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*)Anaca/rxos), a philosopher of Abdera, of the school of Democritus, flourished about 340 B. C. and onwards. (D. L. 9.58, p. 667, Steph.) He accompanied Alexander into Asia, and gained his favour by flattery and wit. From the easiness of his temper and his love of pleasure he obtained the appellation of εὐδαιμονικός. When Alexander had killed Cleitus, Anaxarchus consoled him with the maxim "a king can do no wrong." After the death of Alexander, Anaxarchus was thrown by shipwreck into the power of Nicocreon, king of Cyprus, to whom he had given mortal offence, and who had him pounded to death in a stone mortar. The philosopher endured his sufferings with the utmost fortitude. Cicero (Tusc. 2.21, de Nat. Deor. 3.33) is the earliest authority for this tale. Of the philosophy of Anaxarchus we know nothing. Some writers understand his title εὐδαιμονικὸς as meaning, that he was the teacher of a philosophy which made the end of life to be εὐδαιμονία, and they made him the founder of a sect called εὐδαιμονικοί, of which, however, he himself is the only person mentioned.


Strabo (p. 594) ascribes to Anaxarchus and Callisthenes the recension of Homer, which Alexander kept in Darius's perfume-casket, and which is generally attributed to Aristotle.

Further Information

Arrian, Arr. Anab. 4.10 ; Plut. Alex. 52; Plin. Nat. 7.23; Aelian, Ael. VH 9.37; Brucker, Hist. Philos. i. p. 1207; Dathe, Prolusio de Anaxarcho, Lips. 1762.


hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Plutarch, Alexander, 52
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 7.23
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 4.10
    • Aelian, Varia Historia, 9.37
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