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Inscribed Stele with Relief

This inscribed stone is a precisely worded Athenian law against tyranny dating from 336 BCE and would have been on show in the Agora, the most public area of Athens. The inscription legalises the murderous overthrow of any would-be tyrants.

Sadly this provision against a coup d’etat lasted only a few years before it was demolished, along with Athenian democracy, in 322 BCE and used as rubble under the Stoa of Attalos.

The decorative panel at the top, which was embellished with coloured painted details, shows the embodiment of democracy crowning the spirit of the Athenian people

Location of Original: 

Athens, Agora Museum, I.6524


Given by the director of the American excavations in the Agora in 1959


Merritt: Hesperia XXI (1952), 355-9, pls. 89-90
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum XII 87, XV 95
Woodhead: The Study of Greek Inscriptions, pl. 3
Lucian: Demosthenes, enc. 31 (for the proposer of the decree)
Woodhead, Agora xvi Inscription: Decrees, no.73 (for the inscription)

336 BCE

Sorry, too long to transcribe here


Found in the Athenian Agora on 3 May 1952, beneath the Stoa of Attalos

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