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Ephialtes’ Family and Character.

The Areopagus Before the Reforms..

The Reforms.

Political Background to Ephialtes’ Reforms: Cimon and Themistocles.

Political Background to Ephialtes’ Reforms: the People.

The Reforms Themselves.

→ The Death of Ephialtes.

Secondary Works Cited.

Index of Citations

General Index

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Christopher W. Blackwell, edition of January 27, 2003

page 9 of 10

· The Death of Ephialtes ·

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Aristotle (Aristot. Ath. Pol.).
Diodorus (Diod.).
Plutarch (Plut. Per.).
Antiphon (Antiph. 5).
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Aristotle says that, shortly after reforming the Court of the Areopagus, Ephialtes was kidnapped and murdered by Aristodicus of Tanagra (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 25.2; also Plut. Per. 10.7, who cites Aristotle as his source). Other sources do not think that the case of Ephialtes’ murder is so easily solved, however. Diodorus, highly critical of Ephialtes’ democratic reforms, describes the man’s end in moral terms: “Ephialtes the son of Sophonides, who, being a popular leader, had provoked the masses to anger against the Areopagites, persuaded the Assembly to vote to curtail the power of the Council of the Areopagus and to destroy the renowned customs which their fathers had followed. Nevertheless, he did not escape the punishment for attempting such lawlessness, but he was done to death by night and none ever knew how he lost his life” (Diod. 11.77.6). Plutarch says that the historian Idomeneus—who lived in the late 4th and early 3rd centuries BCE (source: OCD3)—actually accused Pericles of murdering Ephialtes (Plut. Per. 10.6). In his own century, the 5th century BCE, Ephialtes’ murders were not known (Antiph. 5.68).

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Plutarch (Plut. Per.).
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Plutarch, whose judgement of Ephialtes’ reforms and their effect on the people of Athens is highly critical (Plut. Per. 7.6), nevertheless names the reformer as one of the founders of Athens’ prosperity and power in the 5th century (Plut. Per. 16.2).

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page 9 of 10