Theagenes of Megara

Tyrant of Megara (Θεαγένης), He obtained his power probably about 630 BC, having espoused the part of the commonalty against the nobles. He is said to have gained their confidence by violent aggressions on the wealthy proprietors, whose cattle he destroyed in their pastures. (Arist. Pol. v. 4, 5, Rhet. i. 2, 7.) Mr. Malden (Hist. of Rome, p. 153, " Library of Useful Knowledge,") supposes that these were public lands. By these outrages, and other demagogic arts, he gained the enthusiastic attachment of the commonalty, and by a vote of the people obtained a body of guards, by whose aid he overthrew the oligarchy, and made himself tyrant. He was, however, driven out before his death. He gave his daughter in marriage to Cylon.

Pausanias (i. 40. § 1, i. 41. § 2) mentions some public works which he erected in Megara. Like most of the other tyrants, he, doubtless, found it expedient to foster industry and the arts. But from the picture which some time after Theognis gives of the state of the country, it does not seem that the people generally were permanently benefited by the reign of Theagenes. (Thirlwall, Hist. of Greece, vol. i. p. 428; Grote, Hist. of Greece, vol. iii. p. 59.)






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