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NICOMACHUS (Nactnaxos). I. One of the sons of Machaon, the son of Aesculapius, by Anti-cleia, the daughter of Diocles, king of Pherae, in Messenia. According to Pausanias (iv. 30. §2), he succeeded to the kingdom after the death of his grandfather, together with his brother Gorgasus, and is therefore placed by some in the twelfth century b. c. Both brothers followed the example of their father, by practising the art of healing, for which they received divine honours after their death, and had a sanctuary at Pherae, founded by Isthmius, the son of Glaucus (id. iv. 3. § 6). Suidas (s. v. NtKofji.) says he was a native of Stageira, in Macedonia ; but it is not likely that this city was then in existence. He also seems to say that he wrote six books on medicine ('larpiKa and one on natural science («i>u(n/ca) ; but this is probably incorrect. In fact Nicomachus must be regarded as a purely mythical personage. According to Hermippus (ap. Diog. Laert. v. 1. § 1), he was the ancestor of Nicomachus, the father of Aristotle.
2. The father of Aristotle, who belonged to the family of the Asclepiadae, and was descended from Nicomachus, the son of Machaon. He had another son named Arimnestus, and a daughter named Arimneste, by his wife Phaestis, or Phaestias, who was also descended from Aesculapius. He was a native of Stageira, and the friend and physician of Amyntas II., king of Macedonia, b. c. 393—369. He was perhaps the author of the works attributed (apparently) by Suidas to his ancestor, the son of Machaon. (Suid. s. v. 'Api(TTOT€\i)s, Nwafytax05 ; Ammon. in vita Aristot.; Diog. Laert. v. 1. § 1.; Dionys. De Demosth. et Aristot. § 5 ; Joann. Tzetz. CM. x. 727). [W. A. G.J
-the same authority he was entrusted with a commission to transcribe the laws of Solon, a period of four months being allowed him for the purpose ; but he extended the time, on various pretences, to six years, and drove a profitable trade by tampering with the laws, in the way of interpolation or omission, as it suited his several employers. In particular, he lent himself to the intrigues of the oligarchical party, in b. c. 405, and fabricated a law giving power to the council to take cognisance of the alleged offence of cleophon. Notwithstanding, however, his services to the oligarchs, he was obliged to fly from Athens under the government of the Thirty. On the re-establishment of democracy he seems to have been again employed in the transcription and registering of the laws, and it was for misconduct in the execution of this duty that he was visited with the prosecution for which the speech of Lysias was written. (Xeni '/fell. i. 7. § 35 ; Lys. c. Agor. p. 130, c. Nicom.') It was perhaps the same Nicomachus who is mentioned bjr Aristophanes (Ran. 1502) as a Tropio-r^s
—one of those whose business it was to levy extra ordinary supplies (see Diet, of Ant. s. v.)—and to whom Pluto is made to send, through Aeschylus, a present of a rope, with an urgent demand for his early appearance in the regions below. The Ni comachus also mentioned by Isocrates (c. Callim. pp. 373, 374) may, perhaps, have been the same person. [E. E.]
NICOMACHUS (NiKoVaxos), a son of Aristotle by.the slave Herpyllis. We are destitute
of any particulars of his life. The following pointg are merely indicated by their several authorities. From the will of Aristotle, as given by Laertius, we infer that Nicomachus was a mere boy when the will was made, and that he was entrusted first to the care of tutors therein named, and then to the discretion of Nicanor, Aristotle's adopted son. We are told by the same authority that Theo-phrastus was his teacher. Eusebius (Praep. xv. 2) states that, while still young, he died in war. (Diog. Laert. v. 1, 12, 35 ; Euseb. I. c.; Suid. s. v. Ni/coyU«xos.) He must have lived about b. c. 320.
His name, as an author, has become mixed up with that of his illustrious father. Cicero (de Fin. v. 5) and Laertius (viii. 88) seem to attribute to him certain ethical writings that are generally ascribed to Aristotle. Some modern writers have assented to this, but on slender grounds. (Fabric. Bill. Graec. vol. iii. p. 262.) It is not difficult to see how the mistake may have arisen. A portion of the moral writings of Aristotle bears the name of 'Hflj/ca NiKOjUaxei'a, why we cannot tell; whe ther the father so named them, as a memorial of his affection to his young son, or whether they derived their title from being afterwards edited and commented on by Nicomachus. [See Vol. I. of this work, p. 331, a. 'H0t/ed EuS^ueia.] This last reason is rendered not improbable from the cir cumstance mentioned by Suidas (/. c.), that Nico machus wrote six books (probably a comment) on ethics, and a comment on his father's work Tlepl ttjs <pv(riKrjs 'Attpodffews. Hence the confusion between the editor and commentator, and the original author. [W. M. G.]
NICOMACHUS (NiKoVaxos), literary. Two dramatic poets of the name have been mentioned by Suidas (s. v.). The whole question regarding them has been examined minutely by Meineke (Frag. Com. Graec. vol. i. pp. 75, &c., 496, &c.), and we shall briefly give his views, as probable and well supported by his authorities.
1. A tragic poet of Alexandria in the Troad, according to Suidas. He was a contemporary of Euripides and Theognis, b. c. 425, with whom he competed, and successfully, contrary to universal expectation. We may infer from the language of Suidas that the play which gained the prize was on the subject of Oedipus. He wrote, according to Suidas, eleven tragedies. But his list evidently contains two comedies. As corrected by Meineke, it contains the following subjects: — Alexander, Eriphyle, Geryones, Aletides, Neoptolemus, Mysi, Oedipus, Ilii Excidium sive Polyxena, Tyndareus, Alcmaeon, and Teucer, the last three constituting a trilogy. He was of no great reputation, as the language of Suidas implies. Only four words remain that can be traced to him.
2. A comic poet of the time of PherecrateSj b. c. 420. To him are doubtfully assigned (Athen. viii. 364, a, where he designates him o pvd/MKos), the comedy of Xetpcoz/, and (Harpocr. s.v. M€Ta\A€?s, p. 242) the comedy of MeTaAAe??. usually assigned to Pherecrates.
3. A poet of the new comedy. The E«A?f0iaa, perhaps the M€T€K€alvovffai,, both attributed to the first Nicomachus, by Suidas, and another, the Nav/xaxfa, were probably written by him. Of the first, we have an extract, consisting of forty-two lines, in Athenaeus (vii. p. 290, e.), containing a humorous dialogue, wherein a cook magnifies the requirements of his office. (Meineke, vol. v. p. 583, &c.) Of