World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Alcmaeonid

Article Id: WHEBN0001586888
Reproduction Date:

Title: Alcmaeonid  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Battle of Marathon, Themistocles, Helots, Greco-Persian Wars, Agariste of Sicyon, Peisistratos, Spartan Constitution
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Alcmaeonid

The Alcmaeonidae /ˌælkmˈɒnɨd/ or Alcmaeonids /ˌælkmˈnɪdz/ (Ἀλκμαιωνίδαι) were a powerful noble family of ancient Athens, a branch of the Neleides who claimed descent from the mythological Alcmaeon, the great-grandson of Nestor.[1]

The first notable Alcmaeonid was Megacles, who was the Archon Eponymous of Athens in the 7th century BC. He was responsible for killing the followers of Cylon of Athens during the attempted coup of 632 BC, as Cylon had taken refuge as a suppliant at the temple of Athena. As a result of their actions, Megacles and his Alcmaeonid followers were the subject of an ongoing curse and were exiled from the city. Even the bodies of buried Alcmaeonidae were dug up and removed from the city limits.

The Alcmaeonids were allowed back into the city in 594 BC, during the archonship of Solon.[2] During the tyranny of Pisistratus, the Alcmaeonid Megacles married his daughter to Pisistratus, but when the tyrant refused to have children with her, Megacles banished him. Later the Alcmaeonids would claim to have been exiled following Pisistratus' return in 546 BC so as to distance themselves from possible accusations of complicity, but epigraphic evidence in fact proves that Cleisthenes was archon for the year 525-4. Megacles was able to marry (for a second or third time) Agarista, the daughter of the tyrant Cleisthenes of Sicyon. They had two sons, Hippocrates and Cleisthenes, the reformer of the Athenian democracy. Hippocrates' daughter was Agariste, the mother of Pericles.

This Cleisthenes overthrew Hippias, the son and successor of Pisistratus, in 508 BC. He had bribed the oracle at Delphi (which the Alcmaeonidae had helped to build while they were in exile) to convince the Spartans to help him, which they reluctantly did. Cleisthenes was, at first, opposed by some who felt the curse made the Alcmaeonidae ineligible to rule; the Spartan king Cleomenes I even turned against Cleisthenes and the latter was briefly exiled once more. However, the citizens called for Cleisthenes to return, and the restored Alcmaeonids were responsible for laying the foundations of Athenian democracy.

The Alcmaeonidae were said to have negotiated for an alliance with the Persians during the Persian Wars, despite the fact that Athens was leading the resistance to the Persian invasion. Pericles and Alcibiades also belonged to the Alcmaeonidae, and during the Peloponnesian War the Spartans referred to the family's curse in an attempt to discredit Pericles. Alcibiades, as the previous generation of Alcmaeonidae had done, tried to ally with the Persians after he was accused of impiety. The family disappeared after Athens's defeat in the Peloponnesian War.

Family tree

Because of a family tradition of naming descendants after their forebears, members of the family can easily be confused. Hence, what follows is a partial family tree of the historical Alcmaeonid family. Males are in blue, females in red, and those related by marriage in white.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alcmaeon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Megacles (6th perpetual archon)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alcmaeon (King of Athens) (died 753 BC)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Megacles (7th century BC)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alcmaeon
 
Cleisthenes of Sicyon
(c. 600-570)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Megacles
 
Agariste of Sicyon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cleisthenes
 
Hippocrates[3][4]
 
Coesyra
 
 
 
 
Ariphron
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alcibiades[5][6]
 
 
 
Megacles
Victor, Pythian Games[7]
 
 
 
 
Megacles
(ostracized 486 BC
 
Agariste
 
Xanthippus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Axiochus[8]
 
Cleinias
 
Deinomache[9]
 
Hipponicus III
 
Euryptolemus[10]
 
Pericles
 
 
Ariphron[9]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alcibiades
 
Cleinias
 
 
Cimon
 
Isodice
 
Paralus
 
 
Xanthippus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alcibiades
 
 
 
Callias III
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alcibiades[11]
 
Cleinias[12]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

References

Other sources

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 USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov 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 Project Gutenberg 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.