There are no contemporary literary sources on Peisistratos. According to later tradition, he was the son of Hippocrates (not to be confused with the doctor of the same name ) and a distant, younger relative of Solons , the Athenian reformer in archaic times . He was born around 600 BC. On his father's estate in Brauron . According to Herodotus , as with many tyrants, his birth was preceded by ominous omens.
After Solon had left Athens (allegedly 565 BC), Peisistratos appeared as a ruler with a following that, according to Herodotus, mainly came from the Attic mountainous country. He was in competition with two other renowned nobles, Lycurgus and Megakles , who, according to Herodotus, had their respective following in the Attic plain or in the coastal strip. Probably 561 BC He stormed the Acropolis with a troop of armed supporters and allowed himself to be proclaimed a tyrant by pretending that his enemies were trying to kill him. He could not last long, however, because only shortly afterwards he was chased out of his position by the two competitors.
But soon afterwards, according to Herodotus, luck turned back in favor of Peisistratos when Megakles parted ways with Lycurgus and joined Peisistratos on the condition that he would marry his daughter. Peisistratos agreed and was supposedly able to regain power through a ruse: he drove through Athens in a cart, next to a woman disguised as Athena . Megakles convinced the stunned Athenians, so it is said that this was really the patron goddess of the city. The Athenians took this as a sign and accepted Peisistratos as a tyrant .
But Peisistratos did not hold this position for long. Herodotus reports that after a while, Megakles became angry because Peisistratos refused to father children with his daughter. So he rejoined Lycurgus and drove away Peisistratos again. He settled on Euboea and came to a considerable fortune in silver mining, with which he was able to finance a mercenary force for the violent return to Athens after ten years of exile. With the help of the Lygdamis of Naxos , he was able to break the resistance of the defenders. It was not until the third attempt that he became a permanent ruler and tyrant, because this time he was able to prevail over his opponents in the battle of Pallene and ruled from 546/545 BC. 18 years until his death.
After he had rewarded Lygdamis with the tyranny of Naxos and no longer had to face any opposition, since most of the other aristocrats cooperated or went into exile, a generally quiet period began under Peisistratos: he helped the poor small farmers with loans and let the Solonic legal system continue to exist. He surrounded himself with a life guard made up of mercenaries and used his position to influence the occupation of important offices. Peisistratos promoted the religious cults, started a large temple of Zeus , the Olympieion (which Emperor Hadrian completed centuries later) and massively supported the worship of Athena and Dionysus . He was also apparently devoted to the visual arts and supported numerous artists. One of the first libraries can also be traced back to him. Above all, however, the Attic economy flourished under his rule, as he stimulated it, among other things, with the introduction of coinage in Attica (around 550 BC) and with the support of large-scale celebrations. However, the attribution of these measures to Peisistratos is historically not beyond doubt. Whether he had a regular tax levied, as the later sources claim, is also controversial.
- SP Arrowsmith: The tyranny at Athens in the sixth century BC , Diss. Manchester 1988.
- Helmut Berve : The tyranny among the Greeks . 2 volumes. Beck, Munich 1967.
- Norbert Ehrhardt : Athens in the 6th century BC Source situation, method problems and facts . In: Euphronios and his time . Staatliche Museen, Berlin 1992, ISBN 3-88609-129-5 , pp. 12-23.
- Brian Lavelle: Fame, Money, and Power. The Rise of Peisistratos and “Democratic” Tyranny at Athens , Michigan UP, Ann Arbor 2004.
- Loretana de Libero : The Archaic Tyranny . Steiner, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-515-06920-8 .
- Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg (Ed.): Peisistratos and the Tyranny . Gieben, Amsterdam 2000, ISBN 9789050634168 .
- Fritz Schachermeyr : Peisistratos 3. In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume XIX, 1, Stuttgart 1937, Col. 156-191.
- Karl-Wilhelm Welwei : Athens. From the Neolithic settlement to the Greater Polis . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1992, ISBN 3-534-07541-2 .
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Pisistratus (Latin)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||ancient Greek politician; Tyrant of Athens|
|DATE OF BIRTH||around 600 BC Chr.|
|DATE OF DEATH||528 BC BC or 527 BC Chr.|