A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

(Ἀννίκερις), a Cyrenaic philosopher [ARISTIPPUS], of whom the ancients have left us very vague and contradictory accounts. He is said to have ransomed Plato for 20 minae from Dionysius of Syracuse (D. L. 2.86); but we read, on the other hand, that he was a disciple of Paraebates, whose succession from Aristippus in the order of discipleship was as follows:--Aristippus, Arete, Aristippus the younger, Antipater, Epitimedes, Paraebates. Plato, however, was contemporary with the first Aristippus, and therefore one of the above accounts of Anniceris must be false. Hence Menage on Laertius (l.c.) and Kuster on Suidas (s. v.) have supposed that there were two philosophers of the name of Anniceris, the one contemporary with Plato, the other with Alexander the Great. If so, the latter is the one of whose system some notices have reached us, and who forms a link between the Cyrenaic and Epicurean schools. He was opposed to Epicurus in two points: (1) he denied that pleasure was merely the absence of pain, for if so death would be a pleasure; and (2) he attributed to every separate act a distinct object, maintaining that there was no general end of human life. In both these statements he reasserted the principle of Aristippus. But he differed from Aristippus, inasmuch as he allowed that friendship, patriotism, and similar virtues, were good in themselves; saying that the wise man will derive pleasure from such qualities, even though they cause him occasional trouble, and that a friend should be chosen not only for our own need, but for kindness and natural affection. Again he denied that reason (ὁ λόγος) alone can secure us from error, maintaining that habit (ἀνεθίζεσθαι) was also necessary. (Suidas and Diog. Laert. l.c.; Clem. Al. Strom. ii. p. 417; Brucker, Hist. Crit. Phil. 2.3; Ritter, Geschichte der Phil. 7.3.) Aelian (Ael. VH 2.27)

says, that Anniceris (probably the elder of the two) was distinguished for his skill as a charioteer.