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Hipparchos : studies in peisistratid history, 528-514 B.C. Lavelle, Brian M.


This dissertation examines Hipparchos, the son of Peisistratos, and the years 528-514 B.C. at Athens. Modern scholarship has generally adjudged Hipparchos a powerless, dissolute aesthete on the basis of Thucydides' test- imonia about Hipparchos' murder. Yet, it is clear from other sources that Hipparchos was much more, perhaps even the most important Peisistratid after Peisistratos' death, certainly the most visible. The purpose of this dissertation is to shed new light on this important period by aiming at a better understanding of Hipparchos. Chapter I concerns Hipparchos' image and is a compilation of testimonia relevant to him. The introduction to the chapter attempts to illustrate the importance of image to Greek tyrants of the archaic period and to show that image can be useful as an indicator of tyrannical power. The remainder of the chapter is divided into the archaeological and literary records of Hipparchos. Sections are devoted to Hipparchos' herms, the wall of the Akademy and his Ptolon dedication. The literary record is divided into external affairs (Hipparchos and Ionia), internal/external affairs (the Onomakritos-affair), and internal affairs (the Panathenaia and Hipparchos). The conclusion is that Hipparchos was far more prominent than his brother Hippias and much more significant than previously believed. Chapter II confronts the historiographical problem of succession to Peisistratos. It is divided into examination of the stele concerning the adikia of the tyrants', Thucydides' most important evidence for the successsion, and the literary tradition about the succession. (An appendix examines the evidence of the sixth century archon-list.) The conclusion is that the succession-issue became controversial in the fifth century, apparently well after the end of the tyranny. Chapter III deals with Thucydides' account of Hipparchos' murder. Sections are given to accounts before Thucydides', but later accounts are considered only as they differ from his on specific points. Thucydides1 account is examined in two sections: motivation of the tyrannicides and the act itself. The conclusion is that Thucydides was quite probably influenced by his own preconceptions to read his beliefs into a substructure of earlier material. The evidence for this is inconsistency and implausibility in Thucydides' account. An epilogue considers Hipparchos1 influence over later prominent Athenians and the city itself.

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