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Encyclopedia > Hyperbolus

Hyperbolus (in Greek Υπέρβολoς, Hybérbolos) was an Athenian politician active during the first half of the Peloponnesian war, coming to particular 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. ... For the earlier war beginning in 460 BC, see First Peloponnesian War. ... 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 himself, Hyperbolos did not have a noble background. He is even referred to as having been a lampmaker previous to being a political figure by Aristophanes in Peace (play) 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 (Doric: Spártā, Attic: Spártē) is a city in southern Greece. ... Bust of Thucydides residing in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. ... Greek comedy is the name given to a wide genre of theatrical plays written, and performed, in Ancient Greece. ... Pericles or Perikles (ca. ... Sketch of Aristophanes Aristophanes (Greek: , ca. ... Peace is a comedy written and produced by the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes. ...

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 by Plutarch describe 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 Hyperbolos instead. The validity of Plutarch's take on these events, however, is hard to gauge. Pieces of broken pottery as voting tokens. ... Mestrius Plutarchus (Greek: Πλούταρχος; 46 - 127), better known in English as Plutarch, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist. ... Nicias expeditions, before the Sicilian campaign. ... Alcibiades Cleiniou Scambonides (Greek: ; English /ælsɪbaɪədi:z/; 450 BC–404 BC), also transliterated as Alkibiades, was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. ...

Hyperbolus went to live on the island of Samos where he was murdered in 411 BC by oligarchic revolutionaries around the time of the coup of the 400 that for several months suppressed the democracy at Athens. Hyperbole, the making of exaggerated statements to make effect is a permanent monument to his name. Samos (Greek Σάμος) is a Greek island in the Eastern Aegean Sea, located between the island of Chios to the North and the archipelagic complex of the Dodecanese islands to the South and in particular the island of Patmos and off the coast of Turkey, on what was formely known as... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Oligarchy (Greek , Oligarkhía) is a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small, elite segment of society (whether distinguished by wealth, family or military prowess). ... 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

Athenian statesmen | Ancient Greece
Aeschines - Agyrrhius - Alcibiades - Andocides - Archinus - Aristides - Aristogeiton - Aristophon - Autocles
Callistratus - Chremonides - Cimon - Cleisthenes - Cleophon - Cleon - Critias
- Demades - Demetrius Phalereus - Demochares - Democles - Demosthenes
Ephialtes - Eubulus - Hyperbolus - Hypereides - Laches- Lycurgus - Lysicles
Miltiades - Moerocles - Nicias - Peisistratus - Pericles - Philinus - Phocion - Themistocles
Theramenes - Thrasybulus - Thucydides - Xanthippus

  Results from FactBites:
Ostracism at Athens (1671 words)
Hyperbolus was the sole undistinguished person to suffer ostracism, on account of the degeneracy of his habits, not because he was suspected of aiming at tyranny.
Ostracism was used until Hyperbolus, but it ended with him, and they did not employ the law later on, because of the weakness which came about in Athenian public affairs.
The cause of Hyperbolus' banishment is said to have been this: Alcibiades and Nicias, men who had the greatest influence in the City, were of different factions.
  More results at FactBites »



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