People - Ancient Greece: Phalaris
Ancient tyrant of Agrigentum, who ruled in B.C. 570.
Phalăris in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
（Φάλαρις). The infamous tyrant of Agrigentum, notorious for his cruelty; he was killed in a popular revolt in B.C. 549. His reign probably commenced about B.C. 570, and is said to have lasted sixteen years. He was a native of Agrigentum, and appears to have been raised by his fellow-citizens to some high office in the State, of which he afterwards availed himself to assume a despotic authority. He was engaged in frequent wars with his neighbours, and extended his power and dominion on all sides, though more frequently by stratagem than open force. He perished by a sudden outbreak of the popular fury, in which it appears that Telemachus, the ancestor of Theron, must have borne a conspicuous part. No circumstance connected with Phalaris is more celebrated than the brazen bull in which he is said to have burned alive the victims of his cruelty, and of which we are told that he made the first experiment upon its inventor, Perillus. This latter story has much the air of an invention of later times, but it is mentioned as early as Pindar (Pyth. i. 185). His name is affixed to 148 Greek letters, in which he appears as a gentle ruler, and a patron of art and poetry; but, as proved in Bentley's Dissertation in 1699 (ed. Wagner, 1883), they are really a worthless forgery, probably by a sophist of the second century A.D. See Bentley, Richard.
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