UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
who had opposed him was generally accepted, and those who did not accept
The government of Pisistratus during the Third Tyranny was firm and
severe. He maintained his authority by means of a band of Thracian
mercenaries. The children of those who were suspected of plotting against
him were seized and sent to Naxos. But in the matter of exactions his
rule was milder than that of the oligarchy. He kept the statutes of Solon
without alteration, and was himself obedient to the law. He won the
applause of the Fourth Estate by throwing open his gardens to the poor of
the city. He adorned Athens with public buildings. He encouraged art and
literature. He established the first public library in Greece, and laid
all the world under obligation by the collection of the Homeric poems.
For thirty-three years he kept Athens in a state of tranquillity which
she had never known before. Dying, he bequeathed the government to his
two sons, Hippias and Hipparchus, and they, in B. C. 527, began an
administration of the same character as that of their father. Hipparchus
was the more noted of the two. He promoted literature by maintaining at
his court the poets Anacreon and Simonides. To his time belongs the
setting up of the Hermae, or small statues of Hermes, which were placed
along the streets and in other places to denote boundaries, and by the
inscriptions which they bore to remind the people of moral obligations.
Matters were going well in the government until a private feud led to the
assassination of Hipparchus. A certain Harmodius, having given offense to
the two rulers, Hippias sought revenge by a public insult to his sister.
Harmodius and his friend Aristogiton determined to appease their anger by
killing both of the governors. At the festival of the Panathenaea they
stood with daggers hid in their myrtle leaves waiting their opportunity.
But Hippias was seen conversing with one who was in the secret, and the
conspirators believed themselves betrayed. They, however, made a rush on
Hipparchus and cut him down; but Hippias escaped. He immediately arrested
those who were found to be in the conspiracy; and they were either
executed or banished. This was but the beginning of a career of cruelty.
Many citizens were condemned on mere suspicion. The taxes were increased,
and the whole body of the people grievously oppressed. There were loud
mutterings of discontent, and the exiled family of the Alcmaeonidae made
an effort, though without success, to overthrow the government of
Hippias. Finally, however, through the influence of the Delphic oracle,
the Spartans, though hitherto friendly to the family of Pisistratus, were
induced to interfere against the Athenian tyrant. Their first attempt
ended in failure, but in a second invasion of Attica, Hippias was
defeated and obliged to go into exile. He fled to Sigeum, on the coast of
Asia Minor, and became a fruitful source of disturbance in the relations
between the Greeks and the Persians. The expulsion of the tyrant was
regarded by his countrymen as a deliverance from thralldom and
At this time Clisthenes, the son of Megacleg, appeared in the theater of
Athenian politics. The Spartans, after expelling Hippias, had left the
people to their own ways. It was Clisthenes who had by his strategy won
over the oracle to declare against the family of Pisistratus. To him
Athens now looked for further assistance. He came as the leader of the
popular party, and was opposed by Isagoras, who was backed by the nobles.
According to the statutes of Solon the First Estate had a monopoly on the
highest offices, and this fact gave the advantage to Isagoras. But
Clisthenes laid the ax at the root of the tree by proposing a-change in
the constitution, by which the Third Estate should be admitted to a share
in the government. It was the beginning of the Athenian democracy.
As a measure precedent to the contemplated change, the four classes, or
castes, into which the Athenians had been divided were abolished, and the
whole body of the populace distributed into ten new tribes. Until this
time great numbers of residents in Attica had not had the rights of
citizenship, from the fact that they had never been classified with
either of the four estates. The Clisthenian plan proposed that all should
be included in