Alcmaeon, son of Megacles

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Alcmaeon (Gr. Ἀλκμαίων), son of the Megacles who was guilty of sacrilege with respect to the followers of Cylon, was invited by Croesus, king of Lydia, to Sardis in consequence of the services he had rendered to an embassy sent by Croesus to consult the Delphic oracle.[1] On his arrival at Sardis, Croesus made him a present of so much gold that he couldn't carry it all out of the treasury. Alcmaeon took the king at his word by putting on a most capacious dress, the folds of which (as well as the vacant space of a pair of very wide boots, also provided for the occasion) he stuffed with gold, and then filled his mouth and hair with gold dust. Croesus laughed at the trick, and presented him with as much again. This was supposed to have taken place around 590 BC. The wealth thus acquired is said to have contributed greatly to the subsequent prosperity of the Alcmaeonidae.[2]

Alcmaeon was a breeder of horses for chariot races, and on one occasion gained the prize in a chariot-race at Olympia in 592.[2][3] According to Plutarch, he commanded the Athenians in the First Sacred War, which began in 596.[4]


  1. ^ Smith, Philip (1867). "Alcmaeon (2)". In William Smith. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 104. Archived from the original on 2013-11-11. 
  2. ^ a b Herodotus, vi. 125
  3. ^ Isocrates, de Bigis., c. 10. p. 351
  4. ^ Plutarch, Solon c. 11

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "Alcmaeon (2)". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.