As he was a youth devoted to learning, he quitted his country, and got initiated in all the Grecian and barbarian sacred mysteries. Accordingly he went to Egypt, on which occasion Polycrates gave him a letter of introduction to Amasis; and he learned the Egyptian language as Antiphon tells us, in his treatise on those men who have become conspicuous for virtue; and he associated with the Chaldeans and Magi.
Afterwards he went to Crete, and in company with Epimenides, he descended into the Idaean cave---and in Egypt too he had entered into the holiest parts of their temples, --and learned all the most secret mysteries that relate to their Gods. Then he returned again to Samos, and finding his country reduced under the absolute dominion of Polycrates, he set sail, and fled to Crotona in Italy. Having given laws to the Italians, he there gained a very high reputation, together with his scholars, who were about three hundred in numbers, and governed the republic in a most excellent manner; so that the constitution was very nearly an aristocracy.