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Alcinous

ALCINOUS:

(1) - ALCINOUS aka. ALKINOOS, in ancient Greek legend, king of the fabulous Phaeacians, in the island of Scheria, was the son of Nausithous and grandson of Poseidon. His reception and entertainment of Odysseus, who when cast by a storm on the shore of the island was relieved by the king's daughter, Nausicaa, is described in the Odyssey (vi.-xiii.). The gardens and palace of Alcinous and the wonderful ships of the Phaeacian mariners were famous in antiquity. Scheria was identified in very early times with Corcyra, where Alcinous was reverenced as a hero; In the Argonautic legend, his abode was the island of Drepane (Apoll. Rhodius iv. 990).

(2) - ALCINOUS the Platonic philosopher, lived probably in the time of the Caesars. He was the author of an 'Epitome ton Platonos dogmaton, an analysis of Plato's philosophy according to later writers. It is rather in the manner of Aristotle, and freely attributes to Plato any ideas of other philosophers which appeared to contribute to the system. He produced in the end a synthesis of Plato and Aristotle with an admixture of Pythagorean or Oriental mysticism, and is closely allied to the Alexandrian school of thought. He recognized a God who is unknowable, and a series of beings (daimones) who hold intercourse with men. He recognized also Ideas and Matter, and borrowed largely from Aristotle and the Stoics.

The 'Epitome has been translated by Pierre Balbi (Rome, 1469) and by Marsilio Ficino; into French by J. I. Combes-Dounous (Paris, 1800), and into English by Thomas Stanley in his History of Philosophy. Editions: Heinsius (Leiden, 1630); Fischer (Leipzig, 1783); in Aldine Edition of Apuleius (Venice, 1521; Paris, 1532); Fell (Oxford, 1667). See Ritter, Geschichte der Philosophie, iv. 249.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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