World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000335737
Reproduction Date:

Title: Megacles  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Agariste of Sicyon, 548 BC, Ostracon, 890s BC deaths, Cleisthenes of Sicyon
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Megacles or Megakles (Greek: Μεγακλῆς) was the name of several notable men of ancient Athens:


  • First archon 1
  • Archon eponymous 2
  • Alcmaeonidae 3
  • Marathon Battle 4
  • Bibliography 5
  • References 6

First archon

The first Megacles was possibly a legendary archon of Athens from 922 BC to 892 BC.

Archon eponymous

The second Megacles was a member of the Alcmaeonidae family, and the archon eponymous in 632 BC when Cylon made his unsuccessful attempt to take over Athens. Megacles was convicted of killing Cylon's supporters (who had taken refuge on the Acropolis as suppliants of Athena) 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.


The third Megacles, the grandson of the above eponymous Archon, son of Alcmaeon and member of the Alcmaeonidae family, was an opponent of Pisistratus in the 6th century BC. He drove out Pisistratus during the latter's first reign as tyrant in 560 BC, but the two then made an alliance with each other, and Pisistratus married Megacles' daughter. Herodotus says 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, although Herodotus himself casts doubt on the truth of this story.[1] However, Megacles turned against Pisistratus when Pisistratus refused to have children with Megacles' daughter, which brought an end to the second tyranny.[2]

This Megacles later competed circa 560 BC or later with Hippocleides, a former archon of Athens, to marry Agarista, the daughter of Cleisthenes of Sicyon. They had two sons; the elder Hippocrates was father of another Megacles (ostracized 486 BC) and a daughter Agariste was mother of Pericles and Ariphron (himself the father of Hippocrates of Athens who died 424 BC). The younger son Cleisthenes was allegedly father of Deinomache (or Dinomache), mother of Alcibiades (d. 404 BC). Thus, Megacles the elder was great-grandfather of Pericles and Alcibiades.

Marathon Battle

The fourth Megacles, grandson of the above, son of Hippocrates, and nephew of Cleisthenes is sometimes described as the father of Deinomache and thus the maternal grandfather of Alcibiades. Other sources, notably William Smith, insist that his uncle Cleisthenes was the grandfather of Alcibiades.

In 490 BC, in the aftermath of the Battle of Marathon, 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 reports that the Alcmaeonidae were widely believed to have been behind this act of treachery.[3] With Megacles being the leading figure of the Alcmaeonid clan at the time, a lingering suspicion of 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.[4]

He was honored by Pindar as exiled winner in the chariot race of Pythian Games 486 BC.[5]


  • Monica Berti, "L’antroponimo Megakles sugli ostraka di Atene. Considerazioni prosopografiche, storiche e istituzionali". Minima Epigraphica et Papyrologica 5 (2001), pp. 8-69
  • Monica Berti, "‘Megakles, non eretrizzare!’ Una nuova proposta di lettura e d’interpretazione di un ostrakon attico". In Syggraphé. Materiali e appunti per lo studio della storia e della letteratura antica. Ed. D. Ambaglio. Como: Edizioni New Press, 2001, pp. 41-57


  1. ^ Herodotus 1.60
  2. ^ Herodotus 1.61
  3. ^ Herodotus 6.124
  4. ^ Exile, ostracism, and democracy: the politics of expulsion in ancient Greece - Sara Forsdyke (Princeton University Press), 2005 - pg 155
  5. ^ Pythian eleven By Pindar, Patrick Finglass Page 25
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.