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On this page: Alcmaeonidae – Thenes


in the latter half of the sixth century before Christ. (Diog. Lae'rt. viii. 83.) Nothing more is known of the events of his life. His most celebrated anatomical discovery has been noticed in the Diet, of Ant. p. 756, a; but whether his knowledge in this branch of science was derived from the dissection of ani­mals or of human bodies, is a disputed question, which it is difficult to decide. Chalcidius, on whose authority the fact rests, merely says (Com­ment, in Plat. "Tim." p. 368, ed. Fabr.), "qui primus exsectionem aggredi est ausus," and the word eocsectio would apply equally well to either case. - He is -said also (Drog. Laert. I. c;; Cle-mens Alexandr. Slrom. i. p. 308) to have been the first person who wrote on natural philosophy (^vctikov Xoyov), and to have invented fables (fa-bulas, Isid. Orig. i. 39). He also wrote several other medical and philosophical works, of which nothing but the titles and a few fragments have been preserved by Stobaeus (Eclog. Phys.\ Plu­tarch (De Pliys. Pliilos. Decr.\ and Galen. (Histor. Pltilmoph.} A further account of his philosophical opinions may be found in Menage's Notes to Dio­genes Laertius, viii. 83, p. 387 ; Le Clerc, Hist, de la Med.; Alfons. Ciacconius ap. Fabric. Bibliotli. Graec. vol. xiii. p. 48, ed. vet.; Sprengel, Hist, de la Med. vol. i. p. 239; C. G. Kiihn, De Pliilosoph. ante Hippocr. Medicinae Cultor. Lips. 1781, 4to., reprinted in Ackermann's Opusc. ad Histor. Medic. .Pertinentia, Norimb. 1797, 8vo., and in Kuhn's Opusc. Acad. Med. et Philol. Lips. 1827-8, 2 vols. 8vo.; Isensee, Gesch. der Medicin. [W. A. G.]



Although Alcmaeon is termed a pupil of Pytha­ goras, there is great reason to doubt whether he was a Pythagorean at all; his name seems to have crept into the lists of supposititious Pythagoreans given us by later writers. (Brandis, Geschiehte der Philosophic^ vol. i. p. 507.) Aristotle (Meta- phi/s. a. 5) mentions him as nearly contemporary with Pythagoras, but distinguishes between the (TToixeia of opposites, under which the Pythago­ reans included all thingsj and the double principle of Alcmaeon, according to Aristotle, less extended, although he does not explain the precise differ­ ence.- Other doctrines of Alcmaeon have been pre­ served to us. He said that the human soul was immortal and partook of the divine nature, because like the heavenly bodies it contained in itself a principle of motion. (Arist. de Anima, i. 2, p. 405; Cic. de Nat. Deor.i. 11.) The eclipse of the moon, which was also eternal, he supposed to arise from its shape, which he said was like a boat. All his doctrines which have come down to us, relate to physics or medicine ; and seem to have arisen partly out of the speculations of the Ionian school, with which rather than the Pythagorean, Aristotle appears to connect Alcmaeon, partly from the traditionary lore of the earliest medical science. (Brandis, vol. i. p. 508.) [B. J.]

ALCMAEONIDAE (AMquaieow'Scu), a noble family at Athens, members of which fill a space in Grecian history from 1100 to 400 b. c. The fol­lowing is a genealogical table of the family.

1. Alcmaeon, founder of the family, 1100 B. c.

2. (Megacles), 6th perpetual archon.

3. (Alcmaeon), last perpetual archon. (b. c. 755—753.)

4. Megacles, archon in b. c. 612.

5. Alcmaeon, about 590 b. c. (See alcmaeon.)

6. Megacles, the opponent^Agariste, daughter of Cleisthenes, of Peisistratus. | tyrant of Sicyon.

7. Cleisthenes, (there- 8. Hippocrates. ( 131; 9. Coesyra, mar.

former. SeeCLEis- Schol. Pind. Pytli. vii. 17.) to Peisistratus.

THENES.) I _____

-16. Deinomache- -Hipponicus, 17. Euryptolemus. 18. Pericles, 19. Ariphron.

commanded (Plut. Cim. 4.) (the great (Pint. Ale.


10. Alcibiades. His pa­rentage is unknown, but he was said to be an Alcmaeonid on the father's side. (De-mosth. inMid. p. 561.)

14. Axiochus. 15. Cleinias" Plat. .Eu- commanded thyd. p. a trireme at 265.) Artemisium b.c. 480; fell at Coroneia b. c. 442. (Herod, viii. 17; Plut. Ak. 1.)


(Pint. Ale.


11. Megacles, victor 12. Megacles. in the Pythian (Herod, vi. games. (Pind. 131.) PytJi. vii. 15.)

at. Tanagra b. c. 246.


He is thought by some to have been himself an





13. Agariste.= (Herod, vi. 131; Plut. Peric. 3.)

states- 1 ; Plat,

man. pe- Protag. p.

ricles.) 320.)

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