Thrasybulus of Miletus

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Thrasybulus (Greek : Θρασύβουλος ὁ Μιλήσιος) was the tyrant of Miletus in the 7th century BC. Under his rule, Miletus fought a lengthy war against Lydia. This war ended without a decisive victor (a result that Herodotus credits to Thrasybulus's tricking Alyattes into making peace, [1] ). Following the war, Miletus and Lydia concluded an alliance.

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Thrasybulus was an ally of Periander, the tyrant of Corinth. He features in a famous anecdote from Herodotus's Histories, [2] in which a messenger from Periander asks Thrasybulus for advice on ruling. [3] Thrasybulus, instead of responding, takes the messenger for a walk in a field of wheat, where he proceeds to cut off all of the best and tallest ears of wheat. The message, correctly interpreted by Periander, was that a wise ruler would preempt challenges to his rule by "removing" those prominent men who might be powerful enough to challenge him; this story gave the name to Tall poppy syndrome.

See also

Negative selection (politics)

Notes

  1. Herodotus The Histories , 1.20-23f
  2. Herodotus The Histories , 5.92f
  3. Aristotle tells the same story albeit with reversed roles (Thrasybulus asks Periander) in Politics , 3, 1284a and Politics, 5, 1311a

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