Philip of Acarnania

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Alexander of Macedon trusts the doctor Philip, painting by Henryk Siemiradzki (1870s)

Philip of Acarnania was friend and physician of Alexander the Great, of whom a well-known story is told by several ancient authors. He was the means of saving the king's life, when he had been seized with a severe attack of fever, brought on by bathing in the cold waters of the river Cydnus in Cilicia, after being violently heated, 333 BC. Parmenion sent to warn Alexander that Philip had been bribed by Darius III to poison him ; the king, however, would not believe the information, nor doubt the fidelity of his physician, but, while he drank off the draught prepared for him, he put into his hands the letter he had just received, fixing his eyes at the same time steadily on his countenance. A well-known modern picture represents this incident ; and the king's speedy recovery fully justified his confidence in the skill and honesty of his physician.

Philip was still Alexander’s doctor at the siege of Gaza in 332 BC, as Curtius reports that he extracted an arrow from the king’s shoulder (QC 4.6.17-20)


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