Lygdamis of Naxos

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Lygdamis[pronunciation?] (Greek: Λύγδαμις) was the tyrant of Naxos, an island in the Cyclades, during the third quarter of the 6th Century BC.

He was initially a member of the oligarchy which ruled Naxos. In 546 BC, Lygdamis supported the former Athenian tyrant Peisistratos in his landing at Marathon which led to the restoration of Peisistratos to power in Athens.[1]

The following year Lygdamis, taking advantage of discontent arising from the concentration of wealth in the hands of the oligarchs, turned against the oligarchy and seized power as tyrant with the aid of his ally Peisistratos.[2] He secured his position by exiling potential rivals and extended his dominance over neighbouring islands such as Paros.[3]

The "Portara", the lintel of Lygdamis' Temple of Apollo at Naxos

Lygdamis contributed a force of mercenaries to aid his ally Polycrates, the powerful tyrant of Samos, in his campaigns against Miletus and Mytilene.[4] Lygdamis had an ambitious building program and in 530 BC he began work on a huge Temple of Apollo which was never completed.[citation needed] The Portara, the lintel of the temple, stands today as one of the chief landmarks of Naxos.

In 524 BC Lygdamis' rule over Naxos was ended when he was overthrown by the intervention of a Spartan army.[2] Naxos continued to prosper in the years immediately after Lygdamis' rule under a new oligarchy.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pomeroy, Sarah B. (1998). Ancient Greece: a political, social and cultural history, p. 171
  2. ^ a b Grant, Michael (1987). The Rise of The Greeks. Guild Publishing London. p. 185
  3. ^ Grant, Michael (1987). The Rise of The Greeks. Guild Publishing London. p. 188
  4. ^ Grant, Michael (1987). The Rise of The Greeks. Guild Publishing London. p. 153