Pisistratus, or Peisistratus (605?– B.C.), the first Athenian tyrant (illegal ruler). He established himself as absolute ruler of Athens in 546 B.C., after two unsuccessful attempts. Pisistratus overthrew the aristocratic party and ruled with popular support, giving aid to the common people by enforcing Solon's reform laws. He built up commerce, expanded Athenian influence in the Aegean area, and beautified the city. The collecting of Homer's poems was probably sponsored by Pisistratus. At his death the tyranny was continued under his sons, Hippias and Hipparchus, until a revolt in 510 B.C.
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