The Samos Rebellion - 521 B.C.

On Samos with the death of Polycrates, Maeandrius (probably with the help of Oroetus) took over the rule of Samos. While portraing a more democratic way of ruling, in effect he now become tyrant of Samos.

Maeandrius didn't rule for long. King Darius instates Polycrates' brother Syloson as tyrant of Samos, thereby ousting Maeandrius. Syloson, who had escaped to Persia to fleet his brother had become trusted at the Persian court, and rewarded for it.

It is during this time that Democedes of Croton, described by Herodotus as 'the most skillful physician of his time', was taken to Persia.

Democedes was a Greek physician and a part of the court of Darius I . He was born in Croton , in southern Italy. His father was Calliphon , a priest as part of Asclepius . His first position as physician seems to be in civil service of Athens and Aegina. Later he entered service under Polycrates . Around 522 BC, Polycrates, his entourage, and Democedes were all captured as Lydians by Oroites and sent to Susa .

Darius once sprained his ankle while he was hunting, and his Egyptian doctors could not help This may seem a very small injury today, but medicine around those times was very primitive. However, Democedes was able to heal his ankle, and he was thereafter given great esteem. The court regarded his actions highly enough that he was able to eat in the presence of the king. He was the first of many Greek physicians to be within the Persian court. He lived in what the Persians regarded as luxury. Nevertheless, he always wanted to go back to his homeland, Greece. Later on, Darius's wife, Atossa, had a breast ulcer. When Democedes cured her ulcer, as a reward, he was set free and allowed to visit Greece.

He went to Greece as passenger on one ship of a reconnaissance mission for a later military campaign. Three Phoenician ships were sent with fifteen Persian nobles. Through the latter half of the mission, the fleet stopped in Tarentum, where Democedes made his escape with help from the Tarentian King. After his escape he went back to Croton. He was guarded from the Persians, and later married a daughter of Milon .

 

 


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