demes. They visibly belong to the same religious area as the snaky figures of Cnossos; and, indeed, Crete figures largely in the mythology of this period. Anthropomorphic religion probably began at Athens with a rude female xoanon, or wooden pillar-like statue, who received in due course the name of the warrior maiden as Athena Polias.
Athens thus comes rather late into Greek history. Only two facts stand out with any clearness from the period before the sixth-century tyrannies: the attempted tyranny of Cylon and the early law-giving. Both these facts were recalled by events of subsequent history. The attempt of Cylon involved a curse upon one of the greatest of Athenian families, the Alcmæonids, to which belonged celebrated names like Megacles, Cleisthenes, Pericles, and Alcibiades. The Law-givers of Athens are indeed historical personages, which is more than we can say with any confidence for the Spartan Law-giver