The Ancient Library

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On this page: Alcathous – Alcestis – Alcidamas – Alcides – Alcinous – Alciphron – Alcmaeon



ideal tendency, he devoted himself mainly to religious subjects, working like him in various materials, gold and ivory, bronze and marble. His statue of the winner in the Pentathlon was stamped as classic by the epithet of EnkrlnBminos, as the DorypttOros of Polyclltus was by that of K&nOn. About 436 b.c. he was em' jyed with Phidias in decorating the temple of Zeus at Olympia. The marble groups of the battle of Centaurs and Lapithse in its western pediment are his work. Of these considerable remains have been brought to light by the recent German excavations. (Sec olympian games, fig. 2.)

Alcathous (Gr. AlkathSSs). The son of Pelops and Hippodameia. He slew the lion of Cithsaron, which had torn to pieces Euippus, the son of Mggareus. Thus he won the daughter of Megareus, Eusechma, and the sovereignty of Megara. With Apollo for his friend and helper, he rebuilt the city walls, and reared one of the two castles, Alcathoe, with temples to Artemis and Apollo. A singing stone in the castle was shown as the one on which the god laid down his lyre when at work. Alcathous' eldest son, IschepSlis, fell in the Calydonian hunt; the second, Callipolis, running in with the news to his father when sacrificing to Apollo, scattered the altar fire, and Alcathous struck him dead with a firebrand for the supposed sacrilege. By his daughters Auto-medusa and Peribosa, the wives of Iphlcles and Telamon, he was grandfather to lolaiis and Aias (Ajax).

Alcestis (Gr. Alkestis). Daughter of Pelias, renowned for her tender love for her husband Admetus, and her voluntary death on his behalf. (See admetus.)

Alcldamas (Gr. Alkldamas). A Greek rhetorician of Ela?a in .ffiSlis, pupil and successor of Gorgias, a contemporary and opponent of Isocrates. Two declamations, bearing his name, have come down to us, one an imaginary indictment of Palamedes by Odysseus, the other a speech on the Sophists; but the latter only can with any probability be attributed to him. It is a cleverly written argument, intended to show that the culmination of rhetorical training consists in the power of speaking extempore on any subject from mere notes of the arrangement; not the practice of carefully writing out speeches, and then learning them by heart for public delivery.

Alcides (Gr. Alkldes). A surname of Heracles (q.v.).

Alclndiis (Gr. AlktnOSi). King of the

Phseacians (q.v.), with whom Odysseus, and in later legend Jason and Medea, find shelter and aid. (See odysseus and argonauts.) Alclphron (Gr. AlkiphrOn). A Greek rhetorician of the 2nd century a.d., author ! of a collection of 118 fictitious Letters in three books. These, written in tolerably pure style and tasteful form, profess to be from sailors, peasants, parasites, and het&rix. They are sketches of character, ingeniously conceived and carried out, which give us a vivid picture of the then state of culture, especially at Athena; the letters from hetcerce are particularly interesting, as their plots are taken from the New Attic Comedy, especially the lost plays of Menander.

Alcmaeon (Gr. AlkmaiOn),of Argos. Son of Amphiaraus (q.v.) and Eriphyle. As his ! father, in departing on the expedition of I the Seven against Thebes, has bound him and his brother AmphilSchus, then mere boys, to avenge him on their faithless mother, Alcmseon refuses to take part in the second expedition, that of the Eplgfini (q.v.), till he has first fulfilled that filial duty; nevertheless his mother, bribed by Thersander with the garment of Har-monia, persuades him to go. The real leader at the siege of Thebes, he slays the Theban king, Laodamas, and is the first to enter the conquered city. On returning home, he, at the bidding of the Delphian Apollo, avenges his father by slaying his mother, with, or according to some accounts, without, his brother's help; but immediately, like Orestes; he is set upon by the Erinyes, and wanders distracted, seeking purification and a new home. Phegeus, of the Arcadian PsSphis, half purifies him of his guilt, and gives him his daughter ArsInSe or Alphe-siboea to wife, to whom he presents the jewels of Harmonia, which he has brought from Argos. But soon the crops fail in the land, and he falls into his distemper again, till, after many wanderings, he arrives at the mouth of the Acheloiis, and there, in an island that has floated up, he finds the country promised by the god, which had not existed at the time of his dying mother's curse, and so he is completely cured. He marries Achelous' daughter, CallirrhSe, by whom he has two sons, Acarnan and Am-phSterus. Unable to withstand his wife's entreaties that she may have Harmonia's necklace and robe, he goes to Phegeus in Arcadia, and begs those treasures of him, pretending that he will dedicate them at Delphi for the perfect healing of his madness. He obtains them; but Phegeus,

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