, a celebrated ancient architect of Macedonia, of whom several extraordinary things are related, lived in the 112th olympiad, or 332 B. C. Vitruvius tells us, that, when Alexander the Great had conquered all his enemies, Dinocrates, full of great conceptions, and relying upon them, went from Macedonia to the army, with a view of acquiring his notice and favour. He carried letters recommendatory to the nobles about him, who received him very graciously, and promised to introduce him to the king; but suspecting, from some delays, that they were not serious, he resolved at length to introduce himself; and for this purpose conceived the following project. He anointed his body all over with oil, and crowned his temples with poplar; then he flung a lion’s skin over his left shoulder, and put a club into his right hand. Thus accoutred, he appeared in the court, where the king was administering justice. The eyes of the people being naturally turned upon so striking a spectacle, for, in addition to his singular garb, he was tall, well proportioned, and very handsome; the king asked him, who he was? “I am,” says he, “Dinocrates the Macedonian architect, and bring to your majesty thoughts and designs that are worthy of your greatness: for I have laid out the mount Athos into the form of a man, in whose left hand I have designed the walls of a great city, and all the rivers of the mount to flow into his right, and from thence into the sea.Alexander seemed amused with this vast project, but very wisely declined putting it in execution. He kept the architect, however, and took him into Egypt, where he employed him in marking out and building the city of Alexandria. Another memorable instance of Dinocrates’s architectonic skill is his restoring and building, in a more august and magnificent manner than before, the celebrated temple of Diana at Ephesus, after Herostratus, for the sake of immortalizing his name, had destroyed it by fire. A third instance, more extraordinary and wonderful than either of the former, is related by Pliny in his Natural History; who tells us, that he had formed a scheme, by building the dome of the temple of Arsinoe at Alexandria | of loadstone, to make her image all of iron hang in the middle of it, as if it were in the air. Dinocrates probably deserves great credit as an architect, but such foolish stories as this last must be placed to the account of the credulity of the times in which Pliny wrote, and of which he largely partook. 1


Moreri.—Vitruvius, lib. II.—Pliny, lib. XXXIV.