XENOCRATES

, an eminent philosopher among the ancient Greeks, was born at Chalcedon, and died 314 years before Christ, at about 90 years of age. He became early a disciple of Plato, studying under this great master at the same time with Aristotle, though he was not possessed of equal talents; the for- mer wanting a spur, and the latter a bridle. He was fond of the mathematics; and permitted none of his scholars to be ignorant of them. There was something slovenly in the behaviour of Xenocrates; for which reason Plato frequently exhorted him to sacrifice to the graces. Seriousness and severity were always seen in his | deportment: yet notwithstanding this severe cast of mind, he was very compassionate. There was something extraordinary in the rectitude of his morals: he was absolute master of his passions; and was not fond of pleasure, riches, or applause. Indeed, so great was his reputation for sincerity and probity, that he was the only person whom the magistrates of Athens dispensed from confirming his testimony with an oath. And yet he was so ill treated by them, as to be sold because he could not pay the poll-tax laid upon foreigners. Demetrius Phalereus bought Xenocrates, paid the debt to the Athenians, and immediately gave him his liberty. At Alexander's request, he composed a treatise on the Art of Reigning; 6 books on Nature; 6 books on Philosophy; one on Riches, &c; but none of them have come down to these times:—His theology it seems was but poor stuff: Cicero refutes him in the first book of the Nature of the Gods.

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Entry taken from A Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary, by Charles Hutton, 1796.

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* XENOCRATES
XENOPHANES
XENOPHON
XIPHIAS