), the son of Aeaces, assisted his brother Polvcrates in making himself master of their native island Samos. For a time Polycrates shared the supreme power with Syloson and his other brother Pantagnotus; but shortly afterwards he put the latter to death, and banished the former. Syloson therefore repaired to Egypt, where Cambyses was at that time with his Persian army.
As he was one day walking in Memphis, a scarlet cloak which he wore attracted the notice of Dareius, son of Hystaspes, who was then serving among the guards of the Persian monarch. Dareius offered to buy the cloak; but a divine inspiration, as Herodotus says, prompted Syloson to reply that he would not sell it, but would give it him, if he must have it. Dareius accepted the present, and there the matter ended for the time.
But at length Syloson heard, with surprise, that the unknown Persian to whom he had given the cloak, was now the great king.
He accordingly hastened to Susa, and found Dareius willing to remunerate him in a manner worthy of the king of Persia. Syloson refused the gold and silver which were offered him, and prayed that the island of Samos might be handed over to him. His request was complied with, and Otanes was sent with an army to place the island in the power of Syloson.
Since the death of Polycrates, the supreme power had been in the hands of Maeandrius.
The latter wat in no condition to resist the Persians, and he capitulated to quit the island with his treasures; but immediately after he had sailed away, his crazy brother Charilaus, whom he had left in command of the Acropolis, fell upon the unsuspecting Persians, and killed many of their officers. [POLYCRATES ; MAEANDRIUS; CHARILAUS.] The consequence of this treacherous conduct was a wholesale massacre of the inhabitants by Otanes; and the island was handed over to Syloson, stripped of its male inhabitants. Otanes afterwards repeopled the island, but we are not told from what quarter the new population came. Strabo represents Syloson as a cruel tyrant, who depopulated the island, but continued to rule Samos, as a tributary of Persia, till his death, when he was succeeded in the supreme power by his son Aeaces. (Hdt. 3.39
; Strab. xiv. p.638
; Grote, Hist. of Greece,
vol. iv. pp. 332-337.)