A Tyrant: A Reformer And A Tyrant

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· A Reformer and a Tyrant · In the earliest history of the Greek world, as far as anyone can tell, the political landscape consisted of small-time “kings” ruling over their own homes and immediate surroundings. In certain places, individual kings acquired power over larger territories, and influence over neighboring kings. This is what the world depicted in the Homeric epics looks like. Read about the evidence Thucydides (Thuc.). Plot on a Map Attica. Attic. Athens. The Athenians thought that the mythological hero Theseus was their first king, and they attributed to him the birth of the Athenian state. Before Theseus, the peninsula of Attica was home to various, independent towns and villages, with Athens being the largest. Theseus, when he had gained power in Athens, abolished the local governments in the towns;…show more content…
He used his earned fame to gather a group of supporters, seized the Acropolis, and attempted to make himself tyrant of Athens. The attempt was a complete failure and ended with Cylon and his party hiding by the statue of Athene, surrounded by an angry mob. Lured out by promises of their own safety, Cylon and his men were killed by members of the aristocratic family called the Alcmeonidae (see Paus. 1.40.1; Paus. 1.28.1; Paus. 7.25.3; Hdt. 5.71). This was a political crisis, both because of the attempted coup by an upstart and because of his murder by the arisocrats—he had claimed the goddess’s protection, which ought to have been respected. Whether this crisis brought about subsequent political changes we cannot tell, but it certainly left its mark on Athenian politics. The old families could not longer be confident in ruling at will forever, and the stain on the reputation of the Alcmeonidae lasted for hundreds of years—it would cause trouble for Pericles, an Alcmeonid, in the 5th

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