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Phalaris (fălˈərĭs) [key], c.570–c.554 B.C., tyrant of Agrigentum, Sicily, notorious for his cruelties. He burned his victims alive in a brazen bull (making his first experiment upon Perillus, its inventor), the cries representing the bellowing of the bull. Richard Bentley proved the forgery of 148 Greek letters signed by Phalaris that represented him as a gentle ruler and a patron of the arts.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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