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Headword: Περίανδρος
Adler number: pi,1068
Translated headword: Periandros, Periander
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
The son of Kypselos, the king of Corinth. He received the kingdom from his father by the right of the first born and through savagery and violence he turned it into a tyranny; he even had 300 bodyguards and kept the citizens both from possessing slaves and from having free time, always finding work for them to do. If any of them took a seat in the agora, Periander fined him, fearing that they would plot against him. He is also said to have performed this other immoral act: out of lust he had intercourse with his dead wife. He was continually waging war and was adept at it. After having triremes built he engaged them on both seas.[1] Some say that he was one of the Seven Sages; but he was not.
Greek Original:
Περίανδρος, ὁ Κυψέλου υἱός, τοῦ βασιλέως Κορίνθου, τὴν βασιλείαν παρὰ τοῦ πατρὸς κατὰ πρεσβεῖον παραλαμβάνει καὶ ὑπὸ ὠμότητος καὶ βίας ἐξέτρεψεν αὐτὴν εἰς τυραννίδα: καὶ δορυφόρους εἶχε τ# ἐκώλυσέ τε τοὺς πολίτας δούλους κτᾶσθαι καὶ σχολὴν ἄγειν, ἀεί τινα αὐτοῖς ἔργα ἐξευρίσκων. εἰ δέ τις ἐπὶ τῆς ἀγορᾶς καθέζοιτο, ἐζημίου, δεδιὼς μή τι βουλεύοιντο κατ' αὐτοῦ. λέγεται δὲ καὶ ἄλλο τοῦτον ἄνομον ἐργάσασθαι, νεκρᾷ τῇ ἑαυτοῦ γυναικὶ μιγέντα ὑπ' ἔρωτος. ἐστρατεύετο δὲ συνεχῶς καὶ ἦν πολεμικὸς τριήρεις τε ναυπηγησάμενος ἀμφοτέραις ἐχρῆτο ταῖς θαλάτταις. φασὶ δέ τινες αὐτὸν καὶ τῶν ζ# σοφῶν γεγονέναι: τὸ δὲ οὐκ ἦν.
Notes:
Same individual as pi 1067: Periander, tyrant of Corinth (c. 627-587); OCD4 Periander. The account in pi 1067 is taken from Diogenes Laertius 1.94-101; the one here in 1068 comes from Nicolaus of Damascus (FGrH 90 F58). Periander's "epitaph" (actually written by Diogenes Laertius), is based on a story in Herodotus 3.48-53. For Periander's "immoral act," and other acts of cruelty, see Herodotus 5.92. Periander became the archetype of the cruel and oppressive tyrant, but there was another, possibly earlier, more favorable tradition. Periander is on several lists of the Seven Sages, but he is conspicuously absent from the list in Plato, Protagoras 343A.
[1] That is, proceeding both eastwards (into the Aegean) and westwards (into the Corinthian Gulf and beyond) from the Isthmus of Corinth.
References:
A. Andrewes, The Greek Tyrants (1956)
J.B. Salmon, Wealthy Corinth (1984)
Keywords: biography; constitution; economics; ethics; gender and sexuality; history; military affairs; politics; proverbs; women
Translated by: Susan Shapiro on 9 July 1999@14:49:50.
Vetted by:
Eric Nelson on 27 December 1999@23:19:47.
William Hutton on 12 January 2000@11:27:51.
Eric Nelson on 12 January 2000@11:29:57.
David Whitehead (augmented headword and notes; added keywords; cosmetics) on 31 March 2001@03:56:16.
Catharine Roth (added keywords) on 27 November 2005@00:45:07.
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics; raised status) on 15 July 2011@05:51:00.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 10 August 2014@04:46:57.

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