Thrasybulus tyrant of Miletus, was a contemporary of Periander and Alyattes, the king of Lydia. We do not learn when he became tyrant, but from the expression of Herodotus (i. 22) it rather seems that he was tyrant during the whole of the eleven years' war carried on by Sadyattes, and Alyattes against Miletius. It was in the twelfth year of that war that the temple of the Assesian Athene was burnt down, after which Alyattes fell sick, and the Delphic oracle, when consulted by him, refused to give a response till the temple was rebuilt. Periander, who was intimately connected with Thrasybulus, got to know the reply that had been given, and sent word to Thrasybulus, who, when the herald of Alyattes came to demand a truce till the temple should be rebuilt, gave directions that the greatest possible ostentation of plenty should be made, to induce the belief that the Milesians had still abundance of provisions. The stratagem produced the desired effect. Alyattes, who had expected to find the people reduced to the last extremity, hastily concluded a peace, 612 BC. (Herod. i. 20-22.)

According to Herodotus (vi. 92) his intercourse with Thrasybulus had an injurious effect upon the character and policy of Periander, rendering him cruel and suspicious. For the story of the mode in which Thrasybulus gave his advice to Periander as to the best means of securing his power, the reader is referred to the article PERIANDER [Vol. II. p. 190]. A different version of the story is given by Aristotle (Pol. iii. 13, v. 10), according to whom the advice was given by Periander to Thrasybulus.


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