Kleisthenes of Athens

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Kleisthenes of Athens ( Greek  Κλεισθένης Kleisthénēs , stressed on the first syllable in German; * around 570 BC ; † after 507 BC ) was a politician and statesman in Athens in the 6th century BC. His name is inextricably linked with the 508/507 BC. Carried out Kleisthenischen reforms , which are regarded in historical research as a milestone on the way to Attic democracy .

Kleisthenes came from the Alkmeoniden family and was the son of Megacles . His mother Agariste was the daughter of the Sicyon tyrant Kleisthenes . Kleisthenes of Athens was probably already under the tyrant Hippias in the year 525/24 BC. BC Archon . The Alkmeonids belonged to the Eupatridai , the influential Attic noble families, and were thus potential rivals of the Peisistratiden tyranny . Perhaps soon after his archon, Kleisthenes left Athens with the Alkmeonids in order to mobilize against the Peisistratids from outside. With financial donations to the oracle of Delphi , which served the structural design, the local priesthood was taken against the Athens tyrant regime. The Spartans were won over to plans to overthrow the Peisistratids through appropriate oracle sayings, which Cleomenes I with the expulsion of Hippias in 510 BC. Finally brought about.

Now Kleisthenes and the Alkmeonids returned to Athens from exile. Initially an ally, the 508/507 BC became Isagoras reigning as archon to the opponent of Kleisthenes, who was aiming for a far-reaching reform. After the intervention of the Spartan king Cleomenes I in favor of Isagoras, Kleisthenes and his political companions left Athens again, but were soon able to return because the council, as the representative of large parts of the citizenry, now turned against Isagoras and his numerically small Spartan supporter corps. Kleisthenes was finally given the opportunity to fundamentally reorganize the political structures of the Attic polis through a radical reform work, in a way that mixed the citizenship and made him the founder of democracy for Herodotus .

It is unclear whether the introduction of ostracism can be traced back to Kleisthenes , which seems to agree with his isonomy- bound reform approach and is ascribed to him in the work Athenaion Politeia . The traditional sources are silent about the further fate of Kleisthenes beyond his reform work.



Individual evidence

  1. ^ Kai Brodersen, Wolfgang Günther, Hatto H. Schmidt (Ed.): Historical Greek inscriptions in translation . tape 1 , no. 17 . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1992.