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who had opposed him was generally accepted, and those who did not accept

were exiled.

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