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(d. 411 bc)

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(d. 411 bc),

5th‐cent. Athenian demagogue during and after the Archidamian War (431–421; see peloponnesian war), esp. prominent after the death of Cleon. He is sneered at in comedy for his doubtful paternity and foreign origin, but ostraka (see ostracism War) show his father had a perfectly normal and reputable Greek name. In c.416 an ostracism was held by which Hyperbolus expected to secure the removal of Alcibiades or Nicias, but they secretly allied against him, and he was himself ostracized. He went to Samos, where he was murdered by oligarchical revolutionaries. He is condemned by Thucydides (2) in unusually strong terms; but, since he was the constant butt of comic poets, his influence must have been considerable. To some extent he can be rehabilitated by sensible‐looking decrees which he proposed or amended.

Subjects: Classical studies

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