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(flourished 6th century BC) Tyrant of the Aegean island of Samosc. 535–522 BC. He seized sole control during a festival of Hera, eliminating his two brothers, who shared his power. He quickly became notorious for piracy, as he sought to dominate nearby islands and Ionia. Initially a supporter of Egypt, he joined the Persians against Egypt in 525. Attempts by his opponents to remove him were unsuccessful until the Persian governor of Sardis lured him to the mainland and had him crucified. Polycrates brought wealth and prominence to Samos and was a patron of writers, including Anacreon.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Polycrates, visit Britannica.com.