Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XIX.: Expulsion of the Peisistratidæ. - Constitution of Athens
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CHAP. XIX.: Expulsion of the Peisistratidæ. - Aristotle, Constitution of Athens [320 BC]
Aristotle’s Constitution of Athens, trans. Thomas J. Dymes (London: Seeley and Co., 1891).
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Expulsion of the Peisistratidæ.
In consequence of these events the tyranny became much harsher; for both by the vengeance he had taken for his brother, and his many executions and banishments, Hippias had made himself an object of distrust and bitter hatred to all. And about the fourth year after the death of Hipparchus, when things were going badly with him in the city, he took in hand the fortification of Munychia, with the intention of shifting his residence to that quarter. Whilst he was engaged in this work he was driven out by Kleomenes, King of Lacedæmon, as the Laconians were perpetually receiving oracles inciting them to put an end to the tyranny for the following reason. The exiles, at the head of whom were the Alkmæonidæ, were not able by their own unassisted efforts to effect their return, but failed in every attempt; for they were unsuccessful in their intrigues in every instance, and when they fortified Lipsydrium by Parnes, in Attica, where some of their partizans in the city came to join them, they were forced to surrender by the tyrants; hence in later days after this calamity, they used always to sing in their banquet-songs:
Failing, then, in all their attempts, they contracted to build the temple at Delphi, by which means they became well supplied with money for procuring the help of the Laconians. For the Pythia was always ordering the Lacedæmonians, when they consulted the oracle, to make Athens free. To this it directly incited the Spartiatæ, although the Peisistratidæ were their friends. And the friendship that subsisted between the Argives and the Peisistratidæ contributed in no less degree to the eagerness of the Laconians. At first, then, they despatched Anchimolus with a force by sea. And after his defeat and death, owing to Kineas the Thessalian having come to the help of the Peisistratidæ with a thousand horse, being further angered by this incident, they despatched Kleomenes their king with a larger force by land. He first gained a victory over the Thessalian horse as they were trying to prevent him from entering Attica, and then shutting up Hippias in what is called the Pelasgic fort, he began to besiege him in conjunction with the Athenians. And as he was blockading it, the sons of the Peisistratidæ happened to be taken prisoners when making a sally. Under these circumstances the Peisistratidæ came to an agreement, stipulating for the safety of their children; and having conveyed away their property within five days, they handed over the Acropolis to the Athenians in the archonship of Harpaktides, having held the tyranny after the death of their father about seventeen years, the whole period, including that of their father’s power, amounting to forty-nine years.