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(died 527 BC) Tyrant of Athens (c. 560–559, 556–555, 546–527). Born an aristocrat, he gained military honours early. He first became tyrant in 560 after claiming an attempt had been made on his life and appealing to the people to grant him a bodyguard, which he used to help seize the Acropolis. His reign was short-lived, but he gained power again briefly in 556, before being ousted by Lycurgus and Megacles. After several years in exile, he returned with an army in 546, took control, and remained in power until his death. A patron of the arts, he executed many public works and tried to help small farmers. His unification of Attica and improvement of Athens's prosperity helped make the city preeminent in Greece.
Variants of PEISISTRATUS
Peisistratus or Pisistratus
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Peisistratus, visit Britannica.com.