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Alexander (15) Philalethes, 'Truth-lover', physician, fl. later 1st cent. BCE?

Alexander (15) Philalethes (‘Truth-lover’), a physician (fl. later 1st cent. bce?), succeeded Zeuxis (3) as leader of the Asian branch of Herophilus's ‘school’. Alexander's views on digestion, on various diseases, and on invisible ducts (πόροι‎) dispersed throughout the body have much in common with those of Asclepiades (3) of Bithynia, as the Anonymus Londinensis and the Methodists recognized. However, only one problematic later Latin source explicitly identifies Alexander as a ‘pupil’ (discipulus) of Asclepiades. In his Gynaecia Alexander asserted that there are no diseases peculiar to women, thus siding with both Herophilus and Asclepiades on this controversial issue (see apollonius (10) mys; demetrius (21) of apamea; erasistratus). He agreed with Herophilus and Aristotle that male ‘seed’ (σπέρμα‎) has its origin in the blood. In his doxographic work Τὰ ἀρέσκοντα‎ (‘Opinions’), he made an influential distinction between an ‘objective’ and a ‘subjective’ definition of the pulse. He argued for a modified ‘objective’ version of the pulse definitions advocated by the Herophileans Bacchius, Zeno (7), and Chrysermus.


H. von Staden (ed. and trans.), From Andreas to Demosthenes Philalethes (1995), ch. 12.Find this resource:

    H. von Staden, Herophilus (1989), 532–539.Find this resource:

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