Arcesilas's Victory

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Pindar’s perspective shows that the victory at Pythia was for Arcesilas’ future, because it would pacify his people and show them the tyrant had both excellence and favor. What real effect would this victory have had on Arcesilas? Arcesilas, as the descendant of a Greek colonizer, would have been regarded as a Greek in Cyrene. However, in Greece itself the circumstances may have been different. As the eighth generation king of a Greco-Libyan city, client king of the Persian Empire, and interbred with local noble lines, Arcesilas may have been ambiguously viewed on the mainland, and by more recent generations of colonists. As depicted by the Cyrene Vase of Arcesilas, which shows the caricature of Arcesilas II, the Battids were shown as Egyptian…show more content…
Several years past his victory, he is deposed by his people, and killed in exile alongside his son, Battus V. This holds true an oracle, which stated that the “dynasty will last through the four kings Battus and Arcesilas.” This symbolic destruction could indicate their abandonment by Apollo, or could be indicative of Aristotle’s theory that tyrannies beget democracies, as democracies will avoid giving more honor to one person over a short period to resist their gaining power- after the deposition of Arcesilas, Cyrene became a client republic within the Persian Empire. Arcesilas IV’s impact on the imposition of democracy in Cyrene can be seen as that of catalyst, as his abuse of royal rights pushed the people into confrontation and regime change. His actions were that of an overzealous tyrant, who strayed from the role of more dependable tyrants such as Hiero. Although Pindar advised Arcesilas to alter his government style, Arcesilas’ actions led to his overthrow and death. His victory at the Pythian Games led to an increase in his fame and popularity among the upper class Greek nobles, but he continued to abuse them with no regard for their rights. The role of his culture in his actions may have been an impetus for his outbursts, as he may have not been accepted by either the Greek colonists or the Libyan natives, and hired mercenaries to protect him from the groups that ostracized him. Pindar symbolically gives Arcesilas’ fate to

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