Pisistratus and Tyranny

In: Historical Events

Submitted By saprta224
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Prompt: Discuss how did Pisistratus sought to retain power and how did his sons lost it.

Pisistratus was a tyrant in Archaic Athens who formed a party/gathered his partisans by championing the cause of the men who live beyond the hills. He was considered the most democratic of the three tyrants during the factional dispute of the Athenians. Psistratus championed the lower class and while he was in power, he was not hesitant to confront the aristocracy. He greatly reduced their privileges, confiscated their lands and gave the lands to the poor, as well as funding many religious and artistic programs. He was exiled twice during his rule and both times he found a way to return and regain his power. The first time, he rode into the city in a golden chariot accompanied by a woman playing the role of Athena. The second time he went around to the local cities and gathered support from them until he was able to come back to Athens and re-stake his claim. He was not a particularly violent or oppressive tyrant, but instead he was temperate and valued the current constitutional government. This stability helped him to maintain support and power throughout his rule. He heavily favored the arts and set about to beautify Athens (which was popular among all the classes). His sons, Hippias and Hipparchus ruled the city in a very similar way after their father’s death. However, after Hipparchus was murdered, his brother Hippias became very paranoid. He became very oppressive which caused the people of Athens to hold him in very low regard. Eventually he was deposed by a careful plot by the Alcmaenoid family whom bribed a Pythian Priestess/Oracle to convince the Spartans it was the God’s will to attack Athens and liberate its people from…...

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