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Headword: Καλλισθένης
Adler number: kappa,240
Translated headword: Kallisthenes, Callisthenes
Vetting Status: high
Son of Diotimos, though some [say] of Kallisthenes; of Olynthos;[1]; pupil and nephew of Aristotle, who arranged for him to be in the entourage of Alexander [the Great] of Macedon.[2] Alexander put [him] in an iron cage and killed him at the same time as Nearchos the tragedian,[3] because he was one of those advising Alexander not to seek to be called master by [the] Athenians. But some say that he was killed, at the same time as Nearchos, for plotting against Alexander.[4] [He was] naturally impulsive, and [was said] to be motivated by great passion.
And a story is told that Kallisthenes ruined his life because of an eruption and pullulation of fleas. Witness this iambic line: "and flea-ridden, like the former Kallisthenes".[5] [He was] speaking of medical expertise, [about] how badly he was neglected.
Greek Original:
Καλλισθένης, Δημοτίμου, οἱ δὲ Καλλισθένους: Ὀλύνθιος, μαθητὴς Ἀριστοτέλους καὶ ἀνεψιαδοῦς: ὃν ἔδωκεν ἕπεσθαι Ἀλεξάνδρῳ τῷ Μακεδόνι. ὁ δ' ἐν γαλεάγρᾳ σιδηρᾷ βαλὼν ἀνεῖλεν ἅμα Νεάρχῳ τῷ τραγικῷ, διότι συνεβούλευε μὴ ἐπιζητεῖν ὑπὸ Ἀθηναίων καλεῖσθαι δεσπότης. τινὲς δὲ αὐτὸν ὡς ἐπιβουλεύοντα Ἀλεξάνδρῳ ἀνῃρῆσθαί φασιν ἅμα Νεάρχῳ. εὐφυὴς πρὸς τὸ αὐτοσχεδιάζειν καὶ ῥύμῃ πολλῇ φέρεσθαι. καὶ φέρεται λόγος, ὡς ὁ Καλλισθένης ὑπὸ φθειρῶν ὑπερβλύσεως καὶ ἐκβράσεως τὸν βίον καταστρέφει. καὶ μαρτυρεῖ ὁ ἴαμβος οὗτος: καὶ φθειριῶσαν, ὡς ὁ πρὶν Καλλισθένης. περὶ τῆς ἰατρικῆς τέχνης λέγων, ὡς ἠμέλητο πάνυ.
Died 327 BCE. See generally OCD(4) s.v Callisthenes; FGrH 124. For the present entry cf. Diogenes Laertius 5.4-5.
[1] In Chalkidike (N Greece).
[2] Already a historian of note (author of e.g. a ten-volume Greek History covering the years 386-356), he now became, in effect, the official Alexander-historian.
[3] The name, here (twice) Nearchos, is Neophron in nu 218.
[4] The modern scholarly consensus is that "he alienated Alexander by his opposition to proskynesis, was falsely implicated in the Pages Conspiracy, and summarily executed" (A.B. Bosworth in OCD).
[5] Comica adespota fr. 280 Kock, now 922 K.-A.
A.B. Bosworth, A Commentary on Arrian's History of Alexander, ii (Oxford 1995) 72-74
Keywords: biography; chronology; comedy; ethics; geography; historiography; history; medicine; meter and music; philosophy; poetry; tragedy; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 4 December 2001@05:52:01.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 22 August 2003@18:58:28.
David Whitehead (added keywords; cosmetics) on 24 August 2003@05:37:31.
David Whitehead on 25 January 2013@05:11:37.
David Whitehead on 4 August 2014@05:06:58.
David Whitehead on 29 December 2014@03:19:18.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 4 March 2016@00:26:26.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 27 March 2019@20:25:23.


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