countrymen as a result. Peisistratos success
in the war or, more likely, the Athenians positive response to it encouraged,
if it did not actually kindle, his ambition to become tyrant of Athens. In any
event, Herodotos says that the popularity Peisistratos gained from Megaras
defeat gured directly and prominently in his successful rst bid for
For all of that, Herodotos nevertheless portrays Peisistratos as an
outsider to Athenian politics at the time of that bid.
Such are the bare facts about Peisistratos earlier life, along with what
can be reasonably extrapolated from the extant information about him.
There is, however, other valid information, some of it rather more
oblique, some more subtle, which, appraised judiciously, can nevertheless
help to inform us further about Peisistratos earlier life and career.
:. r.ii :xs :xi xriri i:i
A. Testimony and Introduction
According to Herodotos, the Peisistratidai were by descent Pylians and
Neleidai, sprung from the family of Kodros and Melanthos, who, though
they were foreigners before, became kings (basileis) of the Athenians
(.o.). Herodotos goes on to say that it was because of this descent that
Hippokrates, the father of Peisistratos, named the boy after Nestors son.
Other ancient authors preserve essentially the same information, adding
really nothing of importance to Herodotos statement.
The myths will
be discussed further, but suce it to say here that, even as Herodotos al-
ludes, the Pylian myths highlighted the advent to Athens of outsiders who,
in spite of their foreignness, displayed remarkable patriotism and so be-
came leaders of the Athenians.
Herodotos testimony presents us with two immediate questions: was
the Peisistratid claim to such descent at all valid? And, more pertinent to
Peisistratos and his tyranny, what did such a claim mean to the Atheni-
ans? Some have suspected that the Peisistratid-Pylian tradition was in-
vented, since, among other things, Neleid connections appear to have
borne political dividends for those claiming them.
Were such descent to
be accepted by the Athenians, the Peisistratidai would undoubtedly have
been ranked among the leading Athenian nobility, earning prestige and
perhaps even power therefrom.
Of course, if Peisistratos were considered
an outsider, as he seems to have been, he had even further motivation to
publicize such a link, since the Pylians had come to the Athenians as
strangers but became basileis. Herodotos states that, even after leading
the Athenians to victory at Nisaia, Peisistratos had to form a new party
of adherents called hyperakrioi (beyond-the-hills men) to compete with
the other two staseis (parties) and their leaders.Apparently, Peisistratos was
barred from participating among the standing parties of the city and
thus forced to constitute his own from among a clientele whose very
name suggests that they dwelt well away from the asty (city proper) and
Athens pale.
The problems with Herodotos parties of Attika aside
for the moment, the persistent memory of Peisistratos origins in far east-
ern Attika, situated at some distance even from the temple of Athena
+ r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr

nis, the apparent marker between what was considered Athenian land
proper and the hinterland in the early sixth century i.c.r., supports by it-
self the belief that the Athenians of the city did not consider Peisistratos
entirely Athenian when he entered into public affairs.
Peisistratos Pylian
ancestry may therefore have been emphasized, exaggerated, or entirely
concocted essentially as a rhetorical persuasion, its design intended to
open paths and create possibilities that might otherwise not exist for the
only marginally Athenian Peisistratos. A stated link with the Pylians may
even have been requisite for Peisistratos to aspire to power in the rst
place, a kind of credential of anity and worthiness for leadership, the as-
sertion of which must precede any bid for that leadership.
Peisistratos was by no means alone among the Athenians in laying claim
to descent from Neleus, a fact that conrms that such associations were
advantageous if not requisite for political inclusion and advancement.
The myths themselves specify why ambitious Athenians vying for lead-
ership would assert such anity. The stories of Melanthos and Kodros
focus on heroes and their heroic leadership in crisis and the salvation of
the city assured by that leadership; the myths are also about the right to
govern Athens, a right won but also rightly conceded by the Athenians.
The Neleid myths could thus be politically protable for aspirants to
power, for by implication descendants of the Neleids would seem just as
effective in leadingand so just as worthy of governingas their fore-
bears had been.
A claim to Neleid ancestry was particularly helpful to
Peisistratos the outsider, for, though the Pylians of the myths had come
new to Athens, they had proven themselves by their deeds. The Atheni-
ans undoubtedly entertained and perhaps even encouraged, if they did
not actually expect, such assertions of pedigree, since Melanthos and
Kodros were model rulers whose chief benet to their subjects was the
security they had bestowed upon the city: reincarnations of these would
obviously be most welcome in insecure times. Neleid propaganda, the
rekindled memory of the benets they brought, and the implication of
what their descendants could also bring about must have been particu-
larly potent, especially during the long, drawn out, and bitter war with
Athens neighbor Megara.
B. Mycenaeans in Eastern Attika
Does the claim that the Peisistratids were descended from immigrants
from Pylos hold any truth? Herodotos notice of the Neleid-Peisistratid
The Path to Fame +,
connection does nothing to substantiate it, nor, for that matter, does it
imply of itself that the Athenians accepted it. For his part, Herodotos (or
his source) could have introduced the tradition into the report about
the Peisistratids merely as an aetiological prop for rationalizing the
tyranny. Blood ties to mythic Athenian monarchs helped logically to ex-
plain to Herodotos fth-century audience why the Peisistratids came to
be tyrants.
In view of such circumstances, it might be argued that the
Peisistratid tradition of Neleid descent was invented by Herodotos or
his sources and so possessed no real substance or validity.
If, however, the Neleid-Peisistratid connection is weighed in light of
the mythic tradition of late Bronze Age immigration to eastern Attika
and, more substantially, of the archaeological record of the region, which
tends to support that tradition, there is in fact a reasonable possibility that
the Peisistratidai and perhaps other inhabitants of eastern Attika around
Philadai had actually descended from Mycenaeans or, at least, from
fugitives from the Mycenaean Peloponnesos, who fetched up in the re-
gion near the end of the Bronze Age.
The presence of the latter in the
neighborhood of Brauron and Philadai through the early eleventh cen-
tury i.c.r. is conrmed by material remains there.Although the fugitives
cannot be readily identied as either Pylian or Neleid from those re-
mains and no Pylians are specied in the migration myth, the evidence
of late Bronze Age habitation of the region is secure and could be taken
to support the Peisistratid claim to Mycenaean forebears.
to myth, the migration to Brauron was Salaminian led, but the Athenians
seem to have been able to accept that the Pylians were in the initial group
of fugitives, arrived later, or at least were somehow involved.
The Athe-
nians could allow for such inconsistencies, choosing to believe what they
wanted about the myth and the regions connections. Such allowance is
certainly in line with the way the Athenians treated other parts of even
their much less remote history.
Philadai, the deme (village, town, township) of the Peisistratidai, was
situated very near the ancient temenos (precinct) of Artemis at Brauron
on the east coast of Attika (cf. gs. + and :).
According to Athenian
myth, the deme was named for the son of Salaminian Aias, who was said
to have settled in eastern Attika after leaving that island in the generation
after that of the Trojan War.This period,Thucydides says, was one of gen-
eral turmoil and stasis in Greece leading to mass migrations; the cession
of Philaios and Eurysakes of the island to Athens and the movement of
the former to Brauron ts this context.
Philaios became the eponymous
:o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
of the Philaid genos, the members of which apparently dwelt in the same
deme as the Peisistratids.
Around the temenos of Artemis at Brauron, very near Philadai, are ves-
tiges of Mycenaean habitation and graves which include objects of Late
Helladic IIIB (ca. +o++,o i.c.r.) date.
It is near Perati, a few kilo-
meters south along the coast from Brauron, however, that there is an ex-
tensive late Mycenaean cemetery, whose contents indicate that a sizable
number of Mycenaeans immigrated hastily and settled in the vicinity,
remaining until some time during the Submycenaean period (ca.
++:+oo i.c.r.), when the cemetery went out of use.
The fact that
there was considerable settlement of late Mycenaeans very proximate to
Philadai ca. +oo i.c.r. further supports (but obviously does not prove)
the claim of the Peisistratids to Pylian (i.e., Mycenaean) ancestry.
Although the Perati necropolis was nally abandoned and perceptible
Mycenaean cultural indications vanish in the area by the mid- to late
eleventh century i.c.r., the persistence of the cult of Artemis at Brauron
points to continuous settlement proximate to the precinct through the
Dark Ages. While there are material indications of cult activity at the
shrine of Artemis no later than the tenth century i.c.r., that is, perhaps
within a century of the abandonment of the Perati cemetery, it is the cult
itself that bears testimony to continuous habitation around it.
Some of
the cults more primitive features (e.g., bear dancing) should be dated no
later than the Neolithic period and their survival points to an unbroken
line of local worshipers through to the Classical period.
To have sur-
vived, these cult features must have been passed down through the late
Bronze Age people of the area and their descendants, who and whose
progeny, however few or many they were, became the cults indispens-
able intermediary transmitters.
Direct involvement of Mycenaeans in the cult of Artemis of Brauron
is signaled by their physical presence on the site in LH IIIB. It is less di-
rectly indicated by its special ties to the hero Agamemnon, the most pow-
erful of all Mycenaean kings for later Greeks. At Brauron, the so-called
tomb of Iphigeneia, where Agamemnons daughter was said by Euripides
to have been interred, hints at a religious (and political?) association of
Mycenaeans with the Artemis cult during the late Bronze Age.
perceptible Mycenaean cultural traces vanish in the region by ca. +o:
i.c.r., survival of Artemis worship at Brauron, with its Neolithic aspects
and the memory of Iphigeneia, is explained by the persistence of worship
and so habitation of Bronze Age Greeks (i.e., Mycenaeans). Material re-
The Path to Fame :+
mains from the tenth century in the vicinity of the temenos point to the
conclusion that the cult was maintained through the late Bronze and Sub-
mycenaean periods by worshipers who dwelled near Brauron.
Philadai was the closest deme site to the Artemis temenos at Brauron:
in fact, in the deme arrangement of Kleisthenes, Brauron was subsumed
within Philadai.There can be little doubt that the inhabitants of Phila-
dai were implicated in the worship of Brauronian Artemis, whose
temenos was mere hundreds of meters from the deme site.This implica-
tion is demonstrated in the scholion to Ar. Aves ;:The Myrrhinousians
name Artemis Kolainis, just as the people of the Peiraios [call her]
Mounichia, and the people of Philadai [call her] Brauronia.
This tes-
timony not only implies the close physical proximity of Philadai to Brau-
ron but also that the cult was controlled by Philadai. If transmission of
the cult from the Bronze Age depended on continuous cult involvement,
then it is reasonable to assume that at least some of the land adjacent to
Brauron possessed inhabitants without substantial interruption from the
late Bronze Age.The obvious candidates for such cult involvement are the
inhabitants of Philadai and its environs.The Athenian memory of Myce-
naeans settling in eastern Attika and at Brauron and of Braurons proxim-
ity to Philadai would have supported the claims of the inhabitants of
Philadai to Mycenaean ancestry.
On appearances, the Peisistratidai, who dwelled initially at Philadai,
were themselves specially implicated with the cult of Artemis Brauronia.
Introduction of it to Athens is attributed to them, which, if true, suggests
at the very least a particular interest in and patronage of it, since at the
time of the introduction the cult had really only local signicance and
could produce no political dividends immediately at Athens.
the Peisistratids interest in the cult must have derived from its regional
rather than its national signicance at the time of its introduction to
Athens. Presumably the Peisistratids hoped that it would take root among
the Athenians. In fact, it did. From this special interest, it is tempting to
assume a hereditary Peisistratid cult link to Brauronian Artemis, but that
is to go too far. This association with the cult of Brauronian Artemis,
whatever it may have been, does not answer the question of Mycenaean
ancestry, since the Peisistratids could have been relative latecomers to the
It certainly possible that the Peisistratidai, like other Athenian gene

such as the Gephyraioi, moved to eastern Attika as immigrants, perhaps
from Euboia, and settled in among the indigenes of the area sometime
:: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
during the Geometric or Archaic periods.
If that were so, the Peisis-
tratids had even greater incentive to adopt the kind of myth that would
mute or occlude their actual foreignness by emphasizing their kinship. It
is to be noted, however, that, while several ancient sources allude to a
Neleid background for the Peisistratids, no source makes them late im-
migrants to Attika, as, for example, Herodotos does the Gephyraioi. Such
foreignness, one imagines, would certainly have surfaced somewhere and
been made to stick to the Peisistratidai if they were in fact strangers
(xenoi), especially by Herodotos, who notes other gene

coming late to
Athens. It is to be further noted that no ancient source overtly rejects or
denies either the standard Athenian version of the Neleid myths or the
Peisistratid claim to Neleid origins.
Yet that silence neither proves nor
disproves the validity of the myths or the claim. Although it is possible
that Peisistratids were actually descended from the Mycenaean immi-
grants to eastern Attika, the question will not be settled on the present
evidence. That question is, in any case, overshadowed by our desire to
comprehend the meaning of the Pylian link to the Athenians and to as-
sess its political value for Peisistratos.
C. Political Advantages of the Neleid Myths
A closer look at the Pylian myths reveals specic advantages for Peisis-
tratos and suggests Peisistratos more precise aims in advancing his claims
to Pylian ancestry.
According to the myths, when Melanthos came to
Athens from Pylos, Attika was under attack by Boiotians. Their king,
Xanthos, proposed to settle things by single combat.Thymoetes of Athens,
the last descendant of Theseus, offered to hand over his domain to any-
one who would ght Xanthos. In so doing, he showed himself to be both
cowardly and ineffectual and so no longer t to rule.Although newly ar-
rived from Pylos, Melanthos, the son of Neleus, took up the challenge
and defeated and killed Xanthos. In so doing, he ended the invasion and
saved Athens. The Athenians concluded that Melanthos was much the
better man for the job than Thymoetes and so armed him as king.The
last Theseid was thus replaced by the immigrant Neleid, who had simul-
taneously displayed courage, leadership, prowess in battle, and above all
effectiveness. Because of these qualities, which he had translated into vic-
tory, and what they augured for the future, Melanthos was invested with
the monarchy. He had demonstrated by taking up the challenge and then
through combat that he was the best man for the job.
The Path to Fame :
It is to be noted that Melanthos did not acquire the throne of Athens
by taking it forcibly, through subterfuge, usurpation, or otherwise illegit-
imately or even obliquely. Rather he became basileus by the consent of
the Athenians after demonstrating heroic and kingly capacities. Melan-
thos arrival during a crisis provided him an opportune moment, and he
seized it.
His son, Kodros, conrmed Neleid nobility and aptitude for
rule when, learning by prophecy that Athens would be saved if its king
were killed, he sacriced himself and preserved the city from destruction
once again, this time at the hands of the Dorians of Megara.
younger son, Neleus, the namesake of the dynastys founder, subsequently
led a successful emigration to Miletos, further demonstrating the genos
capacity for effective leadership in crisis.
The Neleid myths were surely not inventions of the later seventh cen-
tury i.c.r., as some have argued, but part of Athens preservation mythol-
ogy set in and most probably datable to around the Late Bronze Age.
was the kind of myth that was spawned during or after the dicult times
of threat and real insecurity, when the author(s) and the beneciaries of
the myth were still very anxious about their survival. The Pylians were
saviors of Athens, ideal leaders at any time but desperately needed during
times of invasion and threat to the polis. Presumably, the Athenians be-
lieved that descendants of the Neleids were capable of similar deeds
because they possessed the blood of their ancestors and so similar traits
and possibilities.The Athenians regard for such blood ties and the char-
acteristics that they imagined descended from the original Neleids and
would be evinced in their progeny will have encouraged the several
Athenian claims of anity to Neleids, especially from the later seventh
century i.c.r. The people of Athens will have been apprehensive of
invasion because of the Megarian war, especially after the Kylonian de-
bacle and the Megarian occupation of the akropolis. The Megarian war
did not spawn the Neleid myths: they had no authority or strength if
merely concocted. Rather, the war and the late invasion of the Megarians
provided a very good context for them and invited their republication.
A Neleid ancestry accepted by the Athenians of the city would have
beneted Peisistratos immensely, especially because the myths argued ad-
vantageously for the benets brought by newcomers who would be lead-
Since Peisistratos came from Athens hinterland, the Neleid tie made
a case not only for ancient anity to the Athenians but also for heroic
age nobility, military potential, and, most importantly, very effective lead-
ership.What more opportune time for Peisistratos to put forth such claims
: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
than after demonstrating great deeds and before aspiring to the

gia? The seizure of the akropolis by Kylon and his Megarian allies
realized the unthinkable: it was what the Athenians appeared to have in-
veterately dreaded but what, according to their preservation mythology
(and the archaeological record), others had never accomplished.
better could Peisistratos exploit the insecurities of the Athenians, still
mired in a bitter war with Megara, than by referring their thoughts em-
phatically to an equally uncertain moment in the citys past, which was
resolved by another newcomer who just happened to be Peisistratos an-
cestor? (That explicit ties were made by the Peisistratids to Melanthos and
Kodros is, of course, suggested by Herodotos testimony.) As the Neleid
bloodlines were his, so was their promise also his.The myths of the Neleid
Melanthos and Kodros were contextualized in crisis and resolution of
crisis. Peisistratos claim to Neleid ancestry, which of course recollected
the ancient crisis and its successful outcome, was obviously most effec-
tively rst employed by him around the time of his bid for leadership in
the Megarian conict, that is, before the establishment of his rst
(As we shall see, there is other evidence suggesting further
myth-manipulation attributable to Peisistratos at the time of the Megar-
ian war [see section .E].)
If the Neleid link were invoked again as part of Peisistratos campaign
for the tyranny, it was perhaps differently emphasized.As part of a rhetor-
ical effort to persuade the Athenians to grant power to Peisistratos, the
myths implications were best deployed as arguments for aisymne

teia (elec-
tive monarchy). Herodotos informs us that such an election occurred
when the Athenians handed to Peisistratos by vote the means to seize the
tyranny, recollecting the great deeds he had done during the Megarian
war (+.,.). Monarchy was appropriate for Peisistratos because it was
spear won, just as it had been for Melanthos. A further implication of
the myth, however, was that, although the threat of foreign invasion may
have abated, Athens further security and well-being devolved upon the
hero who had resolved the crisis, just as it had upon Melanthos. Similarly,
just as Melanthos had assumed the kingship and kept Athens safe, peace-
ful, and presumably prosperous, so should Peisistratos be accepted as
basileus for similar reasons.
The Neleid myths worked in other ways for Peisistratos.They not only
featured the lone capable outsider who, after effecting Athens relief, could
lead it to greater things but also, by contrast, reected upon the late in-
effectiveness of other city leadersthe contemporary reections of
The Path to Fame :
Thymoeteswho could not, would not, but, in any case, did not solve
the crisis of the war and who thus disqualied themselves from leader-
ship. By implication, these included the city aristocrats, some of them also
claiming to be Neleidai, who were, every one of them, shown up by their
inaction or failure to live up to the implications of their alleged blood-
lines. In the absence of such effectiveness, any invoking of a Neleid link
for these would have been quite counterproductive politically. It was ob-
viously wrong, the myths implied, for the Athenians to continue to fol-
low the ineffectual, just as it would have been in the time of Thymoetes,
himself a descendant of the great Theseus. Thus, the Neleid link would
have worked very well for Peisistratos campaigning for leadership after
Nisaia, as it did before the victory there.
That Peisistratos would have resorted to such persuasion to urge a
tyranny is suggested by Herodotos account of Peisistratos rise to power
in conjunction with other information about political conditions in
Athens at the time, especially that offered by Solon. Herodotos shows that
Peisistratos required the consent of the de

mos to his rst tyranny and so

needed to persuade it verbally. He did not seize and hold the akropolis
forcibly, as Kylon had done and Isagoras would do later, but instead ob-
tained from the Athenians leave to occupy it and so to possess the tyranny.
Peisistratos was renowned for oratory, and a campaign for power involv-
ing persuasive speech ts right in with other Athenian politicians at-
tempts to coax the de

mos with words.

(Of course, after he was driven
from Attika, Peisistratos resorted to force, but his accumulation of power
became yet another means to persuade and many men of the city de-
fected to him even before he applied that newfound power.)
emphasis of the Neleid myths and his link to the Pylians as propaganda
would have served Peisistratos very well before his rst and second bids
for tyranny, especially in the context of the persuasive oratory and polit-
ical play we read of in Herodotos and Solon.
A purported ancestral link with the immigrant Pylians helped also to
strengthen belief among the Athenians of Peisistratos closer kinship with
them, especially if the line of demarcation between urban and rural
Attika was as vivid at Athens as it was elsewhere in Greece in the early
sixth century i.c.r. and even later. Theognis of Megara, for example, char-
acterizes rustics roaming around his polis as down from the hills,brutish
and seemingly alien from other Megarians, while at Athens even in the
late fth century comic poets routinely made fun of the naive or rustic
Athenian out of his depth in town.
While Theognis surely misrepre-
:o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
sents the truth of things, his words exaggerated by his own crabbed aris-
tocratic sensibilities, his resentment could nevertheless reflect a prevalent
attitude of disdain among Megarians as well as Athenian astoi for out-
landers and rustics. Urban prejudice aside, new people implied change
and new conditions. Presumably, as at Megara, those most resistant to
newcomers at Athens will have also been those with the greatest interest
in maintaining the status quo, that is, the old, landed and titled (aristoi).
The Athenians in the early sixth century had ample reasons to distrust
newcomers and those who dwelled beyond the pale.The prolonged war
with Megara can only have heightened suspicions about new friends.
By the same token, in the later stages of the war, Megara and Athens may
well have been forced to accept these rather alien forces from the hills
(so Theognis with regard to Megara) or from beyond the hills(so wrote
Herodotos with regard to Athens) on their now depleted military rolls.
That need could help explain both why the outlanders appeared in
Megara and Athens when they did and why they were assimilated as
Megarians and Athenians over the objections of aristoi and other conser-
vatives like Theognis.The same military need for new bloodmight also
help at least partially to account for the appearance of Peisistratos in
Athenian history in the rst place, his position as strate

gos, and his ad-

vancement to the tyranny.
(I shall return to this later.) Publication of
the Pylian link, rehearsal of the Neleid myths, and emphasis on their rami-
cations for Athenians in the early sixth century i.c.r. only helped Pei-
sistratos to improve his chances for advancement among the Athenians.
The Neleid myths and Peisistratos claims to descent from their heroes
persuaded the Athenians that the newcomer was friend not foe, kin not
alien, benefactor and leader not betrayer or ineffectual bystander.
D. Conclusions
I have assumed that the Peisistratid claim to Neleid bloodlines was put
forth rst and most forcefully by Peisistratos himself, since he had the
most to gain from advancing such a claim, before his strate

gia and again

before his rst tyranny. Whether the claim was substantive or not is im-
possible to say on the present evidence. It is just possible that the Peisis-
tratidai were descended, however obliquely, from Mycenaeans who
fetched up in eastern Attika at the end of the Bronze Age.The archaeo-
logical record arms the arrival of Mycenaean refugees in eastern Attika
near Brauron-Philadai during LH IIIC and points to the survival of their
The Path to Fame :;
progeny in the vicinity through the Submycenaean period at the very
least. Although the material remains of their settlement do not support
the myth of Philaios settlement of Brauron, they do at least corroborate
the Athenian traditions of Late Bronze Age migration to eastern Attika
near Brauron. Habitation of these parts by Mycenaean fugitives, the asso-
ciation of Mycenaeans with the Artemis cult at Brauron, and the implica-
tion that cult worship of Brauronian Artemis persisted through the Dark
Ages suggest that descendants of these did in fact survive in the area prox-
imate to Brauron through to the Archaic Age and the time of Peisistratos.
However that may be, because the political advantages of the Pylian
myths for Peisistratos are very clear, we may condently attribute both
the introduction and further publication of the Peisistratid-Nelied link to
the benets these could earn for Peisistratos among the Athenians. Simul-
taneously, Peisistratos could assert anity with Athenians but also with
the larger than life patriotic heroes of the Late Bronze Age, Melanthos
and Kodros.The myth implied that Peisistratos, like his ancestors, was an
effective leader, a potential (then proven) victor, and a man worthy of
monarchy by bloodline but also by deed.The triumph at Nisaia corrob-
orated the asserted link for the Athenians, since it set the seal on further
Megarian threats. That corroboration could then be turned into further
prot for Peisistratos as part of his campaign to win the Athenians over to
his tyranny, for it assured the Athenians that Peisistratos was in fact the
right man to rule them. Certainly, because of his victory, the further pub-
lication of the Pylian link, which explained it and pointed toward a re-
ward for Peisistratos, and because of its recollection of the heroic past and
its vividness in the present, Peisistratos must have by now loomed larger
as a public gure than any other Athenian. (He was not, we note, most
powerful however.) The Neleid myths and Peisistratos war record com-
prised a very felicitous tandem for him seeking to win the Athenians con-
sent to rule them.
It is to be noted that, even in a climate of general ill will toward the
Peisistratids in fth-century Athens, no skepticism was expressed about
the claimed Neleid link. Herodotos, who might have criticized the tra-
dition, accepted it without question. This even though he obtained his
information from an intermediary Athenian source, which, in the climate
of ocial hatred of Peisistratid tyranny in the fth century, was presum-
ably unfriendly to the Peisistratids, their accomplishments, and their
There is in fact no evidence to suggest that the Athenians ever
rejected the Peisistratids claim to Pylian ancestry. The more precise short-
: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
comings of the link were of no consequence: the Athenians collectively
were more inclined to believe what they wished about their history in
any case. For them, Peisistratos claims to Pylian ancestry were probably
corroborated by his victories in the Megarian war.
. r:xi i. i:cktrouxi :xi
i xci ri rx+ :xii +i ox
Very little seems to have been known about Peisistratos family, and that
void of information afforded license for invention, even as Herodotos
logos on Peisistratos rise shows. Herodotos story involving Hippokrates,
the father of Peisistratos, is folktale.
The mere name Hippokrates is at-
tached to the principal to whom the Spartan sage Chilon has given no
good choices. Hippokrates makes, as he must make, the wrong and fate-
ful decision: the result is Peisistratos and tyranny for Athens. Simultane-
ously guilty and guilt free, Hippokrates is nevertheless highlighted right
from the start in Herodotos as ultimately responsible for the tyranny.
This read is perfectly in line with fth-century attempts to explain
the tyranny, especially why Peisistratos monarchy was unavoidable to the
Athenians: this effort to explain is in fact quite apparent in Herodotos ac-
As one would expect from the nature of such a story, there is no
further information about Hippokrates.
From all indications, Peisistratos and his genos were unknowns before
Nisaia; he was not of the old Athenian nobility but of the newmen bred
away from Athens and the Kephissian Plain. His earlier career appears to
have progressed incrementally, smaller steps to larger, advancements lead-
ing to further advancements, adjustments made when necessary to con-
tinue progressing. Peisistratos arrived at Athens, perhaps not yet thirty,
with outstanding military potential if not an already proven record. He
nevertheless had to be put to the test and to demonstrate impressively and
over time his military leadership before he could attain the strate

gia. A
record of service and success was a prerequisite for high command, com-
mand for Nisaia, and Nisaia for the tyranny. Publicizing the Neleid link
reminded the Athenians of his kinship and what it portended, but the
dividends from that had to be predicated rst upon command capability
and then on military success.
Whether Peisistratos was embarked on a path to attain the tyranny from
before the time he arrived at Athens, before he was invested with the gen-
eralship, or even before Nisaia is not possible to say. Yet something must
The Path to Fame :,
account for his coming to Athens and becoming involved in its affairs. It
may be that, regarding the Megarian war, the Athenians failures, and his
own abilities, Peisistratos arrived in Athens with xed ideas of monarchy.
However that may be, success in war was essential to his advancement and
Peisistratos cannot reasonably have foreseen his real chances for tyranny
before his victories, signicant victories at that, were won.
Nisaia was the watershed in Peisistratos earlier career and propelled
him forward to seek the tyranny. It was the necessary ingredient for cap-
italizing on the Pylian link. From outsider to aspirant to tyranny because
of his deeds, the parallels of myth and his career were apparently lost on
neither him nor the Athenians.The nal triumph over the Megarians en-
sured Athens security, especially with regard to Phaleron, and made Pei-
sistratos popular among the Athenians. It was the real linchpin for any
plans for tyranny: in fact, it paved the way to it. So signicant was Nisaia
that without it there very likely would not have been a Peisistratos to hear
of, for he would have become just another failed, anonymous Athenian
leader in the war and would have thus lacked the basis of popularity
needed for obtaining and holding onto a monarchy. The consent of the

mos was indispensable for any Athenian aspiring to political power at

Athens, even in the early sixth century i.c.r.
. rri si s+r:+os :xi +nr xrt:ri :x v:r
A. Background to the Peisistratan Phase of the War
+. The Stakes and the Course of the War
to the Late Seventh Century i.c.r.
Peisistratos victory at Nisaia not only brought an end to the long, drawn-
out war with Megara, but assured Athens permanent ascendancy over its
vanquished neighbor. Because of its gravity, it might seem curious that
Herodotos reference to it is no more than an obiter dictum and that he elab-
orates no further upon it or Peisistratos other great deeds in the war
However, in mentioning this Herodotos was inuenced by at-
titudes at Athens in the fth century, which seem to have discouraged ex-
tensive, positive recollections of the tyrants.The record of Peisistratos suc-
cessful military career in the Megarian war obviously fell victim to
the ltration engendered by those attitudes, even though the victory at
Nisaia was momentous for Athens.
That Peisistratos scored such a victory
o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
is to be taken as factual, since Herodotos fth-century Athenian source(s)
would hardly have invented it or bestowed unearned credit on the tyrant.
Later sources provide little additional information to help clarify ex-
actly what Peisistratos did in the war. If anything, they complicate mat-
ters further, for example, by impossibly implicating him with Solon in
the same struggle for the strategic island of Salamis.
Aineias Taktikos
in the Poliorke

tika, for example, describes two successful engagements of

Peisistratos against the Megarians on a single day, rst at Eleusis and then
at an unnamed landfall in Megarian territory within sight of the city
His account, while interesting in points, is not really credible.
Aspects of it that might seem prima facie plausible, for example, Peisis-
tratos strategy in the two engagements, are in fact to be read as further
facets of the topos of Peisistratos cleverness, an attribute attaching to the
tyrant as early as Herodotos logos on Peisistratos rise. While portraying
the tyrant in such a fashion may not have been Aineias main aim, it was
almost certainly that of the source(s) on which he drew. In fact, much of
what Aineias states, whether in his own words or anothers, appears fab-
ricated. That is in fact no surprise when we compare his account with
others of fourth-century i.c.r. (or later) authors that involve sixth-
century Athenian personages and their actions.
At all events, the sum of
our information about Peisistratos, the Megarian war, and its nal action,
the most signicant event in Peisistratos early careerand in Athens his-
tory to the timeis again very little. Context alone remains to add to
what may be known about what Peisistratos actually did (or could have
done) in the Megarian war and about how it impacted the Athenians.
The war began well before Peisistratos arrival on the scene, perhaps as
early as the Late Bronze Age.Thucydides (+.+.:) characterizes most wars
in Greece from earliest times up to his own as frontier conicts, with bel-
ligerents seeking to expand their territories at the expense of their
neighbors. He implies, of course, that border wars were inveterate and
universal among Greek states.
Thucydides characterization will have
been based at least in part on his knowledge of Athens own wars, and the
Megarian conict ts right in with his pronouncement. Hostilities be-
tween Athens and Megara may be traced perhaps to the Dorian occupa-
tion of the Isthmus: some sense of this seems to be conveyed in the myth
of Kodros.
However, Thucydides (:.+.+) implies that Eleusis was in-
corporated into Attika even before that by the legendary Athenian king
Theseus.While Thucydides knew of nothing to contradict his belief that
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: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
Theseus synoecized Attika, including Eleusis, in that period, most mod-
ern scholars reckon that Eleusis became part of Attika much later, perhaps
even as late as the early sixth century i.c.r., and after prolonged ght-
At all events, Eleusis appears to have been taken in a hostile man-
ner by Athens.
Whatever the date of Eleusis rst acquisition by Athens,
it could not have been nally and fully incorporated into Attika or
Athenian authority consolidated there until the Megarian war ended in
Athens favor. Before that, its ownership was at stake in the conict.
Implicated desires for territory and security were, as they would always
be among such neighborsin ancient Greece, the likeliest grounds for the
Primarily in dispute between Athens and Megara was the bor-
der town of Eleusis and the agricultural region adjacent to it but
also the island of Salamis. Eleusis was strategically positioned with respect
to the Megarid, the Thriasian Plain, fertile and productive.Athens acquisi-
tion of Eleusis, whenever it occurred, brought it to the doorstep of
the Megarid and undoubtedly provoked alarm and counterhostility by such
Megarians as lived on this border.
What must have fueled more general
Megarian apprehensiveness, animosity, and reaction and perhaps led to a
common response to the Athenian presence at Eleusis was the belief (blared
by the Athenians?) that all of the Megarid belonged to Athens from of old.
Salamis was key to controlling the sea lanes in the Saronic Gulf around
the Megarian and Athenian ports. Possession of these lanes was crucial to
the security and well-being of both Athens and Megara. Holding Salamis
was vital, since its occupation seems also to have spelled the dominance
of one over the other.
Now the Athenians also claimed that Salamis was
theirs from the Bronze Age.According to Athenian myth, the two descen-
dants of Great Aias, ruler of the island, Eurysakes and Philaios, exchanged
Salamis for land to settle in Attika. It has been observed that this is exactly
the kind of Athenian propaganda myth one expects would be generated
during the Megarian war as part of the effort to justify Athens claim, since
at best the myth is of dubious historic value.
(We note Plutarchs state-
ment [Sol. +o.] that Solon introduced the story of inveterate Athenian
ownership of Salamis as part of his special plea before the Spartan arbi-
trators.) On the other hand, the currently meager archaeological record
we have from the island does suggest that Athens and Salamis had close
ties from at least the Submycenaean period, and that evidence provides
some substantiation for the myth.
For all of that, Salamis remained an unintegrated part of Attika
throughout its history. In the sixth century,Athenian armed settlers (kle

ouchs) were established on the island, and Kleisthenes did not include it
fully in his reforms.
Though held to be Athenian by the Athenians,
Salamis was apparently considered a territory or an appanage rather than
a true portion of the oldest land of Ionia.Talk about original Athenian
ownership of Salamis was just that. (Spartan arbitration [Plut. Sol. +o],
which apparently came about later, merely conrmed what that Athen-
ian victory at Nisaia had achieved: cf. section .E.)
Although, for their part, the Megarians must have coveted Eleusis and
Salamis from of old, their desires will have been stimulated by events occur-
ring during the eighth century i.c.r., especially those involving its neigh-
bor Corinth. It has been estimated that, by the third quarter of the eighth
century, up to two-fths of the southern Megarid had been lost to the
encroachments of the Corinthians. If that is true, it was catastrophic.
Corinths annexation must be attributed to an expansiveness spurred on
at least partially by Corinths need for land, since the citys intensive col-
onizing effort began around the middle of the eighth century.
had been dominated by Corinth in the earlier Dark Ages, and, although
Orsippos, a general of the Megarians in the late eighth or very early sev-
enth century i.c.r., had managed to wrest back some of the land cut off
by neighborsone imagines the Corinthians
Megara could be no
match over the longer run for Corinth, whose resources far outstripped
Megaras. There was therefore little hope that Megara could regain the
land lost in the southwestern quarter of the Megarid;
Megara had to
look elsewhere for expansion.
It was probably from the late eighth century that Eleusis and the Thri-
asian Plain became increasingly alluring. In addition to pressure from
Corinth, Megara, too, seems to have had to deal with its own population,
as its own colonialism suggests. According to the ancient evidence,
Megarian colonies were established at Khalkedon, Selymbria, and Byzan-
tion between ca. o and ca. o i.c.r.
The foundation of these, all
within the span of about a generation, implies that Megara had rather a
sudden need to colonize the lands toward the Euxine. Obviously, Megara
could afford to send Megarians in numbers substantial enough to control
and exploit their constellation of colonies in the Propontian region and
all within about three decades.
Its colonies established, Megara had now ample reasons to covet both
Eleusis and Salamis and so for engaging in war with Athens over them.
The need for security of communication with Megaras new colonies as
well as the prospect of land for Megarians surely increased the desire to
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occupy Salamis.
The Megarid itself appears to have been prey to inces-
sant piracy from Salamis in any case, possibly beginning in the Bronze Age,
and such attacks will have risen to greater frequency in proportion to the
ship trac to and from Nisaia.
In addition to the strategic advantages
Eleusis and Salamis could offer Megara in the Saronic Gulf, both could
also supply land for settlers and so help to relieve population pressure closer
to home.
Necessity fanned desire, and it is a safe bet that if the long,
drawn-out war between Athens and Megara had not begun before it was
surely under way no later than the midseventh century i.c.r.
The appearance of Theagenes, tyrant of Megara, around midcentury
must be viewed against this backdrop: in fact, we may venture that
Theagenes and his tyranny were products of crisis conditions, the preem-
inent of which was the war.We have nothing really explicit of Theagenes
background except that according to Aristotle he slaughtered the ocks
of the rich and became popular as a result. Later, because of his popular-
ity, Theagenes asked for and obtained a bodyguard from the Megarians
and so became Megaras tyrant.
References to Theagenes and his career
derive from fourth-century sources and come under some suspicion for
that. Indeed, they liken Theagenes and his rise both to Peisistratos of
Athens and Dionysios I of Syrakuse.
Aristotle is a credible source, however, and there are really no good
grounds for rejecting his testimonies.
Indeed, the rise of all three tyrants
could have followed similar lines, causing them to be so grouped by Aris-
totle.Theagenes slaughter of the ocks of the rich, a dramatic gesture in
an age of political extravagance by tyrants or would-be tyrants, was a po-
litical statement to be sure, one designed undoubtedly to help him gain
popularity with the needier among the Megarians. But that design may
have dovetailed with a more practical end. His gesture was also intended
to show that Theagenes was capable of taking measures to deal with
Megaras problems, one of which apparently was the lands inability to
feed a population that for some time seems to have outstripped its re-
sources. Cattle were a resource after all, and by slaughtering them
Theagenes may have nationalized them to bestow upon the needy. In
that light, if we take Theagenes slaughter as a persuasion of the de

which in Athens, Solon assures us, comprised the have-nots, Theagenes
request for a bodyguard may be understood as leading to a referendum
on the tyranny, just as it did in the cases of Peisistratos and Dionysios.
Aristotle supplies yet other important information about Theagenes,
which has been inadequately appreciated. He categorizes Theagenes and
r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
the other two tyrants as polemikoiv , that is, warlike.
The catego-
rization identies Theagenes as a war leader and, coupled with the fact of
his tyranny, implies that he had gained some measure of success in war.
This makes great sense in the context of Megarian history for the
midseventh century i.c.r., since, as we have seen, Megara was pressed
on at least two sides by hostile neighbors. As Peisistratos had rst won a
victory over Megara and then achieved some popularity before he at-
tained the tyranny, so is it reasonable to imagine that Theagenes did the
same, earning popularity for distinguishing himself in war, most probably
against the Athenians.Whatever he did as a prelude to his tyranny had to
have been impressive for the Megarians, just as it had been for Peisistratos.
While memorable in other ways, the slaughter of the ocks of the rich
was not the recommendation for the tyranny that victory in war was, and
of course Aristotle based his designation of Theagenes as warlike on
something more than fancy.
On the evidence, Theagenes, like Peisis-
tratos, came to power because of his war record and the popularity that
it generated.
The primary problems confronting Megara in the midseventh cen-
tury were land crisis, border insecurity, piratical threats from Salamis per-
haps, and maintenance of communication and commerce with colonies
in the Propontis. Salamis was key to solving many of these problems, and
it is possible that Theagenes led the Megarians to a victory over the Athe-
nians there, perhaps establishing partial or temporary Megarian control
over the island.
Salamis could then have become, in turn, a base from
which Megarians could launch attacks on Athens own port of Phaleron.
Salamis taken entirely, the Megarians were in the best position to take and
hold Eleusis, since Eleusis could be cut off from Athens by forces putting
out from Salamis. If Eleusis was captured the Thriasian Plain, would also
become Megarian.
Salamis fell to the Megarians, we know, sometime
in the seventh century, well before Solon roused the Athenians to take
the island back, and its capture will have been every bit as impressive to
the Megarians then as its recapture by the Athenians was to them later.
Such a victory over the Athenians would have done much to earn
Theagenes the assent of the Megarians to a tyranny.
There is of course no explicit evidence for such a victory by
Theagenes, but we do know that he was warlikeand was certainly hos-
tile to Athens later. Indeed, it was he who dispatched warriors to back
Kylons attempt to establish his own tyranny at Athens. Along with Ky-
lons partisans, these were to coerce the Athenians into accepting Kylons
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ruleand, presumably Megarian domination of the disputed territories.
The Kylonian coup was in fact a high-water mark of the Megarian war
effort against Athens. Since it was Theagenes who supplied the real
muscle for Kylons attempt, and so made it viable, the coup must have
been undertaken primarily to secure Megaras war aims. Indeed, Kylon
had no real political basis among the Athenians, as we shall see. He was
dependent on Theagenes and so should be viewed as the latters political
At all events, whatever Theagenes did as a prelude to his own tyranny,
it occurred well before Kylons attempted coup, perhaps in the mid-oos.
Theagenes tyranny will have commenced not long after a notable
victory. Literary sources imply that the Megarians and Athenians were
at war from sometime before Kylons coup, that is, ca. oo i.c.r., to
the Athenian victory at Nisaia ca. o i.c.r. Theagenes is to be associ-
ated with the phase of Megarian success in the third quarter of the
seventh century.
:. +nr k.ioxi :x rri soir, i +s rrsui+s, :xi
+nri r si txi ri c:xcr ror +nr xrt:ri :x v:r
It is opportune here to introduce into discussion the attempted tyranny
of Kylon of Athens, which can be viewed apart neither from the Megar-
ian war nor from the context of Peisistratos entrance into Athenian af-
Our sources tell us that Kylon was of the ancient Athenian no-
bility and an Olympic victor in the diaulos (double race) of oo i.c.r.
Seeking to parlay his prestige, both old and newly won, into a monarchy,
Kylon set his sights on the tyranny and made his attempt at tyranny
either in oo or o: i.c.r.
Before his attempt, Kylon married a daugh-
ter of Theagenes, undoubtedly with a view toward obtaining the Megar-
ians further support in his enterprise. In fact, it may well have been the
other way around. In any case, Kylons father-in-law supplied him with a
force of Megarian hoplites.
With these and other adherents, Kylon
seized the akropolis while the Athenians were outside the city, keeping
the rural festival of Zeus Meilichios.
When the Athenians learned what
had happened, they rushed back into the city altogether (pande

mei) and
laid siege to the akropolis, their emotions whipped up in the meantime
by their own outrage and horror and Kylons specic enemies.
some time had passed with no quick end to the siege in view, most of the
Athenians grew tired of it and turned the conduct of affairs over to the
o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
archons, that is, the Alkmeonidai, then politically ascendant in the city.
Soon after, the Kylonian position became untenable and a bargain was
struck. Kylon, his brother, and apparently the Megarians were allowed to
depart unharmed; the hapless remainder on the akropolis were abandoned
to its fates.
As it is reported, the Alkmeonidai promised fair treatment to those
who were left behind by the would-be tyrant and who were now sorely
pressed by their own lack of food and water. The besieged accepted the
terms offered and were to descend from their positions on the akropolis
to undergo due process.To hedge their bets, however, the Kylonians se-
cured a tether of suppliant branches to Athenas altar there and clung to
it as they came down. Strained or cut, the tether broke.The Alkmeonidai
are said to have declared that the break was a sign that the goddess had
forsaken the now helpless Kylonians, whom they began to stone. Some
of these then took refuge at the altars of the Dread Goddesses (Semnai
Theai) and were either dragged from them and killed or possibly were
killed on or very near the altars.
The slaughter of the Kylonians by the
Alkmeonidai replaced one evil with a greater one in the eyes of the Athe-
nians: the murderers became the objects of apparently far more loathing
for their sacrilege than the Kylonians had for their seizure of the akropo-
Some time after the slaughter, the Alkmeonidai were convicted of
slaughter (sphage

); those who were guilty and still living were exiled and
the dead were exhumed and their bones cast beyond the borders of
Attika. So ended the Kylonian affair. Its reverberations, however, went on
for many years.
Kylons attempt to seize and hold the akropolis when the Athenians
were, most of them, away from the city was deliberate and hostile. The
seizure had obviously been worked out in advance with Theagenes, all of
course without the majority of the Athenians involved and obviously to
their detriment. Kylon and Theagenes agreed upon the timing of the
seizure, the size of the Megarian contingent and, of course, the quid pro
quo, what Theagenes was to get for his assistance, certainly well before
Kylon made his attempt. As to the timing of the seizure, Kylon is said to
have sent to the oracle at Delphi and asked when he should seize the
akropolis.The oracle replied that he should do so during the great festi-
val of Zeus, which, according to Thucydides, Kylon took to mean the
Olympic festival. The actual attempt occurred during the Diasia, when,
Thucydides says, the entire populace was outside of the city.The recon-
structed thoughts of Kylon, his misinterpretation of the oracle and sense
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that the Olympic festival was appropriate for him, an Olympic victor, all
signify reconstruction and are to be regarded as such. In fact, that Diasia
occurred in the spring and was celebrated by the entire populace outside
the city; the Olympic festival occurred in August or early September, and
there would be no general absence of Athenians guaranteed then. Clearly,
Theagenes and Kylon had calculated that the task would be much easier
and Kylons chances for achieving his aims far better if most of the Athe-
nians were outside the city and if he presented them with a fait accom-
pli upon their return.There was no mistake made about the timing.
Kylons stealth indicates that he had some sense that the Athenians re-
action would be adverse if he presented himself in any different way to
them. He had utilized a moment of weakness, seizing the akropolis itself,
and ensconcing himself in its near (if only temporary) impregnability; he
confronted the Athenians, on their return from the countryside, with the
reality of his occupation of that formidable rock in force; and he could af-
ford some time to wait out the Athenians. Presumably, Kylon and
Theagenes had reckoned that any resistance, if it came at all, would be
short-lived. Perhaps Kylon thought that his standing and prestige as
Olympic victor would speak for him and win over the Athenians at length.
Whether these were among his thoughts and his calculations, Kylon
was only partially successful. Most of the Athenians did tire of the siege
after a short time and went back about their business.What Kylon failed
to reckon on, however, was the resolute opposition of a core led by the
Alkmeonidai, who had rallied popular opinion against him and his fol-
lowers initially, who remained steadfast in their opposition to his rule, and
who refused to call off the siege.Their dogged opposition to Kylon may
have decided the minds of the many or, perhaps more likely, simply in-
terfered with Kylons plan to wait for consent from the majority, who may
have acquiesced to Kylons tyranny over the longer run. Of course, it is
no surprise that those who were most opposed to Kylon were the very
ones who must relinquish power should he succeed.
Kylons fundamental mistake, it appears, was to attempt to impose a
tyranny dispensing with any process involving persuasion or the consent
of the Athenians but including a hostile alien force occupying the polis.
In short, Kylon did nothing to convince the Athenians of the rightness of
his rule, and, in view of the fact that there are no signs whatsoever of his
popularity among the Athenians, this was his biggest mistake. Unlike Pei-
sistratos at Athens or even Theagenes at Megara, Kylon had no impressive
record of great deeds: his recommendations were his Olympic victory
r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
and his aristocratic standing.There is nothing about heroism, leadership,
or patriotism in the great patriotic war. Thus, Kylon had not garnered
and could not garner the crucial popular support he needed both to at-
tain and then maintain power. He stood no chance of reigning once the
Alkmeonidai sat down around the akropolis.
The presence of the Megarians surely set the nal seal on the attempt,
literally alienating Kylon from any constituency that might have remained
to him.
The Megarians were, after all, the Athenians inveterate enemies,
Dorians, whose presence polluted the akropolis.The Athenians must have
felt the Megarian occupation of the akropolis to be intolerable; presum-
ably, they deemed Kylon a traitor for introducing them into the city and
onto the sacred citadel.
Although reaction was almost surely enamed
by the rhetoric of Kylons opponents, the fact of the occupation by a
Megarian force, an unprecedented military disaster to be sure but a ter-
rible psychological one to boot, surely accounts for the immediate, vehe-
ment popular opposition. Preservation myth taught the Athenians that
such occupation had never happened: Kylon presented them with the un-
thinkable. For, while foreigners continued to occupy the akropolis,
Athens was essentially obliterated.
Megaras prots from the establishment of Kylons tyranny are not di-
cult to comprehend. Simply put, Kylon would rule Athens in Megaras
It may be that the Megarians with him were envisioned as a force
of occupation, as the Spartans and others became much later, possibly to
be reinforced or replaced by others over time.
Perhaps these warriors
were the vanguard of Megarians who would actually settle among the
Athenians as Kylons (or Theagenes?) minions. Of course such a design,
coupled with an unpopular tyranny, would have no hope for any
longevity, even as the lifespans of the Spartan-backed regimes later were
very short-lived. In any event, once tyrant, Kylon would presumably do
little to interfere with Megaras further designs upon Eleusis and Salamis,
allowing these either to fall completely to or remain under Megarian
He would certainly not advocate Athenian action against his
father-in-law, and of course his successor would be the grandson of
Megara stood to gain much by Kylons accession, and
Theagenes, in making the marriage alliance, must have calculated at least
some of these results before he backed Kylons bid for power. Really, what
could he lose? If Kylon failed, Megara and its interests would not be
greatly affected.
In fact, though Kylon failed, because of the upshots
of the Kylonian affair, Megara appears to have proted from it.
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Athens, on the other hand, emerged from the affair demoralized, riven,
and nally leaderless in the war. The capture of the akropolis not only
overturned the security of the preservation mythology, Athens ideology
about the polis inviolability, and so deeply injured the Athenians psychol-
ogy, but it also revealed Athens very real vulnerability. The very city,
which the Athenians believed had never been taken, had fallen rather
easily to the Dorians. To make matters worse, it could happen again,
especially in view of the Kylonian crime.The general fear and rage cre-
ated by the seizure of the akropolis may have spurred the Alkmeonidai
furiously to slaughter the remaining Kylonians, thinkingif they thought
at allthat they could get away with it. If that was the case, they were
dead wrong. Kylons seizure of the akropolis evoked emotions that
were turned back on the slaughterers once they had perpetrated their
crime. The slaughter had polluted the altars and implicated the gods in
the affair: the Athenians seem to have believed that the Alkmeonid crime
invited divine retribution. If the Megarians came again, they would come
with the gods on their side and Athena would not hold her hands out
over the city.We can only sense the atmosphere of doom that must have
pervaded the minds of the Athenians in the aftermath of the sphage

In the wake of the slaughter, along with this demoralization and fear,
were anger, recrimination, and divisiveness.The Athenians were revulsed
by the Alkmeonidai and what they had done. Of course, such feelings had
to have been greater and more pronounced nearer in time to the com-
mission of the crime.
In fact, it would seem that what followed the
Kylonian affair affected the Athenian war effort against Megara funda-
mentally, as we shall presently see. The Alkmeonidai were obviously
enemies of Theagenes and Megara at the time Kylon attempted his coup:
because they were in power as archons during a period of hostility with
Megara, they are reasonably to be identied as leaders of the general resist-
ance against the Megarians during the war. The outrage committed by
Alkmeonidai archons nevertheless provided opportunities for their ene-
mies, who now saw a chance to prot from their crime and the weakness
it had created and to deal them out of Athenian politics.
We do not know the sequencing of events after the Kylonian crime
or precisely how long it was before the Alkmeonid perpetrators of
the sphage

were tried formally (if they were) and then exiled.The author
of the Ath.Pol., whose source was probably an Atthis, a local chronicle of
Athens, and Plutarch, whose source for the Kylonian affair could have
been the same, imply that time enough had passed for some of the guilty
o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
to have died.
(Thucydides, who mentions that the polluted were
driven out during the Spartan intervention under Kleomenes, implies the
same inasmuch as the second expulsion entailed exhumation and its rit-
uals would presumably resemble those involved with the rst.)
It is at
least plausible that the Alkmeonidai, however hated they had become in
the aftermath of the Kylonian crime, did not immediately relinquish their
grasp on the political power they so stubbornly defended and were not
instantly driven from the city for their crime.
As war leaders, the Alkmeonidai may not have been damned by the
Athenians until further military setbacks occurred that could then have
been portrayed by their enemies as fruits of their pollution. Plutarch states
that stasis resulted from the Kylonian affair, that it lasted for some time,
and that,the Megarians taking advantage of the turmoil, the Athenians
lost Nisaia and were driven out of Salamis again.
Of course,
Plutarchs testimony is questionable because it is late and somewhat con-
fused (especially with regard to Nisaia), but it is possible that things did
occur along these lines and that the loss of Salamis was attributed to the
pollution of the Alkmeonidai.A time between crime and punishment and
events within it that were disastrous for the Athenians, in particular, a
defeat in battle against the Megarians and subsequent loss of Salamis,
would explain what evidence we have and why the living were punished
with exile but the dead exhumed.
There is some further evidence for a hiatus in the war involving
Salamis beginning with its loss to the Athenians. It derives from a curi-
ous, quite problematic passage in Plutarchs Life of Solon (.+). In it,
Plutarch supplies context for Solons famous poem Salamis: When those
in the city, having been involved in a long and dicult war with the
Megarians over Salamis, were worn out with it, they made a law prohibit-
ing anyone to advocate by written word or speech that the city contend
again for Salamis on pain of death.
Solon, it is said, took this very badly
and devised a way around it. His device, feigned madness, then became
the means for his recitation of Salamis, a poem advocating exactly what
was prohibited, that is, going to war with Megara over the island (Frs. +
This lawhas been held in great suspicion, with Solons feigned
madness and even the venue of the agora taken to be quite implausible.
However that may be, the poem itself, rather than what Plutarch says
about it, dating to the late seventh or very early sixth century i.c.r., must
be the bedrock for any reconstruction of its context.We must rely on it
certainly in the rst instance.
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At a minimum, the poem corroborates the notion that Athens lost
Salamis, that the loss was sometime in the past relative to the time of
Solons recitation, and that, by the loss, the Athenians had been rendered
somehow incapable of mounting any offensive to gain the island back in
the meantime. In the extant fragments of Salamis, Solon mentions the
dicult disgrace (calepov n t ai\ sco~), which, along with his coinage
Salamivnafevtai (Salamis abandoners), indicates that Salamis was either
let go by or wrested forcibly away from the Athenians.
Thoughts of
disgrace are very prominent in the poem: Solons words are in fact very
similar to those of Kallinos (F. +), who attempted to rouse the young men
of his city to war after defeat. Obviously the Athenians were quiescent
when Solon thought that they should be active.
Plutarch offers plausible supplementation to the poem, saying that Solon
was motivated to act from indignation at the disgrace but also because he
saw many young men itching to begin the war again. Now Plutarch may
well have had much more of Salamis before him than we do, and those parts
may have comprised the basis for his statements with regard to Solon and
Salamis.The author of the Ath.Pol., who, like Plutarch, had more of Solons
corpus, seems to concur with Plutarch that a good deal of time had passed
between what happened to Salamis and Solons poem.
All of this makes a good deal of sense: Solon was addressing primarily
young men, exhorting them to war against Megara for Salamis, something
they and the Athenians obviously were not engaged in and had not been
engaged in for some time. If, as seems the case, Solons exhortation oc-
curred around the end of the seventh or the beginning of the sixth cen-
tury i.c.r., and if we may assume that a whole generation of young men
had not seen combat with the Megarians at the time of the recitation,
then it is surely reasonable to think that the Athenian loss of Salamis oc-
curred outside of a generation earlier or around the time of Kylons coup.
If that is so, then the Athenians will have sustained the kind of defeat that
essentially deprived them of the ability to ght, that is, a loss affecting a
generation. That, too, ts Solons words.
It is the kind of defeat that
would constitute a sea change in Athenian affairs and sweep those charged
with it (the Alkmeonidai) right out of power. It would be then, too, that
the pollution would have become an explanation for the grievous loss
and a cause for ghting no more against the gods will.
I offer the following reconstruction. Rather than recoil from the sup-
pression of Kylons revolt, under the leadership of Theagenes, the Megar-
ians took advantage of the fear, confusion, and divisiveness prevailing in
: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
Athensthe stasis to which Plutarch alludesfollowing the Kylonian
The consternation at Athens opened the door for Megarian
aggression with regard to Salamis and Eleusis. Such aggression may have
been met at length by the Athenians in force, led by the Alkmeonidai.
Perhaps the latter staked everything on a victory to reverse their worsen-
ing political fortunes and the growing belief among the Athenians that
they were all cursed as long as the Alkmeonidai governed. Whoever led
the Athenians, the Megarians inicted a crushing defeat on them and took
Salamis. So bad was the defeat that the Athenians wanted to suppress it in
their collective memory, just as they suppressed other painful collective
Now any Athenian taking the eld after the Kylonian af-
fair was already enfeebled by the demoralization caused by religious scru-
ples but also by the rhetoric of enemies of the Alkmeonidai. Any defeat
would have provided the enemies of the Alkmeonidai with all they
needed to get rid of them and install themselves.This, however, was a stun-
ning defeat.We can imagine that these enemies charged the slaughterers
of the Kylonians and their pollution with the defeat: the gods had made
it so. Further hostilities with Megara over Salamis were doomed and
should cease, they would urge. The gods were punishing the Athenians
for the pollution; let the perpetrators, even those who had fallen in battle
and were buried, be expelled, and let there be no more talk of Salamis or
the war with Megara!
To sum up, as public opinion turned against the Alkmeonidai, so did it
turn against those apparently most opposed to the Megarians.The living
Alkmeonidai implicated were thus exiled some time after the Kylonian
affair, very possibly in the wake of military defeat following the sphage

to be replaced by opponents who did not prosecute the war effort, espe-
cially entailing recovery of Salamis. An Athenian party reactionary to
the Alkmeonidai, a group or cabal that is likely to have been less pro-
Megarian than it was opportunistically anti-Alkmeonid and ready to
prot from the Alkmeonid fall from power, will have helped to channel
public opinion against the polluted but also against the war. The two
were certainly implicated.
In so doing, these opportunists harnessed
adverse public emotion, which the polluted had aroused by their actions
against the Kylonians and, I am assuming, because of the ensuing cata-
strophic defeat in the eld.
Megaras work had been done for it by the
divisiveness of the Athenians: the peace party saw to that.
That shortly after their accession and such a defeat the new leaders
would have introduced a law to stie further advocacy of war with
The Path to Fame
Megara over Salamis and that the Athenians would have approved it en
masse is by no means hard to believe, especially if the introduction of the
law were made in the wake of the great defeat and the complete loss of the
island.The same kind of interdiction, voted by the Athenians altogether, is
to be found in their later reaction to Phrynichos The Capture of Miletos in
, i.c.r., his commemoration of the failed Ionian revolt, and the destruc-
tion of Athens great colony, Miletos. Performance of the play, or rather the
reminder of something so very painful, caused such an uproar and evoked
such emotional response from the Athenians that they forbade it by law
ever to be performed again and ned its author quite severely. The
emotion of the moment created a consensus for censorship. Sorrow for
Miletos and their kindred there was surely partially responsible for this re-
vulsion; but fear for themselves, the fact that the Athenians imagined the
same or worse for the city, must have dominated their emotions.The in-
terdiction on the plays performance was for the present and future not the
past, and, we imagine, talk about Miletos fate was also suppressed. Thus,
while the Athenian reaction to Phrynichos play may have had practical
purposes, it certainly had psychological ones. Banning memory of Miletos
fall and the plays performance was after all an apotropaic exercise.
the case of the loss of Salamis, similar emotions could well have played right
into the hands of those who founded their political positions on platforms
of nonbelligerence toward Megara and silence about the war and Salamis.
One must not talk about what could only bring further pain, suffering, and
possibly worse, that is, Salamis, the defeat or the war.
It is ironic indeed to think that Theagenes and the Megarians got most
of what they wanted presumably from Kylons imagined success precisely
as a result of Kylons actual failure.The Athenians were weakened by the
shock of events, rst stunned by the akropolis occupation, then revulsed
by the sacrilegious murders on the altars of the Semnai Theai, and nally
defeat in a battle against the Megarians. They were surely apprehensive
and fearful about what would happen next. Athens anti-Megarian war
leaders were replaced with others more passive to Megara but interested,
above all, in maintaining their own newly obtained power. These were
concerned to clamp down on any troublemaking warmongers who
might imperil their own hold on Athens. As the Spartans knew only too
well that going to war involved unforeseen possibilities for disaster, so did
these new Athenian leaders seem to realize that their power was best
served by quietude and conservatism. It remained for Solon to rekindle
Athenian enthusiasm for the war with Megara.
r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
. soiox :xi s:i:xi s
Those who proted politically from the Kylonian massacre maintained
their power for more than three decades (i.e., from ca. ooo: i.c.r. to
around the time of Solons successful plea for renewing the war for
Salamis, ca. ooo i.c.r.). If there was a law prohibiting mention of Salamis,
an actual treaty or truce with Megara, or simply a de facto policy of
nonaggression, these were effectively repealed when the Athenians re-
newed hostilities with the Megarians.A new regime, pro-war in sentiment,
replaced the appeasers.
Solons political fortunes must be linked to this
new group, at least early on, since, in addition to Salamis, the sentiments
of which prove his pro-war stance, Solon is said to have become war leader
of the Athenian army subsequent to the poems publication. Such a role
is by no means unreasonable.
Though we do not know if Solon spoke of it in any of his other poems,
the only reliable information about the times and their events, the extant
fragments of Salamis, amount to a bid for war leadership and,
regardless of the venue in which they were spoken, imply that Solon as-
pired to become the war leader of the Athenians.
Solons words in the
poem are hortatory; his tone is bellicose. He obviously means for the
Athenians to follow him to war.
Political and military leadership were
thoroughly implicated in Athenian history up to the fourth century, and
the Athenians grant of a special commission to Solon later implies that
he had accomplished something outstanding and obviously patriotic.That
commission made him dictator in effect.
Although the information we
have about Solons leadership in the conict for Salamis from later sources
is garbled, it supports the assumption that he actually got what he wanted
and became strate

gos in the conict.

If Solon did attack the Megari-
ans on Salamis and achieve success there, as seems likely, his victory was
yet incomplete or short-lived, for Salamis had either lapsed again into
Megarian hands or was in danger of doing so when Peisistratos entered
the war. In point of fact, we know nothing of the nature of Solons ac-
tions or achievements regarding Salamis other than to infer at least a par-
tial victory there.
According to Plutarchs sources, Peisistratos participated in the same
phase of the Megarian war as Solon, but such a synchronism is impossible.
They cannot have been co-commanders in the war, for Solons leadership
had to have occurred, by all reckoning, before his archonship and special
commission, which must have been no earlier than ,, i.c.r.
The Path to Fame
scholars place Solons involvement in the Megarian war as early as around
ooo i.c.r. on the basis of Plutarchs arrangement of events, although it must
be said that the latters chronologypromotes little condence even in its
approximate validity.
Solons special commission, with its comprehen-
sive authority, is to be linked to his archonship, and that date may be ac-
cepted as secured by the Athenian archon list. It also provides a terminus
ante quem for Solons part in the war with Megara.
Peisistratosyear of birth cannot really be placed earlier than ca.oo i.c.r.,
and so he could not have been a commander really before ca. ; i.c.r.
For ancient authors, such as Herakleides Pontikos, who owed nothing to
historical objectivity but desired instead the serendipity of bringing Solon
and Peisistratos together, aliation of the two in the same phase of Athens
great patriotic conict was far more attractive than its chronological im-
possibility was prohibitive. The coupling of Solon and Peisistratos in the
struggle for Salamis was wrought from chronological insouciance and the
simple desire to implicate the two most famous Athenians of the time in
the same phase of the Megarian war.
It is to be noted that the author
of the Ath.Pol (+;.:) observed the chronological problem and disowned
the association of Solon and Peisistratos in the Megarian war.
B. PeisistratosWar Leadership
Herodotos says that Peisistratos held the strathgivh (war leadership) in
the Megarian war and that he led the Athenians to victory at Nisaia.The
statement has stirred a certain measure of controversy. Some scholars have
assumed that Herodotos anachronized use of the word strathgivh, since
that oce came into being only with the reforms of o+oo i.c.r.
(Ath.Pol. ::.:), that is, well after the tyranny: its meaning here is there-
fore unclear. Others, however, have posited a pre-Kleisthenic strate

precisely because Herodotos uses the word here; still others have taken it
that strate

goi will have been appointed as required but were not regularly
The controversy seems to be overstated, for it is unreasonable
to attach constitutional ramications involving the pre-Kleisthenic mili-
tary of Athens to Herodotos use of the word strathgivh in this instance.
Herodotos does not appear to be concerned with Athens ocesor any
other Greek ones, for that matterwhen he terms Peisistratos a strate

he is certainly not when he names several Persian commanders of the
sixth century as holders of strate

It is seems far more likely that, as
in the case of the Persians, Herodotos merely seeks to designate Peisis-
o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
tratos war or army leader, whether he was ocially titled strate

gos or
something else.
He means to imply that Peisistratos was overall com-
mander at Nisaia. Peisistratos precise title is of little consequence in rela-
tion to what he actually did during the war. Clearly, as he was credited
with the victory at Nisaia, so did he lead Athens army as its supreme com-
mander on that occasion.
Herodotos tells us further (+.,.) that the Athenians recalled Peisis-
tratos great deeds (megala erga) in the Megarian war at the time they
voted him a bodyguard.They were undoubtedly prompted to do this by
Peisistratos himself at the time he asked for the bodyguard. Earlier in this
chapter, I suggested that the Peisistratid-Neleid link was publicized by
Peisistratos in order to help him acquire leadership of the Athenians, rst
in war and then in peace. Fitness for command in crisis, success in war,
and aptitude for leadership in peace are all primary messages of the
myths of Melanthos and Kodros. The optimum time for Peisistratos to
have publicized these myths rst was before he took command in the
Megarian war, emphasizing for the Athenians that his ancestors, though
from outside of Athens, saved the city from Dorians once long ago.The
implication was that, as their apt descendant, he would do so again.
Peisistratos target audience in this rst instance was undoubtedly those
Athenians most involved in the Megarian war. They were meant to be
impressed not only by the myths argument for Peisistratos tness for
command but also their prediction that complete victory was at hand.
There are in fact several grounds for believing that the Athenians ght-
ing the Megarians were Peisistratos rst constituents and the ones who
made him strate

gos. First, it is reasonable to assume that Peisistratos did

not simply take supreme command upon arrival at the front but was ac-
cepted as a leader only after proving his prowess in battle.This is actually
suggested by Herodotos mention of Peisistratos other great deeds: a
string of successes leading to the generalship is implied.These deeds were
observed in the rst instance and their impressiveness gauged by the
Athenians in the eld. Second, as elsewhere in Greece, the army surely
chose its own leaders and, especially at this stage of the war, will have fa-
vored commanders with superior eld records. Finally, when Peisistratos
entered the citys political arena he appears to have been shut out of the
system there, having no effective city constituency to begin with. City
bosses such as Megakles, the son of Alkmeon, would not have been in-
strumental in the earlier stages of Peisistratos career in acquiring the
strathgivh: indeed, that ran counter to his own interests. Rather, as we
The Path to Fame ;
shall see, the fact of Peisistratos success made Megakles a co-operative of
the tyrant to be.
The core of Peisistratos support for the generalship is likeliest to have
been the Athenians ghting with him. They raised Peisistratos, an out-
sider, either by vote or acclamation, to the strathgiva and presented the
city-politicians with a fait accompli. If this is so, then the strate

gia of Pei-
sistratos might best be seen as a eld promotion brought about by the
emergency of the war and Peisistratos success in it.That actually makes a
good deal of sense in view of Peisistratos distinction from and relative
powerlessness before city politicians later. (The constituency that made
Peisistratos a strate

gos could not have been the men from the hills,since,
according to Herodotos, that faction did not yet exist. In fact, there are
other reasons to exclude it, as we shall see in chapter III.:.A.)
The most reasonable range of years for Peisistratos involvement in the
Megarian war is ca. ;o i.c.r. (see appendices C and D). He was thirty
ca. ; and so is likeliest to have earned the strate

gia after that and to have

won his victory at Nisaia nearer in time to the rst tyranny (o+oo i.c.r.).
If we assume that no great time lapsed between the victory at Nisaia
and Peisistratos rst bid for tyranny, then the strate

gia and victory are

best placed toward the mid-oos. Of course, the war had been long
and drawn out, and, as we have seen, there is reason enough to believe
that Peisistratos worked his way up from inexperience in the war to com-
mand of the Athenians. This may actually have taken some time before
the mid-oos.
It is not out of the question that Peisistratos arrived as a contingent
commander, bringing with him some ghters from the mesogaia, Athens
hinterland, replenishing the ranks of the Athenians of the city. Arriving
with a contingent may have accelerated his rise through the ranks, since
it made him outstanding right away and provided him with better chances
for performing great deedswith his own constituency within the army.
That contingent could not have been very many in number, however
(see chapter II..D.:). However that may be, it is highly unlikely that the
Athenians ghting against the Megarians installed Peisistratos as supreme
commander on his arrival. Rather, even if Herodotos had not mentioned
Peisistratos great deeds in the Megarian war, a signicant string of actions
in which Peisistratos demonstrated his conspicuous abilities for war lead-
ership must have led him to the primary strathgiva. These and Nisaia
led, in turn, to Peisistratos tyranny.
r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
C. Megala Erga (Great Deeds)
There is no specic information about what Peisistratos actually did lead-
ing up to Nisaia, but we can derive some ideas about his great deeds
from their context. For the deeds to have been termed megala, for exam-
ple, they would have to have been conspicuous and memorable. Rather
than mere skirmishes, great deeds implies major actions and notable
successes. Of course this is further implied by Peisistratos attainment of
the strate

The deeds should be associated with the actions that led up to the coup
de grce, not the other way around. Salamis and Eleusis will have to have
gured in some way, since both were at stake during the war and both
were vital for the Athenians to possess securely before an attack could be
launched on the Megarian homeland. Targeting Nisaia suggests, in fact,
that a broader strategy was in operation and along with it a campaign (or
campaigns) that sought to secure preliminary objectives before the pri-
mary objective, the Megarians main port. Peisistratos megala erga must
be thought of as among these preliminaries.
Now, it is reasonable to assume that when the attack on Nisaia was
nally made it was in concert with ships and after Salamis had been taken.
Nisaia was the port of Megara, and it would have been extremely fool-
hardy for the Athenians to have ventured as far as Nisaia if Salamis were
still in the hands of the enemy. Nearly the entire hostile island must then
have been circumnavigated or marched around before an attack could pro-
ceed, Megarian corsairs could have shot at any time at the rear or on the
ank of the Athenians, and the attacking force would have been forced to
sail or march all the way back harrassed by hostiles.Such a land attack seems
entirely out of the question, as we shall presently see. A long ship journey
would not only have been extremely risky, but such an operation is a far
cry from the lightning-type sea raids that our sources indicate occurred
during the Megarian war.Without Salamis rmly under Athenian control,
any attack on Nisaia would have been strategically unsound.
Later authors indicate that Peisistratos participated in the recovery of
Salamis, but their accounts are problematic.
Some scholars have argued
that Peisistratos could not have participated in the retaking of Salamis,
since no mention of it is made by Herodotos and a victory on the island
would have overshadowed Nisaia.
This is an odd argument, indeed,
conditioned as it is by a strange interpretation of Herodotos. It is, above
The Path to Fame ,
all, quite to the contrary of what Herodotos implies when he mentions
Peisistratos great deeds: indeed, by specifying Nisaia but none of the other
deeds, the historian suggests that the successful action at the Megarian
port was Peisistratosgreatest deed,overshadowing all the others. By any
strategists calculation, and certainly by what was achieved there, the tak-
ing of Nisaia was by far the most important of Peisistratos deeds since it
dealt the death blow to the Megarian war effort. (I return to this later.)
On the other hand, suppression by Herodotos sources (or by
Herodotos) of Peisistratos part in reacquiring Salamis for Athens would
be no surprise. Herodotos, or more likely his source(s), knew much more
to attribute to Peisistratos during the war than was reported in the Histo-
ries. Aristotle, who classes Peisistratos among the other warlike tyrants
(Pol. +oa), also seems to have had more information about Peisistratos
and what he did obviously during the war than he cared to relate.
Ancient Greek sources conated the actions of Solon and Peisistratos with
regard to Salamis. Some modern scholars have suggested that Peisistratos
credit for conquering the island was made over to Solon in order to de-
prive him of it.
While it is, after all, very dicult to unravel exactly
who did what or was credited with what in antiquity (see section D.:), it
is far more unlikely that Peisistratos would have been connected at all
with the conquest of Salamis had he nothing to do with it. (In fact, that
Peisistratos was recalled at all for Nisaia in Herodotos is remarkable in
view of Athens ocial hatred of the tyrants in the fth century.) By the
same token, it appears much likelier that credit for other actions against
the Megarians, particularly involving Salamis, was made over to Solon,
the revered sage of Athens, especially because of Solons famous connec-
tion with the island through his poem Salamis. At all events, securing
Salamis was a primary objective for the Athenians during the Megarian
war, and so it is quite on the cards that one of Peisistratos deeds was per-
formed in relation to it. In fact, it is not too much to imagine that he was
instrumental in the permanent recovery of the island for Athens.
Eleusis, too, that disputed, forward position and gateway either to the
Megarid or to Attika, had to have been Athenian before an attack on the
Megarid could be made.There is some evidence that Eleusis also gured
among Peisistratos megala erga, but the evidence for this is more prob-
lematic. Aineias Taktikos (.++) makes Peisistratos the leader of the
Athenians when he learned that a Megarian raid on Eleusis was in the
ong. He not only saved Eleusis but turned the Megarian attack back on
itself. While Aineias testimony is unreliable, as we shall see, it stands to
o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
reason that Eleusis was subject to Megarian raids as long as the war con-
tinued. Like Salamis, securing Eleusis was a natural preliminary to any for-
ward operation involving the Megarid itself, and Aineias connection of
Peisistratos to it as war leader might be taken as a vague recollection of
action Peisistratos was actually involved in there. At least, some ancient
tradition placed him there during the war.
Assaults from ships are plausible tactics to have been employed by either
side during the war. For their part, the Megarians needed to do no more
than man their ships and slip down the sound from Vourkhadi Bay, hold-
ing to the Megarian shore, to light upon the Eleusinians, killing and steal-
ing what they could (g. ).
This was quick, easy, and lucrative, and far
safer than marching overland to ght a pitched battle. Of course, the
episode described by Aineias involving Peisistratos at Eleusis is conated
with a reciprocal amphibious Athenian raid at a landfall near Megara (g.
o) and, as we shall see, is most likely based upon Peisistratos reputation
for cleverness.While Aineias story can be taken, at best, only vaguely to
refer to any military action seen by Peisistratos at Eleusis during the
Megarian war, it does give some idea about Eleusis exposure and vulner-
ability to Megarian attack during the war.
A further reason why Eleu-
sis had to be secured before Nisaia was that it could provide a base for a
punitive Megarian counterattack on Athens.The merits of Aineias testi-
mony aside, action involving Eleusis, whether the Athenians captured it
from the Megarians or consolidated their hold on it, could certainly have
gured among Peisistratos great deeds during the Megarian war.
Naval operations described by Aineias and other authors are sugges-
tive of the type of tactics that the Athenians and Megarians actually em-
ployed during the war. In fact, all the Athenian war activities of the early
sixth century i.c.r., whether attributed to Solon or Peisistratos, in-
volved the use of ships and ghters who issued from them onto shore.
It is therefore reasonable to think that the Athenians attacked the
Megarians from their ships just as the Megarians attacked the Athenians
from theirs. For an assault on Nisaia, Athenian naval strength had obvi-
ously to have reached some higher degree of strength and eciency
than before. If that is so and Eleusis and Salamis were secured, we may
imagine some preliminary Athenian hit and run type raids, on the or-
der of those Aineias attributes to the Megarians at Eleusis.As mentioned,
these were quick, of lower risk and more protable than full-blown war-
fare and the booty and slaves taken would have made them popular with
Megarian and Athenian warriors alike. Peisistratos must have been in-
The Path to Fame +
volved in at least some of this type of naval warfare and must have dis-
tinguished himself in it.
The capture of Nisaia itself suggests that the Athenians nally hit upon
a strategy to win the war, the ultimate aim of which, no matter the extent
of the plan, was the taking of Megaras main port.This strategy could have
been arrived at much earlier in the going or when the sites requisite for
the attack on Nisaia (viz., Salamis and Eleusis) had come rmly under
Athenian control. The rst objective of any Athenian strategy during the
war had to have been securing Attic lands and possessions in forward areas.
Second,Athenian naval strength had to be built up to a greater degree than
before, the ships organized to ght together, and their crews drilled to such
an extent as would make them capable of a successful landing at and attack
upon Megaras port.Third, someone had to grasp the fact that the key to
ending the war was Nisaia and so to have observed that Megara depended
on its port as its lifeline.
In fact, it must have taken someone who looked
with fresh eyes at a war that had gone on for years inconclusively and who
determined that something different had to be done.
Targeting Megaras main port as the end objective of a campaign,
whether long or short, implies a comprehensive grasp of strategy not at
all at home in the inconclusive border warfare, the hit-and-hit back,that
seems to have predominated before the arrival of Peisistratos.
A new-
comer like Peisistratos might see things clearer, understand that such rel-
atively petty warfare as had been the rule would only prolong the war,
and see that bolder strokes were needed. Certainly Peisistratos ability to
grasp the bigger picturewas demonstrated by his preparations to return
to Athens during his second exile: then, for nearly a decade, he set about
amassing resources far from Athens to effect his homecoming (see chap-
ter IV.+). It could well be, then, that Peisistratos was the architect not just
of the victory at Nisaia but of the campaign and a string of victories, large
and small, leading to the nal one with which he is credited.
At all
events, it is quite clearly implied that Peisistratos performed in the war as
other Athenians before him had not.
D. Nisaia
+. The Testimonies of Aineias Taktikos and Others
The earliest, most extensive ancient testimonia we have about a major
Athenian victory over the Megarians in the Megarid involving Peisis-
: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
tratos derives from Aineias Taktikos, whose Poliorke

tika is generally dated

to the early fourth century i.c.r. In his handbook collection of sieges and
captures,Aineias describes two actions in which Peisistratos was involved
as war leader of the Athenians against the Megarians, both occurring
on the same day. In the rst case, Peisistratos frustrates a Megarian attack
on the Eleusinians; in the second, Peisistratos leads a naval force to a land-
ing within sight of Megara, where by trickery he manages to capture
many of the important Megarians and so inict a devastating blow on
the enemy. Aineias testimony is unfortunately highly dubious, and what
little historical value it possesses may only be by accident.
According to Aineias, word was brought to Peisistratos when he was
serving as general that the Megarians were about to launch a night raid
on Eleusis.Their plan was to seize Athenian women who were conduct-
ing the Thesmophoria there.Anticipating the attack, Peisistratos ambushed
the Megarians, killing many. Then, after ordering his men apparently to
dress in the armor of the enemy and some of the women to feign captiv-
ity, he embarked them on the Megarian ships, sailed toward Megara, and
came to land at some distance from the city.
The sighting of what
appeared to be their victorious, hostage-laden ships returning home
brought out a crowd of Megarians, including ocials and others, to re-
ceive the sailors disembarking. Peisistratos had previously instructed his
men to go out from the ships to meet them and, on a signal,
to attack
those whom they met. They were to refrain, however, from killing the
most important men (ejpifanevstatoi) and to return to the ships with as
many of them as they could capture to be held as hostages.
What Pei-
sistratos ordered was accomplished. Having captured rst the ships and
then much of the Megarian establishment, Peisistratos was victorious
twice in one day.
Although the account does not specify the location of the victory, there
are good reasons to believe that it purports to describe the action at
Peisistratos major achievement in the Megarian war was there,
Herodotos says; the victory described by Aineias was won by Peisistratos
as commander against the Megarians: the victory is total for the Atheni-
ans, crushing for the Megarians.
Frontinus (Str. :.,.,), who appears to
follow Aineias, or more probably his source, inasmuch as his account
varies really only in details from Aineias, makes it clear that the victory
described in the anecdote ended the war, for he includes it in a section
entitled si res prospere cesserit, de consummandis reliquiis bellis. Moreover,
Justin (:..+), who in his epitome of Trogus repeats what seems to be
The Path to Fame
the same story as Aineias and Frontinus, says explicitly (:..) that the
Megarians came down to the port (obvii ad portum procedunt) to meet
the arriving ships and men. It is of course possible that this is a deduction
by Trogus or an addition by Justin (or some other author), but it is just as
likely that the same source for all of these indicated that the Athenians
came to land at a Megarian port and that the port was Nisaia.
This is precisely where the problems with Aineias account begin. It
is most unlikely that Peisistratos would have made a surprise attack on
Nisaia or the Megarid in the way described after action near Eleusis.The
passage between the Megarid and Salamis was perilous indeed for the
Athenians, especially on the way to Nisaia, even if the Athenians were in
complete control of Salamis.
Athenian ships would had to have passed
Boudoron on Salamis, coming very close to Megarian land on the isth-
mus before rounding the promontory of Nisaia, all of course within full
sight of the Megarians (g. o).
As it is, as the account reads, the ships
pass close to Megarian land on the right, coasting all along the way, all
without being observed, haled, or challenged by other ships before they
come to land. For the Athenians coming from Eleusis, the obvious place
to put in nearest to Megaraas for the Megarians to put out to sea for
Eleusiswas Vourkadhi Bay, just across from Boudoron at some distance
from the city but well within sight of it (g. o). Landfall at the closest
spot to Megara for those coming from Eleusis (i.e., adjacent to Boudoron)
makes some tactical sense if the objective were Megara itself. However,
such a landing makes no such sense at all for an attack on Nisaia.The cap-
ture of the notable men of Megaraor rather how cleverly they were
capturednot the taking of the port of Nisaia, is what is featured in
Aineias, just as it is in Frontinus and Justin/Trogus. In fact, Aineias ac-
count is not really a description of military action but of cleverness.
Such discrepancies weaken the accounts historical credibility.
The doubts attaching to Aineias account are compounded by the sim-
ilarity of Peisistratos stratagem in Megarian territory to Solons on
Salamis, the commonalities of which many scholars have observed.
each case, the Megarians come to take women, are fooled by the Atheni-
ans, who ambush them, and then the latter sail on ships (Megarian ones)
to conquer either Salamis or the Megarians in their home territory.
While, for reasons already stated, it might be reasonable to consider that
the anecdote involving Peisistratos, the women at the festival, and the am-
bush begot that which featured Solon with its similar details (or, perhaps
less likely, vice versa), probing either for further historical detail is really
r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
a barren exercise. Regardless of its original featured player, both stories
emphasize really only the cleverness of the principal. And that, not the
transmission of historical fact, is surely their purpose.
It is the topos of Peisistratos cleverness, along with the basic facts at-
taching to any war between Athens and Megara (e.g., the enemy was
Megarian, the action involved the sea, Eleusis was attacked, then the
Megarid in turn, etc.), that drives the story we nd in Aineias (and Fron-
tinus and Justin) and dictates many of the details we nd in it. The am-
bush at Eleusis, the apparent dressing of the Athenians as Megarian war-
riors and the feigned captivity of the Athenian women, the prearranged
signal, and the capture of the Megarian men of importance are all ex-
amples of consummate deception and surpassing cleverness and explain
how the victory was won.The totality of the victory, especially the hostage
taking of the ejpifanevstatoi, helps explain how the war was ended.The
Megarians could not continue hostilities with such captives in the hands
of the Athenians, really their whole ruling cadre and presumably the heart
and soul of resistance, all now in enemy hands.
The Megarians must
capitulate, even as Aineias story implies.
The complete victory of Pei-
sistratos over the Megarians is thus portrayed as the result of a series of
tricks and strategems, easily to be believed of the tyrant, but nothing more.
Aineias account seems to have been embellished from little more than
the facts that Peisistratos was commander and that his victory over the
Megarians was a complete one, that the victory involved attack from the
sea, and, of course, that Peisistratos was surpassingly clever.
The very
lack of hard information about Peisistratos victory at Nisaia undoubtedly
opened the door for Aineias (or his source) to recreate what seemed plau-
sible to him in view of what little survived about the tyrant in the war and
at the battle.Aineias simply put in what t his purposes and what little he
received, just as Herakleides and others did later for similar reasons.
What appears in the story (e.g., another illustration of Peisistratos clev-
erness) and what does not (e.g., the details of the actual engagement)
might best be explained once again by Athenian attitudes toward the
tyranny in the fth century i.c.r. The hostility of the Athenians to the
Peisistratids acted, as it did elsewhere, to mute or mutate transmission of
the facts, in this case about the victory at Nisaia.The theme pervading the
Athenian explanation for the tyranny entire, Peisistratos cleverness, be-
came the primary characteristic of the tyrant because it was acceptable to
the Athenians and so was introduced in this case.
Peisistratos became
a lodestone for generic stories involving wit and guile, some of which
The Path to Fame
may have had basis in fact, some obviously did not.
The Athenians did
not attempt to deny the fact of Peisistratos role in Nisaia, but they prob-
ably said little about it. The very brief reference to the victory in
Herodotos is obviously to be taken as a palpable result of the Athenians
dampening of positive references to the tyrants. Of course, the relative
silence about Peisistratos specic accomplishments in the Megarian war
created possibilities for later authors when the need to be quiet about the
Peisistratids had subsided.Aineias Taktikos account, apparently built from
silence and on the motif of Peisistratos cleverness, is not itself historically
credible overall. It does, however, offer some plausibilities, especially when
viewed in context.
:. Toward a Reconstruction from Context
What Peisistratos did exactly at Nisaia and precisely how he conducted
himself in the war against Megara we may not say for certain. In relation
to Nisaia, we know that it was captured by the Athenians with Peisistratos
commanding. However, we may esh things out a bit more, being rea-
sonably sure that certain conditions would have applied in any case and
that these had some bearing on any such action at Nisaia.
First of all, it is reasonable to think that Megaras main port was cap-
tured by Athenian warriors debarking from ships rather than marching
overland and through the Megarid.There is general agreement about such
tactics and warfare in the Megarian war in our sources, and this type of
assault makes a good deal of sense. Admittedly, the Athenians could have
laid siege to Nisaia after marching in force from Eleusis through the
Megarid, for they arrived at Megara in + i.c.r. having done just that.
But at that time the entire (and, indeed, expanded) Athenian muster
marched forth, and even then, during the Peloponnesian war, although
the Athenians invaded the Megarid twice yearly by land, they seem to
have relied on ships as well as land forces.
Certainly, tactics varied from the early sixth century to the later fth,
and if the Athenians marched out in full force (whatever that was in the
early sixth century i.c.r.) and through the Megarid they would have
faced the entire Megarian army at the end of their long march if they did
not meet it at the border. To have attacked Megara overland would not
only have required very large numbers of hoplites, but the long march,
taking time, would have alerted their enemies that they were coming and
exposed them to attack in hostile country, both there and back.When they
o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
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arrived outside Megara, they would have faced a pitched battle with, pre-
sumably, the full muster of Megarians, backs to the city walls, protecting
their homes and families.The element of surprise lost, battle before siege
and siege after battle would have been necessary. These were not very
happy prospects for warriors who from all indications were hit and run
type raiders for the most part.The odds were not very good, but the risks
were very high. Finally, if the Athenians marched by land we must ques-
tion why they diverted to Nisaia when Megara was the real objective.
Because of the limitations of the scope of operations during the Ar-
chaic period (i.e., in terms of men and ships) and because of what we are
told about operations by later authors (as untrustworthy as that informa-
tion might seem), it is most reasonable to assume that Peisistratos and the
Athenians attacked Nisaia suddenly and by sea, setting out from Salamis
and bearing down on the port not after a long march through the
Megarid but in lightning raid fashion. Such an assault might have been
similar to the landing described by Aineias but perhaps more closely re-
sembled the assault the Athenians made on Nisaia during the Pelopon-
nesian war.
The latter was in fact a lightning-type strike with some
help from a fth column of Nisaians. If that is so and Peisistratos opera-
tion proceeded similarly, there would have been no siege of Nisaia.
Rather, everything would have depended on surprise and rapid occur-
rence: the Megarians essentially would have been handed a fait accompli.
In case things did not go according to plan, support could come up
quickly from Salamis, presumably the launching base for the attack, or the
island would provide a safe redoubt where the failed attackers could shel-
The operation of Miltiades, the victor of Marathon, in the north-
eastern Aegean offers a nearer contemporary case for comparison here:
the descent of his land-sea force upon Lemnos from Elaious in the Cher-

se was sudden and effective. It took so short a time that the Lemni-
ans were quite unable to believe it. They were altogether unprepared,
found themselves in no position to resist him, and so surrendered.
Such a lightning attack required careful planning. Perhaps the Atheni-
ans had established contact with traitors inside the port who would open
the gates, just as they were to do during the Peloponnesian war.
sumably, the Athenians had become aware of Nisaias particular weak-
nesses. Observing or gaining intelligence as to conditions at Nisaia, the
Athenians may have simply shown up, bearing down from the sea, just as
Miltiades did at Myrrhina and just as Lysandros would do to them at
Aigospotamoi in o i.c.r. The concerted action of at least several ships
is certainly implied, and credit for the operation must be Peisistratos as
commander of record at Nisaia. Inasmuch as Peisistratos built up over-
whelming force before marching to Palle


, it is not unreasonable to think

that he did the same before Nisaia.
We may assume that the attack on Nisaia was not purposed to annex
the Megarian port to Athens permanently but to bring Megara itself to
its knees.The Athenians did not occupy Megarian landat least there is
no evidence to that effectand so we must infer that it was never their
intention to do so. Just as during the Peloponnesian war, it had been as-
certained that the master of Nisaia was also the master of Megara and the
Athenians sought to end the war by choking off Megaras lifeline.
turing it, the Athenians not only could deprive the Megarians of the abil-
ity to launch warships against Salamis or any other Athenian territory, but
they could also interdict communication and commerce with Megaras
colonies and colonials or any other trading partners.
The capture of
Nisaia was a well-aimed blow, apparently the end of a strategic plan fun-
damentally to disrupt Megaras capacity for war once for all.
As generals did in Archaic and early Classical Greece, Peisistratos very
likely led from the front, bearing a share of the actual ghting. That is
vaguely implied in Herodotos testimony about megala erga.
If that
is so, Peisistratos saw action at Nisaia on land certainly and possibly at sea
as well. The war archon, Kallimachos, the commander at Marathon, of-
fers a good comparison here. Kallimachos led the Athenian right wing in
person and died in the forefront, by no means an unusual cause of death
among Greek strate

goi in the fth century i.c.r.

Combat is implied
in PeisistratosThracian sojourn, and it would actually be anomalous if he
did not lead from the front.
From his rank and the implications of
his past career, we may conclude that the quality of his ghting was very
good, that his presence at the forefront gured in his successes. Greek gen-
erals, like Greek athletes, many of whom were made generals after distin-
guishing themselves in the contests, seem to have been physically suited
for their roles as actual war leaders.
Finally, although there is no proof, it is reasonable to assume that,
through the campaign preliminary to the capture of Nisaia, Peisistratos
had with him at least a circle of companions from the mesogaia or else-
where. Such a contingent seems to have accompanied Peisistratos north
to Rhaike

los and then to the Strymon (cf. chapter IV.+.B.). These may
have attached themselves to Peisistratos early in his career and perhaps in-
cluded members of the Philaid genos, some of whom were later high-
r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
level cooperatives with the tyrants.This does not by any means mean to
say that Peisistratos had the manpower of the mesogaia behind him when
he entered the war or even later when he tried for the tyranny. In fact,
nothing suggests that Peisistratos ever commanded a large force of meso-
gaians.We have no notion of the size of a group of his followers, friends,
or retainers (philoi).
The arrival of Peisistratos could nevertheless have hallmarked that of
an important new contingent of Athenians from the mesogaia whose skills
or strengths whatever its size were brought to bear in the Megarian strug-
gle for Athens.As mentioned earlier,Theognis of Megara remarks on men
down from the hills,indicating the appearance of outlanders there. Pei-
sistratos and his circle might signal something similar at Athens. Worn
out by the war, both cities were perhaps turning to their hinterlands at
this stage for help in the long struggle.The very renewal of Athenian op-
erations against Megara might be taken to suggest that new resources had
been located and could be deployed.There is, to be sure, no sign of any-
thing like a mass movement from the hinterland to Athens, and we might
suspect that Megara was also less than inundated by swarms from the
hills, the crabbiness of Theognis notwithstanding. Certainly, diakrians
did not weigh in for Peisistratos in any signicant numbers greater than
the astoi of Athens.Yet, even a small group of well-trained ghting men,
perhaps near professionals like Peisistratos himself, could have tipped the
scales in the Megarian war, making up in energy and skill what they may
have lacked in numbers. Obviously, the Athenians had established supe-
riority in strategic planning and execution.
To summarize, it is most likely that Nisaia was taken by the Athenians
under Peisistratos in a naval raid launched from Salamis. The attack was
planned out and should have been preceded by a buildup of some land
and sea force. It was intended to deliver a crippling blow to Megara by
depriving it of its port and so of access to the sea.The Athenians had no
intention of keeping the port city or, for that matter, any part of the
Megarid. Rather, possession of Nisaia was probably to be traded for the
permanent security of Eleusis, Salamis, and Phaleron. (Some further re-
calcitrancy about ownership of Salamis by the Megarians is indicated in
our sources; it was nevertheless settled through Spartan arbitration: see
section E.) It is reasonable to think that, as later, Peisistratos was accom-
panied by a group of adherents. His leadership may have attracted some
mesogaians, just as his cause later attracted many to his standard before


. Peisistratos did not raise the region, however, nor did he bring
The Path to Fame ,
with him its total muster by any means. He was not the leader of the
mesogaia, and his inuence there was not so great as to allow him to set
himself at the head of a great many of its warriors.
After the war, undoubtedly at least in part because of Nisaia, Megara
quickly sank to tertiary status to be dominated both by its adversaries and
its bigger neighbors, Corinth and Athens, and by its dependence on im-
The victory for the Athenians marked the effective end of
Megarian power in the region: Megara posed no further threat to Athens
of itself. For their part, the Athenians had avenged the seizure of akropo-
lis by the minions of Theagenes almost tit for tat.The Athenians were also
now freed to become more active in the area of former Megarian inter-
est, that is, toward the Euxine. In fact, it is quite likely that Peisistratos
victory at Nisaia stimulated Athenian colonial activity in the Troad and
then in the Thracian Chersone

E. Manipulation of Myth and the Megarian War
Although Herodotos patently ascribes the victory at Nisaia to Peisistratos,
some effort was made by later authors to make the credit for the Athen-
ian success in the Megarian war over to Solon, especially with regard to
The trend may have begun with the Atthidographers, who re-
ect popular Athenian attitudes of the fth and fourth centuries toward the
tyrant and the sage.These local chronicles seem to have strongly inuenced
the accounts of the Ath.Pol., Plutarchs Life of Solon, and perhaps even
Aineias Taktikos. Athenian claims to Salamis, grounded in prehistorical
myth (according to the Athenians), were said to have been asserted by
Solon in an arbitration case over which the Lakedaimonians presided as
judges. Until that arbitration, the war seems not to have ocially ended.
If there was a Spartan arbitration and the case was in fact settled in
Athens favor, then it is much likelier that Peisistratos was involved. It is
far more likely that he, rather than Solon, put forth the claim that Salamis
was inveterately Athenian on the grounds that it had been donated to
Athens by Eurysakes and Philaios, the sons of the great hero Aias.
The myth established that Salamis had been ceded to the Athenians
in the Bronze Age. It can hardly be a coincidence that the myth in-
volved Philaios, the eponymous for the home deme of the Peisistratidai.
(This is explicitly noted in Plutarchs account.) Not only did the myth
emphasize that Salamis was Athenian from the time of the heroes,
but also that Peisistratos was especially connected to it, as he was con-
oo r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
nected to Philaios. It was, as it were, his island. Obviously, the myth of the
Eurysakid/Philaid cession served Peisistratos and his purposes far more
than it did Solon.
A similar kind of connection between Athens and Aias is to be found
in the famous interpolation in the Iliad (:.;), which had the Bronze
Age Athenians and Salaminians neighbors in the Achaian battle line be-
fore the walls of Troy.
Aias from Salamis led two-and-ten ships
And brought them where the Athenian ranks were drawn up.
The lines actually further support Athens claim to Salamis by making
Salaminians and Athenians comrades-in-arms.
The Megarians of
course declared the lines counterfeit and proposed their own alternative,
apparently to no avail.
In any case, our interest is not in the debate
about the lines authenticitythey are in fact interpolated. It is more in
the fact of the debate or, rather, the roles thought to be played by those
who are credited with concocting the argument. Strabo observes (,.+.+o)
that ancient opinion was divided as to whether Solon or Peisistratos de-
vised and inserted these lines into the Iliad. Of course, the Peisistratids
were famously associated with the epic as its rst recensionists but also as
Propaganda that Salamis was Athenian of old was likely
to have been generated while Salamis was still in dispute: the lines should
be attributed to Peisistratos or Solon.
But the only source that attaches
a recension of the Iliad to Solon is the very late and unreliable Diogenes
Laertios, an ascription that is at odds with the chorus of attribution to the
Peisistratids by earlier authors.
On the evidence, this insertion,
grounded in a time when such connections needed to be made, was the
work of the Peisistratids.
A further kind of proof about Salamis original ownership, albeit
rather oblique, once more said to have been adduced by Solon, also seems
better ascribed to Peisistratos. According to Plutarch (Sol. +o.), Solon
claimed that Salamis was Athenian because the orientation of the graves
of the earlier Salaminians, that is, facing west, reected Athenian practice:
hence the Salaminians were Athenians. Hereas the Megarian, however,
countered the Athenian claim (FrGrHist o F +), saying that the Megar-
ians, too, buried their bodies facing west. Moreover, the Megarians in-
terred multiple bodies in them, as did the early Salaminians, whereas the
Athenians buried only one body per grave. Once more, nothing is proven
The Path to Fame o+
by the argumentation, but, if the story is true, it is interesting that the
Athenians were the rst to resort to an argument from archaeology to ad-
vance their claims to the island.
There are other examples of such science applied by the Athenians
of the fth century to the interpretation of graves.Thucydides says (+..+)
that Karians were recognized as the earlier inhabitants of the island of
Delos, in part because of the method of their burial: this was determined
during the Peloponnesian war when the Athenians took up all the graves
on the island in order to purify it (.+o.:).
Thucydides also reports
that Peisistratos had taken up the graves within sight of the temple of
Delian Apollo over one hundred years earlier. According to Herodotos
(+.o.:), this seems to have occurred shortly after Palle


sumably, Peisistratos had provided the Athenians with both the reason
for and method of taking up the graves in order to purify the island.
At least we read of no Athenians specically associated with the actual
opening of graves other than Peisistratos. Could something similar to the
purication of Delos have occurred on Salamis? It makes some sense that
the Athenians would want to signal a permanent change of the islands
ownership from Megarian to Athenian, and of course Dorians were un-
welcome as impure on the Athenian akropolis.The Athenian argument
from archaeology for Salamis seems more likely to have been spawned
by Peisistratos than by Solon, to whom no such archaeological endeavors
are otherwise attached.
We may add one more potential transfer to Solon, again involving
the Spartan arbitration, but vaguer still than those already mentioned.
Why would the Spartan Dorians nd in favor of Ionian Athens claim to
Salamis and rule against the Dorian Megarians? Surely, if there was such
an arbitrationand that is not all certaina mere propagandistic argu-
ment would not have impressed the judges.
In fact, the Spartans did
rule for Athens. It could be that the Spartans sought their own advantage,
weakening Megara on behalf of its important ally, Corinth. But Megara
was depleted by the time of Nisaia and would pose no further threat to
Corinth or Athens. Giving Salamis to Athens would, on the contrary,
strengthen the Athenians and their presence in the Saronic Gulf. It cer-
tainly looks like a political favor done on behalf of Athens.
Now the Peisistratidai were guest-friends (xenoi) of the Spartans
and were highly thought of by them until the time of Hippias very near
the end of the sixth century.
Solon had no such famous link to the
Spartans. Kleomenes, the king of Sparta in the latter sixth century, had
o: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
pretensions to Achaian descent and entered the temple of Athena, he de-
clared, not as Dorian but, rather astonishingly, as an Achaian (Hdt.
.;:.). Kleomenes was surely not alone among the Lakedaimonians in
having such pretensions. Peisistratos apparently used Bronze Age myth to
Athens advantage; his sons were responsible for interpolating the famous
lines about Aias and Athens. Could the pretensions of the Spartan roy-
alsand Kleomenes own sense of leave to enter the temple of Athena
have been created through the manipulation of myth by the Peisistratids?
Did Peisistratos allege anity to the Spartan kings? Is that how the Pei-
sistratid xenia with the Spartans came about?
Some special connection
with the Spartan kings is indicated that overrode national and racial dis-
tinctions and made the Spartans more favorable to the Athenians than the
Megarians. The somewhat surprising award of Salamis to the Athenians
by the Spartans is better explained if the Spartans ruled on behalf of their
guest-friends and kin, the Peisistratids and the Athenians.
There is yet a quite curious detail of Solons campaign for Salamis re-
ported in Plutarch, which might amount to one last transfer credit from
Peisistratos to Solon. It is, however, murky and not easy to construe. In
Plutarchs Life of Solon (,.:), before action on Salamis, Solon anchors
his ship off Salamis facing toward Euboia (my italics).
While some
have suggested that this might reect local idiom involving the island of
Atalante, offshore from Salamis, and its relationship to the Attic mainland
(i.e.,facing toward Euboia [= Attika?]),
it is more reasonably drawn
from a story that included Euboia somehow in it. Of course, the diakria
on the eastern Attic coast (certainly including Brauron/Philadai) faces
Euboia, and the description of Solons anchorage seems more appropos
to that region of Attika than to Attika under a different name.
was not connected in any special way with Euboia, and the cryptic ref-
erence here is, once more, better suited to Peisistratos than to Solon.
The meaning of this reference to Euboia is unknown, however, and it is
dicult to see what it could possibly mean for the controversy involving
ownership of Salamis, unless perhaps it had some connection to Philaios
the Salaminian and his immigration to eastern Attika.
Later sources did in fact transfer what was credited to Peisistratos (or
possibly his sons) over to Solon.The divergence of creditation is more im-
plicit in some of our sources (viz., Plutarch), in others more explicit (e.g.,
Ath.Pol., Strabo). The reasons for this transference are obvious: the Pei-
sistratids were ocially execrated as tyrants by the Athenians from the
early fth century; Solon was, of course, the Ur-spirit of the democracy,
The Path to Fame o
the genius of democratic Athens.
The ocial polarization, derived from
then, seems to be responsible for the origins of the controversy: it went
so far as to designate Solon a Salaminian.
Later authors, possibly with
the divided opinions of Atthidographers or others before them, chose one
side or the other, although the preponderance of opinion seems to have
followed the ocial Athenian lead and given perhaps much undue credit
to Solon.There is, it is to be noted, no sure way to know whether the in-
formation attaching to either was valid to begin with, although we may
say that what presents itself as a kind of propaganda uniting Salamis,
Athens, and Peisistratos seems best credited to the Peisistratids.
Solon was responsible for an important victory over the Megarians at
Salamisthat seems certain. But it was Peisistratos who secured the island
for Athens by capturing Nisaia. Perhaps he or his heirs established legal
claim to the island by repeating their own myths about it.These seem to
have been duly rehearsed for the Spartans, who nally assented to Athe-
nian ownership of the island. (The arbitration, if it occurred, was a master-
stroke for the Athenians, for it placed the prestige and might of the
Lakedaminonians behind their decision for Athens. Presumably, the Pei-
sistratids knew going into the arbitration what to expect from their guest-
friends.). Solons victory at Salamis may only be considered a minor one,
a round in the war with Megara, since Salamis was insecure until Nisaia
nally fell. Peisistratos, however, effectively ended the era of Megarian ex-
pansiveness in the Saronic Gulf region and overseas and it was from this
time that Athens began in earnest its own expansion and to establish per-
manent overseas interests.The stimulus for this surely was victory over the
Megarians, but it was also due to Peisistratos, whose interests in colonial-
ism were xed even before he had rooted his tyranny at Athens.
F. Summary
Athens and Megara were involved for most of the seventh and early sixth
centuries in a war for possession of Salamis and Eleusis. Megara was
mostly successful before the turn of the century, inicting at least one very
serious defeat upon the Athenians around the time of Kylons attempted
tyranny. Athens was successful thereafter in large part due to Solon and
then Peisistratos. Peisistratos became strate

gos apparently in the latest

phase of the war, and under his leadership the Athenians secured Salamis
once for all. From there, the Athenians were able to launch their attack
on Megaran Nisaia.A decisive victory effectively ended the war in Athens
o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
favor. It established Peisistratos popularity solidly and paved the way for
his rst tyranny. The victory at Nisaia must be considered the sine qua
non for Peisistratos rst tyranny, for without it he would not have had
the popular support he needed to establish his tyranny.
In view of the long, drawn-out nature of the war and the hardships it
caused the Athenians, in light of the consternation created by Kylons at-
tempted tyranny and the relief the Athenians must have felt after Nisaia,
it is easy to imagine why Peisistratos became and remained popular and
why the Athenians were willing to surrender a tyranny to him. Nisaia
did not automatically beget the tyranny for Peisistratos. Rather it created
a popularity that allowed him to aspire to such power. That popularity
however had to be united with that which the Athenians from at least the
time of Solon had made the prerequisite for any lasting political power

mata. For success in politics at Athens, Peisistratos had now to devise

other means to complement his military success and the popularity it had
The Path to Fame o
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance
+. i x+roiuc+i ox
Sometime after Nisaia, when Peisistratos had become renowned and pop-
ular among the Athenians for his effective leadership and successes in the
Megarian war, he xed his sights rmly on the tyranny. This will most
likely have occurred between ca. oo i.c.r., the range of dates prob-
able for the campaign leading to Nisaia, and o+oo i.c.r., the year of
the archonship of Komeas, during which Peisistratos took the tyranny
for the rst time.
Except for the sparse and problematic testimony of
Herodotos, we know nothing of the steps Peisistratos took before enter-
ing the very different arena of Athenian city politics. Much of the infor-
mation Herodotos supplies is of questionable value, not only for the
period leading up to the rst tyranny but also for the time following it
down to Peisistratos ight to Eretria.
Herodotos does supply some information, which, when it agrees with
Solons, may be taken as more trustworthy if not completely factual.
Herodotos implies that Peisistratos was popular among the Athenians be-
cause of his triumph over the Megarians. Public favor gured prominently
in his attempts to become tyrant once again. Solon assures us that the
will of the Athenian de

mos was indispensable for political success, but

also that the de

mos was inconstant, supporting and then withdrawing

support from politicians.The de

mos was manipulated by speech and ac-

tions as well as circumstances. Its uctuating will accounts in part for Pei-
sistratos variable political fortunes early on. Furthermore, in spite of
Peisistratos individual merits as leader or his popularity, because of polit-
ical circumstances in Athens, he could not have become tyrant without
further help from within the city and above all from those who could in-
uence the will of the de

mos there.
As we shall see, according to Solon, the only really reliable source for
the period, politics was played out in or near the city by the astoi; Solon
never mentions the country or country folk in his political poetry. Rather,
he implies that city politicians had been competing for power for some
time and that the competition, established certainly by his day, was cen-
tered on the city itself.This condition we may take as fact for the time of
Peisistratos rst foray into Athenian politics, for Herodotos indicates the
same polarity of city-oriented factions before the arrival of Peisistratos as
Solon attests for his time.As a newcomer to this establishment, Peisistratos
required the backing of at least one of the two sides and, of course, its
leader.That, as we shall see, he got. In his rst bid for tyranny, Peisistratos
clearly enjoyed the favor of the de

mos and so its leader.The Solonian dy-

namicsand the inuence of the leader of the de

mos are in fact portrayed

both implicitly and explictly in Herodotos account.
:. rri si s+r:+os

ri rs+ +.r:xx.
A. Herodotos and the Parties of Attika
+. Introduction
So, although Chilon had advised him [sc. to desist from child begetting],
Hippokrates would not be persuaded. Afterward, that Peisistratos was born
to him, who, when the Athenians of the coast (paraloi) who were led
by Megakles, the son of Alkmeon, and those from the plain (ek tou pediou),
who were led by Lykourgos, the son of Aristolades, were engaged in stasis,
xed his thoughts on the tyranny and assembled his own partisans

tai). When Peisistratos had assembled his partisans, the so-called

beyond-the-hills men (hyperakrioi) and put himself at their head, he de-
vised the following.He wounded himself and drove his mule chariot to the agora
as though eeing [his] enemies: these purposed to kill him while he was
progressing through the countrysideso he said. He petitioned the de

for a guard to protect him. Earlier Peisistratos had established a good repu-
tation in the war against Megara, having taken Nisaia and performed many
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance o;
other great deeds.The Athenian de

mos was deceived and collected and gave

him some city men, who were not spear-bearers (doryphoroi), but

phoroi, for they carried wooden clubs and followed along behind
him. These joined with Peisistratos in rebellion and took the akropolis.
From that point, Peisistratos ruled the Athenians.
Herodotos +.,.oo.+.
Thus, we have Herodotos very brief, very allusive, obviously quite in-
complete account of Peisistratos arrival in Athenian politics and of his
initial efforts to become tyrant. Herodotos provides us with no idea what-
soever about Peisistratos actions between his war leadership and the
period just before his rst attempted tyranny. On the contrary, in
Herodotos Peisistratos breaks upon the political scene from out of
nowhere; the mention of Nisaia and his great deeds in the Megarian
war are a later aside, their mention incidental really to his election by
the Athenian de

mos as tyrant. The historians preface for his account of

Peisistratos rise, which describes the meeting of the Spartan sage Chilon
and Hippokrates, the father of Peisistratos, under supernatural circum-
stances, sets the overriding tone for the entire account down to Peisis-
tratos nal victory at Palle


. No mere man, Peisistratos was divinely des-

ignated to be tyrant of Athens, as Herodotos account shows. From the
outset, we are signaled that what follows will be something other than a
straightforward historical account.
There is little to say about that preface, the mythical encounter of Hip-
pokrates and Chilon at Olympia, other than to emphasize that it is just
that. It is folktale, with Chilon playing the warner to Hippokrates
benighted Everyman (see appendix C.+.A.).
Far more substantial, at rst
glance, seems to be the information about the Herodotean factions,
whose existence most scholars have never doubted and whose bearing on
the rst tyranny of Peisistratos is taken to be considerable. Herodotos
statements about the parties encourage the reader to believe that they
were regionally based, but his naming of their leaders also suggests that
they were somehow personal constituencies. He further implies that, in
order to enter Athenian politics and compete with the other leaders, Pei-
sistratos had rst to create his own distinct third party,that he did in fact
muster the hyperakrioi instantly and outside of the asty, and that conse-
quently this new party was primarily responsible for his rst tyranny.This
scant, suggestive information is really all that Herodotos provides about
o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
the parties and so about Athenian politics at the time of Peisistratos rst
The signicance of the parties for the history of Athens seems obvi-
ous, and it is not surprising that many historians have advanced opinions
about them, almost all of which are premised upon a belief in their ver-
itable existence in the early sixth century i.c.r.
Some, interpreting
Herodotos literally, have construed the parties as regionally based;
interpret them more as personal constituencies, as he implies;
and still
others, largely disregarding Herodotos in favor of later testimonies about
the parties, make them economic in nature or something else.
theless, though most modern constructions of the parties have been
thoughtful and even ingenious, they have not been convincing.The prob-
lematic nature of the limited evidence available about them at least par-
tially accounts for this; moreover, none of our available sources tells us as
much about the parties as we would like to know. Not surprisingly, the
results thus far have been largely speculative.
Notwithstanding its diculties, it is precisely Herodotos information,
the oldest and most authoritative for the parties, their formation, and their
activities, that will be examined in the coming pages.While Herodotos
testimony about the rst tyranny and its prelude is the best we have and
the parties are at the heart of the controversy about them, the inuences
bearing upon Herodotos, indeed, the greater context for what actually
appears in Herodotos account have never really been properly assessed.
Yet this is crucial for determining the nature of Herodotos information
about the parties and its meaning: there can obviously be no attempt at
historical reconstruction until it is considered. No one would deny, for
example, that Herodotos had his information about the sixth-century
Athenian parties from fth-century Athenians, that these sources were in-
uenced by the general attitudes pervading fth-century Athens, or that,
for obvious reasons, these nonhistorians were much less objective in
what they said about them than any historian would like. Yet such ac-
knowledgment must greatly affect any evaluation of the account of Pei-
sistratos rst tyranny and, in particular here, the parties and their signi-
cance, as we read of them in Herodotos.
As I have mentioned, the Athenians of the fth century collectively
and ocially despised the Peisistratid tyranny and their ocially negative
attitude toward it cannot but have signicantly impacted the tradition of
it and so its history.
Indeed such documents from the fth century as
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance o,
the Prytaneion Decree (IG I
++) and the general amnesty passed in +,
which quite expressly excluded the Peisistratids (Mark. Vita Thuc. :), in-
dicate persistent hostility toward the tyrants, at least at the ocial level.
Although there may have been some variance in the degree of hostility
over the course of timepositive references, we have seen, do manage to
get through in our sourcessustained, institutionalized loathing of them
must have affected the record of the tyranny adversely.
Certainly the
disapproving references to the Peisistratid tyranny we nd in Herodotos
(and Thucydides) are explained by that hostility.
Indeed, in the case of
Herodotos, the historian could only have gotten his information about
the Peisistratids from the very Athenians who created and then main-
tained an ocial attitude of execration.
Herodotos account of Peisistratos rise is obviously affected. From the
prodigy of Hippokrates overowing cauldron to Amphilytos prophecy
of doom before Palle


, it is permeated with themes of supernatural spon-

sorship of Peisistratos and the irresistibility of his tyranny. It is thus far
more apologetic in content and absorbed with reporting unusual events
leading to the tyranny than it is concerned to transmit historical fact in
any straightforward fashion.The themes in fact help to explain what ap-
pear to have been actual events, some of which emerge from the revision-
ism, and in so doing they exculpate the Athenians for allowing it in the
rst place and then over time. According to the implications in
Herodotos logos, the Athenians were really powerless to forestall Peisis-
tratos rule as tyrant.
The result is, in fact, an example of preferred history, which is no
history at all but explanation of it. Indeed, Herodotos narrative on Pei-
sistratos rise to power is literally gilded over with apology, alteration,
omission, or other distortion so as to combat or occlude what was ap-
parently too embarrassing or distasteful for the Athenians of the fth
century to recall about their ancestors of the sixth century. Thus, the
very basis of Herodotos account is affected and it will be vital to dis-
tinguish what is revisionistic and reactionary from what is not to deter-
mine what is or could be factual and what is not or could not be. This
is especially necessary in the case of Herodotos information about the
parties of Attika.
The effects of the revisionism in relation to these appear to be funda-
mental. For a start, these, as named and ascribed, simply do not align with
Solons depiction of politics in early-sixth-century Athens. For Solon,
there were only two factions, if there were any, and he never designates
;o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
them by regional names. This might not seem signicant except that
Solons portrayal of political bilateralism nds agreement in Herodotos.
The historian states that there were two parties (staseis) before Peisis-
tratos assembled his quite extraordinary third one, and he implies that
these were city centered.
As we shall presently see, Peisistratos third
party is quite inconsequential and extraneous to the events Herodotos
subsequently describes.
Although Herodotos implies that Peisistratos third party was requisite
for him to contest for the tyranny, the hyperakrioi turn out to be of no
account in his actual bid for it.Their inactivity is conspicuous in light of
Herodotos implication, for why, if they do not participate in subsequent
events, did Peisistratos bother to constitute a party at all? As it happens,
Peisistratos party exits Herodotos text immediately after entering it, as in
fact do the other two preexisting it, with none of the three taking any
part as such in events leading to the rst tyranny. Athenian antityrannism
and Herodotos sources reaction to it can account for both the parties
discordancy with Solons portrayal of bilateral politics at Athens and with
Herodotos portrayal of political bilateralism before the advent of the very
suspect third party.
The Herodotean parties as described thus appear to be ctions intro-
duced into the account of Peisistratos rise by the historians sources to
obscure so as to revise the history of the events surrounding Peisistratos
rst election as tyrant.They are misleading as to Athenian history and
politics at the time.The reasons for this obscurity and revision are to be
coupled with those that account for the general tone of the digression:
the parties seek to distract attention from the facts and so to diminish the
Athenians culpability in permitting Peisistratos his rst tyranny. Three
premises will be functional in what follows here. First, Herodotos infor-
mation about Peisistratos and the parties derives from fth-century Athe-
nians, who, in light of ocial and popular antityrannism, had reason
enough to misrepresent the truth about facts and events surrounding the
rst tyranny, especially if the truth was embarrassing. Second, misrepre-
sentations about these facts and events appear in sharp relief against the
sparse but credible information about events that Herodotos does in fact
transmit. Solons testimony about Athenian politics will be used as a con-
trol for Herodotos, since Solon supplies the only information that is
both nearly contemporary and bears upon Athenian politics of the time.
Finally, later testimonies about the parties will not gure in the main dis-
cussion, since they are obviously mostly derivative of, especially, Herodotos
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance ;+
and add little to our knowledge on their own. (I shall return to this later.)
It will be seen that there are two separate explanations for Peisistratos rst
tyranny, both of which seem to have been engendered by a need to dis-
tract from other, embarrassing conduct with respect to the tyrants rise.
The context against which this revision is to be measured is provided by
The question of the Herodotean parties begins and ends with
Herodotos text. Felix Jacoby observed that all authors whom we know
in narrating the history of tyranny followed in the main lines Herodotos
who was the rst to x the story in writing.
Of these, only the Ath.Pol.
author (AP) and Plutarch bear at all upon the parties.With regard to the
Ath.Pol., there are four main points of difference from Herodotos: the
ideological ascriptions of the parties (+.), the nature of Peisistratos
partys members (+.), the derivation of the parties names (+.), and the
mention of Aristion, who is said to have proposed the ocial decree

) calling for Peisistratos bodyguard in o+oo (+.+).As to the rst,

scholars generally agree that ideological ascriptions are well out of
place for Athenian politics in the early sixth century i.c.r. but quite at
home in the context of the Ath.Pol.s composition, the Aristoteleian
theorizing of the late fourth century i.c.r. They conclude that these
are anachronized, and, in view of Solons portrayal of a basic politico-
economic polarity, that is undoubtedly correct.
Second, that Peisistratos
followers were creditors who had lost money is simply not credible: can-
cellation of debts, which is rst attested in Ath.Pol., even if it occurred,
would hardly have driven creditors toward someone who, by APs own
reckoning, was hardly in sympathy with them.
Moreover, the impure
could only have been so designated after the diapsephismos, the cleans-
ing of the Athenian citizen rolls, which occurred at the tyrannys end.
Those cleansed were thus inferred to have been the tyrants partisans and
admitted to the rolls during the time of the tyranny: they were unclean
for no other reason than their association with the tyranny. Obviously this
information about creditors and the impure must also be judged to
be anachronized, as it is based on sensibilities and reasonings that really
had no part in early-sixth-century Athenian politics.
An additional tes-
timonium of APs, taken to be substantive, is that the party members had
their names from the places [sc. in Attika] where they farmed. But this is
surely grounded in the geographical allusions made in Herodotos and
nothing more: no one would argue that the parties were entirely com-
posed of farmers (agroikoi) in any case.
Finally, that one Aristion (cf.
;: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
also Plut. Sol. o.) actually moved the decree to award korune

phoroi to
Peisistratos in the assembly to which Herodotos alludes is a clear-cut
anachronism: how indeed could such precise information have survived
even into the late fth century, that is, the time of the earliest possible
source for this section of the Ath.Pol. (viz., Hellanikos)?
Although Plutarchs very late account is the most extensive on the par-
ties, it is nevertheless essentially awed and so even less credible than that
of the Ath.Pol. For him, the parties and their economic reasons for being
eclipse any consequence of leadership or geographical situation.This fun-
damental disagreement with Herodotos robs Plutarchs much later,
categorically derivative account of the parties of most of its historical
validity. Indeed, Plutarchs sources reading of the parties is more c-
tional embellishment than factual account.
Of course, Plutarch com-
posed hundreds of years after the events and relies on many creative
intermediaries whose ultimate source must have been Herodotos but
who well exceeded the sparse account he supplies. Both Plutarch and AP
do, however, offer some facts that align to some degree with what Solon
and Herodotos provide and so may be usedvery judiciouslyto de-
velop the picture provided by these. Obviously, the facts that are found to
be in agreement with Solon may be held to be valid, since Solon is the
only contemporary voice for the period.
:. +nr soioxi :x r:c+i oxs
Solon identies only two active political groups at Athens in his day,
an identication, that agrees with Herodotos testimony that only two
staseis existed before Peisistratos formation of a third one. Solon explic-
itly polarizes these, calling one group opo rv (the commons) and the
other, oi o riov ouvoiv xoi pooiv poov oyptoi (those who had
power and were envied because of wealth.)
(AP and Plutarch do not in
fact disagree with the fundamentally economic polarization that Solons
extant poetry implies.)
Taken altogether, the evidence we have attests
to political bilateralism rather than trilateralism or any political disposi-
tion more complex.
The factions in the early-sixth-century crisis are primarily identied
from the extant poems of Solon; later authors had more of Solons cor-
pus than we do, and that fact assures to some degree that they pass along
at least some valid information amid the invalid.The Ath.Pol., which pre-
serves fragments of Solons poems and whose author knew more of them
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance ;
than he transmitted, extends Solons description of the powerful and
wealthy by calling them gno

rimoi, that is, men of wealth, note, and aris-

tocratic background. This is obviously in line with what Solon implies
about them.While these may have been, to some extent, a self-appointed
elite, they were undoubtedly invested in the political, social, and eco-
nomic status quo, from which they derived their standing and privilege.
From what Solon alone provides about their political counterparts,
the de

mos was generally made up of their opposites, that is, the nonaris-
tocratic, non-notable, and nonwealthy (or less wealthy), politically active,
mostly living in or near the asty, and intermittently purposed to obtain
better material ends through political activism. These are the only two
active political entities to which Solon attests, the only ones that appear
to have existed during his political career, and so the only ones that
we are entitled to understand as functional in Athens in the early sixth
century i.c.r.
It is important to observe how Solon describes politics in his day, the
dynamics of which are outlined in those descriptions. Although Solon is
at some pains in his poems to identify himself with the de

mos and so to
distance himself from their opposites,
he nonetheless reproaches the
Athenians several times for their relentless appetite for gain, an appetite
that obviously will have been greater among the have-nots, that is, at
least the majority of the de

mos, than it was among their antagonists, those

envied for their wealth.
This is actually borne out by Solons further
testimonia. He says that the citizens (astoi)again, these must refer pri-
marily to the de

wish to destroy this great city, persuaded by
money (chre

The avarice of the political de

mos is in fact most

specically revealed when, presumably after the discharge of his special
commission and the implementation of his programs, Solon apologized
to it repeatedly for not obtaining for it what it wanted most. Solon says,
among other things: They came for plunder. They had hopes of being
rich, everyone expecting that he would discover great fortune (olbon) . . .
but now they are angry with me; I gave the de

mos sucient reward

(geras); I accomplished what I promised; and The things I said [I
would do], I accomplished with the gods.
Evidently, the de

mos, which
had apparently encouraged and even expected Solon to become tyrant
(Frs. :, , and ), did not agree that Solon had kept his promises. Other-
wise he would not have had to address the de

mos several times over to

the same ends in such a defensive way. Solons apologies and other state-
; r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
ments imply that he had lost inuence with the de

mos as a result of its

perception that he had failed to make good his promises.Thus, it is rea-
sonable to think that Solons expressions of solidarity with the de

which were evidently articial (or held to be in the aftermath of his com-
mission), were composed before his special commission had been awarded
and had been designed to win the de

mos over in the rst place.

Other fragments of Solons poems further illustrate political condi-
tions in early-sixth-century Athens, much of the information about
which actually accords with Herodotos account of Peisistratos initial
attempt at tyranny. Solon refers specically to the ill effects of stasis on
the city produced by its citizens (Fr. , +o) and alludes to the polis de-
struction because of assemblies dear to the unjust(, :+::).
politics affecting the asty were played out in or very near Athens by and
for the astoi. Moreover, that by far the majority of the political fragments
of Solons poetry we possess are addressed to the politically active city

mos or concern its condition and desires illustrates its importance al-
ready by the early sixth century.
(In fact, the Kylonian crisis shows that
it was important much before: cf. chapter II..A.:.) The de

mos in fact
created the political crisis Solon was empowered to solve, and his
repeated apologies for and explanations of the promises he made to it
underscore its importance in his day.
Such promises were apparently
required of him, perhaps as a further means to win the de

mos pledges
to abide by his solutions. Without those pledges, induced by his prom-
ises, the crisis had no real hope of being solved, for the de

mos cooper-
ation over time was required for there to be any meaningful settlement.
Third, and it follows from this, Solons promises and other allusions made
by him to the Athenians susceptibility to public speech, that is, to prom-
ises made orally, imply that the de

mos was won by oratory, the persua-

siveness of which had to have been based largely on the prospect of gain.
Solon in fact chides the Athenians for looking to the tongue of the dis-
sembling man (F ++, ;), indicating that the de

mos was easily taken in by

speech (F ,), especially when prospects of gain were offered.
and again it follows, Solon assures us that insubstantial promises, that is,
deceptive speeches, the natural outcome in a climate of political bid-
ding for leadership of the de

mos, were regular at Athens in the early

sixth century. (Phanias of Eresos, as preserved in Plutarchs Life of Solon,
even accuses Solon himself of deceiving both sides before acquiring his
special commission, and the accusation may have been grounded in the
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance ;
;o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
further record of Solons public speech, viz., the poetic fragments we do
not possess.)
Fifth, although the support of the politically active de

was crucial for achieving and maintaining any political arrangement, and
political leaders may have done their utmost to persuade it to their ends,
the de

mos was not politically constant, owing unwavering allegiance to

no one leader but rather to the leaders promises.The de

mos couldand
didabandon its leaders when either promises were not kept or better
offers were heard.
From his charting of the de

mos inconstancy among other things, the

politically active Solonian de

mos could not rightly be called a party or a

faction at all, since it was apparently neither homogeneous in nature, ide-
ologically or otherwise commonly or abidingly xed on any abstract end,
or a personal constituency, as its abandonment of Solon shows. Quite to
the contrary, the Solonian de

mos appetite for gain or material advantage

almost wholly denes it and simultaneously explains its inconstancy. Gain
could derive from diverse sources, as the de

mosand Solonlearned.
Further evidence suggests that the de

mos political activity was only

intermittently intensive. Its strength at any given time must have been
proportional to the weight of its numbers, its focus and (so) its leadership,
and the degree of its determination to attain its aims measured by its in-
volvement over time.
The de

mos seems to have been activated as a po-

litical group by crisis indicated, created, or exacerbated especially by the
speech of politicians even before the Solonian crisis. Unexcited it was,
according to Solon, like the sleeping sea; aroused, its power was irresistible
but also essentially uncontrollable. It seems to have settled back rather rap-
idly into the mundaneas reasonably it must due to mundane neces-
The main problem for the de

mos leaders seems to have been to

maintain their inuence over it, for its will could change quickly and be-
come adverse.
(There are thus obvious connections to be drawn between
these descriptions of the de

mos actions during the Kylonian affair.)

. soioxi :x cox+rx+ nrroio+r:x
Herodotos account of political arrangements in Athens prior to Peisis-
tratos rst attempt at tyranny agrees in several ways with the political con-
ditions depicted by Solon, and these agreements cannot be by accident.
First of all, Peisistratos must have come into the asty to make his case for
the tyranny there; he could not have successfully gained his end outside of
the asty or present it as a fait accompli to the Athenian astoi.
accords with Solons general implications that the asty was the political
center of Attika and Peisistratos obvious need to establish himself in the
city and among the de

mos there.
Second, Peisistratos addressed the
Athenians assembled in the agora, a necessity that underscores the fact not
only that the tyranny could not simply be brokered solely by the so-called
elites in back rooms but also that the de

mos must listen and accede for

any man to gain power.
This, too, accords with Solons own repeated ver-
bal efforts to win and keep the assent of the de

mos but also with the case

of Kylon, who failed to establish himself adequately among the people by
winning popularity (chapter II..A.:). Third, Peisistratos used persuasive
speech to win the de

mos; he would not, or more likely could not, take and

hold power forcibly during either of his rst two attempts, thus repeating
the mistake of Kylon. Herodotos says also that Peisistratos won the de

through visual and verbal deception, and there is no reason to doubt that
deception actually gured to some extent, for, according to Solon, it seems
to have been common. But deception cannot completely explain Peisis-
tratos success on the occasion, and in fact Herodotos contradicts his own
account, where he notes that the Athenians were mindful of Peisistratos
impressive public record when they voted him korune

phoroi.The decep-
tion story of Herodotos is in fact undermined in specics by what
Herodotos himself later supplies.
Finally, when Peisistratos was driven
from the tyranny, ostensibly by Megakles and Lykourgos acting in concert,
and then sought to return, he had once more to gain popular approval for
resuming the tyranny. Not only does the fact of Peisistratos later chariot
ride with Phye demonstrate his need for the de

mos to assert its approval,

but also, because it was necessary for him to do so, it demonstrates that he
had lost popular approval and support in the meantime, very likely just
before Megakles and Lykourgos ousted him from his rst tyranny. The

mos power and inconstancy are well illustrated in Peisistratos rst

attempts at tyranny in Herodotos: like Solon, Peisistratos found popular
favor and lost it, but unlike Solon, as we shall see, he won it back. City-
centered politics, public speech, verbal deception, and above all the pri-
mary importance of the de

mos, all elements in Solons portrayal of poli-

tics there, are also evident in Herodotos account of events leading up to
Peisistratos rst two tyrannies.As we shall presently see, Herodotos rural-
based third party does not t in well with these conditions.
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance ;;
. :rrr:r:xcrs :xi rr:ii +i rs
i x nrroio+os
Herodotos intended his readers to believe that there were three regional
and leader-based parties in Athens, not two city-based factions, when Pei-
sistratos attempted to take the tyranny for the rst time. In the Solonian
context, however, three parties will not do at all. It is nevertheless possi-
ble to see beyond what Herodotos or his source(s) actually present and
detect the derivation of the ctions of the Herodotean parties. Notwith-
standing other dissonances between Solon and Herodotos, we shall at-
tempt to construe the parties preexisting Peisistratos, aligning them, if we
may, with the Solonian factions but jettisoning, as we must, at least one
of them, their Herodotean names and their implications.This is forced of
course, inasmuch as Solon does not designate more than two of the po-
litical entities he knew either by geography or leadership. Proceeding in
this way, that is, employing Herodotos information as far as Solons point-
ers will allow, seems to afford the best chance of reconstructing political
conditions in Athens at the time of Peisistratos rst bid for tyranny.
Herodotos party of the plain is most readily equatable with Solons
powerful and wealthy: Lykourgos, its leader, perhaps a primus inter
pares, is generally accepted as an Eteoboutad dweller of the plain of
Athens, and the faction is thought to have been conservative, landed,
and aristocratic.
This has always been the least problematic of the three
Herodotean parties to t into the broader historical context, there is
general scholarly agreement about it, and its existencethough not as
Herodotos party of the plainmakes a great deal of sense in the
Solonian context. Its cohesivenessand it was probably closest to being
an actual political group or groupingdepended (most probably) on tra-
ditional economic and political interests.
It is to be emphasized once
more, though, that the polis was the stage for politics in early-sixth-
century Athens and that Solon never calls the powerful and wealthy the
party of the plain.
If that designation is correct, then, under the circumstances,
Herodotos party of the shore, the other faction preexisting formation
of Peisistratos very dubious third one, is to be equated with its opposite,
that is, Solons politically active de

mos.That, too, makes sense, even if we

set aside for the moment the Alkmeonids bruited record of inveterate
leadership of the de

For their role in the Kylonian sphage

, the fore-
bears of Megakles and the Alkmeonid genos were permanently alienated
; r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
from the Athenian aristocracyand one would have imagined, from
Athensall before ooo i.c.r.
In a surprisingly short time, however,
Megakles, the son of Alkmeon and grandson of the archon Megakles, is
not only discovered to be back in Athens but he is a leading politician
whose properties and prospects were bright enough by the ;os (proba-
bly at the latest) to have earned for him the hand of Agariste, daughter of
Kleisthenes, tyrant of Sikyon.
How did this remarkable change of for-
tune come about?
In light of the established context for sixth-century Athenian politics,
the salient fact attaching to the exiled Alkmeonidai after the Kylonian
slaughter, that they had become fabulously wealthy while away from
Athens, explains both their return to Athens and Megakles leadership of
the de

mos before Peisistratos rst tyranny. Alkmeon was said by

Herodotos to have acquired enormous riches in exile after performing
a benefaction for Kroisos (although we must read Alyattes if the ac-
count is to possess any historical connection to the Mermnads).
the humorous story of Alkmeons looting of Kroisos treasury bears
the denite stamp of myth, Alkmeon did in fact become wealthy while
in exile, for he could eld a winning chariot team at Olympia and even
his entrance into the competition there was a sure sign of considerable
personal wealth.
Whatever the actual source of Alkmeons wealth,

mata to distribute to the de

mos must have become the exiled

Alkmeonids ticket to return and to reinstatement as leaders in Athenian
politics. Chre

mata was what the de

mos wanted, Solon asserts; it was what

the Alkmeonidai now possessed in abundance. There is really no better
explanation for why the Athenians permitted the Alkmeonids to return,
remain, and prosper among them after the slaughter of the Kylonians and
its upshot.
Solon says, in fact, that the Athenians were so unscrupulous in the pur-
suit of wealth that they spared neither public nor sacred property.
avarice and Alkmeons riches produced a fruitful symbiosis: the de

mos was
greedy enough to overlook the Kylonian miasma and powerful enough
both to enable the genos return and to bae aristocratic disapproval of
or attacks on the exiles; Megakles alone appears to have been capable of
sustaining the de

mos support over time (even if that support were only

demonstrated sporadically) by means of timely distribution of chre

Although the aristoi may have objected strenuously to the return of the
Alkmeonidai, the de

mos, which seems to have had a shorter memory but

possessed fewer qualms about the derivation of gain in any case and ap-
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance ;,
parently more political weight, could and did overrule them. Alkmeons
wealth, strategically deployed among the politically active Athenian

mos, explains the return of the Alkmeonidai, as well as Megakles lead-

ership of the de

mos at the time of Peisistratos rst attempt at tyranny.

Megakles leadership of an active political group at Athens is observed
as fact in Herodotos, and, of the two entities in existence before Peisis-
tratos, the Solonian de

mos is a far likelier constituency to align with

Megakles than the only other alternative, Solons powerful and wealthy,
who presumably wanted nothing to do with the despised enageis (pol-
luted).The sins of the Alkmeonidai were inconsequential to the de

at some point, we know very well: Megakles genos was associated
with the de

mos over a long period of time, the political relationship hav-

ing developed, according to the Alkmeonidai themselves, well before
Kleisthenes took the de

mos into partnership. At least, Alkibiades at

Sparta claimed that Alkmeonid prostasia of the de

mos extended to the

time of the tyranny, and that claim nds substance in what is implied by
Megakles power.
Leadership, or, rather, inuence of the de

mos, though it was costly and,

even when achieved, temporary and apparently quite insecure, was
nonetheless indispensable for political success even in early-sixth-century
Athens, as the uctuations in the careers of Solon, Megakles, and Peisis-
tratos all show. In Herodotos, it is explicitly Megakles who, in combina-
tion with the de

mos, is politically most important from Peisistratos rst

ouster until Palle


. Megakles joined with Lykourgos to remove Peisis-

tratos from his rst tyranny, but it was also he who summoned Peisistratos
back, presumably against the opposition of his former partner. Megakles
promise to reinstate Peisistratos nevertheless required the consent of the

mos before it could be made good, so that in fact Megakles and the
Athenian de

mos together restored Peisistratos tyranny. Megakles wealth,

then Peisistratos superior wealth and power after Palle


, give reasons rst

for the Alkmeonids initial return to Athens, then for Megakles leader-
ship of the de

mos, and nally for his subsequent loss of that leadership

because of being outbid.
By the same token, Peisistratos inferior wealth
up to the time of his second exile claries his dependence on and vul-
nerability to Megakles as well as his failure to maintain himself in power.
It also explains Peisistratos campaign abroad to collect funds and allies, a
collection highlighted in Herodotos account. Finally, it gives reason for
both his and his genos sustained primacy and the temporary political
eclipse of the Alkmeonidai after Palle


(see chapter IV.:.B.D).

o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
The nature of the politically active de

mos, its inconstancy and precipi-

tate reversals, must disqualify it as anything like a political party at the time
of Peisistratos rst attempted tyranny. Fluid in its allegiances,
the de

mos was, through the early oos, Megakles to inuence and so to

maneuver but never to own.
It adhered to Peisistratos and his heirs for
some time beyond Palle


because during that time the tyrants apparently

outstripped all others in their ability to distribute wealth.Yet the de

never belonged to the tyrants, the Alkmeonidai, or any politician, its
changeability evident in precipitate expulsions and recalls at the end of
the sixth century (and thereafter). The de

mos permanent master was

gain, Solon attests; its adherence, bestowed upon those who promised to
obtain it, was eminently transferable, especially if promises made were not
kept.There was no apparent ideological basis for the de

mos adherence to
any politician (aside, perhaps, from their occasional patriotic appeals, such
as during the Kylonian affair and after Solons exhortations involving
Salamis); it was, quite clearly, no party at all.The Solonian de

mos does not

match the implications of Herodotosparty of the shoreat all, except that
its ostensible leader at the time was Megakles and that it could not be called
the powerful and wealthy.We thus observe a greater gap between the
Herodotean party of the shore and historical reality of the Solonian de

This brings us round to Peisistratos party of those beyond the hill,
which, as Andrewes so aptly understated, gives more trouble.
Herodotos implies that Peisistratos mustered his third party because he was
barred from establishing a city constituency but more because he had no
ostensible city support.The very name of the Herodotean party, oi u ar-
o xioi, alludes to its rural nature and contributes to the impression of its
alienness from the city and city politics.
The problems begin precisely
here, for complementing that of explaining what effect a newly formed,
country-based party could have had on city politics long played out in the
asty and dominated by established city-centered constituencies and politi-
cians are a number of others.
First of all, on Herodotos testimony, we
must actually believe that Peisistratos, who had no ostensible support in
Athens, nevertheless entered the veritable den of his enemies, accused
them before their constituents of trying to kill him, and then received from
those constituents what he had asked for, namely, the means to subdue
them all! Not only did the astoi vote Peisistratos a bodyguard, an outcome
that demonstrates that he had city support in fact and casts suspicion on
Herodotos implication of outsider status, but they also appointed them-
selves to be his bodyguards and so helped to establish the tyranny.
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance +
mentioned above, the beyond-the-hillsmen, far from being indispensable
to the tyrant, inuential of, or even participant in the course of events, were
neither explicitly present on the crucial occasion of Peisistratos address to
the assembled astoi nor designated as bodyguards.
In fact, the hyper-
akrioi, like the other parties, constitute no appreciable political force what-
soever, disappearing altogether after their rst and only mention in
Herodotos.A political illogicality anyway in view of the long-standing po-
litical bilateralism indicated in Solon and actually (unwittingly?) seconded
by Herodotos and of Peisistratos necessity to make his case before the
astoi in Athens agora, the hyperakrioi are not only not dened by their
actions, but they amount to no more than a name in fact.
Small won-
der, indeed, that the third Herodotean party gives more trouble.
The utter dispensability of the phantom, indeed non-Solonian, third
party on the crucial occasion of Peisistratos rst bid for power, as well as
its inherent inconsequentiality in view of political dispositions in Athens,
highlights its irrelevancy and undermines its credibility. In fact, the fail-
ure of any of the Herodotean parties to play any part whatsoever in the
events leading up to the rst tyranny is not surprising, since, as such, they
are incompatible with Solonian political realities.The incompatibility and
other dissonances suggest that the parties scheme found in Herodotos was
unnaturally projected onto an uncongenial historical framework, some of
the contradictory outlines for which are in fact supplied by Herodotos
himself. In other words, the Herodotean parties are a ction.
. +nr nrroio+r:x cox+rx+
ror +nr r:r+i rs
The theme of the tyrannys inevitability, predicated on Peisistratos divine
sponsorship and surpassing cleverness, pervades Herodotos logos on Pei-
sistratos rise to power.The theme and revisions amount to an (obviously
imperfect) apology, their aim to deect blame from the Athenians for the
evidently essential part they played in enabling Peisistratos rst two tyran-
nies and for abiding the tyranny once established. The need for such an
apology was of course created by the necessity in the fth century to dis-
own the veritable partnership of de

mos and tyrants, engendered by the

prevailing attitude of hatred toward the tyrant.The parties are distractions
from the uncomfortable yet apparently inalterable fact of Athenian col-
laboration with Peisistratosa collaboration nevertheless conceded later
in Herodotos account.
: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
Distinguished from the other two parties (whose names do not match
the Solonian designations of political groupings at Athens), the hyper-
akrioi, Peisistratos do-nothing, evanescent constituents, seem at rst pri-
marily to blame for the tyranny. If that is accepted by Herodotos readers,
their distinction and the guilt attaching to them benets the de

among others. Concealed to begin with by Herodotos introduction of
regional/personal parties, the de

mos is marked off from the tyrants ad-

herents; its part in the actual awarding of the bodyguard is diminished by
a vague yet obviously misleading impression that Peisistratos party some-
how commandeered the Athenian assembly and voted the bodyguard it-
self. Peisistratos tyranny thus seems more superimposed from without than
sanctioned from within.
The parties distinctions are even more benecial for the leaders of the
preexisting staseis because, in addition to their separation from Peisistratos,
both are explicitly named as his opponents from the outset and so are de-
picted as actual obstacles to the tyranny.This seemingly active antagonism
puts them in better case in comparison with the de

mos relative passivity.

Above all, dissociation from Peisistratos was most advantageous for the
leader of the politically active de

mos, which Herodotos nally explicitly

identies as the enabler of Peisistratos rst tyranny.Although from all in-
dications the de

mos leader was Megakles, he is nowhere named as such

in the account of events leading to Peisistratos rst tyranny and, at all
events, seems to be absent from what transpires. By his conspicuous ab-
sence, Megakles appears to have been absolved from any real connection
to Peisistratos and, indeed, to the rather foolish de

mos (as depicted in

Herodotos), which later the historian admits allowed the rst tyranny. I
say conspicuous because Herodotos subsequently portrays Megakles as
in the thick of things, both powerful enough to bring down the tyranny
and set it up again and, in the engineering of the second tyranny, thor-
oughly implicated with the de

mos as its leader. Such half-occlusions are

perfectly in keeping with the imperfect revisionism that characterizes
Herodotos logos on Peisistratos rise to power.
o. +nr r:r+i rs :xi +nr ircrr+i ox
or +nr DE

MOS: srii cri s+r:xis

or rxri:x:+i ox ror +nr ri rs+ +.r:xx.
Herodotos report of Peisistratos rise to his rst tyranny breaks down re-
ally into two episodes, and so strands, of (traditional?) explanation for
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance
how Peisistratos attained power: their distinction and, in fact, fundamen-
tal lack of agreement indicate that they were separately conceived and
then united.The rst strand amounts to no more than the naming of the
three parties and their leaders and reference to Peisistratos constitution
of the hyperakrioi (+.,.).This, the rst strand, seems to be framed with
regard to the second; the latter does not connect with or follow at all from
the rst and seems oblivious to it.
The parties strandlays the false trail of regional/personal political dis-
positions, belying, as we have seen, early-sixth-century Athenian political
realities. Evidently, this strand was intended to mute the part played by
the Solonian de

mos in assenting to the tyranny but above all to obscure

the part played by its leader in the affair by distancing him completely
from Peisistratos rst tyranny. Its purpose was to emphasize that Peisis-
tratos alien third party was a necessary prerequisite to his foray into
Athenian politics and became central in his acquisition of the tyranny.
The second, more developed, and apparently more factual of the two
(at least in Herodotos account), the deception strand (+.,.) begins
immediately after the parties are introduced and abandoned. It acknowl-
edges that the de

mos actually voted Peisistratos the korune

phoroi but at-

tempts to blunt its culpability to some extent by portraying it as hapless
before Peisistratos superior cunning (+.,.).Those of us who live in the
age of cynical and artless political public relations might well term such
damage control spin doctoring, for, while the fact of the assembly vote
could not be denied, the reasons for it could be more advantageously con-
strued for Herodotos readers. However, like the Phye-as-Athena story
later in Herodotos account (cf. .B), the deception strand is double edged,
implyingthough no more than implyingthat the de

mos was ex-

tremely foolish because it let itself be taken in by the tyrant.
Of course,
in the fth century the de

mos could not be criticized directly without

some serious repercussions for the criticizer. The second strand con-
tributes to the ubiquitous subtheme of Peisistratos surpassing cleverness,
which in turn supports the logos overarching theme of the tyrannys un-
avoidability.The parties strand seems to react to the deception strand, fur-
ther removing the de

mos and its leader from culpability. Both strands are

elements of the logos apology and explanation, the former apparently
added as one better to the latter.
Because it agrees more with the Solonian context and so appears at
least partially factual, the deception strand subverts the parties strand by
conrming that none of the articial Herodotean staseis was in fact of any
r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
political account in the nal analysis.That Peisistratos appeared before the
seemingly indistinct de

mos of Athens, asked for and got bodyguards, and

then used them to establish his tyranny is reasonable enough and may be
taken as the truth or very close to it. Solon indicates that oratorical ap-
peals were made to the massed Athenians, that they could be persuaded,
and that they could award governance. In fact, the de

mos consent was

requisite for it. In Herodotos, after hearing a speech from Peisistratos, the

mos was persuaded and gave Peisistratos leave to establish a tyranny,

voting him the korune

phoroi. Herodotos thus concedes outright that

what actually got Peisistratos the tyranny had nothing at all to do with
regions, parties, internal or external factions or factionalizings, or anything
of the sort. Rather the deception strand, quite possibly the older but most
assuredly the more historically valid of the two strands in Herodotos, de-
picts the undifferentiated Athenians handing over to Peisistratos the
power he sought. Not only is the depiction consistent with Solons por-
trayal of assemblies and public speech in his day but also with Herodotos
more explicit account of subsequent events. The factualness of this part
of the story is further conrmed by the fact that, in view of fth-century
Athenian attitudes toward the tyranny, it would have been most unlikely
for such a disclosure to have emerged in Herodotos were it false or de-
niable. Indeed, it is hard to imagine what other than the inescapable truth
of the de

mos concession would have made HerodotosAthenian source(s)

recount such information.
The deception strand is not, however, without adulteration.That Pei-
sistratos appeared before the de

mos traumatized and accused the gno

moi of trying to kill him is possible, even as Solons famous mad recita-
tion of Salamis is possible.
However, that the Athenians were so
completely taken in by Peisistratos on this occasion is very dicult to accept,
even on Herodotos testimony. They were by no means political neo-
phytes or so naive when Peisistratos appeared on the scene, having been
regularly involved in political affairs from at least the Kylonian crisis.Then
again, Solon had amply warned the Athenians of impending tyranny in
his public statements.
Those warnings and their own political experi-
ence suggest that the Athenians knew what Peisistratos was up to when
he made his case before them.
More to the point, Herodotos passing mention of the Athenians high
regard for Peisistratos because of the part he played in the Megarian war
implies that his military success was topical at the time of the assemblys
decision and that the Athenians had made it with some consideration
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance
rather than emotionally, as Herodotos purports. But, as we have seen, pop-
ularity was not enough, and Peisistratos must have employed chre

whether actually or promising to do so, to woo the de

mos.Yet, regardless
of what Peisistratos said in the assembly or what the de

mos thought of
him, he could not have promised and then supplied the de

mos sucient

mata on his own to overcome the opposition of men such as Mega-

kles, as subsequent events will show. Peisistratos must have possessed a
political backer on the occasion of his plea, a bankroller who could
support him materially and help to sway the de

mos. Logically, the crucial

part in all of this must have been played by the de facto leader of the

mos. (I return to this later.)

Revisionism is surely involved with both strands in Herodotos. To
acknowledge that the tyranny was simply handed to Peisistratos did not
accord with fth-century Athenian hostility toward the tyranny. It was
not what Herodotos Athenian sources cared to recall in an unmitigated
fashion for the historian, even as the further digression on Peisistratos rise
demonstrates. Such adjustments as we detect in Herodotos account of
that rise, from the overall theme of irresistibility to the introduction of the
parties, were created to try to explain better what could not be denied
but also could not go unaddressed or unaltered. Some facts emerge from
all of this nonetheless: the Athenians granted Peisistratos the tyranny, and
high-level collusion helped deliver it to him. What could be revised or
renovated were the dimmer, interstitial events and reasons explaining why
things happened as they did. (An obvious parallel to this is the way Athe-
nian tragedians reexplained mythical happenings of the heroic age or
earlier for fth-century Athenian audiences. Of course, Herodotos unfolds
the tragic history of Kroisos through much of his book +.)
The deception strand does not deny that the de

mos voted for the

tyranny. It implies, however, that it really did not do so consciously, hav-
ing been tricked by Peisistratos. Rather, it was Peisistratos extraordinary
cleverness that deceived the de

mos into granting him the korune

The unattering characterization of the de

mos as foolishthe strand is

a double-edged sword after allwas perhaps overlooked or disregarded
by the unsubtle because the strand recast what the de

mos did (and what

could not be denied) in more favorable terms. In fact, the characteriza-
tion goes far toward identifying the likeliest source for the deception
strand, as we shall see.
Very possibly an offshoot of it, the parties strand endeavored to remove
more of the onus from the de

mos and its leader by establishing denite

o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
distinctions between them and Peisistratos.
If, as Greek readers or lis-
teners, we accept the drift of the parties strand, the de

mos, and above all

its leader were not involved at all. (Of course, that drift is undone in
Herodotos immediately thereafter, but both strands need not have circu-
lated among the Athenians exactly as they appear in Herodotos or even
simultaneously. It could well be that Herodotos brought them together
without real regard to their contradictoriness.) Both strands benet most
the de

mos leader, who, unnamed in Herodotos account of Peisistratos

rst attempt at tyranny, had ostensibly nothing at all to do with either the
tyrant or the silly de

mos and its subsequent surrender. On appearances,

that leader was absent from it all. The source for such treatment of the

mos leader should obviously be connected with him somehow.

;. +nr nrroio+r:x rr-crr:+i ox
or xrt:kirs

roir i x +nr rvrx+s

On the basis of Megakles subsequent activities and centrality in events
and of the political entrenchment and power that that implies, it is im-
possible to think that Megakles was, as he seems to have been in
Herodotos account, absent from the events leading to Peisistratos rst
tyranny. Megakles was an established city politician when Peisistratos ar-
rived on the scene according to Herodotos, and the historian states ex-
plicitly that Megakles contributed to bringing down the rst tyranny.
Herodotos thus attests to Megakles formidable power both before and
after the tyranny was seized by Peisistratos the rst time. To effect the
second tyranny, which came about, on appearances, from Megakles will,
but most certainly on his initiative, the Alkmeonid had nevertheless to
obtain the consent of the de

mos for Peisistratos. Megakles means of in-

uence was undoubtedly his chre

mata. We know that he had it and in

abundance; we also know that the de

mos wanted it and that Peisistratos

really had nothing with which to compete with Megakles.Thus, if Pei-
sistratos lacked the means to bid for the second tyranny on his own and
had to rely on the established city politician Megakles as the de

mos leader
in any case, he can hardly have been in a stronger position before his rst
bid for power and so must have relied then on the wealthy, politically cyn-
ical Megakles. In Herodotos account, the de

mos on its own is nally re-

sponsible for the rst tyranny, but that is surely the product of the revi-
sionism with which Herodotos source(s) supplied him and by which his
account of Peisistratos rise was informed.As Megakles was indispensable
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance ;
for Peisistratos second tyranny, as leader of the de

mos then, Megakles

could not have been absent from events but must gure at the center of
the events leading to Peisistratos rst tyranny. It is surely he who allowed
or perhaps even encouraged the de

mos to vote Peisistratos what he

needed to become tyrant.
The response to the reality of his unsavory collusion by Megakles
progeny, the presumptive sources for Herodotos here inasmuch as Mega-
kles is the prime beneciary of the revisions, was to refashion his role in
the events, in part by making him the leader of an entirely distinct, actu-
ally nonexistent party of the shore. That refashioning simultaneously
maintained his importance as a politician while it detached him from
Peisistratos, the de

mos, and the rst tyranny, and in extenso depicted him

less as a collaborator and more as a ghter against tyranny.That the Alk-
meonidai were perpetual tyrant haters is exactly what they wanted their
Greek contemporaries to believe about them and is precisely what
Herodotos wrote about them with regard to the tyranny.
(It is to be
noted that Megakles only explicitly collaborates with Peisistratos once
in Herodotos, and even then blame for so doing could be laid against
Lykourgos, the opponent who, as it were, forced him to do so.) Unlike
the collaboration leading to the second tyranny, owning up to participa-
tion in the rst was apparently something Megakles heirs could not
tolerate, perhaps because it was somehow more damaging to do so. The
embarrassing facts of Alkmeonid participation in the tyrannythe sixth-
century archon list shows that Kleisthenes was archon right after Hippias
and a later marriage alliance is a likelihoodincluding Megakles collab-
oration, dovetailed with the strong suspicion that during the Marathon
campaign the Alkmeonidai had actively been involved in treason with the
Peisistratidai.The weight of this opprobrium and the distrust their actions
and motives engendered in the Athenians caused them to recast their
records in their own ways.
Certainly the Alkmeonidai were far more vulnerable to retroactive
charges of collaboration than any other Athenians genos because of the
embarrassing facts.Their attempts to mask or alter perceptions of Mega-
kles roles in Peisistratos tyrannies in Herodotos, which were very likely
due both to undeniable public record and their keenly felt vulnerability
to the apparently relentless recollection of such charges, are simultane-
ously clear-cut, unsubtle, and frequently inept. Their failings notwith-
standing, Megakles was surely meant to be the prime beneciary of these.
No other obviously powerful politician is as conspicuously absent when
r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
actually helping Peisistratos or as conspicuously present when actually
challenging him. The Alkmeonidai were surely the primary sources for
most of the information that appears in Herodotos on Peisistratos rise,
including that on the parties.
B. Reconstruction of Events Leading
to Peisistratos First Tyranny
What may we conclude from this analysis and so introduce as factual into
the reconstruction of the events leading up to Peisistratos rst tyranny?
Although we cannot pinpoint the time of Peisistratos decision to seek
the tyranny, it is reasonable to think that it materialized in some substan-
tive form after Nisaia, when Peisistratos had gained popularity and so pos-
sibility. (Of course, this is not to say that such personal ambition was
lacking in Peisistratos even as a youth.) On the basis of Solons depiction
of political conditions in Athens, however, although he had led the Athe-
nians to victory in the war against the Megarians, Peisistratos could not
attain political success on his own, as an outsider, and so must enlist the
support of an established city leader, since city constituencies were en-
trenched and held the key to political success at Athens. All the evidence
we have points to Megakles, the son of Alkmeon and leader of the de

as that supporter. Just as he would do later, Megakles threw his support
to Peisistratos in an effort to overcome his rival, Lykourgos, the son of
Aristolades, and thus to advance his own political agenda. He may have
even invited Peisistratos to become tyrant, since in his case the Kylonian
pollution apparently constituted an insuperable obstacle to his own ad-
vancement to it.There is, of course, no information in Herodotos about
who approached whom, but of the two Megakles was politically more
experienced and astute and it is fair to assume that he saw a chance in
Peisistratos to capitalize on the latters renown and to make headway
against Lykourgos, even as he would do later. Megakles invited Peisistratos
to take a second tyranny, indicating his necessary participation in any
restoration, and he surely had no less power before Peisistratos came to
be tyrant the rst time. Peisistratos was a good candidate for tyrant: war
hero, unpolluted, capable, and widely popular. He was, in short, what
Megakles was not. On the other hand, Peisistratos was neither wealthy
nor politically established within Athens: he did not have the means to
turn his qualities to prot by himself. Megakles did.As it was for the sec-
ond tyranny of Peisistratos, so it must have been for with the rst: Mega-
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance ,
kles was the necessary linchpin. His ability to make and unmake the tyrant
is evident in Herodotos.The two, Megakles and Peisistratos, worked to-
gether symbiotically for a short time.
Thus shortly before or even during the archonship of Komeas (o+oo
i.c.r.), Peisistratos and Megakles reached an accord whereby Peisistratos
would seek the tyranny and Megakles would support him. To that end,
for his part, Megakles would help to persuade the de

mos, endeavoring to
encourage it to assent to the tyranny. His partisans would prepare the
crowd in the agora to receive favorably Peisistratos actual plea for what
he required, and, along with verbal encouragement, the requisite chre

could be supplied to sweeten the de

mos receptiveness and clinch the deal.

It is possible that, in addition, Peisistratos engaged in some sort of deceit,
though not necessarily on the order of that reported in Herodotos. (The
historian undermines the notion of such foolishness when he states that
the Athenians were minded of Peisistratos war record.) Solons poems in-
dicate that Athenian politicians of his day made promises to the de

mos in
order to obtain power: even the lawgiver himself made promises that he
did not keep. Peisistratos verbal deception may have been matched by
physical deception, but in any case we must imagine that the Athenians
saw gain for themselves in Peisistratos tyranny and it would come as no
surprise if he promised them just that. Of course, Peisistratos popularity
made it easier for them to succumb to the persuasion, as Herodotos sug-
gests, many having some memory of his deeds in the Megarian war if they
did not actually serve in it themselves. Happily deceived by Peisistratos
promises, plied by Megakles agents, favorably inclined toward Peisistratos
for his war record anyway, and perhaps taken in by the power of his ora-
tory on the occasionPeisistratos must have been a creditable speaker at
leastthe de

mos voted Peisistratos what he (and Megakles) needed to es-

tablish his tyranny.
C. Peisistratos First Tyranny: Its Nature and Functioning
+. The Early Partnership with Megakles
Herodotos (+.,.o) observes that during the rst tyranny Peisistratos,hav-
ing disturbed neither the existing oces nor changed any of the ancestral
laws, managed the city according to the existing customs, ordering things
up fairly and well.
This spare pronouncement might seem generic for
good Greek tyrants. It is to be taken as accurate for Peisistratos, since, in
,o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
view of the pernicious fth-century attitude of the Athenians toward the
tyrants, we should imagine that any badconduct would emerge to con-
tradict it. Indeed, as vague as it may seem, Herodotos observation is an in-
dicator that really nothing memorably bad, either extralegal or tyranni-
cal, attached to the period of Peisistratos rst tyranny. Pervasive
fth-century silence or apology about Peisistratos rule, a concomitant of
the ruefulness and anger the Athenians felt for the period of the tyranny,
could have contributed to suppressing information about Peisistratos rst
spell of rule. In fact, very little of the day-to-day of Peisistratos rule
must have been outstanding or memorable, especially if, as Herodotos says,
nothing was done to upset the governmental status quo.
Thucydides es-
sentially choruses Herodotos, saying that the Peisistratids used the existing
laws but always managed to keep one of their own in oce.
That man-
agement is in fact borne out by the fragment of the archon list, which
shows that, for the later :os at least, the Peisistratids or their cooperatives
held the eponymous archonships.
This brings us round once again to Megakles and what he got for sup-
porting Peisistratos. Surely Megakles, like that other backer,Theagenes,
was to receive concrete rewards for his help, no mere thank-yous.
Co-rule or access to the akropolis, that seat and sign of power and trust
among the Athenians, were out of the question.The Athenians may have
sanctioned the return of the tainted Alkmeonidai to Athens, which was, of
course, made more agreeable because of the chre

mata they brought with

them and distributed, but they could not allow them to possess the akropo-
lis, the holy ground which they had only recently deled.
Barred from functioning as or possessing the authority of a tyrant be-
cause of the pollution attaching to his house, Megakles could yet be the
power behind the throne, especially if he owned the oces. Although
Megakles power may have been nontraditional, it was real and it was con-
siderable. He possessed more money and experience in inuencing that
crucial group, the de

mos, than did Peisistratos, who had to rely upon

Megakles for support. By installing what he must have reckoned would
be a puppet, Megakles probably assumed that he, not Peisistratos, had be-
come the real ruler of Athens. If that is so and Megakles instrumentality
in Peisistratos rst tyranny was, as it seems to have been, necessary in re-
alizing it, then his design was surely to restore Alkmeonid authority in
Athens as much as he could with himself as the head of the genos and
with the eld swept clean of opponentsapparently just as it was in the
days before the Kylonian affair.
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance ,+
The political activity and oces held by the Alkmeonidai at the time
of Kylons seizure of the akropolis suggest that the genos aspired then to
a monopoly of political power at Athens. If that is so, then Megakles end
of the bargain with Peisistratos was most likely to see his own men, that
is, the eligible Alkmeonidai and their philoi, into the political oces the
genos seems to have coveted. Presumably, Peisistratos assisted the Alkme-
onids to attain those oces during the rst tyranny. That is how affairs
were managed later during the tyranny, and it makes a good deal of sense
for the period of the rst tyranny. In view of the evidence, which states
explicitly that Peisistratos did not disrupt the ancestral laws during the
rst tyranny and is in fact credible, it was the only kind of management
possible. Real power, as Megakles knew it, was invested in elective oces,
since, of course, the tyranny was not dened constitutionally.These oces
should belong to him and his own, as they had long ago.
only wanted, then, what his genos had lost: all the institutional political
power. One imagines that, when the realization dawned on Peisistratos,
he grew dissatised with his arrangement with Megakles and took steps
to strengthen his own position.
:. The Akropolis and the Club-Bearers (korune

Herodotos says (+.,.) that, when Peisistratos took the akropolis and es-
tablished his tyranny, he did so in the company of korune

phoroi, club-
bearers, who had been voted for him from among the Athenians by the

mos.This information, only part of which I take to be valid, evokes two

immediate questions: did Peisistratos dwell upon the akropolis thereafter?
Secondly, who or what were the club-bearers and what function did
they perform? As to the rst, scholarly opinion is divided. On the one
hand, the akropolis seems the appropriate place for Peisistratos and his
bodyguard in order both to control Athens and to reign appropriately af-
ter the manner of a Homeric basileus.
On the other hand, and for many
of the same reasons, the akropolis was the wrong place to dwell. Athens
would have seemed garrisoned, the akropolis something other than
Athenas abode and the distinction between Peisistratos and the Atheni-
ans too great, especially when he appears to have sought the image of a
democratic tyrant. It would not serve Peisistratos to remind the Athe-
nians of such distinction and residency on the akropolis, the seat of the
gods and ancient heroes, would do just that.
,: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
Herodotos offers no help whatsoever to resolve the issue.The verb the
historian uses to describe Peisistratos seizure, roov, indicates a one-time
occurrence: Peisistratos could have seized the akropolis and then de-
scended from it and taken up residence below.
Nor, when later
Athena led Peisistratos back to her own city (viz., the akropolis: Hdt.
+.oo.), is it possible to infer that Peisistratos resided continuously on the
high city thereafter. There is later information involving Hippias that
might suggest his residency on the akropolis very late in his tyranny, but
even if that is true it is not valid merely to anachronize it and apply it to
the early tyrannies of Peisistratos.
The archaeological evidence we possess for the period also offers no
help. Some of the possible dwellings that have come to light from exca-
vations on the akropolis may be dated to the period of the tyranny, but
they could be taken to be either residencies or religious structures.
a recent study of the akropolis, Hurwit points out that there are no traces
of Peisistratid dedications from the akropolis for the period, an absence
that must be seen as anomalous if they had actually dwelled there and in
view of their record of dedications elsewhere.
Of course, the dearth of
Peisistratid dedications on the akropolis could be explained as resulting
from the damnatio of the tyrants after the tyranny ended, as well as from
the wholesale destruction of the akropolis during the Persian sack in o
A likelier candidate for a Peisistratid palace,many have believed
is the so-called Building F of the agora. A capacious structure without
contemporary equal in Athens, according to some a private villa, not a
public hall, this might seem more appropos for the democratic tyrant.
Of course, all of this is mere speculation.
There is, quite simply, no rm evidence upon which to base any con-
clusion. In lieu of that, we may resort once more to context.The akropo-
lis was the very center of the political and religious life of the polis: it was
sacred ground and entirely implicated with the identity of the Athenians
as such. Just how sensitive the Athenians were to occupancy of the
akropolis is amply demonstrated in the reaction of the de

mos to Kylons
seizure of it before Peisistratos and Isagoras and Kleomenes seizure of it
afterward.The Athenians were sharply reactive to those they deemed to
be unworthy of such occupancy.
We should also not forget that the akropolis was essentially indefen-
sible over time: it was certainly no place to resist a serious siege.Though,
again, Kylon and Kleomenes took and held the place with considerable
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance ,
force, neither could hold out for any length of time, both capitulating to
besiegers really after only a few days.
Clearly, those allowed on the
akropolis were permitted to be there by the Athenians living below it. On
the basis of the Athenians sensitivity about the high cityand who should
and should not be on it, because Peisistratos would enjoy no real advan-
tage dwelling there, and because Peisistratos did in fact court Athenian
public favor, it seems unlikely that he actually lived on the akropolis day
to day.There was no need, after all, once the Athenians had voted him the
tyranny, but much was to be gained by settling in unobtrusively among the
Athenians in the asty (and by that I do not mean in Building F.)
There is yet one more indication. Occupying the akropolis could be
construed as a truly despotic act, comparable to the occupations by Kylon
and Isagoras. In effect, Peisistratos would have controlled what belonged
to all Athenians.That would have redounded upon him because it could
be construed as illegal.
We have no such indication in any source, al-
though there are the counterindications of such an act. Peisistratos did
not change any of the ancestral laws, [but] managed the city according
to the existing customs, ordering things up fairly and well.
Any who
argue for his residency on the akropolis would have to explain such coun-
Thus, from what we may know of Athenian sensibilities,
on balance it seems unlikely that Peisistratos lived atop the Acropolis in
a mansion or a palace, protected by the old Mycenaean fortication wall
and by bodyguards and mercenaries who had their barracks on the sum-
mit nearby.
Such a pronouncement is an anachronism and disregards
both evidence and context for the period of the tyranny.
Since the akropolis was indefensible over time and those who took it
must come down at length, we may think that its seizurewas but a tem-
porary and symbolic gesture, indicating the favor of the gods and the
Athenians. Success or failure depended on how the Athenians reacted. In
the cases of Kylon and Isagoras, that reaction was unfavorable; in the case
of Peisistratos, the Athenians allowed it, we do not know for how long,
but they ended his rst two tyrannies by withdrawing their favor and, of
course, any control he might have exercised over the akropolis. While
there was most surely a sense among the Athenians that Athena must
favor the one who would be taken to her city (viz., Peisistratos), that
favor could only be obtained through them. Force really had nothing to
do with it (cf. section .B). Peisistratos presence on the akropolis should
then have been intermittent, not continuous, perhaps to sacrice the sac-
rices of the city as needed.
, r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
This brings us to the related topic of the korune

phoroi. Many schol-

ars have taken Herodotos information (+.,.) literally:the de

mos of the
Athenians were deceived and chose and gave to him [sc. Peisistratos] men
from the city who were not his spear-bearers (doryphoroi) but his club-
bearers (korune

phoroi) For, holding wooden clubs, these would follow

behind him. These joined together with Peisistratos in rebellion and
seized the akropolis. Some believe that Peisistratos was actually attended
by club-bearers.
However, the anomalousness of the korune

phoroi and
Herodotos apparent discomfort with them are highlighted even by his
tautologous description of them and their actions: these are clearly not
the usual bodyguards of a tyrant, the doryphoroi.
There is further reason to consider the korune

phoroi quite unusual. It

has been amply noted that club-bearers were no match for hoplites or even
for men with swords and that they could not have held their own, let
alone withstood an attack by the Athenians or others more strongly
armed, whether they were entrenched upon the akropolis or not. In fact,
the korune

phoroi constituted no bodyguard at all.

One recent attempt
to compensate for the obvious weakness of the club-bearers in the face
of spear-bearers proposes that the korune

phoroi were really rearmed by

Peisistratos as doryphoroi.
Such an explanation strains to make sense
of such anomalies but fails because it disregards Herodotos emphatic
statement that those with Peisistratos were club-bearers and that he
explicitly differentiates them from doryphoroi. There is thus nothing
whatsoever to recommend the uncontextualized conjecture that the

phoroi were, to Herodotos mind, really doryphoroi.

As the korune

phoroi were unusual, so we must seek an extraordinary ex-

planation for them. In fact, we havent far to proceed.We have already seen
that the Athenian sources for Herodotos went to some lengths to obfuscate
the truth of Peisistratos rise, apparently because of their ancestors compla-
cency or involvement with the tyranny.We must therefore consider rst of
all whether the korune

phoroi could be part of the apology to or revision

of the facts of Peisistratos rise, that is, of the context of Herodotos account.
I have argued elsewhere that the korune

phoroi were invented by

Herodotos source and not by Herodotos precisely to deect attention
fromand blame forthe fact that the Peisistratids actually possessed
Athenian doryphoroi.
Not only is there evidence for these but also for
the unwelcomeness of the memory of the doryphoroi, which persisted
well into the fth century i.c.r., especially among those whose Athenian
ancestors could be accused of serving the tyrants in that capacity. In the
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance ,
climate of hatred toward the tyrants, recollection of such service could be
at least embarrassing and at worst, extremely pernicious. Herodotos
(sources) substitution of korune

phoroi for doryphoroi may be taken as

yet another facet of the apology for the roles played by the Athenians dur-
ing the tyranny. Labeling the initial bodyguard korune

phoroi instead of
doryphoroi qualied them as nontraditional bodyguards and presumably
helped to occlude the memory of those who accompanied Peisistratos.
In Herodotos, these were city-men who had accompanied him in his rst
ascent of the akropolis.
Peisistratos, who was popular with the de

mos and must have been at

least equally so among the veterans of the war with Megara, undoubtedly
went up to the akropolis with a sanctioned group of doryphoroi of un-
specied number.
These were probably no more than a kind of honor
Indeed, because they were men selected from among the citi-
zens, these doryphoroi, whoever they were, could hardly have constituted
anything like an elite unitthey were explicitly not men from the diakria
and they would not have dwelled on the akropolis. Furthermore, they
could not have been anything like a coercive bodyguard, since they did
not perform any such functions. (Peisistratos was held to be law abiding
and was not remembered as high-handed or coercive in any way.) The
doryphoroi at this early stage of the tyranny must have acted as accom-
paniers, serving more for prestige than pay.
It is no stretch to imagine
that some of the veterans of the Megarian war would gladly have served
their old commander in this capacity. If there was any coercive work to
be doneand that is again highly unlikely in view of Peisistratos law-
abiding reputationit was surely performed by Peisistratos philoi, a band
that, as we have seen, he may have brought with him from the diakria or
that may have coalesced around him during the war with Megara.
philoi, his crew as it were, would have comprised his inner circle, not
the doryphoroi. Perhaps the doryphoroi became a stepping-stone to ad-
vancement in the tyrannical regime, and into that crewonce Peisistratos
had rmly established himself.
. Peisistratos Governance and the End
of the First Entente with Megakles
We are told by Thucydides (o..) that the Peisistratids assessed a per-
cent tax, but that is unlikely to have occurred during Peisistratos rst or
second tyrannies, if in fact it was ever assessed by him.
Such a tax would
,o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
have been alienating to the very de

mos upon whose goodwill Peisistratos

relied. Moreover, an effective mechanism for collecting the tax was
needed, and, since the rst tyranny was apparently quite brief, Peisistratos
had little time for organizing any such a collection system.
events leading to Peisistratos expulsions indicate that he continued to lack

mata and remained dependent on Megakles.

What, then, did Peisistratos do during his rst, very brief period of rule?
The tyrants rst order of business was to strengthen his position, and that
meant, above all, to maintain and expand his standing and the goodwill
of the Athenian de

mos. Presumably, he did this by unobtrusive rule, as

Herodotos suggests.
Apart from that, it seems likely that Peisistratos en-
listed allies outside of Athens. Plausible testimony from the Ath.Pol.
(+;.), very possibly deriving from an Atthis, states that it was during the
rst period of tyranny that Peisistratos concluded a marriage alliance with
Gorgilos of Argos, wedding his daughter Timonassa. It was this marriage
that probably led to the undoing of Peisistratos rst tyranny.
According to Herodotos, sometime after the establishment of the rst
tyranny Megakles joined with Lykourgos to oust Peisistratos. Events seem
to have unfolded rapidly, the expulsion was sudden, and Peisistratos ight
was apparently precipitous. In fact, he had no recourse but to withdraw
outside of the pale of Athens.
Since it seems all but certain that
Megakles had allowed the rst tyranny, a breach is indicated. But what
caused it? The only known fact of the rst tyranny is the Argive marriage
alliance, which could well have wrecked the understanding between
Megakles and Peisistratos (see appendix C.:.B.). Megakles reason for sup-
porting Peisistratos in the rst place was surely to control Athens in his
own way. Since Peisistratos was relatively young, relatively impoverished,
and clearly needed Megakles, he was undoubtedly regarded by the Alk-
meonid as his political creature, not only indebted to him but in his pocket.
Peisistratos, the victor at Nisaia, the new Melanthos,will have chafed un-
der any such dominance and, clever as he seems to have been, apparently
sought his own means to shed the necessity of Megakles.The entente could
not last for long: each wanted to be his own man and control Athens. It is
certainly reasonable to think that an external marriage alliance brought
about the breach, just as marriage to Megakles daughter had temporarily
healed it. (Perhaps Peisistratos had agreed to marry the girl as the price for
the rst tyranny and the marriage to Timonassa disrupted that plan.)
The Argive alliance was not the best of options for Peisistratos: it hints
in fact of desperation. Gorgilos was powerful, perhaps, but not outstanding
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance ,;
beyond Argos it appears, and Timonassa, no Agariste, had already been mar-
ried to the very dim Kypselid light,Archinos, tyrant of Ambrakia. She does
not seem to have commanded the attentions of the upper-echelon tyrant
houses in Greece. Still, Peisistratos needed his own makeweight for Mega-
kles, and he could hardly turn to Lykourgos. Knowing the extent of his
weakness before Megakles, Peisistratos appears to have taken what offered
itself and would strengthen his hand at Athens. Presumably, he was simply
following in the footsteps of Kylon and Megakles himselfboth of whom
secured such alliances, and that is probably what concerned the Alkmeonid.
While there is no direct evidence to support what I have suggested,
something caused the breach that led to the ouster of Peisistratos from his
rst tyranny, and the marriage alliance is the one fact we possess about
Peisistratos rst tyranny. Monarchy could not have two claimants, and
both Megakles and Peisistratos seem to have positioned and repositioned
themselves during the periods of the rst two tyrannies, jockeying for ad-
vantage.The fact of Megakles real power could well have spurred Peisis-
tratos Argive alliance, which in turn caused Megakles to align himself
with Lykourgos to oust Peisistratos. That reshuing of power thereafter
caused Megakles to make overtures to Peisistratos and the latter to accept
them. Peisistratos relative weaknesshe surely had no real power at
Athens but that which was allowed to him by Megakles during the rst
two tyranniesand Megakles strength are amply demonstrated by the
events involving the second tyranny of Peisistratos.
. rri si s+r:+os

srcoxi +.r:xx.
A. Introduction
According to Herodotos (+.oo.+), almost immediately after he had
united with Lykourgos to expel Peisistratos, Megakles broke with him
and presented Peisistratos with a proposition. If Peisistratos would marry
his daughter, Megakles would help restore him to the tyranny at Athens.
Together they devised yet another strategy, devolving upon what, accord-
ing to Herodotos, was ludicrous and unbelievable in fact. A young girl
from the deme of Paiania, Phye by name,tall and handsomeand dressed
as Athena, rode in a chariot with Peisistratos back to Athens. Messengers
(one presumes Megakles) who had been sent ahead primed the crowd
to receive the pair, saying Here is Athena leading back her favored one
to her own high city. The Athenians, according to Herodotos, were
, r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
taken in by the show and welcomed (and even prayed to) Peisistratos
and Phye-as-Athena. By their acclamation and permission to hold the
akropolis again, they restored Peisistratos to the tyranny. Herodotos terms
the latter episode the silliest thing he had ever heard of.
Herodotos subsequently recounts the consequences of Peisistratos
marriage to Megakles daughter. Peisistratos,already having children and
the Alkmeonidai being accursed, did not want to have children with his
newly-wedded wife.He did not therefore consummate the marriage, but
had sex with the girl ou xoto voov.The girl, not completely naive about
such thingsif she was naive, she would presumably not have known that
anything was amisshid this at rst, but then related it at length to her
mother,whether her mother asked her or not. Mother, in turn, told fa-
ther and this was the beginning of the end of the second tyranny.Wroth
because of the insult to himselfand, of course, the nullication of the
allianceMegakles united with his former antagonist Lykourgos and
drove Peisistratos once again from the tyranny.
We need not doubt that Megakles and Peisistratos combined for a sec-
ond tyranny, even as they had before, for each was proven incapable of
furthering his agenda at Athens without the other. Megakles political de-
pendence on Peisistratos is conrmed by his need to restore him to the
tyranny. Of course, Megakles was indispensable to Peisistratos as well, for
he was unable on his own to obtain or retain the tyranny. Neither could
establish the tyranny (obviously at Lykourgos expense) without the other
at this stage of things, both required the de

mos and the inuence that the

other had over it. Indeed, in Herodotos we detect a tripartite relationship
among Peisistratos, the de

mos, and Megakles: the popularity and tness

for rule of Peisistratos was so acknowledged by the de

mos and conceded

by Megakles; the power to appoint its own governors was clearly under-
stood of the de

mos both by Megakles and Peisistratos, who played to it;

and, nally, the persuasiveness (and so political necessity) of chre

mata was
acknowledged by all. All three, the de

mos conceded power, Peisistratos

popularity, and the persuasiveness of Megakles chre

mata, were needed for

the tyranny to be established and then to continue.
B. Peisistratos and Athena:
The Signicance of the Phye Pageant
The curious affair of the young Paianian girl Phye playing Athena and
leading Peisistratos back to Athens in a chariot has captured the imagina-
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance ,,
+oo r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
tions of grizzled scholars and innocent students alike and seems to have
done so since Herodotos time.
An interesting story even on its face,
Herodotos makes it more so by ridiculing the Athenians for being taken
in by it. It was the silliest thing he had ever heard. Quite a claim, but
can we believe it? Most scholars now agree that Herodotos was somehow
misled in his thinking and that the pageant of Phye-as-Athena held real,
though some think implicit, meaning for sixth-century Athenians, the
nuancing of which is not at all immediately apparent to modern readers,
even as at least some of it seems not to have been to Herodotos.
Now, because of his sources, Herodotos may have been led to his em-
phatic disbelief. Indeed, inasmuch as negative sentiments toward the

mos are to be found in Herodotos logos on Peisistratos rise, since the

source for the logos is almost surely Alkmeonid, and as the Alkmeonidai
famously and severely ridiculed the de

mos elsewhere, the famous sneer

about the sheer stupidity of the de

mos in Herodotos is more likely to be

Alkmeonid than Herodotean. (It obviously becomes Herodotos, but it
could hardly have originated with him.) Because of Herodotos high re-
gard for the Alkmeonidai for their attitudes toward and interpretations of
the information he gives them with regard to the tyrants and their asso-
ciations with them, the historian could overlook or disregard the mean-
ings implicit in the Phye pageant in favor of dismissing it with them as
utterly ridiculous.
There are several reasons for believing that the Athenians of the sixth
century were not taken in by the famous chariot ride. Connor, in an im-
portant article on the episode, suggested that, quite to the contrary of what
is implied by Herodotos pronouncement on the Athena procession, the
Athenians of the sixth century genuinely accepted Peisistratos identi-
cation with the goddess.
The onlookers were not fooled by Phye-
as-Athena but became willing participants and accepted the image be-
cause of the occasion and its dramatic and cultural moment; the pageant
became therefore a successful means of communication. This is surely
along the right track. Sinos, enlarging on that suggestion, stated that Pei-
sistratos was attempting to join the ranks of other distinguished rulers
who presented their laws and reforms as the will of the godsbut that the
Athenian audience, transformed by the occasion, actually saw Phye as
Athena. The main problem with Sinos reconstruction, which goes well
beyond what the evidence will permit, is that the connections between
Peisistratos and Athena are drawn too obliquely or tenuously;
nor simply does not go far enough.
It is to be emphasized that the pageant was not a community-
sanctioned religious occasion but a political one, as it were, forced on the
Athenians. How they would react is not implicit in the nature of the pag-
eant because of its unprecedented nature.The drama,such as it was, was
quite uniqueHerodotos assures us of thatand the values, images, and
nuances primarily political. (Of course, Herodotos disbelief is premised
in part on the fact that he knew of nothing like it.) De Libero, adopting
a more political interpretation, suggested that Peisistratos gave proof by
his ceremonial de rentre of his renewed involvement with the contest for
the tyranny. Essentially a publicity stunt, the extravagance of the pageant
was designed by Peisistratos to draw attention to himself in the language
of power politics and enlarge his basis of support among the Athenians.
But this explanation, too, is inadequate, since it fails to explain why Pei-
sistratos and Megakles chose this precise means, instead of some other, to
gain that attention when, Solon and Herodotos both assure us, other
means were available.
Although these interpretations are unsatisfactory
because they are too narrowly cast or attenuated, they are valuable as
pointers, for they show that a politico-religious construction, neither a
singular nor an inconstruable polyvalent one in this case, is needed for
understanding the episode better.
Blok, in a recent construction of the event, notes that any attempt
to come to a satisfactory interpretation of the incident with Phye is ham-
pered by three problems.
First, Herodotos and all other ancient authors
(whose information in any case is to be traced to Herodotos) cannot be
trusted to have given a full account of it because they could not make sense
of it. Second, while there are some examples of such processions later, com-
parative cases are lacking, for that of Phye in the sixth century is truly an
isolated case. Finally, we do not know when exactly the procession (pompe

took place and so cannot know how the pageant is to be construed among
the political manoeuvres of Peisistratos and his colleagues.
Blok, who offers an interpretation anyway in spite of the impediments
she lists, overstates the seriousness of these. First of all, whether or not the
ancient authors believed it and whatever they reported about it, the Phye
pageant happened and we can only construe it on the basis of what we
have in the context of Athens at the time of the second tyranny.
Second, for that reason, it matters very little that there are no contempo-
rary comparanda.We need not, indeed we must not, consider the pageant
as generic but unique, even as Herodotos indicates it was. Finally, for the
timing of the pompe

we must take Herodotos at his word: the procession

Money, Persuasion, and Alliance +o+
included Phye-as-Athena and Peisistratos; it was performedbefore a live
audience of Athenians; and others encouraged the Athenians to accept
what they saw. Moreover, it occurred after the bargain had been struck
between Peisistratos and Megakles and before Peisistratos was installed
as tyrant a second time. That was obviously the best time for it anyway.
The pageant must be construed within the context of contemporary
Athenian sensibilities about Athena in company with Peisistratos. Bloks
impediments are really only that if the contexts for the information and
the pageant are ignored.
My explanation for the Phye procession proceeds by accepting both
Herodotos sequencing and his description of events: his indirect remarks
about its uniqueness seem to me to guarantee its authenticity; it was wit-
nessed by many after all and was memorable. Let us examine some of the
contextual factors. First, the pageant had to have been the brainstorm of
Megakles and must be connected with his proposal to Peisistratos and the
attempt of both to reinstate the latter: it was deemed integral to their
effort to re-create the tyranny.
Second, as such, the procession was de-
signed to suggest positive things to the Athenians about Peisistratos and a
second tyranny and thus to reinforce their optimism or to allay their fears
or, more likely, both. In short, it was meant to sell Peisistratos to them
yet again.Third, the fact that Athenawas employed to lead [Peisistratos]
back to [her] cityintroduces a specic politico-religious aspect that must
have been central to the intentions of Megakles and Peisistratos in devis-
ing the pageant: the Athena gure was for them the necessary linchpin
for what they intended, and that is obviously signicant. Indeed, the pag-
eant must be interpreted in light of the Athenians veneration and ideas of
their goddess and of her signicance to them there in the early sixth cen-
tury i.c.r., that is, in the context of what Athena meant to them at the
time the pageant occurred. Finally, whatever meaning is to be derived
from the pageant it cannot involve Peisistratos or Athenaalone but must
take both together into account.The implication of the two, not the high-
lighting of one in any way discernible over the other, was the point of the
exercise after all.
For the Athenians, politics and religion were united in the goddess
Athena, just as they were in her abode on the akropolis; we remember,
though, that the design of the pageant was more political than religious.
First, there was the immediate, the visual impact.What did the confeder-
ates want the impression of such theaterto convey? What did the Athe-
nians perceive on viewing the spectacle? In Herodotos, Athena stands by
+o: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
Peisistratos but says nothing; rather, the attendants call out to the Athen-
ians to regard the apparition and accept their shouted captioning. (These
were the minions of Megakles, as were those surely who worshipedPei-
sistratos, if indeed that actually happened.) We must, then, agree with
Sinos about the tableau of Athena, for even the chariot ride of itself
would endow Peisistratos with a larger than life image:By riding a char-
iot into the city, [Peisistratos] presented the superhuman image seen in
vase paintings of warriors . . . and in the ritual entry of a victor returning
to his city.
Specically, and because it was Athena who accompa-
nied Peisistratos, the immediate heroic image conjured would most likely
have been the common, Homeric one and, one imagines, it was instan-
taneously conceived. (Of course, this ts right in with the kind of heroic
age propaganda myth Peisistratos seems to have advanced earlier about
himself: see chapter II.:.C.)
Perhaps the most immediate Homeric connection of hero and god-
dess that the Athenians would make is to Diomedes who is led against the
war god Ares by his charioteer Athena (Iliad .ff.)
This ride is in
many ways the culmination of the aristeia (displays of martial excellence)
of Diomedes, whose spearing of Aphrodite and then of Ares in company
with Athena marks him out in this very memorable scene as a hero of
outstanding stature, a cultural one at that. Diomedes wounds the cause of
the war, Aphrodite, while later Athena helps cause Ares, the dreaded war
god, momentarily to withdraw from battle: the righteous together defeat
the unrighteous.
It is reasonable to think that Megakles and Peisistratos
calculated that the Athenians, recalling the accomplishments of Peisis-
tratos as a warrior, would regard him in company with Athenaas heroic
in that Homeric vein, a redoubtable vanquisher of Athens and Athenas
foes (Eris or Ares himself?) and a bringer or restorer of order to the city.
The second, perhaps less obvious image conjured was very possibly that
of Odysseus, for whom Athena was a special patron and who, of course,
was renowned for cleverness.
Peisistratos was deemed extraordinarily
cunningthe idea may have been rooted in the tactics employed during
the Megarian war (cf. chapter II..C.D.)and the confederates idea may
have been to draw attention to this outstanding quality. His cunning, like
Odysseus, was surely derived from Athenas patronage.
Like Odysseus
and Athena, so, too, did Peisistratos own a special relationship with the god-
dess. It was a partnership in fact, just as the pageant depicted their relation-
ship to be. In fact, that partnership is exactly what those who ran before
and around the chariot proclaimed. The epiphany appears intended to
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mark Peisistratos as a hero in the easily recognizable Homeric mold (like
Diomedes in the Iliad)the tyrant was, after all, proven for might and mar-
tial excellence through his megala ergabut also as a hero for a newer
age, who, as Odysseus (in the Odyssey), could cope with problems as they
presented themselves through his intelligence. All three enjoyed special
relations with the goddess, whose presence signied her favor and her im-
plication with them.
Surely much of this dawned (or at least was meant
to dawn) on the Athenians as they witnessed the procession.
While all of these impressions may have been intended and perceived,
they will surely have taken a second seat to what the image of Athena
connoted specically to the Athenians of the time, since these connotations
presented themselves most immediately. One piece of roughly contem-
porary specically Athenian evidence may help us understand those con-
notations better. In the rst few lines of F W, +, Solon describes Athens
embroiled in what appears to be the turmoil of a stasis, which led to his
special commission:
Our polis will never be destroyed by the decree of Zeus
nor by the intentions of the holy gods immortal,
For such a great-hearted sentinel, the daughter of the thundering god,
Pallas Athena holds her hands out over it.
Solon goes on to say that people, the de

mos and its leadership, are what

destroy a city and implies that that is exactly what will happen to Athens
if the astoi do not heed him and his corrective words.
Solons expression nds reference in Homeric epic, although Solon has
refashioned it to refer specically to Athens and its condition.
Athenians understood Athena to be present on the akropolis, a presence
to which Solon refers with the word hyperthen (from above).The security
and well-being of the polis were implicated with Athenas well-being and
that of her abode there.The importance of the latter as the very soul of
the polis is guaranteed by its role as the focus of seizure and reaction to
seizures from the seventh through the fth centuries i.c.r.
As discussed
earlier, any aspirant to possession of the high city, and inevitably to
Athenas precinct there, must necessarily demonstrate a favored status, that
is, Athenas patronage, and so leave to take and hold the akropolis (how-
ever briey the hold: cf. section :.C.:). In Peisistratos case, Athenas
favor was certied by his famous victories and renowned intelligence
(perhaps perceived as a concomitant of those victories at this stage): they
+o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
had been gained with the help of the goddess of war and wisdom.They
justied deference to him and the goddesss obvious will. (We recall, too,
the theme of divine favor through Herodotos account of Peisistratos
Taking the akropolis was for those to whom Athena granted
special favor and honors and who were clearly recognized as her bene-
ciaries. It was not for such as Kylon and Isagoras, who were deemed un-
deserving, or the Alkmeonidai, who had desecrated the goddesss abode
and her city; it was certainly not for foreigners or traitors.
The pompe

of Phye-as-Athena had as its ultimate goal Athenas own

akropolis, a goal explicitly stated by the criers who informed the Athe-
nians and advised them as to how to receive the pair. The image of
Athena subserved the human riding with her on this occasion, for she
became, after all, a personication of the qualities that recommended Pei-
sistratos for rule. An abstract summary of those qualities of Peisistratos,
Athena also represented a reminder to the Athenians of what they, too,
should do in view of them, that is, accept Peisistratos. The pompe

, the
chariot, its charioteers, and the outrunning criers in context amounted
to explicit and implicit persuasion, vividly expressed yet subtly combined.
Peisistratos attributes and successes and the purport of their benet were
envivied by a corporeal Athena recommending her clear favorite: the
two became, for the moment, identical, as did the prognosis for Athens
well-being under Peisistratos.
As she loved the tyrant, so should the
Atheniansand for the reasons that she simultaneously recollected, rep-
resented, and urged.
Peisistratos was neither Herakles, Diomedes, nor Odysseus; his image
with Athena was his own, manufactured from parts supplied from mythi-
cal referents but nuanced to contemporary Athenian sensibilities.These,
but most of all who Peisistratos had become to the Athenians, created a vo-
cabulary of images summed up in his ride with Athena by Athena.The
vision, really a coup de thtre, had, like so many Attic vase paintings of
the sixth century, both obvious and subtler sense.
There is really no
question that the Athenians believed that Phye was the goddess Athena:
they did not. (The demonstrators of emotion and excess were surely
Megakles hacks.) The Athenians could, however, accept what Phye-as-
Athena represented, even as they could an actor playing Athena in
Sophokles Aias in the fth century. It was not the ruse that the Atheni-
ans accepted but the power and will of the divinity jointly represented in
Peisistratos and his record and in the representation of the goddess driv-
ing together with him in a chariot toward the high city.
The prog-
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nosis for the city was good so long as both pairs of handsthe hands that
held onto the chariot and its reinswere held out over Athens. Simply
put, Herodotos and his source(s) didnt get it, or more likely they ma-
ligned it in order to malign the de

Who voted this day that Peisistratos be tyrant once again? We may
eliminate rst of all the aristoi, who once again were surely mere by-
standers to the signicant events that occurred around them when Pei-
sistratos and Megakles combined forces.
Of the other two groups,
those whose loyalties lay specically with Megakles or Peisistratos were
surely the minority.Those who were interested in gain, who needed per-
suasion, the swing vote, which formed the critical mass, that is, the
Solonian de

mos, were the majority for whom the pageant was intended
as a persuasion.Their assent in sucient numbers was absolutely vital to
the success of the plan.This group had been rst persuaded by Peisistratos,
then Megakles, then Peisistratos and Megakles, and would be persuaded
by Megakles again. Perhaps most in it were inclined to reinstate Peisis-
tratos anyway, but they were certainly better primed after the pageant
and, we imagine, the further jingling of Megakles purse.We do not know
the precise numbers of these assenters, but theirs were the votes that
counted for the reestablishment of the tyranny.
In sum, the Athenians who received Peisistratos back were not
so simpleminded as Herodotos and his Athenian source(s) imply. In fact,
if anything, events at Athens beginning before Solon and in the years
preceding Peisistratos rst tyranny created conditions that would have
driven up the level of the de

mos political sophistication.The extravagance

of the procession, misunderstood or, more probably, misrepresented by
Herodotos, who, like his source(s), was projecting back his own fth-
century sensibilities, might be taken as a further sign of theatrical poli-
ticking, apparently no rarity in Athens. It is certainly in keeping with
Solons famous madentry into the agora to recite Salamis and, of course,
if it occurred, with Peisistratos equally dramatic self-wounding; it is cred-
ible on those bases (if both actually occurred) and acceptable even in
isolation because it worked to effect the aims of the confederates. Stagey,
but effective, the pageant reminded the Athenians how apt to be tyrant
Peisistratos was: his war record and performance since had demonstrated
that he was favored by Athena, and this was her city after all.Though more
extravagant, the Phye pageant nevertheless ts into the pattern of Peisis-
tratid manipulation of myth, which also, we note, portrayed him as t to
rule. Phye-as-Athena was designed to promote the realization among the
+oo r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
Athenians of the tripartite implication of goddess, tyrant, and city and
along with it its all-around benets for them.
C. Peisistratos and Megakles Daughter:
A Fathers Righteous Indignation
While it is reasonable to assume that Megakles and Peisistratos did enter
into an alliance based on mutual interests during the period of Peisistratos
rst exile, that the pact was then cemented by a marriage, and that it was
subsequently repudiated by Peisistratos, it is not reasonable to imagine that
it was broken precisely in the way Herodotos describes.
According to
Herodotos, Megakles was prompted to seek out Peisistratos because of the
struggle with his old foe Lykourgos. Presumably, Peisistratos renewed
tyranny would help him to gain the upper hand. Obviously, Peisistratos
had hopes to retake the tyranny, but must accept Megakles proposal to
be reinstated. Marriages for political gain were common enough and had
been entered into by both men earlier. In any case, Megakles made mar-
riage to his daughter a condition for his cooperation. His desire was prob-
ably to draw Peisistratos into closer cooperation with him, his genos, and
their aims (see appendix C.:.B.). The account of the disruption of that
marriage alliance in Herodotos, however, devolves entirely on Peisistratos
second thoughts and mistreatment of Megakles daughter, on her delayed
reaction to the abuse, and nally on Megakles righteous indignation and
actions because of it.
Much is omitted in Herodotos story, which
stands rather outside of the context Herodotos himself establishes in his
Not unlike Herodotos account of Peisistratos rst tyranny, that con-
cerning the second also breaks down into two episodic strands, the Phye-
as-Athena strand and the insult strand.
The rst may be taken as fac-
tual because publicly witnessed, unique and memorable. Aside from
Herodotos dismissal of it, it seems to be free of interpretation. It could
hardly have been invented.
The second strand, the earlier stated one, however, is essentially formu-
laic in nature, gossipy and generic; it deals in the thoughts and personal
exchanges of the individuals involved and appears to be quite removed
from history.The superstructure of the insult story is not at all unique:
the generically evil tyrant characteristically commits sexual outrage and
deserves to lose his tyranny for it.
The outrage is premised on Peisis-
tratos realization after the fact of the marriage things he must have known
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance +o;
before it; it unfolds in such fashion as to run completely counter to the
character image established in Herodotos of Peisistratos as a law-abiding
ruler of Athens (+.,.o). Moreover, everyone in the insult story, including
Peisistratos, seems very foolish indeed, merely reactive to events (or real-
izations) instead of guiding them. (This in the very cynical political
atmosphere described heretofore by Herodotos!) There is obviously
something very much amiss in Herodotos account of Peisistratos sexual
insult to Megakles daughter.
Again context lends a hand. The insult strand may be seen as partak-
ing of the revisionistic program of Herodotos account of Peisistratos rise
to the tyranny. It helps to overhaul the readers perception of Megakles.
He is no longer a collaborator with the tyrants but is instead a vengeful
father reacting as any Greek father would to the insult done to him and
his daughter.
The distance between the former confederates is in fact
increased to the polemic of tyrant and tyrant hater inasmuch as the story
redenes Peisistratos, heretofore righteous, as an evil tyrant inimical to
the Alkmeonidai, even as it redenes Megakles. (In fact, Megakles achieves
a further felicitous identication with the famous Athenian tyrannicides,
Harmodios and Aristogeiton, since his case involves sexually motivated
hubris and response, just as theirs did. Megakles might actually be seen as
prototype of sorts for them, succeeding as he did in loosingthe tyranny,
something that the Alkmeonidai asserted [through Herodotos] the tyran-
nicides, did not.
At all events, sexual outrage could well be believed of
the tyrants, as we shall presently see.) The insult story in Herodotos may
in fact be viewed as the charter of the genos bruited perpetual hatred of
the tyrants.
While the advantages of the insult story for Megakles and
his descendants are quite obvious, its problems, including the generics,
implausibilities, and contradictions, are also clear. Both together, however,
suggest that there is little historical fact in this strand but mostly fabrica-
tion for purposes of revising the record of events involving Megakles and
If that is so, what may be taken as factual? First of all, the prompt for
Alkmeonid revision of the facts had to have been, once again, embarrass-
ment for conduct alleged of its members during the reign of the tyrants.
In the case of the insult story, the fact of intermarriage with the Peisis-
tratids, apparently quite well known for this occasion and later, created
signicant shame for the self-proclaimed perpetualmisotyrannists. First,
then, we may take intermarriage as factual. The younger Alkibiades in a
rather more truthful moment made bold to admit proudly to intermar-
+o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
riage with the tyrants.This admission was not based on the fabrication of
such marriage and certainly would have caused real problems for the Alk-
meonids in the fth century.
Second, we may also take it as fact that
Megakles summoned Peisistratos back from exile and that restoring the
tyranny was his initiative, not Peisistratos.
Third, we may take it as fact,
too, that the alliance broke down for reasons other than those reported in
Herodotos and that Megakles, holding all the political cards of impor-
tance, forced Peisistratos out again.
Let us turn to the theme of sexual outrage as an explanation for that
breakdown. It is well nigh impossible to believe that Peisistratos entered
into the marriage alliance with Megakles knowing the terms of the deal
but intending to void them for the reasons stated in Herodotos. Peisis-
tratos very late realizations are nevertheless supposed to have led him to
treat Megakles daughter in a very insulting manner, although he had been
righteous before (and would be considered so afterward) and well knew
the consequences of his actions, as every Athenian would have.
greatest impediment for believing in it is the problem of a creditable
source. To whom would Peisistratos have communicated his reasons for
voiding the marriage contract? How did they come down from then to
Herodotos? What possible source could have known Peisistratos thoughts
and then had the presence of mind to record them? Peisistratos surely
never proclaimed them.Yet, in Herodotos, the alliances breakdown fo-
cuses squarely on the sexual insult, what led to it, what happened, and its
results, really nothing more.
It is much more reasonable to believe that
the reasons given for Peisistratos refusal to beget children were rational-
izations much after the fact rather than operative reasons for sundering
the marriage alliance at the time the arrangement existed. The Alkme-
onidai, as primary sources for Herodotos for the tyranny, were in a posi-
tion to revise the terms of it to obtain maximum benets by papering
over the real reasons for the breach. Megakles the malefactorhis sins
could not be deniedcould nevertheless become Megakles the aveng-
ing father, and substantiation was therefore advanced for his tyrant hat-
ing, thus dimming some of his other offenses.
Abuse and insults of a sexual nature were the particular domains of
Archaic Greek tyrants, their shamelessness symptomatic of their typical
disregard for morality and social convention.
The story of the insult to
Megakles daughter not only ts into this general pattern of tyrannical
misconduct but also among many charges of sexual misconduct made by
the Alkmeonidai against their political enemies at Athens.
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance +o,
says, for example, that Isagoras, who aimed at tyranny in the wake of Kleis-
thenes forced departure from Athens, was charged with allowing his wife
to be visitedby Kleomenes, and the charge must have come once again
from the enemies of Isagoras, the Alkmeonidai.
In Plutarch, a later
source to be sure but in this case probably deriving his information from
Stesimbrotos of Thasos or Ion of Chios, Perikles himself imputes incest
to Kimon through his sister Elpinike, whose virtue is thus set at nothing
because of sexual misconduct.
The insult to Megakles daughter,
of whom we hear no more, seems of a piece with the kind of charges
leveled against opponents of the Alkmeonids, the insult story without
historical merit.
If not for this, then, why did the marriage alliance between Megakles
and Peisistratos break down? Before proceeding, it must be emphasized
that there is little of substance to go on beyond observing the real disso-
nance between what was said and the likeliest reasons why it was said and
the context of political realities that Herodotos himself sets here. In this
case, we really only have him to go on.While what follows is more spec-
ulative than based in fact, I shall proceed, introducing the facts we do have
and grounding them in the context established.
I have assumed that Peisistratos aims during his rst tyranny were to
maintain himself and strengthen his position vis--vis Megakles. To that
end, he sought a marriage alliance outside of Attika with Gorgilos of
Argos. As we have seen, many scholars have assumed that Timonassa was
out of the way by the time of Peisistratos marriage to Megakles daugh-
ter, either divorced, dead, or otherwise put off so as to enable the Athe-
nian alliance.
That is not at all proven (see appendix C.:.B.) and, if his
aims were the same when he returned to the tyranny, Peisistratos had the
same good reasons for maintaining the alliance with Gorgilos.
Peisistratos only viable means to return to the tyranny at Athens after
his rst exile was Megakles, to whom he would owe a political debt.To
attain the tyranny again, Peisistratos must promise to do what was asked,
presumably, as before, to see the Alkmeonidai into the oces of state.That
meant handing over control in effect to Megakles.To attain his own in-
dependence, however, Peisistratos must maintain his foreign ties. If I am
right in assuming that Peisistratos continued his marriage to Timonassa
in exile (see appendix C.B.:), the union could have remained intact even
beyond the marriage to Megakles daughter. Maintaining the Argive al-
liance, which would prove useful against Megakles ultimately, and the
rights of the offspring from Timonassa, which cemented the alliance, were
++o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
good grounds indeed for telling Megakles one thing and doing another.
In his struggle to offset Megakles power, it was reasonable that Peisistratos
should accept the marriage alliance to the Alkmeonids daughter under
false premises, maintain the Argive alliance, and strive not to procreate
with Megakles daughter, since offspring from that marriage would upset
Maintenance of the foreign alliance was to no avail, for Peisistratos was
no more able to defend himself against Megakles when the latter reacted
to the insult to his daughter than he was the rst time around.The in-
sult in any case materialized when Megakles daughter bore no children:
this seems to be the implication of the mothers inquiry, for what it is
worth. Or it may be that the truth of things simply dawned on Mega-
kles. Run out of Athens the second time, Peisistratos evacuated Attika al-
together. Megakles was, until Palle


, indispensable for Peisistratos, mak-

ing and breaking him as tyrant apparently at will. Megakles power was
overwhelming in comparison with Peisistratos, and the latter nally
compensated by building up his own resources to overwhelming strength,
taking ten years in exile to do it.
Indeed, whatever political losses Megakles had incurred up to this time,
he still had sucient force to expel Peisistratos from Attika. Presumably,
he used his money to undo with the de

mos all that he had done and sanc-

tioned. Peisistratos ight from Attika gauges Megakles power, which,
until Palle


, thoroughly outstripped Peisistratos. It was obviously be-

cause of that superior wealth, wealth Peisistratos could not match through
two periods of tyranny, that the tyrant in exile set about gathering the
men and chre

mata he needed to overcome Megakles and the Alkmeonids

once and for all.
The story of the insult to Megakles daughter amplies the polemics
of tyrant and subject on Megakles behalf. Our sympathies are meant to
be with Megakles the injured, aggrieved, and ultimately vengeful party,
and our understanding that he became the rst vehement tyrant hater
among the Athenians and the rst among a famous line of tyrant haters.
His active participation in renewing the tyranny, indeed, his engineering
of its refoundation, is dimmed by the pulpish tale involving his daughter.
Peisistratos sexual mistreatment of his wifewe shall perhaps never know
precisely what he did or did not docreates moral outrage in Megakles
and in the reader on Megakles behalf. It explains both his immediate role
in dissolving the tyranny and his genos purported perpetual antityran-
nical temperament. Megakles the cynical politician, the creator of the sec-
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance +++
ond tyranny, drops from sight altogether after arranging the pact only to
reappear as Megakles the honorable, an enemy of the tyrant and his ilk
now dyed in the wool.
Poor, injured Megakles! In fact, in Herodotos
Megakles seems to loose the second tyranny all by himself. The insult
story, essentially an apology, is yet another part of the Alkmeonidsmyth
of resistance to Peisistratid tyranny, very possibly developed, at least in
part, as an answer to the popular tyrannicide version of opposition to
the tyrants.
D. Summary
+. Herodotos and Megakles
Megakles political power is obvious in the account of events leading to
and involving Peisistratos second tyranny, but it becomes occult as things
unfold. It was Megakles who devised the marriage alliance with Peisis-
tratos and then, perhaps with him, the Phye ruse, thus successfully manip-
ulating the de

mos to his purpose.When Peisistratos rode to the akropo-

lis accompanied by Phye-as-Athena, a sucient number of Athenians,
receiving them en route, conceded the tyranny once more, just as Mega-
kles had calculated. While Peisistratos could not resume the tyranny on
his own or without Megakles assistance, he could also not do so without
this display of public and popular approval. Megakles and the de

mos co-
operated, as they must have done in the rst instance, to acclaim Peisis-
tratos. In this case, the Alkmeonid was the indispensable architect and
engineer of Peisistratos reinstatement. In Herodotos, Megakles promise
to Peisistratos appears to be guaranteed: the reactions of those who most
mattered politically in Athens, the de

mos, would match his own.Yet, while

the de

mos is featured along with Peisistratos in the Phye affair in

Herodotos account, Megakles is not.As before, he is noticeably absent as
the events actually unfold.
The Phye-as-Athena story offers further information about Peisis-
tratos acquisition of power but really more about Herodotos source(s)
and Athenian attitudes toward the Peisistratid tyranny in the fth century
i.c.r. Although the de

mos is partially forgiven for being taken in yet

again, it is explicitly more to blame for the tyrannys establishment in
Herodotos account than is its leadereven though that leader had insti-
gated it! In fact, at the point of Peisistratos resumption of power, that is,
the Athenians concession a second time, Megakles is not even in the
++: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
picture. He reappears only later, in his recast and highlighted role as op-
ponent to Peisistratos tyranny, to dissolve it. In this, Megakles is allowed
to parade his truer, tyrant-hating colors. As in the deception strand in
the account of the rst tyranny, the de

mos leader is distinguished both

from Peisistratos tyranny and from the foolishness of the Athenian de

On the basis of Megakles prior and subsequent activities and impor-
tance and the political entrenchment it implies, it is beyond possibility to
think that Megakles was, as he seems to have been in Herodotos account,
away from the action before, during, or after the Phye-as-Athena pageant.
He concocted it after all; it was upon this that the political fortunes of
both Megakles and Peisistratos were to depend. Megakles certain means
of inuence of the de

mos was his chre

mata; he had it, the de

mos wanted
it, and Peisistratos really had nothing yet with which to compete.Thus, if
Peisistratos lacked the means to bid for the tyranny on his own in the sec-
ond instance, if he had to rely on the established city politician Megakles
as his go-between, then he cannot possibly have been in a stronger po-
sition before his rst bid or had any option other than reliance on the
wealthy, politically cynical Megakles. As Megakles was indispensable to
Peisistratos second tyranny, as leader of the de

mos then Megakles must

have been present as events unfolded and must have gured centrally in
the events that led to Peisistratos rst tyranny. Megakles had been king-
maker now twice over; Herodotos does not tell us this outright. Indeed,
in Herodotos account, the de

mos on its own is nally responsible for

the rst two tyrannies. That is, however, the product of the revisionism
with which Herodotos sources supplied him and by which his account
of Peisistratos rise is suffused.
As we have seen, the response to the reality of his unsavory collusion
by Megakles progeny, the presumptive sources here for Herodotos inas-
much Megakles is the prime beneciary of the revisions, was to refash-
ion his role in the events, in part by making him, in the case of the events
leading to the rst tyranny, the leader of an entirely distinct, actually non-
existent party of the shore.That refashioning simultaneously maintained
his importance as a politician, while it detached him from Peisistratos, the

mos, and the rst tyranny and in extenso allowed him to be thought
of more as a consistent opponent of tyranny and less as a collaborator.
Although he engineered the second tyrannyit was on his initiative
that things got under way in the rst placehe is also detached from
the silliness nally affecting the de

mos. In fact, Megakles only explic-

itly collaborates with Peisistratos once in Herodotos, that is, to arrange
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance ++
the marriage alliance and the Phye pageant that preceded it, but here the
blame could easily be laid against his other opponent, Lykourgos.What
else could Megakles do? His portrayal as tyrant opponent does conform,
as it surely was meant to, to Alkmeonid antityrant claims in Herodotos
and elsewhere. That is in fact his featured role in Herodotos account of
Peisistratos rise.
:. Peisistratos Second Tyranny
Although the second period of tyranny was longer than the rst it seems,
we are yet on the same uncertain ground in venturing to expound on its
character.While it might be inferred that the rst two tyrannies were sim-
ilar to the last, conditions were very different and the periods much too
short to admit the parallel condently.The scale of Peisistratos actual rule
had to have been much smaller in the rst two brief and uncertain peri-
ods, characterized, above all, by a real lack of material resources on the
part of the tyrant. Moreover, if, as I have suggested, Megakles and the Alk-
meonidai controlled the oces as the political price Peisistratos paid to
be tyrant, then Peisistratos was little more than a gurehead through the
rst two tyrannies. That he remained away from Athens for a decade to
acquire means sucient to overwhelm Megakles and establish his rule on
a more durable footing (even as Herodotos implies) acts further to gauge
his weakness and reliance on Megakles during the rst two tyrannies.
Herodotos pronouncement about the character of Peisistratos tyrannies
(+.,.o) is obviously of more use in determining what the tyranny was
not than what it was. Under the shadow of Megakles, Peisistratos was
much less the imposing gure he became after Palle


when he had
cleared the political eld for himself. In fact, his stature was diminished
even from that which he had achieved through his victory at Nisaia.
During the rst two tyrannies, Peisistratos had not yet solved the po-
litical dilemma confronting leaders of the de

mos from Solons time.The


mos consent was vital; its favor could only be temporarily guaranteed
by a combination of wealth and popularity.The problem was to maintain
both, that is, ongoing popularity and distribution of wealth, and was
nally solved by Peisistratos after Palle


. Upon his return, he established

Athenian politics once and for all upon an expanding material basis
heretofore unseen and to be outdone only by successors. Chre

mata was
key, as it always had been; further popularity could be gained by it, but
power could only be maintained by regular deployment of it.The tyranny
++ r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
at Athens was in fact sustained by the distribution of wealth accumulated
in his exile but also by promises of more. Peisistratos had grasped that con-
stant supplies of chre

mata, his own to distribute, were needed to maintain

his power at Athens: the accumulation he managed in exile could only be
a start,seed money, as it were.While Peisistratos learned this lesson too
late for his rst tyrannies, it became the foundation for the last and longest
of them.
Money, Persuasion, and Alliance ++
The Tide of Wealth and Power
+. +nr +nr:ci :x soJ ourx
A. Introduction:The Strategy for Return
When Peisistratos learned of what was being done against him, he quit the
land altogether, and coming to Eretria, took counsel with his children. Since
Hippias opinion to take back the tyranny held the eld, they thereupon be-
gan to collect contributions from cities which owed something to them.
Herodotos +.o+.:
Herodotos very compressed sequencing of events in this passage is mis-
leading. He makes it seem as if Peisistratos immediate recourse in the face
of his ouster from the tyranny was to Eretria and that he did not move
on from there but remained and took contributions from allies. Not only
do we not hear of any stops before Eretria, we get no idea how the Etre-
trians gured in Peisistratos subsequent plans. Instead we learn that a
family council took place at Eretria to determine what course Peisis-
tratos should take. In Herodotos account, Hippias stands out as an advo-
cate for return, a depiction that is an anachronism almost surely based on
Hippias conspicuous determination to reestablish his own tyranny in ,o
Herodotos says nothing about Peisistratos movement to Thrace,
although he later alludes to it by mentioning that part of the money Pei-
sistratos brought with him to Palle


came from the Strymon region.

Here, as in many other places in the logos on Peisistratos rise, Herodotos
knew more than he actually reported.
The author of the Ath.Pol. (AP) supplements Herodotos sketchy ac-
count to some degree with plausible information. He does not say that
Peisistratos went to Eretria rst, as Herodotos does. Rather (+.:), after Pei-
sistratos left Athens,he rst settled a place near the Thermaic Gulf which
is called Rhaike

los, and from there came to the regions around Mount

Pangaion,whence having become enriched and paying soldiers,he returned
to Eretria in the eleventh year and undertook then for the rst time to
revive his rule by force.
This information, which is also compressed,
nevertheless tells us about the specic whereabouts and some of the actions
of Peisistratos during the intervening years of his lengthy third exile. It may
have derived from an Atthidographer, but in any case, except for some de-
tails, there is no reason to doubt its veracity.
Although Herodotos story about Hippias advice may be dismissed as
a ction, Peisistratos movement rst to Eretria from Attika and his reso-
lution there to return to Athens make a good deal of sense.
Eretria was
a fair haven for Peisistratos, becoming the staging point for his invasion
of Attika in o i.c.r., and it is more reasonable to assume that he stopped
off there before proceeding to the Thermaic Gulf, as we shall presently
see. Peisistratos determination to become and then remain tyrant at
Athens is evident in his earlier attempts to establish his position. His sub-
sequent course of action, beginning with his moves to Rhaike

los and then

the Strymon, his sojourn lasting most of a decade, can actually be seen as
amounting to a coherent plan of action, a strategy in fact. Peisistratos was
intent on amassing resources, especially wealth, to bring to bear against
his Athenian foes and so to root his tyranny.
The enterprises in the
north were conceived to help Peisistratos acquire what he needed for the
return to Athens; they were not ends in themselves, again as we shall see.
It is most likely that Peisistratos Eretrian friends pointed him in the
direction of the Thermaic Gulf in the rst place and that he did not go
there, as AP implies, simply on his own. Eretrian interests had been long
established in the region; in fact, the Eretrians, along with the Chalkidi-
ans, appear to have monopolized Greek settlement there.
To have pro-
ceeded north without the consent and cooperation of the Eretrians
would have been ill-conceived indeed, for Peisistratos may have added
these as enemies to barbarian enemies already there and in any case elim-
inated much needed assistance from those most experienced in the Ther-
The Tide of Wealth and Power ++;
maic Gulf region. Such bad relations are most unlikely, especially in view
of Peisistratos very close ties to the Eretrians later.
Eretrian colonies in Thrace and Macedonia, some of which are to be
dated to the mideighth century i.c.r., ringed the gulf, and their longevity
suggests that prosperity was surely to be found there. Rhaike

los was a log-

ical addition to the Eretrian settlement constellation, mutually strengthen-
ing and being strengthened by the colonies (apoikiai) and their inhabitants.
The success of the Eretrian colonies and the Eretrians desire to exploit the
region further may well have gured in Rhaike

los founding.
For their part, the Eretrians were undoubtedly hospitable but certainly
canny.They knew that Peisistratos was an experienced and successful eld
commander and that he had been a ruler at Athens. He would function
well for them in the north in the shorter run (and, perhaps even in the
longer run, as restored tyrant of Athens). Now without a base, Peisistratos
was surely amenable to becoming leader of a settlement in Thrace on be-
half of the Eretrians, for he must acquire wealth to restore his position at
The result was a symbiosis of mutual protability.
Peisistratos prime incentive for heading up such a settlement must
have been immediate prot, for he did not intend to carve out a new
principality for himself in the north. As Solon indicates in his poetry,

mata was key to exercising lasting control over the de

mos of Athens
and the de

mos to acquiring and maintaining governance there.The re-

turn of the Alkmeonidai to Athens after the Kylonian crime and Mega-
kles subsequent emergence as prostate

s tou de

mou underscore what

Solon implies in his poetry: wealth was essential for success in Athenian
In fact, as we have also seen, the Alkmeonidai provided Pei-
sistratos with a paradigm and a strategy: acquiring wealth in exile would
lead to return. His plan to build up resources, beginning with his so-
journ to Thrace, where chre

mata was available, was deliberate. His par-

ticipation in the settlement of Rhaike

los suggests that his determination

to be reinstated at Athens was xed certainly by the time that he agreed
to go there.
There are other grounds for believing that Peisistratos employed a
strategy of return soon after he abandoned Attika.These are to be found
in the nature of the places settled and in Peisistratos only temporary in-
volvement with them. Rhaike

los offered certain possibilities, but the po-

tentials for enrichment of the Strymon region were greater, owing to the
proximity of the gold and silver mines around Mount Pangaion.

los was a way station for Peisistratos, who abandoned the settle-
++ r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
ment altogether when he and those around him moved on to the Strymon.
There was no attempt to retain the place as a Peisistratid possession and
certainly none later to resettle it. Similarly, the settlement on the Strymon
was evacuated at the end of Peisistratos exile and never revived by the
The Thracian sites established by Peisistratos and his party were
temporary and purposed for limited aims.They were not colonies to be
held as independent possessions over time.These settlements, strongholds
or forts (i.e., teivch), were really just defensible depots for storing securely
the wealth Peisistratos required to regain the tyranny.
Peisistratos activ-
ities in the north enriched him to be sure, but they did not make him
fabulously wealthy.The Thracian settlements were disposable: gains made
and their purposes met, the Peisistratids left them behind to pursue the
ultimate prize of Athens.
B. Rhaike

+. Location of the Peisistratid Settlement
The site of Rhaike

los has never been conclusively identied. On the prob-

lematic evidence available, however, it may well have been at or quite near
ancient Aineia (near or at Nea Mihaniona), very possibly on or near the
promontory of Megalo Karabournou, about twenty-ve kilometers south-
west of Thessalonike

on the eastern side of the Thermaic Gulf (see appen-

dix F and g. ;).
The settlement, similar to other Eretrian ones in the area,
was meant to tap into local trade through or across the gulf and in and out
of the Chalkidike

. Rhaike

los tightened the Eretrian grip in the region and

will have been a very serviceable addition to Eretrias colonial network.

, on the coast of Macedonia at the western entrance to the

gulf, had been colonized by the Eretrians ca. the midseventh century
Thereafter (or possibly even before), the Eretrians settled Dikaia
near to what became Thessalonike

, then Mende

on Cape Poseidonion on
the Palle


Eretrians, either from the city itself or the Ther-
maic Gulf colonies, would have joined Peisistratos and his company in set-
tling Rhaike

los: they had long been present in the area and were knowl-
edgeable of the best ways to found, maintain, and see the new settlement
Since the site was obviously advantageous for them, some of
the original Eretrian settlers of Rhaike

los or others who came to it later

probably remained there when Peisistratos and his party pushed on to the
Strymon. Rhaike

los as such ceased to exist in any real sense, it seems, giv-

The Tide of Wealth and Power ++,
ing way to Aineia, a wholly Eretrian foundation and proper polis founded
at or proximate to the former site of Rhaike

los (cf. appendix F).

:. The Settlements Nature and Functions
While there is no explicit evidence about Rhaike

los or how it functioned,

some limited conclusions may be drawn about it based on its context.
First, it was located near the sea and so must have been oriented toward
sea trac through the gulf, north and south but also east and west. Megalo
Karabournou juts out to the west and Macedonia over on the eastern side
of the narrowed entrance of the Thermaic Gulf; it stands roughly oppo-
site Methone

. Methone

, like Mende

, was situated to transmit and receive

goods and materials but also to intervene in the sea trade of the gulf.

los established an Eretrian presence on both sides of this en-

trance to the gulf. Of course, this positioning suggests that part of what
the Rhaike

lans were about was toll taking from passing ships, that is to
say, extortion or, in essence, piracy. If such were the case, then Rhaike

had to have provided a site where ships could lie up and be launched
quickly, as well as fortied, for surely it was both a redoubt and a depos-
itory for the proceeds from such trade.
(We should also rule in ship-
borne raiding against unfriendlies,along the lines of that practiced dur-
ing the Megarian war: cf. chapter II..C.) Such activities naturally entailed
hostage taking and slave trading, as well as simple robbery or extortion.
All of these are age-old activities of ancient Greek mariners.
The inhabitants of Rhaike

los were of course not prevented from par-

ticipating in more legitimate trade as well.As the terminus of a road from
the Chalkidike

, Rhaike

los was a logical place to ship and receive goods go-

ing to and coming from Methone

.Westbound trac descended from the

main land route from the Bosporos, that is, from what later become the
Roman Via Egnatia, as well as other land routes from the north. Trac
moving up from Palle


could also make use of Rhaike

los as a place from

which to ship across the Thermaic gulf, avoiding thereby the long route
around it. From Rhaike

los, they could also ship farther aeld and of course

receive wares and goods in return coming up from Greece and elsewhere.
Perhaps fares were also levied from land trac moving north and south
near Rhaike

los, as they were from those using the ferryto Methone

back. (Such settlements, astride land and sea routes, are in fact a hallmark
of later Peisistratid colonialism.)
One of the commodities exchanged at

los must have been precious metal mined in the Chalkidike

+:o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
The Tide of Wealth and Power +:+

los may have been a necessary rst stop for Peisistratos on the
way to the Strymon. He and his party could acclimatize there, gaining ex-
perience with Thracians before moving on to the richer but much more
dicult country around Mount Pangaion. The Thracians near the Stry-
mon were renowned even among Thracians, a warrior people themselves,
for their warlike propensities.

los may also have been part of a

quid pro quo based on Peisistratos desire to move on to the richer Stry-
mon country.The exiled Athenians would need support for the Strymon
enterprise, and the Eretrians were the ones to supply it. Perhaps the cost
of that assistance was the success of Rhaike

los: once that settlement, which

seems to have laid the groundwork for Aineia, was up, running, and mak-
ing a go, the Peisistratids were presumably free to move on to Mount
Pangaion with the Eretrian assistance they needed. The Eretrians un-
doubtedly took their own sizable share of prots from Rhaike

los, but their

cooperation also seems implicit in Peisistratos Strymon settlement. In-
deed, any effort to maintain a Greek settlement in Thrace, especially in
the hostile region of Mount Pangaion, was ultimately dependent on sup-
port. As it happens, the Peisistratids maintained only a very tenuous hold
there, surrounded on all sides by Thracians and with their backs literally
to the sea (cf. section +.C.+:).
. rri si s+r:+os

roir i x +nr +nrrx:i c tuir :

oi ki s+r

s, coxio++i rrr, or s+r:+r

On the slender evidence we possess, Peisistratos was the leader of the en-
terprise at Rhaike

los, if he was not actually the oikiste

s (settler) for the

settlement. His war record and military skill ensured that he would be a ca-
pable defender, while his acquired political experience gured into his role
as civic leader. Surely, though, his military abilities were his primary recom-
mendation, since Rhaike

los success would have depended on defense in

There was surely plenty of ghting, either with the Thracians of
the Chalkidike

or other Greeks, for the rights to exploit the region. Peisis-

tratos seems to have brought things off well enough, since his reputation
persisted in the region to the end of the reign of Hippias some forty years
later.Then both Amyntas, the king of Macedonia, and the Thessalians of-
fered the exiled Hippias cities in Macedonia and Thessaly to govern.
It has been suggested that Peisistratos came to Rhaike

los as a profes-
sional soldier; the suggestion has been linked to archaeological data from
Sindos on the north coast of the Thermaic Gulf near the Axios River.
Roughly contemporary grave goods from Sindos, rich in gold, seem to
indicate that the Thracians there possessed abundant wealth. When the
Paionians, another Thracian tribe, began to expand and encroach on these
rich Sindians, Peisistratos appeared on the scene to act as a military ad-
viser, a mercenary commander in fact. Rhaike

los was his base of opera-

tions, and Peisistratos was paid for his services in Sindian gold. In essence,
Peisistratos was a hired soldier, a condottiere, lured to the north by an op-
portunity to ply his warcraft and prot from it.
While ingenious, this linkage is also fanciful and actually possesses
manifest weaknesses. First of all, there is no hint of mercenarism in our
sources relating to Peisistratos. In spite of his success in the Megarian war
and the renown it may have generated in Greece, Peisistratos never gar-
nered a reputation for mercenarism nor was he conspicuous as a profes-
sional soldier.The Thracians, on the other hand, were renowned ghters
in their own right and would hardly have required the services of, to
them, a relatively obscure Greek with no experience in Thracian warfare.
On the evidence, Peisistratos own interests at Rhaike

los, coupled with

those of his sponsors, the Eretrians, were the primary reasons for his com-
ing to Thrace.These will have kept his attention primarily focused on the
environs of Megalo Karabournou and away from the Axios. Finally, the
Paionians are said by Strabo to have held most of Macedonia, including
Mygdonia, from of old, that is, before they were deported by Mega-
bazos, a fact that does not suggest that the Thracians of Sindos were ab-
sorbed by the Paionians as late as the middle of the sixth century i.c.r.
Indeed, the gold found at Sindos could actually have been Paionian gold,
since the Paionians held the mines. There is in fact no ostensible reason
to think that the Sindians were other than Paionians.
The wealth of the Thermaic Gulf Thracians gured prominently in
the settlement of Rhaike

los and Peisistratos movement there was impli-

cated with success at the expense of the native Thracians. Rather than
journeying there specically to ght, however, we should understand that
ghting came with the territory and that Peisistratos journeyed north
knowing that he would have to ght to gain what he needed to return to
Athens. He had acquired military skill over the course of his lifetime and
continued to do so in Thrace.
Violence and warfare were endemic to Thrace, particularly the areas
around Mount Pangaion, during the Archaic and Classical periods. There
would have been no lack of combat in those regions. Piracy and any other
kind of extortion would entail ghting with any and all but friends.If war-
+:: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
fare was constant in Thrace, it was much more intense around the Strymon
where the stakes were higher and the Thracians very erce (cf. section
By far the majority of those who came with Peisistratos would
have been warriors prepared to ght on arrival or to become warriors ght-
ing there (see section +.B.). Peisistratos was commander of these, both in
and out of war, if he was not that of the Eretrians who had come along.
While we know of no title, ocial or otherwise, that he may have borne at

los, it is not impossible that Peisistratos was in fact its tyrant.

. rri si s+r:+os

coxr:x. :+ rn:i kr

Precisely who went out to Rhaike

los with Peisistratos is undocumented,

but it was no army of retainers. In addition to Eretrians, Peisistratos was
undoubtedly accompanied by an Attic contingent, which included,
among others, his eldest sons (at least) and closest philoi.
These latter
were the hard core of supporters of Peisistratos after all, few in number
but staunch and apparently loyal; some of them are likely to have been
those who emerged in the tyranny later as important colonial coopera-
tives. Among them were the Philaids, some of whom are to be found
closely associated with Peisistratos and his sons in ventures in the Thra-
cian Chersone

se not long after Peisistratos nal restoration as tyrant.

These Philaids, who developed strong ties to Thracians later, may well
have gained their initial familiarity with them in company with Peisis-
Why the Peisistratids dispatched Philaids to the Chersone

se, a
vital region for the tyrants after it was taken again by Peisistratos, would
be better explained if some of them had served at Rhaike

los and then on

the Strymon and had thus gained experience of Thrace and the Thra-
They certainly seemed to know them quite well later.
The Philaids became leaders in the Chersone

se, according to
Herodotos (o.o), because the natives there were looking for a war
leader. Miltiades (III), the oikiste

s of the Chersone

se, was of an age to ac-

quire his expertise in Thracian warfare while serving with Peisistratos in
Thrace, and one would imagine that only a commander familiar with
Thracian tactics would do for the Chersone

se. Their later professed

antipathies to the Peisistratids notwithstanding, the Philaids were appar-
ently trusted associates of the Athenian tyrants in the Chersone

se, becom-
ing tyrants in their own right there.They may well have learned a thing
or two militarily about the Thracians at Rhaike

los and around the Stry-

mon before their dispatch to the Chersone

The Tide of Wealth and Power +:
While the size of the party at Rhaike

los must have been relatively

small, the group that came to the Strymon later was probably shrunken
even from that.A nearly contemporary case may be used to gauge roughly
the size of Peisistratos company. (Here, of course, we enter the realm of
analogy and speculation.) Miltiades (IV) had ve triremes when he ed
the Chersone

se in , i.c.r. These ships contained the total number of

those able to be evacuated hastily from and around polis Agoraios (Bolayir)
via Kardia and included most of his ve hundred armed epikouroi (pro-
fessional ghters or allies), his family, and closest retainers. His ve ships
could not reasonably have contained more than fteen hundred souls
(including women and children).
The colonies on the Chersone

se over
which Miltiades and his forebears held sway were larger, permanent, and
supported by Athens: there will have been sizable numbers of Athenians
there. Rhaike

los and the Strymon settlement were small, temporary,

roguefoundations: the numbers there must have been commensurately
fewer. Indeed, in spite of the number of Athenian settlements in the Cher-

se, the lengthiness of the Athenian occupation there, and the size of
Miltiades operationthe tyrant controlled the entire peninsulahis
hard core was apparently composed of only ve hundred ghters,
his genos, and his philoi, perhaps under a thousand all told.
Peisistratos Athenian band at Rhaike

los and on the Strymon had to

have been much smaller, perhaps amounting to at most only a few hun-
dred: they were fugitives after all, neither sanctioned nor supported by the
Athenians at home.The settlements in Thrace were quite different from
those in the Chersone

se insofar as they were limited special ventures; the

Strymon venture, a private enterprise really, survived because of those
there, in particular Peisistratos, without support from Athens.
Both Pei-
sistratid settlements are better described as teivch rather than ajpoikivai,
unlike the Chersone

san ones, which seem to have been full-blown

colonies. Other than the Peisistratid genos itself, whose numbers must
have been quite circumscribed, the entire party, including the philoi, can-
not have numbered more than a fraction of Miltiades ve hundred armed
It is possible, though, that the Greek settlements, both at

los and on the Strymon, attracted some native Thracians, who, like
Tokes of Eion, came over to the Greeks, increased the numbers of those
on site, and actually fought for them.
These may or may not have been
assimilated into the Peisistratid party.
Whatever its size, in view of adverse conditions in Thrace, the existence
of, in particular, the Strymon settlement over time and the fact that Pei-
+: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
sistratos actually got hold of at least some of the wealth of that hostile re-
gion attest to the remarkable nature of the group and its leader above all.
The Rhaike

los and Strymon settlers must have had, among other quali-
ties, determination, toughness, and courage.Yet, perhaps above all else, like
their leader they possessed surpassing greed and ambition. (Here, in order
to index the achievement of Peisistratos, it is opportune to recall the rapid
failure of Aristagoras of Miletos at Myrkinos and the massacre later of the
entire Athenian myriad at Drabeskos: cf. section +.C.+).And yet for all his
exertionand we must imagine that Peisistratos and no other was the real
driving force behind the enterprisethe erstwhile tyrant did not come
away from Rhaike

los or the Strymon a notably wealthy man on the order

of, say, Alkmeon, the father of Megakles, even after some years spent
Wealth obtained in these regions was hard gotten.The lengths to
which Peisistratos and his party wentremaining in that hostile region for
a very long timeto return to Athens attest to his iron will and dogged
determination to reestablish himself in power there.
. suxx:r.
We do not know precisely how long Peisistratos remained in either place
in the north, although ancient authors make his nal exile nearly a decade
long. My impressionand it is only thatis that he spent most of his
time in Thrace and, of that, the majority on the Strymon.
That Peisis-
tratos stay at Rhaike

los was shorter than on the Strymon makes some

Wringing prots from the Pangaion region, though ultimately
richer, would presumably be more dicult because of the hostility of the
Thracian tribes there, in particular the ones that controlled the mines
around the mountain.
It may be, too, that Peisistratos spent a consider-
able amount of time near the end of the exile in Eretria marshaling the
forces needed for the return to Athens but before that doing the favors
for allies that resulted in their indebtedness and subsequent appearance at


(see section :.A.). Peisistratos was encouraged to remain longer on

the Strymon, for all its hazards, for the prots were likely to be more his
own there. Of course, it is possible, too, that once Rhaike

los was established

accounts were squared and Peisistratos owed the Eretrians nothing.

los and the Strymon settlement seem to have become the pro-
totypes for others that Peisistratos, his genos, and the Philaids settled later.
Sigeion and the colonies of the Thracian Chersone

se share some charac-

teristics of these earlier settlements in design and function: the bottom
The Tide of Wealth and Power +:
line after all was prot. In fact, it seems quite on the cards that the roots
of later Athenian imperialism are to be traced directly to Peisistratos
northern ventures, beginning with Rhaike

los on the Thermaic Gulf.

C. The Strymon Enterprise
+. Introduction: Lures and Deterrents
of the Regions around Pangaion
Peisistratos was attracted to Rhaike

los and to the Strymon by the poten-

tial for wealth to be gotten there. At Rhaike

los, a good agricultural base

was enhanced by prots from trade, especially in gold and silver, and ap-
parently various strong-arm tactics. Since the Greek settlers in the region
could not control the mines that produced the metals themselvesthese
were kept and worked by Thracians, who understood their value and
fought hard to keep them (cf. section +.C.)the likeliest roles they
played were as intermediaries in the exchange of gold and silver for im-
ported objects and other commodities such as pottery, wine, and olive
Trade in the area of the Thermaic Gulf produced good prots, as
the number of Eretrian colonies in the region attests. Rhaike

los was es-

sentially an Eretrian foundation, however, whose siting tightened the Ere-
trian hold on the region.Aineia, a purely Eretrian foundation, succeeded
it, attesting to the potential of the original foundation.
The possibilities for acquiring wealth in the lower Strymon River re-
gion were greater than those around Rhaike

los, for the riches to be had

there were based on larger tracts of land and more lucrative trade, inas-
much as the settlement, wherever it was located, was much closer to
the mines. Megabazos foreboding words to Dareios about the Milesian
Histiaios acquisition of Myrkinos toward the end of the sixth century
i.c.r., a site not far distant from Amphipolis and the mouth of the Stry-
mon, depict the resources of the region: O King, what thing have you
done to allow a Greek man who is both dangerous (deinos) and clever
(sophos) to found a colony in Thrace, where there are abundant timbers
for ships and oars, silver mines, and many Greeks and barbarians dwelling
about, who will accept him as leader and do what he says night and
Of course, Herodotos has Megabazos exaggerate to frighten
Dareios, and some of what he emphasizes surely has reference in the fth
century rather than the sixth.
Strabo, however, (;, Frs. ) expands
on what Herodotos says, stating that, beyond the mines, the Strymon area
+:o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
also offered dockyards and the best landin Thrace.
The Greeks of the
sixth century, particularly those living in the north, knew well the poten-
tial of the Pangaion region and were probably familiar with exaggerating
tales, which had it that a plow could turn up gold on Paionian land, that
is, around the Strymon.
Reports of the Strymons riches may have come
to Peisistratos at Rhaike

los or he may have learned about them well be-

fore, perhaps at Eretria or even at Athens. How much more dicult it was
to obtain that wealth he may have only discovered when he arrived.
The isolation of the Strymon region, it harsh climate, and the relentless
and intense hostility of the natives discouraged settlers and impeded whole-
sale exploitation of the region by Greeks early on.The history of the Stry-
mon during the Archaic and earlier Classical periods is one of unremitting
violence between Greeks and Thracians.
From the time of Archilochos,
the Thracians around Mount Pangaion were known as erce ghters, the
most formidable of which, according to Herodotos, controlled the mineral
wealth of the mountain and the land between it and the river.Their repu-
tation was learned at rst hand by the Greeks.
It was surely the prospect
of such catastrophes as overtook Aristagoras in the early fth century i.c.r.
and then, more fearfully, the Athenians at Drabeskos in o i.c.r., that dis-
couraged systematic development of the area until Hagnon arrived there
in force to found Amphipolis for Athens in ; i.c.r.
Apart from the hos-
tility of the Thracians, Greek settlers in the Strymon country faced other
deterrents.The climate of the region, which is bitter cold in the winter, did
nothing to enhance the attractions of this rough, remote, and hostile land.
:. Location of the Peisistratid Settlement
We do not know precisely where the Peisistratid settlement was located
other than in the general area of the Strymon. Archaeology will have to
conrm its location.
From the record of Thracian resistance to Greek
encroachments, however, Peisistratos and his company cannot have pro-
ceeded any great distance inland from the coast.According to Thucydides
(.+o:.), the site of Ennea Hodoi which became Amphipolis was twenty-
ve stades (ca. km) from Eion at the mouth of the Strymon (gs. ,).
It is apparently where Aristagoras of Miletos based himself in the early
fth century before advancing to Myrkinos, and it may well have been
included in Histiaios request to Dareios for Myrkinos ca. + i.c.r.
the Peisistratids were settled elsewhere than at Ennea Hodoi, they were
not much farther inland from Eion, the best anchorage in the area. All
The Tide of Wealth and Power +:;
Greek colonies in the region kept close to the sea, since naval communi-
cation and support were crucial in Thracian enterprises.The coast was far
more congenial to the Greeks than the Thracian hinterland anyway and
could be used, if all else failed, for evacuation.
The tyrants party had
presumably come through Eion and relied on it for trade and as an es-
cape base. (Indeed, it was through Eion that they would have to go once
they abandoned their settlement in the Strymon country.) Eion must have
gured prominently in Peisistratos plan to exploit the region.
In fact, it is possible that, for a time, Peisistratids settled at Eion, a place
that had to be secured before any inland site at Ennea Hodoi/Amphipolis
could be.
Eion was an emporion (market) in its own right and served as
a base of operations in the region for the Athenians later.
That Eion
should have been in Parian hands after ca. : i.c.r. makes a good deal
of sense. On the evidence available, the Peisistratidai pulled out altogether
from the Thrace and the opportunist Parians or Thasians, old hands in the
area and inveterately interested in the mineral wealth of Mount Pangaion,
may well have taken over the abandoned site to get at some of the re-
sources that had attracted Peisistratos.
Eion remained important in the
area in the late sixth and early fth centuries, becoming the seat of the
Persian governor of the district and the object of a siege by the Delian
League under Kimon: its importance was obviously greater than any other
site in the Strymon country up to that time.
Although no site for the Peisistratid settlement in the Strymon has yet
been securely identied, wherever it was it was surely linked in some way
to the sea and so to Eion.While the best site for purposes of the kind of
exploitation we imagine the Peisistratids envisioned was Ennea
Hodoi/Amphipolis, the most strategic, defensible, and potentially lucra-
tive site along the Strymon, it could have been denied them by the Thra-
cians, at least in the beginning.
Because it was so advantageous, the site
was likely occupied by natives when the Peisistratids arrived and the Athe-
nians were conned nearer the coast. As the Athenians did later (Thuc.
.+o:.), having secured Eion, Peisistratos may have moved upcountry to
the superior site of Amphipolis.This would surely have entailed ghting
with the Edonoi, its likeliest occupiers. In view of Thracian presence and
hostility in the area and the record of expeditions attempting to press on
into the interior, it is dicult to imagine that the Peisistratid site was any
farther upriver than Ennea Hodoi/Amphipolis. Greater distance from the
sea and Eion would have increased the peril to the enterprise, and Am-
phipolis was the best site around.
+: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
The Tide of Wealth and Power +:,
Peisistratos was the rst Athenian we know of to attempt to exploit the
area, which became so important to the Athenians later. Once founded by
Hagnon, Ennea Hodoi/Amphipolis quickly developed into a city of the
greatest importance in the region, highly prized by the Athenians because
it was the key to the resources of the immediate area and to traders pass-
ing by the land route as well as those coming downriver by way of Lakes
Kerkinitis and Prasias. Amphipolis situation and later history give some
sense of the potential that drew Peisistratos, Histiaios and Arista-
goras of Miletos, and Hagnon and those who came with him.The site rises
above the uvial plain of the Strymon and is itself both well watered and
capacious (g. ). It is, moreover, eminently defensible, in a commanding
position with respect to the Strymon and, perhaps as importantly, the land
route crossing the river. Amphipolis dominates the lowest crossing of the
Strymon and sits astride the heavily tracked east-west highway (that
which today has been built atop the Via Egnatia).Amphipolis was an indis-
pensable resource for the Athenians, funneling vital commodities such as
ships timbers and precious metals to the Peiraios during the earlier Pelo-
ponnesian war. The reaction of the Athenians to Amphipolis loss during
the war and their efforts to reacquire it thereafter index its great value.
According to Thucydides (.+o.+), when Brasidas took Amphipolis, the
Athenians were overcome with great fear,especially because the city was
serviceable to them for the dispatch of ships timbers and revenues of
The northern policy of the Athenians through the late fth and
fourth centuries i.c.r. down to the time of Philip II of Macedonia was fo-
cused almost solely on reacquiring Amphipolis and its substantial resources.
Large tracts of good land for growing grain wheat beside the Strymon,
ships timbers for export to Athens and elsewhere, and, above all, revenues
of money nearly at the sourcethese are what drew Peisistratos to the
region, even as they attracted other exploiters later. Wealth, especially
mineral wealth, must have been the prime incentive for Peisistratos, espe-
cially since that is exactly what he needed to effect his return to Athens.
It is very possible that the proceeds Peisistratos took from the region iden-
tied it as a seat of great wealth and power and stimulated the Athenians
interest in and then covetousness of it.
3. Peisistratos and the Mines of Pangaion
It has been communis opinio that Peisistratos aim was to obtain direct
control over the gold and silver mines of Mount Pangaion, well to the
east of the river, and that in fact he was successful in that aim.
The mines
were prizes worth ghting for to be sure: they seem to have caused
Dareios to dispatch Megabazos with an expedition to Thrace to acquire
There can be no doubt that the mines gured in Peisistratos
thinking and movement to the Strymon, for Herodotos states (+.o.+)
quite explicitly that Peisistratos had obtained chre

mata from the Stry-

mon, and by that he must mean that he had obtained precious metal at
least indirectly from the mines.
The assumption that Peisistratos actually got control of the Pangaion
mines (i.e., the right to work them himself) and derived continuous in-
come from the Strymon after Palle


and the reestablishment of his

tyranny is based on that same passage in Herodotos.
But Herodotos
language has been misconstrued in this passage, which is generally under-
stood apart from its context.The historian does not state a formula with-
out context for how the tyranny was continuously maintained after


at +.o.+; rather, he describes the means by which the tyranny suc-

ceeded at Palle


and in the immediate aftermath in Athens.

This in-
formation dovetails with the archaeological record of the Strymon re-
gion, which shows no evidence of an ongoing Athenian presence in the
area in the late sixth century. Furthermore, there is no record in literature
of any further Peisistratid activity in the region. In fact, neither Herodotos
nor the author of the Ath.Pol. says anything about control of the mines:
the latter states simply that Peisistratos enriched himself in the area of
Mount Pangaion and that that enrichment could have come about in sev-
eral ways, which have already been described.
There is in fact a com-
plete absence of evidence to indicate that the Peisistratids ever got direct
control of any of the mines of Mount Pangaion, let alone kept it.
On the other hand, there are several grounds for rejecting that view.
First of all, most of the mines were located at some distance from the Stry-
mon and even the Athenians of the fth century in force failed utterly in
their attempt to dispossess the Thracians of their holdings as they moved
closer to them. Megabazos came against the Paionians with overwhelm-
ing force, according to Herodotos, and conquered and transported many
of them to Asia; he could not, however, dislodge the mine-owning Thra-
cians of Pangaion, the Satrai, apparently the toughest of a very tough lot.
We must then ask, what could Peisistratos with a quite small band have
done to control the Pangaion mines when Megabazos with the might of
Persia behind him failed to take them, the very aim of his Thracian cam-
paign? In fact, the Thracians stubbornly resisted all attempts to wrest the
+o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
mines away from them.
Second, Herodotos tells us that after leaving
Thrace and reaching Eretria again Peisistratos called in markers from cities
which owed him.
That is to say, Peisistratos was in need of money af-
ter he left Thrace. Strange indeed, if Peisistratos kept control of or even if
he had direct access to even one of the Pangaion mines and was obtain-
ing regular revenues from it.Alexander I of Macedon received a talent of
silver a day from a single mine on Mount Dysoron, a region not as rich
as Pangaion;
surely Peisistratos would not have needed such contribu-
tions if he had the proceeds from even one Pangaion mine. Third, the
Wappenmnzen, the coins of Athens that were minted during Peisistratos
third tyranny, must be the product of his acquisition of precious metals
before returning to the tyranny there. The silver from which they were
minted, however, came from various sources.The coins themselves differ
markedly in content of silver and impurities, indicating that the metal did
not derive from either one mine or two in the area of Pangaion but from
several sources. In fact, although Peisistratos stocks must have included
Thracian silver, it is yet to be proven whether any of the coins minted at
Athens during the nal tyranny were struck from Thracian metal.
the evidence we have implies that the Greeks of the sixth century never
obtained direct control of the Pangaion mines.The view that Peisistratos
got and kept control of the mines of Mount Pangaion is based on little
more than supposition and ignores the fact that the evidence points to a
continuous Thracian possession of the Pangaion mines. Peisistratos re-
sources, though enhanced after his sojourn to Thrace, were quite circum-
scribed, as is indicated by the small denomination Wappenmnzen, the
coins of the last phase of Peisistratos tyranny.
4. The Nature and Purpose of Peisistratid Settlement
on the Strymon:The Examples of Histiaios and Aristagoras
As a way of reading the Peisistratid settlement in the Strymon region
better, we turn to the examples of Histiaios and Aristagoras and their plans
and actions, keeping in mind the nature of Rhaike

los, the logical proto-

type for Peisistratos venture near Pangaion, as well as the obvious differ-
ences that existed between times and places. Although Histiaios arrived
about a half century after Peisistratos and focused his efforts on Myrki-
nos, situated quite near Ennea Hodoi/Amphipolis, the Milesian must
have come to the Strymon for reasons similar to those of Peisistratos.
Histiaios rst built a teichos (fort), thus fortifying his position and that of
The Tide of Wealth and Power ++
his party against the Thracians; he did this somewhere upriver from Eion,
very possibly at Ennea Hodoi.
Myrkinos farther inland was near
enough to the Strymon to command routes proximate to the river but
also those around the northwestern anks of Pangaion, those upon which
the metals from the eastern anks of the mountain and over toward Dato

were apparently transported down to the emporion and then the sea. It
is possible that closer control of these routes is what Histiaios desired in
advancing to Myrkinos, a site in many ways markedly inferior to Ennea
Myrkinos was perhaps envisioned by him as a toll
or trading station, but it was surely its connection to Pangaion mines that
lured Histiaios to it: indeed, in advancing closer to the sources of the met-
als, Histiaios anticipated the movement inland of the Athenians to
Drabeskos in o i.c.r. The success or failure of Histiaios enterprise de-
pended entirely on his abilities and military effectiveness.The Milesians
endeavors in the Strymon country temporarily ceased, however, when he
was recalled by Dareios to Sousa after an alarm was sounded by
Megabazos. Aristagoras, his successor, who came out during the Ionian
rebellion of the early fth century, was killed with all his men as they were
battling to expand their holdings, with a view to the Pangaion mines.
With his death, the Milesian initiative in the region came to an end.
(We note, as Thucydides does, a hiatus, too, in the Athenians efforts to
colonize Ennea Hodoi after the Drabeskos disaster.)
Peisistratos enterprise on the Strymon may be compared to this but
with some adjustment. First of all, we may accept that the enterprise de-
pended on Peisistratos and his ghting capacities, as it did for Histiaios,
Aristagoras, and even Hagnon. In each case, a war leader was the focus of
the undertaking: it was on him that success or failure devolved. As we
have witnessed, force and violence are implicit in the Pangaion region
and Peisistratos military skills were obviously indispensable to the settle-
ment and its operation. Any attempted exploitation of the area implied
ghting. Peisistratos would have been called on to lead the company and
defend the settlement against hostiles, some of whom may have been
Greek, as well as head up the moneymaking ventures, trade, extortion,
and the like.
As with Histiaios, it is to be presumed that the Peisistratos rst act was
to fortify the settlement.The lack of archaeological remains from the area
for the period approximate to Peisistratos occupation of the place supports
the notion that the settlement was small and built for temporary occu-
pancy. The same holds for the still unlocated Rhaike

los: both were im-

+: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
The Tide of Wealth and Power +
Unlike the settlements of Histiaios and Aristagoras, the
Peisistratid enterprise was not intended as the rst step in carving out a
domain. As Rhaike

los, it was designed for limited purposes.


los surely provides the best model for its successor on the Stry-
mon.The latter would have been primarily a stronghold, controlling at
least some surrounding land (between Amphipolis and Eion?) for the
agricultural support of the settlers. It would have been used as a castle
for the defense of the Peisistratids and their company (like Histiaios
teichos), a sallying point from which to venture out along the routes
traversing the country to extort tolls, an emporion (or the command of
one) where precious metals were exchanged for Greek goods (conveyed
by Eretrians?),
and a fortied treasure house (or strongbox) where
the accumulated prots were stored and protected.
As Rhaike

Sigeion and the later Chersone

san colonies, the Strymon settlement

was multifunctional, designed above all to sustain and protect the Pei-
sistratids while they went about their task of amassing wealth for the re-
turn to Athens.
We need not think that the experience of the Peisistratids while on the
Strymon was of continuous ghting alone. It is possible that, as later
exploiters of the region and the Thracian Chersone

se, the Peisistratidai

cultivated the natives through gifts and the conclusion of marriage al-
Miltiades (IV) employed the latter to good effect during his
reign as tyrant in polis Agoraios (Bolayir) in the Chersone

se. Kleidemos
reference to the marriage of Hipparchos to Phye and that of the Ath.
Pol. to the Thracian ower girl Phye are certainly garbled, but they
might amount to an oblique reference to a marriage between one or an-
other of Peisistratos sons to the daughter of a local Thracian notable.
One imagines that the benets of such marriages would help to reduce
hostilities and increase revenues. Those were certainly two of Miltiades
aims in the Chersone

5. Summary
If, as seems most likely, return to Athens was the goal of the enterprise on
the Strymon, Peisistratos and his party would have abided in Thrace only
long enough to acquire the amount of wealth necessary to convince
others (most importantly, perhaps, the Eretrians) of his success. Gains were
hard won here, and it may have taken the Peisistratids many years to ac-
quire even what appears to have been the minimum to effect their plans
for return.
The years in Thrace cannot have been happy ones for the
exiles, who may well have sought to shorten their stay there by extraor-
dinary means (e.g., more frequent and riskier raids). Perhaps one result of
the Thracian sojourn was the hardening of the Peisistratids as ghters due
to the climate and the interminable ghting in Thrace. Indeed, their su-
perior conditioning may have had much to do with the rout of Palle


When the Peisistratids departed Thrace for Athens, they abandoned the
Strymon country altogether and never looked back. Like Miltiades from
the Chersone

se, Peisistratos apparently quit the region with all his philoi.
According to AP, Peisistratos hired some troops in Thrace, but the au-
thor is likely to be presuming, after Herodotos lead, that Thracians were
hired by the tyrant because Peisistratos had been in Thrace and because
Thracians were renowned as mercenaries from the time of the Pelopon-
nesian war.
On the other hand, if there were intermarriages during the
Thracian sojourn it is reasonable that the Athenians Thracian in-laws
contributed ghters for Peisistratos restoration to the tyranny at Athens.
(Of course, there is no record of any of Peisistratid marriage in Thrace or
with Thracians.) Moreover, the archaeological record of the lower Stry-
mon region suggests the presence there of defecting Thracians, such as
Tokes of Eion, who appear to have become hellenized.
The Thracians
were very good ghters, and Peisistratos could have taken some with him
rst to Eretria and then to Athens either as retainers or hirelings. These
should not be thought of as mercenaries, however, a term that implies at
least some professional coherence and discipline, or as constituting any
considerable number.We note that Thracians do not gure in Herodotos
Catalogueof allies (and others) attending Peisistratos before Palle


, and
that may be signicant of their inconsiderable numbers.
:. +nr r:iir


c:xr:i tx
A. Preliminaries: Eretria
+. Koisyra and the Eretrian Hippeis
Peisistratos special relationship with the Eretrians, who harbored him af-
ter his ight from Attika, seems to have continued through the entire
period of his second exile. It was really quite extraordinary.When Peisis-
tratos arrived in Eretria, he was countryless, impoverished, and without
any real prospects. In such straits, the Eretrians were remarkably hos-
pitable, cooperative, and actually fundamental to his rejuvenation. In a
+ r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
very real sense, without their assistance Peisistratos would have had no
chance to return to Athens. Eretria became the base for the buildup of
forces before the invasion of Attika. Not only did the Eretrians sanction
that buildup, but they contributed to it, becoming ghting allies of Pei-
sistratos.The aid rendered Peisistratos by the Eretrians was truly outstand-
ing and suggests some special tie to him.
An explanation for such extraordinary relations and Eretrias generous
support at the end of Peisistratos exile is to be found in the scholion ad
Nubes . Here it is said that one Koisyra, a woman from Eretria, married
Peisistratos when he attempted to rule as tyrant.
According to other
scholia about her, this Koisyra became synonymous among the Atheni-
ans with wealth, luxurious living, and thinking big (mevga fronei`n),
terms regularly attached to tyrants and tyrannical behavior.
On appear-
ances, the Eretrian Koisyra haled from a noble, wealthy, and presumably
high-ranking Eretrian house. In view of her status, her kinsmen would
not have xed on a husband for her unless he had what they considered
rather bright prospects. If what is said about her in our sources is true, she
would not have had it otherwise.
This scholion is admittedly quite late, but it should nevertheless be ac-
cepted as preserving at least some valid information. Such scholia to
Aristophanes comedies frequently contain good evidence, some of
which, as here, may have been drawn ultimately from an Atthis. It is in
any case dicult to imagine how the information about this otherwise
obscure personage could have been invented.
In fact, we have evidence
of an Athenian Koisyra who, on an ostraka cast apparently in ; i.c.r.,
was accused of high living.The accusation can hardly have been coin-
cidental. It appears that this Athenian Koisyra was related to, and actually
a namesake of, the Eretrian one who married Peisistratos when he at-
tempted to rule as tyrant.
If the wording of the scholion is accurate,
it rules out the possibility that the marriage could have occurred while
Peisistratos was tyrant, that is, during his second or third tyranny. Rather,
it had to have taken place in one of the periods of exile.We have seen that
Peisistratos was likely married to Timonassa during his rst exile and
through his second tyranny; he was away in the north for much of his last
exile.The most probable time for the marriage arrangement to have oc-
curred was toward the end of his second exile, when we know that he
was basing himself in Eretria (see appendix C.:).
Peisistratos fortunes and prospects were really at their lowest ebb upon
arrival at Eretria from Attika; they were not much better when he was
The Tide of Wealth and Power +
away in Thrace.That period must have been a very trying one for Peisis-
tratos and his party. The settlements at Rhaike

los and on the Strymon

were temporary affairs crafted for necessity, not luxury; the environment
was harsh and conditions dangerous. It was hardly the kind of place where
we would expect to nd a ne Eretrian lady renowned for her luxurious
Peisistratos prospects were much brighter after returning from
the north, especially when men and chre

mata began to pour into Eretria.

Indeed, if the scholion may be taken literally, the marriage occurred while
Peisistratos was actively seeking the tyranny, that is, after his return from
the north and before Palle


The Eretrians had favored Peisistratos
when they harbored him after his second exile and continued to do so
during the Thracian sojourn.They openly declared for him and his cause
on his return from the north. For the Eretrians, the notably high-main-
tenance Eretrian lady, and her family, Peisistratos looked a winner on his
return from Thrace, when donations kept coming in to help to restore
him to the tyranny at Athens.
The marriage alliance was surely just that and must have involved yet
another quid pro quo. Just as Peisistratos earlier marriage to Timonassa
had obtained for him a force of Argives to ght at Palle


, so should the
marriage to Koisyra have entailed another such arrangement. She would
become the wife of the tyrant; her apparently well-connected family
would guarantee participation of the Eretrian hippeis in the actual cam-
paign leading to Palle


Eretrias investment in Peisistratos and his en-
terprise became more substantial than it had ever been during Peisistratos
exile, as the Eretrians essentially declared war on the Athenians. Presum-
ably, for his part, as with Gorgilos of Argos, Peisistratos would bestow pat-
rimonies of some sort on offspring from the Eretrian union.
:. Lygdamis and Deeds before Palle


Herodotos implies (+.o+.) that Peisistratos began taking contributions for

his campaign of return immediately after his arrival in Eretria, but that im-
plication is weakened by his specication of the term of exile as ten years
(+.o:.+); it is further undermined by Herodotos later admission that after


Peisistratos derived chre

mata from the Strymon (+.o.+).

As we
have seen, the gap in Herodotos sequence of events is again plausibly lled
in by AP (+.:). According to him, Peisistratos arrived in Eretria from
Thrace and there undertook to restore himself to power in Athens.
The testimony of the two authors together permits the following sequence:
+o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
after some time in the north, Peisistratos returned to Eretria and bided
there, gathering wealth and allies for the campaign in Attika.The nucleus
of the campaigning force was the party that accompanied him north and
was perhaps enlarged by others (Athenians?) who may have joined him
there or at Eretria; his own efforts in Thrace earned wealth for Peisistratos,
but he needed more. To his core of resources, men or chre

mata or both
were contributed by the Thebans, Lygdamis of Naxos, the Argives, and the
hippeis of Eretria.
Herodotos emphasizes that Lygdamis was especially
enthusiastic and that he furnished both wealth and men.
Although the interval after Thrace and before Palle


might appear
brief, important events took place during it.The evidence for this is in-
direct. Herodotos says (+.o.:) that, after Palle


, Peisistratos deposited
Athenian hostages with Lygdamis on Naxos, which Peisistratos had re-
duced in war and given over to him.
The implication of the testimony
of the Ath.Pol. (+.:) is, however, that the conquest of Naxos for Lyg-
damis occurred after Palle


, but it is unreliable here for a number of

First, Herodotos indicates that hostages were taken after the
battle and deposited with Lygdamis on Naxos. Peisistratos acts after


were memorable, and it is more likely that Herodotos got it right

here than did AP. Obviously, hostages could not have been made over to
the Naxian tyrant if the island had yet to be reduced to his rule. Second,
Lygdamis could not reasonably have contributed wealth and men enthu-
siastically if he was without the resources to do so. If Lygdamis required
Peisistratos help to conquer Naxos, he did not yet have the power to con-
trol the island or to offer such support. Indeed, what could he have sup-
plied before Naxos allowed him the resources to do so? Peisistratos, on
the other hand, possessed a solid core of veterans on his return and could
perhaps count additionally on the assistance of the Eretrians to help him
take Naxos for Lygdamis. Consequently, unless Peisistratos reduced Naxos
for Lygdamis before or during the Thracian sojournunlikely events
since his attentions and energies had to have been absorbed rst for his
own survival and then for his own aimsthe only time possible for the
Naxian campaign was after Peisistratos sojourn north and before his in-
vasion of Attika or, in other words, during his time at Eretria in prepara-
tion for the return to Athens. This is in fact implied by Herodotos, and
the historian does indicate that, as some time passed there assembling the
invasion force, there was plenty of time to do so (+.o+.).
It makes a good deal of sense to think that Peisistratos was active mil-
itarily during his time back from the north and before the Attic campaign
The Tide of Wealth and Power +;
and not just on behalf of Lygdamis. Peisistratos asked for contributions
of money and men from cities which owed him. Herodotos language
suggests that the contributions that came in to Peisistratos stemmed from
obligations, and so he must have done something benecial for the cities
that had made them indebted.
In Lygdamis case, Peisistratos benefac-
tion was to set him up as tyrant of Naxos.
In other cases, the obliga-
tions appear to have been of a different sort: the Argives and Eretrians par-
ticipated, at least in part, because of Peisistratos marriage alliances. In
regard to the Thebans, things are not so clear, but it seems that, as in the
case of Lygdamis, there was some benefaction, that it was more recent
rather than accomplished during one or other of the two earlier periods
of tyranny, and that it brought Thebes solidly into the fold of allies. Per-
haps Peisistratos deployed his men in the service of the Thebans on a cam-
paign of their own. (Actually, the same need not be ruled out for Argos
or Eretria: Peisistratos could have done them military service as well.) In
any case, the Thebans contributed more chre

mata to the war effort than

did any of Peisistratos other allies, and something Peisistratos did (or per-
haps was to do) for them must account for their enthusiasm.
To return to Lygdamis: the conquest of Naxos may have been speedy,
but Lygdamis consolidation of power, his rooting of his own tyranny,
could not have happened overnight and would have required some time.
He would not likely risk a foreign venture immediately after attaining
power on Naxos. If that is the case and there was some delay between
Naxos conquest and the campaign leading to Palle


, Peisistratos efforts
on Lygdamis behalf might best be placed early after his return from the
north. Perhaps the campaign on Naxos was a dry run for Palle


Peisistratos was simply exing and getting the kinks out of the military
musclehe and his confederates had added in the north.
In any event,
a quid pro quo better explains why Herodotos says that some were in-
debted to Peisistratos and why some of these contributed enthusiastically.
A further speculation: Peisistratos investment of time and resources at
Naxos may also signal the rst step in creating an Athenian presence in
the Aegean.
One of Peisistratos initial acts on regaining the tyranny
was to cleanse Delos, thus emphatically stating his and Athens interest
in the mid-Aegean (cf. appendix G). Naxos was one of the keys to the
Aegean: it was a rich and prosperous island with a sizable navy astride a
main east-west sea route. It was the object of the scheming of Aristago-
ras and Artaphernes before the Ionian revolt. It was taken and reduced
by the Persian eet on its way to Marathon in ,o i.c.r., and of course
+ r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
the Athenians went to great lengths to return it to the Delian League once
it had defected.
Perhaps Peisistratos was looking ahead to the construc-
tion of a buffer for Athens and the Greek mainland against aggression,
especially after the Persians had arrived on the shores of Ionia in force.
The intervention on Naxos is to be coupled with the purication of
Delos, a short distance from it, as a further gesture implying Athens pres-
ence in the area. Peisistratos was demonstrating for the islandersand
the Atheniansthat Athens interests exceeded its own boundaries and the
Saronic Gulf. Whether or not Peisistratos external policies may be read
further into the Naxian campaign on behalf of Lygdamis, this gesture, to-
gether with the purication of Delos, informed the Greeks that Athens
further interests would henceforth be implicated with the Aegean.
B. Resources
+. The Catalogue of Allies
Of the many who offered a great amount of money, the Thebans surpassed
all in their donations. Afterward, to make a long story short, time passed
and they prepared all things for the return.The Argive hirelings arrived from
the Peloponnese and a Naxian, a volunteer for them, Lygdamis by name,
was very zealous and brought them both money and men. . . .While they
were bivouacked at Marathon, partisans from the city arrived and others
from the demes kept streaming in, who found tyranny more to their liking
than freedom.
Herodotos +.o+.o:.+
Although Herodotos purposefully overstates the massing of allies at
Eretria, Peisistratos appears nonetheless to have gathered to him as many
warriors as he could, presumably to ensure himself the best chances of
(Of course, this, too, must be viewed as part of Peisistratos
strategy of return.) Notwithstanding the descriptions of the contingents
by Herodotos and AP, it is not easy to reckon the exact size of the army
that landed at Marathon.
If the thousandcontributed by the Argives
(Ath.Pol. +;.) is accurate and not simply a rounded number,
and if it
may be considered representative of the number of warriors supplied by
the Eretrians and the enthusiastic Lygdamis, then the forces of these
three together amounted to three thousand warriors.
Presumably, the
majority were hoplites. If there were additional contingents contributed
The Tide of Wealth and Power +,
by others not explicitly mentioned in Herodotos,
these were surely
smaller in comparison with those explicitly cited by the historians (viz.,
Lygdamis, the Eretrians, and the Argives). All of these, who, Herodotos
says, came from obligation or otherwise, did not serve for pay, since Pei-
sistratos was asking for contributions all the while and getting both men
and money from participants (cf. section :.B.:). Those who marshaled
with Peisistratos on Eretria were thus neither mercenaries nor paid pro-
fessionals, but regular warriors.
Added to these was the original hard
core of Peisistratos supporters who had come down with him from
Thrace, including perhaps some few Thracians, and still others from
Attika who may have joined him at Eretria.
These veterans of Rhaike

and the Strymon were by now both seasoned and coherent, having fought
together for years in Thrace.
The most heavily armed of Peisistratos forces at Eretria would thus
seem to have amounted to around four thousand altogethera formi-
dable force to be sure, which grew stronger upon its arrival at Marathon.
Herodotos says (+.o:.+) that defectors from the city joined Peisistratos
while he was encamped at Marathon and partisans from the countryside
kept streaming in.These defections were crucial for Peisistratos success
at Palle


, for they not only swelled the numbers of his effectives but
also both depleted the Athenian numbers and diminished the will of the
Athenians to resist.
Not all of the Peisistratid forces at Palle


were hoplites. Herodotos

implies a cavalry contingent when he says (+.o.:) that after the battle
Peisistratos ordered his sons to mount their horses and ride among the
eeing men of the city, bidding them each go to their homes. Presum-
ably a portion of the cavalry force was made up of Eretrian hippeis.Added
to these, there could have been a few mounted partisans from the Attic
diakria and some Thracian horsemen.
It has been suggested that the Thracians who accompanied Peisistratos
were archers, but there is no evidence for archers at Palle


If Thra-
cians were present, they are likeliest to have been peltasts, swordsmen, or,
like Tokes, mounted warriors. These were surely not many but possibly
some few personal retainers of Peisistratos. Nevertheless, exotic in their
fox skins and paint and erce in ghting, these few Thracians could have
been used, quite literally, as shock troops to strike fear into the men of
the city,many of whom would probably never have beheld such barbaroi,
non-speakers of Greek.
(We think of how frightened the Greeks were
of the Persians and their outlandish garb before the battle of Marathon.)
+o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
It is impossible either to conrm or deny the presence of Thracians at
the battle of Palle


, since, as we have seen, the testimony of the Ath.Pol.

that Peisistratos recruited Thracians, is not above suspicion.
The formidability of the force Peisistratos elded at Palle


is con-
rmed by comparison of it with other military forces elded by the Athe-
nians.The entire Athenian muster sent to Marathon in ,o i.c.r. against
the Persians amounted to perhaps only nine thousand heavily armed
With the defections occurring at Marathon and later at Palle


Peisistratos force would have amounted to more than half that, albeit not
entirely made up of hoplites. Any possible difference, however, was made
up in the quality of Peisistratos force, especially the hard core of his imme-
diate entourage. Exiles for nearly a decade, these ghters will have been
as determined to win home as Peisistratos was, if only to reestablish them-
selves and their fortunes in their own native land.
Peisistratos himself, however, victor in the Megarian war and success-
ful commander in Thrace and on Naxos, was once again the expeditions
driving force, commander, and soul. He possessed by now a very long
record of military successes, topped off by recent ones in the north and
perhaps elsewhere in Greece (e.g., Naxos): thus, he was even more for-
midable for the reputation that went before him. Talk among the men
of the citypreceding Palle


, from the time of Peisistratos departure from

Eretria to his arrival at the temple of Athena Palle

nis, surely worked in his

favor, for by now he must have seemed a formidable gure indeed. (Pei-
sistratos supporters will certainly have magnied his victories, his pres-
ence, and his potential.) His reputation worked to enhance the morale of
his warriors and drain that of his opponents, for they had no leader like
him on their side. Although Herodotos account of the events leading to


is embellished with motifs of divine favor and destiny and these

seem to derive from his fth-century source(s), the historian describes
Peisistratos quite plausibly as responsible both for discerning the decisive
moment to strike the Athenians and for seeing the battle through to a
rapid conclusion.That role may be ctional, but, as strate

gos, Peisistratos
undoubtedly led the charge that routed the Athenians of the city.
The motifs of divine assistance in Herodotos are untrustworthy, but the
evidence of the operation implies that Peisistratos was the strategist and
tactician of the expedition. Assembling the force at Eretria, Peisistratos
brought it to land at Marathon presumably to attract defectors from the
mesogaia. The movements of the invading force from then on were de-
liberately slow, one imagines to ascertain Athenian reactions, to encour-
The Tide of Wealth and Power ++
age more defections, to undermine further the morale of the opposition,
and to keep Peisistratos foreign allies outside of the Athenian pale.With
the battle all but won and the tyranny restored (cf. section :.C.:), there
were politics to consider, and by now Peisistratos knew Athenian politics
very well (cf. section :.D).There was no good reason to bring foreigners
into the city itself, as Kylon had done and Isagoras was to do, but some
very compelling ones to keep them well away from it.
It appears that the Athenians who came to Palle


mustered fewer war-

riors than Peisistratos force. Most of these must have been citizen hoplites.
Led, we are told, by the Alkmeonidai, who formed the ostensible core
of resistance to Peisistratos, Herodotos implies that the numbers of men
of the city were constantly shrinking, as Athenians kept going over to
Peisistratos. (One imagines that the Kylonian pollution did nothing to en-
courage condence in the Alkmeonidai.) Whatever Peisistratos opponents
managed to muster, they were outmatched by the Peisistratid army in qual-
ity certainly and commitment apparently. If the men of the city possessed
any cavalry at all, their horsemen were of no account in the battle.
The sense of inferiority of the men of the city, implied all along in
Herodotos account of the events leading up to Palle


, may be construed
as part of the Herodotean apology of haplessness in the logos.The im-
plication is that the Athenians were overwhelmed by forces neither they
nor anybody else could reasonably withstand. The impression that the
ranks of the Athenians of the city were being constantly depleted by de-
fections increases the sense of helplessness of the heroic few who stood
rm and suffered the onslaught.The implied ineptitude of these, sleeping
or playing at draughts when the attack nally came, may well be only ap-
parent (cf. section :.C.+:).
:. Peisistratos Chre

mata and Its Uses

Herodotos repeatedly stresses that Peisistratos received contributions of

mata before the battle, implying that these donations helped to pro-
duce its results; later, he alludes to chre

mata collected by Peisistratos in the

Strymon region. Some of what was amassed would obviously have been
used to defray the costs of the nal expedition. However, since some ght-
ing allies were also contributing ones, Peisistratos chre

mata must have

been intended primarily for purposes other than paying his allies. Indeed,
it must be that the chre

mata was, for the most part, intended to be chan-

neled into distribution to the Athenian de

mos, just as Megakles had chan-

+: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
neled it to maintain his hold over it.Thus, the greatest amount of chre

was to help root the tyranny by providing funds for Peisistratos political
ends in the aftermath of the battle.
This is exactly what Herodotos says
Peisistratos overall strategy seems clear enough: he meant to dispose of
any hard core Athenian opposition, that is, the residue left after the de-
fections ceased, by means of his overwhelming force of allies. Peisistratos
may have used some of the chre

mata to entice the Athenians to his side

before the battle, but surely the size of the forces and the success they fore-
told were a further inducement to defect.
He may also have employed
part of the chre

mata to encourage traitors within the ranks of the men of

the city so that they would betray their own or simply stop ghting when
the battle commenced (see section :.D.+).With the battle won, however,
the bulk of the chre

mata would ensure (if anything could ensure) that the

Athenian de

mos would remain favorably disposed toward Peisistratos and

his tyranny.The war chest present at Palle


would become the pay box

for his government. Its contents, collected from various sourcesthe
north, Greek city-states, and Attika itselfaccount for the variance in the
fabric of the Wappenmnzen, the coins of Peisistratos nal tyranny.
This was the outcome of Peisistratos grasp of the strategy that was needed
to win Athens for the moment and over time.
C. The Battle
+. Tactics Implied by Herodotos Account
These [sc. the forces of Peisistratos] encamped there [sc. at Marathon].The
Athenians of the city, on the other hand, made nothing of it while Peisis-
tratos was collecting funds [sc. on Eretria] and even afterwards when he
occupied Marathon. However, when they heard that he was marching on the
city from Marathon, they went out to oppose him.They went with the whole
army against those returning, and the army of Peisistratos, which had set out
from Marathon and was on its way to the city, coming together [with them]
at the same spot, arrived at the temple of Athena Palle

nis and ground their

weapons in opposition.
Herodotos +.o:.+
According to Herodotos, when Peisistratos landed at Marathon, he
kept quiet there for an unspecied time. His enemies in Athens did noth-
The Tide of Wealth and Power +
ing while he bided his time. When Peisistratos moved on Athens, how-
ever, the men of the city advanced to the east, to the temple of Athena at


, to block his entrance into the land of Athens.

The diakria was
obviously not yet Athenian, for, quite contrary to the Athenians reac-
tion to the landing of Hippias and the Persians at Marathon in ,o i.c.r.,
the men of the city held their peace as long as Peisistratos was outside
Athenian home territory in the diakria and were only stirred to action
when his intentions of moving on Athens became clear. Obviously, the
temple area was the dividing line between asty and mesogaia.
Peisistratos remained at Marathon to wait on developments. Defections
appear to have been numerous, if we can trust Herodotos. His use of the
imperfect proserreon suggests a constant ow of Athenians going over to Pei-
At Marathon, Peisistratos could ascertain from the defectors the
mood of the Athenians and whether and on what terms they would accept
him. Perhaps he waited at Palle


for similar reasons.

It was one thing,
after all, to win the battle but quite another to establish the tyranny rmly.
Peisistratos must have been concerned with the will of the people, and
while the delays could be taken as signs to indicate his desire to erode the
strength and morale of his opponents they could also signal his wish to
avoid unnecessary violence and thus court popularity among the Atheni-
ans.The aftermath of Palle


as described by Herodotos indicates that Pei-

sistratos was in fact concerned to limit the bloodshed. If this is true, it was
calculated behavior and determined Peisistratos restraint after the rout.
Such calculation accords with the general tenor of the campaign, begin-
ning with Peisistratos deliberate plan to amass necessary resources by go-
ing north to Thrace. His invasion of Athens was a carefully planned,
thought-out operation, not an emotional, vengeful kind of blitzkrieg (as
the Persians and Hippias might seem to have engaged in at Marathon).
In that vein, it is not at all unlikely that Peisistratos made explicit over-
tures especially to the men of the city to stand down from their arms be-
fore the battle or to clear the road and allow his peaceful return to Athens.
Of course, such information would not have survived in our sources, since
recollections of collaboration of this sort, that is, any such who accepted
the overtures, would not be forthcoming from Athenian sources. The
battle of Palle


was, as we shall presently see, a very bad memory for fth-

century Athenians.
The men of the city took up defensive position at the temple of Athena

It is possible that, arriving earlier than Peisistratos, the Athe-
+ r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
nians dug in at the temenos, perhaps behind a wall there, using it as a de-
fensive perimeter and strong point from which to face attack. The men
of the city were certainly in a defensive position ultimately, since, when
the battle was nally joined, it was they who were attacked and taken un-
awares.They seem to have stood down from their arms, perhaps trusting
too much to their only supercially superior position.
If the men of the city meant to bar the road into Athens, they had
adopted sound tactics. Defense suited those who could hope to outwait
Time was on their side, since Peisistratos, whose army was
composed mainly of allies, must act sooner rather than later and force the
issue. The allied troops would not remain with him indenitely. On the
other hand, if Peisistratos wanted to ensure himself the easiest victory and
avoid bloodshed, he must also bide his time and continue to encourage
defections. He seems thus to have been walking a kind of tightrope be-
tween prudent hesitation, governed by political and other concerns, and
the necessity of immediate attack dictated by the nature and condition of
his army.
The circumstances of the actual battle are suspicious even if we take
Herodotos account to be generally accurate. When the attack nally
came, the men of the city were caught seemingly unawares, some hav-
ing turned to their midday meals, some to gaming, and some to sleep. It
was in this condition that Peisistratos forces fell on and routed them.
This lack of vigilance around the time when the attack nally came
could be taken to indicate that the men of the city were overcondent
in their defensive position or possibly that they were betrayed (cf. sec-
tion :.D.+). The information, which seems to make the Athenian rank
and le appear foolish, shifts the blame for the apparent rout from their
leaders, ostensibly the Alkmeonidai. However, their foolishness is, in turn,
mitigated by the sense of Peisistratos divine sponsorship and the futility
of resistance (cf. section :.C.:).
Peisistratos inaction at Palle


might actually help to explain the rout

depicted in Herodotos.While sitting still to encourage defections, Peisis-
tratos may have feigned quietude to lull the men of the city into believ-
ing that the exiles and their allies would not attack after midday.
length, Peisistratos attacked, in Herodotos, after interpreting an omen
from his seer, Amphilytos. His army appears to have won the battle sud-
denly and without much resistance. Were things actually as straightfor-
ward as Herodotos makes them in the account?
The Tide of Wealth and Power +
:. Palle


in Fifth-Century Context:
Problems at Source
Herodotos account of the battleand, indeed, of the events leading up
to itportrays some Athenians as insouciant before the battle and others
as unconscious, at least at its beginning.The Athenians were caught at-
footed and routed. So precipitous is the ight depicted in Herodotos that
Peisistratos sent his sons ahead on horseback to overtake the fugitives as
they were running away to direct them cheerfully each to their homes.


in Herodotos extended account is no battle at all. In fact, that brief

description of the battle in Herodotos is contradicted not only by other
testimony about it but even by the historian himself later on.
The historians treatment of the battle ts again into the scheme of
apology for the tyranny.Through to the aftermath of Palle


, Herodotos
account of Peisistratos rise to power emphasizes the tyrants invincibility
and the Athenians hopelessness before him.That the Athenians at Palle


were caught unawares and defeated is overshadowed by the implied in-

ecacy of opposition to one divinely sponsored. In Herodotos account,
resistance by the Athenians was futile, for the battle was over before it was
fought:Amhiplytos introduction and the prophecy he utters sets the seal
on Athenian resistance.
No resistance was possible in fact. Such is the
supercial account of the battle.
Herodotos revisionist recounting of events in his main description is
conrmed by the contradiction he supplies later. At +.o., he species
that some of the Athenians fell in the ght [at Palle


], thus indicating
that some of the men of the city put up a ght and died as a result.This
was not as easy a victory as Herodotos makes it out to be in the main ac-
count of the battle: Herodotos himself says so. However, reminding his
readers that the Athenians resisted is counterproductive for what
Herodotos, or his source(s), wants the reader (or listener) to come away
with, that is, that the battle was over well before it was fought.This is in
fact the theme governing the highlighted account from the outset of
the logos.The historians description of Palle


is in fact the crescendoed

nale of Herodotos account of Peisistratos rise: it ends what is begun
with the encounter of Chilon and Hippokrates. Amphilytos balances
Chilon: his unerring prophecy, which Peisistratos grasped immediately,
signals the delivery of the promise alluded to by Chilon in his encounter
with Hippokrates.The battle was lost, the tyranny established, one might
well say, before Peisistratos was born. In Herodotos account, Palle


+o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
the seal of the gods sponsorship that guided Peisistratos to the tyranny.
Accordance with the supernatural theme of the entire logos explains
both the extent and content of Herodotos very brief, very selectively re-
ported account of the battle. The question is: what history do we have
here at all?
A variant account of battle by the Athenian orator Andokides adds to
the diculty of knowing exactly what transpired. It opposes Herodotos,
proclaiming the action at Palle


no loss at all.
After the city had come into great evils, when the tyrants ruled the city and
the de

mos had ed, your forefathers were victorious ghting the tyrants at


, my great-grandfather Leogoras being the general and Charias, his

son-in-law . . . when they returned to the homeland, they killed some, con-
demned others to exile, and some they permitted to remain in the city after
they had stripped them of civic rights.
Andok. De Myst. +oo
Although Raubitschek and MacDowell have attempted valiantly to sal-
vage Andokides description of Palle


, it seems impossible even if we

credit Herodotos, our only control, with merely rough accuracy. An-
dokides garbled account, which really means to feature his forebears as
tyrant resisters, is without historical merit for the sixth century, if only for
the fundamental difference of making the obvious defeat we read about
in Herodotos into a victory.
There are, in fact, many problems with Andokides account. First, al-
though Andokides refers to Palle


, the only battle of which we know

occurred ca. o i.c.r., his great-grandfather Leagoras is strate

gos. From
what else we know about him, Leagoras was not old enough to have been
a general in o.
Second, reference to the de

mos is an acknowledg-
ment of the standard political and ideological polarity of fth-century
Athens: the de

mos, not the men of the city, oppose tyranny. This polar-
ity was certainly not in place during the sixth century at Athens. As we
have witnessed, the de

mos did not oppose tyranny as a rule: many of its

members defected to Peisistratos before the battle, according to
Herodotos. (Nor did the de

mos ee before Palle


, unless e[feuge is to
be taken as defected.)
Finally, Andokides says that some were killed,
some exiled, and some stripped of political rights, but allowed to remain
in the city.This sort of meted punishment is best assigned to tyrannical
types, not to deliverers of Athens: in fact, it reads as if the tyrants were en-
The Tide of Wealth and Power +;
trenched within Athens, not coming to attack from without. Finally,
to imply that some who remained in the city after the battle were made
atimoi (dishonored) is an impossibility in view of what we know of sixth-
century atimia (dishonor): those labeled as such could certainly not con-
tinue to abide in the city unmolested.This is clearly an anachronism.
Andokides account is thus not credible: he indicates no understanding
of where the battle occurred, who participated in it, or its outcome.
The salient fact for him is that the battle of Palle


was a victory achieved

under his great-grandfather.
The likeliest cause for these inept revisions was the shame of Palle


magnied by prevailing negative attitudes toward the tyranny in fth-
century Athens. In Andokides account, the revisions seem designed
specically to benet the speaker by recasting his great-grandfather
as the active opponent of the tyrants.
Perhaps Andokides ancestors,
like the Alkmeonidai, had been tyrant supporters and this was an attempt
to cloud over their collaboration.The orator does acknowledge that his
ancestors could have married into the tyrants family.
(In the speech,
Andokides, who had been implicated with Alkibiades in the profana-
tion of the Mysteries [and so with one who was suspected of having
tyrannical aspirations], was attempting to show, by his reference to
Leagoras, that his tendencies were not by nature hybristic or impious,
and so sympathetic to tyranny, but antityrannical and so antihybristic.)
While Andokides account contains no evident historical data for the
battle of Palle


in o i.c.r., it does show that the author created his

own way of negating uncomfortable facts, even to the point of falsifying
them outrageously.
The painfulness of what happened at Palle


and the recasting of ac-

tions in fth-century terms are also evident in Herodotos characteriza-
tion of the defectors whom he calls (+.o:.+) those who found tyranny
preferable to freedom.These were of course traitors, but their specic
identities are hidden in the generalization. Although it is surely mem-
bers of the de

mos Herodotos (or his source) criticizes here, albeit

obliquelythe de

mos had the most to gain from defecting after all

the phrase may be taken to encompass higher-level defections as well.
In fact, such defections would help to explain why Peisistratos victory
was so easy.
Although Herodotos says nothing about it specically, there are cer-
tain grounds for believing that treason occurred at Palle


as well as be-
fore it. Herodotos alludes to it before the battle, Peisistratos had the
+ r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
wherewithal to effect it, and betrayal would have suited him, since he
could gain what he wanted with less trouble, risk, or bloodshed.Treach-
ery would explain the lack of vigilance of the Athenians opposing Peisis-
tratos, their swift and total defeat, and to some extent Andokides garbled
memory of it.
The rout, which we have no reason to doubt as fact,
is better explained if treason occurred on the battleeldperhaps simi-
lar to the famous shield signal of Marathon.
Memories of the defeat at Palle


and its upshot, the tyranny perma-

nentlyrestored, appear to have become so painful to fth-century Athe-
nians that the facts surrounding them could not be treated straight-
forwardly. Herodotos (sources) remedy for the memory of Palle


brevity and vaguenessno glory for either side. In Andokides, the defeat
is made over completely into triumph: in fact, it becomes a victory of the
tyrants foes against the tyrant and his forces, the exact opposite of what
it was.There is falsity in both accounts, but it is most dicult to separate
out the truth in Herodotos.
. Toward Reconstruction
Although there are substantial problems with our sources, we may take
some things as secure. A battle at Palle


was fought between the oppos-

ing forces of Peisistratos and Athenians from the city.The ostensible lead-
ers of the latter were the Alkmeonidai. Before that battle, Peisistratos had
forged a coalition of allies to march with him against his opponents for
the purpose of restoring his tyranny.The two sides met at the boundary
between Athensand the mesogaia, with the men of the city barring the
way into the city. Peisistratos launched an attack that turned into a rout.
Some Athenians put up a resistance and died.The majority left the eld,
dispersing to their homes.
The victory was total. The road to Athens
lay open. Peisistratos took the city and became tyrant again.
A few things can be added, which are, of course, not hard facts. From
Marathon, Peisistratos moved slowly and cautiously, encouraging defec-
tions as he went. The men of the city, anticipating Peisistratos route,
reached Palle


before him and took up defensive positions around or

near the temple. Perhaps the men of the city were lulled into a false sense
of security, for somehow they created an opening for attack. Perhaps there
was treachery involved on the Athenian side.Taking advantage, Peisistratos
delivered an unexpected lightning strike, which overwhelmed the Athe-
nians. Peisistratos force may have ground arms at Palle


(cf. section
The Tide of Wealth and Power +,
:.D.+), for Herodotos suggests that the cavalry did the mopping upper-
haps chasing the Athenians to their homes but more likely preparing the
path into the city for Peisistratos.
Whether or not, as Herodotos says, the Athenians were caught un-
awares, the men of the city were most likely outnumbered, undoubtedly
outclassed (especially by the hardened core of Peisistratos and his philoi),
and certainly demoralized. Defectors kept defecting; the invaders num-
bers were substantial to begin with but continued to grow.The Atheni-
ans also had to cope not only with the formidability of their opponents
and Peisistratos reputation, enhanced by his Thracian sojourn and mili-
tary triumphs as strate

gos for them during the Megarian war and in other

theaters on his own, but also with their own lack of ideological commit-
ment to resist him. Peisistratos had been popular before with the de

Many ancient Greek battles were won or lost on morale, and the Athe-
nian men of the city, many of them, may not have understood exactly what
they were ghting for. (The signicant number of defections mentioned
could be taken as a sign of such confusion.) Treachery during or before
the battlegenerally suspected by soldiers when things arent going well
and many times conrmed in the battles aftermathwould have sapped
the last remnant of the will to resist. Many Athenians had cooperated
with Peisistratos before, and many would again: it is far from unlikely that,
gazing out over Peisistratos assembled host, some of men of the city saw
a chance for themselves by selling out to the tyrant before the battle. If
that is so, then these were likelier to be from among the higher echelons
of command.And, of course, the Alkmeonidai were not above selling out
to the Peisistratids on other occasions.
D. Aftermath
+. The End of the Campaign
Although it is not stated, it seems very likely that the canny Peisistratos
halted the foreign contingents outside of Athens, perhaps even as far away
as Palle


It was a good place to end the campaign: Peisistratos did not
want to damage Athensthere was everything to lose by having it
harmedand he surely could not have helped his cause in the longer run
by letting in the foreign army.The allies could not have remained for any
length of time in any case, for they were not going to become an occu-
pation force.The battle won, it was opportune for Peisistratos to declare
+o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
all debts squared and to dismiss the allies with thanks on the doorstep of
the pale.We observe that there is no evidence complaining that Peisis-
tratos invaded Athens with foreign troops.
Thus far, hostilities had taken place well away from Athens, and techni-
cally Peisistratos and his retinue could not be formally charged with bring-
ing foreigners against the city or, for that matter, onto Atheniansoil. Re-
straint and magnanimity would win favor and popularity once more;
license, vengeance, and any repetition of a Kylonian-type occupation
would not. Peisistratos was renowned as a goodtyrant, and bloodshed in
the aftermath of Palle


would not have escaped notice.

Peisistratos was
now also more politically astute.Apart from Herodotos information about
taking hostages and forcing exilesthe latter testimonium is suspect, as we
shall presently seethere is no evidence for violent reprisals or for a Pei-
sistratid-led foreign occupation of the city after Palle


. There is, on the

contrary, evidence for cooperation of the Peisistratids with even the most
renowned resisters during Peisistratos third tyranny.
Peisistratos had no guarantees that at some time the Athenians would
not unite against him after the departure of his allies. (He was incapable
of subsidizing massive numbers of bodyguards, the presence of whom is
again unrecorded and in any case would compound the unpopularity of
his renewed regime.)
It was vital for Peisistratos to anticipate and
remove any reasons for the Athenians to rally against him.Yet, with the
battle won so decisively, he calculated that there was no longer a need for
a standing army. Peisistratos cadre of philoi would do quite well for the
moment: these were mostly Athenian. In the longer run,Athenian good-
will toward him would have to do. We must remember, too, that after


there were no real opponents left standing. Opposition had been

shattered or his former opponents co-opted.
:. Exiles and Hostages?
Peisistratos return to Athens would have involved consolidation and so
prudential measures. Herodotos says (+.o.) that some Athenians ed
into exile and that hostages were taken and deposited with Lygdamis on
Naxos. On the other hand, there is no evidence for mass deportations or
exiles or conscations of property in the wake of Palle


.Whatever meas-
ures were actually taken in the short run had to have been limited in
scope, politically oriented, and, it appears, surgically performed.
is corroborated to some degree by Herodotos.
The Tide of Wealth and Power ++
Herodotos says explicitly (+.o.) that chief among the exiles were the
Alkmeonidai, ostensible leaders of the men of the city at Palle


. Peisis-
tratos had good enough reason to banish at least some of the Alkmeonidai.
They had remained interposed between Peisistratos and the favor of the

mos, Megakles effecting his will seemingly effortlessly through it be-

fore Palle


. To disengage the Alkmeonids from their leadership of the


mos was desirable so that Peisistratos could take over their game: the
tyrant had spent years gathering chre

mata to distribute and so to beat

Megakles and the others with their own means.The immediate aftermath
of Palle


was crucial for Peisistratos to establish himself with the de

and he was best able to do that if the Alkmeonidai were temporarily re-
moved from Athens.
If such exile were imposedand if Herodotos mention of it is not
merely part of yet another attempt to cover up some shady business of
the Alkmeonidsit was not perpetual. Perhaps Peisistratos exercised
clemency. Perhaps he believed that enough time had passed and that his
relationship with the de

mos had been cemented. Possibly he realized that

the Alkmeonidai were useful to him in keeping the de

mos favor. In any

case, the exile of the Alkmeonidai ended some time thereafter.
Indeed, members of the genos were not only back in Athens but co-
operating once again with the Peisistratids well before Peisistratos death
in ::; i.c.r. We nd Kleisthenes, the son of Megakles, Peisistratos
nemesis according to Herodotos, holding the archonship for ::
i.c.r., immediately after Hippias, Peisistratos eldest son.
another son of Megakles (and namesake of Peisistratos father?),
pears to have married Koisyra (II), the daughter of Peisistratos by Koisyra
(I), the famous woman of Eretria, sometime between o and :o
This is close relationship indeed, and a period of probation pre-
ceding these events, extending into the os, must have elapsed.Thus, the
Alkmeonid exile seems to have been rather brief.
By the mid-:os, the opposition between the Peisistratidai and the Alk-
meonidaiif indeed there was ever such opposition, as we read in
Herodotoswas forgotten. At least it did not obstruct collaboration and
intermarriage.Whatever measures were taken by Peisistratos after Palle


must have been calculated to consolidate Peisistratos position. They are

unlikely to have been excessive, since they would have instilled a sense of
insecurity among the Athenians and lost Peisistratos favor and the repu-
tation for good rule.
They would also have surfaced somewhere in the
+: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
climate of antityrannism at Athens. As it is, we hear nothing of his exces-
sive score settling or really of anything evil after Palle


Herodotos statement that the Alkmeonidai went into exile after Palle


is itself open to doubt. Indeed, the Alkmeonidai appear to have concocted

their self-imposed perpetual exile from the tyranny in order to bolster
their image as tyrant haters.
Peisistratos had really nothing to fear from
the Alkmeonidai once he had returned to Athens, for it was impossible for
them to continue to oppose him in view of his victory and newly amassed
resources, which must have outstripped theirs. If the de

mos allegiance was

secured by chre

mataand the Alkmeonidai had shown the way to con-

trol the de

mosthey had now been undone by Peisistratos from their con-

stituency. Moreover, the tyrant connection to which the younger Alkibi-
ades points with such apparent pride in the early fourth century i.c.r.
seems to have been marriage between Megakles son Hippokrates and Pei-
sistratos daughter Koisyra.
This could be taken to indicate either that
the Alkmeonidai did not oppose Peisistratos as vehemently as Herodotos
says they did or that, if they did oppose him, they made their peace quite
soon afterward. Certainly, their tie to the tyrants by marriage suggests that
the Alkmeonidai acted to make up with Peisistratos, thus, serving a pro-
bation.The traditions of perpetual Alkmeonid exile after Palle


perpetual opposition to the tyranny are completely false in any case and
undoubtedly evolved to bae recollections of the Alkmeonids historical
record of cooperation with the Peisistratids.
. Summary
From the nature of the expedition north, it appears that Peisistratos strat-
egy of return, a strategy that came to fruition in the campaign leading to


, was in place from the time that Peisistratos set out for Thrace. In
fact, Peisistratos second coming with Phye could be taken as an indi-
cation that his resolve to remain tyrant of Athens was set from then at
least. Chre

mata and men would lead to victory and a rm footing for the
tyranny: it is the collection of resources after all, not the battle, that is
stressed repeatedly by Herodotos.These resources were obtained partially
in Thrace and partially from subscriptions taken by the tyrant on Euboia.
What is remarkable in all of this is Peisistratos dedication to return to
Athens and to tyranny. Ambition and greed would seem to be the pri-
mary driving forces, although political vanity is not to be excluded. (It
The Tide of Wealth and Power +
goes without saying that political personages with outsized condence,
egotism, and ambition make state and self-aggrandizement identical.) We
need not think, however inuenced we might be by Thucydides charac-
terization of Archaic Greek tyrants and their motives, that greed and am-
bition were completely unbridled. Rather, the historian says (+.+;) that
such tyrants were looking to their needs and those of their households,
and he says this with obvious reference to the Peisistratids.
Peisistratos must have been driven over the course of his exile by, among
other things, the vision of what Athens could be for himself but also for
the Athenians. A parallel course is in fact charted in the rooted tyranny.
What beneted the Peisistratids was extended to benet the Athenians, es-
pecially economically. It is this kind of partnership between the de

mos and
its leaders, one depicted as early as the poems of Solon, that Peisistratos in-
stitutionalized, and in fact it carried over into the democracy.
+ r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
+. +nr +nrrr rri xs or +nr

irxocr:+i c

A. Fame and Popularity
Nisaia was the pivotal moment in Peisistratos early career; Palle


lished the tyranny for several decades. Success in the Megarian war earned
Peisistratos popularity rst among the ghters in the eld and then more
generally among the Athenians. A slight index of the potency of the vic-
tory and what it produced for Peisistratos is the fact that the memory of
it survived even in the antityrannical climate of Athens in the fth cen-
tury i.c.r. The magnitude of Peisistratos war deeds was great indeed.
The victory at Nisaia, apparently the nal blow to the Megarians, ensured
Athens ascendance in the Saronic Gulf, its permanent dominion over
both Eleusis and Salamis, and its security against the Megarians. Phaleron
was safe from Megarian attack by sea and the Kephissian Plain and Athens
itself from land attack. Peisistratos thus brought to a close the one hundred
years of war with Megara and so demolished the barriers to Athenian ex-
pansion.Victory in the war also avenged the outrage of Kylons occupa-
tion of the akropolis with Megarian troops. The Athenians of the early
sixth century were surely enormously grateful to Peisistratos for ending
the war in Athens favor.
Peisistratos success indicates in fact that by the end of the war he had
become Athens most outstanding war leader. The operation leading to
Nisaia implies concerted strategy, while the action itself implies developed
tactics. These, too, are apparently to be credited to Peisistratos. Corrobo-
rating evidence of Peisistratos as strategist and tactician is to be found in
the record of the Palle


campaign; it is implicit in his command as


gos in the war against Megara. Peisistratos seems to have grasped that
the desired outcome in the war could only come about gradually, after pre-
liminary steps had been taken and preliminary battles fought and won.The
same held true for his return to the tyranny. For that, Peisistratos prepared
for almost a decade, mustering the overwhelming force he needed to de-
liver the nal blow to his opponents and to establish the tyranny once for
all. He also understood that military force alone would not be sucient
on its own and so accumulated chre

mata to roothis tyranny. Peisistratos

sojourn rst to Rhaike

los and then to the area of Mount Pangaion, famous

for its precious metal mines, were necessary steps to acquiring the resources
needed for the successful outcome of the campaign. It was only after Pei-
sistratos had patiently bided at Eretria, collecting more and more chre

from his allies and assembling ever increasing numbers of warriors for his
army, that he struck at Athens.The result of his measures was the quick and
apparently easy victory at Palle


. (As we have seen, there is reason to think

that such strategy led up to Nisaia.)
Like all strate

goi of the time, Peisistratos will have led from the front. In
fact, given his experiences and successes, he must have been rather a skilled
warrior. Certainly, the Thracian enterprise suggests protracted ghting and
hard ghting at that in the Strymon region. Peisistratos was undoubtedly
the center of cohesion for his enterprise, the sole purpose of which was to
further his ambitions to return to Athens as tyrant.The Thracian sojourn
was a long one, and we must imagine years of tough ghting amid the
erce Thracians who guarded their interests around Mount Pangaion. It is
also reasonable to think that whatever group he had with him there be-
came hardened, even as he did. By the time they arrived at Palle


, Peisis-
tratos and his philoi were probably at a ghting peak.
Whatever his military career in the north, it was the Megarian war that
earned Peisistratos fame and popularity among the Athenians. He had de-
feated an inveterate enemy in a great patriotic war, and his successes sub-
stantiated his claims of Neleid descent. (These I have urged he put forth
himself as part of a campaign rst for war leadership and then for the
tyranny.) The myths were not only corroborated by victory over the Megar-
ians but implied further success and security under Peisistratos leadership.
It seems reasonably certain that Peisistratos knew well the value of
drawing such links to the heroic age even at the earliest stage of his pub-
+o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
Summary +;
lic career. Solon observes that the Athenians would listen gaping to
seductive speakers and foolishly be won over by them. In introducing the
Neleid link, Peisistratos was doing no more than employing myths to con-
vince the Athenians of his worth and right to govern them. Of course,
had there not been a Megarian war or had some other competent and
ambitious strate

gos emerged from among the city men or others to lead

the Athenians successfully against the Megarians, there would have been
no opening for Peisistratos to exploit. In fact, there very likely would have
been no tyranny, since fame leading to popularity appears to have been a
sine qua non for that and since the two squabbling leaders, Megakles and
Lykourgos, might very well have coped with a different upstart. (This, or
something much like it, seems to have happened in the case of Damasias.)
Peisistratos good fortune in the war became his real springboard for
the tyranny when he nally entered the political arena at Athens, even as
Herodotos implies. The popularity he garnered from the Megarian war
successes is to be gauged both directly and indirectly. Herodotos says that
Peisistratosgreat deedsand the capture of Nisaia were high in the minds
of the Athenians when they voted him the korune

phoroi and so the means

to establish a tyranny.That popularity must also account for the prolonged
quietude of the Athenians after Palle


, for they could have acted there-

after to oust the tyrant had they so desired. In fact, there is no hint of re-
bellion or even restiveness during these subsequent years and really none
until near the very end of his tyranny. (In fact, serious trouble only began
to develop during the later regime.) Fame engendering popularity among
the Athenians may actually have been the goad for Peisistratos to aspire
to the tyranny. It was clearly something the wily Megakles could not undo
or cope with, and it forced him to recognize Peisistratos as a political force
and to nd temporary accord with him. It was an indispensable ingredi-
ent in the tyrannys longevity.
B. Chre

mata and Persuasion

When Peisistratos entered the political fray at Athens, he learned quickly,
but more emphatically over time, that popularity by itself was not enough
to see him into the tyranny, let alone keep him there. As Solon so clearly
portrays, chre

mata was the necessary ingredient for political success in the

city and to obtain and sustain governance. His poems reveal that the crisis
in his day was precipitated by those Athenians who wanted chre

Political speakers promised it to the de

mos one way or another, owing their

+ r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
temporary success to the de

mossusceptibility to such promises.Even Solon

promised the de

mos gain, but in its view he did not follow through on that
promise. Solons political eclipse followed, part of the evidence for which
are the apologies he made to the de

mos once again in his poems.Tradition

holds that Solon left Athens immediately after his special commission, a
departure at least alluding to the end of his political leadership there.
Of the two politicians we know of on the scene and operating before
the arrival of Peisistratos, Megakles, the son of Alkmeon, possessed a sig-
nicant store of chre

mata. The Alkmeonidai, who were exiled for their

part in the Kylonian slaughter for their blood connection to those who
were, returned to Athens, and we nd Megakles holding a position of
power apparently as leader of the de

mos. Presumably, the wealth for

which Alkmeon was famous, which he had gotten somehow, was the
cause of both. Megakles must have used some of his wealth to inuence
the de

mos, dispensing it as needed. Megakles success ts into the pic-

ture Solon describes: the de

mos, lacking scruples, accepted the Alkme-

onidai back to Athens, installed one of them as its leader, and even pro-
tected that leader from his enemiesthat is, as long as he continued to
distribute his wealth.
It was this Megakles who, acting behind the scenes, facilitated Peisis-
tratos rst and second tyrannies. It was he who provided the necessary
underwriting to sway the de

mos to his and Peisistratos common purposes

then. Megakles learned in the meantime, if he did not already know, that
he was barred from monarchy because of his familys taint but also be-
cause he lacked anything like the conspicuous military record of Peisis-
tratos. In fact, while Megakles possessed ambition, political ability, and

mata, he lacked the essential ingredient of fame leading to popular-

ity. Megakles role is in any case muted in Herodotos account of Peisis-
tratos rise to power. Presumably the tradition passed on to Herodotos
about him made it appear that way.
Megakles inuence with the de

mos was real in any case, and it must

have been owed to something.That inuence was indispensable for Pei-
sistratos to take and hold the tyranny. Just how signicant a political gure
Megakles was is indicated by the uidity of Peisistratos rst two tyran-
nies. It is explicitly stated in Herodotos that Megakles backing was vital
to Peisistratos second bid for the tyranny and that lack of it ended the
second tyranny. Herodotos also says that Megakles united with Lykour-
gos to oust Peisistratos from his rst tyranny. Obviously, the backing of
this Alkmeonid was essential for making or breaking Peisistratos earlier
tyrannies.When Megakles swung back to Peisistratos after the latters rst
ouster, however, proposing a second tyranny, his opponent Lykourgos was
powerless to stop him. From the implications of this evidence, it must be
assumed that Megakles was also key to Peisistratos rst tyranny, although
nothing of this is stated explicitly in Herodotos text or anywhere else.
Megakles was politically most powerful at the time of Peisistratos rst two
tyrannies, but he was barred from ruling Athens outright. His sponsorship
of and hostility toward Peisistratos by turns spelled success or failure for
the tyrant and temporary allies such as Lykourgos.
Peisistratos weakness in the face of Megakles superior power and its
basis in chre

mata is conrmed by Peisistratos actions subsequent to his

exile from Attika. Peisistratos primary aim in exile in Thrace was to ac-
cumulate wealth in abundance. And this he did in a variety of ways, not
merely to return to Athens but to root the tyranny as well. Herodotos
use of the unusual word ejrrivzwse (rooted) in his account of Peisis-
tratos rise is telling, for it hallmarks the beginning and end of the tyrannys
transitoriness (cf. +.oo.+ and +.o.+). It further emphasizes what Peisis-
tratos managed to do because of his victory over the Athenians at Palle


and (so) what he could not do before that, obviously because of Mega-
kles and his chre

mata. It is clear from the circumscribed amount of


mata that remained after the battle, however, that Peisistratos would
have to locate other sources of wealth by which continuously to enrich
the appetitive Athenians.
In fact, chre

mata can only have gured in Peisistratos last tyranny, as

it had in Athenian politics from at least the time of Solon. Peisistratos
lasting tyranny did not solely depend on Palle


or even the war chest

he had with him when he arrived in Attika from Eretria. (It certainly
did not depend on a permanent foreign mercenary force, which op-
pressed the Athenians.This would have been ineffective, and there is no
sign whatsoever of its existence in any case.) Rather, Peisistratos nal
tyranny depended on his ability to locate and exploit ongoing sources
of wealth with which to enrich the Athenians over time. It was this part-
nership between the de

mos and him (and then his successors), really an

economic and political symbiosis, that kept the tyranny going. As
before (and even as later during the democracy) enrichment of the
Athenians was the key to power over them. Hippias, the son of Peisis-
tratos, failed to maintain popularity among the Athenians surely in part
because he lost the resources Peisistratos had secured. Subsequently,
Hippias lost the tyranny.
Summary +,
C. Power Begetting Power
Success, especially if sustained, will generate adherency, especially if the
success is shared. Peisistratos appearance at Palle


in force drew fresh re-

cruits from outside of the Athenian pale but from within it as well. From
the perspective of these defectors, Peisistratos triumph must have seemed
guaranteed: their own well-being depended on their political sensibili-
ties. Herodotos very brief description of the battle makes it seem as if the
game was up for those opposing Peisistratos even before the battle began.
While the size and quality of the forces that opposed the men of the city
must have had much to do with the erosion of morale, Peisistratos earlier
battle successes, stretching back to the Megarian war (and perhaps beyond
that), would also have contributed. It is reasonable to think that that which
underpins Herodotos account of the tyrants rise, divine sponsorship,
came about in the minds of the Athenians at least in part because of Palle


and the apparently easy victory Peisistratos achieved there.

Peisistratos seems to have recognized that success builds on itself as he
went about collecting the resources he needed to ensure his victory, the
reestablishment of his tyranny, and its permanence.Actually, even from the
little Herodotos and AP supply, it is clear that Peisistratos pursued an in-
cremental strategy, which would lead to Palle


and then to consolidation

of his position in the aftermath of the battle. Presumably, word of his do-
ings in the north, but certainly his marshaling of forces at Eretria and then
at Marathon, came to the ears of the Athenians.
This incremental strategy appears similar to that implied by the action
at Nisaia and the great deeds Herodotos mentions. The way to over-
come the Megarians once and for all was rst to secure Athens posses-
sions in the forward areas of the war zone and then, using them as bases,
to launch attacks at the enemy heartland. Similarly, before Palle


, Eretria
was secured as Peisistratos rst forward base, then Marathon. Palle


seems to have become that, as Peisistratos also encamped there, receiving
even more defectors.The care taken in strategizing and what it produced
provided a further advertisement to the men of the city of Peisistratos
abilities, the consciousness about which was undoubtedly never com-
pletely absent from their minds. Thoughtfully conceived and well exe-
cuted, Peisistratos strategy outdid that of any leader or commander on
the other side. Even from what little Herodotos supplies of the campaign
leading up to the battle and the battle itself, the Athenians were out of
their depth.They had neither the warriors nor the commanders to resist
+oo r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
Summary +o+
Peisistratos and his forces. We need not doubt that overawing the Athe-
nians was also part of Peisistratos strategy. (The Phye pageant was meant
to remind the Athenians of Athenas favoring of Peisistratos after all.)
The rout at Palle


allowed Peisistratos to become tyrant again, but the

way the battle was won must have convinced many Athenians that Pei-
sistratos successes would continue. Had they not known it earlier, they
now knew that cooperation was the best, indeed the only real option left
to them. Of course, Peisistratos made that choice easier by reassuring the
routed Athenians, telling them to disperse to their homes. This gentle
wooing hints at the possibility that Peisistratos utilized his war chest at
the time to quieten the restive or reward the quiescent before and after


, conrming by payment that the quiet and cooperative had made

or were making the right choices. And, indeed, Peisistratos had not de-
feated the Athenians more than he had his political foes, who had, he
could say, misled the people into opposing him. Even these, we nd, came
over to Peisistratos in due course.The Athenians themselves, the swing
group that marched out to Palle


but, on appearances, ran home (if they

did not defect), must have accepted Peisistratos rule more easily because
of what he had done, what he was doing, and what he could do.The ac-
ceptance was prompted by Peisistratos fortunate past history, his present
action, his larger than life image, and his promises, all of which augured
positively for the future.
The power that established the tyranny for the last time and kept it
for nearly two decades was based on the demonstration of power before
and at Palle


. It was not the naked power of oppressive forcethe battle

was over quickly and there was no occupying force of mercenary body-
guards to remind the Athenians of their oppression. Rather it was the
power of further success and gain. That is, after all, what the Athenians
wanted, and that is what Peisistratos seemed capable of providing.While
we may accept that the Athenians acquiesced to Peisistratos rule in part
because he had demonstrated superiority in war, in intellect, and pre-
sumably in governance, we must also rule in the persuasive force that his
good fortune created in them. What was his could be, at least partly,
theirs. The embellishment of divine sponsorship in Herodotos account
notwithstanding, Peisistratos must have seemed a blessed man to the
Athenians. He appears to have been astute enough to realize that he
could not maintain his tyranny merely by guarding his own interests and
prerogatives. Rather he must order up the banquet, as Solon would
have it, if he was to keep hold of the tyranny. For that sharing, because
+o: r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
he continued the oces and elections and so did not disrupt traditional
government, and most of all because he would continue to react to the

mos and its wishes, he was in essence a democratic tyrant. And this
was not necessarily by design or temperament but rather due to politi-
cal necessity. It was the Athenians who made the conditions for ruling
them; Peisistratos simply met them.
:. rrrirc+i oxs or +nr si x+n-crx+ur.
irxocr:+i c rro+o+.rr i x irxocr:+i c :+nrxs
A. The Formula for Leadership
The line between legitimate rule and tyranny is, with allowances made
for those whose regard for these concepts is more microscopic, sometimes
little more than that between pride and more pride, ambition and further
ambition, between the discharge of power cloaked with a conventional
sense of propriety and restraint and the unconventional or perhaps sim-
ply less proper discharge of power. It is quite possibly the line between
the restrained and the rash.Tyrants were of course mostly the latter.
On the evidence, Peisistratos tyranny walked along and about that line.
He was labeled a tyrant but apparently did nothing to earn a charge of
transgressing the laws. The image we have of Peisistratos is of one who
was regarded by his contemporaries as possessing outstanding talents and
abilities. I have argued that Peisistratos could not have maintained his
tyranny, however those talents may have been regarded by the Athenians
of his time, unless the Athenians consented. Even had he possessed the
largest coercive force feasible with which to force the Athenians to com-
pliance, he would not have been able to withstand the opposition of the
Athenians to his rule, even as Kylon had not before him and Isagoras
would not after him.
He had located the political means to sustain gov-
ernance, employed it, and then passed it along to his sons; these, in turn,
did so as models of sorts to the leaders of early democratic Athens.
Peisistratos formula for political success is reected in Athenian history
in the sixth and fth centuries. It included the demonstration of military
ability, which earned, as a concomitant, fame and popularity; the distribu-
tion of chre

mata or at least the establishment of means for enrichment; and,

along with an ability to communicate, promise, and persuade, really a sine
qua non for all aspiring leaders at Athens from at least the time of Solon,
an outstanding public presence. Power of course begat power, since one
who had it could do much more than one who did not. In fact, this for-
mula designates Peisistratos the prototype for leadership of the Athenians,
and we nd reections of him in the luminaries of the early democracy.
B. Patterns of Tyrannical Behavior among
Early Democratic Athenian Leaders
It might seem, at rst, surprising that democratic leaders of Athens would
follow the pattern of leadership set by the tyrants of the sixth century.
In fact, because the tyranny at Athens was popularly and democratically
based, they really could not do otherwise.The aims of these leaders were
no different from those of Peisistratos: they, too, desired political primacy
among competitors and governance of Athens. As Peisistratos had done,
they sought to attain and continue primacy by demonstrating success in
war, by obtaining wealth or sources of wealth that they and the de

could tap into, and of course by cultivating their images as outstanding
men among their peers. Information is incomplete on any one of these
early democratic leaders, but the evidence, taken altogether, illustrates
Those democratic politicians who had ties to the Peisistratids offer per-
haps the clearest and best examples of continuity: their adoption of the
formula seems quite logical. Miltiades (IV), the son of Kimon koalemos,
was himself tyrant of the Chersone

se. He was acquitted of the charges of

tyranny brought against him when he returned to Athens apparently be-
cause the Athenians realized that they needed him as leader in the im-
pending war with Persia. Miltiades then attained temporary preeminence
as a democratic leader.
He did this rst in the eld, being credited with
the victory at Marathon. His success there won him instant popularity, in
no small part because the Athenians had escaped a very great peril. So
popular was Miltiades that he was able to embark on the next portion of
the formula, obtaining wealth for the Athenians, in a remarkable way. He
demanded and got from the Athenians the means to conduct a campaign
on their behalf simply on the promise that he would make them rich.
However, when Miltiades failed to reduce Paros (probably as a prelude to
attacking Thasos and so acquiring its mines on the mainland), he was pros-
ecuted by his enemies back in Athens and ned on the grounds that
he had deceived the de

mos. In fact, Miltiades downfall was based on the

fact that he had failed to gain wealth for the Athenians, the indispensable
follow-up needed to retain power at Athens.
Summary +o
There can be no mistake: Miltiades did not set out for Paros merely to
pillage. His promise was to enrich the Athenians, not himself, and he was
following up to consolidate his position. Like Nisaia for Peisistratos,
Marathon earned for Miltiades exalted standing as a successful military
commander. (One can only imagine the great relief and thankfulness to
Miltiades the Athenians felt at the defeat of the Persians.) Yet, Miltiades
must have known, as Peisistratos came to know, that military success alone
would not be enough over the long run. It is not impossible that Milti-
ades, who had been tyrant in the Chersone

se, was aiming to make him-

self tyrant of the Athenians, just as Peisistratos had. Of course, failure at
Paros ruined any chances of that and made him prey to enemies who ex-
ploited his weakness. Convicted of deception (apate

), Miltiades incurred
a huge ne. He died in prison from a wound suffered in action at Paros.
Kimon, Miltiades son, earned great popularity for his military suc-
cesses. He was in fact, the architect of the Athenian empire, and that, of
course, spread gain among the Athenian de

mos.Apparently following his

fathers plan, it was Kimon who after the Persian wars returned to the
lower Strymon area, not far from Mount Pangaion and the Thasian
mines, taking Eion from its Persian governor. Not only did Kimon be-
stow the extremely fertile and felicitously situated land around Eion
upon the Athenians, but he helped further to secure it for Athens by tak-
ing Skyros.
Moreover, Kimon returned the entire Thracian Chersone

to the Athenians to colonize.
Like his father and Peisistratos before
him, Kimon located sources of enrichment for the Athenians. He trans-
formed military conquest, which built and maintained his reputation, into
political gain by making over his conquests to the Athenians.To increase
his political popularity among the Athenian voters, Kimon employed part
of his share of booty from the Delian League expeditions to nance the
eet, which is to say, to pay the Athenian rowers, perhaps the largest
voting bloc in the early democracy.
Like his father, Kimon fell out of
favor with the de

mos because of military failure.The Athenians were in-

dignant with him because of the way the Spartans had dismissed them
during the Helot revolt.
Kimons formula for political preeminence after the Persian wars was
similar to Peisistratos and Miltiades. Military victory led to enhanced
standing and the further possibility of victory, with each victory further
enhancing Kimons status among the de

mos. To curry favor with the

Athenians, Kimon transferred his conquests to the Athenians. Some of
these involved colonization and so land apportionment for Athenians,
+o r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
Summary +o
some straight pay as wages for the Athenian eet rowers. Kimons popu-
larity began with his victories, but he maintained his power by seeing to
the steady enrichment of the Athenian de

There are in fact several other points of contact between Kimon and
the tyrants. We read in Plutarchs Life of Kimon that he was a retainer of
poets, grateful advertisers it appears of Kimons exploits and talents.
Melanthios described Kimons conquests of Mnestra and Asteria in
verse, and Archelaos seems to have composed an elegy on the death of
Kimons wife, Isodike: these were perhaps trivial verses, but they are rem-
iniscent of the erotic poetry of tyrants and of tyrant patronage of poets.
(It is reasonable to think that Kimon employed these also to glorify his
military conquests, albeit in perhaps a muted fashion.)
More pertinent
to the emulation, perhaps, are the Eion inscriptions, which, though they
did not specically name Kimon as victor there, surely reminded the
Athenians of what they well knew. They were, of course, decreed by
the assembly and are heroic in tone.
Of course, the transference of the
bones of Theseus after Kimons conquest of Skyros earned very great
acclaim from the Athenians and brought together the images of Kimon
and the Bronze Age hero for the Athenians. (As we have witnessed, this
seems to have been Peisistratos aim in publicizing his Neleid ancestry: it
was part of selling himself to the Athenians.)
Like the tyrants, Kimon
used the proceeds that he acquired on campaign to embellish Athens and
win over the Athenians with public works projects. He seems to have
focused much attention on the Akademe, a place particularly associated
with Hipparchos, the son of Peisistratos.
Although Themistokles, the consummate politician of the early
democracy, could not rival Kimon in military accomplishments, he was
certainly associated with the defeat of the Persians.There are other sim-
ilarities to Kimon and the tyrants detectable in information about him.
Themistokles was famously associated with the poet Simonides, who had
been patronized by Hipparchos.
Simonides celebrated Themistokles
reconstruction of the Lykomid shrine at Phlya. He also gured promi-
nently in Simonides The Sea Fight at Salamis, reckoned apparently a
hero and architect of the victory.
Like Kimon,Themistokles associated
himself with famous musicians. He patronized the famous kitharist,
Epikles of Hermione

Themistokles stint as water commissioner,
restoring the ecient delivery of water to the Athenians, recalls Peisis-
tratos own benefaction of Enneakrounos.
Of course, Themistokles
career was at its zenith just after Salamis, a victory that Herodotos says the
Greeks most credited to him.
He, too, sought means to enrich the Athe-
nians, but his enemies were able to undermine his position and force him
to ee from Athens.
The last great Athenian politician of the rst of half of the fth century
was, of course, Perikles, the son of Xanthippos, sometimes called the new
Peisistratos by the comic poets. He may well have been the most tyran-
nical of the early democratic leaders of Athens.
Apparently a conven-
tional military man himself, Perikles nevertheless seems to have most
distinguished himself in the combination crisis of the midfth
century i.c.r., when it appeared that Athens would lose its empire
Earlier, he had campaigned and established a reputation as a
courageous soldier at Tanagra.
Thereafter, Perikles became the architect
of Athensstepped-up imperialism,dispatching several kle

rouchies after the

midfth century. These were certain ways to win popularity and
political support among those dispatched but also among those at home
who were advocating a stronger empire.
Of course, Perikles was perhaps
the most scrupulous of all Athenian politicians in nurturing his public im-
age: Plutarch states that Perikles took pains to keep himself from what
modern publicists would call overexposure.
Thus, he cultivated his
famous Olympian aloofness, obviously for political purposes. His other
tyrantlike measures included the building of the famous music pavilion,
the Odeion, and of course the Athena parthenos structure on the akropo-
lis, which earned him great favor and popularity among the Athenians.
Their construction supplied wages for many Athenians.
While it was the comic poets of Athens who called Perikles the new
Peisistratos, his family was in fact connected with the tyrants and it is
very possible even likely, that Perikles was descended from Peisistratos
It is quite on the cards that the charge the comic poets made
contained more substance than is actually conveyed by such as Plutarch.
Indeed, it seems more than coincidental that Thucydides describes Peri-
kles as the rst man of Athens and the Periklean era as democracy in
theory but in actuality rule by the rst man of the city (:.o.,).
Peisistratos may have been the prototype for later democratic leaders
of Athens, but he did not invent the political conditions prevailing in his
day and even before in the time of Solon. Like the others, he was com-
pelled to do what was demanded, and his success in adaptation recom-
mended him as a model rst to his sons and then to the democratic lead-
ers of Athens. It is interesting to note, in this light, what Plutarch mentions
about Themistokles and his politics.
He was a follower of Mnesiphilos,
+oo r:xr, xoxr., :xi rovrr
who was a teacher of sophia, political wisdom. Sophia, according to
Plutarch, was politics married to practicality and had been practiced and
rened in succession from Solons time. Peisistratos was not the rst but
certainly the most successful of Athenian politicians of the sixth century.
It is to be noted that Solon and Peisistratos were both renowned for be-
ing sophos (wise).
The most signicant oce in the early democracy was that of strate

a recognition of the importance of war leadership to the Athenians. It is
that which became a springboard for both Peisistratos and the notable
early democratic politicians of Athens; it seems to have at least contributed
to Solons political ascendancy. Solon, however, failed to enrich the de

in accordance with its wishes; Peisistratos, too, failed in his rst two at-
tempts to sustain his place in politics because he lacked the means of its
enrichment. Miltiades failure at Paros spelled his immediate political end.
By the same token, Peisistratos was able to remain tyrant over a long
period and Kimon and Perikles were able to maintain themselves as pre-
eminent leaders of the Athenians for quite some time by managing to lo-
cate and exploit sources of wealth to benet the Athenians.
Where, then, is the line in politics to be drawn between the Peisistratid
tyrants and the earlier democratic leaders of Athens? It is dicult to place,
although we have seen that it is less distinct than it is clear-cut. In fact,
the precise differences between the tyranny and the early democracy
should be reevaluated and made the subject of other, closer studies. For,
indeed, the tyrants and early democratic leaders were not at all polarized,
as the Athenians of the fth century would have us believe their democ-
racy was and as we have believed it ourselves. It would be very good to
ascertain exactly why political leaders of fth-century Athenian democ-
racy and sixth-century tyrants were apparently more similar in political
expression than they were different. Both were reflections of their con-
stituencies after all.
Summary +o;
:rrrxiix :
The Site of the
Attic Deme Philadai
Philadai was proximate to the temple of Brauronian Artemis in eastern
Attika, and the precinct of Artemis has long been identied just to the
west of Brauron Bay (map +, g. +). To date, there has been no certain
identication of Philadai for lack of conclusive material remains.Adding
to the problem is the fact that the literary evidence about it is sparse and
I visited the area of Brauron in spring +,+ and summer +,,
+,,:, and +,,o, specically to locate and verify the deme site of Phila-
dai. In addition to what little the literary evidence supplied and in lieu of
documentary evidence, my criteria for location were: (+) proximity to the
Artemis complex at Brauron, (:) sufcient signs of habitation during the
pre-Classical and Classical periods, and () overall aptness of the site in
view of conditions one assumes would have affected the choice of settlers
in the Late Bronze and Dark Ages. (The latter criterion therefore included
defensibility and both water and fertile land availability.)
One such site
presented itself rst in the spring of +,+, and subsequent visits there
strengthened the identication. The literary evidence and some of the
problems it entails will be set out before proceeding to discussion of the
site I take to be Philadai.
It is necessary rst to confront the question of synonymity: were Brau-
ron and Philadai actually the same place? Plutarch says that Philadai was
the home deme of the Peisistratidai, and he afliates it with Brauron (Sol.
The relationship of Philadai and Brauron is also depicted in the
scholion for Ar. Aves ;:The Myrrhinousians name Artemis Kolainis,
just as the people of the Peiraios [call her] Mounichia and the people of
Philadai [call her] Brauronia.
This evidence makes the two, Brauron
and Philadai, apparently distinct but closely connected. Such a connec-
tion could account for the relative lack of evidence about Philadai, in-
formation about which became subsumed within or occluded by Brau-
ron. Certainly, some modern scholars seem to have equated the two.
According to Philochoros (FrGrHist :, F ,), an Atthidographer and
otherwise creditable source for ancient Attic topography, Brauron was one
of the twelve original Kekropid towns of Attika, the ancient

Jacoby pointed out, however, that Philochoros designa-
tion of the twelve lacks basis and credibility in this instance: evidently the
Atthidographer invented his list from those places he assumed to be most
ancient in Attika.
About three hundred years later, Strabo essentially re-
peated Philochoros list, including Brauron among coastal demes of
Attika, while still later the Greek traveler Pausanias described Brauron as
a deme.
The Roman Pliny, in the rst century C.E., before Pausanias,
classed Brauron as an oppidum (town), and Pomponius Mela made it an
urbs (city).
All of these, including Strabo, undoubtedly followed an older
Greek source that designated Brauron a polis, an asty, or a deme. Indeed,
by the rst century B.C.E., Brauron was desolate,no more than a name.
Since the authors later than Philochoros generally agree about Brauron,
it is reasonable to conclude that they followed the same or similar sources
for Brauron. Inasmuch as Philochoros calls Brauron a polis, albeit
obliquely, the ultimate source for these writers may well have been his
Although such testimony about Brauron (even from Philochoros) is
imsy, as we shall see, it has nevertheless been taken to indicate veritable
political conditions in the time of Kleisthenes. Specically, it is assumed
that Brauron was politically the most important location in the region
before Kleisthenes democratic reforms.
That notion is contradicted,
however, by the fact that not it but Philadai was designated the ofcial
deme of the region in the Kleisthenic arrangement. To explain the dis-
agreement, Whitehead, for example, has argued that Kleisthenes went
against his normal practice in designating demes by transferring political
power to the lesser Philadai because of the Peisistratids famous ties to
Such a transference was part of Kleisthenes attempt to dis-
solve the Peisistratids power base in the area and, along with it, any residue
of regional political inuence that the still at-large Peisistratids might con-
+;: +nr si +r or +nr :++i c DEME rni i: i:i
tinue to derive from their connection to Brauron. Kleisthenes aim was
to consolidate his new political arrangement and so the democracy by
eliminating the Peisistratids from the new order.
Whiteheads explana-
tion seems oddly reasoned in view of the evidence, and it creates many
more problems than it solves, not only with regard to Kleisthenes prac-
tice in designating de

mes but also to Peisistratid links in the region.

First, the name Brauron and any notional connection it had with the
Peisistratids not only survived Kleisthenes alleged attempt to disjoin it
from the tyrants but actually remained prominent in democratic Athens.
This prominence was assured because of the cult of Artemis Brauronia,
which the Peisistratidai imported to Athens from eastern Attika to have
established on the akropolis at Athens.
Every four years thereafter (and
perhaps even annually), a religious procession set out from Athens to the
precinct of Artemis at Brauron.
From all indications, from the time of
its establishment at Athens in the time of the Peisisitratids perhaps to the
early third century B.C.E. when the precinct was apparently catastrophi-
cally inundated by a ood from the Erasinos, the cult appears to have been
thoroughly implicated with Athens, no less than Eleusis and the Myster-
ies. Despite the Peisistratids introduction of it, the cult itself, though per-
haps strongly reminiscent of the tyrants, remained entrenched among the
Athenians and ourished during the years of the democracy.
The implications seem clear enough. Had Kleisthenes attempted to di-
minish Braurons political importance, he would have run the risk not
only of antagonizing Athenian worshipers of Brauronian Artemis need-
lessly, and so of weakening his own political backing, but he would also
have thrown away a good chance to dissolve Peisistratid inuence pre-
cisely by including Brauron in his own political master plan.
If Brau-
ron was in fact the most important site in that area of eastern Attika, it
would have served Kleisthenes to have co-opted it into his arrangement,
not demoted it, thus acquiring his own, new connection with it and dis-
placing the Peisistratid one. He did not do that, and, as we shall see for
other reasons, Brauron was not likely to have been more important po-
litically than Philadai.
The Peisistratids and their habitation were clearly not identied with
Brauron, as Whitehead assumes, but with Philadai, as Plutarchs testimony
Such an association could hardly have been invented nor
would it have surfaced later if the Peisistratidai were connected instead to
Brauron.Thus, if Kleisthenes were motivated to diminish Peisistratid in-
The Site of the Attic Deme Philadai +;
uence, he would have accomplished the very opposite of his intention,
as Whitehead sees it, by designating Philadai the important deme of the
vicinity.Yet that is exactly what he did.
It is far more reasonable to think that when Kleisthenes designated
Philadai the deme of the region, he was simply observing its importance.
It does no good to reason that either Brauron or Philadai were incorpo-
rated by the reformer as a way to weaken the exiled Peisistratidai, since
that was not Kleisthenes plan. When the Peisistratids were rst banished
from Athens in +o B.C.E., they were not yet held in execration. Rather,
the conduct of Hippias and those with him at the Persian court after
their expulsion, exciting the Persians to attack Athens in order to regain
their power and settle old scores in ,o B.C.E., earned them the condem-
nation of the ste


adikias and general execration.

(It is noteworthy
that, although the diakria seems to have supported Peisistratos in o
[at least obliquely], it did not rise with Hippias ,o B.C.E.)
simply had no good reason in o; B.C.E. to veer away from his normal
practice of recognizing important demes in the way Whitehead imagines,
but he had several good reasons to adhere to it in this case.The conclu-
sion seems to me unavoidable that Kleisthenes designated Philadai as
deme of the region precisely because it was politically the most important deme
in the region.
The archaeology and topography of Brauron and the presumed site of
Philadai support the assumptions that Philadai and Brauron were not
one and the same thing, that Philadai was the more considerable settle-
ment, and that it was thus the most signicant deme in the region in the
pre-Classical and Classical periods. First of all, there is no archaeological
indication of habitation near the sanctuary of Artemis dating to the Clas-
sical period or really after LH IIIB.
This makes a great deal of sense, for,
apart from the akropolis of Brauron, a rocky outcrop rising from
the sanctuary, and the sacred spring as a source of water, the area around
the sanctuary has no natural advantages. However, as we shall see, there
are both natural advantages and substantial indications of habitation at the
proposed site of Philadai.
Braurons site had little to recommend it to settlers. The Erasinos
periodically ooded the low ground near its outlet around the sanctuary
and did so nally and disastrously it seems near the beginning of the third
century B.C.E.
Apart from chronic destruction due to ood, there ex-
isted the perpetual nemesis of malaria in the marshy land near the sanc-
tuary of Artemis. Moreover, the atland of the lower Erasinos is unpro-
+; +nr si +r or +nr :++i c irxr rni i: i:i
tected and essentially indefensible, especially to attack by sea. The myth
of the Lemnian Deeds,which recounts a seaborne raid at Brauron, sug-
gests that the coast was actually prey to such raids during the Bronze Age
and that there was no defense against them at Brauron.
Defense must
have been a consideration, especially for the late Bronze Age Mycenaeans
and early Dark Age inhabitants of the area.As we shall presently see, Phi-
ladai was fairly well situated for defense, especially from attack by sea.
Philaios, from whom the deme derived its name, is said to have immi-
grated to eastern Attika in the late Bronze Age, a myth that, though not
to be taken as a historical record, is corroborated to some extent by the
archaeological remains in the region (see chapter II.:.B).The name Phi-
laios itself thus has a connection to Late Bronze Age migration to the area;
Brauron does not gure in the myth. Maintenance of the ancient cult of
Artemis at Brauron, however, implies the survival of at least some adher-
ents in the vicinity through the Dark Ages, and it is reasonable to expect
that they lived in the area near the sanctuary. Of course, the inhabitants
of Philadai, Peisistratids and others, claimed seemingly credible links to
the Late Bronze Age settlers of Attika; a special tie between Philadai and
the Artemis cult at Brauron is attested in the scholion ad Ar. Aves ;;
and, of course, the Peisistratids appear to have imported the cult of Brau-
ronian Artemis to Athens.
The scholion ad Ar. Aves ; supports the
implication of Brauron and Philadai but also their distinction.
Because Brauron was later more famous than Philadai, later writers,
following the lead of Philochoros perhaps, made it a deme or a polis (op-
pidum) when in fact it was never that.The erroneous description may have
been based on coupling Braurons religious and political signicance, on
a misunderstanding of Philochoros description of it as a polis, or, quite
possibly, on some confusion based on the implication of Brauron and
Philadai. Indeed, the fact that Brauron named (and still names) the dis-
trict may have transformed it into deme and occluded Philadai, especially
for later writers, when by the third century B.C.E. both were really no
more than names.
There are further reasons to support the notion that, in Kleisthenes
time, Philadai was politically more signicant than Brauron. First, of
course, the Kleisthenic arrangement itself.Apart from that, Philadai is so-
called in Plutarch (after another Atthidographer?) and he and the author
of the Hipparchos make it, not Brauron, the home of the Peisistratids.The
link is surely to have derived ultimately from some authoritative source,
perhaps even an inscription.
It is to be noted that no ancient source
The Site of the Attic Deme Philadai +;
makes Brauron the home deme of the tyrants. Finally, once again the ev-
idence of the scholion ad Ar. Aves ;, itself likely derived from an Atthis,
implies that the cult of Artemis at Brauron was controlled by Philadai not
Brauron. This arrangement, which could not have been articially im-
posed by Kleisthenes and his reorganization, seems to me to clinch the
primacy of Philadai in the region both at the time and at least until the
later fourth century B.C.E.
Several locations have been suggested for the site of the deme of Phi-
ladai in the neighborhood of Brauron.The nineteenth-century traveler
Colonel Leake placed it on a hillside immediately north of the Erasinos,
where he claimed to have found considerable vestiges of an ancient
town; Frazer, we have known since the excavations of Papadimitriou,
mistakenly identied the theretofore unexcavated remains of the temple
complex at Brauron as Philadai (map +).
The temple site is certainly
ruled out as the deme in the Classical period for reasons stated above; only
very crude pottery sherds were to be found at Leakes site.
In the last century, Vanderpool, seconded by Traill, proposed an area
nearer the remains of the early Christian basilica about a kilometer from
the Artemis sanctuary, just to the north of the modern Markopoulo road
(map +).
Wesley Thompson, however, suggested that the ancient deme
was to be located between the defunct village of Vraona and Palaio
Vraona, a suggestion he thought was supported by the survival of the an-
cient name.
Both sites were more reasonably proposed than the earlier
ones of Leake and Frazer, but there are problems with each that disqual-
ify them. Palaio Vraonathis obviously is not Philadaiis some dis-
tance from the Artemis complex, ca. km, and the analogies of the
scholion ad Ar. Aves ; imply rather closer proximity. Frazer noted a
scantiness of ancient remains at Vraona, and on a visit to the area in
spring +,+ I could nd evidence of habitation no earlier than a Turkish
period farm.
The same held true for the area immediately adjacent to the Christ-
ian basilica. Only the merest vestiges of habitation were to be found in
and around it, and these could be dated no earlier than the late Roman
The hillside of the basilica is quite arid and completely exposed.
Certainly neither of the sites offered remains to allow any dating before
the Hellenistic period even on the discoveries of their proposers. In lieu
of a deme decree or some other epigraphic document that could be found
in situ, some other measurable pre-Hellenistic remains are needed to
identify the site, especially since the deme and region seem to have been
+;o +nr si +r or +nr :++i c DEME rni i: i:i
severely depopulated, if not abandoned altogether, by the middle of the
third century B.C.E. If, in fact, Philadai was the home deme of the Pei-
sistratidai and the Kleisthenic political center for the region, we should
expect at least some Archaic and Classical pottery sherds on or quite near
the site. On the other hand, a site much farther west than the basilica
seems out of the question based on the connection between Brauron and
Philadai that the scholion implies.
In +,;,, Margaret Beck, under the direction of Dr. Steven Diamant,
surveyed the area up from the Artemis sanctuary during several visits to
the region. Becks important study remains the most thorough and com-
prehensive for the area, and her ndings are quite signicant. She discov-
ered building blocks, roof tiles, and abundant pottery sherds spread over
a site immediately south of the Markopoulo road, ca. :.o km west of the
sea. She identied the location of the ndings (Kipi [khpoi] [gardens]) as
the site of Philadai (map +).
Becks discoveries suggest major Classical
habitation proximate to the sanctuary, and her identication seems to have
been supported by Themelis, who noted taphoi on the ank of a hillock
slightly to the northeast of Becks site (map +). In fact, as we shall see,
Becks site (Kipi) extending to the taphoi, is probably a cemetery area for
the main deme site.
While Becks site conforms to the proximity indicated by the scholion
and her ndings indicate habitation, it conspicuously lacks natural advan-
tages:Flat elds lying between low hills to the north and south make up
the topography of the site.
The coastline was vulnerable, and defense
must have ranked high on the list of Late Bronze Age fugitives from the
Peloponnesos or their hard-pressed Dark Age descendants.
(I am assum-
ing, of course, that the site of Philadai was settled no later than the tenth
century B.C.E., the time of measurable cult activity at the Artemis sanc-
tuary and indeed well before that.)
Flat, open elds, visible from the sea,
offer no defence and so no attraction for those trying to escape attack
from there.
A much better candidate for the main deme site is just northeast of
Becks site behind and to the north of Themelis taphoi hillock and in
back of the hill of the Christian basilica. It is the summit and ank of the
westernmost spur of the hill Agrielista (map +, g. :). Surveying that
site in +,+, +,, +,,:, and +,,o, I discovered numerous remains strewn
over it, including pottery sherds, marble fragments, and what appeared to
be worked stones. Many of the pottery sherds were black glazed; others
were unglazed. I found only one fragment of red painted ware.The sherds
The Site of the Attic Deme Philadai +;;
+; +nr si +r or +nr :++i c DEME rni i: i:i
were of varying sizes and shapes (e.g., handle, foot, etc.), and most were
found along the west ank.These pottery remains are certain indications
of habitation in that area during the early Classical period at the very lat-
est. Signicantly, unlike Beck, I found no evidence of Megarian, Roman
(Arretine), or Byzantine (green glazed or ribbed) ware during any of my
visits. The lack makes sense if the deme was abandoned at roughly the
same time as the sanctuary of Artemis, that is, during the very early Hel-
lenistic period after the catastrophe inundating the temenos.
Pieces of a
roof tile and marble of Classical date were also discovered in the plowed
ground south of the akropolis (g. :).
Perhaps the most signicant nds were two fragments of an obviously
chisel worked stone, very possibly a base of some kind (g. ).These were
found in separate spots but in the same general area some meters west of
the west ank, where the pottery nds were densest. Inasmuch as the di-
mensions of the rectangular hollows aligned, the two pieces appear to
have been one, and the whole piece together might have been set above
ground as a footing for something like a ste


or a herm xed into the

hewn trough.
The fragments were surely moved from their original po-
sition (as one assumes were most of the fragments of dressed stone blocks
in the area), and that movement probably accounts for the original frac-
ture, which made the one piece two, and for their deposit in separate
places.The completing third piece was missing in +,+. By spring +,,
the fragments had been removed from their nd spots of +,+; the
nished endfragment was gone, and the surviving one had been moved
again and further fractured. All had vanished by spring +,,:. Other pot-
tery remains came to light in +,,o because of tilling in the area.There is,
however, little hope for the survival of these or other remains in view of
the increasing population of the area and the hostility of Attic summer
homeowners in the area to those nding and reporting ancient vestiges.
The summit of the spur, a very modest akropolis, if that is what it
was, while by no means formidable, is nevertheless defensible (g. :). Its
southern ank, that facing the likeliest direction of attack, is protected by
a rise in elevation of ca. m fronted by stones. Its northern ank is some-
what vulnerable, but a palisade of some kind higher up on Agrielista could
compensate for its weakness. The akropolis would, with some improve-
ment, have afforded reasonable protection for the few we expect lived
there early on, especially against sudden sea attacks such as those attested
for unprotected Brauron.The site is near the bottomland of the Erasinos
and water sources; it is but a short walk from the Artemis temenos.
While this site communicates with the sea at Brauron by means of
paths over or around the hills Kapsara (Kapsala?) and Agrielista, its most
important defense might be its very location, which is veiled from the sea
by hills. If we assume that the original inhabitants of Philadai were in fact
Mycenaean fugitives or their Dark Age descendants, defense, especially
from piratical sea raids, must have been a primary concern: there are com-
paranda from the same period to indicate that distance from the sea and
defensibility were in fact determinants for settlement sites.
The only real
avenue of approach to the proposed deme site of Philadai coming from
the sea would have been over the line of those hills or around them. Early
warning, however, was possible with lookouts posted on the hills.Attack-
ers would have to charge uphill or would be subject to ank attack if they
went around Kapsara before they reached Philadai. (Flank attack is, of
course, the defensive principle of the Lion Gate Bastion at Mycenae.)
The site I have proposed for the Attic deme of Philadai ts the crite-
ria required by literary sources and archaeology and the other ones set at
the beginning of this appendix.The site is quite close to the precinct of
Brauronian Artemis and possesses abundant Classical vestiges, especially
pottery sherds. Just northeast of the more vulnerable Beck site and appar-
ent cemetery of khpoi on higher, more defensible ground and somewhat
sheltered from the sea, it satises the implicit imperative of security; water
is present, and arable land is near.
From extensive surface surveying in
the area more immediately adjacent to the sanctuary of Artemis at Brau-
ron over a period of several years, I have located no other site that satises
these criteria to the same degree. Of course, one always hopes to discover
an inscription verifying the site of Philadai, but that would probably in-
volve excavation there, especially since the current inhabitants of the area
have, for many years now it seems, been industriously disposing of signi-
cant surface nds and anything that might adversely affect the condi-
tion of their precious cement summer homes.
The Site of the Attic Deme Philadai +;,
:rrrxiix i
The Environment of Eastern Attika in the
Sixth Century B.C.E.
+. ir:urox/rni i: i:i
Apart from the little valley of the Erasinos, the land around Brauron does
not appear inviting, especially at rst.
The bottomland of the valley, the
most arable in the immediate area of ancient Philadai, is surrounded by
mostly waterless, scrub-covered hills and extends only about : km west-
ward from the temenos of Artemis (map +, g. +).
The area round about
the temenos could never have sustained many.
At a point roughly where
the modern Markopoulo road turns southward toward that town, the bot-
tomland of the Erasinos gives way to soil more characteristic of the Attic
mesogaia, which, rising farther west, the land of Brauron/Philadai be-
comes (cf. g. ).
In more recent times, the elds along the Erasinos have
been intensively cultivated but above less and beyond sparsely with what
appear to be hard-put vines and olive trees.
In fact, until ca. +,+, the
land adjacent to the sanctuary, the hills and dales of Brauron/Philadai,
was employed for nothing other than sheep pasturage. More recently,
spurred by the construction of the new Athens airport and by the desire
of middle-class Athenians to get away from the high heat of summer, this
has given way to the unregulated development of summer homes in the
area and all along the coast.
Actually, the unspectacular landscape may have been exactly what
attracted the Late Bronze Age fugitives to the area.The lands otherwise
unpromising character and the out of the way position of Brauron/
Philadai in eastern Attika made it less an objective for immigrant invaders
than richer prospects elsewhere in Greece and even Attika. The site of
Philadai, just out of sight in back of the hills of the little Erasinos Valley,
offered defense against attack by sea but could also have provided a mea-
sure of safety for assault by land. This marginal agricultural land might
thus have been more than adequate for the purposes of the fugitives, who
were trying to escape the attention of marauders.
The land has more, albeit subtler, benets, however.Those who dwell
in the summer homes of the Philadai area, whose small gardens have pro-
liferated proximate to their abodes, attest to the fact that their gardens
yields are appreciable, thus belying the lands apparent lack of fertility.
(The produce that ancient gardens offered was probably supplemented by
shing and perhaps sheep tending.)
Additionally, the locals also say that
the site of Philadai is refreshed even in the high heat of the Attic sum-
mer by cool sea breezes.Thus, the late Mycenaean fugitives seem to have
been cannier in settling near the Artemis sanctuary than one would imag-
ine from a cursory appraisal of its environs.
The regions associations in antiquity further suggest its ancient pro-
ductivity. Horses cannot be kept without adequate pasturage: they are ex-
pensive to keep.
Yet the gentry of eastern Attika in the Archaic period
and many of those from Philadai seem to have been much involved with
horse culture and obviously discovered the means needed to support
horses. Miltiades (III), a member of the Philaid genos and a neighbor of
the Peisistratidai, was a victor in the four-horse chariot competition at
Olympia; his half-brother, Kimon (I) koalemos, was three times an
Olympic victor, and his team was such a source of pride and distinction
that the horses were killed and buried with him when he died.
ples of human and horse inhumation are to be found elsewhere in north-
eastern Attika at Marathon and at Lefkandi on Euboia, which suggests
that the practice of horse burial and, more generally, the veneration of
horses might be traced to the regions Mycenaeans and their descen-
Of course, male names in the generations before and after
Peisistratos further reect the ongoing involvement of the sixth-century
inhabitants of Philadai with horse culture.
Thus, although living in the region of Brauron/Philadai was surely
not as easy as it was elsewhere in Greece, there were benets because of
the lands relative mediocrity.Though unpromising, it was also unobtru-
sive for those who wanted to be unobtrusive settlers. It could sustain some
few, apparently comfortably.Yet whatever opportunities of wealth it of-
fered were circumscribed, and the same must be true of the whole of east-
ern Attika. The resources necessary for horse culture are most likely to
Environment of Eastern Attika ++
+: rxvi roxxrx+ or r:s+rrx :++i k:
have been derived outside the area and were likely acquired by other than
agricultural means.
:. ruioi :
The most salient geographical feature of the region of Brauron/Philadai
is its relation to the sea; the most important geopolitical one during the
Archaic period had to have been its proximity to Euboia and inevitably
its relationship with the Euboians.
The Hollows of Euboia,that is, the
Petalion and Euboic Gulfs, were busy sea lanes through the Dark Ages
and grew busier still with the colonizations of Chalkis and Eretria begin-
ning sometime before (perhaps even well before) the mideighth century
Both cities obviously possessed considerable naval capability, and
they used it to found colonies west in Italy and north in the Chalkidike

Even when hostilities arose between Chalkis and Eretria, and, indeed, af-
ter the Lelantine war had been fought, the two cities remained important
colonial powers.
Euboian naval power, suggested by the problematic
Thalassocracy Lists and their concomitant political inuence, can only
have been felt closer to home, in particular along the shores of the Hol-
lows and at Brauron/Philadai.
Of the two Euboian cities, Eretria seems always to have played a more
prominent role in eastern Attika. As we have witnessed, the ties between
the Eretrians and the Peisistratids were very close.We have noted that the
names of some of the Peisistratidai (Hippokrates, Hippias, Hipparchos) are
horsenames, and these suggest that the genos was not a little interested
in horses.
Whether the Peisistratidai actually engaged in raising horses,
they, like their neighbors, seem to have shared the pretensions (derived
from Mycenaean forebears?) with their powerful neighbors the Eretrians.
The rulers of Eretria in the Archaic Age were the called hippeis, the im-
plications of which are clear enough.
These horsemen were further
renowned among the Archaic Greeks for their martial prowess and valor
and because their own claimed forebears, the Homeric Abantes, were be-
lieved by the Greeks to be directly descended from the Achaians of
The line of the Eretrians descent could have been continuous
from the Late Bronze Age.
Veneration of horses in the form of human
and horse burial is conrmed by the heron of Lefkandi, itself a kind of
bridge between the Mycenaean past and the Geometric and Archaic
Since the Eretrians were powerful and prosperous from at least
the middle of the eighth century B.C.E. and their power was felt along
the eastern Attic shore, it is reasonable to imagine that the values and
lifestyles of their nobility impressed their less powerful cousins of eastern
Attika. (A parallel case is to be found in the notice taken by such as Sap-
pho and Alkaios of the Lydians and their habits in their poetry.) Claim-
ing descent from Achaiansis, of course, exactly what Peisistratos did (see
chapter II.:.B). How inuential were the Eretrians in the formation of
Peisistratos earlier career?
The Eretrian sphere was the sea.They were held to be famous ghters,
and their aims and interests would seem to have devolved upon aggres-
sion and expansion. By the sixth century B.C.E., they were old hands at
colonialism and had developed various ways and means to enhance their
prots. It is not impossible that Peisistratos earlier association with the
Eretrians allowed him to import to Athens newer ghting tactics and
methods to replace the old, ineffectual ones with which the Athenians
had been waging war with Megara. We recall that Peisistratos made his
public mark rst as a soldier, and in this Eretria might have played a cen-
tral role.Although there is no evidence for it, Peisistratos might have taken
military service with the Euboians before debuting at Athens. His strate-
gia implies a record of successful military activity and his victory at Ni-
saia some experience in land/sea operations. Perhaps Eretria, which was
very favorable to Peisistratos even when he was destitute, offered him his
rst chances for acquiring military experience in its colonial sphere, just
as it did later at Rhaike

los. Peisistratos certainly did enjoy outstanding

relations with the Eretrians.
. +nr :rtr:x
The inuence of maritime Euboia notwithstanding, eastern Attikas in-
dependent involvement with the sea appears to have been inveterate.The
myth of the Lemnian Deeds in Herodotos suggests that piracy was a
factor in eastern Attika from remote times and that it affected the area of
Brauron in particular. According to Herodotos (o.+), while some
Athenian women were celebrating a festival in honor of Artemis at
Brauron, Pelasgians from Lemnos swooped down upon them in fty-
oared ships (pentekontors) and stole many away to the island, where they
were kept as concubines.When the male children produced by the mixed
unions of Lemnians and Athenians grew to maturity, they began to act
Environment of Eastern Attika +
+ rxvi roxxrx+ or r:s+rrx :++i k:
domineeringly, lording it over the native Lemnians. Angered by their ar-
rogant comportment, the Lemnians slew them all, thus perpetrating the
infamous Lemnian deeds. The act was later used by the Athenians as a
pretext for their annexation of island, the myth becoming useful to sup-
port Athens aggression.The merits of the myth as history aside, however,
the attack of the Pelasgians at Brauron seems to recall piratical descents
occurring along the eastern Attic shore.
Piracy was common enough throughout Greece from the Bronze Age
on.Thucydides asserts that piracy was widespread before Minos swept the
seas, and he attests its persistence even in his day in such backwaters as
Ozolian Lokris and Acarnania.Thucydides further observes its common-
ness in the time of Homer.
The reference to Cretan pirates putting in
at Thorikos in the Hymn to Demeter corroborates Thucydides testimony
for the Bronze Age, and the myth of the Lemnian Deeds suggests that
the eastern Attic coast was prey to piratical raids in the same period.
Little wonder then that at least some of its later Bronze Age inhabitants
sought unobtrusive places to dwell and then pulled back even from them
to more secure positions inland (cf. chapter II.:.B and appendix A).
Gentler sea trafcking is also indicated in testimoniesabout the east-
ern Attic shore that seem to date to the Bronze Age. From Prasiai on Porto
Raphti Bay, the Attic the

oria set out annually to Delos, the ritual originat-

ing, it seems, in eastern Attika.
Contact between eastern Attika and the
Aegean islands, but also with southwestern Anatolia (and further east), was
regular even into the Submycenaean period, as we have seen.
On such testimony, but also because of the position of Brauron/
Philadai, adjacent to Euboia and along important sea routes between
Greece, the Cyclades, and apparently via Cape Geraistos and Skyros to
the northeast, the sea must have played a signicant role in the lives of the
regions inhabitants from quite early on. Further involvement in overseas
ventures of the Archaic inhabitants of the region was undoubtedly en-
couraged by the Euboian example. It is Peisistratos we nd who encour-
aged the Athenians to engage in colonialism during his tyranny.
. :+nrxs
Why did Peisistratos and others from Philadai not turn toward Eretria or
the seas instead of Athens? Peisistratos debut in Athenian politics could
be taken as an indication that Euboias inuence over the eastern Attic re-
gion was waning or perhaps simply that the attentions of its inhabitants
had, for unclear reasons, shifted to Athens.There is some slight evidence
that members of the Philaid clan or Peisistratidai had already established
a foothold in Athenian politics by the beginning of the sixth century
B.C.E. There is nothing to suggest that it was more than that, though, or
that there was anything like a mass movement of diakrians to Athens.
Athens growing wealth, attested by Solon, must have been the primary
attraction for the inhabitants of eastern Attika in the early sixth century.
Like all places with growing economies, it offered opportunities to the
enterprising.Thucydides (+.+;) signals this when he says that gain was the
primary motivator of Archaic tyrants in their tyrannies, and his statement
must surely be inclusive of the Peisistratids.
Yet, while greed may have
been an incentive for Peisistratos to journey to AthensSolon seems to
say that everybody at Athens was greedy but himselfand that accords
with what Thucydides attests motivated tyrants, it cannot be taken as the
sole or even primary motivation for Peisistratos entry into Athenian af-
fairs. For, if it was, the tyrant failed to accumulate what many other tyrants
in Archaic Greece had done and would do.
Peisistratos was never described as a wealthy man, as one who deprived
others of wealth, or as one who amassed it just to keep it before or through
his reign.
To the contrary, personal enrichment is much less evident in
Peisistratos case than it was even in those of other Athenians such as Alk-
meon, the son of Megakles (I), and Kallias (II), the son of Hipponikos.
He collected money in Thrace, to be sure, but not thereafter, except,
if we can believe Thucydides (o..o), in moderate taxes. Rather,
Peisistratos enrichment seems to have been implicated with the Atheni-
ans. There is in fact no evidence to indicate that Athens was ever ex-
ploited by Peisistratos.
There were in fact other inducements. Because the war with Megara
was long, drawn out, and apparently attritive,Athens, like Megara, needed
new resources to bring to bear. As we have seen, according to Plutarch,
before Solon arrived on the scene the Athenians were said to have pro-
hibited talk about the war with Megara because it had been long and dif-
cult and they had suffered at least one signicant reverse.
of the law apparently meant death.
To circumvent it, Solon is said to
have adopted the persona of a madman, rushing into the agora costumed
to urge the Athenians to renew the war and take Salamis from the Megar-
Solon succeeded in rousing the Athenians to take up arms and
Environment of Eastern Attika +
capture Salamis, apparently only to lose it again.Whatever the particular
merits of the story, the lengthiness of the war and the toll it took are not
to be doubted.
The subsequent loss of Salamis was disastrous and lay Eleusis, Phaleron,
and the Kephissian Plain open to Megarian attack.The morale among the
Athenians must have been very low and created among them yet another
crisis in leadership.The Athenians might well have been casting about for
new leaders (if not a new government altogether), especially if, as seems
the case, none of the old leaders were stepping forward in the new cri-
(Perhaps what helped to open the door for the return of the Alk-
meonidai, exiled for their part in the Kylonian affair, was this continuing
crisis in leadership and the failure of the aristocracy of Athens to provide
capable war leaders.)
Dissension can have only made matters worse,
since the war effort was weakened by recalcitrance and invited further
Megarian attack.The attempted tyranny of Damasias in : B.C.E. might
be taken as symptomatic of the discontentment with this state of affairs,
as well as new opportunities for such as Damasias who would be supreme
leader (i.e., tyrant).
Conditions at Athens in the early sixth century after the loss of Salamis
favored especially a military leader who could settle things with Megara
as well as order up the banquet of Athens still growing wealth. We
cannot be sure what ghters or other material resources Peisistratos might
have summoned from the diakria, but, as mentioned, he cannot have
brought much or many with him.
He was, however, good at warfare
and, as it turned out, an effective public speaker. Either immediately or
after some time in the eld, Peisistratos won the condence of the Athe-
nians in the eld. That appointment is to be appraised as a rst substan-
tive victory for him and over those who might aspire to such leadership,
whose capabilities were rated decient by the Athenians.We do not know
if Peisistratos appeal was similar to Solons: rhetorical, urgent, patriotic
in tone, animated, or otherwise dramatic. At all events, Peisistratos per-
formance in the war advanced him in the eyes of the Athenians and led
nally to the tyranny.Victory against Megara set him well apart from other
political competitors.
Of course, the symbiosis that arose later between the Peisistratids and
the Athenians need not by any means have been on the cards from the
outset, even as we have judged. It is very possible that Peisistratos seized
upon the greater possibilities when, after his victory at Nisaia, his hori-
zons had broadened considerably (cf. chapter II..F). In view of the cri-
+o rxvi roxxrx+ or r:s+rrx :++i k:
sis of leadership at Athens, the haplessness of the Athenian aristoi and Pei-
sistratos skills as soldier, it is certainly reasonable to think that the clever
Peisistratos inserted himself into Athenian affairs, knowing that he could
do better. His military skills might have been developed during the war
or, as I think, before it; there were, at any rate, positive rewards for ght-
ing and winning for Athens. Perhaps Peisistratos knew early on that vic-
tory in the eld was the springboard to political preeminence: Solon had
already shown that.
. soxr rur+nrr _urs+i oxs :xi coxJ rc+urrs
:iou+ rri si s+r:+os :xi +nr rri si s+r:+i i:i
There is no further evidence by which to determine anything more pre-
cisely about Peisistratos earlier career and how it was informed. Ques-
tions nevertheless abound.What exactly was the extent of the Peisistratid
landholdings in eastern Attika? What was their nature? Were the Peisis-
tratids sea traders, sailors, pirates, or all of these in combination or in turn?
Were they feudatoriesthat, too, would help to explain Peisistratos pre-
eminent military skills before his entry into the Megarian waror clients
of the Eretrian hippeis? Was their inuence conned to the environs of
Was Peisistratos a war leader by choice, like a medieval con-
dotierre, or was it a role forced upon him by circumstances? Were the Pei-
sistratidai nouveau riches in respect of their neighbors? That is, did they
acquire what they had by campaigning? Were they relatively impoverished
and did their impoverishment act as a goad for Peisistratos ambitions and
tyranny? Did Peisistratos, the rst notable member of his genos, lead it out
of the wilderness of anonymity, so to speak, or had the Peisistratids al-
ways been political luminaries in Attika, as their claims to Neleid origins
and the archonship of the earlier Peisistratos might suggest? Why, if the
latter, had the genos been apparently dormant thereafter, and, indeed, why
was it and the region of the diakria seemingly detached from Athe-
nian affairs really until Peisistratos nal bid for power? Did Peisistratos
create or spur movement toward Athens and the political involvement of
the diakria in its affairs or was that movement already under way?
For the most part, posing such questions is as far as we may proceed.
For some, however, we may venture some guarded, speculative answers.
The Peisistratidai very likely possessed some land in the area of Brauron/
Philadai: their connection to the cult of Brauronian Artemis suggests that
and residency of some duration there (cf. chapter II.:.B). The same in-
Environment of Eastern Attika +;
volvement implies that they were at least local luminaries. On the other
hand, Megakles effortless deposition of Peisistratos, the latters subsequent
ight entirely out of Attika, and his long-term effort to amass wealth
enough to overcome his adversaries all point to the conclusion that the
material resources of the Peisistratidai were quite meager when compared
even to those of the Alkmeonid.
Certainly the home region provided
no basis of power capable of sustaining Peisistratos aims in Athens; in fact,
it was not even redoubtable. As we have seen, the supposed party of
hyperakrioi that Peisistratos is said to have constituted played no real part
in the politics at Athens before his rst two tyrannies. Before his third
tyranny, Peisistratos had to accumulate foreign money and allies.
index of that lack is provided by the Wappenmnzen themselves, the
heraldic coins of Peisistratos nal tyranny, which are relatively few in
number and small in denomination.
The alloy of these coins is unevenly
impure, indicating that the metal for them derived from several sources
rather than one that Peisistratos controlled outright. We must conclude
from them that the elder tyrant had no steady source of income, even af-
ter expending great energy to acquire wealth enough to reestablish his
rule once and for all at Athens. The picture of the tyrannys nances
changed dramaticallyand the private wealth of Peisistratos heirs in-
creased markedlywhen around : B.C.E. a rich new vein of silver was
located at Laurion.
By the same token, it is unlikely that the Peisistratidai ever controlled
signicant numbers of regional adherents or possessed many retainers.
Peisistratos may have had a close group of adherents, but these must have
been relatively few in number. Although the Peisistratids may have been
signicant in their small part of Attika, they were not great magnates even
by Athenian city standards.
For all of the murkiness about these years, an image of the younger
Peisistratos nevertheless begins to emerge. Like Solon, a noble from the
fringes of the Athenian world, unimpressive with respect to wealth or
political power but of (purportedly) notable lineage, Peisistratos owed his
initial success partly to the happenstance of crisis and partly to his ability
to capitalize on it. Like Solon, Peisistratos seems to have united patriotic
purpose, personal vision, capability and intelligence with ambition: we
need not doubt that he sought to help the Athenians win their war with
Megara and then, because of that, considered himself the best man to lead
the Athenians more permanently.
+ rxvi roxxrx+ or r:s+rrx :++i k:
Environment of Eastern Attika +,
Unlike Solon, however, Peisistratos ambitions outstripped the aristo-
cratic conventions that restrained the lawgiver. His acceptance of the
tyranny opposed Solons many times stated aversion to it. Had Solon
ended the war with Megara successfully or effectively dealt with the eco-
nomic crisis affecting Athens in the early sixth century, the door might
well have been closed upon Peisistratos and his tyranny. He would not
have had the chance to demonstrate those superior military capabilities
that were, because of the war, so much in demand but so lacking among
Athens notables. Peisistratos would not have earned popularity from his
role nor would his great deeds in the war have been recalled when the
Athenians were asked to assent to his tyranny.
As we have seen, like Solon, Peisistratos possessed what we might call
political savvy,which the ancients called sophia.According to Plutarchs
source (Them. :.o), sophia was comprised of a very acute political sense
and practical intelligence, which had been a pursuit and had been pre-
served [sc. at Athens] . . . in a succession from Solon.
Peisistratos did
not start out well in the arena of Athenian politics, but he seems to have
learned its lessons and applied his knowledge, with the result that he es-
tablished his tyranny nally for nearly two decades.
Peisistratos political sensibilities were variously informed: the Eubo-
ians (Eretrians in particular), the Athenians (Solon and Megakles in par-
ticular), and perhaps other leaders elsewhere (Tynnondas, Pittakos?)
gured in his political thinking and behavior. Of all of these, his most
prominent guiding light must have been Solon. Solon had introduced so-
lutions and adapted Athens government to the problems besetting Attika:
he had been in effect (if not in fact) a tyrant himself. Solon was, of course,
only partially successful.Above all, Peisistratos seems to have realized that,
as Solon implies, the key to power in Athenian politics was the de

mos (not
the aristocracy) and, as Solon emphasizes so many times, the key to the

mos was chre

mata. Peisistratos not only grasped this but incorporated

it as one of the piers of his tyranny. (Of course, chre

mata remained a pier

of the democracy.) Peisistratos tyrannical ambitions, which may not have
been present before Nisaia, are well charted in his impressively tenacious
campaign to achieve the tyranny thereafter.An ego different from Solons,
perhaps, but how different was it from Pittakos or Tynnondas?
An afterword here. Peisistratos earlier career hinged upon Nisaia, an
opportunity created for him by the failure of Athenian aristocratsjust
as opportunity had been created for Solon. Nisaia caused the Athenians
to conceive of Peisistratos as fortunate (olbios).
Upheavals, discontent-
ment, fear, and insecurity wrought by a combination of others errors
and defeats spelled the difference for Peisistratos between tyranny and
oblivion. Olbios indeed, but he could not have come to the fore or have
succeeded over the long run without innate and surpassing ambition,
egotism, and belief in his own ability to attain his goals. Peisistratos was
in the right place at the right time to be sure, but he surely put himself
consciously in a position to prot from it. His road to the nal tyranny
implies that he could adapt to changed and changing circumstances and,
unlike Solon, maintain himself in power, pliant, as a successful democratic
leader must be, not rigid like a dictatoror even a Solon.
+,o rxvi roxxrx+ or r:s+rrx :++i k:
:rrrxiix c
+. ki xsxrx :xi :rri xrs
A. Peisistratos Father and Mother
There is little evidence about Peisistratos parents or more immediate
family. Much of what little there is pertains to Hippokrates, the father of
Peisistratos, and is found at the very beginning of Herodotos account of
Peisistratos rise to the tyranny (+.,.+:). Unfortunately, Herodotos
story involving Hippokrates cannot be taken as historically valid.
At the
Olympic games, Hippokrates was preparing to cook. The Spartan sage
Chilon, a renowned antityrannist, happened to be on the scene and no-
ticed that the water in Hippokrates cauldron boiled although there was
no re beneath it. Chilon advised Hippokrates not to marry or if he was
married not to have children. Of course, his implicit warning was meant
to avoid the birth of Peisistratos and so the creation of the tyranny. Hip-
pokrates dismissed Chilons admonitionas he mustand the result was
both tyrant and tyranny. While this impossible encounter is easily deci-
phered as a mythifying aetiology for the tyranny suitably wrapped in
heavy irony for (Greek) good storyeffect, it may well have been deemed
credible by the Athenians, by those who transmitted the story to
Herodotos, and perhaps even by Herodotos himself.
Really no more than a name in Herodotos, Hippokrates plays the rec-
ognizable role of the foolish mortal as a foil to the legendary tyrant-
ghter, seer, and tragic warner, Chilon; his actions are obviously con-
trary to the Spartans unerring advice.To achieve the proper ironic effect,
Chilon must be right and Hippokrates very wrong to ignore what he
The irony is heightened by the unnaturalness of Chilons monition:
any Greek would understand why Hippokrates would not forego prog-
eny on the word of a mere seer.Yet it was that very natural desire and
concomitant dismissal of Chilons warning that brings about Peisistratos
and Athenian tyranny. Hippokrates natural disregard for Chilon and his
failure to heed Chilons warning becomes his hybrisa recognizable
tyrant family trait.
In view of such ction, it is no surprise that there is no more evidence
for Hippokrates, who he was, or what his political standing may have been
at the time, earlier or later. Indeed, it appears that there was no record of
him at all. His name, however, we may take as authentic, since, among
other reasons, it would probably have been preserved as the patronymic
of Peisistratos in some tyrant inscription somewhere. The ste


which was displayed on the akropolis and gives, for example, the name of
the grandfather of Myrrhine, is a likely candidate.
As mentioned earlier,
while it could be that the horse-compound name Hippokrates indicates
the inuence of the Eretrian hippeis (cf. appendix B), it could also amount
to no more than meaningless affectation by a simple, rural man. At all
events, Hippokrates was a resident of the region of Philadai and landed
to some extent in the area.The identities of Peisistratos paternal grand-
father and grandmother are unknown.
Even less is known about Peisistratos mother. She may have hailed
from the environs of Philadai, the diakria, or Eretria or she may even have
been from Athens itself.
A special connection between the Eretrians and
the Peisistratidai is indicated by Peisistratos subsequent relationship to the
Euboians (cf. chapter IV.+.A and :.A), and it is possible that it derived
from his mother. In fact, if such a tie existed it more likely came from
Peisistratos mother than from his father, for if Peisistratos father was a
foreigner the information should have surfaced later. Indeed, Peisistratos
own claims to Neleid bloodlines would have been impugned if his line
were non-Attic. For the same reason, though, an Eretrian link for either
father or mother seems unlikely, since no source even hints at such for
Peisistratos and we should expect some notice of it if was fact.
Late information about Peisistratos mother is of no value. The testi-
monium that Peisistratos mother was a cousin of Solons (Plutarch, Solon
+.) is not credible (cf. section C) nor again is the entirely ctional and
clearly scurrilous anecdote that Peisistratos mother, in old age, unnatu-
rally and disgracefully took up openly with a much younger man. This
+,: rrosorotr:rn.
Prosopography +,
story is obviously prurient in character, was certainly not generated in the
Archaic period, and may be taken as an invention of a later, much looser
age. Indeed, it involves quaint celebrities among the Hellenistic smart
set doing the kinds of things these fancied such tyrant types would do.
Indeed, the story is stock in any case, proving the sexual licentiousness and
unnaturalness of the generic tyrant, who in this case happened to be Pei-
We know nothing of the identities of Peisistratos maternal
grandfather or grandmother.
More about either parent we cannot say except to venture that, on the
basis of the story in Herodotos, it could be that Hippokrates had more to
do with engendering or encouraging Peisistratos ambition to become
tyrant than is readily apparent in Herodotos. Read as representation, Hip-
pokrates role in Herodotos might vaguely allude to a central one he
played in spurring his son on to the tyranny. Certainly, he bears respon-
sibility for it from the outset in Herodotos logos on Peisistratos rise.
But this is all very tenuous, and on the other hand the story of Hip-
pokrates pot boiling over seems so stock that it may well possess no other
meaning than its limited, ironic, and entertaining folkloric one. There is
thus just the possibility that something more was known about Hip-
pokrates than Herodotos relates, perhaps information such that it pre-
vented Herakleides Pontikos from linking Solon and Peisistratos through
their fathers (cf. section C). On the other hand, Herakleides, as he seems
to do, may have simply been exploiting the greater void of information
about the mothers of Solon and Peisistratos, thereby avoiding the risk of
contradiction or criticism.
We hear of no siblings of Peisistratos, although it seems unlikely
that he would have been a singleton. Perhaps he had a brother named
B. The Archon Peisistratos
Many scholars have assumed that Peisistratos, the archon for oo,o
B.C.E., was related to the tyrant of the sixth century.
The ground for
such an assumption is, however, really no more than homonymity.
name Peisistratos need not have been monopolized by the genos from
Philadai, which, on the basis of Herodotos positive testimony and a lack
of further testimonia to the contrary, was inconsequential before the ad-
vent of the tyrant.
The name Peisistratos possessed both Homeric and
Pylian overtones: it recollected Nestor and his son, the companion of
Telemachos, as well as the other Neleids. Other Athenian gene

Neleid links because, as we have seen, belief in a Pylian lineage could bear
dividends, as it did for the Peisistratids.
The same reservations apply to
the appearance of the name Pisisttratoson a pottery sherd that Jeffery,
among others, has identied as the archon. The sherds inscription need
denote neither archon nor tyrant; it could have named someone entirely
different from either.There is no good context for reading it so.
Even to allow that the archon was related to the tyrant and his name-
sake nets us little more about the tyrant.Although it may be said that the
Peisistratidai were involved in Athenian political affairs about a century
before Peisistratos sought the tyranny, the elder Peisistratos left no legacy
of any consequence nor did he prepare the ground in any perceptible way
for the tyranny to come.
As we have seen, Herodotos marks the tyrant
as a perceived outlander who possessed no appreciable constituency in
the city when he entered politics there. (His initial and continuing lack
of power in the city is indexed in fact by the relative ease with which, at
rst, he was made and unmade twice by Megakles the Alkmeonid, then
the leader of the de

Even at the time of Palle


, although city and

country Athenians joined him before the battle, Peisistratos relied, after
all, on warriors supplied to him by his foreign allies.
Thus, whether related to the tyrant Peisistratos or not, the slender in-
formation about the elder Peisistratos tells us only that, in relation to the
younger Peisistratos and his career, his political legacy was negligible.The
most that is possible to say is that, if Peisistratos the archon were in fact a
relative of the tyrantand that is by no means assuredthe Peisistratidai
were already participating in the highest levels of Athenian government
in the early seventh century B.C.E. If true, the participation would appear
unusual, since the Peisistratidai seem to have fallen out of politics for
an interim of nearly one hundred years. Such are the problems created by
an absence of context in regard to events and personages of the seventh
C. Solon and Peisistratos: Cousins and Lovers?
Herakleides Pontikos states that the mothers of Solon and Peisistratos
were cousins, thus implying that the lawgiver and the tyrant had the same
great-grandparents (Plut. Sol. +.).The fourth-century philosopher sug-
gests a much closer kinshipand seems to offer more precise evidence
for itthan does Plutarchs source, who attests that Solon descended from
+, rrosorotr:rn.
the Neleids through his father Execestides.
Inasmuch as kinship was
given as one of the reasons that Solon and Peisistratos shared rst friend-
ship and then erotic attachment, it is reasonable to conclude that Herak-
leides is also to be counted among those who made Solon and Peisistratos

s (lover) and eromenos (beloved).

What is the value of Herakleides
Numerous scholars have noted difculties involved with the alleged
relationship between Solon and Peisistratos. A prominent one is that
Herodotos mentions both men but does not bring them together as Her-
akleides does. Scholars have generally gone not much farther than that in
their critical evaluations of these sources.
Although the silence of ear-
lier ancient authors such as Herodotos could be explained as the result of
suppression of the fact by their sourcesfor some, it would not have done
to have Solon, the protodemocrat and renowned antityrannist, coupled
with Peisistratos
it is likelier that they said nothing about the relation-
ship between Solon and Peisistratos because there was nothing to say. As
we shall presently see, the chronology of the lives of the two undercuts
the evidence for their afliation.
It is very difcult to imagine any reliable source recording the precise
afnity of the mothers of Solon and Peisistratos or for that matter detail-
ing an erotic attachment. There is no notice of a cousin afnity before
Herakleides, who would thus seem to have been the rst to observe it. In
fact, it appears as if that was left to such as Herakleides, no historian, per-
haps following the felicitous but unhistorical lead of Herodotos
renowned union of Solon and Kroisos to ll in the silent interstices and
articially to create such relations between Solon and Peisistratos. Hera-
kleides may well have wanted the two to be united in this way, and in the
void of silence there were no facts to prevent him from doing exactly
Proof for Herakleides invention may be found in what he supplies
himself. Elsewhere in Plutarchs Life of Solon Herakleides states that Pei-
sistratos followed Solons example in passing a law concerning the main-
tenance of veterans (+.). Herakleides would thus seem a prime candi-
date for authorship of the more general, contextual passage in the Life,
which mentions that Peisistratos cultivated Solon until he became his ad-
viser.As a faithful disciple of Solons, Peisistratos observed Solons laws and
compelled even his philoi to do the same (+.+).
Herakleides also said
that Solon lived for many years after the accession of Peisistratos to the
This would allow him the role of wise adviser.
Prosopography +,
Herakleides earned reaction for his views even from ancient critics.
Theophrastos, for one, opposed Herakleides on the derivation of at least
one of the Peisistratid laws, implying, in effect, that Peisistratos was re-
sponsible for his own laws and did not follow Solon at all. Moreover,
Phanias of Eresos, among others, directly contradicted Herakleides as to
Solons death, noting that Solon died two years after the accession of Pei-
sistratos, a consensus view among ancients and moderns alike. Phanias
date is more precise than Herakleides perhaps because it was tied,
whether by Phanias or another, to the archon year of Hegestratos (oo,
B.C.E.) and so to the archon list.
Thus, Herakleides seems to have been
rather on his own (especially in the case of dating Solons death), appar-
ently arranging things more in accordance with his own wishes than with
evidence available or even with the arrangements of others.
What prompted Herakleides to such invention? His probable aim was
to portray Solon and Peisistratos as mentor and pupil but also to explain
that relationship better. It was quite natural, it seems, for a late-fourth-
century Greek philosopher to expect that such an association would en-
tail erotic attachment: this was certainly not a new idea in Herakleides
Herakleides, however, seems to have gone that notion one better
by making Solon and Peisistratos roughly coeval instead of much differ-
ent in age. Peisistratos was born ca. oo B.C.E., however (cf. appendix D),
while Solon was a grown man certainly by his archonship of ,,
B.C.E. and then away from Athens shortly after that.
Peisistratos was too
young to be an eromenos before Solons archonship and special commis-
sion and too old to be one after Solon returned from his trip abroad.
Herakleides ignored such problems in order to bring the two together in
time, spirit, and body. For Herakleides, it made better sense that, if the two
were lovers (which condition implied that they were not so different in
age) and if they were closely associated as teacher and pupil, they were also
related. Herakleides presumably invented the kinship to better improve the
rationale for the sexual liaison, just as he extended Solons life span well
into the tyranny, apparently on his own authority. Kinship helped to
explain the unity of spirit of Solon and Peisistratos, even as it did for Har-
modios and Aristogeiton, two from the same clan.
Although Heraklei-
des was not alone in making Solon and Peisistratos lovers, he seems to have
been unique in attesting to kinship through their mothers.
There were several other prompts for Herakleides inventiveness apart
from the facts that the reputations of the two men were similar, that they
were contemporaries (from the perspective of the fourth century B.C.E.
+,o rrosorotr:rn.
and certainly from his), and that both factors encouraged imposing the
stock philosophical formula for construing the relationship between
mentor and pupil. Solon and Peisistratos were prominent personages and
leaders of Athens in the early sixth century B.C.E. Both were successful
in war, both were popular in their times, and both left lasting reputations
as memorable patriotic soldiers but also very intelligent men.
each was remembered for moderation, righteousness, and sagacious lead-
ership; both were held to be outstanding sophoi.
Already by the fourth
century B.C.E., Solon had become a xture among the Seven Sages, while
Peisistratos was sometimes numbered among them.
In the traditions,
some of which seem to have preceded Herakleides, the two men are
sometimes almost identical in actions and motivations.
In Plutarchs Life of Solon (+.), it is said that, although Solon and Pei-
sistratos differed, their differences never caused a breach. Solons poems
seem to indicate that he was adamant in his aversion to tyranny inasmuch
as he vigorously repudiated the possibility for himself and opposed it for
others. Peisistratos, on the other hand, was not only not adverse to tyranny
but he also strove mightily to become and remain tyrant.The polarity of
these was softened by the recollection and portrayal of Peisistratos as a
nontyrannical tyrant, a fair and just man who put himself beneath the law
even as tyrant and preserved Solons constitution. Solon was himself not
completely free of the tar of tyrannical action, even though he explicitly
disowned tyranny. Herakleides (among others?), has him co-opted into
an adviser by Peisistratos as tyrant.
Peisistratos, immoderate in becoming tyrant, discharged his power
moderately thereafter; Solon, the outspoken antityrant, became dictator
of Athens and overruled the wants of his constituency. For Herakleides
(and others), it was the inuence of the righteous Solon that, according
to Herodotos, ultimately brought about the conversion of Kroisos, the
oriental tyrant.The same righteousness also had its effect on Peisistratos,
the Athenian one. Discarding a historians restraint in view of silence and
chronological impossibility, Herakleides opted instead for the serendipity
of afliating the two, a choice that was nevertheless underpinned by the
same kind of myth logic that united Solon and Kroisos in Herodotos
(+.:,ff.). Herakleides took it upon himself to ll in the blank spaces, partly
to be found in the tradition, partly left to him by predecessors who in-
vented the erotic attachment. Herakleides undoubtedly took inspiration
from the celebrated relationships of Sokrates and Alcibiades, Plato and the
younger Dionysios, and very probably Harmodios and Aristogeition.
Prosopography +,;
What other than Solons stated opposition to tyranny might have
brought the two together we cannot know to say on the evidence. The
disputes in antiquity suggest that there was actually very little informa-
tion about Solon and Peisistratos together. If anything, it was probably the
actions of Peisistratos that reected Solonian inuence and so prompted
notions about their afnities. It is just possible that the hostility of the
fth-century Athenians to the Peisistratidai quashed or otherwise explained
away whatever friendly, cooperative, or kinship relationship existed in fact
between Solon and Peisistratos. That would mean, however, that the
fourth-century authors had much less to go on and so invented more.
The silence of history and the desires of the authors of the fourth cen-
tury (and later) to make points with their contemporary audiences per-
mitted Herakleides and others to take the liberties they took.That silence
and those liberties prohibit historians from accepting such testimonies as
:. r:rii rr x:rri :trs
On appearances, Peisistratos had at least four wives. The rst was the
mother of Hippias and Hipparchos, whose name is not recorded (Hdt.
+.o+.:; Thuc. o..+). Timonassa, daughter of Gorgilos of Argos (Ath.
Pol. +;.) was the second, and the anonymous daughter of Megakles, the
son of Alkmeon (Hdt. +.o+.+:) third. Finally, there was Koisyra, an
Eretrian woman (schol. Nubes ).The rst three marriages all appear to
be factual, the last very likely; the chronology of the marriages is not
Details about the women and the marriages, however, are more
difcult to determine.
A. Peisistratos Anonymous First Wife
There is no direct evidence about Peisistratos rst wife, her name, fam-
ily or regional afliations; in fact, we know of her existence and when the
marriage occurred only obliquely.
On the basis of the ste


Thucydides (o..+) classies Hippias, Hipparchos, and Thessalos as
gnhvsioi (legitimate) so implying that Peisistratos other children by
Timonassa of Argos (and perhaps others?) were novqoi (illegitmate).
Evidently Peisistratos had a lawfulAthenian wife who produced these
legitimate heirs before his marriage to the Argive, which produced the
Thucydides says in the same passage that Hippias was the
+, rrosorotr:rn.
eldest of the legitimate children, Herodotos that he was a very old man
(sc. over seventy years) at the time of Marathon in ,o B.C.E. (o.+o;.+).
Peisistratos rst marriage, then, had to have taken place before his initial
attempt at tyranny (o+oo B.C.E.) and probably before the conclusion of
the Megarian war, perhaps ca. o B.C.E.
It is reasonable to think that
the rst marriage came about with some political advantages for Peisis-
tratos in view, since his second and third marriages were arranged to bring
such advantages.
The date of Peisistratos rst marriage is often more precisely calculated
in respect of Hippias age. Beyond his rank as eldest son and his elderliness
at Marathon, Herodotos says that Hippias gave advice to Peisistratos at Ere-
tria, apparently in the mid-os, after the tyrant had been expelled from
Athens for the second time (Hdt. +.o+.). Hippias could not have been
younger than teenage at a minimum to have given such advice and, on
the testimony of Herodotos, a reasonably solid terminus ante quem seems
to have been established for Hippias birth at oo B.C.E. While the fact of
the younger tyrants extreme old age is helpful for dating his birth, albeit
very approximately, and so Peisistratos rst marriage, Thucydides infor-
mation that Hippias was eldest tells us nothing about his birth date or the
dating of Peisistratos rst marriage and so is of no use here. On closer in-
spection, the advice story of Herodotos is also unhelpful.
To accept that Hippias gave advice to Peisistratos on the island of
Euboia after the second expulsion from Athens, a number of substantial
difculties must be overcome. First, taking the testimonium at face value,
we must believe that Peisistratos arrived on Euboia with no plan of his
own and unable to come up with one: in other words, he was hapless in
Eretria but for Hippias advice.The very fact that Peisistratos traveled to
Euboia and not elsewhere belies that. Moreover, though Peisistratos was
the leader of his party, a former tyrant, the most experienced and success-
ful in war and politics, the apparent author of every plan before and after
the conference on Euboia, and must have been indisputably the center
of authority among his followers, he had to rely on the advice of a mere
stripling, without such practical experience, whose counsel nevertheless
prevailed over that which was generated by others older and wiser.All of
this is quite unbelievable.
Adding to the problems created by taking the testimonium at face are
much more serious ones of transmission.We must believe that the fam-
ily conference not only occurred in fact but that record of it was some-
how preserved and accurately transmitted (presumably by some sort of
Prosopography +,,
eyewitness chronicler?) rst to Herodotos source and then to Herodotos
himself, all this, despite the fact that, beyond Hippias advice, nothing of
the other participants, including the principal Peisistratos, survived.
Who was that original source? How was this history transmitted? These
problems undermine the advice of Hippiasstory, which must be classed
as nonhistorical. Its context is Herodotos account of Peisistratos rise:
there is much that is implausible there.
The story of Hippias advice must be read in fact as yet another part of
the doctored fth-century Athenian history of the Peisistratids. The
story trades on Hippias memory as evil tyrant, a man most infamous
for his will to return to Athens and rule as tyrant again. (Its genesis is thus
best placed around or after Marathon, when Hippias demonstrated his
erce resolve to reclaim his lost tyranny.) The story was inserted in the
account of Peisistratos rise in Herodotos as a kind of interstitial adden-
dum to explain why Peisistratos returned to Attika to take up the tyranny,
the blame for which return falls squarely on the hated Hippias. Indeed,
like son, like father: the anachronism was credible because Hippias own
resolve to return to power was notable and he could well be believed as
having put his father up to the same thing.
In the context of the earli-
est stages of Peisistratos nal exile, the advice of Hippiasmakes no sense
at all; as ction used to give reason for Peisistratos long efforts in the north
and resolve to return to the tyranny, it makes a great deal of sense as an
It obviously cannot be used even to bear on the date of Pei-
sistratos rst marriage because it is unhistorical.
While Hippias could
have been a youth in the mid-os, we can estimate that and the dating
of Peisistratos rst marriage from the reasonably creditable fact that Hip-
pias was very old at the time of Marathon.
It is to be assumed that Peisistratos was not under the age of thirty at
the time of his command in the war against Megara and that, like most
Athenian males, he was married to his rst wife proximate to that age.
Thirty was the normal age of marriage for Athenian and other Greek
males in the Archaic and Classical periods, it was also the minimum age
for the Athenian strate

gia in the Classical period.

Peisistratos may have
been a eld phenomenon and promoted very rapidly from the ranks,
but at a minimum he would also have had to demonstrate prociency in
warfare and suitability for lower command among the Athenians before he
had even a hope of campaigning for high command. If Peisistratos was
born ca. oo (see appendix D), then he was thirty ca. ;. This provides
:oo rrosorotr:rn.
an approximate terminus post quem for both his strate

gia and the dating

of his rst marriage.
While Peisistratos could have married his rst wife before ; B.C.E.,
the likelihood of the marriage before then diminishes in proportion to
his youthfulness, lack of career, and of course Hippias greater age.
If we
assume that in ,o B.C.E. Hippias was at least seventy, the recognized
threshold of old age among the Greeks, Peisistratos rst marriage must
date no later than oo. However, since the Peisistratos generalship and the
victory of Nisaia occurred earlier than that and Hippias was very oldat
Marathon, the marriage should be placed rather earlier than the date of
the rst tyranny.
However, a date very much earlier than ca. ;o be-
comes increasingly less apt, since Hippias would have been upward of
eighty at Marathon and by Greek standards most were dead by then.
While a plausible range of dates for all might be ca. ;o B.C.E., the
most reasonable range seems to be much narrower, viz., a few years either
side of ;o: the marriage, ca. ; (i.e., somewhat earlier and nearer in time
to Peisistratos thirtieth year), Hippias birth, ca. ;oo, and the strate

and Nisaia, ca. oo (rather later than his thirtieth year but nearer in
time to Peisistratos rst bid for tyranny).
As for Peisistratos rst wifes identity, Schachermeyr made her an
Athenian, since, as we have seen,Thucydides makes a distinction between
gnhv sioi and nov qoi on the ste


Hippias, Hipparchos, and
Thessalos were Athenian; Hegesistratos and Iophon were not. Based on
a supercial regard for what Athenians considered legitimate offspring,
Schachermeyrs assertion is overemphasized by him and others in lieu of
further evidence about the tyrants rst wife. Simply put, we do not know
that Peisistratos rst wife was Athenian.
The anonyma can have been a foreigner and her sons counted as le-
gitimateAthenians nonetheless.There are several examples. Kleisthenes,
the son of Megakles (II) and author of democracy, was, along with his
other siblings,legitimate, although his mother Agariste was a Sikyonian.
The mother of Kimon (II), the son of Miltiades (IV), was the daughter of
a Thracian dynast, yet Kimon was accepted as Athenian, that is, until
Perikles brazenly political citizenship law of +o B.C.E. made him a
metic (a non-Athenian).
Thus though Peisistratos rst wife were a for-
eigner, her offspring could yet have been legitimate.Whether Peisis-
tratos wife was foreign or native, the fact that her sons were elder born
and succeeded to the tyranny at Athens can have designated them as such
Prosopography :o+
to Thucydides. (It is obvious, after all, that Thucydides was working with
very little when it came to Peisistratid genealogy and succession.) The off-
spring of Timonassa were, on the other hand, nothoi because they were
younger, obviously born of a foreigner, and, most importantly perhaps,
not accorded a share of the tyranny at Athens.
While we may not de-
clare outright that the name of Peisistratos rst wife was written on the


adikias of the tyrants on the akropolis at Athens, distinctions were

able to be made between children from it and on some basis. It is thus
likely that the womans name was inscribed on the ste


. Notwithstand-
ing, her status as foreign or Athenian was likely not indicated.
Peisistratos rst marriage could have been to an Eretrian woman,
perhaps contracted to gain the support of the Eretrian hippeis.Although
we do not know what he obtained from this marriage, there were re-
cent models provided by others for the ambitious. Megakles (II), the
Alkmeonid, surely got something tangible out of wedding Agariste,
the daughter of Kleisthenes of Sikyon. Before him, Kylon wed the
daughter of Theagenes of Megara clearly for political gain. On the other
hand, both were in much different conditions from those of Peisistratos,
who had yet to prove himself in the war with Megara. He was, as yet, a
Indeed, it is a open question whether Peisistratos had already deter-
mined upon his political agenda, though it would appear that his ascent
to power was gradual and incremental. Nisaia was a watershed for him
and an indispensable ingredient in that progress. In view of the fact that
Peisistratos went unnoticed and was apparently a nonparticipant in
Athenian politics before serving as a soldier for Athens and proving him-
self in the eld, it is not easy to see what, for its part, an Eretrian genos
(or anybody else) could get from a match with such a nonentity. Peisis-
tratos did have recourse to Eretria after the second tyranny, and one way
to explain the conspicuous cordiality and cooperation extended to him
there later is to assume that his rst wife was of the Eretrian nobility.
On balance, however, it seems more reasonable to believe that Peisis-
tratos rst wife was, at least, of Attika and that this rst marriage was
forged for more limited aims than Megakles and Kylons. Such a mar-
riage could have been intended to help produce the political support
needed for Peisistratos to become rst a regional leader of warriors or
even Athenian strate

gos in the war against Megara. It is just possible, too,

that the marriage was intended to gain cooperation from important per-
sonages in Athenian politics.We should expect the foreignnessof, espe-
:o: rrosorotr:rn.
cially, Hippias to surface were his mother a foreigner. Instead the unques-
tioned Athenicityof both Hippias and Hipparchos and the likeliest time
for Peisistratos rst marriage (ca. ;) point to the conclusion that Pei-
sistratos rst wife was a native of Attika at least.
More about Peisistratos rst wife, who she was, whence she came, and
what her connections were, we do not know.Thucydides names no less
than three male children that she bore to the tyrant, but they and their
names do nothing to help identify the woman further or answer any of
these questions.
By the time of Peisistratos second marriage, the
anonyma had apparently died, been divorced, or otherwise been put off
by the tyrant, for the eld was then clear for Peisistratos to enter into the
marriage alliance with Gorgilos of Argos.
We cannot say which of the
three actually occurred.
B. Timonassa of Argos
Peisistratos marriage to Timonassa poses both similar and different prob-
lems.According to the Ath.Pol., our best source for Peisistratos marriage
to Timonassa, Peisistratos had two sons by the Argive woman, whose
names were Iophon and Hegesistratos (who was also called Thettalos). For
he married Timonassa, the daughter of an Argive man by the name of
Gorgilos, whom earlier Archinos, one of the Kypselids of Ambrakia, had
had as wife. From this marriage came friendship (filiva) with the Argives
and a thousand of them to ght as allies at the battle of Palle


, Hegesis-
tratos having brought them. Some say that Peisistratos married the Argive
woman during his rst exile, some when he was ruling (+;.).
though much of this information seems to complement what Thucydides
gives us about the legitimate sons of Peisistratos and could be derived
at least partly from the ste


adikias mentioned by the historian, the au-

thor makes an error by making Thessalos another name for Hegesistratos,
thus disagreeing with Thucydides.
What do we know of Timonassa? She came from a notable Argive
house. She was in fact the daughter of an Argive prominent enough to
have made an earlier marriage alliance with the tyrant Kypselids of
That seems clear enough. Dating this second marriage, how-
ever, is problematic because of apparently diverging information about it.
AP mentions two sources that bear on the dating, presumably both of
which were Atthidographers.Thus, while the two sources have some au-
thority, it is offset by their fundamental disagreement.
Prosopography :o
Once more a son from the marriage seems to gure in its dating. If it
is accepted that Hegesistratos was old enough to have led ghters to


and there seems to be no distorting tradition of animosity af-

fecting him and his actions as it did Hippiasand that Palle


in ;o or o B.C.E., then Peisistratos had to have married Timo-
nassa no later than very early in the rst tyranny (i.e., o+oo).
Such a
union makes a good deal of sense, then, since Peisistratos as tyrant could
benet from a powerful Argive backer.
Unfortunately, the information about Hegesistratos leadership at


has been doubted by scholars. Some have suggested that Hegesis-

tratos became associated with the Argive contingent because of his names
meaning or the fact that he was a notable Argive, nothing more.
As a
variation of this, the information has also been taken to indicate that,
while Hegesistratos may have been present at the battle, his presence was
no more than symbolic and he was not actually a leader of the Argives.
Hegesistratos young age of course gures, just as it did for the advice of
Hippias story.The question becomes, how could a mere youth no older
than fteen or sixteen years have led the ghting contingent of Argos?
While the information about Hegesistratos is open to question, it offers
no rm foundation on which to reconstruct the dating of Peisistratos
marriage to Timonassa anyway. Like the advice of Hippias story in
Herodotos, it does not bear on the question of the marriage date.
The sources of the Ath.Pol. need not be taken to disagree fundamen-
tally, and their testimony is a good place to begin the attempt to date Pei-
sistratos marriage to Timonassa. These actually agree to the extent that
Peisistratos marriage to Timonassa did not occur before Peisistratos
tyranny was established (o+oo B.C.E.) but either during his rst exile
or when he was ruling. Both thus seem to specify a short time frame
between the rst tyranny and the date when Peisistratos very brief mar-
riage to Megakles daughter began (probably ca. ; B.C.E.).
agreement is not only not irreconcilable but implies that the information
derived from a common source. The disagreement, such as it is, could
have arisen because of different inferences from the same information. If
that is so, then reasonably one of testimonia may have varied from an elder
one as a correctionsomething not uncommon among Atthidographers.
Which was more correct is not easy to say, and of course the identity of
the Ur-source for these can only be the subject of speculation.
Reconciliation of these testimonia is nevertheless possible if we under-
stand that the marriage actually began during the rst tyranny but en-
:o rrosorotr:rn.
dured beyond it, that is, that it did not terminate with Peisistratos mar-
riage to the daughter of Megakles.Timonassa would then have been mar-
ried to Peisistratos during both periods, the rst tyranny and then the rst
exile. If that is so, then the opposition of testimonia occurred because
the later Atthidographer asserted what he thought was a better reading of
the same information for reasons obviously different from those of the
earlier Atthidographer. Although nothing presents itself obviously from
either testimonium to recommend it over the other, circumstantial evi-
dence suggests that the marriage was entered into during the time of the
tyranny rather than after it.
Peisistratos was much more attractive to Gorgilos as a son-in-law hold-
ing the tyranny than he was without it.
What did Peisistratos, easily
ejected from Athens by Megakles, have to offer in exile? Archinos,Tim-
onassas rst husband, was ruling Ambrakia, it appears, when he was
married to her, and in contracting the second marriage Gorgilos surely
wanted no less than he had gotten with the Kypselid.These must have in-
cluded tangible benets for her, but more for himself and her offspring,
just as had occurred with the Kypselid.
A dispossessed tyrant could
hardly offer these tangibles, and presumably Timonassa could have found
a match elsewhere.
There is further reason to think this. Before he actually held the
tyranny at Athens the rst time, Peisistratos required a domestic not for-
eign alliance. After he was run out of Attika by Megakles (II) in league
with Lykourgos, Peisistratos had to resort again to the Athenian power
broker to return to power. Peisistratos was helpless before Megakles, his
indispensable city ally for his second tyranny: he could do no more to ef-
fect a return than what the Alkmeonid would allow. An Argive alliance
would have been of no help to Peisistratos during his rst exile, and he
would certainly have grasped that.Thus, neither Gorgilos nor Peisistratos
had reason to contract the marriage alliance while Peisistratos was in ex-
ile the rst time.
It is much easier to accept that Peisistratos made the alliance with
Gorgilos when he was ruling the rst time, for reasons that I have earlier
stated (see chapter III..). The fact that Peisistratos had recourse to his
Argive father-in-law during his rst exile, after establishing a relationship
with him through a marriage alliance, would also explain the basis for the
notion that Timonassa married Peisistratos after he left Athens, during his
That idea might have been strengthened by a failure to recollect
Timonassas presence in Athens at all during the rst period of tyranny,
Prosopography :o
by the fact that she was resident in Argos, because she was Argive, or
simply because of the testimony about Hegesistratos later leading the
contingent from Argos.
In view of all of this, the dating of Peisistratos
marriage to Timonassa during the rst period of tyranny makes much
better sense.
Marriage to Timonassa during Peisistratos rst tyranny could have pro-
vided the ground for the rift between Megakles and Peisistratos that saw
an end to that regime. Something turned the Alkmeonids against the new
tyrant, and Peisistratos was speedily ousted from Athens.
Marriage to
Megakles daughterand with it the implicit repudiation of any other
marriage-alliancewas certainly the linchpin for the second tyranny. If
Peisistratos married Timonassa during his rst tyranny, as at least one Atthi-
dographer claimed and as circumstantial evidence seems to support, he
presumably did so to strengthen his hand with respect of Megakles. At a
minimum, Peisistratos enhanced his standing and his prestige at home and
abroad; perhaps he could count on Argives to assist Athens in military or
other enterprises.At the same time, association with Megakles was weak-
ened because Peisistratos was less reliant on Megaklesand also less in his
Megakles might well have imagined his own political demise
was looming as the tyrant strove to free himself from the Alkmeonids.
Megakles acted hastily it seems; presumably, he also acted preemptorily.
A short time later, however, apparently because things were going even
less well for him at Athens, Megakles changed course again, this time pro-
posing Peisistratos restoration to the tyranny on the condition that Pei-
sistratos marry his daughter. Megakles could be seen as trying to replace
the Argive alliance with his own Athenian one, thus reacquiring control
of the tyrant. When Peisistratos accepted the offer, Megakles must have
believed that his aims were or were to be accomplished, that this new
marriage alliance nullied any others, and that his position with Peisis-
tratos would not only be enhanced but that the enhancement would be
cemented by children issuing from the marriage.
Whatever the status of Peisistratos marriage to Timonassa at the time
of his wedding to Megakles daughter, once he was tyrant again Peisis-
tratos voided the terms of the contract with Megakles by refusing to fa-
ther children with his Alkmeonid wife. This he did, according to
Herodotos, because he already had children who were now young men
and because the Alkmeonidai were cursed and their stock polluted
(+.o+.+).The reasons offered by Herodotos are difcult to accept as the
real ones for breaking the alliance, as we have seen (see chapter III.). As
:oo rrosorotr:rn.
every Athenian, Peisistratos knew of the Alkmeonid pollution well before
he accepted the alliance; the pretext of having grownsons is also highly
suspect because the existence of the Athenian children was also well
known to both parties and it would have been unreasonable for Megak-
les to stipulate that Peisistratos would dispossess them.
An impediment more formidable to accepting Herodotos reasons,
however, is his source.These reasons for voiding the contract are offered
by the historian as though they were Peisistratos own. How did these,
purported to be the very thoughts of the tyrant, come down faithfully to
Herodotos or his source? What would have been the ultimate source?
For Peisistratos thoughts, it could obviously only be Peisistratos. But this
is unreasonable. Peisistratos reasons for why the marriage alliance with
Megakles collapsed are more logically construed as explanations well
after the fact offered by others. The reasons put forth by Herodotos for
the second breach between Peisistratos and Megakles must be read as part
of the sexual insult story, which appears to have been concocted (see
chapter III..C).
The solvency of the alliance between Peisistratos and Megakles was
based on renewing signatures of the alliance, that is, outward signs of
ongoing agreement by the tyrant to the arrangement. Of course, the key
to the Alkmeonid return to power was union with Peisistratos, and the
ultimate sign of that was offspring.While it is possible that Megakles de-
sired heirs of his own bloodline to succeed Peisistratos, it is more likely
that Megakles wanted to ensure his own ongoing involvement with the
new regime at present and into the future by whatever means.These were
political arrangements between politicians after all, made for the present
and what they could bring immediately or in the nearer future. They
should not be viewed as legacies. Children from the marriage would bind
the tyrant more closely with Megakles, even as Hegesistratos and Iophon
bound Peisistratos and Gorgilos. Presumably, as Athenians, they would at
least eclipse the position of the Argive offspring. Failure of the marriage
to produce children for whatever reasons effectively voided the contract
by excluding Megakles from obtaining kinship with the Peisistratids.
For the same reasons, it is very possible that the marriage to Timo-
nassaand the alliance with Gorgilosdid not end with Peisistratos
marriage to Megakles daughter. If that is so, the continuing marriage,
which was advertised by the failure of Peisistratos to father children with
the girl, well may have led to the second rupture between Megakles and
Peisistratos. If there is any truth to the story of Peisistratos refusal to beget
Prosopography :o;
children with the Alkmeonid woman, it was because that would have
cemented him to the Alkmeonids when it seems clear, that he did not
want to be conned by such arrangements. Maintaining the Argive al-
liance could help Peisistratos escape Megakles inhibiting power alto-
gether, for playing the Argive cardat an opportune moment (even as he
did later at Palle


) might eliminate Megakles from the political power

equation altogether. In the meantime, Peisistratos probably considered
that he could continue to pretend marriage to Megakles daughter while
he kept the Argive one, all of course with the collusion of Gorgilos, whose
interests would be better served in the long run if Peisistratos were rein-
stalled as tyrant of Athens.
Megakles was certainly deceived to some extent in entering the mar-
riage alliance. Peisistratos may have made representations that he would
produce those good faith pledges, signifying that the alliance with
Megakles was viable and that the one with Gorgilos had been dissolved.
Yet rupture between Peisistratos and Megakles was probably inevitable
anyway, since both seem to have wanted political primacy. We note that
Megakles realized that the bargain was not being kept before Peisistratos
could do anything about it.
Discovery of the intact marriage alliance could have proceeded from
the disclosure of Peisistratos method of birth control, as Herodotos says.
Yet, as we have seen, the story itself is sensational and lacks plausibility.
Indeed, it will not do to conclude that Peisistratos or Megakles entered
into the Alkmeonid marriage alliance blindly and for the reasons that
Herodotos states or that Peisistratos would have blatantly (or guilelessly)
insulted such a key politician, one on whom he depended for his own
power in the short run by actually having illicit sexual relations with his
daughter. (Again, what was the source for this information?) Contrary to
what Herodotos says, such abuse would have been obvious from the out-
set, the marriage alliance nullied instantly, and Peisistratos out in the cold
again almost before he had come in. The sexual insult story may well
be stock, introduced by Alkmeonid sources to corroborate their tyrant
hatred later (cf. chapter III..C). (It is just possible that Peisistratos sim-
ply refused relations with the woman altogether or was preemptory in the
attentions he paid to her. Possible but very unlikely.)
In any case, it has been generally assumed that Timonassa was put off,
sent home, or remained in Argos but was, at all events, relegated to some
kind of secondary standing (viz., concubine) so that Peisistratos could
marry Megakles daughter. As we have seen, Timonassa could have re-
:o rrosorotr:rn.
mained married to Peisistratos, and the fact of this marriageand the fail-
ure of the Alkmeonid oneeffectively voided the contract with Mega-
A continued Argive marriage helps to explain why the Argives sent
a force of ghters to Palle


, whereas relegation of Timonassa, the mar-

riage alliance, or the offspring from the marriage to inferior standing by
word or deed does not.
Even if Timonassa died or was nally divorced,
Peisistratos must have kept his part of the bargain by fathering children
with hersomething he apparently did not do with Megakles daughter.
Gorgilos continued to honor the bargain and support Peisistratos through
to the end of the period of the second exile undoubtedly because of
his family ties. Maintenance of the interests of Timonassas children by
PeisistratosHegesistratos was made commander of the Peisistratid-
owned colony of Sigeion in the Troad
kept the contract between the
men and so ensured the Argive appearance at Palle


Timonassa leaves the picture sometime before Palle


to be sure: she
may have died or been divorced on honorable terms in the meantime.
Children from the union had nevertheless cemented the association with
the Argives. On the evidence, Peisistratos second marriage began during
his rst tyranny (o+oo B.C.E.) and lasted until some time before (per-
haps well before) Palle


(o B.C.E.). Peisistratos fourth wife, Koisyra of

Eretria, married him during his second, much lengthier exile, presumably
some years before his return to Attika (see chapter IV.:.A.+).
about Timonassa or Peisistratos second marriage we cannot say.
Prosopography :o,
:rrrxiix i
Peisistratos Chronology
Peisistratid chronology is notoriously dicult to set. Different ingredi-
ents, for example, archon dates, vague statements about the tyrannys
length, calculations from these, and presumptions about relative ages, all
gure in it, and of course some of these are highly imprecise and open to
question. Indeed, apart from the archon dates, which I take to be xed,
other dates are very insecure, and not a few important events may only
be t into ranges of dates.Although the best, most concise, and lucid treat-
ment of Peisistratid chronology remains Rhodes (+,+, +,+,,), more
may be said about it.The following proceeds from the secure dates of the
archon years.
+. ir:+n i:+r or rri si s+r:+os
It may seem at rst odd to proceed from Peisistratos death date instead
of his birth date. In fact, the former is xed, while the latter, perhaps not
surprisingly, went unrecorded. In combination with the xed date of his
rst tyranny, the less xed date of Peisistratos strate

gia, and the descrip-

tion of his death, Peisistratos death date will allow for a reasonable calcu-
lation of his birth date. Thus, our present chronological hysteron-proteron
AP (+;.+) states that Peisistratos died during the archonship of Philo-
neos (::; B.C.E.).The same author also says (+,.o) that the Peisistratid
regime lasted seventeen full years after Peisistratos death until Hippias was
ejected from Athens during the archonship of Harpaktides (+++o).
total number of years agrees with Herodotos, who says that the tyranny
of the Peisistratids lasted thirty-six years, and roughly with Aristotle, who
says that it endured for thirty-ve years.
The archon dates, which appear
in the Ath.Pol. and pertain to Peisistratos, probably derive from an Atthis
and so presumably all but directly from the Athenian archon list. In fact,
the date given for Peisistratos rst tyranny in the Ath.Pol. [+.+] agrees
with the Marmor Parium (Ep. oa) whose author dated events according
to Athenian archon years and who almost certainly consulted an Atthis.
I take these dates to be reliable, concluding that Peisistratos death date
was anchored to documents (e.g., the archon list) or was well known from
oral tradition or both. Peisistratos was a notable war hero, the rst tyrant
of Athens, after all; the tyranny was established because of the battle at


, and it lasted quite a long time thereafter. In fact, Peisistratos

had achieved such fame and notoriety among the Athenians that it would
be surprising indeed if his death were not commemorated.
If no one
else, Peisistratos successor(s) would have memorialized him, even as the
sons of Hippias seem to have marked their fathers death, and these com-
memorations would have preserved the date of Peisistratos death even if
an ocial public record did not survive the Persian invasion of Attika in
o B.C.E.
On the other hand, it seems very unlikely that precisely who succeeded
Peisistratos was ocially noticed anywhere, that there was a conclusive
succession record (e.g., the archon list annotated), or that there was any-
thing to go on outside of reason. The best proof for this is Thucydides,
who, although he attests to and enters into a controversy about the
successor to Peisistratos (+.:o.:, o..o), cannot himself produce solid
evidence about it, let alone documentary evidence. As it is, Thucydides
struggles to assert his views in what amounts to a void of information
about the succession.
Annotation to the archon list or any epigraphic
document would have clinched his argument;Thucydides can only argue
from likelihood about it.The apparent obscurity of the succession, on the
one hand, and Peisistratos renown among the Athenians, which is por-
trayed even in the Herodotos mid-fth-century account of Peisistratos
rise, on the other, suggest that the archon year of Philoneos, was aligned
with the death of Peisistratos but was not aligned with the succession.
Notice of Peisistratos death date could have been an addendum to a
version of the archon list, to some other ocial document, or perhaps to
an inscription generated by the Peisistratids themselves that survived into
the late fth century B.C.E.
It is unlikely, though, given these facts, that
Peisistratos Chronology :++
Peisistratos death date was calculated based on the succession. Rather, the
opposite should be true: the seventeen-year survival of the tyranny af-
ter Peisistratos was calculated from Peisistratos death date.
:. ii r+n i:+r
Thucydides (o..:) tells us that Peisistratos died an old man (ypoio)
and AP (+;.+), that he grew old in the tyranny and then died from sick-
ness (voopoo). Both essentially agree that the circumstances of death
were not violent and that he was elderly at the time.
Thucydides might
have derived the information from an addendum to the archon list or an-
other document, from oral tradition, or from calculation based on his
knowledge of the tyrants age at death, deducing old age from that calcu-
lation as fact. AP, who knew Thucydides work, could have done the his-
torian one better, prompted by Thucydides statement about Peisistratos
age and from lack of notice of any unusual circumstances attending Pei-
sistratos death. On the other hand, the information of the Ath.Pol. might
also have derived from another source, independent of Thucydides.
Lacking further information, AP or that author may have concluded that
Peisistratos, old and apparently undisturbed at death, died, as it were, in
his bed and so from disease.
No matter what the circumstance, there is general agreement that
Peisistratos was old when he died and so that he did not die before old
age or violently. A violent end or even an untimely one would not have
escaped notice of the oral tradition about Peisistratos in view of the lore
about him. Such a death would have emerged somewhere, if only in the
resistance myth of the fth century B.C.E. In any case, it is very dicult
to imagine that the Athenians and Thucydides (at least) would have failed
to indicate such a death or that either Thucydides or AP would have failed
to notice it.
What was old to the Athenians? Solons hebdomadic scheme of an
Athenian males life (F :; W), ending in old age, may be taken as a con-
temporary Athenian view of seniority and is introduced here to help
calculate Peisistratos approximate age at death and so his birth date.
According to Solon, for one to die during the tenth hebdomad, that is,
after reaching the age of seventy, would not be untimely (+: ou x o v
o mo r m v oi ov r oi 0ovo tou), implying, of course, that to die before
that time was premature. Obviously, anyone who had not reached seventy
was not yet elderly.In fact, consensually, the Athenians seem to have des-
:+: rri si s+r:+os

Peisistratos Chronology :+
ignated seventy years as ge

ras, for Plato, in agreement with Solon, sets that

age as the time for retirement from public life.
To have qualied as a
yr mv or, as Thucydides describes Peisistratos, ypoio , the tyrant should
have reached at least seventy years by ::;, and that certainly does not
stretch credibility.The terminus ante quem for Peisistratos birth must thus
be xed no later than ca. ,/,; B.C.E., that is, precisely seventy years be-
fore his death. On the other hand, since, according to Solon, death usually
ensued during the tenth hebdomad, it is reasonable to assume that Peisis-
tratos had not exceeded eighty years in ::;. Thus the terminus post
quem for Peisistratos birth may be placed at oo;, precisely eighty years
before his death.
The approximate range of years for Peisistratos birth is
thus oo; to ,; B.C.E. This range may be further rened.
. +nr i:+rs or +nr s+r:+r

ti :
:xi +nr ri rs+ +.r:xx.
A. First Tyranny Year
Herodotos (+.,.) states that Peisistratos held the strate

gia before the es-

tablishment of his rst tyranny, and his rst taking of the akropolis must
have occurred not long after his victory at Nisaia.
AP says that Peisis-
tratos rst tyranny occurred during the archonship of Komeas, that is,
in o+oo, and he does so, again, very likely on the authority of an Atthis.
Plutarch, perhaps on the authority of Phanias of Eresas, concurs.
Either could have drawn directly on an Atthis.
This agreement and the
fact that the tyrannys beginning is xed by archon year assure us that
the date is valid.
Perhaps some one might argue that the obstacles to accepting the va-
lidity of this rst tyranny synchronism are greater than the death date syn-
chronism, since the former was more remote in time and the rst tyranny
apparently quite brief. Really, the Athenians incentive to forgetthe ear-
lier date was that it marked the rst instance of their slavery, whereas
that marking Peisistratos death at least signaled the end of that phase of
their oppression.
Yet Peisistratos rst tyranny, as Damasias before it,
was somehow noted perhaps as an addendum to the archon list, to some
other document, or to an inscription that survived into the late fth cen-
tury B.C.E.
(It might have been available on the ste


adikias, since that

document commemorated the wrongdoing of the tyrants.) We may
rule out the possibility in any case that the rst tyranny date of the
:+ rri si s+r:+os

Ath.Pol. was merely calculated as Peisistratos akme

year based on his

death year, that is, that he was forty at the time of the rst tyranny and so
seventy at the time of death. Quite simply, the two dates, o+oo and
:;, do match up that way. Indeed, the very fact that rst tyranny date
is unaligned with the death year as Peisistratos akme

year further enhances

its credibility.
2. Strate

gia Dates
As mentioned before (appendix C.:.A.), the Athenians of the Classical
period imposed age qualications on candidates for the strate

gia. Peisis-
tratos attainment of the strate

gia before o+oo should be taken to indi-

cate that he was no less than thirty years old at the time of that attain-
In fact, it makes more sense that Peisistratos was no green warrior
when he arrived during the Megarian war and that he took some time
to prove himself to the Athenians, and so that he was some years over
thirty when he held the strate

gia. Reasonably, Peisistratos could not have

held the generalship any later than o:o+, that is, the year before he be-
came tyrant.
Thus, we must antedate Peisistratos attainment of thirty to some years
before o+oo. This returns us to the Hippias and his birth date. As we
have seen (appendix C.:.A.), Herodotos said that Hippias was very elderly
when he reached Marathon in ,o B.C.E. (o.+o;). As we have witnessed,
seventy was not considered exceptionally old by the ancient Greeks, and
so we should conclude that Hippias was born well before o+oo. On the
other hand, his birth should probably not be dated to much before ;o
B.C.E., since that seems to be too far beyond the normal Greek life ex-
pectancy range.
Again, Peisistratos should not have been much under
thirty (if at all) at the time of Hippias birth, since the normal age for mar-
riage for adult Athenian males in the Archaic and Classical periods was
around thirty.
If we assume that Peisistratos was at least seventy at the time of his death
in :;, then the terminus ante quem for his birth must be ,; B.C.E.
That would however make him thirty in o; B.C.E.just about the
time we would expect him to father his rstborn son, Hippiasand
thirty-six or thirty-seven when he attempted the rst tyranny.This range
thus does not align well with the events of Peisistratos earlier career.The
conicts of the Megarian war leading to Nisaia and what led directly to
Peisistratos rst tyranny would all have to be lumped between ca. o;
and o+oo: Peisistratos would have just become thirty at the former date,
and he would have been under forty when he took the tyranny the rst
time.While he would have been a robust fty-two at the time of Palle


he would just have made seventy when he died in :;. This puts
him on the young side of things for his early career and his death
agecertainly not impossible.
If we adopt somewhat higher dates in the range for Peisistratos birth
(i.e., oo; B.C.E.), then he was a general no earlier that ; B.C.E. and
forty-six or forty-seven at the time of his rst attempt at tyrannyrather
old, especially when we consider that he not only later survived the rig-
ors of Thrace for a very long time but ourished for nearly twenty years
in his renewed tyranny at Athens. His notable conduct in the Megarian
war should not have long preceded his attempt to capitalize on it or the

mos willingness to allow him to do so.

Thus, because of his inferred
advanced age at death (let us say ca. seventy-ve years), his strate

gia and
the victory over the Megarians at Nisaia should be dated perhaps between
;; and ;;:, that is, between Peisistratos thirtieth and thirty-fth
year or around fty to forty-ve years before his death in ::;. But
that would make him ca. sixty-two at the time of Palle


and ca. eighty

at the time of his death.Though not impossible, how likely is this, espe-
cially since it creates rather a large gap in time between Nisaia and the
rst tyranny?
A midrange of dates goes some way toward solving these problems. If
born ca. oo B.C.E., Peisistratos would have been ca. thirty in ; and
ca. thirty-ve in o; he would have been forty-two in o+ and ca. fty-
seven in o. (Did his advancing age have anything to do with his return
from the north just then?) If we assume that Peisistratos victory at Nisaia
occurred no great time before his bid for tyranny, then both should have
occurred no earlier than ca. ;o B.C.E.
We know that he attained the

gia before o+oo, that he must have been young enough to survive
the harshness and rigors of the north later, and that he was still vigorous
enough to have led the Palle


campaign, consolidate his position in the

aftermath, and actively govern the Athenians for nearly two more decades
before his death.
Most attractive of all then is a range of dates between the mid- and
lower ranges just mentioned, that is, between oo and , B.C.E. for
Peisistratos birth date. Such dates would make Peisistratos between
thirty-seven and forty-two at the time of his rst tyranny, between fty-
six and fty-eight at the time of Palle


, and between seventy and seventy-

Peisistratos Chronology :+
ve at the time of his death. Of course, while these seem plausible and at-
tractive dates, it must be stated that there is no conclusive evidence for
. +nr +nr:ci :x soJ ourx :xi r:iir


Herodotos (.o.) says that the tyranny of the Peisistratids lasted thirty-
six years; AP says (+,.o) thirty-five. The archonship of Harpaktides, we
know, occurred during +++o B.C.E. Thus, the reestablishment of the
tyranny, and so the battle of Palle


, which preceded it, occurred either

in o or ;o. Some scholars, assuming that Herodotos implies that
this occurred before the fall of Sardis, opt for the earlier date. But
Herodotos chronology is not altogether precise.
On the other hand, his
reckoning of years probably derives from Athenian sources who kept the
reign of Peisistratos in oral tradition if nothing else: surely, they would
have known the date of Palle


.The evidence available indicates that the

battle occurred in o B.C.E. and the third and nal tyranny was firmly
established thereafter.
Herodotos (+.o:.+) states that Peisistratos came back to Attika in the
eleventh year after he had been exiled for the second time; AP (+.:) says
the same thing.This means, then, that the Thracian sojourn beganand
of course the second tyranny was endedin o B.C.E. There is no
reason to doubt it and that the rst two tyrannies were of relatively short
. irxt+ns or +nr ri rs+
:xi srcoxi +.r:xxi rs
The lengths of the rst and second tyrannies have given the greatest trou-
ble. AP offers dating, but it contradicts other dates given in the same text.
AP says (+.) that Peisistratos was expelled from Athens for the rst time
during the archonship of Hegesias, datable to o B.C.E.
Of course,
this is exactly the date by reckoning for the beginning Peisistratos second
exile, as we shall see.The author goes on to say that in the twelfth year
after these things(or in B.C.E.) Megakles summoned Peisistratos
back to Athens. (Scholars have generally allowed for the emendation
ar atm for omorxo tm , [:+], but that reading hardly solves the prob-
AP (+.+) also says that in the seventh year after this (or o),
Peisistratos was expelled again and began his Thracian sojourn. Finally, the
:+o rri si s+r:+os

date of return is given as o B.C.E. (Ath.Pol. +.:).There is garbling
here and something quite amiss with the chronology of the Ath.Pol.
Although Herodotos errs with respect to precise chronologythe
most famous case, of course, is perhaps his union of Solon and Kroisos
he is to be preferred for the length of time he assigns the entire tyranny
before the archonship of Harpaktides, viz., thirty six years. The date for
the beginning of the nal tyranny must be, by reckoning, o B.C.E.: this
aligns with Palle


, and it must have been supplied to Herodotos by

his Athenian sources. Since both he and AP agree that Peisistratos was
in exile for ten years, we may also assume that the last tyranny began in
o B.C.E. and not in o and the last exile ca. o.
Since the date for
the beginning of the rst tyranny is o+oo B.C.E., this leaves ve years
into which the durations of the rst tyrannies are to be t.
Herodotos states (+.oo.+) that not much time after Peisistratos took
the tyranny the rst time Megakles and Lykourgos settled their differ-
ences and combined to oust Peisistratos. He is even less helpful with re-
gard to the end of the second tyranny, which involved the insult to
Megakles daughter (+.o+.+:).While it is reasonably to be inferred from
what Herodotos says that at least half a year elapsed before Megakles wife
asked her daughter why she was not pregnant, the ctive nature of this
passage renders such a reckoning shaky indeed: the point of the passage
was not chronology.
On the present evidence, there is no possibility of knowing the dura-
tions of the rst two tyrannies. On appearances, the second tyranny seems
to have been shorter than the rst; in fact, Herodotos language might be
taken to suggest the opposite.All we may say is that the rst two tyrannies
and rst exile are to be t into the period between o+oo and o.
A Chronological Table of the Major Events
in Peisistratos Life and His Corresponding Age Range
ca. oo/, B.C.E. Birth of Peisistratos
ca. ;/o (:o yrs.) First marriage: anonyma (probably
Advent to Athens (?)
Service in the Megarian war (?)
ca. o/o (o yrs.) Leadership in the Megarian war
ending in the campaign leading to
ca. ;oo (: yrs.) Birth of Hippias (?)
Peisistratos Chronology :+;
o+/oo* (;: yrs.) First tyranny
??? Second marriage:Timonassa
of Argos
??? Second tyranny
??? Third marriage: daughter
of Megakles
ca. o/ (:; yrs.) Rhaike

los enterprise
Strymon enterprise
ca. /;? (o yrs.) Fourth marriage: Koisyra of Eretria
Campaign for Lygdamis of Naxos
o (:; yrs.) Palle


Third tyranny
::;* (;o; yrs.) Death of Peisistratos (geraios or
old man)
Fixed date in the life of Peisistratos.
:+ rri si s+r:+os

:rrrxiix r
The Origins of the
Herodotean Parties
If Herodotos plain,shore, and beyond-the-hills parties have noth-
ing at all to do with early-sixth-century political realities at Athens, but
fth-century ones, whence do they derive? As we have seen, the parties
do not align with the Solonian divisions (chapter III.:.A.:).They also do
not align in specics with Kleisthenes later political divisions, that is, city
(a[sth), inland (mesovgeia), and shore (paravlia): obviously, they do not
derive from this arrangement.
Rather, ultimately Herodotos parties
of the plain(tw`n ejk tou` pedivou),of the shore(tw`n paravlwn), and of
the hill (tw`n uJperakrivwn) must be connected to the myth of Pandions
portioning of Attika among his sons, the names of which regions are
nearly identical.
In the myth, Pandion divided the lands of Attika among
his four sons.Aigeos, the eldest, received (the land) beside the asty,which
must have included the plain nearest it.
Pallas received the paralia,
which we know from Thucydides extended to the south of the city,
and Lykos received the diakria over toward Euboia.
Nisos, the fourth
son, received the Megarid, which seems to have included Eleusis and the
Thriasian Plain.
Jacoby has pointed out that these are geographical di-
visions, implying no political organization. However, they may have
seemed political to later Athenians viewing their remote history.
Jacoby also suggested with some plausibility that the myth of Pandions
portioning, the absolute terminus ante quem for whose appearance he
dated to the early fth century B.C.E., had actually come into being much
earlier, during the Megarian war, as legitimizing propaganda to bolster
Athens claims to Eleusis and the Thriasian Plain.
Indeed, a period of
acute antagonism between Athens and Megara would evolve just such
exaggerated claims as to the entire Megarid, even as it had the Athenian
claims to Salamis.
Jacobys suggestion that the myth was no more than
the propaganda of a type noised about during Athens war with Megara
gains force from the fact that the Athenians failed to follow up Peisistratos
apparently decisive victory at Nisaia by absorbing any further part of
the Megarid.
Whatever the source, a war cry for Athenians ghting
Megara for control of Eleusis and the Thriasian Plain during the early
sixth century could well have been:Four parts of Attika: plain, shore, hill,
and Megarid!It would certainly have been bolstered by the myth of Pan-
dions portioning, a terminus ante quem for which might best be xed
during the period of the war.
If this war cry or some similar phrase were widely voiced during the
Megarian war, became renowned and identied with it and the times and
so with Peisistratos, who was most successful in that war, its recollection
could evoke the period of the Megarian war for later Athenians and might
have become conuent with it in later popular thinking. Indeed, for those
looking backward at events in the early sixth century from the vantage
point of the fth century, the geographical portioning of Pandion, less
what must have been considered even by the beginning of the fth cen-
tury an incredible claim (i.e., . . . and Megarid!), might have seemed
quite plausible as a veritable arrangement describing politics in pre-
Peisistratid Athens.That arrangement was especially apt for making over
into just three credible political divisions, especially if things were, in com-
bination, hazy and meant by their authors not to be recollected clearly.
(Of course, the three divisions would have gained credibility from their
rough agreement with the Kleisthenic divisions as well.)
Other information the Alkmeonidai supplied Herodotos about their
ancestors, including Alkmeon and Megakles, strongly supports the possi-
bility of a purposeful myth-historical conation in the case of the
Herodotean parties on their part for the historian. Megakles progeny re-
lated as fact the story of their ancestors wooing of Agariste,embellished
as it is with heroic age overtones, as well as that of gold-laden Alkmeon,
who is impossibly linked to the fabulous Kroisos (though not to the lesser
light, Alyattes).
The Alkmeonidai appear to have been as untroubled in
passing along to Herodotos even extravagantly altered or embellished
facts about men such as Megakles and Alkmeon as Herodotos was in tak-
::o +nr ori ti xs or +nr nrroio+r:x r:r+i rs
ing and recording them. Presumably, the same authority that persuaded
Herodotos of the Alkmeonid history of the tyranny also did so of the
validity of these stories.The wooing of Agariste involving Megakles and
Alkmeons hoarding of Sardian gold, mythical as they were, were atter-
ing to the Alkmeonidai, who were thus shown to have moved in exalted,
even heroic company. (As we have seen [chapter II.:.C], being identied
with heroes seems to have been part of the game involving political ad-
vancement in the early sixth century B.C.E. at Athens.)
A similar kind of historical thinking, attering but also apologetic,
helps to account for the Herodotean parties.The introduction of the
parties simultaneously boosted the Alkmeonids prestige by placing
Megakles vaguely among the heroic and legendary, while, in doing so, it
distanced him (and his genos) from the sillyde

mos, of which he was ac-

tually the (occasional) leader; from Peisistratos, with whom Megakles (and
later his genos) had formed an embarrassing partnership (from a fth-
century perspective); and from tyranny, which Megakles helped to create
on two occasions; with which he and his progeny, despite their numer-
ous pleas to the contrary, had collaborated famously and over a long
period of time; and to which Megakles himself seems to have aspired.
This was a decent parlay indeed for the Alkmeonidai, who, as we have
seen, had impressed Herodotos very much with the authority of their
The Origins of the Herodotean Parties ::+
:rrrxiix r
The Site of Rhaike

AP (+.:) says that Rhaike

los was situated on the Thermaic Gulf and that

Peisistratos settled there during his second exile. AP does not say precisely
where that was, and there is no further direct evidence about Rhaike

location.The site has never been positively identied.To ascertain more
about the location of the site, we must turn to another reference in a non-
historical source, Lykophrons Alexandra (+:o;), composed in the early
third century B.C.E.:
o (sc. Aeneas) am to r v Poi xpov oi xp ori om v,
Kiooou ao oi au v am vo xoi Aouoti o
xroooou yuvoixo.
[(Aeneas) will come here rst and settle Rhaike

By the steep headland of Kissos and the Laphystiai,
The horn-bearing women.]
On appearances, these lines might be taken simply as poetic periphrasis,
vague and allusive descriptions of Thrace colored with Bacchic over-
tones. This part of Thrace, which was incorporated into Macedonia in
the early Classical period, was especially identied with Dionysos. Kissos
means ivy,Dionysos vegetal symbol, and the Laphystiai, the horn-bear-
ing women, are obviously bacchants. Kissos and Rhaike

los were real

places in Thrace, however, and Lykophrons references to them are ulti-
mately grounded in fact.
With regard to Kissos, Xenophon in the Kyne

getikos (++.+) says that it

was above Macedonia, and the scholion to Lykophron says that Kissos
stood above Ainos,which was given its name by Aineias. (Here the scho-
liast must mean Aineia on the Thermaic Gulf, not Ainos, which was sit-
uated on the Hebros River in Thrace, many leagues away.)
In the fourth
century B.C.E., Kassandros the Macedonian synoecized Aineia, along with

, Chalastra, and Kissos, to Thessalonike

Now,Aineia and Kissos were obviously proximate to one another, and
information about Aineias location will obviously pertain to Rhaike

Aineia was situated on the eastern side of the Thermaic Gulf, we know,
and so must Kissos have been. According to the Roman Livy, Aineia was
distant from Thessalonike

about fteen Roman miles by sea.

In fact, the
site of Aineia has been identied about : km (about + miles) southwest
of Thessalonike

at Nea Mihaniona.
The site occupies a portion of the
promontory of Megalo Karabournou, perhaps the sheer headland to
which Lykophron refers (g. ;).
Kissos should be near Aineia and on that
Indeed, if Lykophrons information is correct for Rhaike

los, it is to be
located near Kissos and Aineia, apparently southwest of Thessalonike

on or near the sheer headland of Megalo Karabournou.The authors of
the Athenian Tribute Lists went as far as to equate Aineia with Rhaike

and that is a reasonable equation in view of the evidence available, as
we shall presently see. Edson, and more recently Viviers, however, have
denied the identication, arguing that Rhaike

los was not the name of a

settlement but of the region in which Aineia was located.
settlement was other than at Aineia.
The argument against Aineia as Rhaike

los runs as follows. Lykophron

employs a form of oixriv (to occupy or to settle), not oixiriv (to
found), to describe Aeneas establishment of Aineia in Rhaike

los. Use of
the word oi xri v differentiates Rhaike

los from other foundations, for

which the word oixiriv is regularly used. According to Edson, Kissos
must be Mount Khoriatis to the east of Thessalonike

, since the promon-

tory of Megalo Karabournou rises only m from the sea and could
hardly be called sheer. For Edson, the region of ancient Rhaike

los en-
compassed an area that included the entire promontory of Megalo
Karabournou and so could be said to stand under Kissos. According to
Edson, Peisistratos settlement was not called Rhaike

los and it was not a

true polis; rather, it was a fortied village or strong point in the re-
gion called Rhaike

The Site of Rhaike

los ::
Viviers takes up essentially the same line of argument as Edson, reject-
ing the description of Rhaike

los as anything more than the name of a re-

gion where the Peisistratid settlement was located. For him, as for Edson,
AP simply did not know the precise name of the Peisistratid site.Viviers
identies the unknown Peisistratid site as Dikaia, a polis between Aineia
and Potideia or Aineia and Therme

, whose inhabitants were described as

apoikoi of the Eretrians.
Peisistratos association with Eretria and
Dikaias description as Eretrian support the identication.
to Viviers, Peisistratos was a mere participant in the settlement of Dikaia
(= Rhaike

Both arguments are unconvincing, especially because of their treat-
ment of the sources.The scholiast to Lykophron and Stephanos Byzanti-
nos explicitly term Rhaike

los a polis not a region, and that is signi-

cant enough to require explanation, not dismissal out of hand. Although
such a description is somewhat misleadingRhaike

los was probably not

a polis at all but, as Edson suggests, a teichosit cannot be explained sim-
ply as the scholiasts and Stephanos misunderstanding.These authors can-
not be thought to have concocted the information they transmit: both
merely pass on the designations of Rhaike

los from older sources. Ulti-

mately, what they say about Rhaike

los must have derived from a single,

older source since the scholiast and Stephanos use the same word to de-
scribe the place.
What were their sources? Edson and Viviers name the
scholion to Lykophron Stephanos source, but that is illogical, since it is
improbable that Stephanos, who had access to other authoritative sources
and used them, would choose the scholion instead of the scholions
source.There is in fact no proof for such an assumption, which seems to
have been the result of mere preference. No evidence or even argumen-
tation are supplied.
Now, one of the scholiasts main sources for Lykophron, whether di-
rectly or indirectly, must have been the commentary on Lykophrons
Alexandra compiled by Theon of Alexandria sometime in the early rst
century C.E. In fact, Theon, the Didymos of the Alexandrian poets, is
specically named by the scholiast in the passage about the founding of
That scholion states quite explicitly that Aeneas founded the
city of Aineia (r xtior ao iv Ai vrio oo): there is no mistaking the
meaning of xtiriv here.
Since Aeneas founded only one cityin these
regions, it had to have been Theon, or perhaps his source, who equated
Aineia with Rhaike

In fact, Theon seems to have made explicit in
his commentary on Lykophron what was to be guessed at [sc. by most
:: +nr si +r or rn:i kr

readers] rather than understood in the Alexandra.
Composed by
Lykophron in the second quarter of the third century B.C.E., the Alexan-
dra is described by Sandys as a strange combination of mythological, his-
torical and linguistic learning, grievously wanting in taste and deliberately
obscure in expression.
The literary merits of Lykophron aside, it is what he says about

los that concerns us here.Working amid the resources of Alexan-

drias libraries, Lykophron, who was at least familiar with many other lit-
erary works, had nothing before him to prevent him from making the
equation of Aineia and Rhaike

los. Indeed,Theonthe implications of his

nickname of Didymos are clearapparently had positive reasons
grounded in his source(s) to make the equation explicit. Obviously, some
source before Lykophron and very likely known to Theon made

los and Aineia the same place.What that source said further about
the site was of no concern to Lykophron, who was more interested in the
allusion that Rhaike

los would produce for his readers. It seems unlikely

that Theon could have deduced the equation simply from what
Lykophron said. Indeed, for Lykophron, who would hardly have known
to make the equation on his own, as for Theon, there must have been an
older source that made Aineia and Rhaike

los the same place.

The assumption we are to make, then, is that Rhaike

los was known by

at least one ancient author before Lykophron to have become Aineia. Pre-
sumably, it was a settlement proximate to or at the site of Aineia and was
either eclipsed by it or renamed. (Of course,Thessalonike

eclipsed Aineia,
Dikaia, and Therme

later.) Aineias strength and attractiveness to settlers

derived from its commanding position near the entrance to the Thermaic
Gulf. Ships stationed there could interfere with sea trac in and out of
the gulf, levy tolls, engage in trade, or ferry goods and passengers across
to Methone

(chapter IV.I.B.:.). Indeed,Aineia not only afforded the pos-

sibility of trade with the Thracians living in the region of the gulf but also
of descents upon them for the purpose of taking booty. Megalo
Karabournou remained strategic and a trading station for the gulf and the

through to the period of Roman rule.

The Eretrians of Peisistratos time were aware of the economic poten-
tial of the site that became Aineia. (The whole area of the eastern gulf was
studded with colonies in the Archaic period.) They had thorough knowl-
edge of the region and obviously wanted to settle the richest and most
promising sites they knew of in those parts.
Whether or not Aineia was
Peisistratid Rhaike

los in fact, the latter must have been very near the for-
The Site of Rhaike

los ::
mer, and, in view of Aineias later demonstrated wealth, that proximity
makes great sense.What Peisistratos and the Eretrians wanted was wealth,
and the region taken over by Aineia could supply that.
By Lykophrons time, Rhaike

los was but an obscure name: it was the

very kind of name that Lykophron was looking for to include in his
strange work.
To Lykophron and Theon, who lived two centuries af-
ter Lykophron, both of whom may or may not have known about the
Peisistratid presence there, the tyrants foundation on the Thermaic Gulf
was inconsequential.
What Lykophron was interested in was Aineias/
Aineia, and both he and Theon had determined that Rhaike

los could be
substituted for Aineia. Theon or his source diverged from AP and his
source, perhaps an Atthis, whose author, himself uncaring of Aineias con-
nection to it, specied that which Peisistratos founded, viz., Rhaike

los. It
is important to note, however, that these older sources agree that

los/Aineia was from the beginning a place, a foundation and

specic settlement, not a region.
Indeed, AP, the oldest of all extant sources on Rhaike

los, is quite pre-

cise when he uses ouvmxior (bring together to dwell [in one place]) to
describe Peisistratos settlement there.
The word is much more specic
than that of Lykophron, who, while he may have adopted poetic license,
agrees in essentials with AP about the foundation.That agreement is sig-
naled by Theons use of the word xtiriv to describe the foundation of
Aineia.The word ouvmxior in the Ath.Pol. most probably derived from
his source, perhaps an Atthis.
Certainly, the authority of the citation was
older than the one would argue that AP invented his in-
formation about Rhaike

losand, unless it is completely made up, it

would have come down from the Athenian tradition concerning Peisis-
The evidence of the Ath.Pol. is obviously to be considered su-
perior here and to be preferred for the foundation of Rhaike

los to that
of Lykophron and Theon. In fact, as we have seen, they do not disagree
at all.
The weaknesses in the arguments of Edson and Viviers are obvious.
The distinction Edson strives to make between region and settlement is
undermined by his concession that Peisistratos Rhaike

los was in fact a

fortied village or strong point. Edson thus concedes that what Peisis-
tratos was connected to in the sources was a specic settlement, not a re-
gion: of course, this is supported by Lykophron, Theon, Stephanos, and
AP, all of whom mention it directly or indirectly.
Viviers identication
of Dikaia as Rhaike

los is simply erroneous. It dismisses without rationale

::o +nr si +r or rn:i kr

the equation of Rhaike

los with Aineia made in Lykophron and Stephanos

and alluded to by Theon, the authority of the latter or his source, and, for
that matter, all other testimony putting Rhaike

los near Kissos. (Like

Edson,Viviers does not deal with APs testimony except to dismiss it.)
Rather than attempting to explain the equation,Viviers substitutes spec-
ulation.All of the ancient testimonies position Rhaike

los near Aineia, and

there are no grounds for placing it anywhere south or east of Megalo
Karabournou.Viviers himself points out that later on Aineia usually con-
tributed three talents to the Delian League, while Dikaia contributed only
Dikaia was clearly less prosperous than Aineia. Herodotos men-
tions all cities of any note on the western shore of Palle


toward Mace-
donia but omits Dikaia from the list. It is no surprise, then, that Dikaia,
which was apparently at some distance from the sheer headland, was
eclipsed by Aineia, even as Rhaike

los was.
The location of Rhaike

los, on or near the headland of Megalo

Karabournou, sheer even at m, appears to have been quite similar to
the other Peisistratid coloniesof Sigeion and Elaious. Self-sucient and
protable in their own right, the two sites at the entrance of the Helle-
spont were favorably located for intervention in the sea trac moving to
and from the Aegean and Euxine Seas.They were also on roadsteads from
which cargoes could be ferried back and forth from Europe to Asia.The
same held true for the Strymon settlement, albeit to a lesser degree. (There
are of course special circumstances with that enterprise: see chapter
IV.+.C.) The conformance of Rhaike

los to the pattern suggests that Pei-

sistratos was looking for particular qualities and potential in colonial sites.
Indeed, the commonalities may well extend beyond what is obvious to
us. Rhaike

los may perhaps best be viewed as the prototype for the later
Peisistratid colonies at Sigeion, Elaious, and other locations in the Thra-
cian Chersone

se; it may also have been the prototype for the Strymon
settlement to some degree.
The Site of Rhaike

los ::;
:rrrxiix t
Peisistratos and the Purification of Delos
Herodotos informs us that, shortly after Palle


, Peisistratos puried the

island of Delos, the abode of Apollo and his sister Artemis.That informa-
tion is corroborated by Thucydides.
For the purication, all the remains
of the dead interred within sight of Apollos temple were exhumed and
removed from the island. This act undoubtedly earned Peisistratos good
repute not only among the Athenians but also among the islanders.
was surely designed to impress others in other ways, but its primarily in-
tended audience must have been the Athenians and its message was for
Four purposes are discernible in the act, especially if, as Herodotos im-
plies, the purication occurred immediately after Palle


First, and most
obviously, the tyrant conrmed his piety and implication with divinity,
this time with Apollo instead of Athena. (Presumably, implication with his
patroness had already been rmly established and accepted.) Both Athena
and Apollo were civilizing forces, and, this expressed, special devotion to
Apollo would encourage good reaction from the Athenians.
There is
thus a religious/political angle involved.
Second, Peisistratos demonstrated to the Ionians and the Athenians that
Athens was now to play a prominent role in the mid- and eastern Aegean.
According to Andrewes, the purication of Delos was a notable asser-
tion of Athens primacy among the Ionian cities, and that is a fair state-
ment since the purication was both ostentatious and memorable.
As it
was designed to do, the purication made a lasting impression on the
islanders, Ionians, and Athenians, and it is surely to be linked with Athens
claims to hegemony over the Ionians.
It may also be linked with Peisis-
tratos earlier intervention in Naxos on behalf of Lygdamis. By installing
Lygdamis as tyrant before Palle


, Peisistratos had established an ally in a

dominating position in the Cyclades, especially with respect to Delos, the
hub of the Cyclades and the religious center for the Ionians.
In this, then,
it is also a statement of nationalism and foreign policy.
Third, and this follows from the second, we must remember the acts
context.The aftermath of Palle


coincided with Kroisos fall and the re-

duction of the resistant Ionian cities there by the Persians. There were
surely dramatic repercussions on the Greek mainland. Kyros imperialism,
which translated into Harpagos assaults against the Ionian cities, had re-
sulted in mass displacements from Teos and Phokaia we know, but will
also have caused many other Ionians to ee to Athens, their me

At least some will have borne with them stories of Persian might and
crimes and with them the fears of Persias further designs on mainland
As later, during and after the Ionian revolt, disquiet was created
by events in Anatolia, but trepidations would only increase with the ar-
rival of the displaced and the telling of their stories. Peisistratos purica-
tion was thus also something of a statement of assurance, a forward move
toward danger, not away from it, in the looming crisis with Persia.
Finally, and as a concomitant of these last, events in Ionia allowed a
quick-order shifting of the Athenians attention away from the defeat at


and the reestablishment of the tyranny toward the trouble over-

seas, which might involve Athens. Peisistratos accomplished several ends
simultaneously by turning the Athenians attention toward the east. Pri-
mary among his ends may have been to create, if it did not already exist,
the image of an impending military crisis and the need for him and his
talents, for that would have served him especially well at the beginning
of the nal tyranny. His reputation for military success had been made for
the Athenians during the Megarian war, and he had only lately rearmed
his luck and penchant for victory at Palle


. With the clouds gathering

over Ionia, what did the Athenians need more than a successful military
commander who had shown himself at his best in Athens last great
patriotic war? (We recall here that the Athenians welcomed Miltiades [IV]
back to Athens, although he was tyrant in the Chersone

se; acquitted him

of tyrannis; and gave him part of the command of the forces at Marathon
really because they needed him to ght the Persians. For his success there,
they gave him everything he asked for.)
Peisistratos and the Purification of Delos ::,
Turning the Athenians attention toward the source of potential dan-
ger may be viewed as one of Peisistratos political masterstrokes. He surely
underscored in speech and by the purication what he may have been
saying in much plainer terms to the Athenians in the aftermath of the bat-
tle of Palle


and what the advent of the Ionian refugees also emphasized:

Athens needed him now as never before, and the front line of defense was
Naxos and Delos. Who would the Athenians want in command of the
defense after all? The Persians, but more the fear of them and their inten-
tions, could well have been less obvious, but important allies of Peisis-
tratos even at Palle


. Thus, with the purication and the attention that

it brought to affairs in the east, Peisistratos focused the security concerns
of the Athenians directly onto himself. To put it differently, Peisistratos
had the opportunity to maximize the crisis affecting the Ionians and in
so doing further to cement his position at Athens.That cementing is ex-
actly what Herodotos suggests the purication of Delos was all about.
Of course, Peisistratos could have had all of these things in mind si-
multaneously. All would serve him to gain more rapidly that which he
needed to govern Athens over the long term, viz., the consent of the
Athenian de

mos. All in all, it was a brilliant political move that almost

surely connects to Delos later centrality in the Delian League. Indeed,
Peisistratos demonstration was the rst among the Athenians that we
know of to acknowledge Delos religious and political importance among
the Ionians. The island was the political hub of the League in the early
fth century. Peisistratos purication of the island shortly after he re-
turned to the tyranny for the last time underscores its importance to the
Athenians and Ionians from the mid-sixth century B.C.E.
:o rri si s+r:+os :xi +nr ruri ri c:+i ox or irios
:rrrxiix n
Sophokles and Herodotos
on the Foundations of Tyranny
In a brief but furious interrogation beginning at line : of Oedipous
Tyrannos, Oedipus harangues his brother-in-law Kreon, who, he suspects,
is colluding with the seer Teiresias in the subversion of his tyranny.
traught by apprehension of the imagined conspiracy, Oedipous essentially
charges Kreon before the Thebans with grossly underrating his courage
and intelligence and nally with ignoring the common conditions nec-
essary for the attainment of tyranny. Oedipous ends by labeling Kreons
alleged subversion witless, since Kreon is attempting to seize power with-
out the requisite means to do so:
o ' ou i m o v r oti tou yri po oou,
ovru tr aoutou
xoi imv tuovvioo
0pov, o ap0ri pooiv 0 oioxrtoi;
[Is it not folly this undertaking of yours,
to hunt for tyranny without riches and philoi,
a thing procured by mass (of philoi) and money?
What Oedipous says about the foundations of tyranny in these last lines
of his tirade is inconsistent both with the realities of Oedipous own path
to power and with Kreons possibilities even as Oedipous understands and
states them in the immediately preceding lines.
Oedipous acquisition of
the Theban tyranny had nothing at all to do with money or philoi; it
came about from himself alone or, rather, from the successful application
of his singular intellect. By solving the Sphinxs riddle, Oedipous de-
stroyed her and so saved Thebes and its people. It was that solution and
the bravery that Oedipous demonstrated in applying it that simultane-
ously alleviated the crisis, demonstrated Oedipous royal capacities, and
established his right to rule the Thebans; it was that solution, neither
money nor friends,that earned Oedipous the tyranny.
What Oedipous
really fears is that Kreon, with Teiresias help, has concocted a similar
solution for the current crisis. By naming Oedipous as Laios killer
and having the Thebans believe it, Kreon can unmake the tyranny of
Oedipous.At the same time, by thus demonstrating his own capacity and
the gods favor in determining the pollutant, Kreon can win public ap-
probation and immediately take over the power of the fallen, now god-
forsaken Oedipous. (In fact, at the end of the tragedy, that is exactly what
Kreon does.)
The conditions for creating, maintaining, or usurping tyranny at
Thebes in these and former circumstances are made explicit for the
audience much earlier in the tragedy. At the outset, the suppliant chorus
reminds the audience of Oedipous eminence in the former crisis involv-
ing the Sphinx by invoking it for solving the current one (+;).
Oedipous himself recalls what he has done when he angrily taunts Teire-
sias for the seers failure during that crisis (,,). Once more, before
these lines, the chorus notes Oedipous redoubtable wisdom, which
formerly vanquished the Sphinx (oo++). Finally, just before he angrily
delivers his prescription for attaining tyranny, Oedipous asks Kreon sar-
castic questions: did he see in him some deciency of wits (mo

rian), or did
Kreon think that Oedipous did not notice Kreons plan creeping for-
ward craftily(o,)? Oedipous means to indicate to the all-important
audience of Thebans that he is still the thoughtful, clever man that he was
before and that he can and will demolish the conspiracy using his supe-
rior intelligence.Thus, intellect is key to the politics of the play; through-
out the play, there is never a mention of money or of philoi.
Certainly by line o of Oedipous Tyrannos, Oedipous, the Thebans, and
the Athenian audience are all quite aware of the realities of the political
game at Thebes. It is exactly that intellectual eminence of long ago that
Oedipous strives to reassert throughout the play by systematically search-
ing for the real murderer of Laios; it is the same eminence that Kreon
might establish by scapegoating the king as that murderer, ending the cri-
:: sornokirs :xi nrroio+os ox +.r:xx.
sis and deposing Oedipousor so the tyrant fears.
It is crisis-solving
ability that the suffering Thebans require as a remedy for their present
wretchedness and that Oedipous well knows he must demonstrate anew
if he is to survive as tyrant. It is the same ability that Kreon must also
demonstrate if he is to replace Oedipous as ruler of Thebes. Power, money,
or philoi cannot buy or coerce the ultimate truth: Oedipous painstaking
investigation and Kreons alleged conspiracy may proceed by wit alone,
not by force.
Thus, lines o: do not conform to Oedipous path to tyranny, to
his own current efforts to keep it, or to Kreons possible path to it. The
sentiments expressed are thus tangential to the plot and t in really only
as a taunt based upon a generality. By stating a general rule about tyranny
that he alleges Kreon does not know as his parting shot, Oedipous asserts
the superiority of his own intelligence to his competitors intellect in the
presence of the crucial Theban audience.
Spoken outside of the imme-
diate context of the plot, the generality nonetheless carries the imposing
force of a self-standing truth.
In fact, it has long been recognized by Sophoklean scholars that these
lines more generally describe the conditions under which Greek tyrants
acquired their tyrannies than they apply to the circumstances of the
tragedys plot.
According to Jebb,Soph(ocles) is thinking of the histori-
cal Greek tu ovvo, who commonly began his career as a demagogue.
Dawe, on the other hand, narrows the generality to Athenian tyranny, and
that is undoubtedly correct.
Both the author and audience of Oedipous
Tyrannos naturally knew the Athenian form of tyranny best, and Sopho-
kles could count on the Athenians easily to recognize the validity of such
a gnomic formula if it referred to the tyranny of the Peisistratids.
The assumption is corroborated to some extent by Thucydides, an
Athenian himself, who observed that a surplus of money was generally
requisite for the rise of Archaic tyrannies throughout Greece (+.+.+).
The observation was grounded in Thucydides familiarity with Peisistratid
tyranny but broadened by him to include Greece generally.
Thus, while
the sentiments that Oedipous expresses in lines o: do not apply to
his own case or to Kreons, they do reect what appears to be common
fth-century Athenian opinion that in times past tyrannies were founded
upon superior wealth, specically the formula used by Athens tyrant, Pei-
sistratos, to found his tyranny.
Oedipous declaration, however, is more comprehensive than Thucy-
dides narrower economic formula, perhaps something the historian dis-
Sophokles and Herodotos on Tyranny :
tilled for himself from more general Athenian or Greek opinion.
surprisingly, the repeated citations of money and philoi as tyrannys
prerequisites more closely match Herodotos accounting of Peisistratos
rise to the tyranny at Athens (+.,o).
In that account, as we have seen,
Herodotos says not once but repeatedly in quite a short space that

mata: +.o+. twice, o+., o:.:, o.+; dotinas (gifts): o+.) and
philoi (= allies or partisans) (mistho

toi: +.o+.; andres (men): o+.;


tai: o:.+; alloi te ek tou de

mou (those from the city): o:.+; epikouroi:

o.+) achieved Peisistratos victory at Palle


,rooting the tyranny once

for all.
For Herodotosor, rather, for his Athenian source(s)over-
whelming resources of money and philoi were requisite to Peisistratos
foundation of his nal, enduring tyranny (cf. chapter IV.:.B.:). Like
Thucydides, the Athenians rather naturally extrapolated to generality
from what they knew of their own tyrants path to power.The correspon-
dence of lines o: of Sophokles Oedipous Tyrannos with the emphat-
ically stated formula in Herodotos is obvious, and Herodotos and
Sophokles were informed as to the foundations of tyranny by a com-
mon pool of Athenian informants about it.
That same pool should also account for the way in which both ex-
pressed those requisites for tyrannys foundations.The salient characteris-
tic of lines +: is expressed by the repetition of moneyand philoi.
Similarly, the distinguishing feature of Herodotos treatment of founda-
tion at Athens is his repeated references to money and allies/philoi.
course, the repetition in Herodotos supplements the main theme of the
account, the irresistibility of Peisistratos tyranny, a theme produced by the
Athenians to forgive their ancestors for failing to defeat the tyranny or to
overthrow it once it had been established.
By the time of Oedipous
Tyrannos, the roots of Peisistratid tyranny were accepted by the Atheni-
ans as historical.
The reasons for such a noncontextual insertion into Oedipous Tyrannos
seem obvious. By deploying this history at lines +:, Sophokles could
further engage the audience in the drama. Employing such a zooming
device would produce the effect of bringing the world of the tragedy
nearer to the audiences own experiences and assumptions.
The desired
effect from the insertion, which one imagines was not an isolated instance,
was to envivify the otherwise mythical and remote dramatis personae of
tragedy, re-creating them with such details, as a painter would add brush
strokes, into more recognizably human and therefore lifelike characters
who became at once more interesting and more accessible to the Athe-
: sornokirs :xi nrroio+os ox +.r:xx.
nian audience. By grounding them in what the Athenians took to be his-
torical and familiar fact, Sophokles could endue the character of
Oedipous, as well as the scene, with greater credibility and so increase the
dramatic moment. It was a quite natural tactic, effective here in making
the ctional tyrant more historical.
It is not unreasonable to imagine that Sophokles further used Athe-
nian conceptions about their own tyrants and tyranny in his depictions
of individuals such as Oedipous and Kreon.
By all accounts, Peisistratos,
like Oedipous, was reckoned a surpassingly intelligent man who used his
intelligence to acquire and to maintain his tyranny.
His son Hippias,
also clever according to Thucydides (o..), was said by Herodotos, again
obviously on Athenian authority, to have dreamt he slept with his own
Sophokles reference to Peisistratos tyranny here suggests that
there may be many more tangible reections of Athenian conceptions of
their own tyrants and tyrannies in the plays of Sophokles and, very pos-
sibly, in those of the other Attic tragedians.
Sophokles and Herodotos on Tyranny :
cn:r+rr i
+. Cf. Ostwald +,o,, +;: Our knowledge of details (sc. of the tyranny) is ago-
nizingly sketchy. Of course, it is possible to think that the ancient historians who
preserved information about the tyranny were not interested in recounting its his-
tory and so had their own reasons for saying little. In point of fact, whether they
wanted to say more or not, they all seem to have had very little to go on (this is dis-
cussed in more detail later in this chapter). The importance of the Peisistratids for
fth-century Athens is considered intermittently in Boedeker and Raaaub +,,;
and Morgan :ooa. Much of what follows in this chapter is based on Lavelle +,,.
:. Very many examples of Attic ne ware have been discovered in overseas con-
texts, but whatever the extent of the foreign market the domestic one had to have
been most important to Athenian potters and painters: they lived and worked in
Athens after all, and it formed the artistic context for their work and the basis of their
livelihoods.Yet how is it at all possible to conclude anything substantial about the re-
lation of the pottery industry to Athens general economy in the Archaic period? Cf.
Sansone :oo, +o+, but cf. also Lavelle +,,:a, ;, n. ;. Remains of sculpture from At-
tika dating to the latter part of the sixth century do, however, seem to indicate an ex-
panding domestic market for art, as do akropolis dedications (cf. nn. and ). On the
architectural remains of the period cf. n. o.
. Cf. Shear +,;; Snodgrass +,o, ++ff. and +o (though I think wrongly at-
tributed to Solon); Frost +,+, ;; Hurwit +,, :ff.; and Lavelle +,,, oo.
. Cf. n. o.
. On Athenian sculpture of the period cf. Boardman +,;, ;:ff.; and Ridgway
+,,, ,, ++o, ::,;. On Athenian vase painting cf. Osborne +,,, ;ff. On
the akropolis dedications, cf. Frost +,+, ;; and de Libero +,,o, +::. Cf. also
Stroud +,;, :;:,; and Parker +,,o, o;ff. For a general overview of art for the
period, see Hurwit +,, :ff. Cf. also Shapiro +,,; and nn. o and +.
o. Olympeion: Arist. Pol. ++b (cf.Wycherley +,;, +ff.). Altar of the Twelve
Gods:Thuc. o..o (Wycherley +,;, off.; Crosby +,,; Camp +,o, o:; Camp
+,,, +o). Altar of Apollo Pythios: Thuc. o..; (Wycherley +,;, +o;o; Lavelle
+,,b). Enneakrounos: Thuc. :.+. (Wycherley +,;, :o; Camp :oo+, ;).
Cf. de Libero +,,o, ,+o;, for a synopsis of Peisistratid era buildings; cf. also Shear
+,;; Camp +,o, ,ff.; and Parker +,,o, o,;. On Peisistratid patronage of poets,
see n. ;.
Cf. also Sancisi-Weerdenburg :ooob, : Without the evidence of historiogra-
phy, we would never have guessed that either Peisistratos or the Peisistratids had
played a leading role in Athenian politics or cultural life.While we would obviously
know next to nothing about any gure from Athenian history without the evidence
of historiography, the documentary evidence, such as the Athenian archon list (see n.
+:) and the Apollo Pythios inscription (IG I
,; Lavelle +,,b; Dillon and Garland
+,,, +o; de Libero +,,o, +o, +:; cf. also Arnush +,,), contradicts the assertion
at least for the younger Peisistratids.
;. On the presence of renowned poets in Athens, such as Anakreon of Teos and
Simonides of Keos, cf. Ath.Pol. +.+; (Plato) Hipp. ::c; Ael. VH .:; Lasos of

(Hdt. ;.o; Paus. +.::.;); and the actor Thespis (Mar.Par. Ep. ). Cf. Podlecki
+,o, off.; Podlecki +,, +;;, +:; and Rhodes +,+, :::,, on Anakreon and
Simonides. Both Anakreon and Lasos seem to have drawn pupils, such as Aeschylus
(cf. schol.Aqs. Prom. M.+: [cf. Podlecki +,o, +, n. :;]) and Pindar (cf. schol. Pind.
Olym. +.:ob [cf. Podlecki +,, ::o]). (See also Vit.Pind. +.+.+ on Agathokles and
Apollodoros, apparently Athenian teachers of Pindar.) Cf. de Libero +,,o, +:. Al-
though Rhodes (+,+, ::,), designates him a poet, Herodotos (;.o.) calls Ono-
makritos a pooo yo (oracle monger; cf. de Libero +,,o, +:,). On Homer,
Homeric recitals, festivals, and the Peisistratidai, cf. Davison +,; de Libero +,,o,
+++o; Ford +,,,, ::; and n. .
. Cf., for example, Raaaub +,,, +,.While Kleisthenes realigned the tribes (al-
beit after the manner of his tyrant grandfather: cf. Hdt. .o;.+; and How and Wells
+,+:, :., who misunderstand Herodotos thoroughly here), redistributed power, and
was credited by some with effecting other reforms such as ostracism (cf. Ath.Pol.
:+.::.; and Rhodes +,+, :o;;+; cf. also Ostwald +,; and Hansen +,,+, ),
the festivals of the tyrants, including the nationalistic Greater Panathenaia (cf. Simon
+,, ff.; and Morgan +,,o, :o,+o), continued to be celebrated just as before, their
messages apparently unaltered: cf. Simon +,, ff.; Parker +,,o, ;ff.; and Maurizio
+,,, :,;ff.
,. Thuc. o..o: to or o o ou tp p ao i ai v toi xrir voi vo oi
rpto. . . . Hdt. +.,.o: outr tio to rouoo ouvtooo outr 0roio rt-
ooo (cf. also nn. : and +). AP (::.+) says that the laws of Solon had disap-
peared through the tyranny because of lack of use (ooviooi tpv tuovvioo oio
to p po0oi).This is surely a rationalization at least partly intended to explain why
Kleisthenes introduced changes to Athens government, as well as when he did it. Cf.
Rhodes (+,+, :o+), who judges the passage in Ath.Pol. to be simply wrong. Cf. also
Ostwald +,o,, +;. See also chapter III, nn. o:.
+o. Hdt. +.,.. Cf. chapter III.:.A.o and B; and Hammer :ooo, . On
the more precise operative denition of demos used in this volume see chapter III
++. The watershed mentality about the establishment of the democracy is
nicely summed up by Ober (+,,, :+o):I shall go one step further out on the limb
: xo+rs +o r:trs :
by suggesting that the moment of the revolution, the end of the archaic phase of
Athenian political history, the point at which the Athenian democracy was born,
was a violent, leaderless event: a three-day riot in o/; that resulted in the removal
of Kleomenes I and his Spartan troops from the soil of Attika. Cf. also Ostwald
+,o,, +,. For a view opposing this type of mentality, see Hammer +,,. (While
certainly on the right track, Hammer nevertheless does not go far enough with the
thesis.) For some creditation of the Peisistratidai and the persistence of tyranny in
Classical Athens, cf. Stanton +,:, ,ff.; and Kallet +,,, :.
+:. IG I
+o+ (SEG +o, :). Cf. Meritt +,,; Cadoux +,, +o,+o; Bradeen
+,o; Alexander +,,;Thompson +,,; McGregor and Eliott +,,;White +,;;
Kinzl +,;oa; Stahl +,;, +,; Lewis +,, :,; Raaaub +,, :oo:o+;
Develin +,,, ;; Dillon and Garland +,,, +oo;; and de Libero +,,o, ++, n. o,
+:::. Cf. also Stanton +,:, ++o+:; and Lavelle +,,, ::, n. .
+. Cf. chapter V.
+. Hdt. .o,.+. Cf. also Moles :oo:, o:; and n. . Moles () calls Herodotos
account of Kleisthenes unenamoured.
+. Hipparchos archonship: Dion. Hal. o.+.+ (Cadoux +,, ++o; Develin +,,,
); cf. Davies +,;+, +; Rhodes +,+, :;+;:; and Lavelle +,,, :. Leader of the
tyrannist faction: Ath.Pol. ::.; cf. also n. +o; and Ghinatti +,;o, ,ff.
+o. Ath.Pol. ::.; Rhodes +,+, :;+;:; cf. Lavelle +,b, +,, , nn. ; and ;
and Dillon and Garland +,,o, +o:.
+;. Miltiades as a cooperative of the tyrants and archon for :: B.C.E.: see n.
+:; cf. Cadoux +,, ++o++; Stahl +,;, +++; Lavelle +,,, :,ff.; Cawkwell +,,,
;,o; and de Libero +,,o, ,+, ,o. See also n. +.
+. Hdt. o.+:o; Corn. Nep. +..+ (= Ephoros). Cf. Lavelle +,c, :;o; +,,,
, nn. :,o. Herodotos (o.+o.:) notes that Miltiades was chosen by the de

be war leader (strate

gos). He had in fact been acquitted of tyranny. On the life and ca-
reer of Miltiades, see Berve +,;; Bengston +,,; and Kinzl +,o. Cf. n. .
+,. Cf. Sancisi-Weerdenburg :ooob, , who alludes to the half-known and
unknown prominents who erected statues and other insignia of their status in tem-
ples and graveyards.
:o. Areopagos: cf. Badian +,;+; Karavites +,;;, +o; and Lavelle +,,, ff. Cf.
also Wallace +,, ;:ff., who is rather more cautious about the nature of the Areopa-
gos after the tyrants. That the Council was still a very signicant political body
through the rst decade of the fth century is proven in any case by, for example, the
archonships of Hipparchos,Themistokles, and Aristeides.
:+. The implication of Persians and Peisistratids is made by Miltiades in his
speech before Marathon (Hdt. o.+o,.). Obviously, these invented words nd con-
text well after the fact of the battle, but they do reect the ocial coupling of bar-
barians and tyrants in fth-century Athens. Cf. Csapo and Miler +,,, ++,. See also
nn. and .
::. Cf.Aesch. .+; Plut. Them. ::.; and Kim. ;..:. Cf. also Lavelle +,,, o,
n. ; Boedeker +,,, +,o,+; Hlscher +,,, +o,; and Kallet +,,, :.
:. Hdt.+.,.+: to r v 'Attixo v xotro rvo v tr xoi oiroaoor vov r auv-
0ovrto o Koioo uao Hrioiototou. The agent of both participles must be Pei-
sistratos: cf. Bornitz +,o, +, and :, n. :; McNeal +,o, +:; How and Wells
+,+:, +.o; contra Petzold +,,o, +. Cf. also Lavelle :ooo, ;, n. ++. See also n. :.
Notes to Pages , :,
:. Badtyrant as stock: cf. Rosivach +,, ; and Lavelle +,,, +::. See
also n. :; and chapter III, n. +.
:. In the case of the Peisistratids, the latter charges most explicitly apply to Hip-
parchospass at Harmodios (Thuc. o..+, o) and to Hippias paranoid reaction
after Hipparchos death (Thuc. o.,.:).These, taken together with Herodotos testi-
mony (see n. :), suggest a tradition of evil attaching to the Peisistratids. On the
Debate on Government (Hdt. .o), see, for example, Lateiner +,; Cassola
+,; and Raaaub +,,, +; cf. Hansen +,,a, :ff.; Hansen +,,b, +;; cf. also
Stahl +,;, ,, n. ; and Lavelle +,,, :, n. .
:o. Cf. Lavelle +,,:b, ;,ff.; and +,,, +o,ff.
:;. Hdt. +.o:.+: p tuovvi ao r ru0ri p p v o oaooto trov; cf. chapter
:. rai tr toioi xotrotrmoi rvrr tpv aoiv xoormv xom tr xoi ru . (Cf.
Kallet :oo, +:; and nn. , and +.) While this contradiction and the mention of Pei-
sistratos distinguished record during the Megarian war (Hdt. +.,.; cf. chapter
II..B.C) do not reverse the generally negative overtone in Herodotos account of
Peisistratos rise, they nevertheless illustrate the Athenians apparent double-minded-
ness about Peisistratid tyranny: cf. chapter III.:.B and n. +. Cf. also Morgan :ooa.
:,. Cf. Lavelle :ooo, ;; see chapter III.:.A..
o. Cf. nn. , and +.
+. Thuc. o..o: tpv tr aoiv outmv xom oirxoopoov xoi tou aorou
oirrov xoi r to iro r0uov. Cf. also nn. , and :.
:. Thuc. o.o.+. Lavelle +,oa; +,,, ++,:+.
. Cf. Rhodes +,+, +,,+; and Lavelle +,,, o.
. Cf. Lavelle +,,, o:.
. Cf. Bengston and Bloedow +,, +:The rule of Peisistratus rested upon il-
legal force. On the tyrannicide cult, see for example, Taylor +,+; Gafforini +,,o;
Schlange-Schningen +,,o; Boedeker +,,, +,o, :o+:; and Raaaub :oo, oo,.
Cf. also Lavelle +,,, off. and n. +o,; Lavelle :ooo, o (the last three with further
bibliography); and Dillon and Garland +,,, ++;:o.
o. Cf. Lavelle +,,, :.
;. Cf. ibid., +:. Cf. also Hdt. .o: the word rmv used to address Hipparchos
by a beautiful dream-apparition in the rst line of the couplet is complimentary and
suggests royal status. The prophecy that those who will harm him will not escape
punishment in the second line is a very surprising sentiment, running counter to
what the tyrannicide tradition and cult imply (cf. Dover +,;o, :). Cf. How and
Wells +,+:, :.:; Lavelle +,, :;; and Moles :oo:, +: (on the Alkmeonids).
Cf. also nn. , ,, and .
. Cf. Isok. +o.:; and Lavelle +,,, oo, n. o. See also n. ,.
,. Cf. Lavelle +,,, ;, n. o. See also n. .
o. Lavelle +,,, o+ff.
+. Important for certain aspects of the Peisistratid tyranny but not comprehen-
sive is Toepffer +,;. Cornelius work (+,:,) is comprehensive but somewhat vague
and not at all probing. Schachermeyrs pieces (+,;a, +,;b), while pithy and funda-
mental, are, after all, Pauly articles. De Liberos treatment (+,,o, +) is part of
a much larger work on Archaic Greek tyranny. Smiths little book (+,,) merely
:o xo+rs +o r:trs
skims the information about the Peisistratids, as does French +,;. Cf. also Sancisi-
Weerdenburg :ooo; and n. :.
:. Noteworthy exceptions are Kinzl +,;,a, +o; Stahl +,;; and, to a lesser
degree, Sancisi-Weerdenburg :ooo.
. Cf. Martin +,,o, o;; and Orrieux and Pantel +,,,, o. Some scholars, for
example, have taken Phye

s famous ride (Hdt. +.oo.) to be implausible on the

authority of Herodotos: cf. Beloch +,+, +.:.:; Schachermeyr +,;b, +o: (Die
Phyegeschichte, so unwahrscheinlich sie auch in der berliefertern Form ist);
Schreiner +,+; and de Libero +,,, ++. Others, by the same token, accept it as plau-
sible. Cf. Berve +,o;, +.,; Connor +,;, :;; Rhodes +,+, :oo; and Blok :ooo.
See chapter III..B.
Some construe Herodotos designation of Peisistratos rst bodyguards as

phoroi (club-bearers) (+.,.) quite literally: emulating Herakles, Peisistratos

was accompanied by a bodyguard bearing clubs. Cf. Boardman +,;:, +,;, +,,; Mc-
Glew +,,, ;ff.; K. Cavalier +,,,; and Ferrari +,,,. (I have always thought
that Herakles, who most times traveled alone, carried his own club.) These do not
give weight to the fact that the usual term for a Greek tyrants bodyguard is doryphoros
(spear-bearer) and so the ramications of Herodotos (sources?) failure to use it.
Herodotos use of korune

phoroi therefore cannot simply be accepted (so Singor :ooo,

++,::; cf. also chapter IV, n. o,) but must be explained: cf. Lavelle +,,, ,o,+, n.
+; and chapter III.:.C.: and nn. +o+:.
. Cf. Lavelle +,,, :;ff.
. Tyrannyperhaps became less odious around the time when the Athenians re-
alized that they were in fact exercising a tyranny over their former Delian confeder-
ates (cf. Hunter +,;; Connor +,;;; McGlew +,,, +ff.; and Kallet +,,, :). Later,
especially during the nal stages of the Peloponnesian war, when imposition of tyranny
seemed to the Athenians a very real possibility, the word may have conjured fear and
brought the Peisistratid tyranny into renewed execration (cf., e.g., the exception of the
Peisistratidai from the general amnesty after the Sicilian debacle: Markel. Vit.Thuc. :).
The ancient rhetoric leveled against the Peisistratids seems to have been trotted out and
duly linked to those currently most suspected of sedition and treachery. Cf. Lavelle
+,,, , :; and :ooo, o; and Raaaub :oo. Cf. also n. +.
o. Andrewes, whose nearly fty-year-old book on Greek tyrants (+,o) is still
very valuable, portrays tyrannis thusly (;):A tyrant, in these Greek terms, is not nec-
essarily a wicked ruler, but he is an autocrat (and generally a usurper) who provides
a strong executive. The traditionally wicked kings of English history, like John, are
not the best examples of tyranny: a closer analogy would be given by Henry VII,
whose powerful centralized government was acceptable because of the chaos of the
Wars of the Roses. He also goes on to adduce Cromwell, Napoleon, and Mussolini.
But fteenth-century England and the Wars of the Roses (as well as Puritan En-
gland, Revolutionary France, and Fascist Italy) may not be paralleled in any mean-
ingful way with seventh- and sixth-century Greece and events there. Henry Tudor,
like other modern tyrants, is not a very good example for Archaic Greek tyranny,
and in fact there are, unfortunately, no models to be adduced for them. Cf. Chirot
(+,,, +o+o), who is not concerned with ancient Greek tyrants but nevertheless
demonstrates the inaptness of even Roman emperors for comparison with them. A
Notes to Page : :+
sounder, better contexted description of Archaic Greek tyrannies and tyrants is given
in Orrieux and Pantel +,,,, +; and Pomeroy et al. +,,,, +oo,.
;. Cf. Lavelle +,,, :;ff.
. On Herodotos and his historical methods, cf. Jacoby +,+; Dewald and Mar-
incola +,;; Flory +,;; Hartog +,;; Fehling +,,; Lateiner +,,; Dewald +,,,
ixxli; Romm +,,; and Bakker, de Jong, and van Wees :oo:.
,. Birth date (ca. B.C.E.):Aul.Gel. +.: (which, although perhaps an Apol-
lodoran calculation, should be at least approximately correct). Life: Suida s.v. Ho-
ooto. Cf. How and Wells +,+:, +.+,; and Jacoby +,+, :off.According to the Suida,
Lygdamis, the grandson of Artemisia and tyrant of Halikarnassos, was the cause for
Herodotos exile. Halikarnassos is listed in the rst Athenian Tribute List (
B.C.E.), a fact that suggests that Lygdamis was gone from the city by then at the lat-
est (but cf. Meiggs and Lewis +,;, ;:). See also nn. o:.
o. Cf. Diyllos FrGrHist ; F (= Plut. de Malig. Herod. o: ab); cf. How and
Wells +,+:, +.o;. Cf. also Podlecki (+,;;), who discusses Herodotos travels with
specic reference to Athens. Podlecki is skeptical of Herodotos coming to Athens
and suggests that Herodotos could have obtained his information about Athens from
Athenians at Thourioi, where he later settled. Podlecki is not alone in thinking that
Herodotos may not have come to Athens, although ancient testimoniaand
Herodotos own (e.g., .;;.; cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.)give grounds for be-
lieving that he did.There is actually a good deal in the Histories to suggest high-level
Athenian informants, among whom may well have been Perikles himself (cf. chapter
III, n. ;).There is on the other hand no compelling reason to think that Herodotos
did not visit Athens. Cf. nn. + and :.
+. Athenian bias: cf. How and Wells +,+:, +.+:; Demand +,;; and Romm
+,,, . Cf. also nn. : and . Thourioi: Suida s.v. Ho ooto; Steph. Byz. s.v.
Oouioi.; cf. Arist. Rhet. .,.:; Evans +,:, o; de Selincourt +,:, +:; and
Romm +,,, +:.
:. On Sophokles and Herodotos, see Plut. Mor. ;b. Cf. How and Wells +,+:,
+.;; Brown +,;, +; Hart +,:, +o; Waters +,, :+; Evans +,,+, :+, ff., o; and
Finkelberg +,,. For a list of shared passages, see Podlecki +,;;, :,. Myres
(+,, +:), however, doubts such linkages. See also appendix H.
. Terminus post quem of o B.C.E.: Hdt. ;.+;., on the seizure and execution
of Aristeas of Corinth (cf. How and Wells +,+:, +.,+, :.+;,o). Cf. also Thuc.
+.oo.:, :.o;.; and Hornblower +,,+, o+. Terminus ante quem: Ar. Acharn. oo;
cf.Wells +,:, +o,:; Sansone +,; Cobet +,;, o++; and Evans +,;, ::o:.
Fornara (+,;+, :) proposed a terminus, ca. + B.C.E., but his arguments, based
on reference to Herodotos in Acharnians, are not compelling.
. On HerodotosAlkmeonid bias, see further Lavelle +,,, ::, n. , and o+o:,
nn. ++o; and :ooo, ,,o and n. . Cf. chapter III.:.A.; and nn. ;o;.
. Cf. Jacoby +,,, +o+; Lavelle +,,, ;o, n. ;o; and Lavelle :ooo, ,o and n. .
Pace Forsdyke :oo:, :.While there are traces of several traditions in the his-
tory of Peisistratid tyranny, Herodotos seems to have followed, in the main, the ac-
counts of the Alkmeonidai; cf. n. and chapter III, nn. ;o;.
o. Cf. Lavelle +,,+. Gray +,,; tries to explain the logos on Peisistratos rise as
made up of conventional narrative episodes, sometimes with supernatural elements.
Yet the contexts of power in which Herodotus sets it determine its shape, and the
:: xo+rs +o r:trs +o
contextual reading of the story reveals allusions to contemporary debates and reali-
ties. Cf. also Moles (:oo:, ;). Cf. appendix C, n. +.
;. Cf. Lavelle +,,, ::, n. , and :, n. ::; and :ooo, ,.
. Cf. n. +:.
,. Jacoby +,,, +off.; Lavelle :ooo, ,ff. Cf. chapter III.:.A.;.
oo. Cf. Lavelle +,,, ::, ,ff.; :ooo, ;ff. Cf. chapter III.:.A.o;.
o+. On Thucydides, cf. Cornford +,o;; Hunter +,;, +,:; Connor +,; and
Hornblower +,;.
o:. tuovvoi tr oooi poov rv toi Epvixoi aoroi, to r ' r outm v o vov
aoom rvoi r tr to om o xoi r to to v i oiov oi xov ou riv oi' o oori o o oov
rouvovto oioto to aori mxouv, r ao 0p or ou or v o a' ou tm v r yov o io -
oyov, ri p ri ti ao arioixou tou outmv rxootoi.This statement was made
with obvious regard to the Peisistratids: cf. Zancan +,, +,; Gomme +,, +:;;
Hornblower +,,+, o; and Lavelle +,,, oo. Cf. also appendix H.
o. Cf. Gomme +,, +:;; Kinzl +,;, +,;ob; Hornblower +,,+, o; and Kallet-
Marx +,,, :+o.
o. The akoe

(tradition) Thucydides mentions at o..+, on which he apparently

founded his rm belief in the seniority of Hippias (if it was not simply calculated
from Hippias persistence as tyrant in the aftermath of Hipparchos murder), is never-
theless not explained by the historian (cf. Dover +,;o, :). Because it detracts from
the tyrannicide and what it was thought popularly to have accomplished, however,
it seems likely to have derived from sources sympathetic to the Alkmeonids and their
claims to liberatingAthens, if not from the Alkmeonids themselves. Cf. Jacoby +,,,
+ff., ;, n. , and :, n. o,; Lavelle +,; and Lavelle +,,, o+, n. +, and ;o, nn.
;,; cf. also n. oo.
o. Lavelle :ooo, , n. ,.
oo. Lavelle +,,, oo;,; but cf. Zizza +,,,, +o+: (and more generally on Thucy-
dides use of epigraphic evidence relating to the tyrants). Cf. n. o.
o;. Thucydides information about Archedike

, the daughter of Hippias (o.,.;

Lavelle +,ob) and the tyrants subsequent movements outside of Athens after his ex-
pulsion may have derived from Charon of Lampsakos, not from Athenian tradition:
cf. Dover +,;o, :; and Mller :oo+, :,o. Most of Thucydides account of the
tyrannicide must derive from Athenian sources. In fact, it has at its bases, perhaps
rather surprisingly, the popular versions of the tyrannicide: cf Miller +,; and Lavelle
+,, +;:o.
o. Pesely (+,,) has argued for the identication of the Oxyrhynchos Historian
as the source for the information in the Ath.Pol. about the tyrants that exceeds that
of Herodotos and Thucydides.That there is plausible supplemental information about
Peisistratos and the tyranny in the Ath.Pol. is shown in the case of Rhaike

los (+.:;
cf. chapter IV.+.B and appendix F). Herodotos alludes vaguely to a Thracian sojourn
(+.o.+), but the author of the Ath.Pol. states, among other things, that Peisistratos
moved rst to Rhaike

los on the Thermaic Gulf and then to the Strymon region.

o,. Cf. Jacoby +,,, +; Rhodes +,+, +o; and Lavelle :ooo, o+o:.
;o. Ath.Pol. +.; cf. Rhodes +,+, :+o+:.
;+. Ath.Pol. +o.o; cf. Lavelle +,,, +:+::.
;:. Cf. Lavelle, ++ff.; and Pesely +,,, ,ff.; cf. also n. o.
;. See chapter II..D.+.
Notes to Pages :::, :
;. Cf., for example, Andokides on Palle


(De Myst. +oo; cf. chapter IV.:.C.:)

or the story of Peisistratos sexual abandon in Plutarch (Mor. +,bc; cf. Lavelle +,,,
+:o, n. +:;, obviously contra Lapini +,,o, :ff.). Cf. also Lavelle +,,, ooo.
;. Cf. chapter II..
;o. Cf. Lavelle :ooo, o;+; see also chapter III.:.A.:.
;;. I do not say interpretations of Solons poems, ancient or modern, which of
course may or may not be true. It is the poems themselves that contain evidence for
political conditions in the time of Solon and Peisistratos: cf. chapter III.:.A.:.
;. Cf. Hammer (+,,) who charts what he (after Weber) terms plebiscitary
politics. Much of what he says (cf. ff.) certainly ts Peisistratos career leading up
to the tyranny.These ideas, while along the right track, are not developed suciently;
cf. n. ++.
cn:r+rr ii
+. Hdt. +.,.: (sc. Peisistratos) rorrto tr tou opou uoxp tivo ao outou
xup ooi, ao trov ru ooxip oo r v tp ao Mryor o yrvor vp ototpyi p,
Niooiov tr rmv xoi oo oaoororvo ryoo ryo. Cf. also Ath.Pol. +.+
(largely derived from Herodotos: cf. Rhodes +,+, :; chapter II..B.C. and n. +o;);
How and Wells +,+:, +.:; Legon +,+, +;, n. ; and Figueira +,a, :,+. Herodotos,
who here publishes one of few positive comments about Peisistratos in his work, in-
dexes the victorys impact in its day by mentioning it in a climate of great hostility
toward the Peisistratid tyranny (see Lavelle +,,, :: ff.; and section II..C). I take the
veracity of the statement to be guaranteed, in part, for that reason. On the tyrants
age, home deme, and other events of his earlier life, see appendices AD.
:. Hdt. .o.: (sc. Peisistratidai) rovtr or xoi outoi ovrxo0rv Huioi tr xoi
Npriooi, rx tmv outmv yryovotr xoi oi oi Kooov tr xoi Mrov0ov, oi
ao trov r ap uor r o vtr r yr vovto 'A0pvoi mv ooir r. Cf. Diog. Laert. +.;
Paus. :.+.,, ;.+.; Str. ,.+.;; Toepffer +,, ::o ff.; and Davies +,;+, . On the
Neleid migration, see Huxley +,oo, :off.; Sourvinou-Inwood +,;; and nn. +o+.
On the Peisistratids and the Athenian Neleid traditions, cf. Cromey +,+:, +;
Shapiro +,b; Robertson +,; de Libero +,,o, o, and section :. On Peisistratid
prosopography, see Schachermeyr +,;a, ++; Davies +,;+, ff.; and appendix
C. On Peisistratid nobility, see nn. , ;; section :, and appendices B. and C.
. Cf. Hignett +,:, +o. Toepffer (+,, ::ff.), suggested that, as the Neleid
myth supported Athens claim to be metropolis of Ionian cities, it was invented (cf.
Robertson +,, :;). Cf. also Berve +,o;, +.;. Robertson, who elaborates ex-
tensively on the genesis of Neleid mythology, argues from Toepffers lead but largely
ex silentio.The reader may well disagree, therefore, with such unsupported declara-
tions as When the Catalogue was composed, Athens had not yet professed a connex-
ion with the Pylians of old (:o, my italics throughout); In light of the Hesiodic
Catalogue, it is impossible to believe that Athenians as early as these [i.e., the seventh cen-
tury B.C.E.] professed to be Neleids from Pylos (:;);most assuredly the name Pei-
sistratus [sic] did not then evoke any Neleid heritage (:;); and Athens claim to be
mother city of Ionia is the precondition of Peisistratus claim to be a Neleid (:).The
question of Robertsons unsupported insights aside for the moment, how could such
claims stemming from the Neleid myths (to which Solon seems obliquely to refer in
: xo+rs +o r:trs ++
F a) have been offered if they were incredible and fell only on disbelieving ears?
If, on the other hand, the claims were credible, how could that credibility have been
achieved if the claims and myths were only recently invented? If the myth that
grounded such claims was in fact traditional and so potent over time, how is it
possible to conclude without any further proof offered that such claims and Neleid
namings did not occur well before the seventh century B.C.E.? Finally, why must
Athenian tradition depend on the Hesiodic Catalogue, which in any case is built on
inherited material (West +,, +:). (Indeed, in o B.C.E. the Thessalians offered
Hippias rule over Iolkos [Hdt. .,.+], the ancestral home of the Neleid Hippias,
according to myth [cf. Apollodoros +., ff.]; cf. chapter IV, n. :o. Are we to believe
that the Peisistratid-Neleid connection had nothing whatsoever to do with the
Thessalians offer of that particular place? Cf. Cromey +,+:, +.) Of course,
Robertson does not address these issues in his treatment: Robertsons simple asser-
tions are apparently proof enough for him. The rest of us, however, require rather
more substance or at least substantive argumentation. Cf. nn. ;, , and o and ap-
pendix C.
. Cf. Ath.Pol. :.:: r op rv yo xoi amto ryrvrto aoototp tou op-
ou Eo mv, oru tro or Hrioi ototo, tm v ru yrvm v xoi yvmi mv. Rhodes
(+,+, ;), nds Gommes suggested emendation (+,o:, o:o, n. ) (tmv or
ruyrvmv xoi yvmimv Auxouyo) attractive, since it brings it into agreement
with the following lines by designating a single opponent for Peisistratos (viz., Ly-
kourgos: cf. Hdt. +.,.).The latter is more reasonably called of the well born and
notable than the tyrant in this case. But Peisistratos (claimed) link to Kodros (like
Solons: cf. Plut. Sol. +.:; Diog. Laert. .+; Rhodes +,+, +:; and section :.C) made
him well born and notable at least to appearances, and there is no need to emend,
even as Rhodes himself admits (;):in this list A.P. seems to be deliberately vary-
ing his presentation as far as the material allows. Cf. Rhodes +,+, +;, on the Pei-
sistratid-Neleid connection. (de Libero [+,,o, o, n. ,] muses about earlier judg-
ments of the Peisistratid genos as von geringer Qualitt, but there is no substantial
proof that the Peisistratidai either were or were not actually Hochadel.Many tyrants
seem to have been minor aristocrats or otherwise out of the mainstreamand so not
Hochadel.To all appearances, the young Peisistratos was one of these. Cf. n. ;;.)
Cf. also n. o and appendix B..
. +.,.; cf. Ath.Pol. +. (Rhodes +,+, +;; Chambers +,,o, +,o,;). On
eastern Attika outside the pale, see Hdt. +.,.+, o+.:, o:.:; cf. Sealey +,oo, +oo;
Lewis +,o, :::o; Lavelle +,,, ,;,; Anderson :ooo; and Hignett +,:, +o.
There are other indications that inhabitants of the diakriaHerodotos calls them
hyperakrioi (cf. Cornelius +,:,, +;:+; Lavelle :ooo, :, n. ;:; and chapter III.:.A..
and n. o,)were not within the Athenian pale of full participation in Athenian pub-
lic affairs, even after Peisistratos public debut and possibly their own participation
in the war against Megara (see section .C). This despite the objections of such as
Davies (+,;+, :,,,, after Bradeen) that the outlander genos of Philaids (in the per-
son of Kypselos) was already included in Athenian government notwithstanding: cf.
appendix C.
o. Peisistratos outlandishness may have been enhanced by his detractors, per-
haps even well after the tyranny (cf. Immerwahr +,oo, ++;, n. ++,; Lavelle +,b, :+;
and Lavelle +,,, ;o, n. ;o). But the later Peisistratid-led invasions of Attika, both of
Notes to Pages ::: :
which began in the diakria, the area beyond Athens pale, at Marathon (chapter
IV.:.BC) tend to complement the implications of separateness we nd in
Herodotos. These, together with the Neleid myths, which emphasize the advent of
anes not fully Athenian, and Herodotos account of Peisistratos earlier political
career (chapter III.:), point to the genos outsider status.The Neleid connection may
in fact be read as an acknowledgment of and an attempt to come to terms with that
outsider status (cf. section :.A.).
;. Among those claiming Neleid descent were the Alkmeonidai: Paus. :.+.,
(though implicitly denied by Herodotos: .o:.:, o.+:.+; but cf. Immerwahr +,oo,
++o, n. ++o). Cf. also Davies +,;+, o,; Solon through Execestides (Plut. Sol. +.:); and
the Dropidai; Plut. Sol. +.:; Diog. Laert. .+; cf. Davies +,;+, :).The Philaidai were
descended from Philaios, the son of Aias, no Neleid but an immigrant nonetheless:
see n. +;. Cf. Davies +,;+, :,,; and n. .
I assume that, like the Ionian migration traditions, which appear to have had at
least some basis in fact (cf. Sourvinou-Inwood +,;)the Athenians did achieve
some measure of credibility among the Ionians, it seems, with their claims to mother
city status (cf. n. +:)the Neleid myths also possessed some basis in fact (cf. nn. +++
and section :.B).The advantages of claims to Neleid ancestry may have been at rst
greater during the Submycenaean and Protogeometric periods, especially if there was
any truth toor at least credibility forthe idea that newcomers were responsible
for saving Athens during the time of troubles following the collapse of the Myce-
naeans. The usefulness of such claims may have waned somewhat as the dangers of
the Dark Ages decreased and conditions became more settled, but perhaps it increased
again when the Heroic Age became popular in the later eighth, seventh, and sixth
centuries B.C.E. The memories of Pylian immigration might well have been much
more vivid in Attic provinces, such as Brauron/Philadai, than elsewhere, for this
was identity myth after all (see nn. +++). While such a myth may have made its
way to Athens to be used for purposes involving political advancement (cf. sections
:.C and .E), there certainly can also have been some basis in fact: cf. nn. +:+. (con-
tra Sansone :oo, ; whose suspicions that the name and role of Peisistratos were
fabricated are baseless.)
Hippokrates naming of Peisistratos could portray the hopefulness of a provincial
with big plans for his son (cf. Hignett +,:, +o, n. :; Shapiro +,b, ,; and n. );
it was not, however, merely a ne aristocratic name (so Robertson [+,, :;],
who states that Hippokrates chose the name when he stood by the cradle!). Rather
the name had considerable political and social potency because of its mythical asso-
ciations. Contra Robertson, in view of the myth available to the Athenians, the name
could hardly be free from Bronze Age associations and connotations: see nn. and
o. (It is noteworthy that the name Peisistratos is not in the tradition of horsecom-
pounds to be found in the generation before and after him: cf. appendix B.:.) See
also n. .
. Contra Robertson +,, :, in Peisistratos case, any ambition indicated by
the name and what it may have entailed could have been entirely Hippokrates: cf. nn.
and ;. On the other hand, Herodotos assertion that Hippokrates named his son
Peisistratos after the son of Nestor (.o.) could have been inspired by no more than
homonymity, since Peisistratos is readily recognizable as the name of one of the sons
of Nestor and is in fact the only extant Peisistratid name resonant of Pylian ancestry
:o xo+rs +o r:tr +,
(cf. Od. .ooo+; Rhodes +,+, +;; Shapiro +,b, ,; and appendix C, n. +). Cf.
Toepffer +,, , n. . Robertsons statement (:;) that the name Peisistratus did
not then (sc. ca. ooooo B.C.E.) evoke (presumably, among the Athenians) any Neleid
heritage is (once again) asserted on no grounds whatsoever: cf. nn. and o.
,. Cf. Diog. Laert. +..Accounting for Peisistratos tyranny is certainly the point
of Chilons obviously apocryphal admonition to Hippokrates, the father of Peisis-
tratos (Hdt. +.,.:; chapter III.:.A; and appendix C.+.A.), and in fact Herodotos en-
tire account of Peisistratos rise to the tyranny (see chapter III.:.A; and Lavelle +,,+).
+o. Cromey (+,+:, +) observes that the archaeological record only
weakly supports the Neleid tradition of Bronze Age migration to Attika, and that is
true: cf. nn. +++ and +,.
++. Cf. Parker +,,o, +:.There is abundant evidence of late Mycenaean habita-
tion in eastern Attika, and it is reasonable to assume that other Mycenaean fugitives
or their descendants came to dwell on the coast or in the hinterland (mesogaia) at the
same time as or even subsequent to the settlement(s) around Perati (cf. Iakovidis +,o;
and nn. + and +,) and the abandonment of the necropolis there. Habitation is likely
around (but not at) Brauron, further up the coast around modern Loutsa and Rana,
and inland west of Porto Raphti Bay around Markopoulo. (Sourvinou-Inwood [+,;
:+,] suggests the possibility of several inuxes of settlers to the region; cf. Coulton
+,;o).The dissolution of the Perati settlement(s) after about a century might be taken
as indication that there were further movements of small groups to such sites as Phi-
ladai, away from the perhaps increasingly vulnerable coastline during this Submyce-
naean period: see appendixes A and B. For Brauron, there are admittedly contraindi-
cations of settlement in LH IIIC. The existing Mycenaean site at Brauron was
evidently abandoned toward the end of LH IIIB, and there are no signs that the site
was reoccupied by any later arriving group of Achaians. However, the builders of the
chamber tombs south and east of the akropolis of Brauron may well have moved their
abodes away from the vulnerable seacoast and their former settlement to the greater
security afforded inland rather than having departed from the region altogether. Late
Mycenaeans were at Spata, Ligori, and Kopreza, sites that offered both agricultural
potential and the greater comfort of being at some distance from the sea and its un-
certainties. Mycenaean fugitives also settled in Euboia. (For a historical summary of
Lefkandi, see Popham, Sackett, and Themelis +,;,, ff.; cf. Whitley +,,+, +o;
Osborne +,,o, +; and Lemos :oo:, :o::o; cf. also appendix B, n. +,.) These
seem to have come hastily and under some threat: cf. also nn. +:, +, and +,.
+:. The traditions alone do not corroborate belief in the Pylian descent of the
Peisistratids, and in fact the notion of Pylian migration to eastern Attika seems at vari-
ance with both the tradition and the physical remains of Perati, for Messenian/Pylian
cultural artifacts are specically absent from the excavations there. Philaios was not a
Neleid but a Salaminian (cf. n. +;). No pure Neleids are found in this eastern Attic
migration myth. On the other hand, Philaios name may have been the one that sur-
vived in memory for settlement of the Brauron region whereas the names of those
who led the settlement around Perati did not. Sourvinou-Inwood (+,;, :+) ob-
serves that the name Philaios appears on a Pylian Linear B tablet (PY Un :,.+),
which offers some slender support to the tradition of Neleid immigration: Philaios
was the eponym for the Attic deme Philadai, and there was perhaps conation of
him with Aias (cf. nn. + and +;). (Cromey [+,+:, +:,, n. +] notes that the names
Notes to Page .o :;
Melanthos, Kodros, Neleus, and apparently Alkmaion are to be found on Mycenaean
tablets from Pylos.) It is to be observed that the tradition of Late Bronze Age immi-
gration to Attika by those who became Ionians was not doubted by Thucydides (+.:.o;
+:.; cf. Gomme +,, +++,; Hornblower +,,+, +, o+; and Sourvinou-Inwood
+,;, :+) or by any other ancient authors (cf. Cromey +,+:, +:,). It is further sup-
ported by archaeological evidence derived from Perati and nearby (cf. Sourvinou-In-
wood +,;, :+o; Iakovidis +,o, ++o++; Cromey +,+:, +; and nn. +, and :).
Certainly the fact that other gene

,including the Alkmeonidai,advanced claims to Pylian

descent (cf. Paus. :.+.,, doubted by Davies [+,;+, o,], but cf. n. ;) suggests that such
traditions were very acceptable to the Athenians. Cf.Thomas +,,, +o+ff.
(It is interesting to note in the context of the Pylian salvation myths [n. +] the
epigram of one Diognetos, son of Euadne

tos, of the deme Paiania, which was found

not far from the sanctuary of Artemis at Brauron. It commemorates Diognetos death
on behalf of his city: cf.Themelis +,.)
+. The relative anonymity of the Pylians in the company of settlers to the re-
gion around Perati may be explained if these were relatively few in number and their
culture concealed because it was distinct in only few ways.Those who came with
Philaios need not have been homogeneous: the band led by Neleus from Pylos is
attested, for whatever its worth as evidence, by Diodoros (.o.) to have been mot-
ley (cf. Cromey +,+:, +o and n. ). As at Xeropolis-Lefkandi, refugees from dif-
ferent parts of the Peloponnesos may have arrived together as or coalesced into a
community (or communities) around Perati after their arrival (cf. Popham, Sackett,
and Themelis +,;,, o). (Some haste is suggested: cf. n. +,.) One of the cultural
distinctions can have been burial type, the variance of which could certainly be taken
to suggest that the settlers around Perati were indeed not homogeneous and did not
all originate in the same place.Although the overwhelming number of tombs at Perati
are of the chamber type, some twenty-seven are cist- or tholos-type tombs or com-
binations that included cremation burials. These variant burial modes suggest the
presence of distinct minorities, which, although their members employed apparently
different means for burial and so remained culturally distinctive in that way, were
nevertheless settled in among the majority and obviously included within the com-
munity. On the basis of the variance, it has been suggested (Sourvinou-
Inwood +,;, :+,) that the minority were the Pylians of the legends, who might have
come to the area in a second wave. While the suggestion is plausible, it is not pos-
sible to say conclusively that these were in fact the cist grave (or other burial type)
users: cf. Cromey +,+:, +.Again, the use of cremation by the Perati settlers does
not necessarily weaken Iakovidis observation that the Perati tomb builders were
pureMycenaeans, since cremation appears in Mycenaean contexts before LH IIIC
(cf. Iakovidis +,o, ++o; and Desborough +,o, ++). Of course, any other, less dis-
tinct cultural differences of such a minority can have become rapidly diluted or van-
ished altogether within those of the majority, especially if the variances were few to
begin with. Cf. n. +,.
(If renowned Pylian seamanship had anything to do with leadership of the Perati
settlers, as Sourvinou-Inwood [+,;, :++o] has suggested, perhaps the Pylians were,
or at least were designated, the conveyors of Mycenaean fugitives from the Pelopon-
nesos, some of whom arrived by ship in eastern Attika. On the Pylians as able sailors
and traders,cf. Sourvinou-Inwood [+,;], who points out [rightly in my judgment]
: xo+rs +o r:tr :o
that the Perati settlers arrived from the sea, although I should not agree on the evi-
dence available that their main concern was to nd good harbours in a new home-
land which allowed them to continue their trading activities[:+o] nor that they were
conveyed by the Pylian eet[:+].We may here take pause with Cromey [+,+:,
+, n. ] with regard to the Neleid advent myths.)
+. Cf. Lavelle +,,, ::ff.
+. On the precinct of Artemis at Brauron, the site of the Attic de

me Philadai,
and their proximity and relationship to one another, see Antoniou +,,o; nn. +; and
:; and appendix A.
+o. Thuc. +.+:.+:; cf. Gomme +,, ++o+;; and Hornblower +,,+, ;.
+;. Hdt. o.; Paus. +..:; schol. Pind. Nem. :.+,; Plut. Sol. +o.:; Harpok. s.v. 'Eu-
uooxriov; Steph. Byz. s.v. 4ioiooi; and Markel. Vit.Thuc. Cf. How and Wells
+,+:, :.;o; Sourvinou-Inwood +,;, :+;+ (who denies the connection between
Aias and Philaios); Antoniou +,,o, ;,,+; and Parker +,,, +o+;. Cf. also nn. o,
o, and +;; and appendix C, n. ,.
+. On the Mycenaean remains at Brauron, see, for example, Coulton +,;o,
+oo, with bibliography; cf. Blackman +,,,:ooo, +; and :ooo:oo+, .The most
thorough source for the area of Brauron is Antoniou +,,o (though cf. Giuman +,,,).
For Philadai, the best and most informative is the (regrettably) still unpublished study
of Beck (+,;,). Cf. appendices A and B.
+,. Iakovidis (+,o, +) observes that the area of Perati was only sparsely settled
before LH IIIC, a fact that supports the conclusion that the Mycenaeans who used
the Perati necropolis immigrated hastily and in some numbers around the period
just before the general destruction of Mycenaean civilization ca. +:oo++o/:
B.C.E. He also notes (+o;) that the earliest grave pottery at Perati (Phase I) corre-
sponds in time to construction of the wall extension at Mycenae and the Cyclo-
pean road wall at the isthmus. These remains are sometimes taken to indicate that
the trouble that brought mass destruction to the Mycenaeans in the Peloponnesos
was approaching and that they there were preparing for the onslaught with new for-
tications. If that correlation is correctand there is still controversy about them
and what brought about the end of the Mycenaeansthen the arrival of the grave
users of Phase I at Perati, who seem to have been refugees, appears to be linked to
the same threat. Popham and Sackett (+,o, ) conclude that a considerable inux
of population occurred at Xeropolis and in southern Euboia at about the same
time (cf. Iakovidis +,o, +o;). This tends to corroborate the notion of mass move-
ment of Mycenaeans to destinations along the Attic and Euboic coasts because of
threat. Cf. Spitaels +,:, on the possibility of contemporary new settlers at Thorikos.
Cf. also n. :;.
:o. On Perati, see Iakovidis +,o. On the Peisistratid connection with Perati and
the tradition of migration to eastern Attika, see Sourvinou-Inwood +,;, :+ff. Cf.
also nn. +:+ and +, and appendix A. It is interesting to note that the pottery of
MH Mycenaeans of Braurons akropolis suggests contact with Mycenaean sites of the
Peloponnesos (cf. Blackman +,,,:ooo, +; and n. :).
:+. Osborne +,,o, . Desboroughs suggestion (+,o, ::) that the descendants
of the Mycenaean settlers in the area of Perati could have continued their way of life
for some time after the disappearance of their cultural artifacts makes a great deal of
sense: cf. nn. ::: and appendix A.
Notes to Pages .o.: :,
::. Cf.Tomlinson (+,,,, ;), who transmits the report of the excavation of a
cave in the area of Brauron containing the remains of bears and humans that are
twenty thousand years old. See also nn. ::.
:. Cf. Lloyd-Jones +,, ,; and Simon +,, and +o.Any argument that the
cult was imported after the Bronze Age would have to explain, among other things,
why a postBronze Age cult would involve Iphigeneia at all instead of another
name less implicated with and signicant for Mycenaean culture (cf.Antoniou +,,o,
:oo+:; and Giuman +,,,, +o:ff.). It also is dicult to accept that bear dancing,
for example, was grafted into the system of existing cult practices instead of surviv-
ing from a much earlier time. On the bear ritual (arkteia), see Antoniou +,,o,
+,::o; Sourvinou-Inwood +,,o; Cole +,,, ; and Giuman +,,,, o++. Cf. also
nn. :: and :.
:. Eur. Iph.Taur. +o:o;. On Artemis and Iphigeneia, see, for example, Lloyd-
Jones +,, ,+ff.; Dowden +,,, ,ff.; Antoniou +,,o, :oo+:; Kearns +,,, +o+ and
+o; and Giuman +,,,, +o:;,. Beck (+,;,, +) observes the potentially great age of the
Iphigeneia cave cult at Brauron, and of course that dovetails with the implied ancient-
ness of the arkteia (cf. Lloyd-Jones +,, ,+ ff.; Osborne +,,o, ; and nn. :::).
Are the Mycenaean psi gurines of Perati (Iakovidis +,o, +,),which most prob-
ably represented the divine nurse, prototypes for those discovered at Brauron in the
precinct of Artemis? Investigations have brought to light a middle Helladic building
(house?) at Brauron, within which was discovered pottery suggesting contact be-
tween Brauron and, among other places, Mycenaean sites of the Peloponnesos: cf.
Blackman +,,,:ooo, +; and n. +:.
The inhabitants of the inland deme Myrrhinous (modern Merenda; Traill +,o,
+:,), not far distant from Brauron, chiey worshiped Artemis Kolainis (schol.Ar. Birds
;; cf. Paus. +.+.; cf. appendix A, n. ).The sanctuary of Artemis Tauropoulos, again,
including Iphigeneia, was set on the beach at Halae Araphenides (modern Loutsa;
Traill +,o, +:), just north of Brauron.Artemis worship may also have predominated
among the coastal Euboians (cf. Paus. +.+., linking Artemis Amarysia
[Athmonia/Amarousion: cf. Traill +,o, +] with Amarynthos in Euboea [about ,
km south of Eretria]). And, of course, the cult of Artemis and Iphigeneia was en-
trenched farther up the coast at Aulis in Boiotia, very close to Euboia (cf. Giuman
+,,,, +o:ff). See also appendix A.
:. See nn. ::: and appendix A, n..
:o. On the association among Philadai, the Brauronian Artemis cult, and the Pei-
sistratidai, see appendix A, nn. ++.
:;. The theory of mass emigration from Athens to the hinterlands of Attika in
the eighth century B.C.E. (cf. Coldstream +,;;, +; Snodgrass +,o, :ff.; and White-
head +,o, ff.) possesses pronounced weaknesses.While the idea of dioecism is it-
self based on inconclusive archaeological data for the Geometric period, it discounts
or fails to consider signicant historical contraindications almost altogether (cf.
Whitehead +,o, ). It is much more dicult to believe that numerous inhabitants
of the eighth-century B.C.E. villages of Athens(cf.Whitley +,,+, o+) fanned out in
concert and on cue to the farther reaches of the mesogaia rather than that the indi-
genes who,Thucydides notes,always lived in the countryside (:.+o.+), coalesced in
their own numbers in villages increasing in size at the same time technology and
:o xo+rs +o r:trs :+:
communication were improving everywhere in the Greek world (cf. Snodgrass +,o,
,ff.; and Thomas and Conant +,,,, ;). Second, I am unsure why natives of Attika
could not have been joined by immigrants from outside of AttikaEuboia and the
western Cyclades stand forth as potential contributorsjust as the Boiotians were
joined, for example, by Hesiods father (apparently in the eighth century B.C.E.), orig-
inally from Kyme in Anatolia (Works and Days, oo; cf.West +,;, o) or even as
the Athenians were joined by the Gephyraioi, apparently from Euboia (Hdt. .;.+;
cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.:; cf. also n. :).Third, what other than distinctions per-
ceived by the Athenians could have produced the dichotomy between city folk and
the diakrioi/hyperakrioi (men of the hills) until the midsixth century B.C.E. (cf. nn.
o)? Fourth (and it relates to the last), there is no evidence of memory of any mass
movement outward from Athens during the Dark Ages, and that seems a very signi-
cant omission in view of the active memory of events of movements before the Dark
Ages (i.e., Ionian migrations to Athens, colonizing migrations from Athens, etc.).
Fifth, how could such rites as those of Artemis Brauronia, ancient even in Peisistratos
day (cf. Lloyd-Jones +,, ,; and n. ::), have been preserved, retaining some of their
obviously Neolithic aspects, without at least some inhabitants remaining continu-
ously in the vicinity from the end of the Bronze Age and carrying on the ancient rit-
ual? (Beck [+,;,, ::;] in fact notes that the major site of Poussi Kalogeri [Kyther-
ros?], :. km southwest of Brauron, was inhabited continuously very possibly from
Neolithic times. Even if this site were not the deme Kytherros, which Philochoros
mentions as one of Attikas ancient twelve cities, the Dodekapoleis [FrGrHist :,
F ,; cf.Traill +,o, ;+; and appendix A (and n. )], the memory of such habita-
tion indicates that the Athenians at least believed in the early and persistent habita-
tion of Attika in the area by indigenes.) These elements are not adequately dealt with
by such theorists as espouse dioecism. Archaeological data accompanied only by
speculation and theorizing are not enough of themselves to prove dioecism.
:. Certainly, Herodotos appears keen to specify aristocratic clans that had come
to Athens from elsewhere (cf. Immerwahr +,oo, ++;, n. ++,). Cf. n. :; (on immigrants
of the Archaic period) and n. o.
:,. Cf. Davies +,;+, .
o. On the Pylian myths, see nn. : and +. Of course, I am assuming, contra
Robertson (+,, :o), that the Athens-oriented Neleid myths involving Melanthos
and Kodros were in fact of some age by the beginning of the sixth century B.C.E.,
since claims were being made to anity well before (cf. Peisistratos, archon of
oo,o B.C.E. [cf. n. ; and appendix C.+.B., n. +]). But cf. Robertson +,, :;:
Peisistratus the tyrant was born in ca. ooooo B.C.E., or not long before or after.
But most assuredly the name Peisistratus did not then evoke any Neleid heritage. For
the archon of oo, B.C.E., a man born by the year ;oo at the very latest, was already
so named [!] (cf. also nn. , ;, and ). Of course, the name is better taken as proof of
the opposite of Robertsons assertionit is the name of Nestors son after all, made
most famous in the Odysseyand what he declares here. On the Philaios immigra-
tion myth and archaeological record, see nn. +:, +;, and o.
+. Hellanikos FrGrHist :, F : (cf. Jacoby +,b, III, B, II, +,ff. on the frag-
ment); Str. ,.+.;.Toepffer +,, :ff.; Frost +,o, o,;o; and Robertson +,, :off.,
n. +. Of course, this is a similar kind of demonstration (i.e., saving the city by ridding
Notes to Pages .,., :+
it of threat) to that which earned Oedipous the throne of Thebes (cf. Oed.Tyr. ff.,
,off.) Cf. nn. +: (on Diognetos) and +oo.
:. Hdt. .;o.+ (cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.:); Pherek. FrGrHist F +; and Str.
,.+.;. Cf.Toepffer +,, :off.; and Robertson +,, ::ff.
. Cf.Toepffer +,, :ff.; and Robertson +,, :off.
. Again, contra Robertson +,, :;, cf.Thomas and Conant +,,,, o, ;:; and
nn. o and o.The myths could reect, at least to some degree, real conditions of the
postBronze Age: certainly the Ionian migration myths from the same period are
based on a historical event, the memory of which persisted from the end of the
Bronze Age (Thuc. +.+:.; Gomme +,, ++,:o; Hornblower +,,+, o+; cf. also
Huxley +,oo, :ff.; and nn. +++:).
. Cf. Podlecki +,, ++. Figueira (+,,+, +;), in an effort to tie the Neleid tra-
dition of the Peisistratidai to colonization, misses its main thrust, which must have
been to achieve advantage(s) in politics at home. Cf. section .E.
o. Perhaps the most famous mythical repulse of invaders from the area of the
akropolis was that of the Amazons by the Athenians under Theseus:Aes. Eum. o,o;
Plut. Thes. :;; cf. Walker +,,b, ,, ooo. Of course, this, the myth of Eumol-
pos, and both Neleid myths underscore the Athenians fear of vulnerability to inva-
sion. Such abiding fear would surely have made the Kylonian seizure, assisted by alien
Dorians, horrifying to the Athenians: see section .A.:. (It appears that Athens
akropolis was not taken even at the end of the Bronze Age: see Hurwit +,,,, :.)
;. While it is possible that the Peisistratid/Neleid tradition was further empha-
sized by Peisistratos successor(s) or others for their own purposes, the tradition
beneted them only as a reection of Peisistratos war accomplishments, which were
decidedly not theirs.
. A similar attitude might be found in that of the English at the death of the
Black Prince noted by Thomas Walsingham (quoted from Tuchman +,;, :,):while
he lived they feared no enemy, even as he when he was present they feared no war-
like encounter. Of course, this image of redoubtability was won through Edwards
victory over the French at Poitiers, a turning point in the history of the two coun-
tries but, as a follow up to Crecy, a sea change for England. A similar feeling could
have affected the Athenians with regard to Peisistratos after Nisaia, a victory that en-
sured Athenian security by effectively containing Megarian aggression: see section
.A.D; chapter V; appendix B..
,. Aside from the testimony in Herodotos and other sources is the fact of the
Solonian context: Solon says that the Athenians listened to orators and conceded
power to them.Were we to know it from no other sources, Peisistratos would have
to have been a persuasive speaker were he to appeal at all to the Athenians. As it is,
context and other testimony converge here. Cf. Lavelle :ooo, o;; and chapter
o. Even then Peisistratos may have said of himself that he warred, or rather was
forced to war, against his enemies (such as Megakles) rather than the Athenians, a fur-
ther spin on events.As we shall see, the campaign resulting in the victory at Palle


was probably designed not to be viewed by the Athenians as waged against them but
against Peisistratoswicked enemies: see chapter IV.:.D.
+. Diog. Laert. +.; cf. Shapiro +,b, ,, n. ; Robertson +,, :; and Lavelle
:ooo, o;. Peisistratos was not alone in manipulating myth for advantage: we de-
:: xo+rs +o r:trs ::o
tect in Herodotos account of the marriage of Agariste (o.+:++) an apparent at-
tempt by the Alkmeonidai to portray the occasion and the victor, Megakles, in a
myth-heroic fashion: cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.++;; cf. McGregor +,+, :off.;
Fornara and Samons +,,+, +o+:; Vandiver +,,+, :;; and Parker +,,, +;,
::. It is impossible to say, on the present evidence, whether this propaganda is
contemporary or anachronized, however. Cf. chapter III, n. o and Appendix E.
Modern claims that Peisistratid myth-manipulation inuenced subjects and themes
on painted Attic pottery of the sixth century B.C.E. (most prominently by Boardman
[+,;:, +,;, and +,,]) seem to me to be based on little more than aesthetic inference
and ingeniousness but are actually more ingenious than they are likely to be correct:
cf. e.g., Cook (+,;), who is very rightly skeptical about the links. The main objec-
tion is that such propaganda is just too vague or oblique to achieve its desired pur-
pose and so becomes ineffective and even useless. How could anyone to whom the
pottery may have been given outside of Attika understand any of the so-called prop-
aganda values attached to the gures and themes? Indeed, things would have to have
been explained even to the Athenians. Propaganda requiring explanation is failed
propaganda. (On the controversy involving Peisistratos alleged use of Herakles, cf. also
Cavalier +,,,; Ferrari +,,,; Hanah +,,,;; and Brandt +,,;.)
While it is possible that the traditions of Neleid kinship were authentic (cf.
Toeppfer +,, ::o:;, n. :; Davies +,;+, ; and nn. +:+, +,), in view of the im-
portance the Athenians attached to such myths, they were obviously used for politi-
cal purposes: cf. section .E. Cromey (+,::, +) points out that connections to
groups such as the Neleids have an epic sense, a further attraction for their inventors.
Elected tyrants were not a rarity in Archaic Greece: Pittakos was elected by the
Mitylenaians (cf.Arist. Pol. +:a; Diog. Laert. +.;;;; How and Wells +,+:, +, ooo;
Epimenes by the Milesians [Nik. Dam. FrGrHist ,o, ]; cf. Periandros of Corinth
[Diog. Laert. +.o+; ,; (= Anth. Pal. ;.o+,)]).The Megarians vote of a bodyguard
to Theagenes might be said to have rendered him a de facto aisymne


s (elected
tyrant) (Arist. Pol. +oa, ::o), just as it might be said to have done to Peisistratos
later (see section .A.+; nn. ;;;; and chapter III.:.). On aisymne

teia, see also Hegyi

+,;;; and McGlew +,,, ;,+. Cf. also Hammer +,,.
:. :
Kuvr, ao i r v r 0' p or ao i, ooi or op ooi,
oi ao o0' ou tr oi xo p ioroov ou tr vo ou,
o ' o i aruoi oi ooo oi ym v xotr tiov
r m o' m ot' r ooi tp oo' r vr ovto ao ro.
xoi vu v ri o' o yo0oi, Houaoiop
These lines immediately follow those that have been dated to between oo and ooo
B.C.E. (see Cobb-Stevens, Figueira, and Nagy +,, +) and should therefore nd con-
text in the war with Athens (see section ) if not in the same period: see n. . Cf.
also Hudson-Williams +,+o, +;;;.
. The need for manpower because of the war (and migration [see section
.A.+]?), but, perhaps more, depletion of the numbers willing to ght, probably
helped to attract Megarian outlanders to Megara and perhaps diakrians (outlanders)
to Athens: cf. section .B.C. (It is interesting to note, in this light, that at least one
ancient author observed that the Athenians permitted the Ionians to come to Athens
Notes to Pages .., :
at the end of the Bronze Age not because of anity but because they required them
in their wars with the Dorians: cf. Paus. ;.+.,.) The alienation of the Peisistratidai and
other (noble?) diakrians from the traditional Athenian aristocracy (and with it a sense
of inferiority?) could help to explain not only why the Peisistratidai pressed their
claims to Neleid kinship but also why Peisistratos sought the tyranny. Peisistratos was
different from the Athenian aristocrats of the Kephissian Plain, conspicuously lack-
ing the pervasive Athenian aristocratic aversion to tyranny (cf. chapter III, nn. o and
). Surely, some sense of alienation and inferiority, along with ambition, must gure
into Peisistratos (and perhaps every Greek tyrants) aspirations to monarchy: cf. Diod.
Sik. .:; P.Oxy. ++.+o (on the mageiros [cook] Orthagoras of Sikyon); Hdt. .o;.:
(on the leuster [stone-thrower] Kleisthenes of Sikyon); section .A.+; and nn. +o;
(on Theagenes of Megara). Of course, two notable but quite unpopular exceptions
to the general rule were the renegade aristoi Kylon and Isagoras. See section .A.:;
appendix B; and nn. +:.
. Cf. Lambert +,,, +;; and Cromey +,+:, +:,. Cf. also nn. ++:+.
. It seems dicult to imagine that the tradition about the Peisistratids Neleid
origins came somehow through the Alkmeonidai, who linked themselves to the
Neleids (cf. Paus. :.+., in conjunction with Hdt. o.+:.+; and schol. Plat. Symp.
:o), since the Peisistratids as outlanders were not really ithageneis (rightly born) (cf.
Davies +,;+, oo [on the Kimonids]) and since it was not at all desirable to be asso-
ciated with the tyrants in (at least) the early fth century B.C.E. at Athens.Yet the Alk-
meonidai were not bashful about publicizing anity with the Peisistratids later on
(Isok. +o.:; Rhodes +,+, +o;; Lavelle +,a, +ff.; Lavelle +,,a) and appear
to have been somewhat sensitive to their own actual latecoming to Athens (cf. Im-
merwahr +,oo, ++;, n. ++,). Perhaps they publicized their own Messenian back-
ground as a result of (their ties to) the Neleid Peisistratids, whose lineage may have
been accepted as valid by the Athenians, not in the least because of the genos abode
in eastern Attika (cf. Davies +,;+, o,;o; and Lavelle +,b, :++). Cf. section :.B.
o. It is surely the belief in their noble backgrounds that accounts for the state-
ment in the Ath.Pol. (:.:) that Solon and Peisistratos were tmv ruyrvmv xoi yv-
mimv.There is no need to emend the text: cf. n. . By the same token, we cannot
conclude merely on this evidence that the Peisistratidai were held to be true Athe-
nian aristocrats.They were at pains after all to make the case for anity and nobility.
See also nn. :, o.
;. Cf. appendix C.+.A.
. Cf. Lavelle +,,+; +,,, ,o.
,. See n. +.
o. Lavelle +,,+; +,,, ;;o.
+. Cf. Lavelle +,, :;ff.; and Legon +,+, +;, n. . I cannot agree with Profes-
sor Frost (+,, :,o) that the capture of Nisaea was in fact of little importance:
see section .D. Taylor (+,,;, o and n. ) is not convinced that there was a fth-
century dampening of positive reference to Peisistratos in relation to Salamis:If the
tradition could preserve for Herodotos the information that Peisistratos captured Ni-
saia, why not that he captured Salamis?The problem here is that Taylor confuses
what Herodotos actually reports with the tradition, that is, what there was to report.
Obviously, both Herodotos and the tradition (i.e., Herodotos source and/or source
material) had more information about Peisistratos other military actions with regard
: xo+rs +o r:trs :+
to Salamis than Herodotos passed on to us. The great deeds of Peisistratos in the
war with Megara very likely included the nal recovery of Salamis: see section .C
and n. +o. Herodotos account of Peisistratos rise, which depended on his Athenian
source(s), is contaminated with interested, contrived, suppressed, and at times quite
inconsistent reporting (cf. Lavelle +,,+; Lavelle +,,; Lavelle :ooo, ff.; and chapter
III).Thus, although Peisistratos great deeds are likely to have included the recovery
of Salamis, what Herodotos supplies will not permit us to say absolutely that Peisis-
tratos did help the Athenians retake Salamis, that he did not help them to retake
Salamis, or that, if he did, the recapture was not among his other great deeds in the
war: Herodotos simply does not tell us.The signicant word in what Herodotos re-
ports is of course megala (big), and this strongly suggests signal deeds that very likely
included the recovery and securing of Salamis and perhaps the securing of Eleusis.
See section .B.C.
:. Ath.Pol. +;.:; Plut. Sol. +o, +:.. On Solon, Peisistratos, and the war for
Salamis, see Toepffer +,;, +ff.; Highbarger +,:;, +:;;; French +,;; Hopper +,o+,
:+o+;, esp. :++; Legon +,+, ,+o+, +::ff.; Frost +,, :,+; Figueira +,a,
:o, ooo; Podlecki +,;, ; Stahl +,;, :off.; Oliva +,, +ff.;Taylor +,,;,
:o; Frost +,,,; and LHomme-Wery +,,,; cf. Schachermeyr +,;b, +oo. See also
sections .A.. and E.
. On the date of Aeneias Poliorke

tika (On Sieges), see Whitehead +,,o, ,+o;

on sources for the Megarian war, cf. Figueira +,o, ::ff.
. Ain. Takt. .+:; Front. :.,.,; Just. :.; cf.Whitehead +,,o, +o;. On Pei-
sistratos cunning as topos in the time of Herodotos, cf. Lavelle +,,, +++. Con-
versely, it is possible that the tyrants cleverness helped create the topos for himself
and others. One imagines that accretions enlarged the basis of Peisistratos real cun-
ning as time went on: cf. Herodotos on Peisistratos rise and the account of the
Ath.Pol. (+.; +o.:o). See also section .D.+.
. Cf. Gomme +,, +:o; Figueira +,a, :;.
o. On the myths of Melanthos and Kodros, see nn. : and +.
;. Cf. nn. and oo. Cf. also Osborne +,,o, ; (map).
. Cf. Plut. Thes. +o..Thucydides (:.+.+) refers to conict between Athens and
Eleusis at the time of Eumolpus and Erectheos, and it is possible that the historian
thought that the initial incorporation occurred then: cf. Paus. +.. (and :;.) (cf.
Gomme +,o, ,; and Hornblower +,,+, :ooo+). Solons story of Tellos of Athens
also suggests that Eleusis was not taken by the Athenians peacefully (see n. oo). Cf.
Figueira +,a, :;o and n. On Theseus unication of Attika, cf. Walker +,,b,
+,,; and Hornblower +,,+, :o:o; cf. also Anderson :ooo; and n. oo.
,. Figueira (+,a, :;) suggests that the war began with Athens incorporation
of Eleusis, which gave the two cities a common and disputed border. See also nn.
oo. Cf. Padgug +,;: (although a Bronze Age date for the incorporation of Eleu-
sis into Attika seems too early); Hornblower +,,+, :ooo+; cf. also Mylonas +,o+,
oo; Legon +,+, o (circa ;oo); Sealey +,;o, ,,; Diamant +,:; Figuiera
+,a, :;o; Stanton +,,o, + (later date); and LHomme-Wery +,,, off.
There is no reason why Tellos of Athens(Hdt. +.o.), who was said by Solon to
have fallen in battle against neighbors in Eleusis (+.o.), need have been a con-
temporary of Solon (cf. Figueira +,a, :;,; and Stanton +,,o, +) or in fact that any
Notes to Pages ,:,. :
connection is to be made between him and Athens acquisition of Eleusis in the sev-
enth century B.C.E. (cf. How and Wells +,+:, +.o;; Richardson +,;, ;, n. :; and
Hornblower +,,+, :o+). Tellos obviously could have been a mythical gure con-
nected with Athens early wars with Eleusis (cf.Thuc. :.+; Paus. ;.+.; Mylonas, :ff.;
and LHomme-Wery +,,, oo, ;+;): he seems to have been an abstract any-
way, whose name (Mr. Fullment or Accomplishment; Outcome or End-
Man,cf. Chiasson +,o, :o) amounts perhaps to his mythical signicance inasmuch
as he nished his life well by Solonian standards. (Could Tellos also be the personi-
cation of a military unit? Cf. Aesch. Pers. ;; Hdt. +.+o.+, ;.;; and Thuc. :.::.) On
Tellos, cf. also LHomme-Wery +,,,, +++;. Nor is the Solonian law on Eleusis of
any help at all in dating the citys acquisition by the Athenians (Andok. +.+++; cf. My-
lonas +,o+, oo; and Garland +,,:, o;), since it may well have been ancestral
or invented as ancestral and simply ascribed to Solon. Some scholars consider that
the best evidence for the annexation time is the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, which they
observe was composed without any reference to Athens after ca. oo but before o
B.C.E. Thus, the Hymn might provide reasonable termini post and ante quem for
Eleusis annexation by Athens (cf. Richardson +,;, ++). But that is an argumen-
tum ex silentio, and a lack of reference to Athens in the Hymn hardly proves that the
Athenians were not in control of Eleusis at the time of the Hymns composition,
whenever that was.
On the other hand, many of the anecdotes involving Solon, Peisistratos, and
Salamis also involve Eleusis and the island and the city are naturally and strategically
linked (see sections .A.. and .E.) It is reasonable, then, to assume that Eleusis was
perpetually implicated in hostilities between Megara and Athens (see n. +o:). Eleu-
sis may have changed hands perhaps several times in the protracted war with Megara
beginning in the late eighth or early seventh century B.C.E. (cf. section .A.+.:), and
intermittent Athenian control of it before the end of Megarian war could explain
such omissions as we nd in the Hymn and such references as Solon made to ght-
ing about Eleusis (cf. Figueira +,a, :;,). Cf. also LHomme-Wery +,,, +:;
LHomme-Wery +,,,; and section .A.:.
o+. Cf. Philochoros FrGrHist : F +o; (appendix E, n. :); Cf. schol. Ar. Lys. :
Ayiri rv tpv aoo to ootu ri Hu0iou, Hoovti or tpv Hooiov, Auxmi
or tpv Aioxiov, Niomi or tpv Mryoioo. Cf. also Paus. +.,.; and appendix E.
Jacoby (+,a, o), however, has suggested that this was legitimizing propaganda that
came into being during the Megarian war (cf.Taylor +,,;, :::, nn. :o:+; Lavelle
:ooo, ,off.; nn. o+ and o; and section .E).
o:. Cf. Linforth +,+,, ,; Daverio Rocchi +,;+, :;; and Andrewes +,:b, ;:.
o. It should be acknowledged that the myth of Pylian migration to Attika from
Salamis (see n. +;) could have itself been produced by the Athenians during the
Megarian war: the cession and migration of Eurysakes and Philaios then became fur-
ther ground for Athenian rights to the island (cf. Lambert +,,;, ,;; Taylor +,,;,
:; and n. +;). If that is the case, then Peisistratos might be considered the like-
liest author of the story, since this knit his desire to demonstrate anity together quite
nicely with Athens political aims (viz., the annexation of Salamis: see section .E).
On the other hand, as has been stated, the myth of immigration to eastern Attika is
substantiated to some degree by the archaeology of the area for the Submycenaen
:o xo+rs +o r:tr :
period (see section :.B). There are other indications of early links between Salamis
and Athens: cf. nn. o and ;. It is to be observed, however, that the Homeric pas-
sages suggesting a link between Salamis and Athens (e.g., Il. :.;) are most prob-
ably interpolations: cf.Taylor +,,;, :: and n. ::; and section .E and n. +;;.
o. Cf. Osborne +,,, +;; and Thomas and Conant +,,,, o: and ;. Cf., how-
ever, the cautionary remarks of Lambert (+,,;, ,o, n. +).
o. Cf. IG I
+; Figueira +,,+, +ff.;Taylor +,,;, o:; and Lambert +,,;, ,.
oo. Cf. Jeffery +,;o, +; Legon +,+, ,o:, o,; Graham +,, :; and
Figueira +,a, :o:o, :;:, on Corinthian dominance of the Megarid.
o;. Cf. Salmon +,, ,, o, , ,,, ,ff.
o. Although the victories of the Megarian general Orsippos, said to have been
Olympic victor in ;:o B.C.E. (IG VII.:; Paus. +..+; cf. Highbarger +,:;, +,; Pic-
cirilli +,;, +:o+; Legon +,+, o; Salmon +,, ;+; and Hornblower +,,+, :;:),
were very possibly achieved at the expense of the Corinthians (cf. Figueira +,a,
:;:;), it cannot be ruled out completely that they were won from the Athenians
(Salmon +,; Legon +,+). Of the range of dates for Orsippos (;:ooo B.C.E.; cf.
Piccirilli +,;, +:,; and Figueira +,a, :;+;), ;:o B.C.E. seems the best anchor,
since the testimony of Sex. Julius Africanus (ca. A.D. ::+; cf. Mosshammer +,;,, ;,
+o;), preserved in Eusebios (Chr. ,+), plausibly reconciles the confusion between
Orsippos and Akanthos the Spartan (Figueira +,a, :;:). Orsippos won the stadion,
the premier event of the early Olympic games, and apparently became conated with
Akanthos, who competed ungirt (causing quite a stir apparently) but won a differ-
ent competition (ooio): both events seem to have occurred in the same year.
Orsippos probably became identied in some sources with Akanthos and running
ungirt because he was the likely Olympic eponymous for ;:o. Orsippos was thus
more likely a general for Megara sometime after his Olympic victory, perhaps ca. ;oo,
than before.
o,. Cf. n. oo. Corinths weakening in the early seventh century B.C.E. before
the aggression of Argos notwithstanding (cf. Andrewes +,o, ; Salmon +,, ;+),
Megaras resources were circumscribed, its land relatively poor; the intensive colo-
nization effort of the late eighth and early seventh centuries (see nn. ;o;:) suggests
that no headway could be made against Corinth or Athens at the that time (cf.
Jeffery +,;o, +). Indeed, Corinth seems to have forestalled further Megarian colo-
nization in Sicily: at least, Megaras efforts, in the early seventh century, were aimed
in a much different direction (because of friendship with Miletos?). Cf. Jeffery +,;o,
;o. The loss of Krommyon (cf. Str. .o.::; Legon +,+, ;o; and Figueira +,a,
:;;;) is datable really any time before ooo B.C.E., but, because it was tied more to
Corinths trade, would seem to have been earlier rather than later: cf. nn. oo and
o. Legon (+,+, o) suggests that Orsippos gains (see n. o) may have been only par-
tial in any case.
Ephoros (FrGrHist ;o F +; [= Str. o.:.:]) observes that one Theokles of Athens
led colonists to Sicily, including Chalkidians from Euboia and some other Ionians but
also Megarans, who founded Megara Hyblaia. If this is so, then the latter was Megaras
rst colonization effort, dated roughly to the last quarter of the eighth century. Cf.
Figueira +,a, :o,;+.
Notes to Pages ,.,, :;
;+. Khalkedon: Euseb. Ol. :. (= o B.C.E.); Selymbria: Pseudo-Skymnos ;+
(before Byzantion); Byzantion: Euseb. Ol. o.: (= o B.C.E.). On the dating of
the colonies, see Figueira +,a, :;;; Isaac +,o, +,, and :+. (Both reject the tra-
ditional dating, that is, in the rst half of the seventh century B.C.E., as too early but
adduce no adequate grounds for rejection. Certainly, the absence of physical remains
from the ancient sites of Selymbria, Khalkedon, and Byzantion is due rather to lack
of intensive [and so conclusive] excavation at these sites, not because they do not ex-
ist. It is to be noted, however, that there are discrepancies in the ancient sources.) Cf.
also Boardman +,o, :+:. See also n. ;.
;:. See Legon +,+, ;+; and Figueira +,a, :o,;+, :;;o. Figueira asserts
(:;) that I nd it improbable that overpopulation of the remaining Megarian ter-
ritory was the most important factor in Megarian colonization. He points out that
a gap existed in time between loss of land and colonization so that the loss was no
real imperative to colonization. As it is, Orsippos gains for Megara were very likely
only temporary and partial (cf. n. o) and that temporary time of ascendancy would
well account for a break in colony dates. Figueira seems to overlook, however, the
facts that colonization and the war between Athens and Megara over Salamis and
Eleusis can be taken to conrm land-loss again in the earlier seventh century, after
the victories of Orsippos (cf. Legon +,+, ;o; and Highbarger +,:;, +o). If it is true
that all the arable land of the Megarid was already occupied (so Legon; cf. High-
barger), then even a relatively slight increase in population would overburden
Megaras shaky economic basis. As it is, the long war with Athens suggests that for
Megara this was a life or death struggle. Perhaps overpopulation was not the most
important factor,but it must have been a contributing one for colonization, the con-
text of tyranny, and the Megarian war (see section .)
I omit extensive discussion of the problematic testimony of Theognis at this point,
some of which at least appears to date to the midseventh century B.C.E. (see n. :).
While there is a chance that Theognis reference to the rude populace down from
the hills does not describe Megara ca. oo B.C.E., it does give at least some sense of
what conditions might have been like at the time along with reactions to them. Cf.
Oost +,;, +;, n. +:. (I take it that these rude types might well have come for the
war and what it offered: see n. and section .)
;. Cf. Linforth +,+,, :; Oost +,;, +;; and Figueira +,a, :;;o.The foun-
dation date for Astakos, on the south shore of the Propontis, is ;+:++ B.C.E. (Mem-
non FrGrHist F +:; on Astakos, cf.Toeppfer +,;a). Colonization to the west is
to be dated earlier still (ca. ;o: B.C.E.): cf. n. ;+.
;. Cf. Figueira +,a, :+ (in relation to the stratagem of Solon [Plut. Sol.
.o]):The alacrity with which the Megarians on Salamis rose to the lure of piracy
may suggest that Megarian piratical raids were no small threat to Athens. Cf. also
Andrewes +,:b, ;:;. Sudden Megarian descents on Athenian territory are at-
tested in Ain. Takt. .; Plut. Sol. ; Just. .+; and Front. :.,., (all of which references,
however, may derive from one source [cf. Figueira +,a, ::]; see section .D.+.),
but securing Salamis could really only lessen and not prevent the possibility of such
attacks from Megara, Aegina (cf. Figueira +,+, :o:), or even from the Pelopon-
nesos.The Athenians will have feared an assault on Phaleron: landings such as Anchi-
molios expedition at the end of the sixth century were always possible (Hdt.
.o.:) it seems, especially for Athens hostile, seagoing neighbors, the Aeginetans.
: xo+rs +o r:trs
(Anchimolios invasion in fact seems to negate Legons assertion [+,+, ++] that
Phaleron would have been a dicult end for Megarians based on Salamis because of
problems with Athenian surveillance: quite to the contrary, it would have been eas-
ier for Megarians on Salamis to attack Phaleron than it was for Anchimolios, who
successfully disembarked himself and his men there, apparently without resistance.)
Legon (+,+, +o+) is also wrong to limit the threat posed to monitor[ing] and
harass[ing] the shippingof either state or even to piracy and brigandage (cf. Figueira
+,+, :o:). Cf. also Highbarger +,:;, +:;; and Stahl +,;, :off. On piracy from
Salamis in the late eighth century, which apparently avoided Athenian land, cf. Hes-
iod F :o, + M-W (cf. Taylor +,,;, :::; cf. also Legon +,+, +o+). See also
section .C.D.
;. Cf. Figueira +,, :o.
;o. On the Megarian kle

rouchoi (colonists) of Salamis, see Paus. +.o. (= FrGrHist

; F +:; based on Megarian history?). Cf. Figueira +,b, ++;; Figueira +,,+, ;
Legon +,+, +:,; Piccirilli +,;, ++; Figueira +,a, :o; and Taylor +,,;, :.
We may agree that the Megarian version of Salamis takeover by Athenians stresses
treason as an explanation, and obviously an unfair ght (cf. Figueira +,a), but the
designation of the settlers as kle

rouchs does nothing to help date (or undate) the evi-

dence to the seventh or sixth centuries B.C.E. (Figueira [+,,+, ] suggests that the
use of kle

rouchos in this context may be signicant but does not take proper account
of Pausanias lateness and the sources he may have used: cf. Lavelle +,,a.) The rec-
ollection apparently by Megarians of Megarian settlers in Salamis before the Athen-
ian takeover is, however, noteworthy.
;;. Flocks:Arist. Pol. +oa; bodyguard:Arist. Rhet. +;b. Contra Schachermeyr
+,, ++; Oost +,;, +; and de Libero +,,o, ::, there are in fact no real grounds
other than Tendenz for believing that Theagenes was a noble (e.g., Schachermeyr
++: versteht sich aber von selbst [!]). Association through marriage with the
noble Kylon does not prove it by a long chalk (cf. Legon +,+, ,). Cf. also nn. ;
and . On Theagenes and his tyranny, see Highbarger +,:;, +:o:o; Schachermeyr
+,; Berve +,o;, +.; Daverio Rocchi +,;+, :o and n. ;; Oost +,;, +ff.; and
de Libero +,,o, ::o. (Oosts attempt to set the sequence of bodyguard and slaugh-
ter [+,] seems a case of reverse logic: reaction does not come about from inaction.)
On the date of Theagenes, cf. Schachermeyr +,, +:; Berve +,o;, :.o; Jef-
fery +,;o, +o (c. oooo); Legon +,+, , (around oo); Figueira +,a, :;;
(took power by c. oo); and Hornblower +,,+, :o, who wisely cautions that
Theagenes is really dated in relation to Kylon.
;. Cf. de Libero +,,o, :::;. While we may agree with de Libero that the
similarities of Theagenes case with those of Peisistratos and Dionysios are somewhat
suspect (::;), we may disagree with her that Aristotles sheep (or ock) slaughtering
put his readers/listeners in mind of mad Aias: identication with a madman would
hardly bode well for a political upstart.Theagenes slaughter of the ocks could have
occurred in fact and could have made him popular: it need not have had anything to
do with the so-called social/revolutionary theory that she says (::o:;) was attached
to earlier tyrants by fourth-century B.C.E. authors such as Aristotle (cf. n. ;,).
Theagenes inclusion among other war leaders actually suggests that his path to the
tyranny was through wara path that makes a good deal of sense in view of condi-
tions affecting Megara, Athens, and of the career of Peisistratos.
Notes to Page ,, :,
;,. The attempt of Cawkwell (+,,) to discredit the information that portrayed
Archaic tyrants as popular fails to convince for lack of fair and adequate treatment of
the sources, particularly Aristotle. Cf. Hammer +,,, :. See also n. o.
o. Contra de Libero +,,o, :::;, n. : this information cannot be so easily dis-
missed. Cf. also Highbarger +,:;, +:; and Oost +,;, +,.
+. Cf. Jeffery +,;o, +o; and nn. ;;;.
:. Cf. Jeffery +,;o, +o.
. Figueira +,a, :o. Frenchs article (+,;, :ff.), while impressive and ad-
mirable in so many ways, nevertheless imposes a sort of macroeconomic determin-
ism on events in the Megarian war that is largely founded on anachronism. (Figueira
[:o] terms the treatment modernizing.) Rather than indicating Athens great naval
power (or at least a greater naval power than before [Stahl +,;, :o]), the drive to
occupy Salamis might argue exactly the opposite. Indeed, the war and nal absorp-
tion of Salamis by the Athenians hardly implies extensive Athenian naval power: the
island is quickly and easily reached from Attika or the Megarid by very small boat
(cf. Plut. Sol. ,.; Str. ,.+.+; and nn. ; and +:o). In fact, before Peisistratos Athens
seems to have lacked signicant naval strength to protect its coastline, especially
Phaleron.This lack was pronounced until the war with Aegina over a century later
(Hdt. .,+; Figuiera +,a, :,:). (Certainly, the Athenians needed to acquire greater
naval power to attack Nisaia but really only enough to do the job not rule the waves.)
Legons analysis of Salamis strategic location (+,+, +o+) and the consequences
of piracy seems somewhat naive on points. Piracy appears to have been all too com-
mon in early Greece, and Salamis was a nest for pirates from of old (cf. n. ;). Legon
seems to be quite correct, however, to point out that Salamisand indeed the war
were nally lost by the Megarians due to the collocation of superior resources, per-
haps above all the deployment of superior warriors late in the game, by the Atheni-
ans (cf. n. and section .D.:). Cf. also Highbarger +,:;, +:; Hopper +,o+,
:++;; and Stahl +,;, :o.
. Eleusis and the Thriasian Plain appear to have fallen fairly easily to (Dorian)
invaders: cf. Hdt..;; Thuc. :.+,.: (cf. Hornblower +,,+, :;:; and n. +o:). Cf. also
How and Wells +,+:, +.o; (on the Tellus story and border ghting for Eleusis; cf. n.
oo); Highbarger +,:;, +:;, +:; Hopper +,o+, :++; and Figueira +,a, :;ff. On the
linkage between Salamis and Eleusis, cf. LHomme-Wery +,,,, ++.
. Cf. Daverio Rocchi +,+, :o:;; Jeffery +,;o, +o; and Andrewes +,:b,
;o. Oosts harsh and summary appraisal of Theagenes (+,;, +,),Theagenes seems
to have understood nothing beyond opportunism and ambition, is misleading, not
in the least because it is based merely on the authors opinion, not on evidence.
o. On the attempted tyranny of Kylon, see Hdt. .;+ (How and Wells +,+:,
:.;,; this account, which surely derives from Alkmeonid sources, omits much de-
tail: cf. nn. ,:,); Thuc. +.+:o.+: (Gomme +,, :o; Hornblower +,,+,
:o:+o); Ath.Pol. + (Rhodes +,+, ;,); Plut. Sol. +:.+; and scholion ad Ar. Eqs.
c (accusing Kylon of hierosylia [temple robbery]). Stanton (+,,o, +;:o) conve-
niently assembles the passages and others pertinent to the Kylonian affair (cf. also Dil-
lon and Garland +,,, +). I do not take the details that Thucydides adds to be
legendary or otherwise untrustworthy (so Lang +,o;): cf. Moss +,o,, +; Okin +,,
+o; and n. ,:. On the Kylonian affair, cf. further Honigman +,::,Williams +,+; Berve
:oo xo+rs +o r:trs o
+,o;, +.+:; Moss +,o,, +:; Daverio Rocchi +,;+, :ff.; Lvy +,;; Legon
+,+, ,ff.;Andrewes +,:b, o;o; Lambert +,o; Oliva +,, o;Thomas +,,,
:;ff.; Fornara and Samons +,,+, ff.; Jordan +,,:, o;o; LHomme-Wery +,,o,
+:; de Libero +,,o, ,;Wallace +,,, +o+;; Harris-Cline +,,,; and Lavelle
:ooo, ;+;:. (Littman [+,,o, ;] terms the coup dtat a relatively minor inci-
dent!) Rhodes (+,;o, ;,ff.) offers perhaps the best short treatment. See nn. ;.
;. Euseb. Ol. (= oo, B.C.E.); Paus. +.:.+. Gomme (+,, :) is surely
correct in stating that the coordination derives from the Olympic victor lists and I
take it as secure on that basis. Cf. Rhodes +,+, +; Stanton +,,o, :o; and Hornblower
+,,+, :o. See also n. .
. Kylons attempted tyranny will have occurred after his Olympic victory (and
Theagenes tyranny: cf. Jeffery +,;o, +o; and n. ;;) but before Drakons reforms in
the archonship of Aristaichmos in o:+ B.C.E. (cf. Ath.Pol. .+; Euseb. Ol. ,.; Cadoux
+,, ,:; Rhodes +,+, +o,; and Develin +,,, +). Since Kylon seized the akropolis
in an Olympic year, the range of possibilities is oo (cf.Andrewes +,:b, o,:oo or
some immediately succeeding Olympiad), o: (cf. Busolt +,o, :.:o; cf. also Mor-
gan +,,o, +,o:ca. o+), o: (cf. Legon +,+, ,:it can scarcely have occurred later
than . . .), and o: B.C.E. It is not possible to x the date precisely on the present
evidence: cf. Gomme +,, :o; Davies +,;+, ;o;+; and Hornblower +,,+,
:oo. Some scholars assume that oo is too soon after the Olympic victory (e.g.,
Gomme +,, :), others that o: is too late (cf. Stanton +,,o, :o). Still others, how-
ever, in view of Herodotos testimony alluding to Kylons confederates as youthful
(cf. n. ,) designate either oo or o: as the year of the attempt, assuming that the
confederates could not be termed youthful by the later dates: cf. Freeman +,:o,
+o; Lvy +,;, +; and Legon +,+, ,.This is all very tenuous. Jacoby (Atthis +,,,
oo, n. ;;) synchronizes the attempt with the Olympic victory, although his synchro-
nism is not persuasive and has not been widely followed. The consensus dates (oo
or o: B.C.E.), which I adopt here, are at least supported by a presumption that Ky-
lon would have capitalized sooner rather than later after his Olympic victory.Admit-
tedly, either of the dates is recommended by no more than such logic (cf. Lvy +,;,
+, n. o; Jacoby +,,, oo, n. ;;; and Hornblower +,,+, :o), and really any of the
four are admissible. (Lvys severe downdating [+,;, i.e., Kylons Olympic victory
was ,,,; B.C.E., his coup ,;,o], however, is not, for its less appealing logic de-
pends on a desire merely to narrow the gaps in time between Kylon and his coup,
the pollution of the Alkmeonidai, and the intervention of Solon to expiate it. It is
ultimately based on restatement of the rather special pleas of Wilamowitz and
Lenschau. For it, far too much credence is given the chronological framework of the
lost introductory chapters of Ath.Pol. in conjunction with that of Plutarchs Solon.
And the latter is hardly to be taken as chronologically precise.) Cf. French (+,;,
++), who briey but very lucidly and effectively summarizes the problems.
Cf. also Harris-Cline +,,,, o,, n. ; and Lavelle :ooo, ;+, n. .
,. Thuc. +.+:o.: o or (sc. Kylon) aoo tr tou Oroyrvou ouvoiv omv xoi
tou iou ovoarioo (Having gotten a force from Theagenes and persuaded a
band of friends . . .; cf. schol. ad Ar. Eq. b [which looks to derive ultimately from
Thucydides]). Other adherents: a band of age mates(not necessarily youthful) (Hdt.
.;+.+: rtoipipv tmv piximtrmv) and (the much inferior) coconspirators (Plut.
Notes to Page , :o+
Sol. +:.+: tou ouvmoto). Obviously, they were not all of the same genos, although
Kylons brother accompanied him at the time of his attempt (Thuc. +.+:o.++); they
did not amount to a stastio

tai (partisans). Cf. Berve +,o;, +.+.

,o. Thuc. +.+:o.o; (cf. n. o); cf. Andrewes +,:b, o,; Lambert +,o, +o,;
and Hornblower +,,+, :o;.The targeted time was undoubtedly the Diasia (cf. n. ,o).
,+. Cf. Figueira +,o, :;; and Lavelle :ooo, ;:.
,:. There are really no great discrepancies between Herodotos and Thucydides
versions of the Kylonian affair and its aftermath (although Herodotos leaves much out:
see n. o). Herodotos admits that those who were blamed and accursed were the Alk-
meonidai, but he obviously wants to say little about the Alkmeonid role in the slaugh-
ter. (In general, we see that Herodotos reports about the Alkmeonidai favorably [cf.
Lavelle :ooo, ,o]: cf. also chapter III, n. ;).According to Thucydides, those put in
charge of the siege were archons, not prutaneis to

n naukraro

n, but that is really incon-

sequential to their agreement about Alkmeonid responsibility for the Kylonian crime.
(On the controversy about the prutaneis to

n naukraro

n, see n. ,.) Cf. nn. , and ,.

,. Thucydides (+. +:o.+o) says that Kylon and his brother ed from the akropo-
lis; Herodotos (.;+) is silent about the death of Kylon, although he says that he sat
as a supplicant before the statue of Athena. One therefore cannot agree either with
Hornblower (+,,+, :o,) that Herodotos clearly implies that Kylon was killed with
the rest, or with Hurwit (+,,,, ) that Kylon was led away under false pretenses
and slain: cf. also schol. ad Ar. Eq. bc; and n. ,. Herodotos account is obvi-
ously affected by interested reporting: cf. How and Well +,+:, :. n. ,:.
I assume that the Megarians were allowed to leave on the analogy of the end of
Kleomenes and Isagoras seizure of the akropolis in o; B.C.E. (Hdt. .;:.:
[cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.,o]; Ath.Pol. :o.:; and schol. ad Ar. Lysis. :; [cf.
Rhodes +,+, :o;]).Then Kleomenes and his Spartans were permitted to depart,
along with Isagoras; the latters adherents were not (cf. Hdt. .;. +). Cf. Berthold :oo:
on Kleomenes invasion of Attika. Cf. also nn. ,, and +o+.
,. Cf. Harris-Cline +,,,, +:o, on the route of the Kylonians down from the
,. Cf. Stanton +,,o, +;:o; and Garland +,,:, + and n. :. (Contra Garland,
Megakles did not assassinate Kylon: see n. ,.) This is not the place to weigh in on
the controversy surrounding Herodotos designation of the Alkmeonidai as prutaneis

n naukraro

n, which will remain unsettled at least for the present time (Hdt. .;+.:;
see, e.g.,Williams +,+;Wst +,;; Daverio Rocchi +,;+, :;ff.; Billigmeier and Dus-
ing +,+; Gabrielson +,; Figueira +,o, :;o;; Lambert +,o; Lambert +,,,
::ff., ; French +,;, ;; Stanton +,,o, ++,, n. ; Hornblower +,,+, :o,;
Jordan +,,:; de Libero +,,o, o;, n. +o; and Wallinga :ooo; cf. Dillon and Garland
+,,, ;; Harding +,,, +o; and McInerney +,,, :). It seems quite clear,
however, that Herodotos (or rather his source) was protecting the Alkmeonidai by
naming the prutaneis as responsible for the sphage

(cf. n. ,:).
,o. On the Diasia, see Simon +,, +:ff. Cf. also Gomme +,, :; Hornblower
+,,+, :o;; and Parker +,,o, ;;;. On the timing of the ancient Olympic festival, cf.
Morgan +,,o, +:.
,;. Cf. Andrewes +,:b, ;o; and Frost +,, :o.The popular nature of the re-
sistance to Kylon is underscored by Thucydides, who says that the Athenians opposed
Kylon pande

mei (+.+:o.;; cf. Lavelle :ooo, ;:, n. ,). Thucydides reference to the
:o: xo+rs +o r:trs o,
popular opposition to Kylon is certainly not an irrelevant detail (contra Gomme
+,, :). Cf.Wallace +,,, +;.
,. Cf. Legon +,+, +oo; and Lavelle :ooo, off. Arrowsmiths speculation (+,
;;) that Theagenes will have hoped his son-in-law would sway the Athenian think-
ing in Megaras favor, perhaps rst through persuasion and later through the use of
force in the form of tyranny, is contrary to the accounts we have.Theagenes supply
of troops to Kylon and the latters coup show that both had adopted violence and
coercion as methods for obtaining their ends from the outset. Gentler persuasion was
not part of the plan, and of course that lack contributed to its undoing. See n. ,,.
,,. Contra Bengston and Bloedow (+,, ;o), Kylons coup did not fail ulti-
mately not least because the Attic small farmers remained loyal to the noble families
[!]: it failed because the Athenians reacted instantaneously to the news of invasion
of the akropolis and a crucial part of them remained resolved to defeat the invaders:
cf. Hignett +,:, ;; Stahl +,;, :o; de Libero +,,o, ; and n. ,;. A gauge of sorts
giving some idea as to what fueled the Athenian reaction to the occupation of the
akropolis by the Megarians may perhaps be found in the later occupation by the Spar-
tans under Kleomenes.The priestess of Athena said to the Spartan Kleomenes as he
walked into the temple of the goddess (Hdt. .;:.): `O ri vr Aoxrooio vir, aoiv
mri por roi0i r to iov ou yo 0ritov Amiruoi aoirvoi rv0outo. He
answered that he was an Achaian not a Dorian, implying that there was no pol-
lution. But popular opinion held otherwise, and we should not forget that the Athe-
nians considered all of the akropolis Athenas own city. (Cf. How and Wells +,+:,
:.,, who nevertheless miss the racial implications of the prohibition.) In any case,
the failure of Kleomenes enterprise at Athens was the direct result of general Athen-
ian hostility to it: cf. Hdt. .;:.. Cf. also Lavelle +,,, +o, n. o. It is surely for much
the same reason that Isagoras and his foreign allies failed to hold Athens at the end
of the sixth century, although they held the akropolis, as did Kylon and his allies (see
nn. , and +o+). Such statements as the Athenians in c. oo were not yet ready for a
tyrant (Hornblower +,,+, :o; cf. Beloch +,+, +., o:ff.) seem to be based on no
more than hindsight (cf. Gomme +,, :,). Cf. chapter III, n. ,.
+oo. Cf. Legon +,+, +oo.
+o+. Cf. Berve +,o;, +.. Of course, Berve, like other modern scholars, is mis-
led by examples of foreign occupation occurring much later and outside of Athens.
On the short-lived Spartan-backed regime of Isagoras, see nn. , and ,,; on the Spar-
tan-backed regime of the Thirty Tyrants, see Ath.Pol. . (cf. Rhodes +,+, ).
+o:. Hopper +,o+, :++; Legon +,+, +o+. In the event of Salamis possession by
Megara, Eleusis was again vulnerable to attack by land and sea (cf. Highbarger +,:;,
+:; and Legon +,+): see n. oo.
+o. Cf. Legon +,+, +oo.
+o. I see no reason why the failure of Cylons coup [would] have badly shaken
Theagenes regime such that it may not have survived many years (so Legon +,+,
+o+): we do not know the duration of Theagenes regime, and we may not say in any
way conclusively what was done or not done (cf. Legon +,+, +o:, n. ; and Figueira
+,a, :;;). On the other hand, the aborted coup at Athens was Kylons failure, not
Theagenes, who had risked little and apparently got all his warriors back intact (cf.
n. ,). Moreover, the Megarians were able to inict a signicant defeat on the Athe-
nians around the same time: cf. n. +o,.
Notes to Page , :o
Although we may imagine that the Athenian aristocracy in general was opposed
to tyranny at Athens (cf. n. ), the Megarian aristocracy need not have been uni-
formly opposed to it on principle, to Theagenes, or to his tyranny at Megara (Legon
+,+, +o:), especially since advantages were possible for aristocrats working with
the tyrants in the fast-changing Greek world of the seventh and sixth centuries
B.C.E. Aristocrats did in fact make marriage alliances with social inferiors such as
tyrants. (At Megara,Theognis scoffs at the intermarriage of nobles and outlanders:
+,:W [Campbell +,o;, ;,; Gerber +,;o, :o]; cf. n. :.) Of course,
the signal example of this for Athens is Megakles alliance with Kleisthenes of
Sikyon through Agariste (Hdt. o.+o.:; see also chapter III, n. o). In the after-
math of the Kylonian affair, the complicity of the new regime with Megara may
have been only apparent: indeed, its primary concern was to maintain its power,
and this it seems to have done by temporarily ending hostilities with Megara (see
nn. ++;+,).
+o. There is perhaps some oblique information by which to gauge the Atheni-
ans revulsion at the Kylonian pollution.At the opening of Sophokles Oedipous Tyran-
nos (+;), the Theban chorus observes symptoms of its citys aiction and is dis-
mayed because, as it later learns from Kreon (,,), an unexpiated curse derived
from murder is blighting the land.Thebes is in turmoil; its citizens are frightened and
demoralized and desperately seeking relief when they approach Oedipous (o).
The polluter must be driven off the land (+oo+o+). Sophokles did not create such
scenes in a vacuum, and what he portrays might allude to conditions at Athens in the
wake of the Alkmeonid crime. (He certainly introduced into his plays what the Athe-
nians would recognize: cf. appendix H; and Knox [+,o], who observes the connec-
tions that Sophokles made between the plague depicted in Oedipous and the real one
aicting the Athenians during the Archidamian War [::: B.C.E.]. Cf. also Dawe
+,: ad loc.)
Guilt, demoralization, and the assumption that god was no longer with them very
likely caused the Athenians to shrink from battle with the Megarians after the Ky-
lonian sphage

: cf. n. +:o. (Cf. also. Plut. Sol. +:.o [in relation to the long-term effects
of the Kylonian pollution]: xoi ooi tivr rx orioiooiovio oo xoi oooto
xotrir tpv aoiv, oi tr ovtri oyp xoi iooou ororvou xo0omv ao-
oivro0oi oio tmv irmv pyoruov [see also nn. +oo;]. Of course, there may well
be later embellishment in these comments.)
+oo. Thuc. +.+:o.+: (Gomme +,, :;:); Ath.Pol. + (Rhodes +,+, ;,ff.);
Plut. Sol. +:.. Cf. Frost +,, :o;; and Fornara and Samons +,,+, o. Ostraka
cast against Megakles, the son of Hippokrates, in the early os B.C.E. recalls the Ky-
lonian crime: some voters label him oritro; one even calls him Kuovr<i>o
(cf. Brenne +,,, +o; and Matthaiou +,,:,, +;,). (On the connection between
oitpio/oitpioi and the Kylonian crime, see schol. ad Ar. Eq. .) Although
these ostraka were cast in the wake of Marathon and the alleged treason of the Alk-
meonidai (Hdt. o.+:+:; cf. Lavelle +,,, :, n. ::) and so reect the rancor of the
time, the recollection of the Kylonian crime, in a sense out of context for the recent
treason, provides a good index of its durability over time and its political usefulness
for opponents of the Alkmeonidai even well into the fth century B.C.E.: of course,
the Spartans at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war tried to invoke the curse to
destabilize Perikles regimeand Athens:Thuc. +.+:;.+.
:o xo+rs +o r:tr o
+o;. Ath.Pol. + and Plut. Sol. +:.: (cf. Rhodes +,+, [although he pru-
dently observes that the factualness of the indications must remain uncertain]; Stan-
ton +,,o, :; and Hornblower +,,+, :+o). Cf. nn. +o,.
+o. Cf. nn. +oo; and +o,. It is surely reasonable to assume, on the basis of
Thucydides testimony (+.+:o.+:), that the Athenians reacted to the original pollu-
tion either immediately or, as seems more likely, not long afterward and then again
in o, when Kleomenes expelled the seven hundred hearths (Hdt. .;.+) along
with Kleisthenes. It is possible that the source for the Ath.Pol. and Plutarch, which I
take to be ultimately a common one (an Atthis perhaps? cf. Rhodes +,+, ++),
anachronized the proceedings involving the second trial and purication in the
time of Isagoras and Kleomenes to the rst involving Myron (cf. Gomme +,,
:;:). Indeed, it seems hard to believe that a full-blown, formal trial would have
to have been convened in the later seventh century B.C.E. to decide guilt when the
Alkmeonidai had been generally observed by everybody in agrante (cf. n. +o). Cf.
Rhodes +,+, +. On Kleomenes invasion, cf. nn. , and ,,.
+o,. Plut. Sol. +:.+: to or Kumvriov oyo pop rv rx aoou oirtoottr tpv
aoiv . . . and +:.:: rx toutou or xp0rvtr rvoyri rioouvto xoi tmv Ku-
mvrimv oi ariyrvorvoi aoiv poov iouoi, xoi otooiooovtr ori oirtrouv
ao tou oao tou Mryoxrou. (We note in these passages that imperfect verb
forms are used uniformly. Of course, one could argue that this is nothing but the con-
sistency one expects in following an account mistaken for factual.) +:.: toutoi or
toi toooi xoi Mryor mv ouvrai0rr vmv, o ar oov tr Ni ooiov oi
'A0pvoi oi, xoi Eooivo rraroov ou0i. Cf.Toepffer +,;, :.
According to Pausanias (+.o.) the beak of an Athenian ship (embolon) was ded-
icated in the temple of Zeus at Megara. It had come from a victory over the Athe-
nians off Salamis, apparently before Solons intervention in the war (cf. section
.A.). If the information is valid, the victory might then be dated after the Kylon-
ian slaughter and could be taken to spell the end to Athenian control of the island.
(Could this suggest that the Athenians sought new technology to gain tactical advan-
tages over the Megarians and could the technology [or ships] have been supplied by
Corinthian allies? Cf. Thuc. +.+.:; Hornblower +,,+, :; and Legon +,+,
+:::.) The testimonium is suspect, however, for triremes were not apparently used
by the Athenians as early as the end of the seventh century B.C.E. Cf. Piccirilli +,;,
; and ++; Figueira +,a, :o; and Taylor +,,;, ::, :o.
++o. 'Eari or oxo v tivo xoi ouorp ao rov oi r v o otri ari tp
Eooivimv vpoou Mryoruoi aorouvtr rrxoov, xoi voov r0rvto ptr
yo oi tivo p t' ri ari v ou 0i m p tp v ao iv o vtiaoiri o0oi tp Eooi vo, p
0ovotm piouo0oi xt. Cf. Linforth +,+,, o; Freeman +,:o, +o,;+; Legon
+,+, +::; and Taylor +,,;, ::o. See also nn. ++++.
+++. Cf. Plut. Sol. .+; Cic. de oc. +.o; Justin :.;.,; Polyain. +.:o.+:; Dem.
+,.:; and schol. ad Il. :.+. Freeman (+,:o, +;+) suggests that the story of the de-
cree arose from Solons calling himself a herald in +.+ of the fragment (cf. Lefkowitz
+,+, o; and Robertson +,,, oo, n. +): that he did so implied the threat of pun-
ishment; the self-designation gave him immunity from bodily harm. By the same to-
ken, the madness story can have evolved from the same inference: there was a threat
of capital punishment, and only a madmanor a sane one feigning madnesswould
risk death.There is no reason to believe, with Lefkowitz, that the circumstances of
Notes to Page ,: :o
[Solons] performance were inferred wrongly from his poetry: Plutarch had, or at
least could have had, more of Solons poetry, and indeed Salamis, before him when
he wrote what he did, and we neednt force all of his poetry solely into sympotic (or
other) venues: cf. n. ++. Nor is the curious deconstruction of the episode by Robert-
son (+,,, ooo+), devolving upon Solons cap, at all persuasive: there is far too
much space to ll in between Robertsons lines (cf. nn. , ;, , and o). Deception
was clearly part of the political game in Archaic Athens, and Solon was party to it: cf.
Lavelle :ooo, o, and n. ; cf. also Hammer +,,, ,ff. See also nn. ++:+, +:: and
+:; and chapter III, n. :.
++:. Cf. Freeman +,:o, +;o; Frost +,, :,; Anhalt +,,, +::; and Taylor +,,;,
::o. Legons assertion (+,+, +:) that the law was directed at Salaminians displaced
by the Megarians does not account for the response to Solons poem, that is, renewal
of the war.This shows that there were many other Athenians who shared his senti-
ments (see n. ++).The anti-Alkmeonid group certainly need not have been work-
ing directly in Megaras interests (so French +,;, :+; cf. nn. +o and ++) and so trea-
sonously to undermine Athens security by enforcing the law.The Athenians generally
could have been reacting genuinely to the carnage of the Kylonian agos and/or a
subsequent military disaster involving Salamis (cf. nn. +o, ++, ++;, and +:o) and the
politicians who replaced the Alkmeonids simply capitalizing on those reactions. In-
deed, if there was such a law prohibiting further talk about war with Megara over
Salamis, it had to be popular at least for some time to be effective. It could have been
passed in the wake of the Kylonian affair or, as I think it likelier, a short time after-
ward in the wake of a major defeat (but cf. Freeman +,:o). See also n. ++.
++. Solon Frs + W (cf. Gerber +,;o, +). Cf. Linforth +,+,, o+ (of two
minds about the account in Plutarch: legendary and yet not to be rejected unre-
servedly), :,o; Freeman +,:o, +o+o:; and Taylor +,,;, :. Athenian law: Justin
:.;.; (= Ephoros); Plut. Sol. .+; cf. French +,;, :+; Sealey +,oo, +;+; Andrewes
+,:b, ;;; Frost +,, :,; Dillon and Garland +,,, o;o. Taylors case
(+,,;, ::o) that the word Eooivortoi (= Salamis-abandoners: West +,,,
;) in F :, , does not connote Athens control of Salamis before Solon I do not nd
convincing. First of all, Eooivortoi does suggest possession and then loss, as if
from ones grasp: it actually implies the opposite of xotr riv (to control: cf.
oipi [Il. +:.::+, etc.; cf. LSJ s.v. oipi I.:]); second, Solons allusion to hard dis-
grace (F , :: orao v t' oi oo), that is, something surpassingly shameful that had
already overtaken the Athenians, does not imply defeat in any skirmish or minor ac-
tion but rather a major defeat, which resulted in such hard disgrace (this is a cru-
cial omission in Linforth +,+,, +: and n. :, who attempts to counter Belochs ar-
gument [+,+, +o] for Athens prior claim to Salamis); third,Taylors statement (:o,
n. :o) that all other suggestions found of Athenian loss in the sources are themselves
suspect because they may be no more than extrapolations from Solon is itself sus-
pect, since it seems to be based only on Solons extant poetry rather than what the
ancients (e.g., Demosthenes +,.::, the author of the Ath.Pol.) might have had that
we do not (see n. +++).We cannot say that Solon was not more explicit about things
in poems that we do not possess. Demosthenes the orator, for example, can have had
Salamis before him entire when he referred to Solon and Salamis: he certainly had
other Solonian texts: cf. F (= Dem. +,.:). Finally there are some archaeological
:oo xo+rs +o r:trs +:
grounds for believing that Salamis was within Athens cultural sphere as early as the
Submycenaean period and could have belongedto it: cf.Thomas and Conant +,,,,
o:ff. Cf. also nn. o, ++, and ++;. Bakaoukas :oo+ tries to connect Solon with Salamis
by birth but pays no attention to the relative merits of sources. Cf. n. +,.
++. Cf. Rhodes +,+, +.
++. Solon may have been between thirty and forty years of age at the time of
his recitation of Salamis (cf. Davies +,;+, ::), and if this is true it would not be
unreasonable to think that his sentiments for war and the approval they received de-
rived from the passage of time and the dimming of fears for the Kylonian crime and
the serious defeat the Athenians seem to have suffered in its wake (cf. nn. ++:+). In
that case, the poem will have most impressed and inspired a younger generation kept
clear of war by the post-Kylonian faction and come to ower in the period between
that severe setback to the Athenians, which apparently followed Kylons attempt and
Solons debut. Cf. nn. +o,, ++, and +::.
++o. Cf. French +,;, :+. Cf. also n. +o.
++;. Some of the enageis (polluted) can have fallen in a battle for Salamis just af-
ter the Kylonian affair. (See n. +o,.) Surely it would not be amiss to consider that the
Alkmeonidai, in the wake of the slaughter, prosecuted the war for Salamis (or sought
to defend the island: cf. nn. ++:+) if only to rally the Athenians around them and
to distract attention from their crime.We certainly expect the Alkmeonids to be war
leaders and, if they survived the Kylon affair politically at least in the short term, to
lead the way into battle against Megara in retribution for the invasion under Ky-
lon. Signs point to a serious defeat around this time (cf. nn. +o,+) and, if the Alk-
meonidai were the Athenian war leaders during such a defeat, it is surely possible that
several of them were left dead on the eld.That would help to explain why some of
the guilty dead Alkmeonidai were later exhumed and their bones cast beyond the
borders of Attika, especially if we imagine that the expulsions from Athens took place
no long time after the Kylonian crime. Of course, that defeat and those deaths would
have further enfeebled the Alkmeonidai, making them even easier prey to their en-
emies. See nn. +++,.
++. Who were they? They may have been aristocratic, perhaps the Kephissian
Plain landholders and their farmer adherents who had the most to lose during inva-
sions or raids by the Megarians, just as they did from the Spartans during the Pelo-
ponnesian war. (Perhaps these are the ones who were later centered around Lykour-
gos, the son of Aristolades [Hdt. +.,.; cf. Lavelle :ooo, ;;o]; see also chapter
III.:.A..) Contrary to Plut. Sol. +:, although the conclusion was understandably
based on outcomes, the anti-Alkmeonid party can hardly be characterized as the
surviving Kylonians (cf. French +,;; and Holladay +,;;, :), since they would not
have been politically viable in the aftermath. (Really, who survived to lead them?)
Kylon had departed Athens alive (Thuc. +.+:o.+o) and was not recalled, reinstated, or
for that matter involved in Athens affairs thereafter from all we know: his crime af-
ter all was treason (prodo

sia), a capital offense, just as it had been those of his support-

ers, and he and his cause could not be revived or rehabilitated. (Hoppers suggestion
[+,o+, :o,], that Kylon continue[d] hostilities from there [sc. Megara], does not
seem credible, for, apart from the anomaly of directing efforts from Megara, Kylon
was unacceptable to the Athenians as a fellow citizen let alone a leader. What had
Notes to Pages ,.,, :o;
happened to his followers did not legitimate his treason; he could not be a leader of
the Athenians any more than could the Alkmeonidai. Kylon was of no further use to
Theagenes after his failure, unless of course the Megarians could recapture Athens
and successfully install Kylon as tyrant over the objections of the Athenians.) In fact,
that could not happen. Cf. also n. +o and ++,.
++,. Cf. French +,;, :+, although it seems wrong to view the Alkmeonidai as
radical (and so cool and politically calculating) more than overcome by the fear of
losing power and their own displacement. Nor, on the other hand, it is right to call
the anti-Alkmeonids a narrow oligarchic regime(Legon +,+, +o), since that iden-
tication depends on an inferred polarity with the radicalAlkmeonidai. (These are
in fact outmoded designations.) To term the Alkmeonidai radical is no more than
to speculate from anachronism, for sources no earlier than the late fourth century
B.C.E. are hardly credible for issues of ideology in the early sixth century B.C.E. The
Alkmeonidai were radical only in the sense that they were shut out from traditional
paths to power in the aftermath of the Kylonian sphage

. Surely, the political power of

the anti-Alkmeonids, whoever they might have been (cf. n. ++) derived ex tempore
from public revulsion for the sacrilege and savagery of the Alkmeonidai (cf. n. ++;).
(Wickershams note [+,,+, ::, n. +o], is confusing: Solons poem tells us that Megara
was lost, and there is no reason to disbelieve the report that the Megarians struck
back after Kylons failed coup [cf. Figueira +,a, :,+]: cf. n. ++;. Contra Wicker-
sham [::], the crisis over Salamis was not settled by Spartan arbitration more than it
was by the victory of Peisistratos at Nisaia.)
+:o. Hdt. o.+, :+.:; on Phrynichos and the Capture of Miletos, see Rosenbloom
+,,; cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.;:; and Dillon and Garland +,,, +; cf. also Lavelle
+,,, +, n. +,. Herodotos emphasis is exactly on the emotional response that the
drama caused in the Athenians.
+:+. Cf. Daverio-Rocchi +,;+, .
+::. Freeman +,:o, +o,; Frost +,, :,; Podlecki +,, +::. I am not suggest-
ing that Solons exhortation was the sole cause for the renewal of hostilities
with Megara. Rather it appears that Solon articulated a common feeling among the
Athenians about Salamis and, voicing that articulation, galvanized the Athenians into
action (cf. n. +:). Obviously, other, less obvious economic and political causes (per-
haps among others) must also have played a substantial part in the renewal of the war:
cf. French +,;. Cf. also de Libero +,,o, +; section .A.+; and nn. :, ;, +:, and +:.
+:. Cf. Linforth +,+,, :,o; Sealey +,oo, +;+;:; and Stahl +,;, :off.
Daimachos of Plataia (FrGrHist o F ;) seems to have denied any connection be-
tween Solon and the war with Megara, even in view of the poem Salamis and other
traditions about Solons involvement (cf. Podlecki +,;, ). This might well have
been due to the conation of the roles of Solon and Peisistratos; to the fact that the
preponderance of testimonies Daimachos deemed valid gave Peisistratos the greater,
indeed eclipsing, role; and to his own knowledge of the chronological impossibility
of Solon and Peisistratos ghting in the same phase of the war (cf. section .E). If that
is so, then we might imagine that there would be nothing in Solons poems referring
or alluding to a role for him in the Megarian war. On the other hand, it also is pos-
sible that Daimachos overlooked those references or allusions for his own reasons.
Cf.Toepffer +,;, o:.
:o xo+rs +o r:trs
+:. Cf. Solon F , +W: iorv r Eooivo opoorvoi ari vpoou (cf. n.
++). Cf. Figuiera +,a, :: The capture of the island is also an impromptu mea-
sure appropriate to a situation where Solon convinced the Athenians by his elegy to
take action. He immediately gathered volunteers and attacked the island.What Figu-
iera says here is founded on Plutarchs testimony. Ancient testimony regarding the
Megarian war is vexed and controversial and promotes little condence that, apart
from some generalities and details, it is based on anything like an undistilled mem-
ory of historical events: see sections D.+. and E;Toepffer (+,;) +; and nn. +:o:;.
It is to be noted that the exhortations of Kallinos of Ephesos (Fr + W) are all in sec-
ond- and third-person aspects.Thus, it seems that Kallinos, though exhorting others
to war, is not offering to lead.
+:. Cf. Ath.Pol. .+: (cf. Rhodes +,+, +:o::); and Plut. Sol. +.+. Cf. also Lin-
forth +,+,, o and .
+:o. Linforth (+,+,, ) suggests that Solon spurred ve hundred Athenians,
stimulated at once by their loyalty to Athens and her gods and by the prospects of
the immediate attainment of their political and economic aspirations.The sugges-
tion relies on Plutarchs testimony to the effect that the attacking force Solon is said
to have led to Salamis (Sol. ,.:) was promised land and freedom on Salamis as part
of his exhortation and so as part of his poem. Solons ability to distribute conquered
land on his own aside, his promise of freedomas indeed the greater part of this
storyis surely invented and anachronized.
+:;. Plut. Sol. .o, ,.:; Paus. +.o.; Polyain. +.:o.:. Cf. How and Wells +,+:,
+.:; Linforth +,+,, + (Both of these accounts are legendary [although cf. :]),
:+; Freeman +,:o, +o,; Legon +,+, +:o:,; Andrewes +,:b, ;; and de Libero
+,,o, : and n. .Taylor (+,,;, :o) suggests that Plutarchs two versions of Solons
involvement in the war for Salamis are really part of one account. Unfortunately, al-
though Taylor mentions them, she does not examine Plutarchs sources thoroughly
or adequately explore the folktale characteristics of especially the rst version (cf.
Linforth +,+,, :+). (Taylor cites the similarity of the rape story in Plutarchs account
to Herodotos account of the Lemnian deeds [o.+;Taylor +,,;, , n. o; cf. also
appendix B]. This had already been suggested and investigated to some extent by
Toepffer [+,;, off.]; cf. also Linforth +,+,, ::.) The truth is we cannot say with
complete assurance what is made up and what is not in sources like Plutarch: testi-
monia must be evaluated case by case. Taylor is quite right to point out [], how-
ever, that, of the two, the second version is more conventional and possesses fewer
earmarks of folktale. She nally admits to aporia (haplessness) (o), as must we all when
it comes to what Solon actually accomplished on, around, or concerning Salamis (cf.
section E).
+:. Cf. Legon +,+, +:o; and Andrewes +,:b, ;.
+:,. Cf. French +,;, :+, n. ++; Legon +,+, +: and +::o; and Figueira +,a,
+o. Cf. Figueira +,a, ::; Chambers +,,o, +,,; and de Libero +,,o, +. Cf.
also appendix C.
++. See appendix C.
+:. Cf. Rhodes +,+, :ooo (although I confess I do not know what he has in
mind when he states that he prefers that the pre-Kleisthenic strate

goi were occa-

Notes to Pages ,, :o,
sional, ad hoc appointments for wars fought outside of Attica [my italics]). Cf. also An-
drewes +,:a, ,; ([the] commander should be the polemarch as is generally sup-
posed). Cf. n. +; and Frost +,, :,o. De Libero +,,o, , nn. ,, offers a
useful short presentation of viewpoints. Cf. also n. +.
+. Herodotos applies strate


to the positions of Harpagos (+.+o:.+), Otanes

(.:o), and Mardonios (o.,.:): cf. de Libero +,,o, , n. . Thus, contra Wheeler
+,,+, + and +o:, n. o: I disagree that strate


gia are terms anachronized by

Herodotos to the sixth century (cf. Hammond +,o,, ++, n. :): these could hardly
have come out of nothing to become institutionalized in the Athenian democracy of
the late sixth century and must have had some history of usage. Indeed, strate

gos is a
very logical term to describe an army leaderand could have superseded older, now
obsolete terms (e.g., polemarchos) precisely because of the changes wrought by the
Megarian war: see n. +.
+. Cf. Kinzl +,;,a, :; and n. +:. On the relationship of the archon polemar-
chos to the elected strate

goi in the fth century, see Hamel +,,, ;,.

+. Cf. Andrewes +,:b, ;; Figueira +,a, :,+; and Podlecki +,;, , n. +o.
+o. Cf. Freeman +,:o, +;+. Contra Freeman,Aristotle does not imply that he
(sc. Peisistratos) had nothing to do with the capture of Salamis: on the contrary, the
author of the Ath.Pol. refutes the association of Solon and Peisistratos on chrono-
logical grounds. This says nothing about Peisistratos role in relation to Salamis.
Cf. Andrewes +,:b, ;. Cf. also Taylor +,,;, o (I doubt capture of Nisaia
would rank above capture of Salamis, and I think it highly unlikely that Herodotus
would fail explicitly to mention Peisistratos capture of Salamis . . . if it occurred).
Taylor (o, n. ) is further not convinced by an argument based on later writers
making over the victory from Peisistratos to Solon (e.g., Kahrstedt +,, o, n. +):
If the tradition could preserve for Herodotus the information that Peisistratos cap-
tured Nisaia, why not that he captured Salamis? These views and questions are
framed without reference to the context of Herodotos sources. Cf. section .A.+
and nn. + and +:;.
+;. Cf. Beloch +,+, +.:,;; and Taylor +,,;, o. But cf. also n. +:; and sec-
tion .E.
+. Cf.Thuc. .o,.+ (and Hornblower +,,o, :o).
+,. We might ask why Peisistratos would be connected to Eleusis at all unless it
had gured somehow in his military career before Nisaia. Of course, it is possible that
the terms of the story (Athenian women worshiping, Megarians raiding by ships) re-
quired military action to be set there. In this case, Eleusis then became no more
than the backdrop for Peisistratos ambush (cf. nn. +o and +o:).
+o. Cf.Thuc..o,.+ (and Hornblower +,,o, :;).
++. Cf. Front. :.,.,; sections D and F; and n. +.
+:. Cf. Daverio Rocchi +,;+, o+o:; Frost +,, :,o; and Sancisi-Weerden-
burg :oooa, +o.
+. .+o: oamtrm tp aorm.Thucydides (4.66.3) informs us that Nisaia was
about eight stades from Megara. Strabo, on the other hand (9.1.4), states that the port
was eighteen stades from the city, a clear error on his part (but cf. Legon 1981, 27).
There is no indication in Aineias that Peisistratos sailed into the port, however (but
cf. n. 145). Cf. Figueira 1985a, 283.
:;o xo+rs +o r:trs o
144. While not stated explicitly in the account of the attack (because of a lacuna),
the signal is obviously Aeneias lesson to his reader.The anecdote serves as an example
of the ecacy of prearranged signals (ou oopo) [double signals?]). See also n. +.
+. The lacuna in Aineias text deprives us of some details, but Frontinus and
Justin/Trogus, whose source will have been the same as Aineias (if indeed it was not
Aineias), supply information making it quite certain that Peisistratos men were told
not just to attack but actually to slay some of the Megarians.Whiteheads treatment
of the lacuna (+,,o, o), seems too conservative in light of the similarities between
Aineias and Frontinus.
+o. Legon +,+, +;; cf. Figueira +,a, :.
+;. Cf. Hopper +,o+, :+o. Cf. also n. +.
+. Possible sources for this story are Hellanikos or Kleidemos (but cf. n. +o).
Implicit in it, however, are elements of Athenian popular tradition (cf., e.g., Linforth
+,+,, :o; and Freeman +,:o, +;:; cf. n. +:;), which emphasize, above all, the cun-
ning of the Athenians (cf. Hdt. +.oo.; cf. Lavelle +,,, +++o) through their fore-
bears Solon and Peisistratos. Cf. n. +:; and section .E.
+,. Cf. Casson +,+:; cf. also Gomme +,o, :.o; and Legon +,+, :;:.
+o. The implication of Aineias account is that the Athenians disembarked where
the Megarians put out in their ships for Eleusis, for the Megarians came out to meet
them when they arrived in the customary place (cf. n. +). Such details and prob-
lems did not really concern Aineias, whose points were tactics and trickery, not ve-
racious details or historical accuracy. See n. +o.
++. Cf. Figueira +,a, :.
+:. Plut. Sol. .o; Poly. +.:o.+:;Ael. VH ;.+,; cf. Figueira +,a, :o. Cf.
nn. +:; and +;.
+. This similarity undermines the credibility of the story about Solon (Plut. Sol.
,.): contra Figueira +,a, : (see n. +:;); and Taylor +,,;, ,. Cf. also section .E.
+. A gauge of sorts for how such a capture could affect the government of
Megaraor rather how the ancient reader was to understand the impactmight be
found, for example, by comparing the plight of the Megarians to that of the Spartan
elders after the capture of the Spartan expeditionary force on Sphakteria by the Athe-
nians during the Peloponnesian war (Thuc. .+, .+; cf. Gomme +,o, +:,
+o++; and Hornblower +,,o, +,o,;, :+).
+. Cf. Legon +,+, +;.
+o. Of course, we would be able to estimate the historical value of the storys
details better if Aineias source(s) could be ascertained. As it is, the ultimate sources
appear to be the Athenians. Information could have been passed along to Aineias by
one or more of the Atthidographers. If that is so, then it would be easier to account
for the conation of Solon and Peisistratos with respect of the Megarian war (cf. n.
+:;): it derived ultimately from competing traditions (just as did the fth-century
controversy about who freed Athens: cf. Lavelle +,,, +o+:). Certainly, the topos of
Peisistratos cleverness overrides history in Aineias (cf. nn. + and +o). As in myth-
making, the factual bare bones, in this case victory over Megara by Peisistratos in
the Megarid,provided the superstructure for invention (cf. n. +,). Interestingly, this
garbled transmission, presumably popular at its origins, survived the ocial antityran-
nism of the early fth century, although it suffered as a result of suppressed or lost
Notes to Pages , :;+
memory about it (cf. Lavelle +,,, oo, n. o). In fact, we do not know exactly what
Aineias embellished or removed or what he actually received.
+;. Cf. ibid., +++o; :ooo, .
+. Legon +,+, +o, seems to accept the anecdotes of Athenian cleverness as
factual, but cf. Lavelle +,,, ++ff.
+,. Cf. Thuc. :.+ (cf. Gomme +,o, ,; and Hornblower +,,+, :,o,+); and
.o. (cf. Hornblower +,,o, :;).
+oo. Cf. Thuc. .+ (cf. Gomme +,o, o; and Hornblower +,,+, +:);
and .o; (cf. Gomme +,o, :,o; and Hornblower +,,o, :o).
+o+. Cf.Thuc. .o;.+ (cf. Hornblower +,,o, :).
+o:. It is highly doubtful that the Athenians put out from Eleusis for Nisaia. Eleu-
sis was designated by Aineias (or his source) as the point of embarkation perhaps in
order to unite a religious festival and female celebrants with Peisistratos subsequent
victory on Megarian soil. Thus two independent threads combine here (cf. nn. +,
and +o).
+o. Hdt. o.+o (cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.+:); cf. also Corn. Nep. +.:..
+o. Cf.Thuc. .oo. and o;. (cf. Gomme +,o, o; and Hornblower +,,o,
::, :o).
+o. Cf. Thuc. .oo. (a Peloponnesian garrison holds Nisaia to ensure that the
Megarians will not defect to the Athenians; cf. also n. +o); and .o,.+.
+oo. Cf.Thuc. .o,.+. Cf. also Schachermeyr +,;b, +oo; and Stahl +,;, :+o. But
cf. Berve +,o;, +..
+o;. Cf. Ath.Pol. +.+: oo o' ru ooxipxm r v tm ao Mryor o aor m xt.
(Cf. Rhodes +,+, +,,:oo.) Cf. also n. +; and Wheeler +,,+, +:off.
+o. Hdt. o.+++; ++ (cf. Paus. +.+. [Marathon painting]; cf. also Francis and
Vickers +,; and Castriota +,,:, ;,:). (Miltiades, too was pictured in the
Marathon painting of the Painted Stoa [Stoa Poikile

] in the forefront of the battle. Cf.

also Aisch. .+o; and Corn. Nep. +.o..)
+o,. Cf. Lavelle +,,:a, +ff. and :o; see also n. +;o.
+;o. The rst historical example of an Athenian athlete-general is Phrynon, a
near contemporary of Solons, who led an Athenian colony to Sigeion and was killed
there in combat with Pittakos of Mityle


(cf. Str. +.+.; Stahl +,;, :++, :+; and

Figueira +,,+, +:). On Pittakos, see de Libero +,,o, +,:.
+;+. Stahl +,;, :o, rightly links the Athenian need for the island with pos-
sible threats from Aegina (cf. n. ). If the ancient city of the island was oriented with
respect to Aegina (Str. ,.+.,), that might suggest an original Aeginetan settlement but
at all events Salamis earlier importance to Aegina (cf. Toepffer +,;, ;+o; Figueira
+,+, :o:).
+;:. Cf. nn. +:, +:;, +o, and +;.
+;. Cf. Plut. Sol. +o.:; Str. ,.+.+o++; Ael. VH ;.+,; Arist. Rhet. +;b; Diog.
Laert. +.; and n. +;. Cf. Linforth +,+,, :;; Freeman +,:o, +;;; Highbarger +,:;,
+o; Legon +,+, +:o, +;,; Figueira +,a, ooo:; Podlecki +,;, o; Stahl
+,;, :+;+; de Libero +,,o, ++; and Taylor +,,;, :;. (The dating of the arbi-
tration has been placed by some at the end of the century because of the names of
the arbitrators, Kleomenes and Amompharetos. These are identied with the
Spartan king and the insubordinate Spartan ocer of Plataia [Hdt. ,.;]: Beloch
+,+, +.++; Linforth +,+,; Figueira +,a, o+; cf. Highbarger +,:;, +o, n. .
:;: xo+rs +o r:trs oo
There is no reason to think, however, that there was but one Kleomenes and one
Amompharetos or to discount earlier Spartan arbitration.) Cf. How and Wells +,+:,
:.++, on the famous Amompharetos.
+;. See n. +;. In Pausanias (+..:) Philaios becomes the son of Eurysakes and
surrenders the island (cf. nn. +; and +;).
+;. Pausanias version (see n. +;) makes the association of Salamis, Athens,
and the Peisistratids closer and so becomes even more transparent as Peisistratid prop-
+;o. Cf. nn. +; and +;;.
+;;. Cf. Kirk +,, :o;,; and Slings :ooo, o,. Cf. also Highbarger +,+,, +::
(especially +::,, n. ). Cf. also nn. +; and +;.
+;. Cf. [Plato] Hipp. ::b; Cic. De Or. ..+;; and Hes. s.v. Boumvioi. Cf.
also Merkelbach +,:; Davison +,; Bhme +,; Lavelle +,, o:; Ritok +,,;
Shapiro +,,; de Libero +,,o, ++o; and Slings :ooo, o;;o. See also nn. +;; and +o.
+;,. Cf. Manfredini and Piccirilli +,;;, off.
+o. The earliest evidence, of course, derives from [Plato] Hipparchos ::b. It gives
credit to Hipparchos, the son of Peisistratos, for introducing Homer to the Atheni-
ans. Diogenes (+.;) is, of course, very late. Cf. n. +;. (It is to be noted also that Di-
ogenes states that Solon turned the Athenians toward the Thracian Chersone

[+.;], but this is obviously wrong [cf. Hdt. .,. +:; and, e.g., Figueira +,,+, +ff.].
This is surely another case of a makeover from Peisistratos to Solon.)
++. Cf. Gomme +,, +oo; and Hornblower +,,+, o.
+:. On Thuc. .+o, cf. Hornblower +,,+, +,:o. On the Peisistratidai and
Delos, see Fornis Vaquero +,,:; and appendix G. On Herodotos +.o.:, cf. How and
Wells +,+:, :..
+. Cf.Toepffer +,;, :o:+; Parker +,, +o; and Hornblower +,,+, o.
+. Dorians unwelcome: see n. ,,. Of course, it is not impossible that Peisistratos
examined or had examined the graves taken up on Delos as to content, as perhaps
he had done already on Salamis. See appendix G.
+. Cf. n. +;.
+o. Hdt. .,o.+.The connection between Peisistratos part in the war and Spar-
tan arbitration is alluded to by Andrewes (+,:a, ,;). Of course, this introduces the
question of chronology affecting the Spartan arbitration: cf. Piccirilli +,;, o. It
is of course quite possible that Spartan intervention is complete ction: cf. n. +;.
+;. Cf. Hdt. .;:. (and n. ,,). Cf. also Figuiera +,a, o:.
+. oo tioxovtoou ouaooarouop uoiooo0oi tp Eooivi xoto
pp v tivo ao tp v Eu oiov o aor aouoov. Martina (+,o, ,), obelizes
Euoiov, offering two variants, Niooiov [Sint.] and Ouoitioo [Wil.] (cf.Toepffer
+,;, ,+o). While I understand the discomfort that the reading Euoiov causes,
there is no good reason to obelize. Figueira (+,a, :) observes that the mention
of a triakontor points toward an early date and an improvised sortie. Cf. also nn.
+,. Cf. Str. ,.+.+.
+,o. Soph. F +, (Nauck) (= Str. ,.+.o) describes the diakria as the garden lying
opposite to Euboia. Cf. Lavelle :ooo, ,;, n. ,; and Figueira (+,a, :, n.), whose
suggestion, that Solons action depended on his deciphering the cryptic language of
an oracular response, is ingenious.
Notes to Pages o, :;
+,+. It could be said that Philaios, when he came to eastern Attika, anchored off-
shore facing Euboia and that the link with such a phrase could be through him, a
Salaminian.As retromigrating descendants of Philaios to Salamis, the Athenians would
then be hearkening back to the original migration from Salamis. Of course any such
political spin propaganda is much more reasonably originated with Peisistratos, an
inhabitant of the eastern Attic region, than with Solon. Cf. n. +;.
+,:. Cf. Wilamowitz +,, +.:o;ff.; Highbarger +,:;, +, n. :o, and +o, n.
; and Figueira +,a, ::. On the discreditation of the Peisistratids, see Lavelle +,,,
:;ff. Stahls speculation (+,;, :oo)Obgleich Peisistratos auch Salamis als einen
Teil seines persnlichen Aussenbesitzes betrachtet haben etc.seems unwarranted,
since there is no hint of personal aggrandizement in otherwise hostile sources.
+,. Solon is identied as a Salaminian by Diogenes Laertios (+.o:), but the
identication is at least as old as the fourth century B.C.E.: Aristotle reports, incred-
ibly in Plutarchs estimation (Plut. Sol. :. [= F ]), that Solons ashes were scat-
tered over the island. In fact, the identication of Solon with Salamis and the ashes
scattering is at least as old as the Athenian comic poet Kratinos (cf. Linforth +,+,,
o,; Freemam +,:o, +,; and Legon +,+, +:). A statue of Solon was set up no
later than the early fourth century in the agora of Salamis (cf. Dem. +,.:+; Aesch.
+.:; and Anth.Pal. ;.o). On the evidence, Solon was of the old Athenian nobility
(cf. Davies +,;+, :), and in view of Salamis political marginality later it seems
quite unlikely that Solon would have reached the Athenian oces he did as a
Salaminian. On the other hand, an invented connection to Salamis would have
served Solon and been readily accepted by the Athenians. Of course, the connec-
tion could well have been based for them on nothing more than F +W and Solons
involvement with Salamis during the Megarian war: see nn. ++ and +:. Cf.
Toeppfer +,;.
cn:r+rr iii
+. Archonship of Komeas: Ath.Pol. +.+. Cf. Rhodes +,+, :o+; and Chambers
+,,o, +,,. On this date and the relative date of the victory at Nisaia, see appendices
A and D.
:. ou x m v tou to aooivr oovto Xi mvo ari oro0oi 0r riv to v Iaaoxo tro
yrvro0oi oi rto touto tov Hrioiototov toutov, o otooioovtmv tmv ao-
o mv xoi tm v r x tou aroi ou 'A0pvoi mv, xoi tmv rv aorotrmto Mryoxro
tou 'Axr mvo, tm v or r x tou aroi ou Auxou you tou 'Aiotooi orm, (sc. o
Hrioiototo) xotoovpoo tpv tuovvioo pyrir titpv otooiv, ouro or
otooim to xoi tm o ym tm v u aroxi mv aooto povo toi toio or tmoti oo
rmutov tr xoi piovou poor r tpv oyopv to ruyo m rxarruym tou r-
0ou, oi iv rouvovto r oyov p0rpoov oaorooi op0rv, rorrto tr tou op-
ou uoxp tivo ao ou tou xup ooi, ao trov ru ooxip oo r v tp ao
Mryor o yrvor vp ototpyi p , Ni ooio v tr r m v xoi o o o aooro rvo
ryo o r yo. o or op o o tm v 'A0pvoi mv r oaotp0ri , r omxr oi tm v o otm v
xotoro ovoo toutou oi oouooi rv oux ryrvovto Hrioiototou, xo-
uvpooi or umv yo xouvo rovtr riaovto oi oaio0r. ouvraovootovtr
or outoi oo Hrioiototm roov tpv oxoaoiv. Cf. Ath.Pol. +..+.+; Plut.
Sol. o; and Diod. Sik. +.,.o (these, including of course the rst, are almost com-
:; xo+rs +o r:trs oo
pletely derivative from Herodotos account and of limited historical value: cf. nn.
::o). Cf.Turner +, :o:;; Creuzer and Baehr +o, +::o; Stein +, o;o,;
How and Wells +,+:, +.o:; Rhodes +,+, +:o+ (on Ath.Pol.); McNeal +,o,
+:; Stanton +,,o, ,+, (on Herodotos), ,o,, (on Ath.Pol. ++), +oo+o+
(on Plutarch o) (all with translations); Fornara and Samons +,,+, ++;; and Lavelle
:ooo, +:, nn. +: (for further textual bibliography and commentary on +.,. [the
parties section]). See also n. +o+.
. The treatment of Peisistratos rst attempt at tyranny in this chapter is a ver-
sion of that found in Lavelle +,,+, +,,, and especially :ooo. The latter article ap-
peared in Classic et Mediaevalia ++o:, and I thank the editors and publishers for their
kind permission to draw on it.
. Cf. Lavelle +,,+, +; +,,, ,o; and :ooo, ,, n. +o. Cf. also How and Wells +,+:,
+.o+; and Bencsik +,,, ,, n. .
. A notable exception is Kinzl +,,. Cf. also Sayce +, :, n. (who appears
also to dissent).
o. Cf. Sealey +,oo; Lewis +,o, :::o; Bengston and Bloedow +,, ;; Frost
+,,o, ; Manville +,,o, +,oo and n. ;; Stein-Hlkeskamp +,,, +,o and n.
:; and Meier +,,, .
;. Cf. Hopper +,o+, esp. :off.; Berve +,o;, +.o; (geographical/personal); An-
drewes +,:a, ,,, esp. ,;; Stahl +,;, ;; Ellis and Stanton +,o, esp. ,;,;
Stanton +,,o, , (aristocratic/regional); Stein-Hlkeskamp +,,, ++:; Fornara
and Samons +,,+, ++;; and de Libero +,,o, ;.
. Cornelius +,:,, +:+, esp. ++; (social/political); Schachermeyr +,;b, +o+
(social/economic); Hignett +,:, +o,++: (political/economic); French +,;,
:o, esp. :+:; French +,, (personal/social/economic); Ehrenberg +,;,
;; (a combination of regional and social conicts, clan feuds, and ambitions of
individual leaders); Moss +,o,, ;o+ (regional and aristocratic character for plain
and coast, social [= de

mos] for Peisistratos constituency); Kluwe +,;:; Holladay

+,;; (combination); and Stein-Hlkeskamp +,,, +o+. Cf. also Hopper +,o+.The
curious article of Chambers (+,) apparently dispenses with Herodotos testimony
altogether (cf. also Giorgini +,,, +o+o).
,. Cf. Holladay +,;;, o; Hopper +,o+, +, and n. +,,; Ehrenberg +,;, ;;;;
Andrewes +,:a, ,:ff.; and Fornara and Samons +,,+, +.
+o. Cf., for example, Fornara and Samons +,,+, + and +;. Cf. also Jacoby
+,,, +o; Kinzl +,,, off.; and Lavelle +,,.
++. Cf. Lavelle +,,, ooff.; and chapter I.:.
+:. Cf. Lavelle +,,, :,; Raaaub :oo.
+. Cf. Lavelle +,,, oo, n. o, and +::.
+. Cf. Hdt. +. ,.+ +: Athens is held and rent apart by Peisistratos (cf. Lavelle
:ooo, ;, n. ++; see also chapter I, n. :); +.o+.:: Peisistratos insults Megakles daugh-
ter sexually, thus acting the part of a typically bad tyrant (see section .C); o.+o.:
Peisistratos exiled Kimon koalemos (who was later killed by Peisistratos sons); Isok.
+o.::o: the Peisistratidai did the city much harm; Arist. Pol. +++a, ++: the Pei-
sistratidai overworked and overtaxed the Athenians, keeping them apart and outside
the city (cf. also Ath.Pol. +o., o). On tyranny as evil, cf. Herodotos .o (the de-
bate on government; Barcel +,,, +;+;; Lavelle +,,, :, n. , and chapter +,
n. :). On popular Athenian hostility to the tyranny in late-fth-century Athens (in
Notes to Pages :,o :;
relation to Thucydides), cf. Dover +,;o, : and o:; Rosivach +,, ;; Lavelle
+,,, off.; and Lavelle :ooo, ; and n. ++; and Raaaub :oo.
+. Cf. Lavelle :ooo, ,oo and n. +;.
+o. Cf. Lavelle +,,+.The obvious initial error is the coordination in time of the
antityrant Chilon of Sparta (Ryl. Pap. +, col. :, +;::) with Hippokrates, the father
of Peisistratos. By all accounts, Peisistratos was born around ooo B.C.E. (cf. Schacher-
meyr +,;a, +o; Davies +,;+, ; and appendix D), while Chilon came to promi-
nence as ephor in oo, B.C.E. (or more likely ?) at the earliest (cf. Diog.
Laert. +.o; cf. also Develin +,,, ) and, according to the papyrus, was a famous
antityrannist even later.The aim of Herodotos source seems to have been to create
an irony, the discrepancy in time notwithstanding.To have the far-sighted antityran-
nist sage declare to Hippokrates at Olympia that he should not beget a child (who
was to become a tyrant) was too good to forego merely to uphold chronological ac-
curacy or even plausibility. Of course, this manipulation is in keeping with the Athe-
nians matching of the tyrant slaying and the establishment of democracy (cf.
Lavelle :ooo, ), of Alkmeon and Kroisos treasure chamber (cf. nn. ;), of
Solon and Kroisos (Hdt. +.:,; How and Wells +,+:,;; Rhodes +,+, +o,;o),
and even of Solon and Peisistratos (chapter II..A.. and appendix C.+.C.). Chrono-
logical accuracy seems to have been easily foregone by many ancient authors to
achieve such coordinations.
+;. Cf. Ath.Pol. ++.:; Busolt +,o, :.o;; Hignett +,:, ++o; Moss +,o,, o+ff.;
Fornara and Samons +,,+, +; Stein-Hlkeskamp +,,, ++:; and de Libero +,,o,
o, n. ;o.
+. What Solon states explicitly in his poems about politics (e.g., that astoi were
persuaded by speakers [Fr. ++: cf. n. :; and Rihll :;+, n. ,]) and the conditions
that his statements portray (e.g., political assemblies in Athens [Fr. , +.:: cf. n. ;])
along with what is implicit but obvious in the supplementary information that ap-
pears in the Ath.Pol., Plutarch, and so on (e.g., Solon sets the notables [gno

rimoi] in
opposition to the de

mos [Ath.Pol. ]), should be distinguished from the latters more

suspect interpretations of Solons poems (e.g., that Solon actually feigned madness
when he sang the poem Salamis [Fr. +; Plut. Sol. .+]; cf. chapter II..A.). While
the latter are not really central to the parties anyway, individual appraisal of their his-
torical value is quite beyond the scope of this book.
+,. Jacoby +,,, +. Rhodes (+,+, +o) shows that where AP exceeded
Herodotos in regard to the parties the account is highly suspect; cf. Stahl +,;, ooff.
Cf. Sealey +,oo, +o; and Holladay +,;;, +: (who nevertheless equivocates). Cf.
also Hignett +,:, ++o+:; Rhodes +,+; Fornara and Samons +,,+, ++, +;;
and Gouchin +,,,. On the Ath.Pol. and Plutarch, see also nn. :o:.
:o. Cf. Rhodes +,+, +o; Ehrenberg +,;, ;o; Stein-Hlkeskamp +,,, +o;
Stanton +,,o, ,; and Cawkwell +,,, ;. Gouchin (+,,,) builds his case for Peisis-
tratos prostasia (leadership) of the de

mos on the Ath.Pol.s labeling of Peisistratos as

most democratic (de

motikotatos). But this is to take the author as veracious where

he is most untrustworthy: the tripartite scheme of left, right, and center parties is
nowhere at home in early-sixth-century Athens: cf., for example, Rhodes +,+. Cf.
see also Osborne :oo:, + and n. :+.
:+. Cf. Hignett +,:, +++; Holladay +,;;, +; Hopper +,o+, +,,o; Cawkwell
+,,, ;; and n. :.
:;o xo+rs +o r:trs ;o;:
::. Cf. Hignett +,:, ++:; Holladay +,;;, +; Hopper +,o+, +,,o; and Cawk-
well +,,, ;.
:. Cf. Hopper +,o+; Holladay +,;;, o; Fornara and Samons +,,+, +;; and
Stein-Hlkeskamp +,,, +o:.
:. Cf. Moss +,o,, o; and Rhodes +,+, :oo, who points out that survival of
documentary evidence attesting to Aristions motion beyond the sixth century is
highly unlikely and that the use of yoovto is denitely anachronized; cf. also
Lavelle +,,, ,o,+, n. +; and Singor :ooo, +:o. Contra How and Wells +,+:, +.:;
Stein-Hlkeskamp +,,, +o, n. +o; and de Libero +,,o, ;, n. ;, who seem to ac-
cept the Aristion decree, its problems of transmission notwithstanding. On the ko-

phoroi, see chapter II.:.C.: and n. +o+.

:. On Plutarch +, :,.+ and the parties of Attika, see, for example, Holladay +,;;,
+; and Ellis and Stanton +,o, ,off.
:o. Fr. , + and . In Fr. ;, Solon terms one group opmi (l.+) and the other oooi
or riou xoi ipv orivovr (l.). Fragments of Solons poems are from West
:;. Cf., for example, de Libero +,,o, ff.
:. The facts about the tyranny of Damasias, which, according to the author
of the Ath.Pol. (+.:; cf. Dillon and Garland +,,, o;), occurred after he pro-
longed his term of oce as archon inordinately, and its aftermath are highly suspect
(cf. Moss +,o,, o; Rhodes +,+, +; Stahl +,;, +;;;; Stanton +,,o, +;;;
and n. +o; Stein-Hlkeskamp +,,, ,,; de Libero +,,o, ,o; and Cadoux +,,
+o:).There need be no doubt that Damasias continued his archonship after its o-
cial end (cf. Develin +,, o) or that he was ejected from it nally. Such facts might
reasonably have been attached, at least, to a reasonably sound oral tradition that found
its way into the Ath.Pol.s sources (although Cadoux states that one of the sources
followed by AP was Demetrios of Phaleron).While it is possible that Damasias was
a real tyrant, it is dicult to believe that his expulsion resulted in the rather neat, em-
inently civilized solution of the balanced collegium, which then came into its exis-
tence (contra Figueira +,, ;;; cf. Day and Chambers +,o:, +;:;). Damasias
appears to have been one of those politicians Solon mentions, who, like Megakles
and Peisistratos, won and then lost consent for political primacy.
:,. Ath.Pol. ++.:. Cf. Ath.Pol. .+, where the gno

rimoi are also explicitly opposed

to the de

mos. Cf. Rhodes +,+, , and +;:; and Stein-Hlkeskamp +,,, ,.

o. This denition of de

mos, which is operative throughout this volume, derives

from the descriptions of it or allusions made to it or its actions that Solon makes in
his poetry: the word will be qualied, explicitly or implicitly, throughout by politi-
cally active or Solonian to distinguish it from the de

mos created by Kleisthenes, from

the fth-century de

mos, and from notions found in secondary scholarship, ancient

and modern.The early-sixth-century Athenian de

mos, which Solon sets at odds with

oi o' ri ov ou voiv xoi p ooiv p oov o yptoi , cannot have been simply the en-
tire population of the state in contrast to the rulers (Anhalt +,,, ,, and n. ) or
the common mass, in contrast to the powerful and wealthy (Gerber +,;o, + [on
the same page, however, Gerber calls the de

mos the poor]). The gno

rimoi had to
have had adherents among the hoi polloi to have been at all viable as a political group-
ing, and the lines of Solons contemporary Theognis (;, +,:) suggest a po-
tent sociopolitical mix at Megara based on nothing more than a shared interest in
Notes to Pages ,.,, :;;

mata (cf. Stahl +,;, ,,ff.). From all appearances, chre

mata was the common aim

and dening characteristic of the politically active Athenian de

mos according to
Solon. Contra Anhalt +,,, ,,, n. , it is impossible to agree that Solon seems to
use the word (sc. de

mos) in the same way to refer to those without political power,

since the de

mos could not have forced the so-called Solonian crisis, would not have
been addressed by Solon so frequently, or would have been the recipients of the be-
nets of any of Solons reforms unless it possessed at least some political weight: cf.
nn. ,o.As it is, the de

mos political power was denite and denitely asserted dur-

ing the early stages of the Kylonian crisis: I do not know on what grounds David
(+,, +, n. ,), makes the astoi the whole body of citizens as distinct from the lower
classes, the opo, for the distinction makes little sense in view of (+) Solons polar-
ization of de

mos and gno

rimoi, and (:) the interchangeability of astoi and de

mos in Solon
F , ll. o (cf. n. ). Rhodes (+,+, ,) notes the ambiguity of the term de

On Solonian democracy cf.Wallace +,,.
+. Cf. Fr. c, in which Solon addresses the wealthy in the exclusive second-per-
son plural and the nonwealthy in the inclusive rst-person plural; and Fr. +. For what
it is worth, AP states that Solon xoi om oiri tpv oitiov tp otoorm ovoatri
toi aouoioi (.). Cf. also David +,, +.
:. Cf. n. . At Xenophon (Mem. .:.;,), de

mos is to be understood as tou

arvpto tmv aoitmv (cf. Rhodes +,+, ,).
. Frs. , ll. : ou toi or 0ri riv ryo pv ao iv o ooi pioivo otoi ouov-
toi pooi ari0orvoi,op ou 0' p yro vmv o oixo vo o, oi oiv r toi ovu io r x
ryop oyro aoo ao0riv. (We note that astoi and de

mos appear interchange-

able here; cf. Gerber +,;o, +:.). Contra Campbell (+,o;, :+), the opou pyrovr
are not the nobles, the governing class: cf. nn. :o, :,, o, , ,, and ). , +:, :
oi o' r ' o aoyp ioiv p 0ov r ai o' ri ov o vrp v,xooo x[r]ov r xooto ou tm v
o ov ru p oriv aou v, . . . vuv or oi oourvoi (cf. Gerber [+,;o, +o], who
equates oi o' r ' o aoyp ioiv with the de

mos). ;, +: opmi rv ri p oiooopv

o vrioi ooi,o vu v r ouoiv ou aot' o 0o oi oiv o vru oovtr ri oov xt. Cf. also
David +,, +.
. Cf. de Libero +,,o, ff.
. The de

mos avarice: Frs. , +:, (see n. ). ,+: opmi rv yo romxo to-

oov yro oooov raoxriv (contra Anhalt +,,, +oo+o+, geras must mean reward
here rather than privilege, since material enrichment [= reward] is explicitly and
repeatedly stated by Solon elsewhere as among the de

mos expectations; political gain

[= privilege], on the other hand, is not really in accordance with the de

mos ex-
pectations: cf. nn. and ). Promises made to the de

mos: Frs. o, +;: xoi oip0ov

m uaroopv (cf.West +,,, ::carried out all that I promised); , o: o rv yo
riao, ouv 0roioiv pvuoo (Wests translation [+],the decrees I uttered had the bless-
ings of the gods, does not, in my view, capture the sense of the Greek as well as An-
halts here [+,,, +o], for with the help of the gods, I accomplished what I said.)
Cf. also David +,, +:.
o. The unhappiness of the de

mos and the gno

rimoi is stated explicitly in Ath.Pol.

++.:, but Solons apologies (Frs. , :, , [these last for not taking the tyranny],
o, and ;) are preponderantly directed toward the de

mos for failing to meet its ex-

pectations. Cf. also David +,, ;. Plutarch (+.) states that both sides urged Solon
to take the tyranny, and that is doubtful. It was not in the interests of the gno

:; xo+rs +o r:trs ;;
however, for a tyranny to be established (cf. Holladay +,;;, o), and they are unlikely
to have urged it on Solon. Solon, himself an aristocrat, equates tyranny with undue
advantage for the kakoi (Fr. , ll.;,), an equation that must eliminate the gno

as serious sponsors of tyranny for him. Cf. also chapter II, n. .
;. Cf. Frs. , +o, +;: (ouvoooi I take to mean meetings or assemblies,
its root sense, not associations [so Campbell +,o;, :] or conspiracies [so Ger-
ber +,;o, +]); o, :; and o, +:. Cf. also Kinzl +,,, ;.
. Frs. ; c (monition to those with megas nous [the gno

rimoi?]); o (how the


mos should be led); , (the de

mos susceptibility to public speakers: cf. also Fr. +:);

++ (the Athenians general susceptibility to glib speech/speakers); + (address to the
wealthy and encouragement for those without appreciable chre

ma [= de

mos]); :,
(justications for failing to become tyrant: these would not reasonably have been
needed for the gno

rimoi [cf. n. o]); (defense for failing to fulll promises to those

who wished to become wealthy [= the de

mos]); o (defense for failing to fulll prom-

ises); ;, ll.+ (complaint and defense, description of mediation). Cf. Frs. : and :
(encouraging addresses to those without appreciable chre

ma [= de

,. For what it is worth, the Ath.Pol. (.+) also states that the de

mos specically
precipitated the crisis. Solons promises to the de

mos: Frs. , o; o, +:, and +;; cf.

Frs. , o (the astoi are persuaded by chre

mata); ++, ; (the astoi look to the tongue

and the words of a wily man). Cf. David +,, ff. (David [+] suggests that Solon
was the rst de

magogos [demagogue], in Athenian history, but he is likely to have been

preceded by others: see n. .)
o. On the oaths which Solon required of the de

mos, cf. Hdt. +.:,.:. Cf. also

Ath.Pol. ;.: and Plut. Sol. :.+ (which exaggerate to some degree: cf. Rhodes +,+,
+o; and How and Wells +,+:, +.o;). Cf. Freeman +,:o, ++. Of course, all Atheni-
ans, rich and poor, noble and base, must have been bound similarly.
+. Cf. nn. , ,, and .
:. Cf. Frs. , o; ++, ;; cf. Fr. , (and +: in conjunction with it).The testimony
of Phanias of Eresos = Plut. Sol. +.:. On Solons deception, cf. David +,, +off.;
Anhalt +,,, ,,+oo, +;; and McGlew +,,, ,. Of course, Solons promises were
made orally, as were his apologies. One presumes that by the latter Solon was attempt-
ing to salvage his standing with the de

mos (cf. Anhalt +,,, +o;). Solons signal

deception involved recitation of Salamis (Frs. +; cf. chapter II, nn. ++o+). Cf. also
David +,, ff.
. Solons political career offers some illustration of all of this: Fr. , (Solon
alludes to the unrighteous leaders of the de

mos before him); Fr. , o; (Solon ob-

serves that at present the astoi are persuaded by chre

mata and that the mind of the

leaders of the de

mos is unrighteous); Fr. c (Solon appears to have become the leader

of the de

mos, since he speaks of dissenters from those with a surfeit of good things
as we; cf. Frs. + and o, +); Fr. ,, (Solon warns that the city is being destroyed
by great men and the de

mos falls to the slavery of monarchy) in conjunction with

Fr. ++, (Solon complains that the astoi are misled by clever speakers); Frs. :;
(Solon no longer speaks as we or as if he is to be identied with either side; he ap-
pears to have acted in the crisis); Fr , ff. (he nally implies by his apologies to the

mos that he had lost it; cf. Anhalt +,,, ++ff.).The course of Solons political ca-
reer, rise, oruit, and decline is more distinctly stated in the accounts of the Ath.Pol.
and Plutarch, but these may justly suspected as embellished. Based on Solons testi-
Notes to Pages ,, :;,
mony, we may conclude that he promised the de

mos gain either deceptively (so Pha-

nias [see n. :]) or in a way it misunderstood so as to win it over, that he held that
support for a time, and that he subsequently lost it because the de

mos did not believe

he had fullled those promises. Competitors are likely to have made other, better
promises in the wake of Solons commission, especially since, given his apologies, the

mos must have been discontented and ripe for defection: cf. nn. .
. Although the de

mos power was only temporarily asserted and maintained,

those assertions of its power must have had reverberations and even some lasting ef-
fects nonetheless: indeed, the politicians who followed Kylon, Megakles, the father
of Alkmeon, Solon, and Damasias (Ath.Pol. +.:; n. :) surely made adjustments in
the ways they played politics in view of their forebears errors. After all, they had to
earn rst the de

mos pacication, if it were hostile, then its approval, and nally its
consent to be led. Such lessons as existed before Kylon were obviously not heeded
by him; Isagoras (Hdt. .;:; Ath.Pol. :o. [Rhodes +,+, :o]) seems also to have ig-
nored those who came before him.
. Cf. Frs. , ;; o; , (in conjunction with ++ and +:); and Frs. o, :: and ;, o
(Solon suggests that he kept the de

mos down whereas another could not or would

not have done so).
o. A case in point is that of Kylon (see chapter II..A.: and n. o); cf. also Lavelle
:ooo, ;+;:.
;. Cf. n. o.
. This was obviously also Kylons need, but of course Kylon presented the Athe-
nians with a fait accompli. See n. o.
,. Cf. Ehrenberg +,;, ;;: without the support of [the citys] population and
the ecclesia, Peisistratus would never have succeeded.Cf. also Holladay +,;;, ;
and Fornara and Samons +,,+, +o; and Wallace +,,, :. Obviously, this is contra
Ober +,,, o.
o. Holladay (+,;;, and o) has suggested that the de

mos expected a redistri-

bution of land when Peisistratos made his appeal for a bodyguard. Although prom-
ises of gain were surely made, such a proposal as Holladay imagines was guaranteed
to evoke quite a hostile reaction from Attic landowners and seems unlikely. Peisis-
tratos simply did not possess the power to do such things early on (see sections
III.:.C.+ and .C), and even later after Palle


, there is no record of such redistribu-

tion. The whole idea appears in fact to have been anachronized from later ancient
examples. Cf. Hopper +,o+, :oo; and Gouchin +,,,, +.
+. Cf. Ehrenberg +,;, ;o: The main fault of the [sc. Herodotean] division,
however, seems to be that the city had no place in it, or rather belonged to both pe-
diou and paralia; moreover, it is known that Peisistratos as the head of the diacrii [sic]
found substantial support in the city. Most of the real clashes of the groups must have
occurred just there.In fact, Solon conrms the latter judgment. Cf. also Fornara and
Samons +,,+, +: the Alcmeonids seem to emerge on the Attic seacoast c. o+ as if
they had dropped from the moon (an interesting and pictorial way of putting their
reemergence). See section :.A..
:. Andrewes +,:a, ,: it is easy to imagine the landowners of the plain as
conservative men, even reactionaries who hoped that the reforms of Solon could still
be reversed; cf. Cornelius +,:,, +; Kluwe +,;:, +o; and Stahl +,;, ;o. On Ly-
kourgos, see Davies +,;+, ,.
:o xo+rs +o r:trs ;o;
. Lewis +,o, :::; Hopper +,o+, +,off.; Ehrenberg +,;, ;o; Andrewes
+,:a, ,.
. Cf. Hopper +,o+, +,+.The tradition of Alkmeonid association with the de

was quite strongly asserted by the genos at the end of the fth century B.C.E., and
the words of Alkibiades the Elder at Sparta (Thuc. o.,.) suggest that the associa-
tion predated Kleisthenes prostasia of the de

mos by a good deal. Indeed, Alkibiades

the Younger states that the Alkmeonid leadership of the de

mos was ancient, extend-

ing through the period of tyranny: cf. Isok. +o.: and :.Alkibiades statement seems
actually to have been grounded in the same family tradition found in Herodotos
involving Megakles, that is, that the Alkmeonidai were perpetually opposed to
tyranny (cf. o.+:+.+, +:.+, and +.o.; and Hornblower +,,o, : and , who con-
siders that Thuc. o.,. might presuppose Hdt. o.+:+ and +:.+). It was of course an-
other self-serving falsehood (see n. ;:; cf. Lavelle +,,, ,ff.). On the diculties of
associating the party of the coastwith the geography implied, cf. Hopper +,o+, +,+;
Andrewes +,:a, ,,; and Cornelius +,:,, +. Gouchin (+,,,, +ff.), who ap-
parently desperately wants to see Peisistratos as prostate

s tou de

mou, does not deal ad-

equately with the Alkmeonid tradition of prostasia tou de

mou and, most crucially, omits

to construe the word aorotrmto at Herodotos +.,.. This I take to be the par-
ticipial form of the root for aootooio, used to describe the position of Megakles
(directly) and Lykourgos (indirectly) with respect to their parties. In Herodotos ac-
count of Peisistratos rise to power, it is Megakles, not Peisistratos, who is the prostate

tou de

mou. Cf. also nn. ;;;.

. Hdt. .;o.;+;Thuc. +.+:o.:+:; Plut. Sol. +:; cf. Lavelle +,,, ,, n. :.
o. Hdt. o.+:o+ (cf. How and Wells +,+:, +.++;). Cf. McGregor +,+, :off.;
Fornara and Samons +,,+, o+:, esp. ++;Vandiver +,,+, :;; and Parker +,, +;
and ::. McGregor (+,+, :;off.) dates the marriage of Megakles and Agariste to
; B.C.E., Parker (+,,, +;) a few years before that, and Davies (+,;+, ;:) between
; and ;+.A date later than ;o seems excluded in any case (+) because of the mar-
riage of Megakles daughter to Peisistratos (Hdt. +.o+.+:)I am assuming that she
was an offspring of that marriage and that she was not under fteen at the timein
conjunction with (:) the date of the divorce, which must have been very proxi-
mate to Peisistratos second expulsion from Athens (ca. o B.C.E.; cf. Rhodes
+,+, +,+ff.; and appendices C and D). Cf. also de Libero +,,o, +,.
;. Hdt. o.+:; Isok. +o.:; cf. Davies +,;+, ;+; Flory +,;, ; and Bockisch
+,,o.Although Kroisos is specically designated Alkmeons patron in Herodotos, the
chronology of the Lydian kings reign excludes the possibility: cf. Davies +,;+ (we
must understand Alyattes). Rather than a connection with Lydia specically (cf.
How and Wells +,+:, :.++o), the story of Alkmeons hoarding of gold dust suggests
that the Alkmeonidai were especially remembered for returning to Athens with a
large amount of metal wealth, something that Kroisos was known to have in great
. Hdt. o.+:.; Isok. +o.:; Pind. Pyth. ;.+ and schol. ad loc. Cf. Davies +,;+,
;+; Smith +,,, o; and Thomas +,,, +o;. Alkmeons chariot victory (cf.
Pind. Pyth. ;, ++off.) is dated to ,: B.C.E. Cf.Thomas +,,, +o, n. ++:. On the First
Sacred War, see Forrest +,o, :; Lehmann +,o, ::o; Tausend +,o; and
Davies +,,; cf. also Stanton +,,o, :oo; and de Libero +,,o, +,,,. Robertson (+,;)
argues that the First Sacred War was a myth.
Notes to Pages ,:, :+
,. Cf. Fr. , +:+. I take rioorvoi to refer to all greedy Athenians but also to
have special reference to politically active members of the de

mos and their leaders,

since Solon claims that these were most motivated by the prospect of gain.
oo. Contra Gouchin +,,,, the extant, explicit evidence attaches Megakles more
to the de

mos than Peisistratos. In fact, Herodotos explicitly makes reference to his

prostasia: cf. nn. :o and . (Thucydides [+.+:o.+:] seems impressed by the remark-
able resiliency of the Alkmeonidai.)
o+. Contra Cawkwell (+,,, :o), who states that (sc. Peisistratos) was joined by
those of his faction in the city and others from the demes, implying that Peisis-
tratos had a standing faction in Athens composed of potential fth columnists.
Herodotos (+.o:.+) actually says that stasio

tai from the city arrived in his camp in At-

tika and that men from the demes kept streaming in(aoorrov) after Peisistratos
landed at Marathon. Surely these were identied after the fact, since they are also
those who preferred tyranny to freedom (Hdt. +.o:.:; see chapter IV.:.B.+).There
is no basis for inferring a standing faction of Peisistratid partisans, as we have seen.
Those who came to him at Palle


were undoubtedly attracted by Peisistratos lately

developed power, his chances (and chre

mata), and their future well-being in view of

these. See chapter IV.:.B.+.
Again, Herodotos does not say that the mass of the Athenians . . . opposed (sc.
Peisistratos) but rather (as Cawkwell himself states) those who marched out in full
force. Presumably, these were all who were left who could bear arms and cared to
oppose Peisistratos, possibly only the Alkmeonids around Megakles and their adher-
ents (or then again perhaps not even these or him: we note that revisionism favor-
able to Megakles is replete in the digression; see sections .C. and D.+).Whoever they
were they were of no account in action before Peisistratos obviously superior forces
(whether in numbers or in quality): the men of the city,many of them eeing from


pell mell, had no stomach to oppose Peisistratos.Alkmeonid hegemony of the


mos appears to have been broken when, just before Palle


, Peisistratos induced
those sizable numbers of defections: cf. Lavelle :ooo, ;, and n. o. See also chapter
IV.:.B.: and C.
o:. Cf. Hopper +,o+, :o; (who nevertheless does not make the connection to
o. Hopper (ibid.) describes the party of Megakles as none too strong.The Ky-
lonian sphage

continued to haunt the Alkmeonidai well into the fth century (cf.
section .A.:. and n. +).
o. Andrewes +,:a, ,; cf. also Cornelius +,:,, ++;; Hopper +,o+, :oo;
Fornara and Samons +,,+, +; and Manville +,,o, +oo, n. ;.
o. Cf. chapter II, nn. and o; and n. o,.
oo. Cf. Holladay +,;;, .
o;. Singor (:ooo, +:o) unnecessarily belabors Herodotos +.,. (tm v o otm v
xotoro ovoo) as selected those men from the citizens (cf. also +::). The
phrase means selected citizens or selected men of the city. (The obvious contrast
is between the men from the city and the men from elsewhere in Attika: they are not
men of the diakria: see n. o.) Singor further reads class and economics into the

phoroi (viz.,city proletariat) and much else into the passage without justi-
cation or real regard to context. Singor struggles with the problem of why

phoroi instead of doryphoroi: cf. section :.C.: and nn. o, +o+, +o:, and +o.
:: xo+rs +o r:trs ;,+
o. While many take the korune

phoroi to reect the truth (cf. How and Wells

+,+:, +.:; Boardman +,,, +,; and McGlew +,,, ;o;,), they do not effec-
tively explain why Peisistratos was awarded club-bearers instead of the traditional do-
ryphoroi (cf. Rihll +,, :;,, n. +:), why Herodotos emphasizes the anomaly as he
does, or how club-bearers could possibly hold their own against spear men. (Singor
[:ooo, +::] suggests that what were korune

phoroi became doryphoroi when Peisis-

tratos gave the club-bearers spears. But that is free invention and certainly not what
Herodotos says.) I take it that the substitution of korune

phoroi for doryphoroi is another

element of revision in the logos, euphemizing to some extent the award of the body-
guards by the Athenian de

mos and service among them by astoi: korune

phoroi (un-
orthodox bodyguards) are simply not doryphoroi (orthodox bodyguards) and so can-
not be held to the same accounts. Cf. Hopper +,o+, :oo; and Lavelle +,,, +o,ff. Cf.
also Gouchin +,,,, +,::, who also notes the conspicuous absence of the hyper-
akrioi among the bodyguard (:o). See also n. o, (on diakrioi/hyperakrioi). On the

phoroi, see section :..C and n. +o+.

o,. Herodotos designation of Peisistratos party as hyperakrioi is at variance with
the diakrioi found in the Ath.Pol. +. and Plut. Sol. :,.+ (cf. Rhodes +,+, +; and
Manville +,,:, +oo, n. ;), and that has been found very signicant by some (cf. Hignett
+,:, ++o; Hopper +,o+, +o,; and Dillon and Garland +,,, ,+). While Rhodes
may be right in suggesting that hyperakrioi was the original name for those beyond
the hills, it is perhaps more likely that the name is another mask for diakrioi and yet
a further attempt to distance Peisistratos party from the veritable Attic region: the
words tm oym, which seem to qualify aooto, actually stand closer to tmv uar-
oximv and may have been meant to qualify them to some extent. Cf. Kinzl +,,,
o; and Lavelle :ooo, :, n. ;:.
;o. In view of Hdt. +.,. and what Herodotos states explicitly there, I do not
know by what reasoning Cawkwell (+,,, ;) declares Peisistratos not a popularly
appointed tyrantin the rst instance. Cf. Holladay +,;;, ; Fornara and Samons
+,,+, +o; Gouchin +,,,.
;+. The same overtone of external imposition of the tyranny is apparent in the
deception story, which immediately follows mention of the parties: the Athenians do
not appear to be completely responsible for what they do.The same sense of impo-
sition is also apparent, but to a lesser degree, in the Phye story for much the same rea-
sons (see section .B). Of course, Peisistratos was divinely aided from before his
birth. The sense of external imposition is most explicit and tangible, however, in
Herodotos account of Peisistratos third try for power, for which foreigners, not Athe-
nians, are almost wholly responsible (Hdt. +.o:.:o; cf. Berve +,o;, +.:; Lavelle
+,,, + and +o,ff.; and Lavelle :ooo, off.; and chapter IV.:.A and :.B.+).
;:. The chiding of the de

mos for foolishness in Herodotos (+.oo.) is likely to be

reective of the very low esteem Athenian aristocrats had for it.Among the most out-
spoken of these aristocrats were the Alkmeonidai: cf. Ehrenberg +,o:, ,ff.; and Ost-
wald +,o, :::,. In Herodotos, this low estimation of the de

mos probably derives

from them.Alkibiades the Elder at Sparta (Thuc. o.,.o), whose expressed sentiments
are echoed elsewhere in Herodotos, calls (sc. Athenian) de

mokratia mindless after

ranking himself among the thoughtful people. Such disdain for and chiding of the
Athenian de

mos by the aristocracy must date at least to Solon, who also called it
empty-headed (++, o: ouvo . . . voo) and further castigated it for failing to heed
Notes to Pages :.:, :
the warning signs of approaching tyranny (cf. F +o [W]; n. ). Cf. also Lavelle +,,,
o, n. , ,, n. :, and +oo;; Gray +,,;; Moles :oo:, ;; and n. .
;. Cf. chapter II..A. and nn. ++o+.
;. Solons warnings about impending tyranny and what that meant (F ,++ W;
cf. F ), clarions really, seem to have eluded Salmon +,,, :+.
;. Cf. Lavelle :ooo, :, n. :, and ,o, n. +; and nn. oo,; cf. also n. ;:.
;o. Cf. Hdt. o.+:; cf. also Lavelle +,,, ,ff.; cf. nn. ;;;.
;;. Marathon shield signal: Hdt. o.+:+.+: (which shows that the notion of Alk-
meonid collaboration was still quite topical in Herodotos time). The apology of
Fornara and Samons (+,,+, +,ff.) for Herodotos defense of the Alkmeonidai, to wit,
it is inconceivable that the Alcmeonids could have attempted to prove that they
could not have displayed the shield signal by urging their anti-tyrannist sentiments
in the manner presented to Herodotos, is dicult to fathom. It overlooks the fact
that twenty years had passed between the expulsion of the tyrants and Marathon and
that memories could have could dimmedor at least that facts could have been rein-
terpreted. It also ignores the fact that bad Alkmeonid defenses are in fact preserved
in Herodotos and other Greek sources.
As it is, the Alkmeonid defense is no more than circumstantial and fallacious:
Kallias fearlesslybought Peisistratid property after their expulsion, therefore he was
not a collaborator (o.+:+); and the Alkmeonidai freed Athens much more than Har-
modios and Aristogeiton,therefore they were not collaborators (o.+:.:). (The Alk-
meonid defense of Megakles collaboration was not denial but emphasis that he was
resisting Peisistratos more than he was in league with him, that he really was antityran-
nist all along: see section .C.)
Such an Alkmeonid defense in ,o might seem inconceivable to us, who have
much the longer view of things and are incredulous that the Alkmeonidai would dare
to introduce such feeble argumentation.Yet this type of apology, which is obviously
what was offered, could have played for the Athenian audience, which apparently
had much the shorter view of things. In straitened political circumstances, the Alkme-
onidai are likely to have pled it in tandem with their stronger claim to have actually
liberated Athens (cf. section C.). At all events, what we nd in Herodotos at
o.+:+:, and indeed in the Peisistratid logos, are portions of a highly transparent and
inferior defense (wrought perhaps from desperation) created perhaps very likely by
the essential indefensibility of their forebears actions. In point of fact,awed defense
of the Alkmeonidai might best characterize Herodotos rendering of Peisistratid his-
tory.On the sixth-century archon list (IG I
++), see chapter I, n. +:; and nn. :.
Marriage alliance: Isok. +o.:; Lavelle +,a; Lavelle +,,a. Cf. also n. ;.
;. Jacoby +,,, +o; cf. Gillis +,;,, ; and Lavelle +,,, ;o, n. ;o. The
counterarguments of Develin (+,) and Fornara and Samons (+,,+, +, n. :) et alii
are not convincing because the type, the number, and the very fact of the Alkme-
onids essentially defensive stories belie any conclusion that the Athenians actually
believed their stories about their conduct under the tyrants (cf. Lavelle +,,, ,, n.
:). The really defensive tone of Herodotos on the shield signal (o.+:+.+; cf. n. ;;)
does not suggest that even the Athenians of Herodotos day believed the Alkmeonid
defensenor in fact do the second and third ostracisms, which exiled two Alkme-
onids who were also remembered as kin of the tyrants (cf. Ath.Pol. ::.; cf. also
Lavelle +,a).
: xo+rs +o r:trs ,
That Herodotos was informed by the Alkmeonidai on Peisistratos rise is further
indicated by the fact that, apart from Peisistratos, Megakles is the most signicant and
frequently named gure in the digression. Cf. Lavelle +,,, ,+o+.The assumption
is further corroborated by Herodotos demonstrated preference for Alkmeonid in-
formation on the tyranny together with the testimonia he supplies in the digression
on Peisistratos rise to power. At +.o., Herodotos reports that at least some mem-
bers of the Alkmeonid genos went into voluntary (?) exile rather than live under the
Peisistratid regime after Palle


.The assertion corresponds to the celebrated passages

in Herodotos (o.+:+.+ and +:.+) that, respectively, describe the Alkmeonidai as in-
veterate tyrant-haters and as in exile perpetually from the beginning of the
tyranny, that is, after Palle


.This is obviously not Herodotos invention but Alkme-

onid revisionism, hardened by time and iteration: in particular, they are lies fashioned
from preference or need in light of the prevalent attitude of tyrant hatred at Athens
and from distrust of the Alkmeonidai. Herodotos testimonia seems almost verbatim
for what Alkibiades told the Spartans about his genos perpetual opposition to the
tyrants in + B.C.E. (cf. n. ). Of course, it is ction created to deny the Alkme-
onidais apparently notorious factual collaboration with the Peisistratids. Cf. also
Lavelle :ooo, ,,o.
The authority of the fth-century Alkmeonidai can account both for Herodotos
extraordinary preference for their information about the tyranny and for his disre-
gard of other information.That authority was probably centered in the most power-
ful and persuasive Athenian of the day, Perikles, a direct descendant of the collabora-
tor Megakles, and was not infrequently compared by such as the comic poets to
Peisistratos (Plut. Per. ;.+:; cf. Lavelle +,a, +, nn. ::).Who, after all, had more
to gain from spinning the facts of his ancestors collaboration or to lose by refrain-
ing from at least partaking in the revisionism? Cf. Jacoby +,,, +o+; and Lavelle +,,,
;o, n. ;o; and chapter I.:.
;,. Cf. Lavelle +,,, ,o,+, n. +; Gouchin +,,,, :o:+. See nn. : and o and
section III.:.C.:.
o. r v0o op o Hrioi ototo p r 'A0pvoi mv, ou tr tio to r ou oo ouvto-
oo outr 0roio rtooo, rai tr toioi xotrotrmoi rvrr tpv aoiv xoo-
rmv xom tr xoi ru. Cf. Turner +, :o:;; Creuzer and Baehr +o, +:o:;;
Stein +, +.o,; How and Wells +,+:, +.:; McNeal +,o, +; Stahl +,;, ,, n. ,
and +:; and Barcel +,,, +o:, n. ,o (who detects a more subtle meaning). See also
chapter I, n. ,, and n. :.
+. Cf. Ober +,,, o;; Lavelle +,,, o;o; and Sancisi-Weerdenburg :ooob, +o.
Cf. chapter +, n. +:, on the archon list. But cf. Barcel +,,, +o:, n. ,o.
:. o..o: to or oo outp p aoi toi aiv xrirvoi vooi rpto, apv
xo0 ' o oov oi ri tivo r arr ovto om v ou tmv r v toi o oi ri voi. Cf. Dover
+,;o, o+. (tioi [Hdt. +.,.o: n. o] and ooi here must both mean oces
[though cf. Dover +,;o, +,]). See also chapter I, n. ,.
. Cf. Cornelius +,:,, ::; Stahl +,;, +,; de Libero +,,o, ;; and n.
++; and Blok :ooo, ,. See also chapter I, n. +:.
. There may well have been a religious sanction yet in force against such ac-
cess: the memory of the crime was fresh after all in the early sixth century. See chap-
ter II..A.: and nn. +oo.
. Cf. Cornelius +,:,, :ff. (cf. Dover +,;o, +); Cawkwell +,,, ;o; cf. also
Notes to Pages o. :
Sancisi-Weerdenburg :oooa, ,. Could the original arrangement between Megakles
and Peisistratos have created the lasting Peisistratid modus operandi? Certainly, the
fact would explain why the existing laws were not recalled as being upset during
any phase of the tyranny.
o. Cf. Cornelius +,:,, :; and de Libero +,,o, ,; cf. also Hurwit +,,,,
;. The akropolis was never secure as a citadel or even serviceable: cf. de Libero
+,,o, oo; Sancisi-Weerdenburg :oooa, ,; and Kinzl +,;,a, :: als Regierungs-
zentrum is die Akropolis kaum geeignet. Cf. also Hurwit +,,,, o, although he
imposes a quite modern sensibility on the frequency of visits to the akropolis: the
Athenians probably did not view the rock as steep or its access as inconvenient.
Cf. also n. ,.
. Cf. Ath.Pol. +.+ (cf. Rhodes +,+, :o+).The author adds that Peisistratos held
the akropolis (xotr or tp v o xo aoiv), but this is of no value for the present ques-
tion, since his use here can be gurative (i.e., the phrase can mean was tyrant) rather
than have to be taken as literally (was in residence on the akropolis).
,. Cf. de Libero +,,o, o:o, who offers an overview of the evidence and con-
sideration of the problem.
,o. Cf.Andrewes +,:a, +; Hurwit +,,,, ++;; and Boersma :ooo, :; cf. also
n. ,+.
,+. Cf. Hurwit +,,,, ++; de Libero +,,o, oo and n. ++; and n. ,.
,:. Damnatio: cf. Thuc. o..+; and Livy +.. Cf. Lavelle +,,, ;: and ;o;;;
Lavelle :ooo, , n. ,; and Angiolillo +,,;, ;; but also Sancisi-Weerdenburg :ooob,
+: and n. ,. On the Persian sack, see Hdt. .+; cf. Hurwit +,,,, +o.
,. Shear +,;, ; Stahl +,;, :;; de Libero +,,o, +oo+o+ (who denies such
use); Hurwit +,,,, +:o:+ and :, n. o; Boersma :ooo, . Cf. Holloway +,,,
who challenges the view that Building F was in fact a dwelling; cf. also n. ,o.
,. Cf. Berve +,o;, +.. It is to be remembered that Athena Polias was the prin-
cipal civic deity of Athens and that her well-being was synonymous with that of the
akropolis, what Athenians anciently called the polis (Thuc. :.+.o; cf. Gomme +,,
:o+; Hornblower +,,+, :o;o; cf. also Rhodes +,+, +o). Cf. also Loraux +,o,
+:; and Scully +,,o, . Cf. also n. ,,.
,. On Kylon, see chapter II..A.: and nn. o and +o; on Kleomenes seizure
(Hdt. .;:.: and II, nn. , and ,,; cf. also Lavelle +,,, +o, n. o). It is true that
Hippias managed to hold out against the Spartans for some time (Hdt. .o.+; cf. Hur-
wit +,,,, +o:), but he had prepared for siege by stocking supplies and apparently en-
suring some sort of water source (cf. de Libero +,,o, o:o). Even at that, prospects
were none too good for him and his philoi holding out for any length of time, since
Hippias and those with him risked all, sending the younger Peisistratidai away (Hdt.
.o.+). This is surely something that would not have happened if the Peisistratids
were convinced of their strength and viability upon the akropolis.When the children
were taken, Peisistratid resistance collapsed altogether. In fact, the akropolis was no
redoubtable fortress at any time: Cf. Lavelle +,,, ++:+ and n. ,;; de Libero +,,o,
, n. ; Sancisi-Weerdenburg :oooa, ,; and nn. ; and . Cf. also Kinzl +,;,a, :
and :, n. o.
,o. Cf. de Libero +,,o, . One questions the identication of Building F (see n.
,) as the tyrants abode: its recommendations are its size and its apparent unique-
:o xo+rs +o r:trs ,:,
ness.While the building might have served a civic function it need not by any means
have been the home of the Peisistratids. See Holloway +,,, on Peisistratos house.
,;. Cf. schol. ad Ar. Eq. b: Kylon is accused of hierosylia, a charge very prob-
ably added on (by the Alkmeonidai?) in view of his very unpopular seizure of the
akropolis: cf. Lavelle :ooo, ;+;:.
,. Cf. nn. o and :; and de Libero +,,o, o:.
,,. It could be argued that the actual occupation of the akropolis by Peisistratos
was so painful to the Athenians that they did not want to recall it, hence their silence
about it. However, the occupations by Kylon, Hippias, and Isagoras were recalled very
plainly and in rather greater detail later; they were surely no more painful.Whatever
Peisistratos did with regard to the akropolis it was not held to be criminal.
+oo. Hurwit +,,,, ++; cf. also n. ,.
+o+. Cf. n. :. Cf. also Creuzer and Baehr +o, +:o; How and Wells +,+:, +.:;
Cornelius +,:,, :; Moss +,o,, oo (imitating perhaps those of the contempo-
rary tyrant Kleisthenes of Sikyon?); Boardman +,;:, o+ff.; Rhodes +,+, :oo:o+;
Frost +,, :,o; Stahl +,;, o:; McGlew +,,, ;; Dillon and Garland +,,, ,; cf.
also de Libero +,,o, , n. +; and Gray +,,;. A note of correction: I do not argue
that the clubs (sc. of the korune

phoroi) symbolize (their) rustic weakness (my italics)

and clear the de

mos of blame (so Grays erroneous and quite misleading paraphrase

of mine [+,,] ,o and n. +). Rather, as text, note, and reference make clear, the

phoroi comprise another element of apology, with club-bearers being substi-

tuted for spear-bearers apparently to try to mitigate the truth: cf. Lavelle +,,, +o,ff.
(cf. chapter II, n. ;; n. ); Ogden +,,;, :o, n. +; and Singor :ooo, ++,::, who rst
strongly suspects and then accepts them. Cf. also nn. o;o and +o:.
+o:. Cf.Turner +, ::An instance of . . . uaoxoioo. Cf.Aristot. Rhet. iii.:
+.The changing of the term oouooi to xouvpooi, the less suspicious name,
deceived the Athenians.Cf. also Stein +, +.o, (eine echt naive Aushlfe, wie der
Autor spttisch zu verstehen giebt)
+o. Cf. Frost +,, :,o,+; Lavelle +,,:b, ,; Sancisi-Weerdenburg :oooa, ,; and
Singor :ooo, +:o.
+o. Singor :ooob, +::, whose argument seems to provide its own counterargu-
ment to say that the doryphoroi are korune

phoroi and then doryphoroi is not only

fanciful and unsupported but also contrary to what Herodotos actually says.
+o. Cf.Thuc. o.o.:, ;.+, ;.; cf. also Lavelle +,,:b, ,:,, and +,,, +o,ff.
+oo. Political adjustment is made again for the rst period of the tyranny, which
seems to have evoked a particular response from the Athenians, if we may judge from
Herodotos: cf. Lavelle :ooo, ,:; cf. section :.A.; (regarding Megakles).
+o;. Polyainos +.:+. gives the number of bodyguards at three hundred (cf. schol.
ad Plato, Rep. ood; cf. also Nik. Dam. FrGrHist ,o, F [on Periandros]), Diogenes
Laertios (I.oo) gives four hundred, and Plutarch (Sol. o.) sets the number at fty.
These are all speculations, perhaps based on what the authors considered compara-
nda: cf. Lavelle +,,:b, +, n. +; and Lavelle +,,, ++: and n. ,; and n. +o. On the
ction of the Aristion decree, cf. n. :.
+o. We are put in mind of those that accompanied the kings of Sparta or per-
formed in the honored (and elite) body of agathoergoi: cf. Hdt. ;.:o: (cf. How and
Wells +,+:, :.:::) (but cf. also Hdt.;.:o.:; and +.o;. [How and Wells +,+:, +.,+],
:. [How and Wells +,+:, +.,o], .+:. and ,.o.:). Cf. also Lavelle +,,:b, ,.
Notes to Pages , :;
+o,. Cf. Lavelle +,,, +++.
++o. Cf. de Libero +,,o, .There is every reason to think that included in these
were the Philaids of eastern Attika, their later attempts to distance themselves from
the Peisistratidai notwithstanding. Cf. Davies +,;+, :,,o+; and Dillon and Garland
+,,, +oo,.
+++. xoi 'A0pvoi ou ri xootpv o vov aoooo rvoi tm v yiyvor vmv. Cf. Dover
+,;o, :,o.The author of the Ath.Pol., however, makes Peisistratos assessment +o
percent (+o.): raottrto yo oao tmv yiyvorvmv orxotpv. Cf. Rhodes +,+, :+;
and Chambers +,,o, :o,. On Peisistratid taxation, cf. Cornelius +,:,, ;
Sterghiopoulos +,,, :;ff.; Andrewes +,:a, o;; Sancisi-Weerdenburg +,,, :o;
and de Libero +,,o, +o.
++:. Cf. Sancisi-Weerdenburg +,,, :,.
++. Cf. Blok :ooo, ,:It was his ability to maintain a state of eunomia (good or-
der) that induced both fellow aristocrats and dependent population to accept his po-
sition as primus inter pares. Blok, however, believes that Peisistratos use of military
power to gain the upper hand over his rivals was what separated him out as a tyrant.
There is no evidence for this in the early stages of his career, nor is there evidence
for the maintenance of any substantial military force in the aftermath of Palle


: cf.
Lavelle +,,:b. Peisistratos got the upper hand over his rivals by learning how to
manipulate the de

mos better than they did, not primarily because of sustained mili-
tary power: cf. n. o and chapter V.
++. Cf. appendix C and n. :.
++. It is generally inferred that Peisistratos was not run out of Attika after his ex-
pulsion from his rst tyranny but instead returned to eastern Attika: cf. Hdt. +.o+.:
(cf. also Berve +,o;, +.;Andrewes +,:a, ,; Lavelle +,,, ,, n. ; and de Libero
+,,, ++ and n. ). It is to be admitted, however, that this is no more than inference
and that we really do not know anything of his whereabouts during the rst period
of the exile. He could have been in Argos as well as in eastern Attika: cf. chapter IV,
n. + and appendix C and nn. o; and ;o.
++o. This further corroborates the belief that the men of the diakria were of no
account in the arena of city politics: cf. Lavelle :ooo, +.
++;. apyo rup0rototov, m rym ruioxm, oxm. (I shall not reproduce the
entire, extensive passage in the Greek here but excerpt it only.) On the second
tyranny and Phye-as-Athena,see Hdt. +.oo.:o+.: (How and Wells +,+:, +.:);
Ath.Pol. +.+.: (Rhodes +,+, :o; Chambers +,,o, :o); Poly. +.:+.+;Val. Max.
+... Cf. Beloch +,+, +.:, :ff.; Cornelius +,:,, ff., +ff.; Schachermeyr +,;b,
+o+o; Berve +,o;, +.o; Bornitz +,o, +o+:; Andrewes +,:a, ,; Connor
+,;, :;; Stahl +,;, o+ff.; Sinos +,,, ;,,+; Lavelle +,,+, ++,, Lavelle +,,,
,ff.; de Libero +,, and Blok :ooo. (The thesis of de Libero, that Herodotos does
not in effect describe a second tyranny for Peisistratos, a resurrection of Belochs idea
[after Herschonsohn; cf. also Sancisi-Weerdenburg :ooob, +o+:], is constructed with
disregard to explicit statements made by the historian, e.g., Megakles invited Peisis-
tratos to marry his daughter but rai tuovvioi [+.oo.:; cf., e.g.,Turner +, :] and
Peisistratos held Athens for the third time and rooted the tyranny[+.o.+].The dis-
regard for what Herodotos says is not justied by de Libero in the article, and the
thesis, as a result, remains unpersuasive. Cf. Pesely +,,, o; and Lavelle :ooo, ,,
n. o.) Fornara and Samons (+,,+, +) comment that the sudden turnabout by
: xo+rs +o r:trs ,o,,
Megacles is surprising.This is only true if Herodotos account is taken at face value
and not contextualized.
++. Hdt. +.oo.+o+.:; cf. How and Wells +,+:, +.:; Ogden +,,;, , and :o:,
n. +o; Hoben +,,;; and Drger +,,, the latter two concerned with the sexual abuse
aspects of the story.
++,. See Kleidemos FrGrHist :, F + (who calls Phye the daughter of Sokrates
and says that she was given in marriage to Hipparchos); and schol. ad Ar. Eq. ,
(which calls her Myrrhine). Cf. Rhodes, +,+, :oo; Lavelle +,,, ,,, n. ,; and
Bencsik +,,, , and nn. ++. See also n. ++;.
+:o. Cf. Lavelle +,,, +oo, n. o:; and n. ++;.
+:+. Connor +,;, :;; cf. also Tyrrell and Brown +,,+, +o:o.
+::. Sinos +,,, . There are several weaknesses in Sinos exposition. (+) The
epiphanies of divinities (;,o) and religious impersonations () are not of the same
nature as the obviously staged impersonation of Athena for the ostensibly political
benet of another human. (:) We do not know with what piety or impiety the Athe-
nians accepted what the pageant purported: they may have believed or they may have
colluded in pretending to believe it. (The parallel of Greek Orthodox ceremony cited
[ff.] does not explain the Athenians reception, since the occasion was not by any
means religious in the same or even in a similar sense.) () Sinos pronouncement that
Herodotos leaves no doubt that the tyrant did not have divine sponsorship is atly
contradicted by the prophecy of Amphilytos just before Palle


(Hdt. +.o:.; cf.

Lavelle +,,+): it is what the Athenians seemed to have believed and passed on to the
+:. Cf. chapter II..A.; and n. ++;.
+:. Blok :ooo, ,ff.
+:. It is not clear at all that Herodotos did not understand the pageant (cf. How
and Wells +,+:, +.), but his disdain for the foolishness of the de

mos is clear. It was

a subject apparently popular with his sources for the rise of Peisistratos, the Alkme-
onidai: cf. Lavelle +,,, ,, n. ; o, n. ; , n. ,; and ,off. Cf. also n. ;:.
+:o. Bloks interpretation of the procession (:ooo, off.), that it occurred after


, while creative, has no basis of support in Herodotos or anywhere else that I

know of.
+:;. Herodotus use of povmvtoi (+.oo.) indicates that both Peisistratos and
Megakles had a hand in fashioning of the ruse.We observe, however, that it is Mega-
kles who initiated the restoration.
+:. Construing how the chariot ride was meant to be taken (cf. de Libero
+,,) and how it was actually received (cf. Connor +,;; and Sinos +,,) accounts
for most differences in interpretation: see nn. ++;, ++,, +::, and +:.
+:,. Sinos +,,, ;;.We must also agree with Connor (+,;, ), that Peisis-
tratos did not have pretensions to divinity or superhumanity after the model of Her-
akles (obviously contra Boardman [+,;:, +,;, +,,]: cf. chapter +, n. ; and n. +):
there are no contemporary parallels, and to have adopted such pretensions would have
been politically imprudent because alienating. Aspirations to a Homeric heroic im-
age are, however, quite admissible: Peisistratos seems to have wanted connections
made between him and the Neleids and such an image was common for early tyrants.
Aspirations to divinity (even to association with Herakles cf. de Libero +,,o, ++)
seem improbable for the elder tyrant. See nn. +: and +.
Notes to Pages :o, :,
+o. Connor +,;, .The term parabaite

s is not used by Herodotos to describe

Phye, whose role apparently was meant to be perceived as that of charioteer (Hdt.
+.oo.): she was leading back Peisistratos, not the reverse.While one might assume
that Phye was asked merely to maintain the impressivepose that apparently she had
been coached to strike, there is no real reason to think that the girl could not have
been up to the full role of Athena in the Iliad, that is, as a real chariot (or wagon?)
driver. Indeed, an Athena with a perceived Diomedes or Odysseus-like gure with
her would presumably bear the greatest dividends for Peisistratos and Megakles. See
also n. +o.
++. Il. .o; Cf. Kirk +,,o, +o,.
+:. On the connection between Odysseus and Peisistratos, cf. Else (+,;, off.)
who, I think, exceeds the dramatic possibilities of the scene; Connor +,;, ; Lavelle
+,,+, ++, and n. +:; and Bencsik +,,, ,. On the mythical ramications of
Odysseus and Athena, cf., for example, Detienne and Vernant +,;, ::;:,.
+. Cf. Lavelle +,,+, +,.
+. Although the association of Peisistratos with Herakles (cf. Boardman +,;:,
+,;, +,,) has been quite popular (cf. Blok :ooo, ::,), it strikes me as extremely
tenuous at best even on other grounds (cf. n. +:, and chapter I, n. ). The

phoroi, the literal interpretation of which is one of Boardmans main props,

cannot be taken as proof as such: cf. section :.C.+ and n. +o+. Herakles was a Dorian,
not an Achaian hero, and had no real ties to Athens. Cf. Osborne +,; cf. also Fer-
rari +,,,; Cavalier +,,,; and chapter +, n. .
+. F , +:
p rtr p or ao i xoto r v Aio ou aot' o ri toi
oioov xoi oxomv 0rmv rvo o0ovotmv
toip yo ryo0uo raioxoao oiaotp
Hoo 'A0p voi p ri o u ar0rv r ri
Cf. also n. +o.
+o. Cf. Il. .:,, ,.+,:o (where Zeus holds his hands over Troy and the Tro-
jans). Cf. Campbell +,o;, :o+; Gerber +,;o, +:; Anhalt +,,, ;; (although
Anhalt seems to me to miss the implication of what Solon actually says about Athena
by comparing it too closely with the reference in the Iliad); cf. also Scully +,,o, :ff.
The former emphasize the several Homeric references of the lines in Scolon.
+;. Cf. Odys. ;.o+ (cf. Scully +,,o, ); see also section :.C.:.
+. Cf. Lavelle +,,+. Of course, that sense, which was very possibly present in
Athens in the midsixth century B.C.E., is featured and even exaggerated in the mid-
fth-century account of Peisistratos rise by Herodotos sources to attain their own
purposes.The dissonance is quite apparent in Herodotos deployment of the divine
favormotif and his ostensible failure to understand how it could t in with such be-
lief and political pageantry. Cf. n. ++;.
+,. Cf. Hdt. .;:.; and How and Wells +,+:, :.,.
+o. One might argue that a statue of the goddess placed in the chariotagain,
Phye was mute it seemscould possibly result in the same effect. But that would per-
haps have been considered sacrilege, and in any case the live maiden made reference
to the living qualities of Peisistratos. Cf. also n. +o.
++. Cf. Connor +,;, : No single explanation, no minimalist aetiology, can
:,o xo+rs +o r:trs +o
catch the richness and multivalence of the event.That may well be true: certainly
the pompe

was meant to be perceived on more than one level simultaneously or at

least consecutively. We must also not forget, however, that the pageant was formu-
lated by its originators to sell Peisistratos to the Athenians once more: that is why
Herodotos mentions it sequentially with the confederacy of Megakles and Peisis-
tratos. It seems, after all, too easy simply to apply the catch-all of multifunctional-
ismto the Phye story, which term, while ineloquent in any case, ignores the primary
aim of the exercise. Similarly, contra Sinos +,,, o, I do not think that Peisistratos or
Megakles intended to create ritual time and space but to generate persuasive po-
litical thoughts that had religious and political overtones.
+:. Cf. nn. +o and +o+.
+. Cf. section :.A..
+. Cf., for example, Dillon and Garland +,,, ,o; and Sancisi-Weerdenburg
:ooob, +o.
+. Cf. Sancisi-Weerdenburg :ooob, +o. Cf. Fornara and Samons (+,,+, +o
and n. +), whose explanations of and questions about Megakles initiative to forge
the tie make it murkier than clearer. Pace Shear +,o; Berve +,o;, +., (II.);
Davies +,;+, +; and Rhodes +,+, :o: Megakles daughter was surely not the fa-
mous Koisyra, who by all accounts was connected with Eretria: see chapter IV.:.A.+;
cf. Lavelle +,,a; and Culasso Gastaldi +,,;. Cf. Raubitschek +,,, ,; Davies +,;+,
;,; Lavelle +,a, +; and chapter IV.:.A.+.
+o. Cf. Sancisi-Weerdenburg :oooa, +o:two tales that one can imagine to have
survived easily in an oral context.
+;. Cf. the sensible note in How and Wells +,+:, +..
+. Cf. Hdt. .o.; Arist. Pol. ++b, ::; Athen. f., +f., +cd; and
Alkiphron :.. Cf. also Lavelle +,,, ++,:+ and nn. +:+ and +:;.
+,. Cf. Sancisi-Weerdenburg :ooob, +o.
+o. Cf. Lavelle +,,, +:o; and :ooo, ;ff.
++. Cf. Hdt. o.+:.:; cf. also Lavelle +,,, +:o; and Lavelle +,b.
+:. Cf. Hdt. o.+:+ (cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.++);Thuc. o.,. (cf. Lavelle +,,,
, n. ,); cf. also Lavelle +,,, ;,ff., ,ff.
+. Isok. +o.+:; cf. Lavelle +,,, ,o, n. :o; +o: and n. o (cf. also Lavelle +,a,
+ff.; and +,,a, +o). Cf. also Stahl +,;, ,; and de Libero +,,o, ;:.
+. There was in fact no good reason for HerodotosAlkmeonid sources to own
up to involvement with the tyrant unless it was true, and Megakles position as de
facto leader of the de

mos thus designates him a power broker. Further proof of this

lies in the way Herodotos (or rather his source) treats Megakles in the account of
Peisistratos rise: Megakles is more a tyrant ghter than he is a collaborator (Lavelle
+,,, +:o)exactly what the Alkmeonidai of the fth century would need to estab-
lish among their very suspicious Athenian contemporaries. Cf. Lavelle +,,, ,ff.;
and nn. ;;;.
+. Cf. Lavelle +,oa, :+ff.
+o. Cf. Hoben (+,,;); and Drger (+,,), who, among others, continue to de-
bate the exact meaning of Herodotos phrase ou xoto voov while losing sight of
the context of the phrase.
+;. Cf. n. +.
+. Cf. Lavelle +,,, ++,+:+, +::.
Notes to Pages :o :,+
+,. Isagoras wife: Hdt. .;o.+.The scurrilous (undoubtedly Alkmeonid) slander
about Isagoras lendingof his wife to Kleomenes is not repeated in the Ath.Pol. On
the Isagoras incident, cf. Forsdyke :oo:, ff.
+oo. Plut. Kim. .o; Per. :; cf. also Plut. Kim. +o.+.
+o+. Cf. Schachermeyr +,;a, ++;Andrewes +,:a, o+; and Rhodes, +,+, ::;.
+o:. Lavelle +,,:a, +off.; chapter IV.+.
+o. Hdt. +.o+.:: tov or orivov ti ror otioro0oi ao Hrioiototou. oyp
or m rir xotoooorto tpv r0pv toioi otooimtpoi.
+o. Cf. Lavelle +,,, ,+o+ (on Megakles and the Alkmeonid antityrant apolo-
cn:r+rr iv
+. o0m v or o Hrioi ototo to aoiru rvo r a' r mutm o aoo oorto r x tp
mp to aooaov, o aixo rvo or r 'Er tiov r ouru rto o o toi oi aoioi. Ia-
ai rm or yvm p vixp oovto o voxto o0oi o ai om tp v tuovvi oo, rv0outo pyriov
omti vo r x tm v aoi mv oi tivr oi aooior oto xou ti. Cf. Stein +, ;:.
aooior oto implies a sense of obligation for services rendered: cf. Turner +,
:o:;; Creuzer and Baehr +o, +:; Sayce +, , n. ;; How and Wells +,+:, +.;
McNeal +,o, +; and section :.A.:. Cole (+,;, ) says that there is no indica-
tion that Peisistratus was forced from Athens in fear for his life.But Herodotos states
(+.o+.:) that Megakles took it badly that he had been stripped of honor by Peisis-
tratos and that, because he was in a passion (oyp or m rir), Megakles settled
his differences with Lykourgos and so forced Peisistratos into exile (cf. chapter III,
n. +o). Herodotos emphasizes that Peisistratos quit Attika altogether, as if to under-
score (+) that this was different from the rst exile (sc. Peisistratos did not quit Attika
altogether), and (:) Megakles wrathfulness. Perhaps these are all rationalizations or
embellishments after the fact of the insult, but they give at least some grounds to
dispute Coles statement, which is not based on the evidence available.
:. Cf. Lavelle +,,, : and n. :.Who could have been privy to this councils
decisions but the Peisistratids or their closest philoi? But surely these were not
Herodotos sources. The similarities of the campaigns of Peisistratos and Hippias to
retake their tyrannies may have suggested such like-mindedness for return to
Herodotos ultimate sources: cf. appendix C and n. ++;.
. Hdt. +.o.+ (see n. o;); cf. Dusing +,;,, ,, n. +o; Viviers +,;, +,; Lavelle
+,,:a; de Libero +,,o, ,oo and nn. ,:,; cf. also Isaac +,o, ++.
. Ath.Pol. +.:: xoi amtov rv ouvmxior ari tov Oroiov xoaov miov
o xoritoi Poixpo, rxri0rv or aop0rv ri tou ari Hoyyoiov toaou,
o 0rv poti orvo xoi ototim to io0moo rvo r 0m v ri 'Er tiov r v-
orxotm aoiv rtri to <tr> amtov ovoomooo0oi io tpv opv rarriri xt.
The distinction of Edson (+,;, ,,+), and Viviers (+,;, +,), between oikein
(Lykophron) and synoikein (Ath. Pol., ,,o), is not valid: cf. Cole +,;, :, n. ; and
appendix F. Viviers interpretations of aoiv as an interval of time (+,;, +,, n. o),
which apparently follows Rhodes (+,+, :o), and of the timetable of Peisistratos
collection of monies, take no account of Herodotos chronology, which, while com-
pressed, is reasonable enough: cf. Cole +,;, ; Lavelle +,,:a, +++:, n. :; and Lavelle
+,,:b, ,o, n. ;o. Cf. also nn. and .
:,: xo+rs +o r:trs ++o+;
. Cf. also Hdt. +.o:.+ (see n. +o,). Cf. Jacoby +,,, +ff.; Rhodes +,+, :o;;
Andrewes +,:a, ,; and Pesely +,,. Cf. also Lavelle +,,, o and ;:, n. ;;
and sections +.B.C. and :.B.:. Hammond (+,,, ,, n. ), suggests that the ulti-
mate source of Plutarchs information about the founding of Methone

(Mor. :,b),
an Eretrian colony in Macedonia on the Thermaic Gulf roughly opposite the
promontory of Megalo Karabournou and Rhaike

los (see n. +o), was probably

Hekataios ari ooo yp , although there are only oblique grounds for believing that
(cf. Baba +,,o, ++). There are even less substantial ones for trying to make
Hekataios the source for information on the Peisistratid settlements in the north,
for it seems quite unlikely that the source for the author of the Ath.Pol. on Rhaike

(or, even more unlikely, the Pangaion settlement) was Hekataios rather than an
Athenian Atthidographer. The linkage was with Peisistratos the Athenian after all,
the story of Rhaike

los was incidental to that, and at least one Atthidographer in-

cludes information about cities in Thrace and Macedonia (i.e., Androtion FrHistGr
: Frs :, :o, +, ; cf. Harding +,,, +:::, +:;:,). Nor would the Atthidog-
rapher have had recourse to a Milesian author about essentially Athenian history.
See also appendix F.
o. Cf. Cole +,;, (and Viviers +,;, +, [quoting Cole]), who terms the land-
ing at Rhaike

los a pre-planned enterprise.On the ction of Hippias advice to Pei-

sistratos on Euboia, see appendix C and n. :.
;. In his account of the nal establishment of the tyranny, Herodotos (+.oo.+ and
o.+ [cf. n. o;]) implies very strongly that the tyranny could only be rooted with much

mata and many allies. Cf. Lavelle +,,+, :o:+; +,,:a, +o; +,,:b, +; cf. also
Viviers +,;, +,; cf. also appendix H.
. Cf. Boardman +,o, ::,.
,. The Eretrian presence around the gulf was longstanding when Peisistratos ar-
rived: cf. Hammond +,,, +,; and nn. +o+;.
+o. While it is possible that Peisistratos and his philoi were convicted of some
crime and their properties ocially forfeited in the wake of their expulsion from At-
tika, it is hard to imagine how the Athenians of the city could enforce conscation
of holdings (mostly?) in eastern Attika. Eastern Attika was beyond the pale of Athens:
cf. chapter II, n. .
++. See chapter III.:.A.., n. .
+:. Cf. Hammond (+,,), who discusses the wealth of the Thermaic Gulf region;
cf. also section +.B.:. On the Strymon-Pangaion, cf. also Lavelle +,,:a, +:+, for the
Strymon-Pangaion area and section +.C.+.
+. Cf. Hdt. .+.+, .+:;Thuc. +.+o.:; and Xen. Hell. :.+.:.
+. Cf. Moss +,o,, oo.
+. See n. ; cf. Rhodes +,+, :o;; Edson +,;, ,; Cole +,;; Dusing +,;,,
.; Isaac +,o, +;Viviers +,;, esp. +,; and Baba +,,o. Edson and Viviers dispute
whether Peisistratos actually foundeda settlement.At all events, accompanying set-
tlers are usually indicated by the verb synoikisein: see nn. and : and appendix F.
Cf. also Casson +,:, o, , and ;.
+o. On Methone

, see Casson +,:o, and n. ; Boardman +,o, ::,; and Ham-

mond +,,, ,,. Cf. also Blackman +,,o,;, ;:; and n. .
+;. Mende

(cf. French +,,,, +;Tomlinson +,,,, :;Tomlinson +,,,o,

:; and Blackman +,,o,;, ;o;+) and Skione

(cf. Blackman +,,o,;, ;+) were

Notes to Pages ::,: :,
founded on the western and southwestern coast of Palle


(Thuc. .+:.+, +:,; Poly.

;.;; and Pomp. Mela :.; cf. Hammond +,,, ,;,) and Dikaia somewhere to
the north of Potideia (cf.Viviers +,;, +,; ATL I, :ooo;; Pliny, NH .+o.o; and
Steph. Byz. s.v. Aixoio). Hammond (+,,, ,,;) located Dikaia at Lebet (Lem-
bet?) about km northwest of Thessalonike

; he observes that nds there are as old as

the ninth century B.C.E. This suggestion appears to have been disproven however (cf.
appendix F, n. :;). Cf. Boardman +,o, ::,; and Baba +,,o, +off. Cf. also n. : and
appendix F.
+. Cf.Viviers +,;, +,; and n. +;.
+,. Cf. Andrewes +,:a, ,. On Rhaike

los identication with and eclipse by

Aineia after its founding, cf. appendix F.
:o. Cf. Hammond +,,, ,.
:+. On such intervention, cf. Hdt. o.., :o.+ (cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.o;). Cf.
also Moss +,o,, oo; and Borza +,,o, ++;.
::. This seems true both for Sigeion (cf. Dusing +,;,, ff.; Figueira +,,+,
+,:; and de Libero +,,o, ,+,) and the Thracian Chersone

se (cf. Hammond
+,o; Figueira +,,+, +o; and de Libero +,,o, ;).
:. Cf. Hammond and Grith +,;,, o; Isaac +,;, +; Baba +,,o, ++; and Borza
+,,o, ++;. On the Greeks and control of Thracian mines near Mount Pangaion, see
Lavelle +,,:a, +ff.; and section +.C. Cf. also Blackman +,,,:ooo +, on pottery
imports to ancient Therme

near Rhaike

:. Cf. Hdt. ;.+++ (on the Satrai of Mount Pangaion); cf. also Lavelle +,,:a,
++; and n. o.
:. Cf. Cole +,;, ; Baba +,,o, +o++; and de Libero +,,o, oo, n. ,:, who dis-
cusses Peisistratos as oikiste

s of Rhaike

los and offers a further bibliography.Viviers

(+,;, +,) argues that Peisistratos initial enterprise was primarily Eretrian, with Pei-
sistratos only a participant in a expedition organized by Eretria, but he fails to take
proper account of Peisistratos implied primacy in the foundation of Rhaike

(Ath.Pol. +.:: ouvmxior [n. ]; cf. Schachermeyr +,;b, +; Figueira +,,+, +;, n.
+, and +, n. ; and Cole +,;).Viviers also misidenties the Peisistratid site of

los as Dikaia: cf. Figueira +,,+, +, n. ; and Hammond +,,, ,,;. Cf.
also n. +; and appendix F, n. :;.
:o. Run out of Athens in +++o B.C.E. Hippias was offered Anthe

mous by
Amyntas and Iolkos (near modern Volo) by the Thessalians (Hdt. .,.+; cf. How and
Wells +,+:, :.).This offer was probably made because of the reputation Peisistratos
had established in the region of Macedonia and Thessaly (i.e., at Rhaike

los)he ob-
viously was successful thereand perhaps because of belief in the Peisistratid con-
nection to the Neleids (cf. chapter II, n. ). Hippias declined the offer, deciding in-
stead to fall back on Sigeion in the Troad, a Peisistratid holding (Hdt. .,.+),
apparently with his own intention already xed on returning to Athens. Cf. Borza
+,,o, ++;+; and de Libero +,,o, ,+.
:;. Baba +,,o, :ff. (based apparently on Despoine +,?), +o+;. Situation of Sin-
dos: Hdt. ;.+:.; cf. Edson +,;, +o; cf. also Hammond +,,, ,;, n. +,.
:. Pace Hammond and Grith +,;,, .
:,. Baba +,,o, +o+;. Cf. Blackman +,,,:ooo, :, on warrior graves dating to
ca. the late sixth century B.C.E. in the area of ancient Therme

o. Cf. Lavelle +,,:a, +ff.
:, xo+rs +o r:trs ++,:
+. The obvious parallel is Miltiades (IV), who, as dynast in Thrace, was accompa-
nied by, among others, Metiochos, his elder son, apparently by an Athenian woman
(Hdt. o.+.:; cf. Davies +,;+, o:), and others in his personal retinue (cf. n. :). Cf. also
Rhodes +,+, :o;. Cf. Figueira +,,+, +.There is no reason to doubt that at least
the eldest sons of Peisistratos accompanied him to Thrace or that Hipparchos and Hip-
pias could have come of age during the Thracian sojourn.What is in great doubt, of
course, is the story of Hippias advice to Peisistratos: see appendix C and n. ,.
:. Hdt. o.o; cf. Berve +,;, ff.; Bengston +,,, ;ff.; and Hammond +,o,
. Cf. Markel. Vita Thuc. :; cf. also Davies +,;+, o:ff.Although the specic ties
of the Philaids would appear to have derived from their involvement as tyrants of the
Thracian Chersone

se (Markel. Vita Thuc. ++), their initial ties may have been forged
much earlier. We observe that Thucydides, the son of Oloros and namesake of the
Thracian king whose daughter Miltiades (IV) married, had holdings, obviously be-
cause of Thracian connections, at Skapte


, in the shadow of Mount Pangaion

(Thuc. .+o [Gomme +,o, ;]; Hornblower +,,o, :); Markel. Vita Thuc. ;).
Cf. nn. and ;.
. Cf. Baba (+,,o, +), who observes the close bond between the Peisistratids
and Miltiades; cf. also Berve +,;, ++; Bengston +,,, ,; and Figueira +,,+, +ff.,
who notes similarities between Sigeion and the Thracian settlements. The plan of
Miltiades (IV), the son of Kimon koalemos, after Marathon was to conquer rst Paros
and then the area adjacent to Thasos on the mainland (cf. Lavelle +,,:b, :o, n. o).
This may well have sprung from his ancestors association and familiarity with the
Pangaion region: cf. Baba, who terms the Parian expedition an inheritance of Pei-
sistratos,and that certainly seems right. (But cf. also Scott :oo:.) de Libero (+,,o, o;
and ;+) alludes to the exile of Kimon after Palle


but admits (o;, n. +;) that a

denite date for Kimons exile (Hdt. o.+o) is unrecorded. Cf. Cawkwell +,, for
reasons why especially the younger Miltiades would have reason to concoct hostil-
ity between himself and the tyrants.
. Cf. Hdt. o.,; +o.; cf. Berve +,;, ;ff.; Bengston +,,, ;ff.; Hammond
+,o; Figueira +,,+, +ff.; and de Libero +,,o, ff. Cf. also n. +.
o. Miltiades force in ight: Hdt. o.+.+. Miltiades armed retainers: Hdt. o.,.:.
On the dating of the ight, cf. Kinzl +,o, ,ff.The gure of fteen hundred is based
on guring two hundred per trireme plus Miltiades military force: perhaps a smaller
gure would actually be more in order. On the other hand, under the circumstances
of ight, a somewhat inated gure would not be out of line. Even by conservative
calculation, each trireme would have to have been loaded with upward of three hun-
dred souls, a very large number (cf.Thuc. +.+o.; cf. Gomme +,, ++), especially if
the ships were also burdened with any goods (cf. Hdt. o.+.+). However, desperation
was an incentive and is always a parent of possibilities.
;. Figueira (+,,+, +:ff.) terms the Peisistratid colonies patronal, but the con-
cept does not apply well to the nature of the colonies at Sigeion and on the

. Miltiades ghters were essential to the defense of the Chersone

se, particu-
larly to man the wall across it from Kardia (Bakla Burun) to Paktye (impe Kale) via
polis Agoraios (Bolayir).There were surely other noncombatants in Miltiades party.
For the Strymon enterprise, we should imagine a settlement of really only essential
Notes to Pages :.,., :,
personnel, viz., ghters, since these were needed to maintain it and exploit its poten-
tial. Of course, like the epikouroi who went out to Egypt in the previous century (cf.
Hdt. :.+:.ff.), these were probably, by turns and as circumstances dictated or per-
mitted, warriors, farmers, and merchants.
,. Cf. Isaac +,o, ; and +,, on Tokes, apparently a Thracian, who fell ght-
ing for lovely Eion ca. :,o B.C.E. (Cf. also Jeffery +,,o, ;,; and Plt. o.) Cf.
also Baba +,,o, +; and nn. ;.
o. Cf. Lavelle +,,:a, +:, :::.
+. Ath.Pol. +.+: (cf. n. :); cf. Rhodes +,+, +,off.
:. Cf. Dusing +,;,, ; and Baba +,,o, +o.
. Cf. Dusing +,;,, ,,o, n. ++; and Lavelle +,,:a, ++;.
. Cf. Dusing +,;,, ,; Isaac +,o, +; Lavelle +,,:a, :o; and de Libero +,,o,
oo, n. ,. Cf. also n. :.
. Hdt. .:.:; cf. How and Wells +,+:, ,; and Lavelle +,,:a, +,; see also nn.
o and oo. Myrkinos must have been quite near Amphipolis (cf. Isaac +,o, +o), and
How and Wells (+,+:, :.) suggest that Myrkinos performed the same function as
Amphipolis, but that is unlikely. Myrkinos (more likely modern Myrhinos, not mod-
ern Myrkinos) is up from the at of the river and positioned so as to inuence trac
moving around Pangaion: see Lavelle +,,:a, +o, n. . Cf., however, Isaac (+,o, ) on
Hill +, about km northeast of Amphipolis, who suggests that the settlement
here is Ennea Hodoi. In fact, Hill + is a very reasonable place for Myrkinos to have
been located, a natural strong point and somewhat closer to the mines of Pangaion
(cf. Isaac +,o on the material remains). Cf. also n. o:.
o. Cf. Balcer +,,, +;o, n. ;.
;. Cf. also ;, F o.Although Strabos description applies to what he calls Dato

Borza (+,,, o) has argued that Strabo is mistaken and that his words are more ap-
propriate to the land just beyond Amphipolis on and around Lake Prasias.
. Cf. Strabo ; F . Cf. also Plut. Kim. ;.; Isaac +,o, +:; and Balcer +,, ++,
n. . On the Strymon as Paionian land, cf. Hdt. .+.:. Cf. also n. o. On the topog-
raphy of the lower Strymon region, see further Hammond +,,;.
,. Cf. Lavelle +,,:a, +o+;.
o. Cf. ibid., +off. Herodotos calls the Satrai, who controlled the mines of Pan-
gaion, subservient to no one for as long as anyone knew and very acute in respect
of war (;.+++).Their neighbors, the Edonoi, who dwelt between the Satrai and the
Strymon, were hardly less so: they participated in the annihilation of ten thousand
Athenians at Drabeskos in o B.C.E. (Hdt. ,.; [How and Wells +,+:, :.+,];Thuc.
+.+oo. [cf. Hornblower +,,+, +o]; see also n. +). It was they who were driven
out of Ennea Hodoi by Hagnon and Athenians with him before the settlers founded
Amphipolis: cf. nn. + and ;.
+. Drabeskos:Thuc. .+o:.: (cf. Gomme +,o, ;; Hornblower +,,o, :o:;
Isaac +,o, ::; cf. also n. o). Hagnon at Amphipolis:Thuc. .+o:. (Hornblower
+,,o, ::; Isaac +,o, o).The archaeological record of the area currently avail-
able suggests that, except for Argilos (Isaac +,o, :; Blackman +,,o,;, +; Black-
man +,,;,, ,; Blackman +,,,:ooo, ,,o), an Andrian (?) colony to the west of
Amphipolis/Ennea Hodoi,Thasian/Parians were settled at Eion (see n. ;) and pos-
sibly Ennea Hodoi by the end of the sixth century B.C.E. (see nn. , , and ;).
These settlements, which may have come about in the wake of a Thracian contrac-
:,o xo+rs +o r:trs +::;
tion following the deportations of Megabazos (Hdt. .+., +., :.+; cf. Hammond
and Grith +,;,, ) were inconsiderable and apparently did not last: cf. Isaac
+,o, , +. Cf. also Lavelle +,,:a, ++; and nn. ; and o:.
:. Isaac (+,o, :) notes that the climate along the seacoast is more Mediter-
ranean than central European and that crops more familiar to Greeks from the south
could be grown easily there but not inland. But Herodotos (.++.:) observes the
erceness of the Strymonic winds and, in spite of climatic difference of the coast, the
habitat would not have been nearly as congenial as anywhere in Aegean Greece south
of Thrace (cf. Aes. Agam. +,:; and How and Wells +,+:, :.:;;). Cf. also Lavelle
+,,:a, :o.
. Cf. Hdt. +.o.+ (see n. o;); cf. also Ath.Pol. +.: (see n. ).
. Cf. Hornblower +,,o, :. Androtion FrGrHist : F also makes Ennea
Hodoi the older name for Amphipolis, and the author of the Ath.Pol. certainly uti-
lized the latter; cf. Harding +,,, +::,. Cf. also Kallet-Marx +,,, +;;o.
. On Aristagoras, cf. Hdt. .+:o.+ (How and Wells +,+:, :.oo [although they are
surely wrong that the polis Aristagoras was trying to take was Ennea Hodoi]);Thuc.
.+o:.: (cf. Hornblower +,,o, :o::); cf. also n. +. On Amphipolis, cf. Lazaridis
+,,; cf. also Isaac +,o, o, ; and n. o:.
o. Cf. Isaac +,o, ff., :ff.
;. Eion should be located to the southeast of Amphipolis, where the low ridges
of Pangaion push out toward the sea: a higher, more defensible spot with an adequate
harbor is indicated. The akropolis of Eion has been tentatively identied o km east
of the Amphipolis bridge on Prophitis Elias hill by Koukouli-Chrysanthaki (Catling
+,,, ; Hornblower +,,o, :). It is to be observed that pottery on the hilltop
is characterized as similar to precolonial levels at Thasos and that Greek pottery
types begin with Late Corinthian and Attic of the late sixth century, according to the
excavator.This should mean that Greeks were not present there until the dates cor-
responding to the appearance of that type of pottery. While this site does not seem
completely apt for Eionand the identication is not conrmedit would substan-
tiate the notion of the transitory nature of this and other settlements in the lower
Strymon area until the latter part of the sixth century B.C.E.: cf. n. +. (Certainly, the
Peisistratids had to have beached and protected their ships somewhere along the coast
and not at Amphipolis/Ennea Hodoi: see n. .) On Eion, cf. further Isaac +,o,
ooo:; French +,,+,:, +; and n. o+.
. Thucydides (.+o:.) says that the Athenians under Hagnon started out from
Eion for Ennea Hodoi, which Hagnon renamed Amphipolis. It was occupied then
by Edonians. The Athenians kept Eion as their seaside emporion at the mouth of
the river. Cf. nn. o and ;.
,. See Isaac +,o, + and o:, although that circumstance may be due to Eions
eclipse by Amphipolis in the late fth century.
oo. That abandonment, not necessarily the fact that Eion was already a Parian foun-
dation (pace Baba +,,o, ++, +), could have created the opportunity for the Pari-
ans to move further into the lower Strymon region and become established there more
permanently by ca. oo B.C.E.: cf. Isaac +,o, ;, ooo:; Baba +,,o, +; and n. ,.
o+. Hdt. ;.+o; (cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.+oo);Thuc. +.,.+ (cf. Gomme +,,
:+; and Hornblower +,,+, +,o; cf. also Smart +,o;).The Byzantine fort would
not seem to have been the site of ancient Eion (cf. Isaac +,o, oo): cf. n. ;.The course
Notes to Pages :.,.: :,;
of the Strymon seems to have changed over time (cf. Borza +,,, ooo+), and the
river now empties into the sea in a place different from where it ran in the fth cen-
tury B.C.E.
o:. Cf. nn. + and . Oisyme

(Thasian apparently: cf. Isaac +,o, ,+o, o; French

+,,,o, oo; French +,,,, oo; and Tomlinson +,,,, ) and Galepsos (French
+,,,o, oo) are too far away from the Strymon to be counted as being on it, and
the latter, which is closer to the river, seems in any case to have been a Thracian foun-
dation perhaps later occupied by Thasians (cf. Isaac +,;, ,, oo). A further possi-
bility is Myrkinos (cf. n. ), which may have been located on Hill + (see n. ):
Myrkinos was Edonian before it was temporarily Greek (cf.Thuc. .+o;.; and Horn-
blower +,,o, ,), just as Ennea Hodoi was originally Edonian. Hill + (Myrki-
nos?) was in a forward and exposed position in hostile surroundings (see n. o). Far-
ther from the river, communication with Eion would have been dicult to maintain.
While these offer some possibility for being the Peisistratid site, Hill + does not
present itself as as attractive a place as Ennea Hodoi/Amphipolis, the superlativeness
of which site in the region is conrmed by simple autopsy. Its strategic location and
logic suggest that the Peisistratid site was in fact where the later Athenian site of Am-
phipolis was founded.
o. Cf. Isaac +,o, o+, on the strategic value of Eion to the Greeks: cf. n. . Isaac
(:) undervalues the hostility of the Thracians and overvalues the road network
he imagines was in the area: there were probably ve main routes converging at Am-
phipolis. Ironically, Isaac also underestimates (after Casson) the Strymon as a route
from the north.
o. rorvp or tp 'Aiaorm oi 'A0pvoioi r ryo oro xotrotpoov,
om tr xoi oti p aoi outoi pv mrio umv tr vouapypoimv aoap xoi
potmv aoooom. Cf. Gomme +,o, o; and Hornblower +,,o, o:.
o. Cf., for example, Andrewes +,o, +o+; Andrewes +,:a, o,; Berve +,o;,
+.o and o,ff.; Davies +,;+, ; Bury and Meiggs +,;, +:,; Kraay +,;o, o; Bengston
and Bloedow +,, +; Stahl +,;, , n. +oo; and Shapiro +,,. Cf. Lavelle +,,:a, ,
n. + for further references.
oo. Isaac (+,o, +) claims that Megabazos rst priority was to secure the coastal
route and not the natural resources of the region, but Megabazos awareness of the
mines (Hdt. .:) seems to suggest the opposite: cf. Balcer +,;:; +,, ++. In any case,
the Persians found the Satrai too hard to conquer (see n. o). It is dicult to imag-
ine any credible source for Megabazos speech to Dareios and it is most likely that
Herodotos numerous comments about Thracian and Skythian gold (Balcer +,,
++) reect specically Greek rather than Persian observations of and interests in
Thrace.The historians comments probably also derived from the fth century rather
than the sixth. Cf. also Hammond +,o.
o;. Hdt. +.o.+: ari0or vmv or tm v 'A0pvoi mv, outm op Hrioiototo to ti-
tov om v 'A0p vo r i mor tp v tuovvi oo r aixou oioi tr aooi oi xoi
potmv ouvoooioi, tmv rv outo0rv, tmv or oao Etuovo aotoou ouviov-
tmv, xt. (The Athenians obeying, Peisistratos thus held Athens for a third time and
rooted his tyranny by means of many epikouroi and conuences of money, coming
together partly from the place itself, partly from the river Strymon.)
o. Cf. Lavelle +,,:a, , n. +; and n. o. On the mines of Pangaion, cf. French
+,,o,+, .
:, xo+rs +o r:trs +:o
o,. Cf. n. o;. Misconstructions: cf., for example, Baba +,,o, +; and de Libero +,,o,
oo, +:; contra Singor :ooo, ++o, whose understanding of Herodotos is as bewil-
dering as his interpretation of the passage. (I omit discussion in detail of his misrep-
resentations here.) Indeed, Singors interpretation rests in large part on his failure ex-
plicitly to account for all of the words Herodotos uses at +.o.+, their precise
meanings, their context, and so the sense and meaning of what is actually stated in
the Greek.The key word outm, which has no apparent place in Singors interpreta-
tion, must be included in the sense of the passage: it refers to what has gone before it
(cf., e.g., Smyth +,:o, o;), that is, to the Palle


campaign and its victorious result.

(Certainly, the context of the genitive absolute ari0or vmv or tm v 'A0pvoi mv, which
begins the sentence, is the immediate aftermath of the battle.) The context for what
Herodotos says here is what precedes the expressed thought, not what follows it or
what might characterize the tyranny over time. And that makes great sense here, for
in fact in his description of the Palle


campaign and its result Herodotos repeatedly

refers to Peisistratos buildup of allies and money. Money and men brought about Pei-
sistratos victory; the victory rooted the tyranny. outm and the thought it governs at
+.o.+ thus summarize the campaign and specify what brought about the victory and so
rooted the tyranny: that is made quite plain in Herodotos Greek by his explicit use of
the aorist verb and the datives of means raixouoioi and (potmv) ouvoooioi
(cf. n. +::).The participles, which follow this main thought about the tyrannys root-
ing, do not govern it but rather are added on as further actions taken by Peisistratos
in the immediate aftermath of the battle. (Surely, no one would argue that Peisistratos
was constantly taking hostages or constantly purifying Delos? We observe that
Herodotos does not use outm to characterize Peisistratos rule thusly when he uses
the imperfect rtuovvrur at +.o..) These aorist participles should be thought of
(and so translated) as tantamount to main verbsrimor is that: cf., for example,
the translation in Watereld +,,, :;. Singors interpretation, like so many before it,
appears to be based on sheer desire to read into the Greek what he wants to read.
Those arguing from Herodotos must use what the historian actually says as a basis
for argument, not tendentiously edited, abridged, imagined, or otherwise distorted
versions of his text. Cf. Lavelle +,,:a, +:; and +,,:b, +;.
;o. Ath.Pol. +.: (see n. ); cf. Lavelle +,,:a, ++.
;+. Cf. Isaac +,o, ++; Borza +,,o, ++;; and nn. o+ and ;:;.
;:. Cf. Hdt. ;.++++:; and How and Wells +,+:, :.+o. Cf. also Isaac +,;, +;
and Lavelle +,,:a, +off.
;. Cf. Dusing +,;,, o:.Thucydides (.+o.+) had the right of working the mines
in the region, but this was surely specially obtained because of his descent from Thra-
cian royalty (cf. Gomme +,o, ;; and Hornblower +,,o, ). In fact, his inu-
ence around Skapte


, like his proprietorship of the mines there, must be attrib-

uted to his native connections (so contra de Libero +,,o, oo, n. +: [cf. Lavelle +,,;b
and n. ]). (The information of Markellinos [Vit.Thuc. +,:o], that Thucydides was
married to a very wealthy Thracian lady whose riches allowed him to compile the
The History of the War between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, is probably no more
than inference but suggests that natives still had much to do with control of the mines
around Pangaion through the fth century B.C.E.) See Lavelle +,,:a, +ff.
;. Hdt. +.o+. (nn. + and +o:); How and Wells +,+:, +.; McNeal +,o, +.
;. Hdt. .+;.:; cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.;. Cf. also Borza +,,o, ++,ff.
Notes to Pages :,o,: :,,
;o. Kraay +,o:, :+; cf.Wallace +,o:, :; Kraay +,;o, ,, n. +; Lavelle +,,:a, +:ff.;
and Singor :ooo, ++.
;;. Cf. Hdt. .++.: (cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.); cf. also Lavelle +,,:a, :o:+.
;. Hdt. .:.+ (cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.,).
;,. The settlers, who moving into the interior met the Thracians at Drabeskos in
o B.C.E. and were wiped out, were penetrating even farther into the hostile coun-
tryside when disaster occurred (cf. n. o).The main incentive had to have been the
mines toward Dato

n, although there were other inducements: cf. nn. ;.

o. Histiaios: Hdt. .::; cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.,. Aristagoras: Hdt.
.+:o.:; cf. How and Wells +,+:, oo. See also n. .
+. Contra Dusing +,;,, o:o.To my knowledge no trace of an archaic Athe-
nian settlement in the lower Strymon region has yet been found, although there is a
relative abundance of evidence for Greek settlement in the vicinity: cf. Isaac +,;,
ff. Cf. also Lavelle +,,:a, +.
:. Surely Eretrians continued to play some part in Peisistratos affairs. Indeed,
Peisistratos moved from the Strymon back to Eretria before moving on to Athens:
cf. Ath.Pol. +.: (and n. ).
. Whatever Histiaios intended, they were apparently the same aims as Aristago-
ras had when he fell heir to Myrkinos (cf. n. ). An aggressive, expansionist enter-
prise is implied with a view toward gaining revenues from the gold mines toward

n-Philippi: cf. nn. ;,. Of course, the Milesians met with similarly erce re-
sistance: cf. n. o.
. Dusing (+,;,, o) alludes to this. Other Athenians who would consolidate or
expand their positions in Thrace did so by intermarrying among the natives, includ-
ing the Philaids (cf. Hdt. o.,.:, +.:; Plut. Kim. ; Markell. Vit.Thuc. ++ [Davies +,;+,
o:]; and nn. ) and apparently Iphikrates (cf. Dem. :.+:,; Nepos, .; Athen.
.++.a [but cf. Davies (+,;+, :,), who doubts the marriage alliance]).
. Ath.Pol. +. (cf. Athen. +.oo,c; and Rhodes +,+, :o); cf. Kleidemos
FrGrHist : F +. In view of the obvious importance attached by Peisistratos to pro-
ductive marriage alliances, such frivolous connections as the latter seem quite im-
probable. Cf. Davies +,;+, :.
o. Contra Isaac +,;, +: cf. Lavelle +,,:a, ff.
;. Ath.Pol. +.:; cf. Rhodes +,+, +,+; and Lavelle +,,:b, ;ff.
. See n. ,.
,. Cf. Singor :ooo, ++. Contra Singor, the perception of foreignness of
the Skythians/Thracians is exactly and graphically depicted in the vase paintings he
cites. This distinction of barbarian was as old among the Greeks as the Iliad.
More importantly for Athens, any coercive force, Greek or barbarian, would have
been resented by the Athenians as just that. Some Thracians may have accompa-
nied Peisistratos back to Athens, but these surely did not amount to a bodyguard:
cf. section :.B.+. In fact, we have no evidence whatsoever for any bodyguard of
foreigners. See chapter III.:.C.:.
,o. r yxrxoioumr vpv: arioom xrxoopr vpv . . . r oti or 'Ertioxo v
ovoo. outoi or ri tupv oiooovtoi Suida sv. ryxrxoioumrvpv. outp or
ryop0p Hrioiototm rairipoovti tuovvriv. Cf. also E Nubes o, E Nubes o
(Tzetzes), E ad Nubes (Tzetzes). Cf. Shear +,o; Davies +,;+, o+; Rhodes +,+,
:o; cf. also n. ,+. Cf. Lavelle +,,a.
oo xo+rs +o r:trs ++
,+. Cf. E Acharn. o+, E Nubes o (Tzetzes), E ad Nubes (Tzetzes), E Nubes
oo. Cf. also Lavelle +,,a, o, n. ; Brenne +,,, +o; Culasso Gastaldi +,,;, o.
,:. Cf. Lavelle +,,a, oo.
,. Cf. Mattingly +,;+, :; Cromey +,, o, n. +; and Brenne +,,, ++o;
cf. also Lavelle +,,a, oo;; and Culasso Gastaldi +,,;, . Brenne (+,,, +o) notes
that on the reverse of one of the Megakles-Koisyra ostraka a drawing of a knight
appears. He speculates that this was a representation of Megakles (IV), the son of
Koisyra, and suggests that it is perhaps a reaction against the knights as a social class
and political group, but mainly alluding to the high living Koisyra and the aristocratic
connotations of the equestrian context. Brenne is surely right about the allusion to
Koisyra, but the knight seems better coupled with Eretria and the Eretrian hippeis
(horsemen), something high in the minds of the Athenians when they thought of
Koisyra (cf. Lewis +,,; Brenne +,,, :::; Raubitschek +,,; and Stanton +,,o).
(The same allusion is to be found on another ostraka cited by Brenne, which calls
Megakles a hippotrophos, a horse rearer. Cf. appendices B and C.)
,. Although run out of Attika by Megakles, Peisistratos need not have been de-
nied entirely access to the revenues of or even access to his eastern Attic property: cf.
n. +o.
,. Cf. Lavelle +,,a, o,, n. : (after Heinze).
,o. Cf. ibid., o,.
,;. Cf. nn. +, o;, and +:o.
,. Cf. n. .
,,. Cf. Rhodes +,+, :o;.
+oo. Hdt. +.o.:: xoi yo toutpv (sc. Noov) Hrioiototo xotrotroto
aorm xoi rartrr Auyooi xt. On Peisistratos and Lygdamis, see Laidlaw
+,, ;; Parke +,o; Rhodes +,+, :o,+o; and de Libero +,,o, o. On Lygdamis,
cf. further n. +o. On hostages taken after the battle of Palle


, cf. de Libero +,,o,

+o+. Cf. Ath.Pol. +. (Rhodes +,+, :o,+o). If the conquest of Naxos for Lyg-
damis occurred after Palle


, Lygdamis contributed warriors to Peisistratos before he

actually held it.That makes little sense.The testimony is, in any case, in conict with
Herodotos, whose sequencing is not problematic and whose expression is denite:
cf. n. +oo. It is reasonable to think that AP simply assumed that Peisistratos took the
island for Lygdamis after the battle because Herodotos positioned the information as
an afterthought to Palle


(cf. n. o,).We observe that AP does not mention hostages,

however, thus omitting an important fact in his sequencing. Cf. de Libero +,,o, o+,
,, and :,, who places Peisistratos assistance of Lygdamis after Palle


but does so
without dealing with the textual, chronological, and practical problems associated
with it.
+o:. aooioroto (Hdt. +.o+.), which connotes a sense of obligation (cf. n. +),
implies that Peisistratos rendered services for each of the poleis that had aided him at


.Those were returning favors. He had campaigned for Lygdamis and the Ere-
trians before Palle


; the Argives were tied to him through Gorgilos, Timonassa and

the children from that marriage, but he could also have aided his Argive allies mili-
tarily. Something extraordinary is implied about the service he rendered the Thebans,
since Herodotos remarks that they contributed the most money.There is no evidence
to indicate what that would have been. See nn. +o, and +++.
Notes to Pages :,,: o+
+o. Cf. Berve +,o;, +.;; cf. also de Libero +,,o, :;. Cf. also Jeffery +,;o, ,,o.
+o. AP (+.:; cf. n. +++) implies that the Thebans contributed men, but
Herodotos language is more precise, and he states emphatically that the Thebans con-
tributed the most money (cf. n. +o,). Perhaps Peisistratos refrained from using The-
bans on Attic soil: cf. section :.C.+.
+o. On Lygdamis, cf. Berve +,o, +.;; and de Libero +,,o, :o.
+oo. Cf. de Libero +,,o, ,.
+o;. Aristagoras and Artaphernes: Hdt. .o. (Aristagoras says that the Naxi-
ans possessed eight thousand hoplites and many big ships [Hdt. .o.]; cf. How
and Wells +,+:, :.++.) Persians and Naxos before Marathon: cf. Hdt. o.,.:,o; cf.
How and Wells +,+:, :.+o. Naxian revolt: Thuc. +.,.; cf. Gomme +,, ::;
and Hornblower +,,+, ++:. (This is not the place to wade into the controversy
surrounding the chronology of the Naxian revolt of the early fth century B.C.E.)
+o. Naxos sizable fleet (cf. n. +o;) could possibly have acted to deter an attack
of the Persians after their conquest of Lydia and Ionia across the Aegean. Cf. de Libero
+,,o, ,.
+o,. Hdt. +.o+.: aomv or ryoo aoooovtmv poto Opoioi uar-
oovto tp oooi tmv potmv. rto or, ou aom oym riariv, ovo oiru
xoi aovto oi rptuto r tpv xotooov. xoi yo 'Ayri oi io0mtoi o ai xovto r x
Hroaovvpoou, xoi Noio oi ovp oaiyrvo r0rovtp, tm ouvoo pv Auy-
ooi, ao0uipv ariotpv aorirto, xoioo xoi poto xoi ovoo. . . . Hdt.
+.o:.+: r v or tou tm tm m m oi ototoaroruor voioi oi tr r x tou o otro
otooimtoi oaixovto, ooi tr rx tmv opmv aoorrov, toioi p tuovvi ao
rru0rip pv ooaoototrov. See also n. +++. Cf. Stein +, ;:; cf. also Lavelle
+,,+, :o; +,,:b, ; and +,,, ++.
++o. Cf. Lavelle +,,+; Lavelle +,,:b, +o; and de Libero +,,o, o+. This over-
statement was surely purposed to remove some of the blame from the Athenians at


by implying that Peisistratos had overwhelming force: see section :.C.:.

+++. Ath.Pol. +.: (on contributing allies): ouao0uourvmv outm aomv
rv xoi omv, oioto or Opoimv xoi Auyooio tou Noiou, rti or tmv
i aar mv tm v r o vtmv r v 'Erti o tp v aoitri ov. Cf. Rhodes +,+, :o.
++:. Could this number be somehow based on the elite Argive thousand (Thuc.
.o;.:; cf. Dover +,;o, +oo)?
++. Cf. de Libero +,,o, oo and n. , (on the Argive mistho

toi [hirelings], cf. n.

++). Plataia, a small city, sent one thousand hoplites to help the Athenians at
Marathon (Nepos ; Just. :.,) and one thousand is the number of Thessalians arriv-
ing later with Kineas of Kondaion to support Hippias when he was under attack by
Anchimolios Spartans (Hdt. .o.). In view of their money-contributions, perhaps
the Thebans contributed less warriors. Lygdamis, who was especially avid,however,
contributed both men and money (+.o+.; cf. n. +o,).
++. Stanton +,,o, ,, adds Thessalians to the list of allies explicitly on the basis
of Hdt. .o., wherein Thessalians serve Hippias and, perhaps implicitly, on the ba-
sis of Thessalos,the name given to Peisistratos third legitimate son (cf.Thuc. o..+;
cf. also How and Wells +,+:, :.). It is not at all clear from Herodotos, who had
reason enough to multiply Peisistratos allies, that there were Thessalians at Palle


. In
fact, his omission is conspicuous, since they did make an appearance later to ght for
Hippias: see n. ++.
++. Contra Andrewes +,:, ,,,, o:; and Bengston and Bloedow +,, +.
o: xo+rs +o r:trs +o
In fact, the Argive mistho

toi need not have been professionals: Herodotos appears to

have been quite anti-Argive in the Histories, and it would not be surprising if his use
of mistho

toi to describe the Argive contingent at Palle


was yet another disparage-

ment of them: cf. Lavelle +,oc.
++o. On the probable misinterpretation of Ath.Pol. +.: (see n. +:o), see section
+.C.. Cf. also Lavelle +,,:b, . Cf. also nn. ++++,.
++;. Cf. Hdt. +.o.:.The testimony may be interpreted otherwise: (+) Peisistratos
instructions to his sons may have been spawned from the extraordinary circumstances
of the battle and do not imply the active presence of cavalry or (and this seems much
likelier), (:) the detail of the command to his sons may have been added later and so
have no basis in fact. (How could this command have been preserved and come down
faithfully to Herodotos?) On the other hand, a landfall made at Marathon might have
been dictated, as it apparently was in ,o B.C.E. when Hippias came there, by the de-
sire to ensure good conditions for cavalry: cf. Evans +,, ; Lavelle +,,+, :o, n. +,;
and nn. : and +,.
++. Cf. Lavelle +,,:b, ;ff.
++,. Cf. ibid., ,:. On Thracian ghters, cf.Vos +,o, ooff.; Best +,o,, off.; and Sin-
gor :ooo, ++.
+:o. Cf. n. ++o. On Greek fear of Persians and their garb cf. Hdt. o.++:..
+:+. Nepos l. (= Ephoros? cf. How and Wells +,+:, :.++, but then why the
disagreement with Justin?); cf. Paus. .:.. The gures for the Athenians seem rea-
sonable enough; those for the Persian forces do not.
+::. Herodotos point in the logos seems to be to show how the collection of
money before the battle produced its results: defeat at Palle


allowed the tyranny to

be reestablished, but money rooted it: cf. Lavelle +,,:b, . Cf. also n. o,.
+:. Herodotos may not have known, but he would not likely say or even allude
to the fact that the Athenians were amenable to the tyranny because Peisistratos gave
them money.
+:. Cf. nn. o;, o,, ;o, and +o,.
+:. We are minded of the threefold strategy espoused by Perikles to win the
Peloponnesian war (cf.Thuc. :.o.;; cf. also Gomme +,o, +,o,+.
+:o. r 'Erti p or o p0r vtr oio r vorxo tou r tro o ai xovto o ai om. xoi
am tov tp 'Attixp i oouoi Moo0m vo. . . . ou toi r v op ouvpi ovto 'A0pvoi mv
or oi rx tou ootro, rm rv Hrioiototo to poto pyrir, xoi rtouti m
ror Moo0mvo, oyov ouorvo riov, raritr or rau0ovto rx tou Moo0mvo
ou tov aoru ro0oi r ai to o otu, ou tm op op0r ouoi r a 'ou to v. xoi ou toi tr
aovototip pioov rai tou xotiovto xoi oi oi Hrioiototov, m op0rvtr
rx Moo0mvo pioov rai to ootu, r tmuto ouviovtr oaixvrovtoi rai Hop-
vi oo 'A0pvoi p io v xoi o vti o r 0rvto to o ao. Androtion FrGrHist : F (=
schol. R[V] Aristoph. Ach. :) (cf. also Harding +,,, +); Polyain. +.:+; cf. also
Andok. De Myst. +oo (see n. +;). Cf. McNeal +,o, +, for the grammatical prob-
lems of this passage. Cf. also Fornara and Samons +,,+, +;; and nn. + and .
+:;. On the position of the Palle


ion at Stavro (Cross[roads?]), see Blackman

+,,,:ooo, +;; cf.Traill +,o, +,.The temple, the remains of which indicate that the
earlier temple was rebuilt apparently by midfth century B.C.E., is located at the
junction of Odos Androutsou and Zalongou. Cf. How and Wells +,+: +., for the
strategic position of the deme.
+:. Cf. n. +o,.
Notes to Pages :,o,, o
+:,. Delay at Palle


is signaled by the laxity of the men of the city and per-

haps by Androtions use (FrGrHist : F ) of the word war (polemos) instead of
ght (mache

) in his description of what transpired there. Cf. Harding +,,,

+o. Cf. Lewis +,o, ; and Traill +,o, +,; see also n. +:;.
++. Herodotos says (+.o:.) that when the opponents arrived at the temple ov-
tio r0rvto to oao.This says nothing about the type of position taken (cf. McNeal
+,o, +, on the problems with the sentence), although specic mention of the
temple suggests that it might have played some part in the battle.The Athenians were
surely barring the road, for obviously they needed to keep Peisistratos from the city.
Reason supports the belief that the Athenians deployed in the best defensive posi-
tion they could manage and that they, rather than Peisistratos and his army, anchored
their defense around the temple and perhaps the temenos wall.
+:. +.o.+: 'A0pvoi oi or oi r x tou o otro ao o iotov trtor voi p oov op
tpvixouto xoi rto to oiotov rtrrtroi outmv oi rv ao xuou, oi or
ao uavov. oi or o i Hrioi ototov r oaroo vtr tou 'A0pvoi ou tr aouoi. Cf.
How and Wells +,+:, +..
+. Such a tactic is hardly unknown in Greek warfare: cf. Xen. Hell. :.+.:;.
+. Cf. Lavelle +,,+, :::; +,,, ,+,:.
+. Cf. Lavelle +,,+, esp. :+:.
+o. This accounts for the main point of difference between Lavelle +,,+ and