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Monday, July 25, 2016

016 - The "Age of Tyranny"

In this episode, we discuss the new political phenomena arising in various parts of the Greek world in the 7th and 6th centuries BC, called tyranny, by focusing on four poleis in the Peloponnese in particular as case studies for its cause: Pheidon of Argos (the military cause), Kypselos and Periander of Corinth (the economic cause), Cleisthenes of Sicyon (the ethnic cause), and Theogenes of Megara (the unsuccessful attempt)

747 BC - the last king of Corinth, Telestes, was overthrown, resulting in the city being ran by a royal clan, called the Bacchiadai
733 BC - the Corinthians founded Syracuse and Corcyra
ca. 725-700 BC - the trireme was developed at Corinth
ca. 700 BC - The Megarians drove out hostile invaders (possibly Corinth?) from their city
685 BC - the Megarians founded Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosporus
669 BC - The Argives defeated the Spartans at the battle of Hysiae, possibly the event that allowed Pheidon to become tyrant of Argos
668 BC - The neighboring city-state of Pisa gained control of the Olympic sanctuary from Elis, with the help of Pheidon and his newly minted hoplite army; the Megarians founded Byzantion (Byzan
tium) on the European side of the Bosporus
664 BC - the first Greek sea-battle took place between Corinth and its colony, Corcyra
657-627 BC - Kypselos overthrows the Bacchiadai ruling clan (of which he was a marginalized member) and establishes himself as tyrant of Corinth

ca. 650-625 BC - Demaratus, an exiled Bacchiadai, flees to Italy, where he settled at the Etruscan city of Tarquinii and introduced many aspects of Greek culture to central Italy (his son Lucius would eventually move to Rome and become king)
ca. 650 BC - Orthagoras becomes tyrant of Sicyon; Theagenes becomes tyrant of Megara
632 BC - An Olympic victor, Cylon, unsuccessfully attempted to install himself as tyrant of Athens, with the aid of his father-in-law, Theagenes of Megara
627-585 BC - Periander succeeded his father as tyrant of Corinth, and established Corinth as the most economically prosperous city-state in the Greek world, although paranoia set in and his rule grew harsher and harsher towards his people
ca. 600-570 BC - Cleisthenes becomes tyrant of Sicyon
595-585 BC - Cleisthenes of Sicyon and the Amphictyons led the defense of Delphi against the Phocian town of Krissa in the First Sacred War
585-583 BC - Periander's nephew, Psammetikos, ruled as tyrant, but he felt the brunt of Corinthian anger towards his uncle's harshness and was deposed
582 BC - the Corinthians established the Isthmian Games to celebrate the end of the Cypselid tyranny; the Delphians established the Pythian Games to celebrate their freedom from Krissa following the First Sacred War
570-556 BC - Cleisthenes' successor, Aeschines, ruled as tyrant of Sicyon until he was expelled with the help of the Spartans

Greek words: monarchos (i.e. monarch, a legitimate hereditary king), tyrannos (i.e. tyrant, kings who seized power unconstitutionally), genos (lineage clan), prytanis (chief magistrate), polemarchos (war leader), kypsele (jar), diolkos (drag way), Choireatae (the swine men), Oneatae (the ass men), Hyata (the pig men), Archelaoi (the rulers of the people)

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