Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Phalaris, Tyrant of Agrigentum, in Sicily, in the 6th century B.C. He came to be regarded as the type of a cruel despot, owing to the legend that he burnt his victims alive in a brazen bull. This story was probably a reminiscence of human sacrifices offered to the Phoenician Baal. The first mention of the Letters purporting to be written by Phalaris occurs in the writings of Stobasus (circa 500 A.D.); their genuineness was doubted by Politian and Erasmus, and finally disproved by Bentley in his Dissertation on the Epistles of Phalaris (1697).