Alcmeonids (Greek Ἀλκμαιωνίδαι): noble family from Athens.
The Alcmeonids were a wealthy, aristocratic ("Eupatrid") family in Attica that played a role in Athenian politics in the seventh, sixth and early fifth century. If we ignore the more legendary members of the family, the main Alcmeonids were:
- Megacles I: c.635 BCE opponent of Cylon; sent into exile because of miasma, "curse of the goddess" (i.e., Athena).note[Herodotus, Histories 5.71; Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War 1.126; Plutarch, Solon 12.]
- Alcmaeon: Olympian victor, c.590 BCE commander of the Athenian forces during the First Sacred War, contacts with the kings of Lydia.note[Herodotus, Histories 6.125; Plutarch, Solon 11; Isocrates, Oration 16.25.]
- Megacles II: c.575 BCE married to Agariste I, the daughter of Cleisthenes of Sicyon.note[Herodotus, Histories 6.126-130.]
This Megacles had three children.
- A daughter: married to the tyrant of Athens, Pisistratus.note[Herodotus, Histories 1.59; ps.Aristotle, Athenian Constitution 14.4.]
- Cleisthenes: c.510 BCE builder of the temple of Apollo in Delphi, founder of the Athenian democracy.note[Herodotus, Histories 5.62-66, 69-73; ps.Aristotle, Athenian Constitution 19.]
- Hippocrates: father of Megacles IV, who was ostracized in 487/486, and Agariste II, who was married to Xanthippus and gave birth to Pericles.
Cleisthenes was the father of Megacles III, whose daughter Deinomache was married to Cleinias and gave birth to Alcibiades.
The Greek researcher Herodotus of Halicarnassus reports that there were rumors that during the Persian campaign of 490 BCE (which culminated in the battle of Marathon), that the Alcmeonids had tried to betray Athens to the Persians, but the same author also states that he does not believe these rumors.note[Herodotus, Histories 6.121.]