Chapter Six. The Tyrants

  1. Kurt A. Raaflaub Professor Director2 and
  2. Hans van Wees Professor3
  1. Elke Stein-Hölkeskamp member

Published Online: 17 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444308761.ch6

A Companion to Archaic Greece

A Companion to Archaic Greece

How to Cite

Stein-Hölkeskamp, E. (2009) The Tyrants, in A Companion to Archaic Greece (eds K. A. Raaflaub and H. van Wees), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444308761.ch6

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Brown University, USA

  2. 3

    University College London, UK

Author Information

  1. University of Münster, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 10 APR 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780631230458

Online ISBN: 9781444308761



  • Athenians' fear of tyranny - unfounded and anachronistic;
  • Orthagoras - establishing tyranny at Sicyon in c. 650;
  • tyranny of Theagenes in Megara - contemporaneous with Corinth and Sicyon;
  • phenomenon of archaic tyranny – profound polarity between aristocratic individual and polis community;
  • tyranny representing - culmination of aristocratic rule within framework of political, social, and economic structures in archaic polis;
  • democratic Athens;
  • Socrates and tyranny - rule against wishes of people, exercised by will of ruler without consideration for the law


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Case Studies

  • Common Features and General Patterns