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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 come down to us. 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 Wittaker 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, page 34. Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis
  3. ^ Tryggve Göransson, (1995), Albinus, Alcinous, Arius Didymus, page 51-2. Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis
  4. ^ John Whittaker, (1974), Parisinus Graecus 1962 and the Writings of Albinus, Phoenix 28, 320-54, 450-56.
  5. ^ Bryn Mawr Classical Review 94.10.14

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology by William Smith (1870).



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