|6. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 6.26-6.27, 9.45, 9.63-9.64, 9.67-9.68 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE) Tagged with subjects: •bett., r. Found in books: Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 73
| 6.26. And one day when Plato had invited to his house friends coming from Dionysius, Diogenes trampled upon his carpets and said, I trample upon Plato's vainglory. Plato's reply was, How much pride you expose to view, Diogenes, by seeming not to be proud. Others tell us that what Diogenes said was, I trample upon the pride of Plato, who retorted, Yes, Diogenes, with pride of another sort. Sotion, however, in his fourth book makes the Cynic address this remark to Plato himself. Diogenes once asked him for wine, and after that also for some dried figs; and Plato sent him a whole jar full. Then the other said, If some one asks you how many two and two are, will you answer, Twenty? So, it seems, you neither give as you are asked nor answer as you are questioned. Thus he scoffed at him as one who talked without end. 6.27. Being asked where in Greece he saw good men, he replied, Good men nowhere, but good boys at Lacedaemon. When one day he was gravely discoursing and nobody attended to him, he began whistling, and as people clustered about him, he reproached them with coming in all seriousness to hear nonsense, but slowly and contemptuously when the theme was serious. He would say that men strive in digging and kicking to outdo one another, but no one strives to become a good man and true. 9.45. All things happen by virtue of necessity, the vortex being the cause of the creation of all things, and this he calls necessity. The end of action is tranquillity, which is not identical with pleasure, as some by a false interpretation have understood, but a state in which the soul continues calm and strong, undisturbed by any fear or superstition or any other emotion. This he calls well-being and many other names. The qualities of things exist merely by convention; in nature there is nothing but atoms and void space. These, then, are his opinions.of his works Thrasylus has made an ordered catalogue, arranging them in fours, as he also arranged Plato's works. 9.63. He would withdraw from the world and live in solitude, rarely showing himself to his relatives; this he did because he had heard an Indian reproach Anaxarchus, telling him that he would never be able to teach others what is good while he himself danced attendance on kings in their courts. He would maintain the same composure at all times, so that, even if you left him when he was in the middle of a speech, he would finish what he had to say with no audience but himself, although in his youth he had been hasty. often, our informant adds, he would leave his home and, telling no one, would go roaming about with whomsoever he chanced to meet. And once, when Anaxarchus fell into a slough, he passed by without giving him any help, and, while others blamed him, Anaxarchus himself praised his indifference and sang-froid. 9.64. On being discovered once talking to himself, he answered, when asked the reason, that he was training to be good. In debate he was looked down upon by no one, for he could both discourse at length and also sustain a cross-examination, so that even Nausiphanes when a young man was captivated by him: at all events he used to say that we should follow Pyrrho in disposition but himself in doctrine; and he would often remark that Epicurus, greatly admiring Pyrrho's way of life, regularly asked him for information about Pyrrho; and that he was so respected by his native city that they made him high priest, and on his account they voted that all philosophers should be exempt from taxation.Moreover, there were many who emulated his abstention from affairs, so that Timon in his Pytho and in his Silli says: 9.67. They say that, when septic salves and surgical and caustic remedies were applied to a wound he had sustained, he did not so much as frown. Timon also portrays his disposition in the full account which he gives of him to Pytho. Philo of Athens, a friend of his, used to say that he was most fond of Democritus, and then of Homer, admiring him and continually repeating the lineAs leaves on trees, such is the life of man.He also admired Homer because he likened men to wasps, flies, and birds, and would quote these verses as well:Ay, friend, die thou; why thus thy fate deplore?Patroclus too, thy better, is no more,and all the passages which dwell on the unstable purpose, vain pursuits, and childish folly of man. 9.68. Posidonius, too, relates of him a story of this sort. When his fellow-passengers on board a ship were all unnerved by a storm, he kept calm and confident, pointing to a little pig in the ship that went on eating, and telling them that such was the unperturbed state in which the wise man should keep himself. Numenius alone attributes to him positive tenets. He had pupils of repute, in particular one Eurylochus, who fell short of his professions; for they say that he was once so angry that he seized the spit with the meat on it and chased his cook right into the market-place.