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  1. Plural of scythe

Extensive Definition

For tools called scythes see Scythe.
Scythes (Gr. ) was tyrant or ruler of Zancle in Sicily, appointed to that post about 494 BC by Hippocrates of Gela.
The Zanclaeans had sent to Ionia to invite colonists to join them in founding a new city on the Kale Acte (), or north shore of Sicily, and the offer had been ac­cepted by a large body of Samians, together with some fugitives from Miletus.
But when they ar­rived at Locri, Scythes and the Zan­claeans were engaged in hostilities against the Sicels. Meanwhile, the Samians were persuaded by Anaxilas of Rhegium to take advantage of Scythes' absence, and occupy the city of Zancle itself. Hereupon Scythes called in the assistance of his ally, Hip­pocrates, tyrant of Gela, but the latter proved no less perfidious than the Samians, and immediately on his arrival threw Scythes himself and his brother Pythogenes into chains, and sent them as prisoners to Inycum, while he betrayed his allies the Zanclaeans into the hands of the Samians. Scythes, however, contrived to make his escape to Himera, and from thence repaired to Asia, to the court of Darius, king of Persia, where he was received with much distinction, and rose to a high place in the king's favor.
Scythes afterwards revisited his native city, but again returned to the Persian court, where he died at an advanced age, and in the pos­session of great wealth, while he enjoyed general esteem for the probity of his character. It is remark­able that Herodotus, while he designates Anaxilas and Hippocrates as tyrants () of their respective cities, styles Scythes king () or monarch (} of the Zanclaeans.
He is thought by some writers, including Perizonius, to have been the father of Cadmus of Kos. Others, such as Lodewijk Caspar Valckenaer, suppose that this Scythes was the uncle of another Scythes in Kos, who was the father of Cadmus.


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