|“||Androcydes, a man famous for his wisdom, wrote to Alexander the Great, with the view of putting a check on his intemperance: 'When you are about to take a drink of wine, O king!' said he, 'remember that you are about to drink the blood of the earth: hemlock is a poison to man, wine a poison to hemlock.' And if Alexander had only followed this advice, he certainly would not have had to answer for slaying his friends in his drunken fits.||”|
Elsewhere, Androcydes is supposed to have recommended cabbage to counteract the effects of wine. Some attempts have been made to identify this Androcydes with the Androcydes who wrote on Pythagoreanism, as the advice regarding wine (bad) and cabbage (good) may reflect Pythagorean dietary discipline.
Androcydes, if the same authority is meant, may not have confined himself to writing on medical topics. He is cited by Athenaeus for an etymology of the Greek word kolax, "flatterer," which is taken by one wry prosopographer as evidence of his association with Alexander's court.
- Historia naturalis 14.58.
- Implying that wine is an antidote to hemlock; but the meaning in context is obscure.
- Translation and note on hemlock by John Bostock (London 1855).
- Theophrastus, On Plants 4.16.6 (see Pliny, Historia naturalis 17.240 for similar advice), as cited by Waldemar Heckel, Who's Who in the Age of Alexander the Great (Blackwell, 2006), p. 289 online.
- Gillian Clark, Iamblichus: On the Pythagorean Life (Liverpool University Press, 1989), p. 64, note 145 online.
- Discussed in the course of Cato the Elder’s effusions on the virtues of cabbage, On Agriculture 157, Bill Thayer’s edition at LacusCurtius online.
- Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 6.258b; in context, the speaker Clearchus sets out this etymology in order to contradict it.
- Waldemar Heckel, Who's Who in the Age of Alexander the Great (Blackwel, 2006), p. 28 online.