Androcydes (physician)

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For other people named Androcydes, see Androcydes (disambiguation).

Androcydes (or Androkydes, fl. 4th century BCE) was a Greek physician and writer at the time of Alexander the Great. According to Pliny,[1] he advised Alexander to moderate his drinking:

Elsewhere, Androcydes is supposed to have recommended cabbage to counteract the effects of wine.[4] Some attempts have been made to identify this Androcydes with the Androcydes who wrote on Pythagoreanism,[5] as the advice regarding wine (bad) and cabbage (good)[6] 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[7] 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.[8]


  1. ^ Historia naturalis 14.58.
  2. ^ Implying that wine is an antidote to hemlock; but the meaning in context is obscure.
  3. ^ Translation and note on hemlock by John Bostock (London 1855).
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Gillian Clark, Iamblichus: On the Pythagorean Life (Liverpool University Press, 1989), p. 64, note 145 online.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 6.258b; in context, the speaker Clearchus sets out this etymology in order to contradict it.
  8. ^ Waldemar Heckel, Who's Who in the Age of Alexander the Great (Blackwel, 2006), p. 28 online.