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 The tyrannies were at their height in the time of Polycrates and his brother Syloson. The former was distinguished for his good fortune, and the possession of such a degree of power as made him master of the sea. It is related as an instance of his good fortune, that having purposely thrown into the sea his ring, which was of great value both on account of the stone and the engraving, a short time afterwards a fisherman caught the fish which had swallowed it, and on cutting the fish open, the ring was discovered. When the king of Egypt was informed of this, he declared, it is said, with a prophetic spirit, that Polycrates, who had been elevated to such a height of prosperity, would soon end his life unfortunately; and this was actually the case, for he was taken by the Persian satrap by stratagem, and crucified. Anacreon, the lyric poet, was his contemporary, and all his poetry abounds with the praises of Polycrates. It is said that in his time Pythagoras, observing the growing tyranny, left the city, and travelled to Egypt and Babylon, with a view to acquire knowledge. On his return from his travels, perceiving that the tyranny still prevailed, he set sail for Italy, and there passed the remainder of his life. So much respecting Polycrates.
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