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But Clytus, the pupil of Aristotle, in his History of Miletus, says that “Polycrates, the tyrant of Samos, collected everything that was worth speaking of everywhere to gratify his luxury, having assembled dogs from Epirus, and goats from Scyros, and sheep from Miletus, and swine from Sicily.” [p. 865] And Alexis, in the third book of his Samian Annals, says that “Samos was adorned by Polycrates with the productions of many other cities; as he imported Molossian and Lacedæmonian dogs, and goats from Scyros and Naxos, and sheep from Miletus and Attica. He also,” says he, “sent for artists, promising them enormous wages. But before he became tyrant, having prepared a number of costly couches and goblets, he allowed any one the use of them who was prepping any marriage-feast or extraordinary entertainment.” And after hearing all these particulars we may well admire the tyrant, because it was nowhere written that he had sent for any women or boys from any other countries, although he was of a very amorous constitution, and was a rival in love of Anacreon the poet; and once, in a fit of jealousy, he cut off all the hair of the object of his passion. And Polycrates was the first man who called the ships which he had built Samians, in honour of his country. But Clearchus says that “Polycrates, the tyrant of the effeminate Samos, was ruined by the intemperance of his life, imitating the effeminate practices of the Lydians; on which account, in opposition to the place in Sardis called the beautiful Ancon, he prepared a place in the chief city of the Samians, called Laura; he made those famous, Samian flowers in opposition to the Lydian. And the Samian Laura was a narrow street in the city, full of common women, and of all kinds of food calculated to gratify intemperance and to promote enjoyment, with which he actually filled Greece. But the flowers of the Samians are the preeminent beauty of the men and women, and indeed of the whole city, at its festivals and banquets.” And these are the words of Clearchus. And I myself am acquainted with a narrow street in my native city of Alexandria, which to this very day is called the Happy Street, in which every apparatus of luxury used to be sold.
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