Biography:Albinus (philosopher)

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Short description: 2nd-century Greek philosopher

Albinus (Greek: Ἀλβῖνος; fl. c. 150 AD) was a Platonist philosopher, who lived at Smyrna, and was teacher of Galen.[1] A short tract by him, entitled Introduction to Plato's dialogues, has survived. From the title of one of the extant manuscripts we learn that Albinus was a pupil of Gaius the Platonist.[2] The original title of his work was probably Prologos, and it may have originally formed the initial section of notes taken at the lectures of Gaius.[3] After explaining the nature of the Dialogue, which he compares to a Drama, the writer goes on to divide the Dialogues of Plato into four classes, logical, critical, physical, ethical, and mentions another division of them into Tetralogies, according to their subjects. He advises that the Alcibiades, Phaedo, Republic, and Timaeus, should be read in a series.

Some of Albinus's fame is attributed to the fact that a 19th-century German scholar, J. Freudenthal, attributed Alcinous's Handbook of Platonism to Albinus. This attribution has since been discredited by the work of John Whittaker in 1974.[4][5]

Another Albinus is mentioned by Boethius and Cassiodorus, who wrote in Latin some works on music and geometry.


  1. Galen, De Libris Propriis 97.6ff.
  2. Tryggve Göransson, (1995), Albinus, Alcinous, Arius Didymus, p. 34. Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis
  3. Tryggve Göransson, (1995), Albinus, Alcinous, Arius Didymus, pp. 51–52. Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis
  4. John Whittaker, (1974), Parisinus Graecus 1962 and the Writings of Albinus, Phoenix 28, 320–354, 450–456.
  5. "Bryn Mawr Classical Review 94.10.14". 


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed (1870). "Albinus". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. p. 93. 

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