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We now arrive at what may be called the second period of Grecian history, beginning with the rule of Peisistratus at Athens and of Croesus in Lydia.

It has been already stated that Peisistratus made himself despot of Athens in 560 b.c. He died in 527 b.c., and was succeeded by his son Hippias, who was deposed and expelled in 510 b.c., thus making an entire space of fifty years between the first exaltation of the father and the final expulsion of the son. These chronological points are settled on good evidence. But the thirty-three years covered by the reign of Peisistratus are interrupted by two periods of exile, one of them lasting not less than ten years, the other, five years; and the exact place of the years of exile, being nowhere laid down upon authority, has been differently determined by the conjectures of chronologers. Partly from this half-known chronology, partly from a very scanty collection of facts, the history of the half-century now before us can only be given very imperfectly. Nor can we wonder at our ignorance, when we find that even among the Athe­nians themselves, only a century afterward, statements the most incorrect and contradictory respecting the Peisistratids were in circulation, as Thucydides distinctly, and somewhat reproachfully, acquaints us.

More than thirty years had now elapsed since the promulgation of the Solonian constitution, whereby the annual Senate of Four Hundred had been created, and the public assembly (preceded in its action as well as aided and regulated by this senate) invested with a power of exacting responsibility from the magistrates after their year of office. The seeds of the subsequent democracy had thus been sown, and no doubt the administration of the archons had been practically softened by it. Yet nothing in the nature of a democratical sentiment yet had been created. A hundred years hence, we shall find that senti­ment unanimous and potent among the enterprising masses of Athens and Peiraeus, and shall be called upon to listen to loud complaints of the difficulty of dealing with “that angry, waspish, intractable little old man, Demus of Pnyx”—so Aristophanes calls the Athenian people to their faces, with a freedom which shows that he at least counted on their good temper. But between 560-510 b.c. the people are as passive in respect to political rights and securities as the most strenuous enemy of democracy could desire, and the government is transferred from hand to hand by bargains and cross-changes between two or three powerful men, at the head of partisans who echo their voices, espouse their personal quarrels, and draw the sword at their command. It was this ancient constitution—Athens as it stood before the Athenian democracy—which the Macedonian Antipater professed to restore in 322 b.c., when he caused the majority of the poorer citizens to be excluded altogether from the political franchise.

By the stratagem recounted in a former chapter, Peisistratus had obtained from the public assembly a guard which he had employed to acquire forcible possession of the acropolis. He thus became master of the administration; but he employed his power honorably and well, not disturbing the existing forms farther then was neces­sary to insure to himself full mastery. Nevertheless we may see by the verses of Solon (the only contemporary evidence which we pos­sess), that the prevalent sentiment was by no means favorable to his recent proceeding, and that there was in many minds a strong feeling both of terror and aversion, which presently manifested itself in the armed coalition of Ins two rivals—Megacles at the head of the Parali or inhabitants of the sea-board, and Lycurgus at the head of those in the neighboring plain. As the conjunction of the two formed a force too powerful for Peisistratus to withstand, he was driven into exile, after no long possession of his despotism. But the time came (how soon we cannot tell) when the two rivals who had expelled him quarreled. Megacles made propositions to Peisistratus, inviting him to resume the sovereignty, promising his own aid and stipulating that Peisistratus should marry his daughter. The conditions being accepted, a plan was laid between the two new allies for carrying them into effect, by a novel stratagem—since the simulated wounds and pretense of personal danger were not likely to be played off a second time with success. The two conspirators clothed a stately woman, six feet high, named Phye, in the panoply and costume of Athene—surrounded her with the professional accompaniments belonging to the goddess—and placed her in a chariot with Peisistratus by her side. In this guise the exiled despot and his adherents approached the city and drove up to the acropolis, preceded by heralds, who cried aloud to the people,—“Athenians, receive ye cordially Peisistratus, whom Athene has honored above all other men, and is now bringing back into her own acropolis”. The people in the city received the reputed goddess with implicit belief and demon­strations of worship, while among the country cantons the report quickly spread that Athene had appeared in person to restore Peisis­tratus: who thus found himself, without even a show of resistance, in possession of the acropolis and of the government. His own party, united with that of Megacles, were powerful enough to maintain him, when he had once acquired possession. And probably all, except the leaders, sincerely believed in the epiphany of the goddess, which came to be divulged as having been a deception, only after Peisistratus and Megacles had quarreled.

The daughter of Megacles, according to agreement, quickly became the wife of Peisistratus, but she bore him no children. It became known that her husband, having already adult sons by a former mar­riage, and considering that the Cylonian curse rested upon all the Alcmeonid family, did not intend that she should become a mother. Megacles was so incensed at this behavior, that he not only renounced his alliance with Peisistratus, but even made his peace with the third party, the adherents of Lycurgus—and assumed so menacing an attitude, that the despot was obliged to evacuate Attica. He retired to Eretria in Euboea, where he remained no less than ten years, employed in making preparations for a forcible return, and exercis­ing, even while in exile, a degree of influence much exceeding that of a private man. He not only lent valuable aid to Lygdamis of Naxos in constituting himself despot of that island, but possessed, we know not how, the means of rendering important service to differ­ent cities, Thebes in particular. They repaid him by large contribu­tions of money to aid in his re-establishment: mercenaries were hired from Argos, and the Naxian Lygdamis came himself both with money and with troops. Thus equipped and aided, Peisistratus landed at Marathon in Attica. How the Athenian government had been con­ducted during his ten years’ absence, we do not know; but the leaders of it permitted him to remain undisturbed at Marathon, and to assem­ble his partisans both from the city and from the country. It was not until he broke up from Marathon and had reached Pallene on his way to Athens, that they took the field against him. Moreover, their conduct, even when the two armies were near together, must have been either extremely negligent or corrupt; for Peisistratus found means to attack them unprepared, routing their forces almost without resistance. In fact, the proceedings have altogether the air of a con­certed betrayal. For the defeated troops, though unpursued, are said to have dispersed and returned to their homes forthwith, in obedi­ence to the proclamation of Peisistratus, who marched on to Athens, and found himself a third time ruler.

On this third successful entry, he took vigorous precautions for rendering his seat permanent. The Alcmaeonids and their immedi­ate partisans retired into exile: but he seized the children of those who remained and whose sentiments he suspected, as hostages for the behavior of their parents, and placed them in Naxos under the care of Lygdamis. Moreover he provided himself with a powerful body of Thracian mercenaries, paid by taxes levied upon the people: and he was careful to conciliate the favor of the gods by a purification of the sacred island of Delos. All the dead bodies which had been buried within sight of the temple of Apollo, were exhumed and reinterred further off. At this time the Delian festival—attended by the Asiatic Ionians and the islanders, and with which Athens was of course peculiarly connected—must have been beginning to decline from its pristine magnificence; for the subjugation of the continental Ionic cities by Cyrus had been already achieved, and the power of Samos, though increased under the despot Polycrates, seems to have increased at the expense and to the ruin of the smaller Ionic islands. Partly from the same feelings which led to the purification of Delos— partly as an act of party revenge—Peisistratus caused the houses of the Alcmaeonids to be leveled with the ground, and the bodies of the deceased members of that family to be disinterred and cast out of the country.

This third and last period of the rule of Peisistratus lasted several years, until his death in 527 b.c. It is said to have been so mild in its character, that he once even suffered himself to be cited for trial before the senate of Areopagus; yet as we know that he had to main­tain a large body of Thracian mercenaries out of the funds of the people, we shall be inclined to construe this eulogium comparatively rather than positively. Thucydides affirms that both he and his sons governed m a wise and virtuous spirit, levying from the people only an income tax of five per cent. This is high praise coming from such an authority, though it seems that we ought to make some allow­ance for the circumstance of Thucydides being connected by descent with the Peisistratid family. The judgment of Herodotus is also very favorable respecting Peisistratus; that of Aristotle favorable, yet qualified, since he includes these despots among the list of those who undertook public and sacred works with the deliberate view of impoverishing as well as of occupying their subjects. This supposi­tion is countenanced by the prodigious scale upon which the temple of Zeus Olympius at Athens was begun by Peisistratus—a scale much exceeding either the Parthenon or the temple of Athene Polias; both of which, nevertheless, were erected in later times, when the means of Athens were decidedly larger and her disposition to demonstrative piety certainly no way diminished. It was left by him unfinished, nor was it ever completed until the Roman emperor Hadrian undertook the task. Moreover Peisistratus introduced the greater Panathenaic festival, solemnized every four years, in the third Olym­pic year: the annual Panathenaic festival, henceforward called the Lesser, was still continued.

I have already noticed, at considerable length, the care which he bestowed in procuring full and correct copies of the Homeric poems, as well as in improving the recitation of them at the Panathenaic festival,—a proceeding for which we owe him much gratitude, but which has been shown to be erroneously interpreted by various critics. He probably also collected the works of other poets—called by Aulus Gellius, in language not well suited to the sixth century b.c., a library thrown open to the public. The service which he thus rendered must have been highly valuable at a time when writing and reading were not widely extended. His son Hipparchus followed up the same taste, taking pleasure in the society of the most eminent poets of the day,—Simonides, Anacreon, and Lasus; not to mention the Athenian mystic Onomacritus, who though not pretend­ing to the gift of prophecy himself, passed for the proprietor and editor of the various prophecies ascribed to the ancient name of Musaeus. The Peisistratids, well versed in these prophecies, set great value upon them, and guarded their integrity so carefully, that Onomacritus, being detected on one occasion in the act of interpolat­ing them, was banished by Hipparchus in consequence. The statues of Hermes, erected by this prince or by his personal friends in vari­ous parts of Attica, and inscribed with short moral sentences, are extolled by the author of the Platonic dialogue called Hipparchus, with an exaggeration which approaches to irony. It is certain, however, that both the sons of Peisistratus, as well as himself, were exact in fulfilling the religious obligations of the state, and orna­mented the city in several ways, especially the public fountain Kallirrhoe. They are said to have maintained the preexisting forms of law and justice, merely taking care always to keep themselves and their adherents in the effective offices of state, and in the full reality of power. They were, moreover, modest and popular in their personal demeanor, and charitable to the poor; yet one striking example occurs of unscrupulous enmity in their murder of Cimon by night through the agency of hired assassins. There is good reason, however, for believing that the government both of Peisistratus and of his sons was in practice generally mild until after the death of Hipparchus by the hands of Harmodius and Aristogeiton, after which event the surviving Hippias became alarmed, cruel, and oppressive during his last four years. Hence the harshness of this concluding period left upon the Athenian mind that profound and imperishable hatred, against the dynasty generally, which Thucydides reluctantly admits: laboring to show that it was not deserved by Peisistratus, nor at first by Hippias.


Peisistratus left three legitimate sons—Hippias, Hipparchus, and Thessalus. The general belief at Athens among the contemporaries of Thucydides was that Hipparchus was the eldest of the three and had succeeded him. Yet the historian emphatically pronounces this to be a mistake, and certifies upon his own responsibility that Hippias was both eldest son and successor. Such an assurance from him, fortified by certain reasons in themselves not very conclusive, is sufficient ground for our belief—the more so as Herodotus coun­tenances the same version; but we are surprised at such a degree of historical carelessness in the Athenian public, and seemingly even in Plato, about a matter both interesting and comparatively recent. In order to abate this surprise, and to explain how the name of Hip­parchus came to supplant that of Hippias in the popular talk, Thucydides recounts the memorable story of Harmodius and Aristogeiton.

Of these two Athenian citizens, both belonging to the ancient gens called Gephyraei, the former was a beautiful youth, attached to the latter by a mutual friendship and devoted intimacy which Grecian manners did not condemn. Hipparchus made repeated propositions to Harmodius, which were repelled, but which, on becoming known to Aristogeiton, excited both his jealousy and his fears lest the dis­appointed suitor should employ force—fears justified by the pro­ceedings not unusual with Grecian despots, and by the absence of all legal protection against outrage from such a quarter. Under these feelings, he began to look about, in the best way that he could, for some means of putting down the despotism. Meanwhile Hipparchus, though not entertaining any designs of violence, was so incensed at the refusal of Harmodius, that he could not be satisfied without doing something to insult or humiliate him. In order to conceal the motive from which the insult really proceeded, he offered it, not directly to Harmodius, but to his sister. He caused this young maiden to be one day summoned to take her station in a religious procession as one of the Kanephorae or basket-carriers, according to the practice usual at Athens. But when she arrived at the place where her fellow-maidens were assembled, she was dis­missed with scorn as unworthy of so respectable a function, and the summons addressed to her was disavowed.

An insult thus publicly offered filled Harmodius with indignation, and still farther exasperated the feelings of Aristogeiton. Both of them resolving at all hazards to put an end to the despotism, con­certed means for aggression with a few select associates. They awaited the festival of the Great Panathenaea, wherein the body of the citizens were accustomed to march up in armed procession, with spear and shield, to the acropolis; this being the only day on which an armed body could come together without suspicion. The con­spirators appeared armed like the rest of the citizens, but carrying concealed daggers besides. Harmodius and Aristogeiton undertook with their own hands to kill the two Peisistratids, while the rest promised to stand forward immediately for their protection against the foreign mercenaries; and though the whole number of persons engaged was small, they counted upon the spontaneous sympathies of the armed bystanders in an effort to regain their liberties, so soon as the blow should once be struck. The day of the festival having arrived, Hippias, with his foreign body-guard around him, was marshaling the armed citizens for procession, in the Kerameikus without the gates, when Harmodius and Aristogeiton approached with concealed daggers to execute their purpose. On coming near, they were thunderstruck to behold one of their own fellow-conspira­tors talking familiarly with Hippias, who was of easy access to every man. They immediately concluded that the plot was betrayed. Expecting to be seized, and wrought up to a state of desperation, they resolved at least not to die without having revenged themselves on Hipparchus; whom they found within the city gates near the chapel called Leokorion, and immediately slew him. His attendant guards killed Harmodius on the spot; while Aristogeiton, rescued for the moment by the surrounding crowd, was afterward taken, and per­ished in the tortures applied to make him disclose his accomplices.

The news flew quickly to Hippias in the Kerameikus, who heard it earlier than the armed citizens near him awaiting his order for the commencement of the procession. With extraordinary self-command, he took advantage of this precious instant of foreknowledge, and advanced toward them,—directing them to drop their arms for a short time, and assemble on an adjoining ground. They unsus­pectingly obeyed; upon which he ordered his guards to take posses­sion of the vacant arms. Being now undisputed master, he seized the persons of all those citizens whom he mistrusted—especially all those who had daggers about them, which it was not the practice to carry in the Panathenaic procession.

Such is the memorable narrative of Harmodius and Aristogeiton, peculiarly valuable inasmuch as it all comes from Thucydides. To possess great power—to be above legal restraint—to inspire extraor­dinary fear—is a privilege so much coveted by the giants among mankind, that we may well take notice of those cases in which it brings misfortune even upon themselves. The fear inspired by Hip­parchus—of designs which he did not really entertain, but was likely to entertain, and competent to execute without hindrance—was here the grand cause of his destruction.


The conspiracy here detailed happened in 514 b.c., during the thirteenth year of the reign of Hippias, which lasted four years longer, until 510 b.c. These last four years, in the belief of the Athe­nian public, counted for his whole reign; nay, many persons made the still greater historical mistake of eliding these lust four years altogether, and of supposing that the conspiracy of Harmodius and Aristogeiton had deposed the Peisistratid government and liberated Athens. Both poets and philosophers shared this faith, which is distinctly put forth in the beautiful and popular Skolion or song on the subject: the two friends are there celebrated as the authors of liberty at Athens—“they slew the despot and gave to Athens equal laws.” So inestimable a present was alone sufficient to enshrine in the minds of the subsequent democracy those who had sold their lives to purchase it. Moreover, we must recollect that the intimate connection between the two, though repugnant to the modern reader, was regarded at Athens with sympathy,—so that the story took hold of the Athenian mind by the vein of romance conjointly with that of patriotism. Harmodius and Aristogeiton were afterward com­memorated both as the winners and as the protomartyrs of Athenian liberty. Statues were erected in their honor shortly after the final expulsion of the Peisistratids; immunity from taxes and public burdens was granted to the descendants of their families; and the speaker who proposed the abolition of such immunities, at a time when the number had been abusively multiplied, made his only special exception in favor of this respected lineage. And since the name of Hipparchus was universally notorious as the person slain, we discover how it was that he came to be considered by an uncriti­cal public as the predominant member of the Peisistratid family— the eldest son and successor of Peisistratus—the reigning despot—to the comparative neglect of Hippias. The same public probably cherished many other anecdotes, not the less eagerly believed because they could not be authenticated, respecting this eventful period.

Whatever may have been the previous moderation of Hippias, indignation at the death of his brother, and fear for his own safety, now induced him to drop it altogether. It is attested both by Thucydides and Herodotus, and admits of no doubt, that his power was now employed harshly and cruelly—that he put to death a con­siderable number of citizens. We find also a statement noway improbable in itself and affirmed both in Pausanias and in Plutarch—inferior authorities, yet still in this case sufficiently credible—that he caused Lesena, the mistress of Aristogeiton, to be tortured to death, in order to extort from her a knowledge of the secrets and accomplices of the latter. But as he could not but be sensible that this system of terrorism was full of peril to himself, so he looked out for shelter and support in case of being expelled from Athens. With this view he sought to connect himself with Darius, king of Persia—a connection full of consequences to be hereafter developed. Aeantides, son of Hippoclus the despot of Lampsacus on the Helles­pont, stood high at this time in the favor of the Persian monarch, which induced Hippias to give him his daughter Archedike in marriage; no small honor to the Lampsakene, in the estimation of Thucydides. To explain how Hippias came to fix upon this town, however, it is necessary to say a few words on the foreign policy of the Peisistratids.

It has already been mentioned that the Athenians, even so far back as the days of the poet Alkaeus, had occupied Sigeium in the Troad, and had there carried on war with the Mitylenaeans; so that their acquisi­tions in these regions date much before the time of Peisistratus Owing probably to this circumstance, an application was made to them in the early part of his reign from the Dolonkian Thracians, inhabitants of the Chersonese on the opposite side of the Hellespont, for aid against their powerful neighbors the Absinthian tribe of Thra­cians. Opportunity was thus offered for sending out a colony to acquire this valuable peninsula for Athens. Peisistratus willingly entered into the scheme, while Miltiades son of Kypselus, a noble Athenian living impatiently under his despotism, was no less pleased to take the lead in executing it: his departure and that of other mal­contents as founders of a colony suited the purpose of all parties. According to the narrative of Herodotus—alike pious and picturesque, and doubtless circulating as authentic at the annual games which the Chersonesites, even in his time, celebrated to the honor of their oekist—it is the Delphian god who directs the scheme and singles out the individual. The chiefs of the distressed Dolonkians going to Delphi to crave assistance toward procuring Grecian colonists, were directed to choose for their oekist the individual who should first show them hospitality on their quitting the temple. They departed and marched all along what was called the Sacred Road, through Phocis and Boeotia to Athens, without receiving a single hospitable invitation. At length they entered Athens, and passed by the house of Miltiades while he himself was sitting in front of it. Seeing men whose cos­tume and arms marked them out as strangers, he invited them into his house and treated them kindly: upon which they apprised him that he was the man fixed upon by the oracle, and adjured him not to refuse his concurrence. After asking for himself personally the opinion of the oracle, and receiving an affirmative answer, he con­sented ; sailing as oekist at the head of a body of Athenian emigrants to the Chersonese.

Having reached this peninsula, and having been constituted despot of the mixed Thracian and Athenian population, he lost no time in fortifying the narrow isthmus by a wall reaching all across from Kardia to Paktya, a distance of about four miles and a half; so that the Absinthian invaders were for the time effectually shut out, though the protection was not permanently kept up. He also entered into a war with Lampsacus on the Asiatic side of the strait, but was unfortunate enough to fall into an ambuscade and become a prisoner. Nothing preserved his life except the immediate interference of Croesus, king of Lydia, coupled with strenuous menaces addressed tobthe Lampsakenes, who found themselves compelled to release their prisoner. Miltiades had acquired much favor with Croesus, in what manner we are not told. He died childless some time afterward, while his nephew Stesagoras, who succeeded him, perished by assas­sination some time subsequent to the death of Peisistratus at Athens.


Dibujo en blanco y negro de una persona

Descripción generada automáticamente con confianza media


The expedition of Miltiades to the Chersonese must have occurred early after the first usurpation of Peisistratus, since even his impris­onment by the Lampsakenes happened before the ruin of Croesus (546 b.c). But it was not till much later—probably during the third and most powerful period of Peisistratus—that the latter undertook his expedition against Sigeium in the Troad. This place appears to have fallen into the hands of the Mitylenaeans: Peisistratus retook it, and placed there his illegitimate son Hegesistratus as despot. The Mitylenaeans may have been enfeebled at this time (somewhere between 537-527 b.c.) not only by the strides of Persian conquest on the main­land, but also by the ruinous defeat which they suffered from Polycrates and the Samians. Hegesistratus maintained the place against various hostile attempts, throughout all the reign of Hippias, so that the Athenian possessions in those regions comprehended at this period both the Chersonese and Sigeium. To the former of the two, Hippias sent out Miltiades, nephew of the first oekist, as gov­ernor after the death of his brother Stesagoras. The new governor found much discontent in the peninsula, but succeeded in subduing it by entrapping and imprisoning the principal men in each town. He farther took into his pay a regiment of 500 mercenaries, and married Hegesipyle, daughter of the Thracian king Olorus. It must have been about 518 b.c. that this second Miltiades went out to the Chersonese. He seems to have been obliged to quit it for a time, after the Scythian expedition of Darius, in consequence of having incurred the hostility of the Persians; but he was there from the beginning of the Ionic revolt until about 493 b.c., or two or three years before the battle of Marathon, on which occasion we shall find him acting commander of the Athenian army.

Both the Chersonese and Sigeium, however, though Athenian pos­sessions, were now tributary and dependent on Persia. It was to Persia that Hippias, during his last years of alarm, looked for support in the event of being expelled from Athens: he calculated upon Sige­ium as a shelter, and upon Aeantides as well as Darius as an ally. Neither the one nor the other failed him.

The same circumstances which alarmed Hippias and rendered his dominion in Attica at once more oppressive and more odious, tended of course to raise the hopes of bis enemies, the Athenian exiles, with the powerful Alcmaeonids at their head. Believing the favorable moment to be come, they even ventured upon an invasion of Attica, and occupied a post called Leipsydrion in the mountain range of Parnes, which separates Attica from Boeotia. But their schemes altogether failed: Hippias defeated and drove them out of the country. His dominion now seemed confirmed, for the Lacedaemo­nians were on terms of intimate friendship with him; and Amyntas, king of Macedon, as well as the Thessalians, were his allies. Yet the exiles whom he had beaten in the open field succeeded in an unexpected maneuver, which, favored oy circumstances, proved his ruin.

By an accident which had occurred in the year 548 b.c., the Del­phian temple was set on fire and burnt. To repair this grave loss was an object of solicitude to all Greece; but the outlay required was exceedingly heavy, and it appears to have been long before the money could be collected. The Amphiktyons decreed that one-fourth of the cost should be borne by the Delphians themselves, who found themselves so heavily taxed by such assessment, that they sent envoys throughout all Greece to collect subscriptions in aid, and received, among other donations, from the Greek settlers in Egypt twenty minae, besides a large present of alum from the Egyptian king Amasis: their munificent benefactor Croesus fell a victim to the Persians in 546 b.c., so that his treasure was no longer open to them. The total sum required was 300 talents—a prodigious amount to be collected from the dispersed Grecian cities, who acknowledged no common sov­ereign authority, and among whom the proportion reasonable to ask from each was difficult to determine with satisfaction to all parties. At length however the money was collected, and the Amphiktyons were in a situation to make a contract for the building of the temple. The Alcmaeonids, who had been in exile ever since the third and final acquisition of power by Peisistratus, took the contract. In exe­cuting it, they not only performed the work in the best manner, but even went much beyond the terms stipulated; employing Parian marble for the frontage where the material prescribed to them was coarse stone. As was before remarked in the case of Peisistratus when he was in banishment, we are surprised to find exiles (whose property had been confiscated) so amply furnished with money, unless we are to suppose that Cleisthenes inherited through his mother wealth independent of Attica, and deposited it in the temple of the Samian Hera. But the fact is unquestionable, and they gained signal reputation throughout the Hellenic world for their liberal per­formance of so important an enterprise. That the erection took considerable time, we cannot doubt. It seems to have been finished, as far as we can conjecture, about a year or two after the death of Hipparchus—512 b.c.—more than thirty years after the confla­gration.

To the Delphians, especially, the rebuilding of their temple on so superior a scale was the most essential of all services, and their grati­tude toward the Alcmaeonids was proportionally great. Partly through such a feeling, partly through pecuniary presents, Cleisthenes was thus enabled to work the oracle for political purposes, and to call forth the powerful arm of Sparta against Hippias. Whenever any Spartan presented himself to consult the oracle, either on private or public business, the answer of the priestess was always in one strain—“Athens must be liberated.” The constant repetition of that mandate at length extorted from the piety of the Lacedaemonians a reluctant compliance. Reverence for the god overcame their strong feeling of friendship toward the Peisistratids, and Anchimolius, son of Aster, was dispatched by sea to Athens at the head of a Spartan force to expel them. On land­ing at Phalerum, however, he found them already forewarned and. prepared, as well as farther strengthened by 1,000 horse specially demanded from their allies in Thessaly. Upon the plain of Phalerum this latter force was found peculiarly effective, so that the division of Anchimolius were driven back to their ships with great loss, and he himself slain. The defeated armament had probably been small, and its repulse only provoked the Lacedaemonians to send a larger, under the command of their king Cleomenes in person, who on this occasion marched into Attica by land. On reaching the plain of Athens, he was assailed by the Thessalian horse, but repelled them in so gallant a style, that they at once rode off and returned to their native country; abandoning their allies with a faith­lessness not unfrequent in the Thessalian character. Cleomenes marched on without farther resistance to Athens, where he found himself, together with the Alcmaeonids and the malcontent Athe­nians generally, in possession of the town. At that time there was no fortification except round the acropolis, into which Hippias retired, with his mercenaries and the citizens most faithful to him; having taken care to provision it well beforehand, so that it was not less secure against famine than against assault. He might have defied the besieging force, which was no wav prepared for a long blockade. Yet, not altogether confiding in his position, he tried to send his children by stealth out of the country; in which proceeding the children were taken prisoners. To procure their restoration, Hippias consented to all that was demanded of him, and withdrew from Attica to Sigeium in the Troad within the space of five days.

Thus fell the Peisistratid dynasty in 510 b.c., fifty years after the first usurpation of its founder. It was put down through the aid of foreigners, and those foreigners, too, wishing well to it in their hearts, though hostile from a mistaken feeling of divine injunction. Yet both the circumstances of its fall, and the course of events which followed, conspire to show that it possessed few attached friends in the country, and that the expulsion of Hippias was wel­comed unanimously by the vast majority of Athenians. His family and chief partisans would accompany him into exile—probably as a matter of course, without requiring any formal sentence of condem­nation. An altar was erected in the acropolis, with a column hard by, commemorating both the past iniquity of the dethroned dynasty, and the names of all its members.