The Greek Polycrates A Cruel, Ambitious Intelligent Pirate
We will start talking about the oldest, let’s say almost the father of piracy, and one of the most famous; The Greek Polycrates. Cruel, ambitious and intelligent. Ruler of Samos, one of the islands in the East Aegean Sea. There he erected a beautiful palace and had a great fleet of one hundred warships built, with which he raided other ships carrying gold and precious stones. He was counting on such good luck that he always came out of all the battles and looting that he organised up to one day.
It is said that Polycrates, at the suggestion of his friend King Amasis of Egypt, and fearing that his good fortune would change, offered the Aegean Sea an emerald ring designed by Theodore of Samos himself, architect and artist of the well-known Hera sculpture koré type. Days later a cook found the jewel inside a fish, returning the ring to its owner. Nowadays, it is known as the “Polycrates Complex”, the psychic condition that makes some people feel unhappy or fearful the moment they achieve success.
This Pirate might have been the first in history, but the list of scoundrels is long and extensive. It includes everything from the most terrifying and savage to the most diplomatic and strategic. That yes, were all bloodthirsty alike.