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Related to Pisistratus: Cleisthenes, Isagoras


(pīsĭs`trətəs), 605?–527 B.C., Greek statesman, tyrant of Athens. His power was founded on the cohesion of the rural citizens, whom he consolidated with farseeing land laws. His coup (c.560 B.C.) was probably not unpopular. His rivals, 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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 and the aristocracy, managed to exile him twice, but in his last years he established himself sufficiently to leave Athens in the hands of his sons, 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 HipparchusHipparchus
, c.555–514 B.C., Athenian political figure, son of Pisistratus. After the death of his father, he was closely associated with his brother Hippias, tyrant of Athens, in ruling the Athenian city-state.
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. He first won Salamis for Athens and established Attic hegemony in the Dardanelles. He did much to enhance Athenian cultural prestige, held great festivals like the Panathenaea, and beautified the city. His building efforts included fountains and temples, such as the great temple of Zeus at Athens. He had an official text of Homer written down. His name also appears as Peisistratus.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Peisistratos). Lived in the sixth century B.C., in Athens. Athenian tyrant; ruled 560–527 B.C., with interruptions.

Pisistratus acted in the interests of the peasantry and the artisan and trader strata of the demos and was opposed to the interests of the clan aristocracy. Evidently he distributed to the rural poor lands that were confiscated from the eupatridae, the Athenian landholding aristocracy, and he organized a system for extending state credit on favorable terms. The large amount of public construction during Pisistratus’ reign ensured work for the poor, and state subsidies for disabled soldiers were established. State coins—the Pisistratean tetradrachm, for example— were minted from ores obtained from expanded operation of the Lavrion Mines and the Pangaean silver and gold mines, which had been seized by Pisistratus.

During the reign of Pisistratus a mercenary army was created. Solon’s constitution was retained, but civic and religious positions were filled by supporters of Pisistratus. Athens was transformed into the cultural center of Greece: the temples of Pallas Athena and the Pythian Apollo were erected on the Acropolis and the Temple of Demeter in Eleusis. A new marketplace was built, as was the Enneakrounos fountain house, which remained in service to the 18th century. Construction of the harbor at Piraeus also progressed.


Khvostov, M. M. “O sotsial’nom kharaktere afinskoi tiranii VI v.” In Sbornik statei v chest’D. A. Korsakova. Kazan, 1913.
Nikol’skaia, R. A. “Rannegrecheskaia tiraniia.” Uch. zap. Belorusskogo gos. un-ta: Ser. ist., 1953, FASC. 16.
Skrzhinskaia, M. V. “Ustnaia traditsiia o Pisistrate.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1969, NO. 4.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


?600--527 bc, tyrant of Athens: he established himself in firm control of the city following his defeat of his aristocratic rivals at Pallene (546)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
And immediately the report spread throughout the demes that Athena was bringing Pisistratus back, and the citizens, believing that the woman was the goddess herself, worshipped the human and welcomed Pisistratus.
Other references to Herodotus are: Aristotle's Constitution of Athens, 14, where he is cited as the source of one of the hypotheses concerning the identity of Phya, the woman accompanying Pisistratus in his dramatic entrance to Athens; Rhetorica 3.16.1409a27, where his writing is presented as an example of the "free-running" style of prose; Rhetorica 3.16.1417a7 (Herodotus, Historiae, 2.30), where Aristotle refers to the historian's style as an example of the form of narration that discredits one's adversaries.
Solon's boy lovers included Pisistratus, the future tyrant and Solon's lifelong ally.
(9) At this, the court: Helen, Telemachus, Menelaus and Pisistratus break down in tears.
It's as if the technologies of sound reproduction have reversed the moment of Pisistratus (the tyrant of Athens who, the lore has it, instigated whatever process it was that got Homer written down, transforming the Iliad and Odyssey from variable oral poems (4) into fixed texts).
Had Polyphemus practiced the values of xenia, as evidenced earlier in Telemachus' treatment of the stranger at his doorsill and Menelaus's hospitality toward Telemachus and Pisistratus on their unannounced visit to the Spartan king, he would not have been so forward as to ask these probing questions before making his "guests" welcome.
According to Strauss, Thucydides believes that, since the Athenians purified the same island as Pisistratus did and reestablished an Ionian athletic festival that had existed during Homer's time on the island, humans will consistently react to similar situations in the same way.
Athenian ruler Pisistratus sought to bring the poor peasants and woodcutters of the Attic countryside into the life of the city of Athens.
Other characters, who may or may not be members of the Seven Sages (depending on who is providing the list), include: (8) Anacharsis, (9) Myson, (10) Pherecydes, (11) Epimenides, (12) Pisistratus, and (13) Acusilaus.
Athens, where Epimenides, Pisistratus and Solon discuss the policy of Athens (i.e., England) towards its colony Salamina (i.e., Ireland).
It was here that his father Pisistratus had landed in 546 for his successful bid for the tyranny in Athens.