XVII. (1) Peisistratos, then, grew old in office, and fell ill and died in the Archonship of Philoneos, having lived for thiry-three years since he first set himself up as tyrant, and having ruled for nineteen of those years. For the rest of the time he was in exile. (2) From the dates it is obviously absurd to suggest, as some do, that Peisistratos was loved by Solon, and was general in the war against Megara for the possession of Salamis. Their ages make it impossible, if one calculates each man's live and the date of his death. (3) After the death of Peisistratos, his sons ruled and managed affairs in the same way. He had two sons by his citizen wife, Hippias and Hipparchos; and two by his Argive wife, Iophon and Hegesistratos (who was also called Thettalos). (4) Peisistratos had married Timonassa, the daughter of an Argive from Argos named Gorgilos. She had previously been married to Archinos of Ambracia who belonged to the Family of the Cypselids. This was the origin of the friendship between Peisistratos and Argos; Hegesistratos brought 1000 men to fight with him at Pallene. Some say that Peisistratos married her during his first exile, others when he was in power.
XVIII. (1)Their position and age meant that the state was managed by Hipparchos and Hippias. Hippias was the elder, a natural politician and a wise man, and he presided over the government. Hipparchos was fond of amusements, and interested in love affairs and the arts–he was the man who sent for Anacreon and Simonides and their associates and the other poets. (2) Thettalos was much younger, and violent and outrageous in his behavior, which was the cause of all their troubles. He fell in love with Harmodios, and when his love was not returned, far from restraining his anger, he demonstrated it viciously. Finally, when the sister of Harmodios was going to carry a basket in the procession at the Panathenaia, he stopped her and insulted Harmodios as being effeminate. From that Harmodios and Aristogeiton were provoked into plotting, in which many people took part. (3) At the time of the Panathenaia , when they were watching for Hippias on the Akropolis (as it happened, he was receiving the procession, while Hipparchos was sending it off), they saw one of the conspirators greet Hippias in a friendly way. They thought that they were betrayed. Wishing to accomplish something before they were arrested, they went down into the city, and, not waiting for their fellow conspirators, they killed Hipparchos as he was organizing the procession next to the Leokoreion. Thus, they spoiled the whole attempt. (4) Harmodios was killed instantly by the guards, but Aristogeiton was captured later and tortured for some time. Under torture he accused many of the aristocracy who were friends of the tyrants of being in the plot. At first investigations had been unable to find any trace of the plot, for the story that Hippias had disarmed those in the procession and searched them for daggers is not correct; they did not carry weapons in the procession at that time (that was a later invention of the democracy). (5) The democrats say that Aristogeiton accused the friends of the tyrants deliberately in order to involve them in impiety and weaken their faction if they killed their friends who were innocent; others say that he was not inventing it, but did reveal those who were in the plot. (6) Finally, when he was not killed despite all of his efforts, he promised that he would implicate many others. When Hippias gave him his hand as a pledge, he reviled him for giving his hand to the murderer of his brother. This angered Hippias to such an extent that fury overcame him and he drew his dagger and killed him.
XIX. (1) After this, the tyranny became much harsher. In avenging his brother Hippias had killed or exiled many people, and was distrusted and hated by everyone. (2) About three years after the death of Hipparchos, Hippias tried to fortify Mounychia because of his unpopularity in the city of Athens. He planned to move his residence there, but while this was proceeding he was expelled by King Kleomenes of Sparta . . . .
[King Xerxes of Persia's uncle Mardonios] persuaded Xerxes to make the attempt. Certain other occurrences came to his aid. . . . the Peisistratidai in Susa spoke to the same purpose and worked upon him even more strongly through the agency of an Athenian named Onomakritos, a collector of oracles, who had arranged and edited the oracles of Musaios. The Peisistratidai had made up their quarrel with him before coming to Susa. He had been expelled from Athens by Hipparchos for inserting in the verses of Musaios a prophecy that the islands off Lemnos would disappear under water–Lasos of Hermione had caught him in the very act of the forgery. Before his banishment he had been a close friend of Hipparchos . . . .
SOCRATES: Hush! Hush! Why, surely, it would be wrong of me not to obey a good and wise person.FRIEND: Who is that? And to what are you referring now?
SOCRATES: I mean my and your fellow citizen, Peisistratos' son Hipparchos, of Philaidai, who was the eldest and wisest of Peisistratos' sons, and who, among the many other goodly proofs of wisdom that he showed, first brought the poems of Homer into this country of ours, and compelled the rhapsodes at the Panathenaia to recite them in relay, one man following another, as they still do now. He dispatched a fifty-oared galley for Anacreon of Teos, and brought him into our city. Simonides of Keos he always had about him, prevailing on him by plenteous fees and gifts . . . .
From the year when Harmodios and Aristogeiton killed Hipparchos the son of Peisistratos and his successor, and when the Athenians expelled the Peisistratidai from the Pelasgic Wall, 248 years; the archon was Harpaktides (511/10 B.C.).
Hipparchos the son of Peisistratos built a wall around the Akademia, and he compelled the Athenians to pay a great deal of money for it. On that account the proverb is used, 'the wall of Hipparchos', of costly undertakings.
[an inscription, intended for a statue of the Tyrannicides]
A great light began to shine for the Athenians because
Aristogeiton and Harmodios killed Hipparchos.
[M. Guarducci, Epigrafia greca (Roma 196 ), 440-441, with photograph, fig. 97.]
[e]n mhesoi Kefales te kai asteos aglaos hermes.
Glorious Hermes is half way between the City and Kephale.
Now that the city-part of the Athenians were educated by him till they admired his learning and wisdom, in order to confer the same benefit on the country people, he set up effigies of Hermes on the roads half way between the City and every demos of Attica; and then, he chose what he judged to be the wisest of what he knew, what he had learned from others and what he had found out on his own, and he had these inscribed as elegiac verses written by him and as paradigms of wisdom, so that his fellow citizens would not marvel at the maxims inscribed at Delphi, gnothi sauton and meden agan and the like, and also that people would judge the sayings of Hipparchos to be wise; secondly, so that as they were going up and down the country, and were reading them and tasting his wisdom as they were going from the fields elsewhere they would become educated. In each case there are two inscriptions: on the right side of each Hermes is an inscription stating that the Hermes has been placed at the midpoint between the astu and the demos, and on the left:
mnema tod' hipparchou. steiche dikaia phronon.There are many other excellent poems of Hipparchos inscribed on other Herms, especially this one, which can be read on the road to Steiria:
Reminder of Hipparchos; go along, thinking thoughts of justice.
mnema tod' hipparchou. me philon exapata.
Reminder of Hipparchos: do not deceive a friend.
on the Hermai] These were four-sided wooden or stone posts; they had a face of Hermes above, and below on the flat part inscriptions.
Aristotle Rhetoric 1367b.
Diodorus Siculus X. 17.
Gregory of Cyprus III. 81.
Apostolios 17. 8.
Harpokration, p. 86, 12.
John Paul Adams, CSUN