Cylon of Athens: The Real-life Teo Altman

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Read on Amazon, now only 99c

One of my favorite Pearseus characters is Teo Altman; the power-hungry despot who lies and kills his way to the top. As most of my characters, he is based on a real-life person from ancient Greek history. Cylon of Athens is associated with the first reliably dated event in Athenian history: the Cylonian Affair, an ill-fated, week-long seizure of power in the city.

Cylon, one of the Athenian nobles and a previous victor of the Olympic Games, attempted a coup in 632 BCE with support from Megara, where his father-in-law, Theagenes, was tyrant. However, the commoners revolted and opposed the coup. Cylon and his supporters took refuge in Athena’s temple on the Acropolis (the later Parthenon). Cylon and his brother escaped, but his followers were cornered by Athens’ nine archons, who persuaded them to leave and stand trial after assuring them…

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