Tyrants of the Thracian Chersonese
In c.560-556 BC a
Thracian tribe, the
Dolonci, offered the rule of the
Thracian Chersonese (a peninsula in a strategic location dominating the grain route through the
Hellespont) to the Philaid
Miltiades the Elder, the son of Cypselus the archon. Miltiades accepted the offer and became tyrant of the Chersonese. He
built a wall across the
Bulair Isthmus to protect the peninsula from raiders from Thrace.
Pisistratus, the tyrant of Athens, did not object to Miltiades leaving Athens to set himself up as a semi-independent ruler on the far side of the
Aegean Sea as it removed a potential rival from the city and gave him a useful role as an ally of Athens in a strategically important location.
Meanwhile a Philaid called
Cimon Coalemos, ('coalemos' meaning simpleton), won the prestigious
Olympic chariot race three times in succession during the rule of Pisistratid tyrants. He earned a recall from exile by dedicating his second victory to Pisistratus but when he unwisely continued his winning streak by notching up a famous third consecutive Olympic victory he fell foul of Pisistratus' sons
Hipparchus who had him assassinated.
Around 534 BC Miltiades the Elder died and the tyranny of the Thracian Chersonese passed to his step-brother's son Stesagoras. Then in c.520 BC Stesagoras was succeeded by his brother
Miltiades the Younger, son of Cimon Coalemus. This younger Miltiades cemented good relations with neighbouring Thracian tribes by marrying Hegesipyle daughter of the Thracian king
Miltiades the Younger also served with King
Darius I of
Persia during his campaign against the
Scythians in c.513 BC and when the Greek contingents were left guarding a bridge over the
Danube River Miltiades tried to convince his fellow Greeks to demolish the bridge so as to leave the Persian king stranded in Scythia (or so he later claimed).