The brazen bull of Phalaris. Perillos, a brass-founder of
Athens, proposed to Phalaris, Tyrant of Agrigentum, to invent for him a
new species of punishment; accordingly, he cast a brazen bull, with a
door in the side. The victim was shut up in the bull and roasted to
death, but the throat of the engine was so contrived that the groans of
the sufferer resembled the bellowings of a mad bull. Phalaris commended
the invention, and ordered its merits to be tested by Perillos himself.
The epistles of Phalaris.
Certain letters said to have been written by Phalaris, Tyrant of
Agrigentum, in Sicily. Boyle maintained them to be genuine, Bentley
affirmed that they were forgeries. No doubt Bentley is right.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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