Polycrates, Tyrant of Samos

New Light on Archaic Greece

Polycrates, Tyrant of Samos

New Light on Archaic Greece


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This is the first intensive analysis of one of the most significant figures in Greek history: Polycrates, the 6th century BC Greek tyrant of Samos island, who was renowned for unassailable control of the Aegean Sea when Egypt and Persia were competing for dominance in the area. Polycrates played a pivotal role in this tumultuous period, and in the histories of Archaic Greece, Achaemenid Persia, and Saïte Egypt. The chronological extent of this e-book ranges from the late 7th century BC to Polycrates’ death in 522 BC. Key questions concern the basis of his tyranny within the context of earlier Samian history, his alliance with Egypt, his possible support for the Persian invasion of Egypt c. 525 BC, and the reason for an attack on him by Sparta at roughly the same time.

With sensitive use of Near Eastern evidence, a new picture emerges of Greek relations with the Near Eastern empires – one that has profound implications for traditional concepts of both tyranny and voluntary mercenary service in the archaic period.

"[T]he book is an interesting and valuable read, not to be missed by anybody interested in the history of Archaic Greece or the Greek tyranny."

Mait Kõiv, Sehepunkte 15, 2015/9

"…eine empfehlenswerte Lektüre für diejenigen, die sich mit der Geschichte Griechenlands in archaischer Zeit und der archaischen Tyrannis beschäftigen."

Jakub Kuciak, Electrum 23, 2016
ISBN 978-3-515-10900-0
Media type eBook - PDF
Edition number 1.
Copyright year 2015
Publisher Franz Steiner Verlag
Length 260 pages
Illustrations 11 b/w figs.
Language English
Copy protection digital watermark