Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



4479
Diogenes Laertius, Lives Of The Philosophers, 2.130


nanThe tyrant having replied to this by saying that on this day he had the leisure to hear philosophers, he pressed the point still more stubbornly, declaring, while the feast was going on, that any and every occasion should be employed in listening to philosophers. The consequence was that, if a certain flute-player had not got them away, they would have been put to death. Hence when they were in a storm in the boat Asclepiades is reported to have said that the fluteplayer through good playing had proved their salvation when the free speech of Menedemus had been their undoing.He shirked work, it is said, and was indifferent to the fortunes of his school. At least no order could be seen in his classes, and no circle of benches; but each man would listen where he happened to be, walking or sitting, Menedemus himself behaving in the same way.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

2 results
1. Tosefta, Sanhedrin, 7.8 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

2. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 1.17, 1.76, 1.114, 2.73, 2.140, 5.37, 7.1, 8.9, 8.12-8.13, 8.19, 8.34-8.35, 10.6 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1.76. Pamphila in the second book of her Memorabilia narrates that, as his son Tyrraeus sat in a barber's shop in Cyme, a smith killed him with a blow from an axe. When the people of Cyme sent the murderer to Pittacus, he, on learning the story, set him at liberty and declared that It is better to pardon now than to repent later. Heraclitus, however, says that it was Alcaeus whom he set at liberty when he had got him in his power, and that what he said was: Mercy is better than vengeance.Among the laws which he made is one providing that for any offence committed in a state of intoxication the penalty should be doubled; his object was to discourage drunkenness, wine being abundant in the island. One of his sayings is, It is hard to be good, which is cited by Simonides in this form: Pittacus's maxim, 'Truly to become a virtuous man is hard.' 1.114. This is the tenor of the letter. But Demetrius reports a story that he received from the Nymphs food of a special sort and kept it in a cow's hoof; that he took small doses of this food, which was entirely absorbed into his system, and he was never seen to eat. Timaeus mentions him in his second book. Some writers say that the Cretans sacrifice to him as a god; for they say that he had superhuman foresight. For instance, when he saw Munichia, at Athens, he said the Athenians did not know how many evils that place would bring upon them; for, if they did, they would destroy it even if they had to do so with their teeth. And this he said so long before the event. It is also stated that he was the first to call himself Aeacus; that he foretold to the Lacedaemonians their defeat by the Arcadians; and that he claimed that his soul had passed through many incarnations. 2.73. Being once compelled by Dionysius to enunciate some doctrine of philosophy, It would be ludicrous, he said, that you should learn from me what to say, and yet instruct me when to say it. At this, they say, Dionysius was offended and made him recline at the end of the table. And Aristippus said, You must have wished to confer distinction on the last place. To some one who boasted of his diving, Are you not ashamed, said he, to brag of that which a dolphin can do? Being asked on one occasion what is the difference between the wise man and the unwise, Strip them both, said he, and send them among strangers and you will know. To one who boasted that he could drink a great deal without getting drunk, his rejoinder was, And so can a mule. 2.140. All of these facts are mentioned by Lycophron in his satiric drama entitled Menedemus, which was composed as a tribute to him. Here is a specimen of it:And after a temperate feast the modest cup was passed round with discretion, and their dessert was temperate discourse for such as cared to listen.At first he was despised, being called a cynic and a humbug by the Eretrians. But afterwards he was greatly admired, so much so that they entrusted him with the government of the state. He was sent as envoy to Ptolemy and to Lysimachus, being honoured wherever he went. He was, moreover, envoy to Demetrius, and he caused the yearly tribute of two hundred talents which the city used to pay Demetrius to be reduced by fifty talents. And when he was accused to Demetrius of intriguing to hand over the city to Ptolemy, he defended himself in a letter which commences thus: 5.37. Furthermore, he was ever ready to do a kindness and fond of discussion. Casander certainly granted him audience and Ptolemy made overtures to him. And so highly was he valued at Athens that, when Agnonides ventured to prosecute him for impiety, the prosecutor himself narrowly escaped punishment. About 2000 pupils used to attend his lectures. In a letter to Phanias the Peripatetic, among other topics, he speaks of a tribunal as follows: To get a public or even a select circle such as one desires is not easy. If an author reads his work, he must re-write it. Always to shirk revision and ignore criticism is a course which the present generation of pupils will no longer tolerate. And in this letter he has called some one pedant. 7.1. BOOK 7: 1. ZENOZeno, the son of Mnaseas (or Demeas), was a native of Citium in Cyprus, a Greek city which had received Phoenician settlers. He had a wry neck, says Timotheus of Athens in his book On Lives. Moreover, Apollonius of Tyre says he was lean, fairly tall, and swarthy – hence some one called him an Egyptian vine-branch, according to Chrysippus in the first book of his Proverbs. He had thick legs; he was flabby and delicate. Hence Persaeus in his Convivial Reminiscences relates that he declined most invitations to dinner. They say he was fond of eating green figs and of basking in the sun. 8.9. The contents in general of the aforesaid three treatises of Pythagoras are as follows. He forbids us to pray for ourselves, because we do not know what will help us. Drinking he calls, in a word, a snare, and he discounteces all excess, saying that no one should go beyond due proportion either in drinking or in eating. of sexual indulgence, too, he says, Keep to the winter for sexual pleasures, in summer abstain; they are less harmful in autumn and spring, but they are always harmful and not conducive to health. Asked once when a man should consort with a woman, he replied, When you want to lose what strength you have. 8.12. and further that Pythagoras spent most of his time upon the arithmetical aspect of geometry; he also discovered the musical intervals on the monochord. Nor did he neglect even medicine. We are told by Apollodorus the calculator that he offered a sacrifice of oxen on finding that in a right-angled triangle the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the squares on the sides containing the right angle. And there is an epigram running as follows:What time Pythagoras that famed figure found,For which the noble offering he brought.He is also said to have been the first to diet athletes on meat, trying first with Eurymenes – so we learn from Favorinus in the third book of his Memorabilia – whereas in former times they had trained on dried figs, on butter, and even on wheatmeal, as we are told by the same Favorinus in the eighth book of his Miscellaneous History. 8.13. Some say it was a certain trainer named Pythagoras who instituted this diet, and not our Pythagoras, who forbade even the killing, let alone the eating, of animals which share with us the privilege of having a soul. This was the excuse put forward; but his real reason for forbidding animal diet was to practise people and accustom them to simplicity of life, so that they could live on things easily procurable, spreading their tables with uncooked foods and drinking pure water only, for this was the way to a healthy body and a keen mind. of course the only altar at which he worshipped was that of Apollo the Giver of Life, behind the Altar of Horns at Delos, for thereon were placed flour and meal and cakes, without the use of fire, and there was no animal victim, as we are told by Aristotle in his Constitution of Delos. 8.19. Above all, he forbade as food red mullet and blacktail, and he enjoined abstinence from the hearts of animals and from beans, and sometimes, according to Aristotle, even from paunch and gurnard. Some say that he contented himself with just some honey or a honeycomb or bread, never touching wine in the daytime, and with greens boiled or raw for dainties, and fish but rarely. His robe was white and spotless, his quilts of white wool, for linen had not yet reached those parts. 8.34. According to Aristotle in his work On the Pythagoreans, Pythagoras counselled abstinence from beans either because they are like the genitals, or because they are like the gates of Hades . . . as being alone unjointed, or because they are injurious, or because they are like the form of the universe, or because they belong to oligarchy, since they are used in election by lot. He bade his disciples not to pick up fallen crumbs, either in order to accustom them not to eat immoderately, or because connected with a person's death; nay, even, according to Aristophanes, crumbs belong to the heroes, for in his Heroes he says:Nor taste ye of what falls beneath the board !Another of his precepts was not to eat white cocks, as being sacred to the Month and wearing suppliant garb – now supplication ranked with things good – sacred to the Month because they announce the time of day; and again white represents the nature of the good, black the nature of evil. Not to touch such fish as were sacred; for it is not right that gods and men should be allotted the same things, any more than free men and slaves. 8.35. Not to break bread; for once friends used to meet over one loaf, as the barbarians do even to this day; and you should not divide bread which brings them together; some give as the explanation of this that it has reference to the judgement of the dead in Hades, others that bread makes cowards in war, others again that it is from it that the whole world begins.He held that the most beautiful figure is the sphere among solids, and the circle among plane figures. Old age may be compared to everything that is decreasing, while youth is one with increase. Health means retention of the form, disease its destruction. of salt he said it should be brought to table to remind us of what is right; for salt preserves whatever it finds, and it arises from the purest sources, sun and sea. 10.6. It is added that he corresponded with many courtesans, and especially with Leontion, of whom Metrodorus also was enamoured. It is observed too that in his treatise On the Ethical End he writes in these terms: I know not how to conceive the good, apart from the pleasures of taste, sexual pleasures, the pleasures of sound and the pleasures of beautiful form. And in his letter to Pythocles: Hoist all sail, my dear boy, and steer clear of all culture. Epictetus calls him preacher of effeminacy and showers abuse on him.Again there was Timocrates, the brother of Metrodorus, who was his disciple and then left the school. He in the book entitled Merriment asserts that Epicurus vomited twice a day from over-indulgence, and goes on to say that he himself had much ado to escape from those notorious midnight philosophizings and the confraternity with all its secrets;


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
artifex Richlin, Slave Theater in the Roman Republic: Plautus and Popular Comedy (2018) 6
comedians, and kings Richlin, Slave Theater in the Roman Republic: Plautus and Popular Comedy (2018) 6
diogenes König, Saints and Symposiasts: The Literature of Food and the Symposium in Greco-Roman and Early Christian Culture (2012) 238
diogenes laertius König, Saints and Symposiasts: The Literature of Food and the Symposium in Greco-Roman and Early Christian Culture (2012) 238
epicurus, epicurean philosophy König, Saints and Symposiasts: The Literature of Food and the Symposium in Greco-Roman and Early Christian Culture (2012) 238
food, barley Richlin, Slave Theater in the Roman Republic: Plautus and Popular Comedy (2018) 6
leo, friedrich Richlin, Slave Theater in the Roman Republic: Plautus and Popular Comedy (2018) 6
operae Richlin, Slave Theater in the Roman Republic: Plautus and Popular Comedy (2018) 6
oral forms, circulation of Richlin, Slave Theater in the Roman Republic: Plautus and Popular Comedy (2018) 6
oral forms, floating stories Richlin, Slave Theater in the Roman Republic: Plautus and Popular Comedy (2018) 6
oral forms, popular knowledge Richlin, Slave Theater in the Roman Republic: Plautus and Popular Comedy (2018) 6
pantomimus, prizes for Richlin, Slave Theater in the Roman Republic: Plautus and Popular Comedy (2018) 6
philosophers, characterised by eating and drinking habits' König, Saints and Symposiasts: The Literature of Food and the Symposium in Greco-Roman and Early Christian Culture (2012) 238
philosophical schools, prohibitions upon entering Cohen, The Significance of Yavneh and other Essays in Jewish Hellenism (2010) 85
pythagoras, pythagorean philosophy König, Saints and Symposiasts: The Literature of Food and the Symposium in Greco-Roman and Early Christian Culture (2012) 238
pythagoreans Cohen, The Significance of Yavneh and other Essays in Jewish Hellenism (2010) 85
schools Cohen, The Significance of Yavneh and other Essays in Jewish Hellenism (2010) 85