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Related to Kleisthenes: Peisistratus, Pisistratus


fl. 510 B.C., Athenian statesman. He was the head of his family, the AlcmaeonidaeAlcmaeonidae
, Athenian family powerful in the 7th, 6th, and 5th cent. B.C. Blamed for the murder of the followers of the would-be tyrant Cylon (c.632 B.C.), which had been ordered by Megacles, an archon who was a member of the family, they were considered attainted and were
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, after the exile of HippiasHippias
, tyrant (527 B.C.–510 B.C.) of Athens, eldest son of Pisistratus. Hippias governed Athens after the death of his father. His younger brother Hipparchus was closely associated in office with him until Hipparchus was assassinated in 514 B.C.
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, and with Spartan help had made himself undisputed ruler of Athens by 506 B.C. He established a more democratic constitution by weakening the clan system and the local parties and by organizing the districts into political rather than social divisions. The Alcmaeonidae thus became leaders of a democratic party, a reorientation making them anti-Spartan instead of pro-Spartan as earlier. An attempt of his rival, Isagoras, to overturn the reforms of Cleisthenes after Cleisthenes had been sent into exile failed, and Cleisthenes was recalled.



Athenian lawmaker of the sixth century B.C. From the Alcmeonid clan.

Cleisthenes headed the movement against Peisistratus, which ended in the banishment in 510 B.C. of the tyrant Hippias, Peisistratus’ son, from Athens and the elevation of Cleisthenes to virtual head of state. He introduced democratic reforms that, in the words of F. Engels, constituted a revolution, destroying “the last remnants of the gentile constitution” (K. Marx and F. En-gels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 21, p. 117). Ten territorial phylae were created to replace the four clan ones (each phyle was composed of three parts representing the urban, coastal, and interior regions of Attica). In this way the influence of the tribal nobility in the new phylae was significantly reduced. The territorial demes became the administrative, economic, cultural, and political units. Other reforms of Cleisthenes also were democratic in nature, including the replacing of the Council of 400, selected on the basis of the clan phylae, by one of 500 (boule), whose members were elected from each of the ten territorial phylae. He also introduced ostracism, which was directed against the danger of a tyrannical coup. Cleisthenes created a college of ten generals (strategoi) who had governing authority and headed the Athenian troops. His reforms consolidated the triumph of the Athenian demos over the clan aristocracy.


Zel’in, K. K. Bor’ba politicheskikh gruppirovok v Attike v VI v. do n. e. Moscow, 1964.
Eliot, C. W. J. Coastal Demes of Attica: A Study of the Policy of Cleisthenes. Toronto, 1962.


References in periodicals archive ?
1); he states that Peisistratos had the name of his grand-father, a statement which evokes the Herodotean Kleisthenes who also had the name of his grand-father, Kleisthenes of Sikyon.
5, that Kleisthenes created the demarchs, it is plausible, even if not provable, that some of the responsibilities cited here went back to the formation of the constitution.
As adoptive father and son, Hippothoos and Kleisthenes are now incorporated in an institutional grid that guarantees the permanence of their co-habitation, (120) even though the erotic component may be gone.
126-31) of Kleisthenes, the sixth-century tyrant of Sikyon, who married his daughter Agariste to the Athenian Megakles.
It is, to be sure, highly likely that a comic persona, once created, fed on itself, so that some frequently satirized persons ended up being better known to the public through comedy itself than in any other way: the allegedly effeminate Kleisthenes is perhaps the best example of this process.
1 for Kleisthenes, where, however, it substituted for the dok-- formula.
The premise, briefly stated, is that Aeschylus gave dramatic structure to the vision of Thespis in much the same way that Kleisthenes provided political infrastructure for the reforms of Solon.
The fact that it later consisted of fifty-one members suggests that it was reorganized either by Kleisthenes or Ephialtes.
Indeed, our earliest mention of rhapsodic performance at contests comes by way of Herodotus, who alludes to the contests at Sikyon that were banned by Kleisthenes (5.
One would expect all the women to stay for the whole meeting, and there seems to be no dramatic reason for Aristophanes to make this woman leave - except that Kleisthenes is going to arrive presently (at 571) to address the meeting.
The landmarks along the road to that democracy, the political innovations of the great Athenian reformers like Solon and Kleisthenes, represent pivotal moments in the elevation of the demos, the common people, to citizenship.
One son is assassinated, and ultimately a series of reforms by Kleisthenes institutes profound and enduring change in the political role of the Athenian elites.