Cylon- The Tyrant Of Athens

Last Updated on November 26, 2020 by admin

In this article, you will learn about a man who dreamed of becoming a tyrant of Athens. Did he succeed in his quest? Read further to find out this and more tidbits of information regarding ancient history.

1200 B.C. , If the Trojan War did indeed take place, then this is when the Fall of Troy would have occurred.

995 B.C. , This is when the Hebrew King David captures Jerusalem.

780 – 560 B.C. , The Greeks decided to ship off settlers in hopes of creating colonies about Asia Minor.

753 B.C , Rome is born.

640 BC –  Cylon becomes an Olympic winner. During the days of ancient Greece, the Olympics nearly made Gods out of the winners and were basically set for the rest of their lives. Let’s take Cylon for example, who was an Athenian noblemen (also referred to as an ‘eupatrid’) who enjoyed a victory in 640 BC. His win truly paid off because he was able to take the hand of Theagenes’ daughter as his wife.
Despite the fame that came with winning in the Olympics, he desired the position of tyrant of Athens. He seemed to strike a chord with poor farmers and preached radical change. During his quest to become a tyrant, he relied on what he thought would become a backing of some sort. Unfortunately, it never came. What he did have, was the support of his father-in-law Theagenes, who was known for pushing his weight around with threats. With his help, Cylon decided to attack the Acropolis.

Cylon consulted the Delphic Oracle before choosing a day to attack. The Oracle told him that he would become a tyrant during the “great festival of Zeus.” It wasn’t clear which festival that would be, but Cylon thought that for sure it would be the Olympic festival. He was wrong and his attack was a failure. Cylon also lacked the support necessary to make his plans fall through. Many Athenians feared that Cylon would be persuaded by the interests of his father in law. This played a great part in people shying away from the thought of Cylon as their tyrant.

In an attempt to save their lives, some of Cylon’s supporters fled to the Temple of Athena Polias, but all was in vain, as the archon Megacles of the Alcmaeonids made sure they were killed. This was an unexpected move, as this site had a deep history of serving refugees when they sought after a place of safety. Violating this unspoken rule was sacrilege. Because of this, the Alcmaeonids were cursed and forced to leave Athens. This banishment would prove fleeting, as they would eventually return to Athens. In return, many significant leaders associated with the city-state were produced.

If you’re wondering what happened to Cylon , he was able to escape persecution and death , along with his brother. As punishment , he was never allowed to return to the city again. This was a curse that trickled down onto his descendants as well.

612 B.C. , The capital of Babylonia (called Nineveh) was captured and the end of the Assyrian Empire is marked by this date.