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Article

Ken Dowden

Alcestis, in mythology, daughter of *Pelias, wife of Admetus king of *Pherae (Thessaly), who is prepared to die in his place.Pelias promised Alcestis to whoever could yoke a lion and boar to a chariot (Apollod. 1. 9. 15). Admetus was assisted in this feat by his lover (Soph. fr. 851 Radt) Apollo (cf. *Poseidon, *Pelops, and *Hippodamia), who had been punished by serfdom to Admetus for killing the *Cyclopes (Hes. Catalogus mulierum frs. 51–7 M–W) or the Pythian snake. But at his marriage Admetus forgets to sacrifice to *Artemis and finds the bridal chamber full of snakes. On *Apollo's advice he appeases Artemis and obtains from the Fates the concession that someone may die in his place. In the event, only Alcestis will, but Kore (*Persephone) sends her back from death or (in tragedy) *Heracles rescues her by wrestling with Death (*Thanatos).

Article

Alcidamas (4th cent. BCE), rhetorician and sophist, was born in Elaea in Aeolis, studied with *Gorgias (1) and taught in Athens. His professional rivalry with *Isocrates and his school emerges in On the Writers of Written Speeches, in which he argues for the primacy of the skills of the practising, extemporizing orator. The Museum, a rhetorical textbook, survives only in fragments, but seems to have contained the germ of the later Contest of Homer and Hesiod.

Article

John Dillon

Alcinous (2), accredited in the MSS as author of the Didaskalikos, or ‘Handbook of Platonism’, a summary of *Plato (1)'s doctrines designed as a handbook for the general public. He was long identified with the 2nd-cent. ce Platonist *Albinus (1); but this identification has recently been impugned on palaeographical grounds, and it seems better to preserve the original name, admitting ignorance of the author's identity or dating (though a 2nd-cent. date still seems reasonable). Long since rejected as an accurate account of Plato's own views, by reason of its incorporation of many Aristotelian and even Stoic doctrines and terminology (see aristotle; stoicism), the work has now come to be valued for what it is, a summary of the doctrine of at least one school of the Platonism of the period. Alcinous attributes Aristotle's categories and syllogistic to Plato; he equates Plato's Demiurge with Aristotle's Unmoved Mover; he interprets Plato's transcendent Forms as thoughts of God. However, despite an interesting distinction between a primal god and a world-mind, Alcinous has no doctrine of a supra-intellectual One, such as is characteristic of *Neoplatonism.

Article

M. B. Trapp

Alciphron, sophist (see second sophistic), whose Letters, supposedly written by Athenians of the 4th cent. bce (fishermen, farmers, ‘*parasites’, courtesans (*hetairai)) attest his wide reading in classical literature and preserve many reminiscences of New Comedy, especially of *Menander (1).

Article

In *Sparta. His birthplace was disputed. Some believed him a *Laconian, while a number of ancient authors made him a *Lydian (Anth. Pal. 7. 18, 19, 709; Ael. VH 12. 50; Suda, entry under Ἀλκμάν, POxy. 2389, 2506, 3542; Vell. Pat. 1. 18. 2); the latter version (derived from fr. 16) was further embroidered to make him a freed slave (Heraclid. Pont. Excerp. Polit. 9). The Suda credits him with six books of lyric songs (μέλη, melē); a group called ‘Diving women’/‘Swimming women’ (κολυμβῶσαι, kolymbōsai), of which no certain trace survives, may have made up one of these or a seventh book. The lyric songs, mostly choral, included maiden-songs (παρθένεια, partheneia), which were probably arranged into two books by Alexandrian scholars (Steph. Byz. entry under Ἐρυσίχη). We also hear of hymns and wedding-songs (ὑμέναιοι, hymenaioi). The Suda credits him with love-poetry, and fragments with erotic content survive (58, 59a).

Article

John Maxwell O'Brien and Barney Rickenbacker

The ancient Greeks were unfamiliar with modern concepts of alcoholism, but they were well aware of self-destructive drinking and the effects of habitual drunkenness. In the Odyssey, *Homer makes a speaker note that wine is a bane to those who drink it excessively, and identify overindulgence as the cause of the *Centaur Eurytion's vile behaviour (21. 293–8). In *Hades, Homer's Elpenor admits that heavy drinking was a key factor in his fatal plunge from *Circe's roof (Od. 11. 61). *Pythagoras (1) is credited with the dictum that drinking to achieve drunkenness is a training-ground for madness, and he advises drunkards to take an unflinching look at their inebriate behaviour if they wish to alter it (Stob. Flor. 3. 18. 23, 33). In the Republic, *Plato (1) writes about men who welcome any excuse to drink whatever wine is available (475a). *Aristotle's treatise On Drunkenness has been lost, but his extant works confirm an abiding interest in wine's pernicious effects.

Article

Alexander (12) (2nd cent. ce), son of *Numenius, wrote a Rhetoric (Τέχνη) and an influential treatise On Figures (Περὶ σχημάτων), which discussed the distinction between ‘natural’ and ‘figured’ thought.

Article

Alexander (8) of Pleuron, ‘the Aetolian’ (he is the only known Aetolian poet), *grammaticus and poet, born c.315 bce, contemporary with *Callimachus (3) and *Theocritus. Around 285–283, he undertook for *Ptolemy (1) II Philadelphus the diorthosis (correction of the copies) of the tragedies and satyr plays collected for the Library at *Alexandria (1) (*Lycophron (2) handled the comedies). Later (c.277) he was, with *Aratus (1) and *Antagoras, called to the court of *Antigonus (2) Gonatas.Fragments, mostly slight, survive of his epyllia (e.g. a Halieus or ‘Fisherman’, cf. Theoc. Id.21), elegy, epigrams, ribald Ionic poems (learnedly imitating *Sotades (2)). He also wrote a Phaenomena (on constellations, like Aratus and many others), but was best known for his tragedies and was counted one of the *‘Pleiad', the seven star Alexandrian tragedians.

Article

Richard Stoneman

The Alexander Romance is a fictionalized life of Alexander III of Macedon (Alexander the Great, 356–323 bce), originating in the 3rd century BC, though the earliest evidence for its circulation in textual form is from the 3rd century ce. Originally written in Greek (in which there are five recensions), it was translated into Latin in the 4th century ce, and from the 5th century, into every language of Europe and the Middle East. It narrates Alexander’s birth to Olympias, as son of the last Pharaoh, Nectanebo II, of Egypt; his upbringing; his campaigns (in a strange order); his encounter with Queen Candace of Meroe; and particularly his adventures in India and beyond, including his encounter with the naked philosophers of Taxila; his death, and his will. Later versions (recensions L, gamma) include a meeting with the Amazons and his invention of a diving bell and a flying machine.The Greek .

Article

Geoffrey Arnott

Alexis c. 375–c. 275 BCE, poet of Middle and New Comedy (see comedy (greek), middle and new), born at *Thurii (Sudaα 1138), but apparently living most of his long life in *Athens. He wrote 245 plays (Suda); the first of his two, three, or four *Lenaean victories came probably in the 350s (six after *Eubulus (2), four after *Antiphanes in the victors' list, IG 22. 2325. 150 = 5 C 1 col. 3. 11 Mette), and he won a victory in 347 at the *Dionysia (IG22. 2318. 278 = 1. 14. 64 and 3 B 1 col. 2. 119 Mette). The good anonymous tractate on comedy (2. 17 p. 9 Kaibel, 3. p. 10 Koster) makes *Menander (1) a pupil of Alexis—a relationship more plausible than that of blood alleged in the Suda.

Article

M. B. Trapp

Elements of allegory are present in Greek literature from the earliest stage: in *Homer, in Phoenix' Prayers (Λιταί, Il. 9. 502–12), and *Achilles' image of *Zeus' jars (Il. 24. 527–33); in *Hesiod, the fable of the hawk and the nightingale (Op. 204–12) and the personifications of Aidos, *Nemesis, and *Dike (1) (Op. 197–201, 256–62). If an ancient interpretation is accepted, *Alcaeus (1) frs. 6 and 326 LP presented political exhortation through nautical imagery. Larger-scale allegorical tableaux and narratives begin to be composed in the late 5th and early 4th cents.: *Prodicus' Choice of *Heracles (Xen. Mem. 2. 1. 21), and *Plato (1)'s myths (esp. Phd. 108e ff.; Resp. 524a ff., 614b ff.; Phdr. 246a ff.). Thereafter, literary allegory remains largely the territory of philosophers and moralists (e.g. *Cleanthes in Cic.

Article

John Francis Lockwood

Amarantus, of Alexandria (1) (1st–2nd cent. ce), an older contemporary of *Galen (Gal. 14. 208; Ath. 8. 343 f.), was the author of a commentary on *Theocritus (Etym. Magn. 156. 30, 273. 41), perhaps based on the notes of *Theon (1), and of a work Περὶ σκηνῆς (‘On the Stage’), which probably gave historical and biographical accounts of stage performances and performers (Ath.

Article

Kenneth Dover

Ameipsias, Athenian comic poet, contemporary with *Aristophanes (1). His Connus (see phrynichus (2)) was placed second to *Cratinus' Pytine and above *Aristophanes (1)'s Clouds in 423 bce (hyp. 5 Ar. Nub.). Connus was *Socrates' music-master, and the play may have had a similar character to Clouds. Socrates himself was a character (fr. 9 quoted by Diog. Laert. 2. 28, without naming the play) and the chorus consisted of phrontistae, i.e. *sophists (cf. the phrontistērion in Clouds). Comastae (‘Revellers’; see phrynichus (2)) won the first prize, defeating Aristophanes' Birds, at the City *Dionysia in 414 (hyp. 1 Ar. Av.). We have seven titles.

Article

Richard Hunter

Amelesagoras, pseudonymous author of an *Atthis (c. 300 bce), who seems to have presented himself as an Eleusinian prophet (see eleusis), the name may be connected with Ameles, an Underworld river (Plato, Resp. 10. 621a). *Callimachus (3) seems to have used this book in his *Hecale for the story of *Athena and the crow (cf.

Article

John Francis Lockwood and Nigel Wilson

Ammonius (1), pupil and successor of *Aristarchus (2) (schol. Il. 10. 397; Suda, entry under the name), wrote besides a commentary on Homer (POxy. 2. 121), other works on the Homeric poems, e.g. a treatise on *Plato (1)'s borrowings from Homer ([Longinus], Subl. 13. 3), and essays in defence of Aristarchus' recension of the Homeric text (schol. Il. 10. 397); these formed a valuable source for *Didymus (1). For his commentary on Pindar (schol. Od. 1. 122 c) he used Aristarchus' work, but made independent additions (schol. Nem. 3. 16 b). The work on Aristophanes (schol. Vesp.947), sometimes entitled Κωμῳδούμενοι (schol. Vesp.1239), probably discussed the individuals attacked in Old Attic Comedy. He is not the author of the extant De adfinium vocabulorum differentia (ed. K. Nickau, 1966).

Article

Hanne Eisenfeld

Seer and warrior, member of royal family of Argos, descended from Melampus. Son of Oecles, husband of Eriphyle, father of Alcmaeon (1) and Amphilochus. Unwilling participant in the expedition of the Seven against Thebes, whence he did not return. Consulted as an oracle and, from the later 5th centurybce, as a healer, on the model of Asclepius.Amphiaraus opposed the expedition against Thebes, knowing through his mantic foresight that it was doomed to failure. He was nonetheless forced to participate through the intervention of his wife, Eriphyle, who was also the sister of Adrastus (1). During an earlier quarrel between her husband and her brother, she had been empowered to decide disputes between them (Ap. Bib. 3.6.2; Diod. Sic. 4.65.6). Polynices, the Theban prince who was seeking Argive support for the attack against Thebes, knew of this arrangement and offered her a golden necklace in exchange for exercising her influence and forcing her husband to take part in the expedition (some variation on this is already alluded to at Od.

Article

Amphis  

Geoffrey Arnott

Amphis, Middle *comedy poet. His 28 titles come chiefly from mythology or daily life, but Gynaecocratia (‘Government by Women’) sounds like an Aristophanic theme, and Dithyrambus (‘*dithyramb’) may have dealt with musical innovations (cf. fr. 14); fr. 6 refers to ‘the Good in Plato’ (see plato (1)).

Article

C. Carey

Anacreon lyric poet, native of *Teos. Little is known of his life. Born perhaps c. 575–570 (Eusebius gives his floruit as 536/5), he probably joined in the foundation of *Abdera in Thrace by the Teans fleeing before the threat of the Persian general Harpagus in 545 (Strabo 14. 1. 30; Aristox. fr. 12 Wehrli, Hdt 1. 168). He joined the court of *Polycrates (1), tyrant of Samos (Hdt 3. 121), the most illustrious Greek of the day; *Strabo claims that his ‘whole poetry is full of mention of Polycrates’ (14. 1. 16), though there is no reference in surviving fragments. Tradition made Anacreon and Polycrates rivals for the love of a Thracian boy, Smerdies, whose hair Polycrates cut off in a fit of jealousy (Stob. 4. 21. 24; Ath. 12. 540e; Ael. VH 9. 4); this may be false inference from Anacreon's poetry. After the murder of Polycrates by the Persian satrap Oroetes he joined the Pisistratid court at Athens (see pisistratus); allegedly *Hipparchus (1) sent a warship to fetch him ([Pl.

Article

Martin Litchfield West

Anacreontea, a collection of some 62 Greek poems preserved in the MS of the Palatine Anthology under the heading ‘Anacreon of Teos’ Sympotic Hemiambics'. Some of them refer to *Anacreon or actually adopt his persona; they are all in metres derived from him, and their main subjects are wine and love. There is no depth in them, but they are often delightful. Some of them were already current under Anacreon's name in the time of Aulus *Gellius (NA 19. 9. 4–6). Following their first publication by Stephanus in 1554 they were widely acclaimed as Anacreon's work and frequently edited and translated as ‘the Odes of Anacreon’; they exercised extensive influence on European lyric poetry. By the early 19th cent. it was clear to scholars that the poems all dated from long after Anacreon's time. They show very various levels of technical competence, and must have been composed at different dates between about the 1st cent. bce or ce and the 5th or 6th ce.

Article

Kenneth Dover and Christopher Pelling

Anaxandrides, Middle Comedy poet (see comedy (greek), middle), possibly of Rhodian birth (Ath. 374b; see rhodes), won the first prize ten times (Suda, entry under the name), three times at the *Lenaea (IG 22. 2325. 142). His first victory was in 376 (Marm. Par. 70), and he was active at least as late as 349 (IG 14. 1098. 8). Forty-one titles have survived, and over 80 citations; some of the titles look back to Old Comedy (e.g. Cities, Huntsmen; see comedy (greek), old), some forward to New Comedy (e.g. Madman, Samia; see comedy (greek), new), and many are mythological (e.g. Anchises, Protesilaus). The longer citations reveal a moralizing strain which earned him a place in anthologies. According to Chamaeleon (Ath. 374b) he also wrote dithyrambs; Chamaeleon also told an anecdote depicting his morose character (ibid.).