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The Chians, then, surrendered Pactyes, and afterwards Mazares led his army against those who had helped to besiege Tabalus, and he enslaved the people of Priene, and overran the plain of the Maeandrus, giving it to his army to pillage and Magnesia likewise. Immediately after this he died of an illness.
These are the two reasons alleged for Polycrates' death; believe whichever you like. But the consequence was that Oroetes, then at Magnesia which is above the river Maeander, sent Myrsus son of Gyges, a Lydian, with a message to Samos, having learned Polycrates' intention; for Polycrates was the first of the Greeks whom we know to aim at the mastery of the sea, leaving out of account Minos of Cnossus and any others who before him may have ruled the sea; of what may be called the human race Polycrates was the first, and he had great hope of ruling Ionia and the Islands. Learning then that he had this intention, Oroetes sent him this message: “Oroetes addresses Polycrates as follows: I find that you aim at great things, but that you have not sufficient money for your purpose. Do then as I direct, and you will succeed yourself and will save me. King Cambyses aims at my death; of this I have clear intelligence. Now if you will transport me and my money, you may take some yourself and let
But Polycrates would listen to no advice. He sailed to meet Oroetes, with a great retinue of followers, among whom was Democedes, son of Calliphon, a man of Croton and the most skillful physician of his time. But no sooner had Polycrates come to Magnesia than he was horribly murdered in a way unworthy of him and of his aims; for, except for the sovereigns of Syracuse, no sovereign of Greek race is fit to be compared with Polycrates for magnificence. Having killed him in some way not fit to be told, Oroetes then crucified him; as for those who had accompanied him, he let the Samians go, telling them to thank him that they were free; those who were not Samians, or were servants of Polycrates' followers, he kept for slaves. And Polycrates hanging in the air fulfilled his daughter's vision in every detail; for he was washed by Zeus when it rained, and he was anointed by Helios as he exuded sweat from his body.