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ALCIPHRON.

was impossible from the writings of Plato to get a system complete in its parts, and hence the temp­tation of later writers, who sought for system, to join Plato and Aristotle, without perceiving the inconsistency of the union, while everything which suited their purpose was fearlessly ascribed to the founder of their own sect. In the treatise of Alcinous, however, there are still traces of the spi­rit of Plato, however low an idea he gives of his own philosophical talent. He held the world and its animating soul to be eternal. This soul of the universe (77 tyw)(r( tov K6ff^ov] was not created by God, but, to use the image of Alcinous, it was awakened by him as from a profound sleep, and turned towards himself, "that it might look out upon intellectual things (c. 14) and receive forms and ideas from the divine mind." It was the first of a succession of intermediate beings between God and man. The i$ecu proceeded immediately from the mind of God, and were the highest object of our intellect; the "form" of matter, the types of sensible things, having a real being in themselves. (c. 9.) He differed from the earlier Platonists in confining the tSecu to general laws: it seemed an unworthy notion that God could conceive an f5ea of things artificial or unnatural, or of individuals or particulars, or of any thing relative. He seems to have aimed at harmonizing the views of Plato and Aristotle on the uJecu, as he distinguished them from the efifrj, forms of things, which he al­lowed were inseparable: a view which seems ne­cessarily connected with the doctrine of the eternity and self-existence of matter. God, the first foun­tain of the ISeai, could not be known as he is: it is but a faint notion of him we obtain from nega­tions and analogies: his nature is equally beyond our power of expression or conception. Below him are a series of beings (§cu/x,oi/€s) who superintend the production of all living things, and hold inter­course with men. The human soul passes through various transmigrations, thus connecting the series with the lower classes of being, until it is finally purified and rendered acceptable to God. It will be seen that his system was a compound of Plato and Aristotle, with some parts borrowed from the east, and perhaps derived from a study of the Pythagorean system. (Ritter, Geschichte der Pldlo-sopltie, iv. p. 249.)

Alcinous first appeared in the Latin version of Pietro Balbi, which was published at Rome with Apuleius, 1469, fol. The Greek text was printed in the Aldine edition of Apuleius, 1521, 8vo. Another edition is that of Fell, Oxford, 1667. The best is by J. F. Fischer, Leipzig, 1783, 8vo. It was translated into French by J. J. Combes- Dounous, Paris, 1800, 8vo., and into English by Stanley in his History of Philosophy. [B. J.]

ALCIPHRON ('AA/a>p«z/), a Greek sophist, and the most eminent among the Greek epistolo-graphers. Respecting his life or the age in which he lived we possess no direct information what­ever. Some of the earlier critics, as La Croze and J. C. Wolf, placed him, without any plausible reason, in the fifth century of our aera. Bergler, and others who followed him, placed Alciphron in the period between Lucian and Aristaenetus, that is, between a.d. 170 and 350, while others again assign to him a date even earlier than the time of Lucian. The only circumstance that suggests anything respecting his age is the fact, that among the letters of Aristaenetus there are

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ALCIPPE.

two (i. 5 and 22) between Lucian and Alciphron; now as Aristaenetus is nowhere guilty of any great historical inaccuracy, we rnay safely infer that Alciphron was a contemporary of Lucian—an infe­rence which is not incompatible with the opinion, whether true or false, that Alciphron imitated Lucian.

We possess under the name of Alciphron 116 fictitious letters, in 3 books, the object of which is to delineate the characters of certain classes of men, by introducing them as expressing their pe­ culiar sentiments and opinions upon subjects with which they were familiar. The classes of persons which Alciphron chose for this purpose are fisher­ men, country people, parasites, and hetaerae or Athenian courtezans. All are made to express their sentiments in the most graceful and elegant language, even where the subjects are of a low or obscene kind. The characters are thus some­ what raised above their common standard, without any great violation of the truth of reality. The form of these letters is exquisitely beautiful, and the language is the pure Attic dialect, such as it was spoken in the best times in familiar but re­ fined conversation at Athens. The scene from which the letters are dated is, with a few excep­ tions, Athens and its vicinity ; and the time, wher­ ever it is discernible, is the period after the reign of Alexander the Great. The new Attic comedy was the principal source from which the author de­ rived his information respecting the characters and manners which he describes, and for this reason these letters contain much valuable information about the private life of the Athenians of that time. It has been said, that Alciphron is an imitator of Lucian; but besides the style, and, in a few in­ stances, the subject matter, there is no resemblance between the two writers: the spirit in which the two treat their subjects is totally different. Both derived their materials from the same sources, and in style both aimed at the greatest perfection of the genuine Attic Greek. Bergler has truly remarked, that Alciphron stands in the same relation to Me- nander as Lucian to Aristophanes. The first edi­ tion of Alciphron's letters is that of Aldus, in his collection of the Greek Epistolographers, Venice, 1499, 4to. This edition, however, contains only those letters which, in more modern editions, form the first two books. Seventy-two new letters were added from a Vienna and a Vatican MS. by Bergler, in his edition (Leipzig, 1715, 8vo.) with notes and a Latin translation. These seventy-two epistles form the third book in Bergler's edition. J. A. Wagner, in his edition (Leipzig, 1798, 2 vols, 8vo., with the notes of Bergler), added two new letters entire, and fragments of five others. One long letter, which has not yet been published entire, exists in several Paris MSS. [L. S.]

ALCIPPE ('AA/uTTTn?). 1. A daughter of Ares and Agraulos, the daughter of Cecrops. Ha-lirrhothius, the son of Poseidon, intended to violate her, but was surprised by Ares, arid killed, for which Poseidon bore a grudge against Ares. (Pans, i. 21. § 7 ; Apollod. iii. 14. § 2.)

2. A maiden, who was dishonoured by her own brother, Astraeus, unwittingly. When Astraeus became a,ware of his deed, he threw himself into a river, which received from him the name of Astrae­us, but was afterwards called Caicus. (Plut. De Fluv. 21.)

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