He was a Persian, and made satrap of Sardis by Cyrus, and retained the government of it till his death. Like many other Persian governors, he seems to have aimed at the establishment of an independent sovereignty, and it was probably as one step towards this that he decoyed Polycrates into his power by specious promises, and put him to death in 522 B.C.. For this Herodotus mentions two other motives [1], not incompatible with one another or with the one above suggested; but certainly the power of the Samian tyrant would have been a barrier to any schemes of Oroetes, in fact, Samos, from its position and consequence would, perhaps, be the natural enemy of any Lydian potentate. Thus, when Amasis, as a vassal of Babylon, was compelled to take part with Croesus against Cyrus, he found it necessary to abandon his alliance with Polycrates, which, for purposes of commerce, he would, doubtless, have preferred ; and the Lacedaemonians were naturally urged to their connection with Croesus by their hostility to Polycrates as a tyrant [2]. The disturbed state of affairs which followed the death of Cambyses in 521 B.C., further encouraged Oroetes to prosecute his designs, and he put to death Mitrobates, viceroy of Dascyleinm, in Bithynia, regarding him probably as a rival, or, at least, as a spy, and caused a messenger, who brought an unwelcome firman from Darius Hystaspis, to be assassinated on his way back to court. Darius, however, succeeded in procuring his death through the agency of Bagaeus [3].


  • *01 Histories by Herodotus (3:120~121)
  • *02 Comp. Herod, 1:69,70,77, 2:178, 3:39,&c.; Thuc. i. 18 ; Arist. Polit. v. 10, ed. Bekk
  • *03 Herod, 3:120~128; Luc. Contempt. 14
Name: Oroetes
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Native City: Persian
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