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ARRIANUS
Form: Flavius.
A Greek author, who wrote chiefly on philosophy and history, born at Nicomedae in Bithynia towards the end of the 1st century A.D., and a pupil of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus. He lived under the emperors Hadrian, Antoninus Plus and Marcus Aurelius, enjoying a high reputation for culture and ability, which procured him the citizenship of Rome and Athens, and high offices of state, such as the governorship of Cappadocia under Hadrian, A.D. 136, and the consulship under Antoninus. His last years were spent in his native town, where he filled the office of priest to Demeter, and died at an advanced age. From the likeness of his character to that of the famous Athenian, he was nicknamed "Xenophon Junior." Of his philosophical works we have still the first half (four books) of the Discourses of Epictetus, a leading authority for the tenets of that philosopher and the Stoical ethics; and the hand-book called the Encheiridion of Epictetus, a short manual of morality, which on account of its pithy and practical precepts became a great favourite with Pagans and Christians, bad a commentary written on it by Simplicius in the 6th century, and after the revival of learning was long used as a schoolbook. Of his numerous historical writings we possess the chief one, the Anabasis of Alexander in seven book. This is a complete history of that conqueror from his accession to his death, drawn from the best sources, especially Ptolemy and Aristobulus, and modelled on Xenophon, of whom we are reminded by the very title and the number of books, though it has none of Xenophon's charm. It is the best work on Alexander that has survived from antiquity. To this we should add the Indica, a short work on India, written in the Ionic dialect, and especially valuable for its abstract of Nearchus' report of his voyage from the mouth of the Indus to the Persian Gulf; also the description of another coasting voyage, the Periplus Ponti Euxini, and a trifling treatise on hunting, the Cynegeticus. A work on tactics wrongly ascribed to him is probably from the hand of Aelian the Tactician. Of his other Histories, e.g. of the Successors of Alexander, of Trajan's battles with the Parthians, of his own native country till its absorption in the Empire, and the campaign against the Alani during his command in Cappadocia, we have only abstracts or fragments.
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