Why Did Pisistratus Use Religion To Greek Government

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AHIS100

Essay Topic: How did Pisistratus and his sons use religion to solidify support for their government at Athens?

In Ancient Greece religion was a tool used for many different reasons, whether it was to explain the creation of the universe or to explain the occurrences of nature. Religion was a very important aspect of Greek society and culture and through ritualistic practises it allows communities to unify in a common goal to please the Gods. Among the many emperors and tyrants of Athens, it was Pisistratus that allowed religion and religious rituals to flourish in Athens. His sons, Hippias and Hipparchus, had followed in his footsteps to continue ruling Athens but they had lacked to charisma and vision that Pisistratus had. In this
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He identified religion was a common and permanent string that attached all its citizens interwoven with the structure of the Greek polis. Pisistratus aimed for religious reforms and established the Olympian worship at the heart of Athens, here all the great gods would reside in Athens therefore stating Athens as the city of the gods. His reformations started with the great shrine of Demeter at Eleusis (Brouskari, 1997), which he had brought under state control and constructed the first major Hall of Mysteries (Telesterion) for the annual rites of initiation into the cult (Hammond, 1967:6-8). Pisistratus had opened the grounds of the Acropolis, the sacred ground of worship in Athens for centuries, to many local cults in Attica and they were either moved into the city or had established secondary shrines. For example the temple of Artemis was continuingly worshipped at Brauron but Pisistratus had established a secondary temple of Artemis on the Acropolis. Also as an act to solidify his own position in parallel to unity the citizens of Athens, Athena was promoted as the main deity to be worshipped by all

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