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

1. Megacles was possibly a legendary Archon of Athens from 922 BC to 892 BC.

2. 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 (who had taken refuge on the Acropolis as a suppliant 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.

3. Megacles, the grandson of the above 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 claims 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. This event is subject to debate as to whether Herodotus has interpreted this episode correctly. However, Megacles turned against Pisistratus when Pisistratus refused to have children with Megacles' daughter, which brought an end to the second tyranny.

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.

4. 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.[1] 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.[2]

He was honored by Pindar as exiled winner in the chariot race of Pythian Games 486 BC.[3]


  • 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 6.124
  2. ^ Exile, ostracism, and democracy: the politics of expulsion in ancient Greece - Sara Forsdyke (Princeton University Press), 2005 - pg 155
  3. ^ Pythian eleven By Pindar, Patrick Finglass Page 25

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Megacles — Según el contexto Megacles puede ser: Megacles, arconte legendario de Atenas entre 922 a. C. 892 a. C. Megacles I, arconte de Atenas entre 632 a. C. y 631 a. C., de la familia de los Alcmeónidas. Expulsó al …   Wikipedia Español

  • Megacles — ▪ Athenian statesman [flourished mid 6th century BC] flourished 6th century BC       the leader of one of the parties that struggled for control of Athens during the period between the archonship of Solon and the establishment of Peisistratus… …   Universalium

  • MEGACLES — I. MEGACLES Archon Athenis τῶ διὰ βίου VI. post Phorbantem, praefuit ann. 30. circa tempora Sesostris. Sub eo hesiodum floruisse, discimus ex Epochis Marmoreis apud Ioh. Marshamum Canonc Chron. ad Sec. XV. Illi successit Diognetus, quem vide.… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Megacles de Siracusa — (griego antiguo Μεγακλῆς) fue hijo de Dion de Siracusa, y yerno de Dionisio I. Inicialmente fue uno de los máximos soportes de Dionisio, pero con el tiempo se desencantó y siguió a Dion en su huida a Siracusa en 358 a. C. Después… …   Wikipedia Español

  • MEGACLES Messanius — eius Messanae quae in Sicilia est, Agathocli Syracusanorum tyranno rebus omnibus adversabatur multosque Sicilienses contra eum concitabat, iisque qui enum de medio sustulissent, amplissima munera promisit. Agathocles hinc irritatus, Messanios… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Megacles of Epirus — Megacles was an officer in the service of Pyrrhus of Epirus, who accompanied that monarch on his expedition to Italy, 280 BC. He is mentioned as accompanying Pyrrhus when he reconnoitered the Roman camp previous to the battle of Heraclea ;… …   Wikipedia

  • Megacles de Epiro — Para otros usos de este término, véase Megacles. Megacles (Μεγακλῆς) fue un oficial de Pirro de Epiro, al cual acompañó en su expedición a Italia en 280 a. C., durante las llamadas Guerras Pírricas. Muerte en la batalla de Heraclea Cuando Pirro… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Megacles de Mitilene — Para otros usos de este término, véase Megacles. Megacles de Mitilene (Μεγακλῆς) fue un líder político de la ciudad griega de Mitilene en la isla de Lesbos. Al frente de sus seguidores y amigos derrocó a la familia gobernante de los… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Alcmaeon, son of Megacles — Alcmaeon (Gr. polytonic|Ἀλκμαίων), son of the Megacles who was guilty of sacrilege with respect to the fol­lowers of Cimon, was invited by Croesus, king of Lydia, to Sardis in consequence of the services he had rendered to an embassy sent by… …   Wikipedia

  • МЕГАКЛ —    • Megăcles,          Μεγακλη̃ς, часто встречающееся имя в знаменитом роде Алкмеонидов:        1. глава последних, сын Алкмеона, архонт в Афинах во время восстания Килоновой партии, которую ему удалось уничтожить, 612 г. до Р. X. Plut. Sol. 12; …   Реальный словарь классических древностей

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.