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was in love with a courtesan (see hetaera) by the name of Leæna (Λέαινα – meaning lioness) who also was kept by Hippias under torture – in a vain attempt to force her to divulge the names of the other conspirators – until she died.One version holds that previous to being tortured she had bitten off her tongue, afraid that her resolve would break from the pain of the torture.The two principal historical sources covering Harmodius and Aristogeiton are the History of the Peloponnesian War (VI, 56–59) by Thucydides, and The Constitution of the Athenians (XVIII) attributed to Aristotle or his school.However, their story is documented by a great many other ancient writers, including important sources such as Herodotus and Plutarch.

Following Hipparchus' rejection by Harmodius, for whom he had unrequited feelings, Hipparchus invited Harmodius' young sister to be the kanephoros (to carry the ceremonial offering basket) at the Panathenaea festival, and then publicly chased her away on the pretext she was not a virgin, as required.

In Archaic Greece, the term tyrant, referred to one who had seized power and ruled outside of a state's constitutional law, and did not carry the same negative implications it does today.

When Peisistratus died in 528/7 BC, his son Hippias took the position of Archon and became the new tyrant of Athens, with the help of his brother, Hipparchus, who acted as the minister of culture.

Herodotus expresses surprise at this event, asserting that Hipparchus had received a clear warning concerning his fate in a dream.

Harmodius was killed on the spot by spearmen of Hipparchus' guards, while Aristogeiton was arrested shortly thereafter.

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