The Administration of Hippias. - The Conspiracy of Harmodius and Aristogiton. - The Death of Hipparchus. - Cruelties of Hippias. - The young Miltiades sent to the Chersonesus. - The Spartans Combine with the Alcmaeonidae against Hippias. - The fall of the Tyranny. - The Innovations of Clisthenes. - His Expulsion and Restoration. - Embassy to the Satrap of Sardis. - Retrospective View of the Lydian, Medean, and Persian Monarchies. - Result of the Athenian Embassy to Sardis. - Conduct of Cleomenes. - Victory of the Athenians against the Boeotians and Chalcidians. - Hippias arrives at Sparta. - The Speech of Sosicles the Corinthian. - Hippias retires to Sardis.
I. Upon the death of Pisistratus, his three sons, Hipparchus, Hippias, and Thessalus, succeeded to the government. Nor, though Hippias was the eldest, does he seem to have exercised a more prominent authority than the rest - since, in the time of Thucydides, and long afterward, it was the popular error to consider Hipparchus the first-born. Hippias was already of mature age; and, as we have seen, it was he who had counselled his father not to despair, after his expulsion from Athens. He was a man of courage and ability worthy of his race. He governed with the same careful respect for the laws which had distinguished and strengthened the authority of his predecessor. He even rendered himself yet more popular than Pisistratus by reducing one half the impost of a tithe on the produce of the land, which that usurper had imposed. Notwithstanding this relief, he was enabled, by a prudent economy, to flatter the national vanity by new embellishments to the city. In the labours of his government he was principally aided by his second brother, Hipparchus, a man of a yet more accomplished and intellectual order of mind. But although Hippias did not alter the laws, he chose his own creatures to administer them. Besides, whatever share in the government was intrusted to his brothers, Hipparchus and Thessalus, his son and several of his family were enrolled among the archons of the city. And they who by office were intended for the guardians of liberty were the necessary servants of the tyrant.
II. If we might place unhesitating faith in the authenticity of the dialogue attributed to Plato under the title of "Hipparchus," we should have, indeed, high authority in favour of the virtues and the wisdom of that prince. And by whomsoever the dialogue was written, it refers to facts, in the passage relative to the son of Pisistratus, in a manner sufficiently positive to induce us to regard that portion of it with some deference. According to the author, we learn that Hipparchus, passionately attached to letters, brought Anacreon to Athens, and lived familiarly with Simonides. He seems to have been inspired with the ambition of a moralist, and distributed Hermae, or stone busts of Mercury, about the city and the public roads, which, while answering a similar purpose to our mile-stones, arrested the eye of the passenger with pithy and laconic apothegms in verse; such as, "Do not deceive your friend," and "Persevere in affection to justice;" - proofs rather of the simplicity than the wisdom of the prince. It is not by writing the decalogue upon mile-stones that the robber would be terrified, or the adulterer converted.