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On this page: Alcisthene – Alcmaeon



Apollod. iii. 15. § 8; Diod. iv. 16; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 776 ; Horn. Od. iv. 124. [alcyonides.] [L.S.] ALOIS ('AA/as), that is, the Strong. 1. A surname of Athena, under which she was worship­ped in Macedonia. (Liv. xlii. 51.)

2. A deity among the Naharvali, an ancient German tribe. (Tacit. Germ. 43.) Grimm (Deut­ sche MyihoL p. 39) considers Alcis in the passage of Tacitus to be the genitive of Alx, which, ac­ cording to him, signifies a sacred grove, and is connected with the Greek aAcros. Another Alcis occurs in Apollodorus, ii. 1. § 5. [L. S.]

ALCISTHENE, a female painter spoken of by Pliny (H. JV. xxxv. 11. s. 40), who mentions one of her pictures representing a dancer. [C. P. M.] ALCrTHOE. [alcathoe.j A'LCITHUS ("AA/a0os), sent as ambassador by the Achaeans to Ptolemy Philometor, b.c. 169, when they heard that the Anacleteria (see Diet, of Ant. s. v.) were to be celebrated in his honour. (Polyb. xxviii. 10, 16.)

ALCMAEON ('AAfc,uaiW), a son of Amphia-raus and Eriphyle, and brother of Amphilochus, Eurydice, and Demonassa. (Apollod. iii. 7. § 2.) His mother was induced by the necklace of Har-monia, which she received from Polyneices, to per­suade her husband Amphiaraus to take part in the expedition against Thebes. (Horn. Od. xv. 247, &c.) But before Amphiaraus set out, he enjoined his sons to kill their mother as soon as they should be grown up. (Apollod. iii. 6. § 2 ; Hygin. Fab. 73.) When the Epigoni prepared for a second expedition against Thebes, to avenge the death of their fathers, the oracle promised them success and victory, if they chose Alcmaeon their leader. He was at first disinclined to undertake the command, as he had not yet taken vengeance on his mother, according to the desire of his father. But she, who had now received from Thersander, the son of Polyneices, the peplus of Harmonia also, in­duced him to join the expedition. Alcmaeon dis­tinguished himself greatly in it, and slew Laoda-mus, the son of Eteocles. (Apollod. iii. 7. § 2, &c.; comp. Diod. iv. 66.) When, after the fall of Thebes, he learnt the reason for which his mother had urged him on to take part in the expedition, he slew her on the advice of an oracle of Apollo, and, according to some traditions, in conjunction with his brother Amphilochus. For this deed he became mad, and was haunted by the Erinnyes. He first came to Oi'cleus in Arcadia, and thence went to Phegeus in Psophis, and being purified by the latter, he married his daughter Arsinoe or Alphe-siboea (Paus. viii. 24. § 4), to whom he gave the necklace and peplus of Harmonia. But the coun­try in which he now resided was visited by scar­city, in consequence of his being the murderer of his mother, and the oracle advised him to go to Achelous. According to Pausanias, he left Psophis because his madness did not yet cease. Pausanias and Thucydides (ii. 102 ; comp. Plut. De Eocil. p. 602) further state, that the oracle commanded him to go to a country which had been formed subsequent to the murder of his mother, and was therefore under no curse. The country thus point­ed out was a tract of land which had been recently formed at the mouth of the river Achelous. Apol­lodorus agrees with this account, but gives a de­tailed history of Alcmaeon's wanderings until he reached the mouth of Achelous, who gave him his daughter Calirrhoe in marriage. Calirrhoe had a


desire to possess the necklace and peplus of Hax~ monia, and Alcmaeon, to gratify her wish, went to Psophis to get them from Phegeus, under the pre­text that he intended to dedicate them at Delphi in order to be freed from his madness. Phegeus complied with his request, but when he heard that the treasures were fetched for Calirrhoe, he sent his sons Pronous and Agenor (Apollod. iii. 7. §6) or, according to Pausanias (viii. 24. § 4), Temenua and Axion, after him, with the command to kill him. This was done, but the sons of Alcmaeon by Calirrhoe took bloody vengeance at the instigation of their mother. (Apollod. Paus. II, cc.; Ov. Met. ix. 407, &c.)

The story about Alcmaeon furnished rich mate­ rials for the epic and tragic poets of Greece, and their Roman imitators. But none of these poems is now extant, and we only know from Apollo­ dorus (iii, 7. § 7), that Euripides, in his tragedy " Alcmaeon," stated that after the fall of Thebes he married Manto, the daughter of Teiresias, and that he had two children by her, Amphilochus and Tisiphone, whom he gave to Creon, king of Co­ rinth, to educate. The wife of Creon, jealous of the extraordinary beauty of Tisiphone, afterwards sold her as a slave, and Alcmaeon himself bought her, without knowing that she was his daughter. (Diod. iv. 66 ; Paus. vii. 3. § 1, ix. 33. § 1.) Alcmaeon after his death was worshipped as a hero, and at Thebea lie seems to have had an altar, near the house of Pindar (Pyth. yiii. 80, &c.)3 who calls him his neighbour and the guardian of his property, and also seems to suggest that prophetic, powers were ascribed to him, as to his father Am­ phiaraus. At Psophis his tomb was shewn, sur­ rounded with lofty and sacred cypresses. (Paus. viii. 24. § 4.) At Oropus, in Attica, where Am­ phiaraus and Amphilochus were worshipped, Alc­ maeon enjoyed no such honours, because he was a matricide. (Paus. i. 34. § 2.) He was represented in a statue at Delphi, and on the chest of Cypse- lus. (x. 10. § 2, v. 17. § 4.) [L. S.]

ALCMAEON (AAK^caW), son of the Megacles who was guilty of sacrilege with respect to the fol­lowers of Cimon, was invited by Croesus to Sardis in consequence of the services he had rendered to an embassy sent by Croesus to consult the Delphic oracle. On his arrival at Sardis, Croesus made him a present of as much gold as he could carry out of the treasury. Alcmaeon took the king at his word, by putting on a most capacious dress, the folds of which (as well as the vacant space of a pair of very wide boots, also provided for the occasion) he stuffed with gold, and then filled his mouth and hair with gold dust. Croesus laughed at the trick, and presented him with as much again (about 590 b. c.). The wealth thus acquired is said to have contributed greatly to the subsequent pros­perity of the Alcmaeonidae. (Herod, vi. 125.)

Alcmaeon was a breeder of horses for chariot- races, and on one occasion gained the prize in a chariot-race at Olympia. (Herod. I. c.; Isocrates, • de Bigis., c. 10. p. 351.) We are informed by Plutarch (Solon, c. 11), that he commanded the Athenians in the Cirrhaean war, which began b. c. 600. [P. S.]

ALCMAEON ('AAK,ua<W), one of the mosl eminent natural philosophers of antiquity, was t native of Crotona in Magna Graecia. His father'* name was Pirithus, and he is said to have been i pupil of Pythagoras, and must therefore have livec

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