Definitions

Pisistratus

Pisistratus

[pahy-sis-truh-tuhs, pi-]
Pisistratus, 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.
or Pisistratus

(died 527 BC) Tyrant of Athens (circa 560–559, 556–555, 546–527). Born an aristocrat, he gained military honours early. He first became tyrant in 560 after claiming an attempt had been made on his life and appealing to the people to grant him a bodyguard, which he used to help seize the Acropolis. His reign was short-lived, but he gained power again briefly in 556, before being ousted by Lycurgus and Megacles. After several years in exile, he returned with an army in 546, took control, and remained in power until his death. A patron of the arts, he executed many public works and tried to help small farmers. His unification of Attica and improvement of Athens's prosperity helped make the city preeminent in Greece.

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