The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Alexander

124

ALEXANDER.

ton is called Straton, which, however, may be a mere surname.) His father was distinguished as a pleader in the courts of justice, by which he ac­ quired considerable property, but he died at an age when his son yet wanted the care of a father. His place, however, was supplied by his friends, especially by Apollonius of Tyana, who is said to have been in love with Seleucis on account of her extraordinary beauty, in which she was equalled by her son. His education was entrusted at first to Phavorinus, and afterwards to Dionysius. He spent the property which his father had left him upon pleasures, but, says Philostratus, not con­ temptible pleasures. When he had attained the age of manhood, the town of Seleucia, for some reason now unknown, sent Alexander as ambassa­ dor to the emperor Antoninus Pius, who is said to have ridiculed the young man for the extravagant care he bestowed on his outward appearance. He spent the greater part of his life away from his native place, at Antiochia, Rome, Tarsus, and tra­ velled through all Egypt, as far as the country of the Tifyti/ot. (Ethiopians.) It seems to have been during his stay at Antiochia that he was appointed Greek secretary to the emperor M. Antoninus, who was carrying on a war in Pannonia, about a. d. 174. On his journey to the emperor he made a short stay at Athens, where he met the celebrated rhetorician Herodes Atticus. He had a rhetorical contest with him in which he not only conquered his famous adversary, but gained his esteem and admiration to such a degree, that Herodes honoured him with a munificent present. One Corinthian, however, of the name of Sceptes, when asked what he thought of Alexander, ex­ pressed his disappointment by saying that he had found " the clay (n^Aos), but not Plato." This saying gave rise to the surname of Peloplaton. The place and time of his death are not known. Philostratus gives the various statements which he found about these points. Alexander was one of the greatest rhetoricians of his age, and he is especially praised for the sublimity of his style and the boldness of his thoughts ; but he is not known to have written anything. An account of his life is given by Philostratus (Vit. Soph. ii. 5), who has also preserved several of his sayings, and some of the subjects on which he made speeches. (Comp. Suidas, s. v. 'AAegcwSps Alycuos in fin. ; Eudoc. p. 52.) [L. S.]

ALEXANDER ('AAe£ai/fyos), son of perseus. king of Macedonia, was a child at the conquest of his father by the Romans, and after the triumph of Aemilius Paullus in b. c. 167, was kept in cus­tody at Alba, together with his father. He be­came skilful in the toreutic art, learned the Latin language, and became a public notary. (Liv. xlv. 42 ; Pint. Aem. Paul. 37.)

ALEXANDER ('AA^az/fyos), tyrant of phe-rae. The accounts of his usurpation vary some­what in minor points ; Diodorus (xv. 61) tells us that, on the assassination of Jason, b. c. 370, Po-lydorus his brother ruled for a year, and was then poisoned by Alexander, another brother. Accord­ing to Xenophon (Hell. vi. 4. § 34), Polydorus was murdered by his brother Polyphron, and Poly­phron, in his turn, b. c. 369,* by Alexander — his ) according to Plutarch, who relates also that

* This date is at variance with Pausanias (vi. 5) ; but, see Wesseling on Diod. (xv. 75.)

ALEXANDER.

Alexander worshipped as a god the spear with which he slew his uncle. (Plut. Pdop. p. 293,&e.; Wess. ad Diod. I. c.) • Alexander governed tyran­nically, and according to Diodorus (7. c.), differently from the former rulers, but Polyphron, at least, seems to have set him the example. (Xen. /. <?.) The Thessalian states, however, which had ac­knowledged the authority of Jason the Tagua (Xen. Hell. vi. 1. § 4, 5, &c.; Diod. xv. 60), were not so willing to submit to the oppression of Alex­ander the tyrant, and they applied therefore (and especially the old family of the Aleuadae of La-rissa, who had most reason to fear him) to Alex­ander, king of Macedon, son of Amyntas II. The tyrant, with his characteristic energy, pre­pared to meet his enemy in Macedonia, but the king anticipated him, and, reaching Larissa, was admitted into the city, obliged the Thessalian Alex­ander to flee to Pherae, and left a garrison in La­rissa, as well as in Cranon, which had also come over to him. (Diod. xv. 61.) But the Macedonian having retired, his friends in Thessaly, dreading the vengeance of Alexander, sent for aid to Thebes, the policy of which state, of course, was to check a neighbour who might otherwise become so formid­able, and Pelopidas was accordingly despatched to succour them. On the arrival of the latter at La­rissa, whence according to Diodorus fxv. 67) he dislodged the Macedonian garrison, Alexander pre­sented himself and offered submission ; but soon after escaped by flight, alarmed by the indignation which Pelopidas expressed at the tales he heard of his cruelty and tyrannical profligacy. (Diod. L c.; Plut. Pclop. p. 291, d.) These events appear to be referable to the early part of the year 368. In the summer of that year Pelopidas was again sent into Thessaly, in consequence of fresh complaints against Alexander. Accompanied by Ismenias, lie went merely as a negotiator, and without any mi­litary force, and venturing incautiously within the power of the tyrant, was seized by him and thrown into prison. (Diod. xv. 71; Plut. Pel. p. 292, d; Polyb. viii. 1.) The language of De­mosthenes (c. Aristocr. p. 660) will hardly support Mitford's inference, that Pelopidas was taken prisoner in battle. (See :Mitford, Or. Hist. ch. 27. sec. 5.) The Thebans sent a large army into Thessaly to rescue Pelopidas, but they could not keep the field against the superior cavalry of Alexander, who, aided by auxiliaries from Athens. pursued them with great slaughter; and the de­struction of the whole Theban army is said to have been averted only by the ability of Epaminondas. who was serving in the campaign, but not as ge­neral.

The next year, 367, was signalized by a speci­men of Alexander's treacherous cruelty, in the massacre of the citizens of Scotussa (Plut. Pel. p. 293; Diod. xv. 75; Paus. vi. 5); and also by an­other expedition of the Thebans under Epaminon­das into Thessaly, to effect the release of Pelopidas. According to Plutarch, the tyrant did not dare tc offer resistance, and was glad to purchase even r thirty days' truce by the delivery of the prisoners (Pint. Pel pp. 293, 294 ; Diod. xv. 75.) During the next three years Alexander would seem tc have renewed his attempts against the states o: Thessaly, especially those of Magnesia and Phthio-tis (Pint. Pel. p. 295, a), for at the end of thai time, b.c. 364, we find them again applying tc Thebes for protection against him. The army ap-

Pages
About | First

123

124

125
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.