1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Alcinous (philosopher)

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ALCINOUS, the Platonic philosopher, lived probably in the time of the Caesars. He was the author of an Ἐπιτομὴ τῶν Πλάτωνος δογμάτων, 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 (δαίμονες) who hold intercourse with men. He recognized also Ideas and Matter, and borrowed largely from Aristotle and the Stoics.

The Ἐπιτομή 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.