Friday, April 8, 2011


Tyrannicides (514 BC)

Check out this hot revolutionary Ancient Greek couple. Trynancide means the killing of a tyrant, or someone who has committed the act for the common good. The most famous Tyranacides are handsome Harmodius, and the striking Aristogeiton, lovers of ancient Athens. Harmodius and Aristogeiton were sexy martyrs to the cause of Athenian freedom who became a symbol of democracy when they sacrificed their own lives to kill the tyrant Hipparchus. Carrying knives hidden in myrtle wreathes they assassinated Hipparchus at The Panathenaic Games in 514 BC.

Later Cleisthenes, a noble Athenian of the Alcmaeonid family, commissioned the sculptor Antenor to create a statue of the heroic lovers. It was the foremost commission of its kind and so the couple became immortalized in the first statue ever to be paid for out of public funds.

Edward Carpenter, English mystic, socialist philosopher, and out gay activist from turn of the century England wrote of the Tyrannicides,
“If the love of Harmodious had been for a wife and children at home, he would probably not have cared, and it would hardly have been his business, to slay the tyrant.”

And their story is also told in a popular drinking song,

“In a myrtle branch I will carry my sword,
as did Harmodius and Aristogeiton
When at the Feast of Athena
They slew the tyrant Hipparchus.
Ever shall your fame live in the earth
Dearest Harmodious and Aristogeiton,
For that you slew the tyrant
And made Athens a city of equal rights.”

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