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The pisistratid tyranny at Athens

Worthington, Ian (1981) The pisistratid tyranny at Athens. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is a history of the Pisistratid Tyranny at Athens, with particular concentration on the years 546 to 510, which is often viewed as merely an interim stage between the reforms of Solon and the more important legislation of Cleisthenes leading (with later help from Ephialtes) to democracy. However, the tyranny - which is the first in the history of Athens - marks a much more important stage in Athenian development, as is evident from the source material in existence. The first chapter serves as an Introduction and deals with the rise of Pisistratus to unchallengable power in 546 after the Battle of Pallene, and following two previous attempts to seize power. An examination will also be made of the problem of chronology and the principal source material available for this period. The following chapters are then divided into the constitutional, economic, foreign, religious and cultural aspects of the tyranny, all of which received attention and state guidance. In many areas, for example drama and trade exports, great credit has to be attached to the policies of the tyrants. The final chapter (VII), which is divided into two parts, traces the over throw of the tyrannic rule in 510 owing to Spartan intervention, and also acts as a Conclusion on the tyranny as a whole and its place in the development of Athens. The post-Aristotelian sense of the word tyranny cannot be applied to the reign of the Pisistratids (at least not until 514 following the murder of Hipparchus), which was one of general enlightenment. Although the tyrants' position in the state was unconstitutional, resting on force as opposed to legality, political advancement was not halted, and the loyalty of the people to the city was won not by coercion but by policies designed for the general well-being and the provision of a period of peace from civil disorder.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1981
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Jul 2013 11:00

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