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For the history of Pisistratus' tyranny cf. i. 59-64; Ath. Pol. 14 f.; and Appendix XVI, §§ 5-8. This digression on the liberation of Athens from the sway of the Pisistratidae, incidentally helps to explain why the suit of Aristagoras, rejected at Sparta, was granted at Athens.

Ἱππίεω τοῦ τυράννου. These words seem intended as a protest against two popular errors (cf. vi. 123): (1) that Harmodius and Aristogiton freed Athens from tyranny, (2) that Hipparchus was the eldest son of Pisistratus and his successor in the tyranny. Both are implied in the famous song (Athen. 695 a) Ἐν μύρτου κλαδὶ τὸ ξίφος φορήσω Ὥσπερ Ἁρμόδιος κ᾽ Ἀριστογείτων, Ὅτε τὸν τύραννον κτανέτην Ἰσονόμους τ᾽ Ἀθήνας ἐποιησάτην: both are vigorously attacked by Thucydides (i. 20; vi. 53 f.). That the former error was prevalent soon after the fall of the tyranny is further shown by the statues of the tyrannicides (Harrison, Athens, 77 f.; E. Gardner, G. S. 182 f.; Collignon, S. G. i. 367 f.).

ἔτεα τέσσερα: not four whole years. Cf. Thuc. vi. 59τυραννεύσας ἔτη τρία Ἱππίας ἔτι Ἀθηναίων καὶ παυθεὶς ἐν τῷ τετάρτῳ”, Ath. Pol. 19ἔτει τετάρτῳ μάλιστα . . . ἐξέπεσε”. Hipparchus was slain at the end of the first Attic month (Hekatombaion; cf. ch. 56), i. e. August 514 B. C. Hippias then reigned till the year 511-510 B. C. (cf. i. 62 n.).

μᾶλλον πρὸ τοῦ. So also Thucydides vi. 59 τοῖς δ᾽ Ἀθηναίοις χαλεπωτέρα μετὰ τοῦτο τυραννὶς κατέστη, Ath. Pol. 19μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα συνέβαινεν πολλῷ τραχυτέραν εἶναι τὴν τυραννίδα”. For the abiding memory of Hippias' tyranny at Athens cf. Aristoph. Wasps 502, Lysist. 618, 1151 f.

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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 14
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 19
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.59
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