Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Curse of the Alcmaeonidae.

When I first read this part, while reading Plato at the Googleplex, I got very intrigued. Curses in Athenian times? Count me in. I googled it and learned a little more about what it actually entailed. The Alcmaeonidae were a powerful noble family of ancient Athens, a branch of the Neleides who claimed descent from the mythologial Alcmaeon, the great-grandson of Nestor. 
This family has very rich background and stories! Not only did it produce Megacles, who was the Archon Eponymous of Athens in the 7th century BC, but it also produced Pericles, "the first Citizen of Athens" and who's rule came to be called The Age of Pericles. Pericles is responsible for Athens having the reputation of being the educational and cultural center of the ancient Greek world.  
Anyways, back to The Curse. Megacles is responsible for this curse. He was responsible for killing the followers of Cylon during the attempted coup of 632 BC, as Cylon had taken refuge as a suppliant at the temple oAthenaCylon and his followers, wanting to take over the Acropolis, hid in the temple thus they couldn’t be attacked as long as they were suppliants of the Goddess. Then, the Alcmaeoidae violated their sanctuary and told them that they would be safe as long as they came down and talked. Cylon and his followers tethered themselves with a rope to the temple, to still be under its protection, and the rope broke. At this point Megacles and his followers killed them thinking that the rope breaking was a sign that Athena didn’t offer her protection, thus incurring the curse and getting the family banished.

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