The Ancient Library

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On this page: Aristoxenus – Arms – Army – Arneis – Arnobius – Arrhephoria – Arrianus



Psychology; he was the first to attempt a History of Philosophy and of the forms of government then existing. His method, of which he must be considered the creator, is critical and empirical at once. In all cases he starts from facts, which he collects, sifts and groups as completely as he can, so as to get some general leading points of view, and with the help of these to arrive at a systematic arrangement of the subject, and a knowledge of its inmost being, its cause. Tor to him the Cause is the essential part of knowledge, and the philosophy that searches into ultimate causes for the mere sake of knowing is the best and freest science.

The form of Aristotle's works is by no means equal to their contents. Of the beautiful harmony between style and sub­ject, that so charms us in Plato, there is not a trace in Aristotle; his manner of expression, though scientifically exact, lacks flavour, art, and elegance. But of exact scientific terminology he is the true founder. When the ancients celebrate the " golden stream" of his writing, the opinion can only refer to his lost popular works.

Aristotle's personality is one of those which have affected the history of the world. His writings, like those of Plato, were to the Christian centuries of antiquity a most stimulating incentive to scientific inquiry; in the Middle Ages they were for the Christian nations of the West and the Arabs the chief guide to philosophical method; and in the province of logic his authority remains unshaken to this day.

Aristoxenua. A Greek philosopher and musician, a native of Tarentum, and a pupil of Aristotle, lived about 330 B.C., and was a prolific writer on various subjects, but most particularly on Music. In con­trast with the Pythagoreans, who referred everything to the relations of numbers, he regarded music as founded on the differ­ence of tones as perceived by the ear. Of his Elements of Harmony, three books are preserved, but they are neither complete, nor in their original shape. Only a part of his Elements of Rhythm has survived.

Arms. See weapons.

Army. (1) Greek. See warfare.

(2) Roman. See legion, dilectus, sacramentum, stipendium, castra.

Arneis. The festival of lambs. See linos.

Arndblus. An African, who won a high reputation as a master of rhetoric at Sicca in Numidia, in the reign of Diocletian. He was at first a heathen and an assailant of Christianity; but on becoming a Christian,

to prove the sincerity of his conversion, he wrote (about 295 a.d.) the extant work Adversus Gentls. This is a superficial and rhetorical defence of Christianity and attack on Polytheism, but it is full of instruction with regard to the contemporary heathenism and its various worships.

Arrhephdrla or Errhephoria. The Athe­nian term for a mystic festival in honour of Athena as goddess of the fertilizing night-dew, held in the month of SclrophSrion (June-July), in connection with the Sciro-phoria. It was named after the Hers-phOroi = dew-bearers, four maidens between seven and eleven years of age, who were chosen yearly from the houses of noble citizens, and had to spend several months at the temple of Athena in the Acropolis, and take part in its services. Two of them had the task of commencing the cloak or shawl which the women of Athens wove and presented to the goddess at the Panathensea. The other two, on the night of the festival, received from the priestess of Athena certain coffers, with unknown contents, which they carried in procession on their heads to a natural grotto beside the temple of " Aphrodite in the gardens," and delivering them there, received some­thing equally mysterious in exchange, which they carried to the temple on the Acropolis. With this ceremony their office expired-.

Arrianus (Flavius). A Greek author, who wrote chiefly on philosophy and history, born at Nicfimedea in Bithynia towards the end of the 1st century A.D., and a pupil of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus. He lived under the emperors Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius, enjoying a high reputation for culture and ability, which procured him the citizenship of Rome and Athens, and high offices of state, such as the governorship of Cappadocia under Hadrian, a.d. 136, and the consulship under An­toninus. His last years were spent in his native town, where he filled the office of priest to Denieter, and died at an advanced age. From the likeness of his character to that of the famous Athenian, he was nick­named " XSnophon Junior." Of his philo­sophical works we have still the first half (four books) of the Discourses of Epictetus, a leading authority for the tenets of that philosopher and the Stoical ethics; and the hand-book called the Encheirldlon of Epic­tetus, a short manual of morality, which on account of its pithy and practical precepts became a great favourite with Pagans and Christians, had a commentary written on

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