It seems that the apothegmatical Hipparchus did not associate with Anacreon more from sympathy with his genius than inclination to the subjects to which it was devoted. He was addicted to pleasure; nor did he confine its pursuits to the more legitimate objects of sensual affection. Harmodius, a young citizen of no exalted rank, but much personal beauty, incurred the affront of his addresses . Harmodius, in resentment, confided the overtures of the moralist to his friend and preceptor, Aristogiton. While the two were brooding over the outrage, Hipparchus, in revenge for the disdain of Harmodius, put a public insult upon the sister of that citizen, a young maiden. She received a summons to attend some public procession, as bearer of one of the sacred vessels: on presenting herself she was abruptly rejected, with the rude assertion that she never could have been honoured with an invitation of which she was unworthy. This affront rankled deeply in the heart of Harmodius, but still more in that of the friendly Aristogiton, and they now finally resolved upon revenge. At the solemn festival of Panathenaea, (in honour of Minerva), it was the custom for many of the citizens to carry arms in the procession: for this occasion they reserved the blow. They intrusted their designs to few, believing that if once the attempt was begun the people would catch the contagion, and rush spontaneously to the assertion of their freedom. The festival arrived. Bent against the elder tyrant, perhaps from nobler motives than those which urged them against Hipparchus , each armed with a dagger concealed in the sacred myrtle bough which was borne by those who joined the procession, the conspirators advanced to the spot in the suburbs where Hippias was directing the order of the ceremonial. To their dismay, they perceived him conversing familiarly with one of their own partisans, and immediately suspected that to be the treason of their friend which in reality was the frankness of the affable prince. Struck with fear, they renounced their attempt upon Hippias, suddenly retreated to the city, and, meeting with Hipparchus, rushed upon him, wounded, and slew him. Aristogiton turned to fly - he escaped the guards, but was afterward seized, and "not mildly treated"  by the tyrant. Such is the phrase of Thucydides, which, if we may take the interpretation of Justin and the later writers, means that, contrary to the law, he was put to the torture . Harmodius was slain upon the spot. The news of his brother's death was brought to Hippias. With an admirable sagacity and presence of mind, he repaired, not to the place of the assassination, but towards the procession itself, rightly judging that the conspiracy had only broken out in part. As yet the news of the death of Hipparchus had not reached the more distant conspirators in the procession, and Hippias betrayed not in the calmness of his countenance any signs of his sorrow or his fears. He approached the procession, and with a composed voice commanded them to deposite their arms, and file off towards a place which he indicated. They obeyed the order, imagining he had something to communicate to them. Then turning to his guards, Hippias bade them seize the weapons thus deposited, and he himself selected from the procession all whom he had reason to suspect, or on whose persons a dagger was found, for it was only with the open weapons of spear and shield that the procession was lawfully to be made. Thus rose and thus terminated that conspiracy which gave to the noblest verse and the most enduring veneration the names of Harmodius and Aristogiton. 
III. The acutest sharpener of tyranny is an unsuccessful attempt to destroy it - to arouse the suspicion of power is almost to compel it to cruelty. Hitherto we have seen that Hippias had graced his authority with beneficent moderation; the death of his brother filled him with secret alarm; and the favour of the populace at the attempted escape of Aristogiton - the ease with which, from a personal affront to an obscure individual, a formidable conspiracy had sprung up into life, convinced him that the arts of personal popularity are only to be relied on when the constitution of the government itself is popular.
It is also said that, when submitted to the torture, Aristogiton, with all the craft of revenge, asserted the firmest friends of Hippias to have been his accomplices. Thus harassed by distrust, Hippias resolved to guard by terror a power which clemency had failed to render secure. He put several of the citizens to death. According to the popular traditions of romance, one of the most obnoxious acts of his severity was exercised upon a woman worthy to be the mistress of Aristogiton. Leaena, a girl of humble birth, beloved by that adventurous citizen, was sentenced to the torture, and, that the pain might not wring from her any confession of the secrets of the conspiracy, she bit out her tongue. The Athenians, on afterward recovering their liberties, dedicated to the heroine a brazen lioness, not inappropriately placed in the vicinity of a celebrated statue of Venus . No longer depending on the love of the citizens, Hippias now looked abroad for the support of his power; he formed an alliance with Hippoclus, the prince of Lampsacus, by marrying his daughter with the son of that tyrant, who possessed considerable influence at the Persian court, to which he already directed his eyes - whether as a support in the authority of the present, or an asylum against the reverses of the future.