Megacles

Megacles

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Megacles was the name of several notable men of ancient Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

:

1. Megacles was possibly a legendary Archon of Athens
Archon of Athens
This is a list of the eponymous archons of Athens.-Background:The archon was the chief magistrate in many Greek cities, but in Athens there was a council of archons which comprised a form of executive government...

 from 922 BC to 892 BC.

2. Megacles was a member of the Alcmaeonidae
Alcmaeonidae
The Alcmaeonidae or Alcmaeonids were a powerful noble family of ancient Athens, a branch of the Neleides who claimed descent from the mythological Alcmaeon, the great-grandson of Nestor....

 family, and the archon eponymous in 632 BC when Cylon made his unsuccessful attempt to take over Athens. Megacles was convicted of killing Cylon (who had taken refuge on the Acropolis
Acropolis, Athens
Acropolis is a neighborhood of Athens, near the ancient monument of Acropolis, along the Dionysios Areopagitis, courier road. This neighborhood has a significant number of tourists all year round. It is the site of the Museum of Acropolis, opened in 2009....

 as a suppliant of Athena
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

) and was exiled from the city, along with all the other members of his genos, the Alcmaeonidae. The Alcmaeonidae inherited a miasma ("stain") that lasted for generations among Megacles' descendants.

3. Megacles, the grandson of the above and member of the Alcmaeonidae
Alcmaeonidae
The Alcmaeonidae or Alcmaeonids were a powerful noble family of ancient Athens, a branch of the Neleides who claimed descent from the mythological Alcmaeon, the great-grandson of Nestor....

 family, was an opponent of Pisistratus
Peisistratos (Athens)
Peisistratos was a tyrant of Athens from 546 to 527/8 BC. His legacy lies primarily in his institution of the Panathenaic Festival and the consequent first attempt at producing a definitive version for Homeric epics. Peisistratos' championing of the lower class of Athens, the Hyperakrioi, can be...

 in the 6th century BC. He drove out Pisistratus during the latter's first reign as tyrant
Tyrant
A tyrant was originally one who illegally seized and controlled a governmental power in a polis. Tyrants were a group of individuals who took over many Greek poleis during the uprising of the middle classes in the sixth and seventh centuries BC, ousting the aristocratic governments.Plato and...

 in 560 BC, but the two then made an alliance with each other, and Pisistratus married Megacles' daughter. Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 claims that they also tricked the Athenians into believing Athena herself had arrived to proclaim Pisistratus tyrant, by dressing up a woman named Phye as the goddess. This event is subject to debate as to whether Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 has interpreted this episode correctly. However, Megacles turned against Pisistratus when Pisistratus refused to have children with Megacles' daughter, which brought an end to the second tyranny.

This Megacles later competed circa 560 BC or later with Hippocleides
Hippocleides
Hippocleides , the son of Teisander , was an Athenian nobleman, who served as Eponymous Archon for the year 566 BC – 565 BC.He was a member of the Philaidae, a wealthy Athenian family which was opposed to the family of Peisistratus...

, a former archon
Archon
Archon is a Greek word that means "ruler" or "lord", frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculine present participle of the verb stem ἀρχ-, meaning "to rule", derived from the same root as monarch, hierarchy, and anarchy.- Ancient Greece :In ancient Greece the...

 of Athens, to marry Agarista
Agariste of Sicyon
Agariste was the daughter, and possibly the heiress, of the tyrant of Sicyon, Cleisthenes. Her father wanted to marry her to the best of the Hellenes and, subsequently, he organized a competition, whose prize was his own daughter...

, the daughter of Cleisthenes
Cleisthenes of Sicyon
Cleisthenes was the tyrant of Sicyon from c. 600–570 BC, who aided in the First Sacred War against Kirrha that destroyed that city in 595 BC. He is also told to have organized with success a war against Argos because of his anti-Dorian feelings...

 of Sicyon
Sicyon
Sikyon was an ancient Greek city situated in the northern Peloponnesus between Corinth and Achaea on the territory of the present-day prefecture of Corinthia...

. They had two sons; the elder Hippocrates was father of another Megacles (ostracized 486 BC) and a daughter Agariste was mother of Pericles
Pericles
Pericles was a prominent and influential statesman, orator, and general of Athens during the city's Golden Age—specifically, the time between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars...

and Ariphron
Ariphron
Ariphron was the name of several people from ancient Greek history:*Ariphron, the father of Xanthippus, and grandfather of Pericles, both prominent Athenian statesmen. He was a member of the Alcmaeonid family.*Ariphron, the brother of Pericles....

 (himself the father of Hippocrates of Athens
Hippocrates of Athens
Hippocrates of Athens , the son of Ariphron, was a strategos of the Athenians in 424 BC, serving alongside Demosthenes....

 who died 424 BC). The younger son Cleisthenes
Cleisthenes
Cleisthenes was a noble Athenian of the Alcmaeonid family. He is credited with reforming the constitution of ancient Athens and setting it on a democratic footing in 508/7 BC...

 was allegedly father of Deinomache (or Dinomache), mother of Alcibiades
Alcibiades
Alcibiades, son of Clinias, from the deme of Scambonidae , was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. He was the last famous member of his mother's aristocratic family, the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominence after the Peloponnesian War...

 (d. 404 BC). Thus, Megacles the elder was great-grandfather of Pericles and Alcibiades.

4. Megacles, grandson of the above, son of Hippocrates, and nephew of Cleisthenes
Cleisthenes
Cleisthenes was a noble Athenian of the Alcmaeonid family. He is credited with reforming the constitution of ancient Athens and setting it on a democratic footing in 508/7 BC...

 is sometimes described as the father of Deinomache and thus the maternal grandfather of Alcibiades
Alcibiades
Alcibiades, son of Clinias, from the deme of Scambonidae , was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. He was the last famous member of his mother's aristocratic family, the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominence after the Peloponnesian War...

. Other sources, notably William Smith
William Smith (lexicographer)
Sir William Smith Kt. was a noted English lexicographer.-Early life:Born at Enfield in 1813 of Nonconformist parents, he was originally destined for a theological career, but instead was articled to a solicitor. In his spare time he taught himself classics, and when he entered University College...

, insist that his uncle Cleisthenes
Cleisthenes
Cleisthenes was a noble Athenian of the Alcmaeonid family. He is credited with reforming the constitution of ancient Athens and setting it on a democratic footing in 508/7 BC...

 was the grandfather of Alcibiades.

In 490 BC, in the aftermath of the Battle of Marathon
Battle of Marathon
The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. It was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate...

, a shield-signal was raised on Mount Pentelicon above Marathon supposedly to signal the Persians to sail around Cape Sounion and attack the unguarded city of Athens. Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 reports that the Alcmaeonidae were widely believed to have been behind this act of treachery. With Megacles being the leading figure of the Alcmaeonid clan at the time, a lingering suspicion of medism
Medism
Medism can refer to:* In ancient Greece, imitating or having sympathies or siding with the Persians . It was considered a crime in many ancient Greek states. Themistocles the Athenian was ostracized for Medism...

 hung over him.

In 486 BC Megacles was ostracised. Numerous ostraca have been found with comments on them making reference to his ostentatious wealth and love of luxury.

He was honored by Pindar
Pindar
Pindar , was an Ancient Greek lyric poet. Of the canonical nine lyric poets of ancient Greece, his work is the best preserved. Quintilian described him as "by far the greatest of the nine lyric poets, in virtue of his inspired magnificence, the beauty of his thoughts and figures, the rich...

 as exiled winner in the chariot race of Pythian Games
Pythian Games
The Pythian Games were one of the four Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece, a forerunner of the modern Olympic Games, held every four years at the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi....

486 BC.