1. The Athenian Empire and Resistance to Tyranny

  Teegarden, David A. 2023. “The Athenian Empire and Resistance to Tyranny.” In “The Athenian Empire Anew: Acting Hegemonically, Reacting Locally in the Athenian Arkhē,” ed. Aaron Hershkowitz and Michael McGlin, special issue, Classics@ 23. https://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HLNC.ESSAY:103490527.


Here new ground is opened on Athens as a champion of democracy among its allies of the Delian League, a matter that has been surrounded with some controversy. The main theme is whether the Athenians promoted anti-tyrannical fervor as a means to suppress pro-Persian activism. This exploration centers on the Attic tyrannicides, Harmodios and Aristogeition, whose statues appear on an electrum stater from Kyzikos, and what this appearance might mean for allied knowledge of and sympathy for the tyrannicides. Then the inquiry turns to the Erythrai Decree and considers the significance of the formulation ‘tyrants’ in the plural (unlike most anti-tyranny legislation, which employs the singular ‘tyrant’). Next to be noted is the promotion of the tyrannicides at the Panathenaia and City Dionysia for its possible impact on the allies who attended these festivals in considerable numbers. The piece concludes by examining a small group of vases celebrating the tyrannicides. While minimizing readings of this evidence are possible, this analysis inclines toward deliberate Athenian policy, which, for one thing, advanced anti-tyrannism and democracy.

Did the Athenians promote the popularity of Harmodios and Aristogeiton in their interactions with members of either the Delian League or the subsequent Athenian arkhē? Two factors lead me to ask that simple question.
First, the Athenians erected in their agora the famous statues (made by Kritios and Nesiotes) of Harmodios and Aristogeiton at more or less the same time that they assumed leadership of the Delian League. The famous oath swearing ceremony to inaugurate the League likely occurred in early summer 477. And according to the Marmor Parium, A, ep. 54 (IG XII.5 444), the Athenians erected the statues of Harmodios and Aristogeiton in 477/6 (the archonship of Adeimantos). Thus, when the Athenians were thinking about assuming leadership over a multistate organization they were also thinking about the significance of Harmodios and Aristogeiton. [1]
Second, it would facilitate the Athenians’ efforts to influence a polis if the citizens of that polis embraced Harmodios and Aristogeiton as role models. Athenian security depended (inter alia) upon deterring Persia (and then Sparta) and defending popular rule in many, if not most, of the cities under her control. Harmodios and Aristogeiton symbolized success in both of those objectives. Thus, if citizens in the various cities thought that it is noble to act like Harmodios and Aristogeiton, they would be more likely to support the Athenians’ foreign policy: the Athenians, they might think, are “acting like Harmodios and Aristogeiton.” [2]
One thus might expect to discover that the Athenians promoted Harmodios and Aristogeiton in their interactions with members of the Delian League and the subsequent Athenian arkhē. But did they do so in fact, and, if they did, to what extent? [3]

1. The Tyrannicide Staters from Kyzikos

Three Kyzikene staters that contain on their obverse an image of the Kritios and Nesiotes statue group of the tyrannicides provide the only direct evidence for knowledge of Harmodios and Aristogeiton within the Athenian arkhē. [4] The two men are facing the viewer’s right, with Harmodios standing to the left, and slightly behind Aristogeiton. Aristogeiton’s left arm extends horizontally and is draped with a chlamys; his right arm is almost straight, and appears to be in a position to execute an upward thrust. This parallels Kritios and Nesiotes’ depiction. Harmodios’ sword-holding right hand is above his head: he is delivering the so-called “Harmodios blow.” [5] This, too, parallels Kritios and Nesiotes’ depiction.
There is widespread agreement that these staters date to the “imperial” period. The erection of the Kritios and Nesiotes statue group provides an obvious terminus post quem of 477/6. The terminus ante quem is less secure, but the reverse punches on fourth-century Kyzikene staters were more sophisticated than those found on our staters. A date between the erection of the Kritios and Nesiotes statue group of the tyrannicides and the Battle of Eurymedon perhaps provides the most likely context: the Athenians had recently erected the famous statue group, the alliance that they led was still embattled, and the struggle against pro-Persian tyrants among the east Greeks was an ongoing issue. But any date more specific than 476–404 must, given the current state of the evidence, remain speculative. [6]
These staters indicate that Harmodios and Aristogeiton were well known figures in numerous poleis within the Athenian arkhē. First, a lot of people, both those living in the arkhē and in adjacent territories, would have seen these Kyzikene staters. As Alexandru Avram writes, Kyzikene staters “were the most important currency in the area from Troy to Ionia, in the Propontis, in Bithynia and in the Black Sea regions.” [7] Second, the people of Kyzikos presumably would not put a confusing or otherwise obscure image on their staters. In addition to being common sense, this claim is supported by the known images on Kyzikene staters. There are around 250 known types (minted between 550 and 330 BCE). The figures of heroes, gods, and human beings are on a good number of them (in addition to mythic and natural animals, and the rare inanimate object like a helmet, a prow, and a lyre). [8] On only a couple of these coins is the identity of a specific individual (as opposed, for example, to an image of an idealized youth) unknown to modern scholars. [9]

2. Spreading the Fame of Harmodios and Aristogeiton

How would the people of Kyzikos—and the citizens of other cities within the Athenian arkhē—have learnt about Harmodios and Aristogeiton? There is indirect evidence for three possible ways.

2.1 Direct intervention in a city

We know that the Athenians intervened militarily in many cities during the period of the Delian League and subsequent arkhē: this is attested by Thucydides and several well-known fifth-century inscriptions. And we know that they had many officials (arkhontes, episkopoi, phrourakhoi). [10] Did such Athenian officials dictate or otherwise strongly suggest, for example, that a city craft Harmodios and Aristogeiton inspired institutions such as tyrant-killing laws, oaths, or public proclamations?

The only evidence in support of the suspicion that the Athenians might have promoted Harmodios and Aristogeiton by means of direct intervention in an allied city is the fact that the well-known Erythrai Decree contains a clause (lines 32–34) that refers to “the tyrants.”

  • IG I3 14 (following the facsimile first published by Böckh in CIG I, p. 891) prints these lines as follows: ἐὰν δέ̣ [τ]ις [‐‐‐‐‐‐|‐‐‐‐‐] το[ῖ]ς τυράννοις [‐‐‐‐] ᾿Ερυθραί[ον] καὶ [‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐|‐‐‐‐] τεθνάτο [‐‐‐‐] πα̣ῖδες [h]οι ὲχς [ἐ]κέν[ο ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐. Note that the words “the tyrants” are in the dative case. A quite adventurous restoration of these lines is Syll.3 41: ἐὰν δ[έ] τ̣ις [ἀ]λ̣ô[ι προ|διδ]ὸς τοῖ̣ς τυράννοις τὲμ π̣ό̣λ̣ι̣ν̣ τ̣ὲ̣ν̣ ᾿Ερυτηραίο̣ν καὶ [αὐτ]ὸς [ν|εποινεὶ] τεθνάτο κ̣α̣ὶ̣ παῖδες̣ [ḥ]οι ἐχς ἐκ̣εί̣νο. “If someone is caught betraying the city of the Erythraians to the tyrants, both he and his children shall be put to death with impunity.”
  • Georgia E. Malouchou [11] (following a recently discovered facsimile contained in the notebook of Kyriakos S. Pittakys) prints the lines as follows: ἐὰν δέ̣ τ̣ις [.]ΒΟ[‐‐8‐‐]|ΟΣ[..] τὸς τυράννος ΤΕΜΝΑΝ[1–2]ΟΣ ᾿ΕρυθραΙΝ καὶ [αὐτ]ος [‐ca. 6‐]|ΧΑΓΙ τεθνάτο [κ]α̣[ὶ] παῖδες̣ ḥοι ἐχς ἐκ̣ένο̣. Note that according to this facsimile, the words “the tyrants” are in the accusative case. Malouchou suggests (in her apparatus criticus) that ΤΕΜΝΑΝ[1–2] might be restored as τεχ̣νά[ζει] (‘contrives’) and that its object infinitive might have preceded the words “the tyrants.” She does not provide a suggestion for that infinitive. But, if her suggestion is correct, the essence of the sentence would be something like: “if somebody [contrives to X] the tyrants, … both he … shall be put to death and his children.”

Whatever the correct grammatical case of the words “the tyrants,” the Erythrai Decree is not direct evidence for the Athenians promoting (Athenian style) tyrannicide ideology within their arkhē. Most obviously, there is no reference to killing a tyrant in the decree. In addition, all standard articulations of tyrannicide ideology refer to a singular “tyrant” or the abstract “tyranny.” This is the case for the known tyrant-killing laws and decrees: the decree of Demophantos, the tyrant-killing laws from Athens (Eukrates), Eretria, and Ilion, and the Philites decree from Erythrai. [12] This is also true for Athenian oaths and proclamations: the Heliastic oath (Demosthenes 24.149); the traditional proclamation made at the City Dionysia (Aristophanes Birds 1072–1075). [13]

If the Erythrai Decree is not evidence for the Athenians promoting tyrannicide ideology (in its pure form), might it be evidence for the Athenians promoting anti-tyranny ideology? If it is, that would be close—very close indeed—to promoting tyrannicide ideology.
The combination of two points might suggest that the Erythrai Decree is not evidence for Athenian promotion of anti-tyranny ideology. First, outside of the Erythrai decree, the words “tyranny” and “tyrants” are not found in fifth-century Athenian decrees that refer to other states. [14] And we do have a number of helpful parallels: Khalkis, Miletos, Samos, Kolophon, Eretria, Selymbria. Second, we know that Ionian states were ruled by pro-Persian tyrants before the foundation of the Delian League (Herodotus 5.37–38; 6.9; 6.43). Thus, the Erythraians—a mainland Ionian state—might have had their own anti-tyranny ideology, whereby members of an oligarchy were called tyrants.
There also are two reasons—but perhaps stronger reasons—to suspect that the Erythrai Decree is evidence for Athenian promotion of anti-tyranny ideology. First, the Athenians wrote the decree. It is unlikely that they would use a term that was not customary with them (or a term that they were not promoting). Second, the use of the word “tyrants” to refer to the leaders of an oligarchic regime might originally have been an Athenian practice. We know that they called the Four Hundred (Andocides On the Mysteries 75) and the Thirty (Lysias 12.35) “tyrants.” And the Athenians were directly involved in the two earliest known uses of the word “tyrants” to refer to the leaders of a non-Athenian oligarchy. The Erythrai decree is the first such example. The second example is recorded by the Oxyrhynchus historian (Hellenica Oxyrhynchia 10.2) in his account of the democratic revolution in Rhodes in 395. The historian writes that an anti-Spartan revolutionary publicly urged his fellow citizens “to attack the tyrants as quickly as possible.” [15] This was, of course, spoken by a man from Rhodes. But the Athenians were directly behind this revolution: Conon was there, and Conon was honored by the Athenians after the battle of Knidos with a statue (the first since Harmodios and Aristogeiton) because they “felt that he too, in breaking up the empire of the Lakedaimonians, had ended no insignificant tyranny” (Demosthenes 20.68–70). The whole campaign against the Spartans was quite likely configured as an anti-tyranny or tyrannicide campaign.
On balance, it seems reasonable to conclude that the Erythrai Decree is an example of Athenian promotion of anti-tyranny ideology via direct intervention in a city. That is not necessarily promoting Harmodios and Aristogeiton. But it is close. And it leaves open the possibility that Athenian officials on the ground in foreign cities used formal institutions (laws, decrees, oaths, proclamations) to spread the fame of their tyrannicides and thus hopefully socialize the allied citizenry to an Athenocentric cultural matrix. [16]

2.2 Promotion at Athenian festivals

Both the City Dionysia and the Greater Panathenaia were deeply implicated with the administration of the Athenian arkhē. The City Dionysia was held at roughly the end of March. At that festival, the subject states paid their tribute, perhaps doing so in some sort of parade-like fashion (Isocrates 8.82). [17] The quadrennial Greater Panathenaia was held in August. At this festival, the Athenians announced publicly how much tribute their subjects must pay annually for each of the following four years. The subject states also were obliged to participate in parades at this festival. [18]
Although it is not certain, it is reasonable to conclude that the Athenians promoted Harmodios and Aristogeiton at both of these important festivals. The evidence for the Dionysia is most direct. In lines 1072–1075 of Aristophanes’ Birds, the chorus leader states: “On this particular day, you know, we hear it again proclaimed that whoever of you kills Diagoras the Melian shall get a talent, and whoever kills any of the long-deceased tyrants shall get a talent.” Birds was performed at the City Dionysia in 414. As Henderson writes: the day referred to by the chorus leader is “presumably (but not demonstrably) the first day of the Dionysia.” [19]
The evidence for the promotion of the tyrannicides at the Panathenaia is less direct. It is possible, perhaps likely, that their cult was associated with this festival. [20] The author of the Athenaion Politeia writes (58.1) that the war archon performed enagismata for Harmodios and Aristogeiton. He does not say when he did this. But there are reasons to conclude that he did so at the Panathenaia. First of all, we know from Thucydides 6.56.2 that Harmodios and Aristogeiton killed Hipparchos at the Panathenaia. Second, Philostratos (an Athenian, but admittedly alive in the fourth century CE) writes that the Athenians sang songs about Harmodios and Aristogeiton at the Panathenaia. [21] And finally, the Athenian dēmos itself chose to put an image of Kritios and Nesiotes’ statue-group of Harmodios and Aristogeiton on Panathenaic prize amphorae at the end of the fifth century. [22]
It is also important to take into consideration the placement of the statues of Harmodios and Aristogeiton. Those statues stood in the Agora, and quite possibly at the spot where the Panathenaic procession passed. Every allied citizen who participated in the festival thus would have seen them and, presumably, learned of their significance. [23]
It thus seems reasonable to conclude that the Athenians promoted Harmodios and Aristogeiton during their two most important festivals—festivals attended by allies. The Athenians were promoting Harmodios and Aristogeiton to themselves, of course. But they might have promoted their tyrannicide ideology for their allies too, at least indirectly.

2.3 Promotion by vase painters

The aforementioned Panathenaic prize amphorae most likely postdate the Athenian arkhē, and are thus not strictly relevant to this study. They do, however, motivate an important question: did vase painters working in Athens promote the fame of the tyrannicides during the period of the Delian League or the Athenian arkhē?
We have three vases—each found in the West—that both date to the period of the Athenian arkhē and carry an image of the Athenian tyrannicides. [24] One of these “tyrannicide vases” is a red-figure stamnos (painted by the Copenhagen Painter), probably from Etruria, dating ca. 470–460. [25] On it is painted a picture of Harmodios and Aristogeiton in the act of assassinating Hipparchos. The image obviously is not a drawing of the Kritios and Nesiotes statue group: the two tyrannicides depicted on the vase, for example, are fully clothed. But it is interesting to note that the two men are shown striking down Hipparchos in the manner depicted by the famous statue group: Aristogeiton strikes the tyrant with a parallel thrust, while Harmodios strikes him with a downward blow. (The image on the other side of the vase depicts Hipparchos’ guards.)
We also have a large, but very fragmentary, red-figure skyphos found in Gela, dating 460/50. [26] Both Harmodios and Hipparchos are named on the vase. Harmodios is raising his right hand: he is delivering the “Harmodios blow.” Hipparchos is falling down.
A third tyrannicide vase is a red-figure glaux (owl cup) from Akragas. It is painted by the Pan Painter and dates ca. 470. [27] We only have the image of naked Harmodios—or a figure who is likely to be Harmodios—raising his sword-bearing right arm. Aristogeiton—if depicted—must have been on the other side because the vase was rather small.
Do these three vases—each, again, found in the West—indicate that vase painters working in Athens promoted the fame of Harmodios and Aristogeiton to members of the Athenian arkhē?
It is perhaps tempting to suspect that vase painters decorated these pots specifically for Westerners, and thus that these tyrannicide vases are not evidence for the promotion of Harmodios and Aristogeiton to members of the Athenian arkhē. The several Sicilian tyrannies fell—and were replaced by some sort of “democracies”—in a remarkable series of cascading and interconnected events between the years 471 and 461. [28] These tyrannicide vases date 470/60–460/50. That is a noteworthy coincidence. In addition, the skyphos from Gela was found in what likely was the sanctuary of a Antiphamos, co-founder (with Entimos of Crete) of Gela. Perhaps the people of Gela—inspired by the images on the pots sent there from Attic workshops—considered their city to have been re-founded as a democracy by an act of tyrannicide.
This argument—namely, that these tyrannicide vases were specifically made to commemorate the fall of the Sicilian tyrannies—can be countered. First, a substantial proportion of fifth-century Attic red-figure pottery has been found in the West. The fact that these three tyrannicide vases were found in the West, not within the Athenian arkhē, is thus quite possibly an accident of discovery. [29] Second, the stamnos was likely found in Etruria, not Sicily.
On balance, then, I think that these pots indicate that vase painters working in Athens promoted the fame of Harmodios and Aristogeiton generally, and thus to members of the Athenian arkhē. For whatever reason or reasons, they sometimes decided to paint images of the Athenian tyrannicides on their vases. And we happen to have found three of them in the West.


I began this paper by asking whether or not the Athenians promoted the popularity of Harmodios and Aristogeiton in their interactions with members of either the Delian League or the subsequent Athenian arkhē. The evidence allows for both a minimalist and a maximalist answer.
The minimalist answer would emphasize two points. First, the only solid evidence for knowledge of Harmodios and Aristogeiton within the Athenian arkhē are the electrum staters from Kyzikos: the Erythrai decree need not be interpreted as an example of the Athenians promoting anti-tyranny ideology (yet alone tyrannicide ideology); one need not conclude that the Athenians heavily promoted Harmodios and Aristogeiton at the Dionysia or Panathenaia, let alone promoting it to allies; the existence of the tyrannicides on vases in the west does not necessarily mean that similar objects existed in the east. Second, the Harmodios and Aristogeiton staters from Kyzikos need not indicate significant promotion by the Athenians of their tyrannicides: the decision to include their image on the coin was presumably made by individuals inside Kyzikos and the decision could have been caused by innumerable mostly local and ephemeral dynamics.
The maximalist answer also would emphasize two points. First, the staters from Kyzikos almost certainly indicate widespread knowledge of Harmodios and Aristogeiton within the Athenian arkhē. Second, the totality of the evidence suggests that the Athenians promoted Harmodios and Aristogeiton in several ways. It is true that evidence for each specific way—direct intervention in a polis, promotion in the Panathenaia and Dionysia, promotion by vase painters—is contestable. Yet the fact that so much would have to be contested suggests the promotion of Harmodios and Aristogeiton was a very real phenomenon.
I currently subscribe to some sort of maximalist position. I believe that the Athenians actively promoted Harmodios and Aristogeiton (at least at times) during the fifth century. It thus becomes interesting to consider how pro-democrats in polis X might have reacted to that promotion. Did they quickly adopt it? Did they resent its Athenocentric aspect? Uncertainty reigns, but they presumably had to react some way. And, thus, we have identified one local effect of the Athenian arkhē. [30]


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[ back ] 1. Oath swearing ceremony: Athenaion Politeia 23.5. Dating that ceremony to early summer 477: Meiggs 1972:43. The Kritios and Nesiotes statues of Harmodios and Aristogeiton: Brunnsåker 1971. Note that the Kritios and Nesiotes statues of Harmodios and Aristogeiton replaced earlier statues made by Antenor (according to Pliny [Natural History 34.17]) in 510. These earlier statues were erected in order to commemorate Harmodios and Aristogeiton’s critical role in overthrowing the tyranny of the Peisistratids. Those statues were stolen by Xerxes’ forces during the Persian occupation of Athens in 480 (Pausanias 1.8.5). The Athenians erected the statues made by Kritios and Nesiotes as replacements after the Hellenic League’s victory over the Persians. The Kritios and Nesiotes statues thus commemorated both Harmodios and Aristogeiton’s successful resistance to domestic tyranny (i.e. the Peisistratids) and the Athenian people’s successful resistance to the foreign tyranny of Persia.
[ back ] 2. The literature on Harmodios and Aristogeiton is vast. Two works will provide initial orientation for those interested in the topic: Taylor 1981 and Teegarden 2021. For a recent and informative interpretation of Thucydides’ digression on Harmodios and Aristogeiton’s assassination of Hipparchos (Thucydides 6.54.3–59.4), see Figueira 2018.
[ back ] 3. It should be noted that some Greeks eventually considered Athens and the Athenian arkhē to be a tyranny (e.g. Thucydides 1.223, 2.63.2). The purpose of this paper, however, is to determine whether or not the Athenians promoted Harmodios and Aristogeiton as part of their imperial policy, not whether such a policy (if, in fact, there was one) was embraced by their allies.
[ back ] 4. One coin is in the American Numismatic Society: Identifier 1944.100.42712 (http://numismatics.org/collection/1944.100.42712). One coin is in the British Museum: Museum number RPK.p109A.1.Asp (https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/C_RPK-p109A-1-Asp). And one coin is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Accession number 04.1343 (https://collections.mfa.org/objects/2001/stater-of-kyzikos-with-tyrannicides-above-tunny-fish). Greenwell 1887:42 suggests that one of these coins (his number 76) was found along with some 40 other coins in a terracotta vase in 1882 in the Piraeus. Herodotos (from Halikarnassos) of course wrote about Harmodios and Aristogeiton in his Histories (5.55; 6.123.2), but that is not proof of knowledge of the tyrannicides outside Athens in the fifth century: he may have learned about them while in Athens, and we do not know how widespread his readership was outside of Athens in the fifth century. His work certainly suggests, however, that Harmodios and Aristogeiton were common topics of discussion inside Athens and that he thought that his readers should know about them.
[ back ] 5. Shefton 1960:173–179 coined the phrase “Harmodios blow.”
[ back ] 6. Here is a chronologically arranged list of early scholarship on what might be called “the tyrannicide staters” from Kyzikos. First: Greenwell 1887, who dates the coin (no. 76, described on pp. 89–90; Plate III.28) to 410–359 BCE (date suggested, without argument, on p. 33). Greenwell is an outlier, in suggesting the possibility of a fourth-century date. Second: Wroth 1892, who dates these coins (p. 29, no. 75 with plate VII.3) to 450–400 BCE. He dates Kyzikene staters to that period based on (p. xvii) the absence of archaisms and the “strength and simplicity” of the types, and the fact that the small squares in the incuse of the reverse are more regularly formed. Third: Fritze 1912, who dates the coins (pp. 26–27 with plate 4, no. 6) to shortly after 477/6 BCE. He bases his conclusion on a detailed study of the changes in reverse punches in Kyzikene staters and the fact that the Athenians erected the Kritios and Nesiotes statue group in that year. Fourth: Regling 1931, who dates the coin-type (pp. 11–12) to 475–410. He does so for both art-historical and practical reasons: the muscles of the tyrannicides are soft; it would take some time for the popularity of the Kritios and Nesiotes statue group to grow outside of Athens. Seltman 1933 gives, without argument, (Plate XVII, page 113) a date of 478–410. Kraay 1976 dates the coin type “c. 470” (date given on p. 374, image found on Plate 56, no. 956). Brunnsåker 1971:100 accepts without argument a date of “ca. 430/20.” For a study of Kyzikos’ long history, see Hasluck 1910. See, too, Avram 2003.
[ back ] 7. Avram 2003:985–986. For Kyzikene staters, see (in addition to the literature cited above, n. 6): (i) Meldenberg 1993–1994; (ii) Meiggs 1972:442–443; (iii) Figueira 1998:92–105, 274–279, 524–527. It is important to emphasize the point that Kyzikene electrum staters do not advertise their place of origin: they are not the official coinage of the polis of Kyzikos. This is unlike Kyzikene silver coinage, which did bear the city’s name, with types remaining unchanged for long periods of time (the image on the obverse of Kyzikene electrum staters, on the other hand, changed frequently). Official transactions in Kyzikos were thus likely conducted in the city’s silver coinage.
[ back ] 8. For images see Fritze 1912, Tafeln I–VI. Meldenberg 1993–1994 adds images of thirteen staters not known to Fritze.
[ back ] 9. Kraay 1976:264, for example, notes three different issues, each carrying the portrait of an unidentified elderly man. Kraay suggests that each man may have been an influential dynast who controlled important ports of the Black Sea trade.
[ back ] 10. The text of the Athenaion Politeia notoriously states (24.3) that the Athenians had “as many as seven hundred magistrates (arkhai) at home and as many as seven hundred abroad.” It is difficult to know what to do with this, since it is quite possible that a scribe mistakenly wrote “as many as seven hundred” a second time. As Rhodes 1993:305 notes, we have no way of telling how many magistrates the Athenians sent abroad in the fifth-century arkhē.
[ back ] 11. Malouchou 2014. Her suggested restorations are on pp. 93–94. Malouchou, unlike earlier editors, was able to read Pittakys’s copy of the inscription: all earlier editors relied on the facsimile published by Böckh (CIG I, p. 891). Scholars do not agree on a date for this important decree. Highby 1936:33–35 concluded that it dated to the 460s. A date in the later 450s is accepted by (inter alios) Meiggs and Lewis, P. J. Rhodes, and Harold Mattingly: Rhodes 2008:500–506. And Moroo 2014 recently advocated 435/4.
[ back ] 12. For a discussion of these laws and decrees, see Teegarden 2014.
[ back ] 13. It is also possible that a prayer-cum-curse against tyranny and anyone who helps establish a tyrant was made at the beginning of sessions of the boulē and ekklēsia (Aristophanes Thesmophoriazousai 335–339). The only other known example (i.e. other than the Erythrai Decree) of use of the word “tyrants” (i.e. plural) in an inscribed document is found in the anti-tyranny dossier from Eresos (RO 83 = IG XII, ii 526): “votes against the tyrants” (line 35); “law concerning the tyrants” (text 6, lines 26–31). Also, the author of the Athenaion Politeia refers (16.10) to Athens’ archaic “laws concerning the tyrants.” The law there quoted reads: “if some persons rise up to rule tyrannically, or if any person assists in establishing the tyranny, he himself and his family shall be without rights.” Note that Thucydides (6.55.1) refers to a stele recording the wrongs of “the tyrants.” Herodotus also uses the word “tyrants” when referring to the Peisistratids: e.g. 5.62.1; 5.65.5.
[ back ] 14. The earliest known fifth-century decree to mention tyranny or tyrants is the decree of Demophantos (Andocides On the Mysteries 96–98); it was promulgated in 410 BCE and concerned Athens (410 BCE). On the authenticity of this decree, see: (i) Hansen 2015:884–901; (ii) Canevaro and Harris 2012:98–129.
[ back ] 15. This is the only direct quotation in the extant portions of the Hellenica Oxyrhynchia. See Bruce: 1967. On page 100, Bruce suggests that an eyewitness might have told the historian the revolutionary’s actual quote.
[ back ] 16. It is interesting to note that, according to Eupolis’ Poleis, there was an Athenian garrison in Kyzikos at some point (Fragment 247 in Storey 2011:190).
[ back ] 17. Compare Aristophanes Acharnians 505, 643. There were many foreigners in Athens at this festival, because the sailing season had started. See, too, the following note: the colonists at Brea were required to bring a phallus to the Dionysia.
[ back ] 18. The requirement that allies bring a cow and a panoply to the Panathenaia is articulated in OR 153.56–57 (= IG I3 71) and OR 154.41–43 (= IG I3 34). The former, securely dated to 425/4, appears to record the first time such an order was given. But that is not certain, as there is no consensus on the date of OR 154: it might postdate OR 153 (as argued for by Mattingly 1961:150–169 and accepted by Osborne and Rhodes), or it might antedate it by up to two decades (as argued for by Meiggs and Lewis, p. 121). In OR 142 (= IG I3 46)—a decree perhaps dating to the 430s—the Athenian colonists at Brea are required to bring a cow and a panoply to the Panathenaia and a phallus to the Dionysia. And the Erythrai Decree (OR 121 = IG I3 14) states that the Erythraians are required to bring grain to the Panathenaia. As Erythrai could be considered a colony of Athens, the Athenians might first have required colonists to bring grain to the Panathenaia, later changing the requirement to a cow and a panoply. The order that all cities of the Athenian arkhē bring a cow and panoply might have emerged from that preexisting requirement for the colonists. On Athenian colonial policy during the arkhē, see Figueira 2008. Figueira’s discussion on colonization during the arkhē is found pages 435–462.
[ back ] 19. Henderson 2000:166n104.
[ back ] 20. On this topic, see Shear 2012:107–119.
[ back ] 21. Life of Apollonius of Tyana 7.4.3. Jones 2014 has argued that the famous tyrannicide skolia (Athenaeus 15.695a), the Leipsydrion skolion (Athenaion Politeia 19.3), and the skolion in honor of Cedon (Athenaion Politeia 20.5) were originally composed and performed at public symposia such as festivals. The markedly aristocratic language of the latter two skolia, however, strongly suggests an aristocratic origin. And the tyrannicide skolia would seem to have originated in a similar historical context: the elite’s efforts (at least some of the elite) to overthrow Hippias in the wake of Harmodios and Aristogeiton’s assassination of Hipparchos. Note in this regard that there is no evidence that the dēmos participated in any effort to overthrow Hippias. It is nevertheless quite possible that the tyrannicide skolia subsequently became popularized, as the dēmos embraced Harmodios and Aristogeiton as champions of dēmokratia.
[ back ] 22. There are three such amphorae, each found in North Africa: two were found in Euhesperides (Pelizäus-Museum, Hildesheim. Inv. 1253 and 1254); one from Teucheira (British Museum. Inv. B 605). The two amphorae found in Euhesperides were painted by Aristophanes. These vases likely date to 402 and celebrate the fall of the Thirty Tyrants. See Teegarden 2014:44–45. The vase pictured above in the text is from the British Museum (https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/G_1866-0415-246). It is worth pointing out that the tyrannicides are depicted on two other vases that likely date ca. 400: one (supposedly found in the grave of Dexileos) in Boston (Museum of Fine Arts 98.936) and one in Rome (Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia 44.205).
[ back ] 23. For a recent study of the placement of the statues of Harmodios and Aristogeiton, see Baltes 2020.
[ back ] 24. For these vases, see: (i) Beazley 1948:26–28; (ii) Neer 2002:168–181. These three vases and the Kyzikene stater (discussed above) provide the only direct evidence for knowledge of Harmodios and Aristogeiton outside of Athens during the imperial period.
[ back ] 25. Beazley 20294, Würzburg, Universität, Martin von Wagner Mus., L515 (https://www.beazley.ox.ac.uk/XDB/ASP/recordDetails.asp?id=76D7416C-2218-441B-ABE9-E93D5D9C9D1C).
[ back ] 26. Beazley 15306, Rome, Mus. Naz. Etrusco di Villa Giulia, 50321 (https://www.beazley.ox.ac.uk/XDB/ASP/recordDetails.asp?id=2438DA07-767F-4783-9302-13543BD86EC2).
[ back ] 27. Beazley 206391, Agrigento, Museo Archeologico Regionale (https://www.beazley.ox.ac.uk/XDB/ASP/recordDetails.asp?id=0B28777E-F249-43EB-8581-AC8EB92F5E29).
[ back ] 28. On these democratic revolutions and what might have helped contribute to their success, see Teegarden 2018.
[ back ] 29. Meiggs 1972:269 notes that the export of Athenian red-figure pottery to the Euxine increased in the 430s. He suggests that Pericles’ famous expedition to the region (Plutarch Pericles 20.1–2) may have been a contributing factor.
[ back ] 30. It is a pleasure to thank Thomas Figueira for his helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.