Dicearchus

, a disciple of Aristotle, was born at Messina in Sicily. He was a philosopher, historian, and mathematician, and composed a great many books on various subjects, and in all sciences, which were much esteemed. Cicero speaks frequently in the highest terms both of the man and his works. Geography was one of his principal studies; and we have a tieatise, or rather a fragment of a treatise, of his still extant upon that subject. It was first published by Henry Stephens in 1589, with a Latin version and notes; and afterwards by Hudson at Oxford in 1703, among the “Veteris geographiae scriptures Graecos minores, &c.” Pliny tells us that “Dicearchus, a man of extraordinary learning, had received a commission from some princes to take the height of the mountains, and found Pelion, the highest of them, to be 1250 paces perpendicular, from whence he concluded it to bear no proportion which could affect the rotundity of the globe.” He published some good discourses upon politics and government; and the work he composed concerning the republic of Lacedaemon was thought so excellent, that it was read every year before the youth in the assembly of the ephori. As a philosopher, his tenets have little to recommend them* He held that there is no such thing as mind, or soul, either in man or beast; that the principle by which animals perceive and act, is equally diffused throngh the body, is inseparable from it, and expires with it; that the human race always existed; that it is impossible to foretel future events; and that the knowledge of them would be an infelicity. 2

2

Gen. Dict. —Moreri, —Saxii Onomast. Brucker.