Between the seventh century and first decades of the sixth century BC, the Hellenic world witnessed a series of tyrannical regimes that seem to have first developed in the Asir colonies (Ephesus, Miletus, Chios, Lebos) and then in the cities of European Greece (Corinth Sieyone etc.). There are about 200 tyrants in the history of Greece.
The word tyrant' comes from tyrannos' and was originally used to denote the Lydian king Gyges (685-657), who is widely regarded as the one who introduced the institution of Greeks. The word tyrannos' denotes power and wealth. Tyranny is a regime often created as a reaction to aristocratic governments; such a regime usually originates from rural crises. In this form of government, power is entrusted to a tyrant; however, this scheme is often transient .
The tyrant often belonged to the aristocracy, either a party leader or a demagogue who has masterminded a coup such as Cypselus in Corinth, Panaitios in Leontinoi and Peisistratus in Athens. Often, the tyrant was first chosen as the supreme leader of the city (Aisymnete) by an agreement between the factions, usually in times of crisis or war.
By the exercise of the judiciary, tyrants often gained popularity during wars. One can count Thrasybulus (circa 600) of Miletus, Damasias of Athens and Pheidon of Argos among the tyrants who gained popularity by manipulating the judiciary during wars.The advent of the tyrant was also fostered by the struggle between social classes, where the poorest groups were constantly demanding a fairer distribution of the land.
The exercise of power: The tyrant used his/her power to achieve personal goals. Apart from failing to organize democratic meetings and practicing justice, he/she also chose judges who gratified his/her goals. The tyrant is also dependent on neighboring tyrants to consolidate his/her power, for instance, Periander, tyrant of Corinth, maintained friendly relations with Thrasybulus (tyrant of Miletus), Pisistratus (tyrant of Athens) and Lygdamis (tyrant of Naxos).
The tyrant generally sought to crush the aristocracy which ensured the support of the people who not only denounced the unjust distribution of wealth but also the biased functioning of the aristocratic courts. Also, some tyrants did not hesitate to pronounce bans, executions and confiscations of land against the aristocracy. For example, in Corinth, Periander established his tyranny for forty-one years and was notorious for his cruelty.
Tags: Hellenic world, Thrasybulus (tyrant of Miletus), Pisistratus (tyrant of Athens) and Lygdamis (tyrant of Naxos), tyrannical regimes, Cypselus in Corinth, Panaitios in Leontinoi and Peisistratus in Athens.
[...] Solon also gave more equality to the politic body. Greater popular participation in the life of the city was permitted with the replacement of aristocratic system by a census that allowed access to the magistrates. The reform of justice facilitated the replacement of aristocratic courts by a people's court: the Heliee. Public affairs belonged to the citizens, a principle which can be found in democracy. Pisistratus, with his reforms, encouraged real equality with the confiscation and transfer of wealth.Previously, Solon had already secured the release of debt slaves by eliminating debts. [...]
[...] B - A transient regime Tyrants and legislators, as in Athens enabled the transformation of the social state - The transformation of society Tyranny enabled the transformation of the social and political institutions, which enabled the advent of democracy. Some tyrants ensured democratic participation and have enacted laws that were applicable to everyone - The example of Athens Draco, the first legislator of ancient Athens, was the author of a rigorous criminal law (execution for a simple theft) that was applicable to all. [...]
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