~ 500 BC
|AESCULAPIUS, FROM THE VATICAN GALLERY|
Democedes was a Greek native of the town of Crotona in Italy. He left his home and lived for a time on the
island of Aegina, where he established a great reputation for himself as a physician. His talents brought him job offers
from Athens, and eventually Samos, where he worked for many years at the court of Polycrates. Unfortunately, he accompanied
Polycrates on his mission to Oretes, and was taken prisoner when Polycrates was killed. From there he eventually was sent
to Susa. It so chanced that he was recognized there as a famous physician, and called upon to fix a broken ankle of Darius.
His success brought him great riches and privileges, but Darius would still not allow him to return to Greece. He conceived
of an elaborate plot and with the help of Atossa, the wife of Darius, he volunteered to go on a reconnoitering mission to
Greece to help lay the groundwork for an invasion. His sole purpose in doing this was to return to Greece. He therefore
escaped from his Persian keepers and was treated as a hero in his home town of Crotona. He later married the daughter of
the famous wrestler, Milos of Croton.
Key events during the life of Democedes:
||Establishes reputation as very talented physician on the Island of Aegina.
||Practices medicine in Athens.
||Accepts a position in the court of Polycrates.
||Accompanies Polycrates on his ill-fated visit to Oretes of Sardis. Is captured and enslaved.
||Sent as a slave to Susa.
||Is recognized as a physician and is called to fix the broken ankle of Darius.
||Cures a tumor on the breast of Atossa, wife of Darius.
||Is allowed to go on a reconnoitering mission to Greece. Escapes to Crotona.
||Marries the daughter of the wrestler, Milos of Crotona.
|Darius the Great
||With six conspirators seized the throne of Persia, primarily through craft rather than force.
||Prosperous king of Samos who was overthrown by Oretes, his enemy from Asia Minor.
||Philosopher and mathematician; invented the Pythagorean Theorem.
||Daughter of Cyrus the Great, wife of Darius, mother of Xerxes
|Milos of Crotona
||Famous wrestler of great strength. Won championships at six Olympiads.