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Encyclopedia > Hyperbolos

Hyperbolos (Latin spelling Hyberbolus) was an Athenian politician active during the first half of the Peloponnesian war, coming to especial prominence after the death of Cleon. A view of the Acropolis of Athens during the Ottoman period, showing the buildings which were removed at the time of independence The history of Athens is the longest of any city in Europe: Athens has been continuously inhabited for at least 3,000 years. ... Map of the Greek world at the start of the Peloponnesian War The Peloponnesian War began in 431 BC between the Athenian Empire (or The Delian League) and the Peloponnesian League which included Sparta and Corinth. ... Cleon (d. ...

Like Cleon, he counts as a demagogue, one who exercised power solely through speech in the assembly. He is universally reviled in the sources, even more so than his predecessor: both are associated with an alleged decline in Athenian political culture leading to the loss of the war with Sparta. Thucydides 8.73 is particularly vicious. In attacks on him in comedy he is represented as being of slavish and foreign background, both of which are improbable. But unlike Pericles (a demagogue in fact himself)he did not have a noble background. A demagogue (sometimes spelled demagog) is a leader who obtains power by appealing to the gut feelings of the public, usually by powerful use of rhetoric and propaganda. ... Sparta (Greek: Σπάρτη) was a city in ancient Greece, whose territory included, in Classical times, all Laconia and Messenia, and which was the most powerful state of the Peloponnesus. ... Bust of Thucydides Thucydides (between 460 and 455 BC–circa 400 BC, Greek Θουκυδίδης, Thoukudídês) was an ancient Greek historian, and the author of the History of the Peloponnesian War, which recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens. ... Greek comedy is the name given to a wide genre of theatrical plays written, and performed, in Ancient Greece. ... Pericles, British Museum, London Pericles (ca. ...

The legislation that survives under his name tells a somewhat different story.

Somewhere in the years 417-415 BC he was ostracised, perhaps the last person to be subject to the practice. Accounts of this ostracism in Plutarch descibe a complex struggle with Nicias and Alcibiades, where Hyperbolos tried to bring about the ostracism of one of this pair but they combined their influence to induce the people to expel Hperbolos instead. The validity of Plutarch's take on these events, however, is hard to gage. Ostracism was a procedure under the Athenian democracy where a prominent citizen could be expelled from the city for ten years. ... Plutarch Mestrius Plutarchus (ca. ... Nicias (d. ... Alcibiades Alcibiades Cleiniou Scambonides (also Alkibiades) (ancient Greek: Αλκιβιαδες Κλεινιου Σκαμβωνιδες)¹ (c. ...

Hyperbolos went to live on the island of Samos where he was murdered in 411 BC by right-wing revolutionaries around the time of the oligarchic coup of the 400 that for several months suppressed the democracy at Athens. Samos (Greek Σάμος; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is an island in southeastern Greece in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Turkey. ... Oligarchy is a political regime where most or all political power effectively rests with a small segment of society (typically the most powerful, whether by wealth, family, military strength, ruthlessness, or political influence). ... A coup détat, or simply a coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government, usually done by a small group that just replaces the top power figures. ...


  • Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2nd edition (Oxford 1996): Hyperbolus
  • 'The Ostracism of Hyberbolus', J.P. Rhodes, in Ritual, Finance, Politics: Athenian Democratic Accounts presented to David Lewis, edd. R. Osborne, S. Hornblower (Oxford 1994), p. 85-99

  Results from FactBites:
Ostracism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2185 words)
The last known ostracism was that of Hyperbolos in c.
There is no sign of its use after the Peloponnesian war, when democracy was restored after the oligarchic coup of the Thirty had collapsed in 403 BC.
The last ostracism, that of Hyperbolos in or near 415 BC, is elaborately narrated by Plutarch (in three separate lives): Hyperbolos is pictured urging the people to expel one of his rivals, but they, Nicias and Alcibiades, laying aside their own hostility for a moment, use their combined influence to have him ostracised instead.
Battle Rep (864 words)
Hyperbolos, you rest your Hoplites and Peltasts against the wood, and cover over to that temple there - I think it's a temple of Phobos - and fill it with some archers.
Hyperbolos twirled his umbrella in his hand, and said, "It's the latest fashion - straight from Persepolis - a parasol, to keep the sun off my face!".
All of a sudden, they were crying strange barbaric panics, and tossing their swords to the ground, while the rest, losing interest in the engines devastating them with boulders, turned and fled.
  More results at FactBites »



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