The Sixth-Century Tyranny at Samos

Classical Quarterly 14 (02):210- (1964)
IN examining Herodotos' account of the Samian tyranny, historians have long been disturbed by two considerations. First, it seems strange that the period of settled tyranny should have begun no earlier than the rise of Polykrates and his two brothers c. 533 B.C., even though Samos was among the most advanced cities in Ionia. Yet it seems equally impossible to revise this accession date in an upward direction, at least by any significant margin. Furthermore, there had been at work in Samos from c. 600 or earlier many of the factors which elsewhere in Ionia did in fact lead to a comparatively stable period of tyranny at that date, for instance at Miletos and Ephesos. Secondly, though Herodotos knows of no tyrant before Polykrates, it has been observed that the policies ascribed to him as characteristic were very largely the continuation of policies initiated a generation or more previously
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DOI 10.1017/S0009838800023764
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