Aristocles of Messene


Aristocles of Messene
Notable work
  • A history of philosophy, in 10 books
EraHellenistic philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
Main interests

Aristocles of Messene (/əˈrɪstəˌklz/; Greek: Ἀριστοκλῆς ὁ Μεσσήνιος), in Sicily,[1] was a Peripatetic philosopher, who probably lived in the 1st century AD.[2] He may have been the teacher of Alexander of Aphrodisias.[3]

According to the Suda[1] and Eudokia, he wrote several works:

  • Πότερον σπουδαιότερος Ὅμηρος ἢ Πλάτων – Whether Homer or Plato is more Worthy.
  • Τέχναι ῥητορικαί – Arts of Rhetoric.
  • A work on the god Serapis.
  • A work on Ethics, in nine books.
  • A work on Philosophy, in ten books.

The last of these works appears to have been a history of philosophy in which he wrote about the philosophers, their schools, and doctrines. Several fragments of it are preserved in Eusebius' work Praeparatio Evangelica.[4] One particularly important fragment is known as the Aristocles Passage in which Pyrrho summarizes his philosophy of Pyrrhonism. This summary includes a translation of the Buddhist three marks of existence into Greek.[5]


  1. ^ a b Suda, Aristokles
  2. ^ Karamanolis, G., (2006), Plato and Aristotle in Agreement?: Platonists on Aristotle from Antiochus to Porphyry, page 37. Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ Cyrill. c. Jul. ii. The correct reading of this passage is in doubt and may refer instead to Aristotle of Mytilene.
  4. ^ Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica, xiv, xv.
  5. ^ Beckwith, Christopher I. (2015). Greek Buddha: Pyrrho's Encounter with Early Buddhism in Central Asia (PDF). Princeton University Press. pp. 22–23. ISBN 9781400866328.