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Hippias of Athens

Pisistratus had several sons, and one of them was Hippias of Athens. He was a tyrant ruler that can be found on the Biblical Timeline with History starting around 500 BC. In 527 BC, Hippias took the place of Peisistratus, his father. While Hipparchus, his brother, was intended to rule alongside him, there was an unfortunate event that prevented this joint rule of the two brothers. Aristogeiton and Harmodius succeeded in killing Hipparchus, in 514 BC. Because of this brutal event, Hippias turned out to be a cruel, harsh and bitter ruler of his kingdom. He also decided to have the Tyrannicides executed to avenge his brother’s death.

Plots to Overthrow Hippias

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Priestess of Delphi

In 546 BC, Peisistratus was able to banish the Alcmaeonidae family. This renowned and wealthy family succeeded in having a new temple constructed at Delphi. Moreover, they decided to bribe the priestess in Delphi to overthrow Hippias, which was to be executed by the Spartans. As a result, Anchimolius led the Spartan army to undertake this command by the Alcmaeonidae family.

To protect himself from this battle, Hippias and his family joined forces with Cineas of Thessaly. Alcmaeonidae and the Spartans lost; however, another battle was held and this time Cleomenes I led the Spartans. Under his leadership, the Spartans were able to penetrate into Athens. Hippias was trapped as planned on the Acropolis.

In addition to having Hippias as a hostage, Pisistratus’ children suffered the same fate. In 510 BC, Hippias left Athens by force to ensure his family’s safety and security. This also signalled the end of his reign. He then he opted to wed Archedike (his daughter) to Aiantides, the royal son of Lampsakos’ tyrant named Hippoklos. This was a wise move by Hippias as it would allow him to enter the court of Darius located at Susa.

The Spartans assumed that by attaining the democracy of Athens, this would later be a threat to the power they now possessed. This thought was also a result of the past when Hippias turned out to be a cruel leader of Athens.

In the meantime, Hippias headed toward Persia, where there were threats given to the Persians in case they failed to allow Hippias to enter their nation. Despite this threat, the people of Athens were resolute to maintaining their democracy while setting aside the possible attacks by the Persians.

Hippias as a Ruler

Hippias was known to be more proficient in handling politics; on the other hand, his brother, Hipparchus, was regarded for his ability in managing religious matters. Known as one of Athens’ tyrant rulers, Hippias was believed to be a patron of craftsmen and poets. It was under his reign that Athens claimed its progress. However, it was during the assassination of Hipparchus that Hippias changed and became more repressive.

During a revolt by the Spartans, Hippias was forced to leave the land. He settled in Persia and found support from the governor of Persia located at Sardis.  Eventually, on his way back home, the tyrant failed to reach his destination while he was still at Lemnos where he died.

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