) the son of Hippocrates, was so named after Peisistratus, the youngest son of Nestor, the family of Hippocrates being of Pylian origin, and tracing their descent to Neleus, the father of Nestor (Hdt. 5.65
It was generally believed that the future tyrant Peisistratus was descended from the Homeric Peisistratus, although Pausanias (2.18.8
), when speaking of the expulsion of the Neleidae by the Heracleids, says that he does not know what became of Peisistratus, the grandson of Nestor.
The fact that Hippocrates named his son after the son of Nestor shows the belief of the family, and he appears not to have belonged to the other branches of the Neleidae settled in Attica : but the real descent of an historical personage from any of these heroic families must always be very problematical.
The separate mention of Melanthus and Codrus (Herod. l.c.
) implies that he did not belong to that branch; that he did not belong to the Alcmaeonidae is clear from the historical relations between that family and Peisistratus; and we nowhere hear that the latter was connected with the Paeonidae, the only other branch of the Neleidae who came to Attica. Hippocrates (probably through some intermarriage or other) belonged to the house of the Philaidae (Plut. Sol. 10
; Pseudo-Plat. Hipparch.
p. 288. b.
It is through an oversight that Plutarch speaks of the deme
of the Philaidae, which did not then exist). Intermarriages with the descendants of Melanthus would be sufficient to account for the claim which Peisistratus is represented as making (in the spurious letter in Diogenes Laertius, 1.53), to be considered as a member of the family of Codrus, even if the statement that he did so deserves any credit.
The mother of Peisistratus (whose name we do not know) was cousin german to the mother of Solon (Heracleides Ponticus ap. Plut. Sol. 1
There are no data for determining accurately the time when Peisistratus was born; but the part which he is represented as taking in the military operations and measures of Solon would not admit of its being later than B. C. 612, a date which is not inconsistent with the story of Chilon and Hippocrates [HIPPOCRATES], for the former, who was ephor in B. C. 560, was already an old man in B. C. 572 (D. L. 1.68
Peisistratus grew up equally distinguished for personal beauty and for mental endowments.
The relationship between him and Solon naturally drew them together, and a close friendship sprang up between them, which, as was to be expected under such circumstances between Greeks, soon assumed an erotic character (Plt. Sol.
1.). On the occasion of the successful attempt made by Solon to induce the Athenians to renew their struggle with the Megarians for the possession of Salamis, Peisistratus greatly aided his kinsman by his eloquence.
The decree prohibiting further attempts upon the island was repealed, and an expedition led against it by Solon, again assisted by his young relative, who distinguished himself by his military ability, and captured Nisaea (Hdt. 1.59
; Plut. Solon.
8, 12. Just. 2.8
After the legislation of Solon, the position of parties at Athens was well calculated to favour the ambitious designs of Peisistratus.
The old contests of the rival parties of the Plain, the Highlands, and the Coast, had been checked for a time by the measures of Solon, but their rivalry had not been removed; and when Solon, after the establishment of his constitution, retired for a time from Athens, this rivalry broke out into open feud.
The party of the Plain, comprising chiefly the landed proprietors, was headed by Lycurgus; that of the Coast, consisting of the wealthier classes not belonging to the nobles, by Megacles, the son of Alcmaeon; the party of the Highlands, which aimed at more of political freedom and equality than either of the two others, was that at the head of which Peisistratus placed himself, not because their wishes and feelings corresponded with his own, but because they seemed the most likely to be useful in the furtherance of his designs; and indeed his lead of this faction seems to have been a mere pretext, to render it less obvious that he had in reality attached to himself a large party among the poorer class of citizens (Hdt. 1.59
. ἤγειρε τρίτην στάσιν συλλέξας δὲ στασιώτας, καὶ τῷ λόγῳ τῶν ὑπερακρίων πρόστας
) These he secured by putting himself forward as the patron and benefactor of the poor.
With a species of munificence, afterwards imitated by Cimon, he threw open his gardens to the use of the citizens indiscriminately (Theopompus ap. Athen. 12.532
. e. &c.), and, according to some accounts (Eustath. ad Il.
xxiv. extr.), was always accompanied by two or three youths, with a purse of money to supply forthwith the wants of any needy citizen whom they fell in with. His military and oratorical (Cic. de Orat. 3.34
7.27, 10.41; V. Max. 8.9
. ext. 1) abilities, and the undeniably good qualities which he possessed (Solon, according to Plut. Solon.
29, declared of him that, had it not been for his ambition, Athens had not a more excellent citizen to show), backed by considerable powers of simulation, had led many of the better class of citizens, if not openly to become his partisans, at least to look upon him with no unfavourable eye, and to regard his domination as a less evil than the state of faction and disturbance under which the constitution was then suffering. Solon, on his return, quickly saw through the designs of Peisistratus, who listened with respect to his advice, though he prosecuted his schemes none the less diligently. (According to Isocrates, Panath.
p. 263, ed. Steph. one part of his procedure was to procure the banishment of a considerable number of influential citizens who were likely to oppose his plans.) Solon next endeavoured to arouse the people, by speeches and poetical compositions (Plut. Solon.
30; D. L. 1.49
), to a sense of the danger to which they were exposed, but in vain. Some refused to share his suspicions, others favoured the designs of Peisistratus, others feared his power, or were indifferent. Even the senate, according to Diogenes Laertius (1.49), were disposed to favour Peisistratus, and declared Solon to be mad. When Peisistratus found his plans sufficiently ripe for execution, he one day made his appearance in the agora with his mules and his own person exhibiting recent wounds, pretending that he had been nearly assassinated by his enemies as he was riding into the country.
The indignation of his friends was excited; an assembly was forthwith called, in which Ariston, one of his partisans, proposed that a body-guard of fifty citizens, armed with clubs, should be granted to Peisistratus.
It was in vain that Solon opposed this; the guard was granted. Through the neglect or connivance of the people Peisistratus took this opportunity of raising a much larger force, with which he seized the citadel B. C. 560. (Plut. Sol. 30
; Hdt. 1.59
; Aristot. Pol. 5.10
; D. L. 1.66
; Polyaen. 1.21.3
A similar stratagem had been practised by Theagenes of Megara, and was afterwards imitated by Dionysius (Diod. 13.97
). Megacles and the Alcmaeonidae took to flight. Solon, after another ineffectual attempt to rouse the citizens against the usurper, placed his arms in the street before his door, saying that he had done his utmost to defend his country and its laws. Peisistratus, having secured to himself the substance of power, made no further change in the constitution, or in the laws, which he administered ably and well.
The first usurpation of Peisistratus lasted but a short time (Hdt. 1.60
. μετὰ οὐ πολλὸν χρόνον -- ἐξελαύνουσί μιν
Before his power was firmly rooted, the factions headed by Megacles and Lycurgus combined, and Peisistratus was compelled to evacuate Athens.
As, on his second expulsion, we are distinctly told (Hdt. 1.61
) that he quitted Attica, the presumption is, that on the first occasion lie did not. His property was confiscated and sold by auction, when the only man who ventured to purchase it was Callias, the son of Hipponicus (Hdt. 6.121
). How Peisistratus cmplayed himself during his banishment, which lasted about six years, we do not know. Meantime, the factions of Megacles and Lycurgus, having accompolished their immediate object, revived their old feuds, and Megacles, finding himself the weaker of the two, made overtures to Peisistratus, offering to reinstate him in the tyranny, if he would connect himself with him by receiving his daughter Coesyra (Suidas s. v. ἐγκεκοισυρωμένην
) in marriage.
The proposal was accepted by Peisistratus, and the following stratagem wad devised for accomplishing (as Herodotus supposes) his restoration.
In what was afterwards the deme Paeonia, they found a damsel named Phya, of remarkable stature and beanty (according to Athenaeus xiii. p. 609agarland seller, the daughter of a man named Socrates).
This woman they dressed up as Athene in a full suit of armour, and placed in a chariot, with Peisistratus by her side, instructing her how she was to maintain a suitable carriage.
The chariot was then driven towards the city, heralds being sent on before to announce that Athene in person was bringing back Peisistratus to her Acropolis.
The report spread spread, and those in the city believing that the woman was really their tutelary goddess, worshipped her, and admitted Peisistratus. (Hdt. 1.60
; Polyaesn. Strateg.
1.21.1, where there is a good deal of blundering). "This story," lentarks Bishop Thirlwall (Hist. of Grecce,
vol. ii. p. 60), "would indeed be singular, if we consider the expedient in the loght of a stratagem, on which the confederates relied for overcoming the resitaince which they might otherwise have expected from their adversaries.
But it seems quite as likely that the pageant was only designed to add extraordinary solemnity to the entrance of Peisistratus, and to suggest the reflection, that it was by the especial favour of heaven that he had been so unexpectedly restored."
It is said that Phya was given in marriage to Hipparchus (Athen. l.c.
). Peisistratus nominally performed his part of the contract with Megacles; but not choosing to have children by one of a family which was accounted accursed, treated his wife in the most odious manner.
She complained to her mother of the indignity to which she was exposed; and Megacles and the Alcmaeonidae, incensed at the affront, again made common cause with Lycurgus, and Peisistratus was a second time compelled to evacuate Athens (Hdt. 1.61
This time he left Attica, and retired to Eretria in Euboea. (The very extraordinary statement in Eusebius, Chro.
Olymp. 54. 3, and Hieronymus, that Peisistratus went into Italy, is doubtless a blunder. Vater conjectures that the name Italy has been substituted by mistake for that of some place in Attica, perhaps Icaria, and that the statement refers to the first exile of Peisistratus.) His property was again offered for sale (ὅκως ἐκπέσοι
, Hdt. 6.121
), and again Callias, who had been one of his most active opponents, was the only purchaser.
On reaching Eretria Peisistratus deliberated with his sons as to the course he should pursue.
The advice of Hippias, that he should make a fresh attempt to regain his power, was adopted. Contributions were solicited from the cities which were in his interest. Several furnished him with large sunis. Thebes especially surpassed all the rest in the amount of money which she placed at his disposal.
With the funds thus raised he procured mercenaries from Argos. Ten years elapsed before his preparations were complete.
At last, however, with the forces which he had raised, a Naxian named Lygdamis having also of his own accord brought him both money and a body of troops, he crossed into Attica, and lauded at Marathon. Here his friends and partisans flocked to his standard. His antagonists, who had viewed his proceedings with great indifference, when they heard that he was advancing upon Athens hastily marched out to meet him.
The two armies encamped not far from each other, near the temple of Athene at Pallene, and Peisistratus, seizing the opportunity with which the remissness of his antagonlists furnished him, and encouraged by the soothsayer Amphilytus of Acharnae, fell suddenly upon their forces at noon, when, not expecting any thing of the kind, the men had betaken themselves after their meal to sleep or play, and speedily put them to flight.
He then, with equal wisdom and moderation, refrained from pursuing the fugitives with his troops, but sent forward his sons on horseback, who, having overtaken the flying Athenians, told them they had nothing to fear if they would disperse quietly to their homes.
The majority obeyed these directions, and Peisistratus entered Athens without opposition (Hdt. 1.61
; Polyaen. Strat.
The account of the latter, however, is full of blunders). Lygdamis was rewarded for his zealous co-operation by being established as tyrant of Nxos, which island Peisistratus conquered. [LYGDAMIS.]
Having now become tyrant of Athens for the third time 1
, Peisistratus adopted measures to secure the undisturbed possession of his supremacy. Hetook a body of foreign mercenaries into his pay, and seized as hostages the children of several of the principal citizens, placing them in the custody of Lygdamis, in Naxos. Others of the Athenians either fled or were exiled. Among the latter was Cimon, the father of Miltiades, who, however, was afterwards permitted to return [CIMON].
The revenues which Peisistratus needed for the pay of his troops, were derived partly from Attica (the produce, very likely, in part at least, of the mines at Laureion), partly from some gold mines on the Strymon. How he became possessed of these we do not know.
It is most likely that they were private property, and came into his hands during his second exile, somehow or other through his connection with the royal family of Macedonia, a connection of which we subsequently see a proof in the offer of the town of Anthenmus made by Amyntas to Hippias. (Hdt. 5.94
It appears to have been shortly after his restoration, that Peisistratus purified the island of Delos, in accordance with the directions of an oracle, by removing all the dead bodies which had been buried within sight of the temple to another part of the island. (Hdt. 1.64
; Thuc. 3.104
.) Besides the subjugation of Naxos, the only other foreign military expedition which we hear of his undertaking in this third period of his tyranny was the conquest of Sigeum, then in the hands of the Mytilesnaeans. The Atheniains had long before laid claim to the island, and had waged war with the Mytilenaeans for the possession of it, and it was awarded to them through the arbitrationt of Periander. Peisistratus established his bastard son Hegesistrattis as tyrant in the town. (Hdt. 5.94
.) Polyaenus (Strat.
5.14) mentions some operations conducted by his son Hippias, for the suppression of piracy.
Having now firmly established himself in the government, Peisistratus maintained the form of Solon's institutions, only taking care, as his sons did after him (Thuc. 6.54
), that the highest offices should always be held by some member of the family.
He not only exacted obedience to the laws from his subjects and friends, but himself set the example of submitting to them. On one occasion sion he even appeared before the Arciopagus to ansswer a charge of murder, which however was not prosecuted (Arist. Pol.
5.12, p. 1315, ed. Bekker; Plut. Solon.
31). His government seems to have been a wise admixture of stringelcy as regards the enforcement of the laws and the prevention of disorders, and leniency towards isndividuals who offended him personally. (For anecdotes illustrating this see Plutarch, Apopth. Πεισιστ
. p. 189, B. C.; Polyaen. Strut.
5.14; V. Max. 5.1
. ext. 2.)
He enforced the law which had been enacted by Solon, or, according to Theophrastus (ap. Plut. Solon.
31) by himself, against idleness, and compelled a large number of the poorer class to leave A thens, and devote themselves to agricultural pursuits. (Aeliasn. V. H.
9.25; Dion Chrysost. vii. p. 258, ed. Keiske. xxv. p. 520.)
The stories of his compellings the people to wear the Catonace (Hesychius and Suidas s. v. τατωνάκη
; Aristoph Lysist.
1150, &c., Eeeles.
724 Schol. ad 1. 755; Schol. ad Lysist.
619), probably have refereecce to this.
Those who had no resources of their own he is said to have supplied with cattle and seed. His policy taste taste combined also led him to employ the poorer Athenians in building. Athens was inidebted to limi for many stately and useful buildings. Among these may be mentioned a temple to the Pythian Apollo (Suidas s. v. Πύθιον;
Hesych. s. v. ἐν Πυθίῳ χέσαι
. Vater has made a great mistake in supposing that Thucydides (6.54
) states that this temple was built by Peisistratus the son of Hippias: Thucydides only says that the latter set up an altar in it), and a magnincent temple to the Olympian Zeus (Arist. Pol.
5.11), for which he employed the architects Antistates, Callaeschrus, Antimachides, and Porinus (Vitruvius, Praef.
This temple remained unfinished for several centuries, and was at length completed by the emperor Hadrian (Paus. 1.18.6
; Strab. ix. p.396
). Besides these, the Lyceum, a garden with stately buildings a short distance from the city, was the work of Peisistratus (Suidas, s. v. Λύκειον
), as also the fountain of the Nine Springs (Ἐνεάκοουνος
, Thuc. 2.15
; Paus. 1.14.1
The employment of the sons of Peisistratus in superintending works of this kind, orcompleting them after their father's death, will probably account for slight variations in the authorities as to whether some of these were built by Peisistratus himself or by his sons.
According to most authorities (the author of the letter in D. L. 1.53
; Suidas, s. v. καὶ σφάκελοι ποιοῦσιν ἀτέλειαν;
vii.-10.33, not. Dind. p. 31) Peisistratus, to defray these and other expenses, exacted a tithe of the produce of the land, an impost which, so employed, answered pretty nearly the purpose of a poor's rate.
He was also (Plut. Sol. 100.31
) the author of a measure, the idea of which he had derived from Solon, according to which those disabled in war were maintained at the public expense.
Peisistratus likewise bestowed considerable attention upon the due performance of public religious rites, and the celebration of festivals and processions (Epist.ap. D. L. 1.53
), an example which was followed by his sons, who are even said to have invented θαλίας καὶ κώμους
, p. 532).
The institution of the greater Panathenaea is expressly ascribed to Peisistratus by the scholiast on Aristeides (p. 323, ed. Dind.); and before the time of Peisistratus we do not hear of the distinction between the greater and the lesser Panathenaea (Dictionary of Antiquities,
He at least made considerable changes in the festival, and in particular introduced the contests of rhapsodists. Peisistratus in various ways encouraged literature.
It was apparently under his auspices that Thespis introduced at Athens his rude form of tragedy (B. C. 535, Clinton, F. H.
sub anno), and that dramatic contests were made a regular part of the Attic Dionysia (Bode, Gesch. der Hellen. Dichtkunst,
vol. iii. part i. p. 53; Dict. of Ant.
). "It is to Peisistratus that we owe the first written text of the whole of the poems of Homer, which, without his care, would most likely now exist only in a few disjointed fragments." (Respecting the services of Peisistratus in relation to the text of Homer, and the poets who assisted him in the work, see the article HOMERUS Vol. II. p. 507, and the authorities there referred to). Peisistratus is also said to have been the first person in Greece who collected a library, to which he generously allowed the public access (A. Gellius, N. A.
6.17; Athen. 1.3
The story that this collection of books was carried away by Xerxes, and subsequently restored by Seleucus (A. Gellius, l.c.
, hardly rests on sufficient authority to deserve much notice.
It was probably from his regard to religion and literatre that many were disposed to class Peisistratus with the Seven Sages (D. L. 1.122
). Either from his patronage of diviners, or from his being, like his son Hipparchus, a collector of oracles, he received the surname of Βάκις
(Suid. s. v. Βάκις;
Schol. ad Aristoph. Pax,
1036 or 1071).
"On the whole, though we cannot approve of the steps by which he mounted to power, we must own that he made a princely use of it, and may believe that, though under his dynasty, Athens could never have risen to the greatness she afterwards attained, she was indebted to his rule for a season of repose, during which she gained much of that strength which she finally unfolded." (Thirlwall, Hist. of Greece,
vol. ii. p. 65.)
Peisistratus was thrice married (including his connection with the daughter of Megacles).
The name of his first wife, the mother of Hippias and Hipparchus, we do not know.
The statement of the Scholiast on Aristophanes (Eqzuil.
447) that her name was Myrrhine, arises probably from a confusion with the wife of Hippias. From Plutarch (Cato Major,
100.24) we learn that when Hippias and Hipparchus were grown up, Peisistratus married Timonassa, a lady of Argolis, and had by her two sons, Iophon and Thessalus.
It is a conjecture of Vater's that Timonassa was connected with the royal house of Macedonia. Nothing more is known of Iophon; he probably died young. Hegesistratus, a bastard son of Peisistratus, has been already mentioned. Mention is also made of a daughter of Peisistratus, who was forcibly carried off by a youth named Thrasybulus, or Thrasymedes, and was afterwards married to him with the consent of her father, when, having put to sea, and fallen into the hands of Hippias, he was brought back. (Plut. Apophth. Πεισιστ
. vol. ii. p. 189.) Thucydides (1.20
, &c.) expressly states, on what he declares to be good authority, that Hippias was the eldest son of Peisistratus (a statement which he defends by several arguments, not all very decisive, though they at least confirm it), contrary to the general opinion in his day, which assigned the priority of birth to Hipparchus.
The authority of Thucydides is fully supported by Herodotus (5.55
) and Cleidemus (in Athen. 13.609
d.). Peisistratus died at an advanced age (Thuc. 6.54
) in B. C. 527 (Clinton, Fasti Hellen.
vol. ii. App. 100.2), and was succeeded in the tyranny by his son Hippias (Herod. l.c. ;
) though the brothers appear to have administered the affairs of the state with so little outward distinction, that they are frequently spoken of as though they had been joint tyrants. (Thuc. l.c. ;
Schol. ad Aristoph. Wasps 502
, ὁ δὲ Ἱππίας ἐτυράννησεν, οὐχ ὁ Ἵππαρχος: κοινῶς δὲ πάντες οἱ Πεισιστρατίδαι τύραννοι ἐλέγοντο
). They continued the government on the same principles as their father. Thucydides (6.54
) speaks in terms of high commendation of the virtue and intelligence with which their rule was exercised till the death of Hipparchus ; and the author of the dialogue Hipparchus
(p. 229b.) speaks of their government as a kind of golden age.
There seems no reason to question the general truth of this description, though particular exceptions may be adduced, such as the assassination of Cimon, the father of Miltiades (Hdt. 6.39
. See CIMON). They exacted only one-twentieth of the produce of the land to defray their expenses in finishing the buildings left incomplete by Peisistratus, or erecting new ones (though according to Suidas, s. v. τὸ Ἱππάρχου τειχίον
, Hipparchus exacted a good deal of money from the Athenians for building a wall round the Academy) for maintaining their mercenary troops, who bore the appellation Λυκόποδες
(Suid. s.v. Schol. ad Aristoph. Lys. 664
), and providing for the religious solemnities. Hipparchus inherited his father's literary tastes.
It was he who erected on the roads leading to the country towns of Attica busts of Hermes, inscribed on one side with the distances from the city (which distances were measured from the altar of the twelve gods set up in the agora by Peisistratus, the son of Hippias, Thuc. 6.54
; Hdt. 2.7
), and on the other side with some moral maxim in verse. (Pseudo-Plat. Hipparch.
He also arranged the manner in which the rhapsodes were to recite the Homeric poems at the Panathenaic festival (ibid.
p. 228b). Several distinguished contemporary poets appear to have lived at the court of the Peisistratidae under the patronage of Hipparchus, as, for example, Simoides of Ceos (Pseudo-Plat. Hipparch.
p. 228c. ; Aelian. V. H.
viii. Anacreon of Teos (ibid.
), Lasus of llermione, and Onomacritus (Hdt. 7.6
The latter was employed in making a collection of oracles of Musaeus, and was banished on being detected in an attempt to interpolate them. [ONOMACRITUS].
This collection of oracles afterwards fell into the hands of Cleomenes. (Hdt. 5.90
The superstitious reverence for oracles and divination which appears to have led Hipparchus to banish Onomacritus again manifests itself in the story of the vision (Hdt. 5.56
That he was also addicted to erotic gratification appears from the story of Harmodius, and the authority of Heracleides Ponticus, who terms him ἐρωτικός
Of the particular events of the first fourteen years of the government of Hippias we know scarcely anything. Thucydides (6.54
) speaks of their carrying on wars, but what these were we do not know.
It was during the tyranny of Hippias that Miltiades was sent to take possession of the Chersonesus. [MILTIADES] But a great change in the character of his government ensued upon the murder of Hipparchus (B. C. 514), for the circumstances connected with which the reader is referred to the articles HARMODIUS and LEAENA. Hippias displayed on the occasion great presence of mind.
As soon as he heard of the assassination of his brother, instead of rushing to the scene of it, he went quietly up to the armed citizens who were forming the procession, and, as though he intended to harangue them, directed them to go without their arms to a spot which he pointed out.
He then ordered his guards to seize their arms, and to apprehend those whom he suspected of being concerned in the plot, and all who had daggers concealed about them. (What Polyaenus, 1.21.2
, relates of Peisistratus has probably arisen out of a confusion with these events.) Under the influence of revengeful feelings and fears for his own safety Hippias now became a morose and suspicious tyrant. His rule became harsh, arbitrary, and exacting. (Thuc. 6.57
He put to death great numbers of the citizens, and raised money by extraordinary imposts.
It is probably to this period that we should refer the measures described by Aristotle (Oeconom.
ii. p. 1347, ed. Bekker), such as having houses that were built so as to interfere with the public convenience put up for sale; and, under pretence of issuing a new coinage, getting the old coinage brought in at a low valuation, and then issuing it again without alteration. Feeling himself unsafe at Athens he began to look abroad for some place of retreat for himself and his family, in case he should be expelled from Athens.
With this view he gave his daughter Archedice [ARCHEDICE] in marriage to Aeantides, the son of Hippoclus, tyrant of Lampsacus, an alliance which he would doubtless have thought beneath him, had he not observed that Hippoclus was in great favour with Dareius.
The expulsion of the Peisistratidae was finally brought about by the Alcmaeonidae and Lacedaemonians.
The former, since their last quarrel with Peisistratus, had shown unceasing hostility and hatred towards him and his successors, which the latter met by tokens of similar feelings, insomuch that they not only demolished their houses, but dug up their tombs. (Isocrates, de Big.
26, p. 351, ed. Steph.) The Alcmaeonidae were joined by other Athenian exiles, and had fortified a stronghold on the frontier of Attica, named Leipsydrion, on the heights of Parnes, above Paeonia (Aristot. apud Schol. ad Aristoph. Lysist.
665; Suidas, s. v. ἐπὶ Λειψυδρίῳ μάχη
. Thirlwall, vol. ii. p. 70, note, remarks that the description seems to relate to some family seat of the Paeonidae, who were kinsmen of the Alemaeonidae). They were, however, repulsed with loss in an attempt to force their way back to Athens, and compelled to evacuate the fortress (Suidas, l.c.
). Still they none the more remitted their machinations against the tyrants (Hdt. 5.62
By well-timed liberality they had secured the favour of the Amphictyons and that of the Delphic oracle [ALCMAEONIDAE], which they still further secured by bribing the Pythia (Hdt. 5.63
The repeated injunctions of the oracle to the Lacedaemonians to free Athens roused them at length to send an army under Anchimolius for the purpose of driving out the Peisistratidae (though hitherto the family had been closely connected with them by the ties of hospitality). Anchimolius landed at Phalerus, but was defeated and slain by Hippias, who was assisted by a body of Thessalian cavalry under Cineas. The Lacedaemonians now sent a larger force under Cleomenes. The Thessalian cavalry were defeated on the borders, apparently at a place called Pallenion (Andoc. de Myst.
106), and returned home; and Hippias, unable to withstand his enemies in the field, retreated into the Acropolis.
This being well supplied with stores, the Lacedaemonians, who were unprepared for a siege, would, in the judgment of Herodotus, have been quite unable to force Hippias to surrender, had it not been that his children fell into their hands, while being conveyed out of Attica for greater security, and were only restored on condition that Hippias and his connections should evacuate Attica within five days. They retired to Sigeum, B. C. 510. (Hdt. 5.64
, &c.; Paus. 3.4.2
; Aristoph. Lys. 1150
The family of the tyrants was condemned to perpetual banishment, a sentence which was maintained even in after times, when decrees of amnesty were passed (Andoc. de Myst.
A monument recording the offences of the tyrants was set up in the Acropolis. (Thuc. 6.55
The Spartans before long discovered the trick that had been played upon them by the Alemaeonidae and the Delphic oracle; and their jealousy of the Athenians being stimulated by the oracles, collected by IIipparchus, which Cleomenes found in the Acropolis, in which manifold evils were portended to them from the Athenians, they began to repent of having driven out their old friends the Peisistratidae, and accordingly sent for Hippias, who came to Sparta. Having summoned a congress of their allies, they laid the matter before them, and proposed that they should unite their forces and restore Hippias.
But the vehement remonstrances of the Corinthian deputy Sosicles induced the allies to reject the proposal. Hippias, declining the offers that were made him of the town of Anthemus by Amyntas, and of Iolcos by the Thessalians, returned to Sigeum (Hdt. 5.90
), and addressed himself to Zeuxippus had Brachyllas assassinated, a crime Artaphernes. (Respecting the embassy of the Athenians to counteract his intrigues, see ARTAPHERNES.) He appears then with his family to have gone to the court of Dareius (Herod. l.c.
): while here they urged Dareius to inflict vengeance on Athens and Eretria, and Hippias himself accompanied the expedition sent under Datis and Artaphernes. From Eretria he led them to the plain of Marathon, as the most suitable for their landing, and arranged the troops when they had disembarked. While he was thus engaged, we are told, he happened to sneeze and cough violently, and, most of his teeth being loose from his great age, one of them fell out, and was lost in the sand; an incident from which Hippias augured that the expedition would miscarry, and that the hopes which he had been led by a dream to entertain of being restored to his native land before his death were buried with his tooth (Hdt. 6.102
). Where and when he died cannot be ascertained with certainty.
According to Suidas (s. v. Ἱππίας
he died at Lemnos on his return.
According to Cicero (Cic. Att. 9.10
) and Justin (2.9
) he fell in the battle of Marathon; though from his advanced age it seems rather unlikely that he have been engaged in the battle.
The family of the tyrant are once more mentioned (Hdt. 7.6
) as at the court of Persia, uirgilng Xerxes to invade Greece.
Hippias was in his youth the object of the affection of a man named Charmus (who previously stood in a similar relation to Peisistratus ; Plut. Solon.
1), and subsequently married his daughter (Athen. 14.609
d). His first wife was Myrrhine, the daughter of Callias, by whom he had five children (Thuc. 6.55
). One of his sons, named Peisistratus, was Archon Eponymus during the tyranny of his father. Of Archedice, daughter of Hippias, mention has already been made.
According to Thucydides (l.c.
) Hippias was the only one of the legitimate sons of Peisistratus who had children.
What became of Thessalus we do not know.
He is spoken of as a high-spirited youth (Heraclid. Pont. 1), and there is a story in Diodorus (Fragm.
lib. x. Olymp. lxvi.) that he refused to have any share in the tyranny of his brothers, and was held in great esteem by the citizens.