1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Alciphron
|←Alcionio, Pietro||1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 1
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ALCIPHRON, Greek rhetorician, was probably a contemporary of Lucian (2nd century A.D.). He was the author of a collection of fictitious letters, of which 124 (118 complete and 6 fragments) have been published; they are written in the purest Attic dialect and are considered models of style. The scene is throughout at Athens; the imaginary writers are country people, fishermen, parasites and courtesans, who express their sentiments and opinions on familiar subjects in elegant language. The "courtesan" letters are especially valuable, the information contained in them being chiefly derived from the writers of the New Comedy, especially Menander.
Editions.—Editio princeps (44 letters), 1499; Bergler (1715); Seiler (1856); Hercher (1873); Schepers (1905). English translation by Monro and Beloe (1791).