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Pisistratus(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
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. . 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.
(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.
REFERENCESKhvostov, 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.
L. M. GLUSKINA