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Dinocrates

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DINOCRATES, an eminent architect, patronized by Alexander the Great ; whose history is thus related by Vitru vins :—• At the that Alexander was conquering the world, Dinocrates, the architect, confiding in his knowledge and genius, and being desirous of obtaining the royal com mendation, left Macedon, and repaired to the army. Ile carried with him letters from his relations and friends in his own country, to the nobles of the first rank, ;hat he might thereby more easily gain access. Being favourably received, he requested to be immediately presented to Alexander; they gave him many promises, but made delays, pretending to wait till a proper opportunity should Dinocrates, th refore, suspecting that he was derided, sought the remedy from himself. He was very large of stature, had an agree able countenance, and a dignity in his form and deportment. Trusting to these gifts of nature, he clothed himself in the habit of a host, anointed his body with oil, crowned his head with boughs of poplar, put a lion's skin over his left shonhler, and holding one of the claws in his right hand, approached the tribunal where the king was administering justice. The novelty of the appearance attracting the notice of the people, occasioned Alexander also to see him, who, wondering at the sight, commanded way to be given, that approach. Alexander then demanded who he was. Dinocrates replied, I am a Macedonian architect. who come to thee with ideas and designs, worthy of the crreatness of thy fame ; l have formed a design to cut Mount Athos into the statue ofa man, in whose left hand shall be a large city, and in his right a boson, which shall receive all the rivers of the mountain, and again discharge them to the sea.' Alexander, delighted with the idea, immediately inquired, if the country adjacent would produce sufficient food for the sustenance of the inhabitants. When he understood that

provision must be conveyed thither by sea, he replied : Dinocrates, I discern the excellence of thy design, and am pleased with it ; but I consider, that whoever should establish a colony in such a place, would hereafter be justly blamed ; for, as a new-born infant cannot he nourished, or gradually reared to the different stages of life, without the milk of the nurse; so neither can a city he peopled, nor can it thrive, without fertile land and plenty of provision ; however, as I approve the design, though I disapprove the place, I will have thee attend me, that elsewhere I may employ thee.' From that time, Dinocrates remained with the king, and attended him into Egypt. There Alexander, observino. spot which had a haven formed. secure by nature, an excellent place for an emporium, the adjacent country through all Egypt being fruitful, and having the accommodation of the river Nile, ordered him to build the city now called, from his name, Alexandria. Thus, by the means of a graceful countenance and dignity of person, Dinocrates became eminent." Dinocrates was also employed to superintend the rebuild ing of the temple of Diana, at Ephesus, when burnt by Erostratns, which he did with more magnificence than before. The last design which history ascribes to him, was that of erecting a temple to Arsinoe, queen of Ptolemy Philadelphns, at Alexandria, with a dome above it. which was to enclose a magnet, in order to keep suspended in the air an iron statue ofthat queen. Ptolemy approved the design, and gave orders for its execution ; but both the king and the architect died before the project could be accomplished.