Ancient Greek Rulers: Hippias (527 510 B.C.) was the eldest son of Pisistratus. Hippias governed Athens after the death of his father. His younger brother Hipparchus was closely associated in office with him until Hipparchus was assassinated in 514 B.C.
Ancient Greek Rulers
At first, Hippias attempted to work with his opponents, the Alcmaeonidae, but his Ancient Greek Rulers became harsher with the advancement of the Persians. In 510 B.C. he was overthrown by the Alcmaeonidae and the Spartans and went into exile. He lived at the court of Darius and was with the Persian forces at Marathon.
List of Greek kings
Hipparchus (c.555514 B.C) was an Athenian political figure and the younger son of Pisistratus. After the death of his father, he was closely associated with his brother Hippias, autocrat of Athens, in ruling the Athenian city-state. Under Hippias, he was a patron of the arts and sponsored poets like Anacreon and Simonides. He was assassinated by Harmodius and Aristogiton because of his personal vices.
Themistocles (c.525462 B.C) was an Athenian statesman and also a naval commander. He was elected one of the three archons in 493 B.C. In succeeding years, many of his rivals were eliminated by ostracism and he became the chief figure of Athenian politics. He persuaded the Athenians to build up their navy.
He was one of the legendary Athenian leaaders during the Greco-Persian wars in which although the Greek fleet was entrusted to a Spartan, Themistocles determined its strategy, thus bringing about the decisive victory of Salamis which ultimately turned the tide of the war and the retreat of Xerxes to Persia.
His strategy to evacuate Athens saved them from a slaughter and a purported copy of Themistocles’ decree to evacuate Athens, discovered at Troezen in 1959, indicates that the evacuation, as well as the battle of Salamis, was not hastily planned but was a measure carefully conceived months before to trap the Persians at Salamis.
Themistocles dedicated his reign to strengthen the navy and the fortifications. Around 471, after his opponents came to power, he was exiled. In his last few years, he lived in Persia, where King Artaxerxes made generous provision for him.
Cimon was an Athenian general, statesman and the son of Miltiades. He fought at Salamis Between 478 to 477 he helped Aristides from the Delian League. During his reign he managed to conquered Skiros, pacified Asia Minor, and in 468 defeated the Persian sea and land forces on the Eurymedon River.
On the death of Aristides, he led the Athenian aristocratic and pro-Spartan party and was its chief statesman in succession to Themistocles. He was later sent into exile, from which he was recalled in 451 to conclude a peace with Sparta.
Cleisthenes was an Athenian statesman. He was the head of his family, the Alcmaeonidae, after the exile of Hippias, and with Spartan, help he led an invasion of Athens to end the tyranny of the Peisistratids and then made himself undisputed ruler of Athens by 506 B.C.
He was known as the Father of Athenian democracy. He established a more democratic constitution by weakening the clan system and the local parties and by organizing the districts into political rather than social divisions. The Alcmaeonidae thus became leaders of a democratic party. An attempt of his rival, Isagoras, to overturn the reforms of Cleisthenes after Cleisthenes had been sent into exile failed, and Cleisthenes was recalled. He even gave the public the right to banish anyone with popular vote, known as ostracism.
Demosthenes was another legendary ruler of Athens. He was a great orator and had a natural talent for influencing the masses. He led Athens in their fight against the Macedonian king, Phillip and after Philip’s death he led the Athenian revolt against the Macedonian hegemony. His main aim was the independence of mainland Greece but the rebellion was ultimately suppressed by the new king, Alexander the Great.
Demetrius was a great Athenian ruler who managed to liberate Athens from the rule of Cassander. He fought brilliantly with the Macedonians but was ultimately defeated by the combined army of Seleucus and Lydinacus in the battle of Ipus
Pericles, a member of the Alcmaeonidae family through his mother, was an Athenian statesman born in 495 BC. One of the most prominent and major events of which Pericles was a part of was the Peloponnesian War which began in 431 BC. Pericles first came into prominence as one of the prosecutors of Cimon and as an opponent of the Areopagus. After this incident, he became a prominent leader and an influential speaker in Athens.
He was known to be one of the famous leaders of Athens. He was known to be quite populist giving many concessions and subsidies to the poor making him extremely popular among the masses which many even consider dictatorial.
He is lauded for his efforts and steps for making democracy prevalent in Athens and it was under his rule that the government was made open to most citizens and they were paid by the state.
He led Athens into its golden age and extreme prosperity. They became extremely powerful with the largest navy. But it also led to a war with the spartans known as the Peloponnesian war which Athens dominated till Pericles was in power. He ultimately succumbed to the deadly plague in Athens. Pericles encouraged arts and architecture and under his rule, Athens saw some of the better works done. He lost his power in the Peloponnesian war but was later re-elected strategist in 429 BC but he died 6 months later.
He was a great patron of the arts and encouraged drama and music. Under his direction monuments like the Parthenon and the Propylaea on the Acropolis were constructed. Pericles established colonies at Thurii in Italy and at Amphipolis. He was one of the participants in the events that led to the Peloponnesian War.