FERES (Ancient city) RIGAS FERAIOS
Lycophron. A citizen of Pherae, where he put down the government of the nobles and established a tyranny. Aiming further at making himself master of the whole of Thessaly, he overthrew in a battle, with great slaughter (B. C. 404), the Larissaeans and others of the Thessalians, who opposed him, adherents, no doubt, of the Aleuadae. (Xen. Hell. ii. 3. 4.) Schneider (ad Xen. l. c.) conjectures that the troops and money obtained in the preceding year by Aristippus of Larissa from Cyrus the Younger were intended to resist the attempts of Lycophron (Xen. Anab. i. 1. 10). In B. C. 395, Medius of Larissa, probably the head of the Aleuadae, was engaged in war with Lycophron, who was assisted by Sparta, while Medius received succours from the opposite confederacy of Greek states, which enabled him to take Pharsalus. (Diod. xiv. 82.) Of the manner and period of Lycophron's death we know nothing. He was probably the father of Jason of Pherae.
This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Jason (Iason), tyrant of Pherae and Tagus
of Thessaly, was probably the son of Lycophron, who established a tyranny
on the ruins of aristocracy at Pherae, about the end of the Peloponnesian war,
and aimed at dominion overall the Thessalians (Xen. Hell. ii. 3.4; Diod. xiv.
82). From this passage of Diodorus we know that Lycophron was still alive in B.
C. 395, but we cannot fix the exact time at which Jason succeeded him, nor do
we find anything recorded of the latter till towards the close of his life. Wyttenbach,
however (ad Plut. Mor. p. 89, c.), may possibly be right in his conjecture that
the Prometheus who is mentioned by Xenophon as engaged in struggles against the
old aristocratic families of Thessaly, with the aid of Critias, was no other than
Jason (Xen. Mem. i. 2.24, Hell. ii. 3.36). It is at least certain that the surname
in question could not have been applied more appropriately. He not only adopted,
but expanded the ambitious designs of Lycophron, and he advanced towards the fulfilment
of his schemes ably, energetically, and unscrupulously. In B. C. 377 we find him
aiding Theogenes to seize the Acropolis of Histiaea in Euboea, from which, however,
the latter was afterwards dislodged by the Lacedaemonians under Therippidas or
Herippidas (Diod. xv. 30). In B. C. 375 all the Thessalian towns had been brought
under Jason's dominion, with the exception of Pharsalus, which had been entrusted
by the citizens to the direction of Polydamas. Alcetas I., king of Epeirus, was
associated with him rather as a dependent than an ally, and Thebes was leagued
with him from enmity to Sparta, from which latter state, though it had supported
Lycophron (Diod. xiv. 82), he held aloof, probably because of its connection with
Pharsalus (Xen. Hell. vi. 2, 13), and also from the policy of taking the weaker
side. He already kept in his pay 6000 picked mercenaries, with whose training
he took personally the greatest pains; and if he could unite Thessaly under himself
as Tagus, it would furnish him, in addition, with a force of 6000 cavalry and
more than 10,000 foot. The neighbouring tribes would yield him a body of lightarmed
troops, with which no others could cope. The Thessalian Penestae would effectually
man his ships, and of these he would be able to build a far larger number than
the Athenians, as he might calculate on possessing as his own the resources of
Macedonia and all its ship-timber. If once therefore the lord of Thessaly, he
might fairly hope to become the master of Greece; and when Greece was in his power,
the weakness of the Persian empire, as shown especially by the retreat of the
Ten Thousand and the campaigns of Agesilaus in Asia, opened to him an unbounded
and glorious field of conquest (Xen. Hell. vi. 1. 4-12; comp. Isocr. ad Phil.;
Diod. xv. 60; Val. Max. ix. 10). But the first step to be taken was to secure
the dominion of Pharsalus. This he had the means of effecting by force, but he
preferred to carry his point by negotiation, and accordingly, in a personal conference
with Polydamas, he candidly set before him the nature and extent of his plans
and his resources, represented to him that opposition on the part of Pharsalus
would be fruitless, and urged him therefore to use his influence to bring over
the town to submission, promising him the highest place, except his own, in power
and dignity. Polydamas answered that he could not honourably accept his offer
without the consent of Sparta, with which he was in alliance ; and Jason, with
equal frankness, told him to lay the state of the case before the Lacedaemonians,
and see whether they could adequately support Pharsalus against his power. Polydamas
did so, and the Lacedaemonians replied that they were unable to give the required
help, and advised him to make the best terms he could for himself and his state.
Polydamas then acceded to the proposal of Jason, asking to be allowed to retain
the citadel of Pharsalus for those who had entrusted it to him, and promising
to use his endeavors to bring the town into alliance with him, and to aid [p.
555] him in getting himself chosen Tagus. Soon after this, probably in B. C. 374,
Jason was elected to the office in question, and proceeded to settle the contingent
of cavalry and heavy-armed troops which each Thessalian city was to furnish, and
the amount of tribute to be paid by the perioikoi, or subject people. He also
entered into an alliance with Amyntas II., king of Macedonia (Xen. Hell. vi. 1.2-19;
Diod. xv. 60; Plut. Pol. Praec. 24, Reg. et Imp. Apoph. Epam. 13). In B. C. 373
Jason and Alcetas I., king of Epeirus, came to Athens, with which they were both
in alliance at the time, to intercede on behalf of Timotheus, who was acquitted,
on his trial, in a great measure through their influence (Dem. c. Tim.; Corn.
Nep. Tim. 4). In B. C. 371, after the battle of Leuctra, the Thebans sent intelligence
of it to Jason, as their ally, requesting his aid. Accordingly, he manned some
triremes, as if he meant to go to the help of the Thebans by sea; and having thus
thrown the Phocians off their guard, marched repidly through their country, and
arrived safely at Leuctra. Here the Thebans were anxious that he should join them
in pressing their victory over the enemy; but Jason (who had no wish to see Thebes
any more than Sparta in a commanding position) dissuaded them, by setting forth
the danger of driving the Lacedaemonians to despair. The latter he persuaded to
accept a truce, which would enable them to secure their safety by a retreat, representing
himself as actuated by a kindly feeling towards them, as his father had been on
terms of friendship with their state, and he himself still stood to them in the
relation of proxenus. Such is the account of Xenophon (Hell. vi. 4.20, &c.). According
to that of Diodorus, Jason arrived before the battle, and prevailed on both parties
to agree to a truce, in consequence of which the Spartan king, Cleombrotus, drew
off his army; but Archidamus had been sent to his aid with a strong reinforcement,
and the two commanders, having united their forces, returned to Boeotia, in defiance
of the compact, and were then defeated at Leuctra (Diod. xv. 54). This statement,
however, cannot be depended on. On his return through Phocis, Jason took Hyampolis
and ravaged its land, leaving the rest of the country undisturbed. He also demolished
the fortifications of the Lacedaemonian colony of Heracleia in Trachinia, which
commanded the passage from Thessaly into southern Greece, evidently (says Xenophon)
entertaining no fear of an attack on his own country, but wishing to keep open
a way for himself should he find it expedient to march to the south (Xen. Hell.
vi. 4.27; comp. Diod. xv. 57, who refers the demolition of Heracleia to B. C.
370). Jason was now in a position which held out to him every prospect of becoming
master of Greece. The Pythian games were approaching, and he proposed to march
to Delphi at the head of a body of Thessalian troops, and to preside at the festival.
Magnificent preparations were made for this, and much alarm and suspicion appear
to have been excited throughout Greece. The Delphians, fearing for the safety
of the sacred treasures, consulted the oracle on the subject, and received for
answer that the god himself would take care of them (Comp. Herod. viii. 36; Suid.
s. v. emoi melesei tauta kai leukas korais). Jason, having made all his preparations,
had one day reviewed his cavalry, and was sitting in public to give audience to
all comers, when he was murdered by seven youths, according to Xenophon and Ephorus,
who drew near under pretence of laying a private dispute before him. Two of the
assassins were slain by the body guard, the rest escaped, and were received with
honour in all the Grecian cities to which they came -a sufficient proof of the
general fear which the ambitious designs of Jason had excited. The fact, however,
that his dynasty continued after his death shows how fully he had consolidated
his power in Thessaly (Xen. Hell. vi. 4.28-32). It does not clearly appear what
motive his murderers had for the deed. Ephorus (ap. Diod. xv. 60) ascribed it
to the desire of distinction, which seems to point to a strong political feeling
against his rule; and this is confirmed by the anecdote of a former attempt to
assassinate him, which accidentally saved his life by opening an impostume from
which he was suffering, and on which his physicians had tried their skill in vain
(Cic. de Nat. Deor. iii. 28; Val. Max. i. 8. Ext. 6; comp. Xen. Hell. vi. 1.14;
Diod. xv. 57). Valerius Maximus (ix. 10, Ext. 2) tells us that the youths who
murdered him were excited by revenge because they had been punished with blows
for an assault on one Taxillus, a gymnasiarch. According to Diodorus (xv. 60),
some accounts mentioned Jason's own brother and successor, Polydorus, as his murderer.
An insatiable appetite for power -to use his own metaphor- was Jason's ruling passion (Arist. Pol. iii. 4, ed. Bekk. ephe peinein hote me turannoi); and to gratify this, he worked perseveringly and without the incumbrance of moral scruples, by any and every means. With the chief men in the several states of Greece, as e. g. with Timotheus and Pelopidas (Plut. Pelop. 28), he cultivated friendly relations; and the story told by Plutarch and Aelian of the rejection of his presents by Epaminondas, shows that he was ready to resort to corruption, if he saw or thought he saw an opportunity. (Plut. de Gen. Soc. 14, Apoph. Reg. et Imp. Epam. 13; Ael. V. H. xi. 9). We find also on record a maxim of his, that a little wrong is justifiable for the sake of a great good (Arist. Rh/et. i. 12.31; Plut. Pol. Praec. 24). He is represented as having all the qualifications of a great general and diplomatist--as active, temperate, prudent, capable of enduring much fatigue, and no less skilful than Themistocles in concealing his own designs and penetrating those of his enemies (Xen. Hell. vi. 1.6; Diod. xv. 60; Cic. de Off. i. 30). Pausanias tells us that he was an admirer of the rhetoric of Gorgias; and among his friends he reckoned Isocrates, whose cherished vision of Greece united against Persia made him afterwards the dupe of Philip (Paus. vi. 17; Isocr. Ep. ad Jas. Fil.).
This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Jan 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Jason of Pherai (d. 370 BC). Ruler of Thessaly,
who was the son of the tyrant of Pherai (just north of Volos).
When his father died in 380 BC he succeeded him, and took control of the whole
of Thessaly with his 6000
The situation in Thessaly was then infested with constant battles between the various aristocratic families of the area, and Jason found support from Athens and Thebes. When Thebes had defeated the Spartans at the battle of Leuctra Jason intermediated so that the Spartan army could go home.
He wanted to create a state of hegemony in Greece, and had the strongest military power of his time, with 20 000 foot soldiers and a cavalry of 8000. He also built a fleet and planned a pan-Hellenic attack on the Persians.
In 370 BC he wanted to lead the Pythian Games but a group of young Thessalian aristocrats murdered him. Philip II of Macedonia was to continue his plans.
This text is cited Sept 2003 from the In2Greece URL below.
Alexander (Alexandros), tyrant of Pherae. The accounts of his usurpation vary
somewhat in minor points; Diodorus (xv. 61 ) tells us that, on the assassination
of Jason, B. C. 370, Polydorus his brother ruled for a year, and was then poisoned
by Alexander, another brother. According to Xenophon (Hell. vi. 4.34), Polydorus
was murdered by his brother Polyphron, and Polyphron, in his turn, B. C. 369,
1 by Alexander--his nephew, according to Plutarch, who relates also that Alexander
worshipped as a god the spear with which he slew his uncle (Plut. Pelop). Alexander
governed tyrannically, and according to Diodorus, differently from the former
rulers, but Polyphron, at least, seems to have set him the example. The Thessalian
states, however, which had acknowledged the authority of Jason the Tagus (Xen.
Hell. vi. 1.4, 5, &c.; Diod. xv. 60), were not so willing to subinit to the oppression
of Alexander the tyrant, and they applied therefore (and especially the old family
of the Aleuadae of Larissa, who had most reason to fear him) to Alexander, king
of Macedon, son of Amyntas II. The tyrant, with his characteristic energy, prepared
to meet his enemy in Macedonia, but the king anticipated him, and, reaching Larissa,
was admitted into the city, obliged the Thessalian Alexander to flee to Pherae,
and left a garrison in Larissa, as well as in Cranon, which had also come over
to him (Diod. xv. 61). But the Macedonian having retired, his friends in Thessaly,
dreading the vengeance of Alexander, sent for aid to Thebes, the policy of which
state, of course, was to check a neighbour who might otherwise become so formidable,
and Pelopidas was accordingly despatched to succour them. On the arrival of the
latter at Larissa, whence according to Diodorus (xv. 67) he dislodged the Macedonian
garrison, Alexander presented himself and offered submission; but soon after escaped
by flight, alarmed by the indignation which Pelopidas expressed at the tales he
heard of his cruelty and tyrannical profligacy. These events appear to be referable
to the early part of the year 368. In the summer of that year Pelopidas was again
sent into Thessaly, in consequence of fresh complaints against Alexander. Accompanied
by Ismenias, he went merely as a negotiator, and without any military force, and
venturing incautiously within the power of the tyrant, was seized by him and thrown
into prison (Diod. xv. 71; Plut. Pelop; Polyb. viii. 1). The language of Demosthenes
(c. Aristocr.) will hardly support Mitford's inference, that Pelopidas was taken
prisoner in battle. The Thebans sent a large army into Thessaly to rescue Pelopidas,
but they could not keep the field against the superior cavalry of Alexander, who,
aided by auxiliaries from Athens, pursued them with great slaughter; and the destruction
of the whole Theban army is said to have been averted only by the ability of Epaminondas,
who was serving in the campaign, but not as general.
The next year, 367, was signalized by a specimen of Alexander's treacherous cruelty in the massacre of the citizens of Scotussa; and also by another expedition of the Thebans under Epaminondas into Thessaly, to effect the release of Pelopidas. According to Plutarch, the tyrant did not dare to offer resistance, and was glad to purchase even a thirty days' truce by the delivery of the prisoners. During the next three years Alexander would seem to have renewed his attempts against the states of Thessaly, especially those of Magnesia and Phthiotis, for at the end of that time, B. C. 364, we find them again applying to Thebes for protection against him. The army appointed to march under Pelopidas is said to have been dismayed by an eclipse (June 13, 364), and Pelopidas, leaving it behind, entered Thessaly at the head of three hundred volunteer horsemen and some mercenaries. A battle ensued at Cynoscephalae, wherein Pelopidas was himself slain, but defeated Alexander; and this victory was closely followed by another of the Thebans under Malcites and Diogiton, who obliged Alexander to restore to the Thessalians the conquered towns, to confine himself to Pherae, and to be a dependent ally of Thebes. (Plut. Pel.; Diod. xv. 80; comp. Xen. Hell. vii. 5.4)
The death of Epaminondas in 362, if it freed Athens from fear of Thebes, appears at the same time to have exposed her to annoyance from Alexander, who, as though he felt that he had no further occasion for keeping up his Athenian alliance, made a piratical descent on Tenos and others of the Cyclades, plundering them, and making slaves of the inhabitants. Peparethus too he besieged, and " even landed troops in Attica itself, and seized the port of Panormus, a little eastward of Sunium." Leosthenes, the Athenian admiral, defeated him, and relieved Peparethus, but Alexander delivered his men from blockade in Panormus, took several Attic triremes, and plundered the Peiraeeus (Diod. xv. 95; Polyaen. vi. 2; Demosth. c. Polycl.).
The murder of Alexander is assigned by Diodorus to B. C. 367. Plutarch gives a detailed account of it, containing a lively picture of a semibarbarian palace. Guards watched throughout it all the night, except at the tyrant's bedchamber, which was situated at the top of a ladder, and at the door of which a ferocious dog was chained. Thebe, the wife and cousin of Alexander, and daughter of Jason, concealed her three brothers in the house during the day. caused the dog to be removed when Alexander had retired to rest, and having covered the steps of the ladder with wool, brought up the young men to her husband's chamber. Though she had taken away Alexander's sword, they feared to set about the deed till she threatened to awake him and discover all : they then entered and despatched him. His body was cast forth into the streets, and exposed to every indignity. Of Thebe's motive for the murder different accounts are given. Plutarch states it to have been fear of her husband, together with hatred of his cruel and brutal character, and ascribes these feelings principally to the representations of Pelopidas, when she visited him in his prison. In Cicero the deed is ascribed to jealousy. (Plut. Pel.; Diod. xvi. 14; Xen. Hell. vi. 4.37; Cic. de Off. ii. 7. See also Cic. de Inv. ii. 49, where Alexander's murder illustrates a knotty point for special pleading; also Aristot. ap. Cic. de Div. i. 25 ; the dream of Eudemus.)
This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Lycophron. A son, apparently, of Jason, and one of the brothers of Thebe, wife of Alexander, the tyrant of Phlerae, in whose murder he tool part together with his sister and his two brothers, Tisiphonus and Peitholaus. On Alexander's death the power appears to have been wielded mainly by Tisiphonus, though Diodorus says that he and Lycophron made themselves joint-tyrants, with the aid of a mercenary force, and maintained their ascendancy by cruelty and violence. (Xen. Hell. vi. 4. 37; Con. Narr. 50; Diod. xvi. 14; Plut. Pel. 35; Clint. F. H. vol. ii. App. Ch. 15). In B. C. 352, by which time it seems that Tisiphonus was dead, Philip of Macedon, on the application of the Aleuadae and their party, advanced into Thessaly against Lycophron, who was now chief ruler. The latter was aided by the Phocians, at first under Phayllus, without success, and then with better fortune under Onomarchus, who defeated Philip in two battles and drove him back into Macedonia ; but soon after Philip entered Thessaly again, and Onomarchus, having also returned front Boeotia to the assistance of Lycophron, was defeated and slain. Lycophron, and his brother Peitholaus, being now left without resource, surrendered Pherae to Philip and withdrew from Thessaly with 2000 mercenaries to join their Phocian allies under Phayllus. An antithetic sarcasm, quoted by Aristotle, seems to imply that they did not give their services for nothing. In the hostilities between Sparta and Megalopolis, in this same year (B. C. 352), we find among the forces of the former 150 of the Thessalian cavalry, who had been driven out from Pherae with Lycophron and Peitholaus. (Diod. xvi. 35-37, 39; Paus. x. 2; Just. viii. 2; Dem. Olynth. ii.; Isocr. Phil.; Arist. Rhet. iii. 9. 8). From the downfall of Lycophron to the battle of Cynoscephalae, in B. C. 197, Thessaly continued dependent on the kings of Macedonia.
This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2006 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
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