Anacreon (uh-NAK-ree-uhn) is said to have been among the colonists when the people of Teos escaped the Persians by migrating northward to Thrace. Most of Anacreon’s known work, however, is assigned to the period after he left Thrace and settled at Samos, then under the rule of the tyrant Polycrates of Samos. There, in addition to tutoring Polycrates’ son in music, he became famous for his love songs and poems. Many of his amorous verses were written to boys. Other poems celebrated wine and carousing. During his stay at Samos, Anacreon steered clear of political themes.
After the fall of Polycrates’ tyranny and his dreadful death, Anacreon moved to the court of Pisistratus in Athens. Pisistratus’s younger son, Hipparchus, was a patron of the arts and brought both Anacreon and Simonides to Athens to grace the city. Anacreon lived much the same kind of life in Athens as he had in Samos.