Hippias

~ 490 BC
Civilization: Greek — Athens
   Field of Renown:  statesman — Traitor
Era:  City States

Marathon
THE BATTLE OF MARATHON
Hippias was the son of the Tyrant Pisistratus. Upon his father's death, he and his brother Hipparchus ruled jointly. For the first few years their rule, like that of their father's, was benevolent, but they became more unjust over the years, and in 514 B.C., a rebellion lead by Harmodius and Aristogiton, caused the death of Hipparchus. After this, Hippias became intolerably cruel and bitter. The Alcmaeonidae family, which had been exiled by Pisistratus, very cleverly bribed the temple at Delphi in order to gain the priest's support for an overthrow of Hippias. The priests in turn, induced the Spartans, to help in the overthrow of Hippias. After being driven forcibly from the city, he fled to Persia. Almost twenty years later, he returned at the head of a Persian army intent on invading Greece. He fought for the Persians at Marathon.


Key events during the life of Hippias:


Year
Event
527 BC
Became tyrant of Athens on the death of his father, Pisistratus.
  Ruled Jointly with brother Hipparchus, first well, then worse.
514 BC
Brother Hipparchus murdered by Harmodius and Aristogeiton.
508 BC
Alcmaeonidae family recalled from exile. They bribed Delphi to help them overthrow Hippias.
508 BC
Sparta invaded Athens and helped to overthrow tyrant Hippias.
  Hippias fled to Persia.
490 BC
Hippias helped to lead Persian army against Athens at Marathon.

Other Resources


Story Links
Book Links
Of the Taking of Miletus  in  The Story of the Persian War  by  Alfred J. Church
Tyrant's Insult  in  The Story of the Greeks  by  H. A. Guerber
Hippias Driven out of Athens  in  The Story of the Greeks  by  H. A. Guerber
Hippias Visits Darius  in  The Story of the Greeks  by  H. A. Guerber
Harmodius and Aristogiton  in  The Story of Greece  by  Mary Macgregor
Rule of Pisistratus and the Alcmaeonidae  in  The Story of the Greek People  by  Eva March Tappan


Contemporary
Short Biography
Cleisthenes Athenian statesman who overthrew Hippias, and helped institute democratic reforms.
Hipparchus Brother of Hippias, and co-ruler until his murder in 514 B.C.
Cleomenes I King of Sparta before Persian Wars, removed tyrants from Athens, defeated Argos.
Harmodius and Aristogiton Rebels who murdered Hipparchus to save Athens from Tyranny.