previous next

τῇ στάσι: Stein translates ‘harassed by the attacks of his own party’, and cf. 61. 2; but ‘troubled by the party strife’ is simpler. The willingness of the Alcmaeonid family to marry with, and to restore, a tyrant is very inconsistent with their character as ‘tyranthaters’ in vi. 121, 123; cf. App. XVIII. 6.

ἐπεί is to be taken closely with τότε γε, ‘at that time when the Greek race had long been separated.’ It is noticeable that here, as elsewhere, H. holds inconsistent views as to the Pelasgi; they are ‘barbarians’, but they become Hellenes without difficulty.

The story of the sham Athene is one of the most curious in H.; he is shocked by it, and introduces sarcastic touches (e.g. σχῆμα οἷόν τι ἔμελλε) into it; but he completely believes it. Grote has an excellent note (iv. 32) on the contrast between the views of the sixth and of the fifth century, implied in H.'s criticism here; he compares the contrast of views as to a combat of champions in H. i. 82 and Thuc. v. 41. As H. had met possibly the sons and certainly the grandsons of men who had seen the restoration, and as he carefully sifted his traditions as to the Pisistratidae (cf. v. 55. 1 n.), it is safer to accept the story, as e. g. Grote, Curtius, Busolt (ii. 321), and others do. Cf. vi. 105. 3 for Athenian acceptance of the supernatural (Pan and Philippides). Somewhat similar acts are that of Telines (vii. 153) and the share of St. Catherine in the return of Gregory XI to Rome in 1376. Beloch, however (Rh. Mus. 45, 1890, whom Meyer, F. ii. 248, follows), rejects the whole story as a ‘poetic variation of the historic tradition of the victory at Pallene’. The argument is as follows: the victory was gained at the temple of Athene Pallenis (c. 62. 3); hence Athene was metaphorically said to have restored Pisistratus. The metaphorical version grew into a myth, perhaps with the assistance of a commemorative monument—this suggestion had been made by Stein before Beloch—and then the fiction found a place in history, side by side with the real fact. Beloch concludes that Pisistratus was only restored once and expelled once, and that the intrigue with Megacles belongs to the first usurpation.

It argues almost greater credulity to suppose that history and myth could become thus inextricably mixed in the course of two generations than to accept the story of Phya. It may be noted that there is independent fourth-century evidence for the story in A. P. 14. 4 and in Cleidemus (Athen. 609 C; F. H. G. i. 364), who makes Phya wife of Hipparchus.

This passage is very significant for Greek stature: this ‘daughter of the gods divinely tall and most divinely fair’, was only about 5 feet 10 inches.

πανοπλίῃ: i. e. with helmet, breastplate, spear, and shield, as in the familiar Athene statues; cf. iv. 180. 3 for the investing of a mortal with these attributes of Athene.

The demes were pre-Cleisthenean, though he gave them political importance (v. 69. 2 n.); here and in 62. 1 they = ‘the country dis tricts’ as opposed to τὸ ἄστυ; they were the strongholds of Pisistratus, who had the peasants on his side, as opposed to the landowners and the trading class; cf. 59. 3 n.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (1 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (1):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.41
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: