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date: 07 February 2023

Perianderlocked

Perianderlocked

  • John Salmon

Extract

Periander, tyrant of *Corinthc.627–587 bce, after his father *Cypselus; he was for many the typical oppressive tyrant; see tyranny. Advice that he should eliminate rivals is said by *Herodotus (1) to have been given to Periander by Thrasybulus of *Miletus, who walked silently through a field of corn lopping off ears that were taller than the rest; *Aristotle made the advice pass in the opposite direction. Unlike his father, Periander recruited a bodyguard; he sent 300 Corcyraean boys to *Lydia for castration as punishment when Corcyraeans killed his son (see corcyra); he himself killed his wife Melissa, made love to her corpse and took the fine clothes off Corinthian women to burn for her spirit. There was also, however, a more favourable tradition: he was in many lists of the *Seven Sages, and ‘he was neither unjust nor insolent, but hated wickedness’ (Arist.

Subjects

  • Greek History and Historiography

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