1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Anaxarchus

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ANAXARCHUS (c. 340 B.C.), a Greek philosopher of the school of Democritus, was born at Abdera. He was the companion and friend of Alexander in his Asiatic campaigns. He checked the vainglory of Alexander, when he aspired to the honours of divinity, by pointing to his wounded finger, saying, “See the blood of a mortal, not of a god.” The story that at Bactra in 327 B.C. in a public speech he advised all to worship Alexander as a god even during his lifetime, is with greater probability attributed to the Sicilian Cleon. It is said that Nicocreon, tyrant of Cyprus, commanded him to be pounded to death in a mortar, and that he endured this torture with fortitude; but the story is doubtful, having no earlier authority than Cicero. His philosophical doctrines are not known, though some have inferred from the epithet εὐδαιμονικός (“fortunate”), usually applied to him, that he held the end of life to be εὐδαιμονία.