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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Lacydes of Cyrene

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Greek philosopher, was head of the Academy at Athens in succession to Arcesilaus about 241 B.C. Though some regard him as the founder of the New Academy, the testimony of antiquity is that he adhered in general to the theory of Arcesilaus, and, therefore, that he belonged to the Middle Academy. He lectured in a garden called the Lacydeum, which was presented to him by Attalus I. of Pergamum, and for twenty-six years maintained the traditions of the Academy. He is said to have written treatises, but nothing survives. Before his death he voluntarily resigned his position to his pupils, Euander and Telecles. Apart from a number of anecdotes distinguished rather for sarcastic humour than for probability, Lacydes exists for us as a man of refined character, a hard worker and an accomplished orator. According to Athenaeus (x. 438) and Diogenes Laertius (iv. 60) he died from excessive drinking, but the story is discredited by the eulogy of Eusebius (Praep. Ev. xiv. 7), that he was in all things moderate.

See Cicero, Acad. ii. 6; and Aelian, V.H. ii. 41; also articles Academy, Arcesilaus, Carneades.

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Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Lacydes of Cyrene'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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