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H. gives two notes of time as to the Pisistratid rule, in this passage and in v. 65. 3 (that it lasted thirty-six years): Aristotle (Pol. v. 12. 5, 1315 b 32) gives it thirty-five years, and to Pisistratus himself seventeen; A. P. 17. 1 gives him nineteen years. There are numerous other data in A. P. cc. 14-17, but they are hopelessly confused; see Sandys on A. P. 14. 3 for a discussion of the subject.

The ultra-sceptical view is that of Beloch (i. 328), that the traditional dates are merely based on calculations of generations, one for Pisistratus himself and a half for his sons, i. e. 33+17 = 50 years in all, and that one-half of his rule is given to exile. Rejecting this argument as a not very probable guess, we may take the following dates as approximate: First tyranny, 560-559, archonship of Comeas (this traditional date is accepted even by Beloch). First exile, 555. Second tyranny, 550. Second exile, 549. Third tyranny, 539. Death, 527. Expulsion of Hippias, 510 (Thuc. vi. 59. 4). But certainty is impossible.

Μαραθῶνος. In the Diacria where his party was strong. Cf. 59. 3 n.

ἐς τὠυτὸ συνιόντες, ‘intending to join battle.’ Pallene lay south of Mount Pentelicus, commanding the pass between it and Hymettus; here the road from Marathon on the north-east joins that from Brauron on the south-east of Athens. The place was the scene of the mythical battles between the Athenians and Eurystheus (Strabo, 377) and between Theseus and Pallas (Plut. Thes. 13); this latter battle, like the one here (cf. the oracle), was decided by a surprise.

For Θείῃ πομπῇ χρεώμενος cf. iii. 77. 1; iv. 152. 2; H. obviously looks on P. as favoured of heaven.

Αμφίλυτος Ἀκαρνάν. Some propose to read Ἀχαρνεύς, because Plato (Theag. 124 D) calls him ἡμεδαπός, i. e. an Athenian; but the Acarnanian mountaineers were famous seers (cf. vii. 221, Megistias, and the prevalence of second-sight among the Scotch Highlanders). Stein suggests that Pisistratus may have given him citizenship, and compares for this ix. 33 seq.

χρησμολόγος (cf. vii. 6. 3) may mean either the seer himself or the collector of oracles (cf. Thuc. ii. 8. 2). The Pisistratidae were closely connected with oracles (cf. ἐκ τῶν λογίων 64. 2) and seers; they had a collection of oracles (v. 90. 2), and were friendly with Onomacritus the Orphic teacher (vii. 6. 3 n.). Pisistratus himself was nicknamed Bacis (Schol. Aristoph. Peace 1071). This connexion, like their temple-building and encouragement of cult, was a convenient support of their rule (cf. App. XVI, § 7).

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.8.2
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.59.4
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 13
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