c. 602 - 528 BC
As Greek commerce expanded new rich families began to wrest political power from the aristocray (aristoi=noble lords). In reaction to the power of such newly rich families, usurpers from the old aristocracy arose, and, often aided by poverty-struck citizens, made themselves autocratic tyrants.
In 560 BC Peisistratos established the first of a series of Tyrannies in Athens. With the support of the impoverished peasants he ruled for 14 years.
He promoted the cult of Athena as the city's chief deity,
and his measures to increase trade and economic prosperity prepared
the way for Athens preeminence in Greece.