Ephialtes of Athens

Ephialtes (Greek: Ἐφιάλτης) was leader of the democratic movement and of the homonymous party in Athens. He was also the mentor of Pericles, the "deputy-leader" of the democratic fraction at the time.

Ephialtes worked laboriously for the preponderance of all democratic institutions in Athens and he constituted a vehement opponent of the conservative party. In 462 BC Ephialtes passed a law in ecclesia, which reformed the Areopagus, limiting its power to judging cases of homicide and religious crimes. Areopagus was deemed the hub of conservatism and Ephialtes' victory was a huge defeat for the conservatives and the oligarchics. He is also told to have voted down a proposition of Cimon to support the Spartians in their civil war against the Helots. unbeknownst to many it was Ephialtes who introduced payment for jurors at the time.

Ephialtes was assassinated in 461 BC by Aristodicus of Tanagra, who acted as a hireling of the oligarchics.

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