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Author: Joseph Laurin
Page: 92
Genre: Education
Paperback (978-1-61856-794-9) $14.95 Add to cart Remove
Intent on getting rid of Polycrates who was the powerful Greek ruler of Samos, Oroites who was the weak Persian governor of Sardis in Lydia sent him an envoy, named Myrsus, with the following message: I am targeted for murder by the Persian king Cambyses II (529-522 BCE). On the other hand, I know of your ambitions of conquest. If you help me escape this region to a Greek city, I will provide you with all the resources in my enormous treasury to finance your campaign of conquest. Polycrates could hardly wait to verify the truth of Oroites' offer and sign a pact with him. He sent at once an envoy, Maeandrius, to inspect the treasury. In the meantime, as soon as he heard about this visit, Oroites filled eight chests with stones, leaving a thin space at the top for a layer of gold. The deceit worked out well and the envoy returned to Samos with a favorable report. Now Polycrates wanted to meet in person for the first time in 515 BCE this wealthy Persian governor of Lydia. His entourage, especially his daughter, tried to no avail to dissuade him from going. When he arrived in Sardis, he was caught defenseless and murdered, then hung on a cross. The excessive ambition of the luckiest man resulted in the unluckiest death imaginable (Herodotus, Histories, 3, 122-125).
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