Pisistratus

Pisistratus (pĪsĭsˈtrətəs) [key], 605?–527 B.C., Greek statesman, tyrant of Athens. His power was founded on the cohesion of the rural citizens, whom he consolidated with farseeing land laws. His coup (c.560 B.C.) was probably not unpopular. His rivals, the Alcmaeonidae and the aristocracy, managed to exile him twice, but in his last years he established himself sufficiently to leave Athens in the hands of his sons, Hippias and Hipparchus. He first won Salamis for Athens and established Attic hegemony in the Dardanelles. He did much to enhance Athenian cultural prestige, held great festivals like the Panathenaea, and beautified the city. His building efforts included fountains and temples, such as the great temple of Zeus at Athens. He had an official text of Homer written down. His name also appears as Peisistratus.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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