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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



4479
Diogenes Laertius, Lives Of The Philosophers, 7.7-7.8


nanKing Antigonus to Zeno the philosopher, greeting.While in fortune and fame I deem myself your superior, in reason and education I own myself inferior, as well as in the perfect happiness which you have attained. Wherefore I have decided to ask you to pay me a visit, being persuaded that you will not refuse the request. By all means, then, do your best to hold conference with me, understanding clearly that you will not be the instructor of myself alone but of all the Macedonians taken together. For it is obvious that whoever instructs the ruler of Macedonia and guides him in the paths of virtue will also be training his subjects to be good men. As is the ruler, such for the most part it may be expected that his subjects will become.And Zeno's reply is as follows:


nanZeno to King Antigonus, greeting.I welcome your love of learning in so far as you cleave to that true education which tends to advantage and not to that popular counterfeit of it which serves only to corrupt morals. But if anyone has yearned for philosophy, turning away from much-vaunted pleasure which renders effeminate the souls of some of the young, it is evident that not by nature only, but also by the bent of his will he is inclined to nobility of character. But if a noble nature be aided by moderate exercise and further receive ungrudging instruction, it easily comes to acquire virtue in perfection.


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1. Cicero, On Duties, 1.107-1.117, 1.128 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.107. Intellegendum etiam cst duabus quasi nos a natura indutos esse personis; quarum una communis est ex eo, quod omnes participes sumus rationis praestantiaeque eius, qua antecellimus bestiis, a qua omne honestum decorumque trahitur, et ex qua ratio inveniendi officii exquiritur, altera autem, quae proprie singulis est tributa. Ut enim in corporibus magnae dissimilitudines sunt (alios videmus velocitate ad cursum, alios viribus ad luctandum valere, itemque in formis aliis dignitatem inesse, aliis venustatem), sic in animis exsistunt maiores etiam varietates. 1.108. Erat in L. Crasso, in L. Philippo multus lepos, maior etiam magisque de industria in C. Caesare L. filio; at isdem temporibus in M. Scauro et in M. Druso adulescente singularis severitas, in C. Laelio multa hilaritas, in eius familiari Scipione ambitio maior, vita tristior. De Graecis autem dulcem et facetum festivique sermonis atque in omni oratione simulatorem, quem ei)/rwna Graeci nominarunt, Socratem accepimus, contra Pythagoram et Periclem summam auctoritatem consecutos sine ulla hilaritate. Callidum Hannibalem ex Poenorum, ex nostris ducibus Q. Maximum accepimus, facile celare, tacere, dissimulare, insidiari, praeripere hostium consilia. In quo genere Graeci Themistoclem et Pheraeum Iasonem ceteris anteponunt; in primisque versutum et callidum factum Solonis, qui, quo et tutior eius vita esset et plus aliquanto rei publicae prodesset, furere se simulavit. 1.109. Sunt his alii multum dispares, simplices et aperti. qui nihil ex occulto, nihil de insidiis agendum putant, veritatis cultores, fraudis inimici, itemque alii, qui quidvis perpetiantur, cuivis deserviant, dum, quod velint, consequantur, ut Sullam et M. Crassum videbamus. Quo in genere versutissimum et patientissimum Lacedaemonium Lysandrum accepimus, contraque Callicratidam, qui praefectus classis proximus post Lysandrum fuit; itemque in sermonibus alium quemque, quamvis praepotens sit, efficere, ut unus de multis esse videatur; quod in Catulo, et in patre et in filio, itemque in Q. Mucio ° Mancia vidimus. Audivi ex maioribus natu hoc idem fuisse in P. Scipione Nasica, contraque patrem eius, illum qui Ti. Gracchi conatus perditos vindicavit, nullam comitatem habuisse sermonis ne Xenocratem quidem, severissimum philosophorum, ob eamque rem ipsam magnum et clarum fuisse. Innumerabiles aliae dissimilitudines sunt naturae morumque, minime tamen vituperandorum. 1.110. Admodum autem tenenda sunt sua cuique non vitiosa, sed tamen propria, quo facilius decorum illud, quod quaerimus, retineatur. Sic enim est faciendum, ut contra universam naturam nihil contendamus, ea tamen conservata propriam nostram sequamur, ut, etiamsi sint alia graviora atque meliora, tamen nos studia nostra nostrae naturae regula metiamur; neque enim attinet naturae repugnare nec quicquam sequi, quod assequi non queas. Ex quo magis emergit, quale sit decorum illud, ideo quia nihil decet invita Minerva, ut aiunt, id est adversante et repugte natura. 1.111. Omnino si quicquam est decorum, nihil est profecto magis quam aequabilitas cum universae vitae, tum singularum actionum, quam conservare non possis, si aliorum naturam imitans omittas tuam. Ut enim sermone eo debemus uti, qui innatus est nobis, ne, ut quidam, Graeca verba inculcantes iure optimo rideamur, sic in actiones omnemque vitam nullam discrepantiam conferre debemus. 1.112. Atque haec differentia naturarum tantam habet vim, ut non numquam mortem sibi ipse consciscere alius debeat, alius in eadem causa non debeat. Num enim alia in causa M. Cato fuit, alia ceteri, qui se in Africa Caesari tradiderunt? Atqui ceteris forsitan vitio datum esset, si se interemissent, propterea quod lenior eorum vita et mores fuerant faciliores, Catoni cum incredibilem tribuisset natura gravitatem eamque ipse perpetua constantia roboravisset semperque in proposito susceptoque consilio permansisset, moriendum potius quam tyranni vultus aspiciendus fuit. 1.113. Quam multa passus est Ulixes in illo errore diuturno, cum et mulieribus, si Circe et Calypso mulieres appellandae sunt, inserviret et in omni sermone omnibus affabilem et iucundum esse se vellet! domi vero etiam contumelias servorun ancillarumque pertulit, ut ad id aliquando, quod cupiebat, veniret. At Aiax, quo animo traditur, milies oppetere mortem quam illa perpeti maluisset. Quae contemplantes expendere oportebit, quid quisque habeat sui, eaque moderari nee velle experiri, quam se aliena deceant; id enim maxime quemque decet, quod est cuiusque maxime suum. 1.114. Suum quisque igitur noscat ingenium acremque se et bonorum et vitiorum suorum iudicem praebeat, ne scaenici plus quam nos videantur habere prudentiae. Illi enim non optimas, sed sibi accommodatissimas fabulas eligunt; qui voce freti sunt, Epigonos Medumque, qui gestu, Melanippam, Clytemnestram, semper Rupilius, quem ego memini, Antiopam, non saepe Aesopus Aiacem. Ergo histrio hoc videbit in scaena, non videbit sapiens vir in vita? Ad quas igitur res aptissimi erimus, in iis potissimum elaborabimus; sin aliquando necessitas nos ad ea detruserit, quae nostri ingenii non erunt, omnis adhibenda erit cura, meditatio, diligentia, ut ea si non decore, at quam minime indecore facere possimus; nec tam est enitendum, ut bona, quae nobis data non sint, sequamur, quam ut vitia fugiamus. 1.115. Ac duabus iis personis, quas supra dixi, tertia adiungitur, quam casus aliqui aut tempus imponit; quarta etiam, quam nobismet ipsi iudicio nostro accommodamus. Nam regna, imperia, nobilitas, honores, divitiae, opes eaque, quae sunt his contraria, in casu sita temporibus gubertur; ipsi autem gerere quam personam velimus, a nostra voluntate proficiscitur. Itaque se alii ad philosophiam, alii ad ius civile, alii ad eloquentiam applicant, ipsarumque virtutum in alia alius mavult excellere. 1.116. Quorum vero patres aut maiores aliqua gloria praestiterunt, ii student plerumque eodem in genere laudis excellere, ut Q. Mucius P. f. in iure civili, Pauli filius Africanus in re militari. Quidam autem ad eas laudes, quas a patribus acceperunt, addunt aliquam suam, ut hic idem Africanus eloquentia cumulavit bellicam gloriam; quod idem fecit Timotheus Cononis filius, qui cum belli laude non inferior fuisset quam pater, ad eam laudem doctrinae et ingenii gloriam adiecit. Fit autem interdum, ut non nulli omissa imitatione maiorum suum quoddam institutum consequantur, maximeque in eo plerumque elaborant ii, qui magna sibi proponunt obscuris orti maioribus. 1.117. Haec igitur omnia, cum quaerimus, quid deceat, complecti animo et cogitatione debemus; in primis autem constituendum est, quos nos et quales esse velimus et in quo genere vitae, quae deliberatio est omnium difficillima. Ineunte enim adulescentia, cum est maxima imbecillitas consilii, tur id sibi quisque genus aetatis degendae constituit, quod maxime adamavit; itaque ante implicatur aliquo certo genere cursuque vivendi, quam potuit, quod optimum esset, iudicare. 1.128. Nec vero audiendi sunt Cynici, aut si qui filerunt Stoici paene Cynici, qui reprehendunt et irrident, quod ea, quae turpia non sint, verbis flagitiosa ducamus, illa autem, quae turpia sint, nominibus appellemus suis. Latrocinari, fraudare, adulterare re turpe est, sed dicitur non obscene; liberis dare operam re honestum est, nomine obscenum; pluraque in ear sententiam ab eisdem contra verecundiam disputantur. Nos autem naturam sequamur et ab omni, quod abhorret ab oculorum auriumque approbatione, fugiamus; status incessus, sessio accubitio, vultus oculi manuum motus teneat illud decorum. 1.107.  We must realize also that we are invested by Nature with two characters, as it were: one of these is universal, arising from the fact of our being all alike endowed with reason and with that superiority which lifts us above the brute. From this all morality and propriety are derived, and upon it depends the rational method of ascertaining our duty. The other character is the one that is assigned to individuals in particular. In the matter of physical endowment there are great differences: some, we see, excel in speed for the race, others in strength for wrestling; so in point of personal appearance, some have stateliness, others comeliness. 1.108.  Diversities of character are greater still. Lucius Crassus and Lucius Philippus had a large fund of wit; Gaius Caesar, Lucius's son, had a still richer fund and employed it with more studied purpose. Contemporary with them, Marcus Scaurus and Marcus Drusus, the younger, were examples of unusual seriousness; Gaius Laelius, of unbounded jollity; while his intimate friend, Scipio, cherished more serious ideals and lived a more austere life. Among the Greeks, history tells us, Socrates was fascinating and witty, a genial conversationalist; he was what the Greeks call εἴρων in every conversation, pretending to need information and professing admiration for the wisdom of his companion. Pythagoras and Pericles, on the other hand, reached the heights of influence and power without any seasoning of mirthfulness. We read that Hannibal, among the Carthaginian generals, and Quintus Maximus, among our own, were shrewd and ready at concealing their plans, covering up their tracks, disguising their movements, laying stratagems, forestalling the enemy's designs. In these qualities the Greeks rank Themistocles and Jason of Pherae above all others. Especially crafty and shrewd was the device of Solon, who, to make his own life safer and at the same time to do a considerably larger service for his country, feigned insanity. 1.109.  Then there are others, quite different from these, straightforward and open, who think that nothing should be done by underhand means or treachery. They are lovers of truth, haters of fraud. There are others still who will stoop to anything, truckle to anybody, if only they may gain their ends. Such, we saw, were Sulla and Marcus Crassus. The most crafty and most persevering man of this type was Lysander of Sparta, we are told; of the opposite type was Callicratidas, who succeeded Lysander as admiral of the fleet. So we find that another, no matter how eminent he may be, will condescend in social intercourse to make himself appear but a very ordinary person. Such graciousness of manner we have seen in the case of Catulus — both father and son — and also of Quintus Mucius Mancia. I have heard from my elders that Publius Scipio Nasica was another master of this art; but his father, on the other hand — the man who punished Tiberius Gracchus for his nefarious undertakings — had no such gracious manner in social intercourse [. . .], and because of that very fact he rose to greatness and fame. Countless other dissimilarities exist in natures and characters, and they are not in the least to be criticized. 1.110.  Everybody, however, must resolutely hold fast to his own peculiar gifts, in so far as they are peculiar only and not vicious, in order that propriety, which is the object of our inquiry, may the more easily be secured. For we must so act as not to oppose the universal laws of human nature, but, while safeguarding those, to follow the bent of our own particular nature; and even if other careers should be better and nobler, we may still regulate our own pursuits by the standard of our own nature. For it is of no avail to fight against one's nature or to aim at what is impossible of attainment. From this fact the nature of that propriety defined above comes into still clearer light, inasmuch as nothing is proper that "goes against the grain," as the saying is — that is, if it is in direct opposition to one's natural genius. 1.111.  If there is any such thing as propriety at all, it can be nothing more than uniform consistency in the course of our life as a whole and all its individual actions. And this uniform consistency one could not maintain by copying the personal traits of others and eliminating one's own. For as we ought to employ our mother-tongue, lest, like certain people who are continually dragging in Greek words, we draw well-deserved ridicule upon ourselves, so we ought not to introduce anything foreign into our actions or our life in general. 1.112.  Indeed, such diversity of character carries with it so great significance that suicide may be for one man a duty, for another [under the same circumstances] a crime. Did Marcus Cato find himself in one predicament, and were the others, who surrendered to Caesar in Africa, in another? And yet, perhaps, they would have been condemned, if they had taken their lives; for their mode of life had been less austere and their characters more pliable. But Cato had been endowed by nature with an austerity beyond belief, and he himself had strengthened it by unswerving consistency and had remained ever true to his purpose and fixed resolve; and it was for him to die rather than to look upon the face of a tyrant. 1.113.  How much Ulysses endured on those long wanderings, when he submitted to the service even of women (if Circe and Calypso may be called women) and strove in every word to be courteous and complaisant to all! And, arrived at home, he brooked even the insults of his men-servants and maidservants, in order to attain in the end the object of his desire. But Ajax, with the temper he is represented as having, would have chosen to meet death a thousand times rather than suffer such indignities! If we take this into consideration, we shall see that it is each man's duty to weigh well what are his own peculiar traits of character, to regulate these properly, and not to wish to try how another man's would suit him. For the more peculiarly his own a man's character is, the better it fits him. 1.114.  Everyone, therefore, should make a proper estimate of his own natural ability and show himself a critical judge of his own merits and defects; in this respect we should not let actors display more practical wisdom than we have. They select, not the best plays, but the ones best suited to their talents. Those who rely most upon the quality of their voice take the Epigoni and the Medus; those who place more stress upon the action choose the Melanippa and the Clytaemnestra; Rupilius, whom I remember, always played in the Antiope, Aesopus rarely in the Ajax. Shall a player have regard to this in choosing his rôle upon the stage, and a wise man fail to do so in selecting his part in life? We shall, therefore, work to the best advantage in that rôle to which we are best adapted. But if at some time stress of circumstances shall thrust us aside into some uncongenial part, we must devote to it all possible thought, practice, and pains, that we may be able to perform it, if not with propriety, at least with as little impropriety as possible; and we need not strive so hard to attain to points of excellence that have not been vouchsafed to us as to correct the faults we have. 1.115.  To the two above-mentioned characters is added a third, which some chance or some circumstance imposes, and a fourth also, which we assume by our own deliberate choice. Regal powers and military commands, nobility of birth and political office, wealth and influence, and their opposites depend upon chance and are, therefore, controlled by circumstances. But what rôle we ourselves may choose to sustain is decided by our own free choice. And so some turn to philosophy, others to the civil law, and still others to oratory, while in case of the virtues themselves one man prefers to excel in one, another in another. 1.116.  They, whose fathers or forefathers have achieved distinction in some particular field, often strive to attain eminence in the same department of service: for example, Quintus, the son of Publius Mucius, in the law; Africanus, the son of Paulus, in the army. And to that distinction which they have severally inherited from their fathers some have added lustre of their own; for example, that same Africanus, who crowned his inherited military glory with his own eloquence. Timotheus, Conon's son, did the same: he proved himself not inferior to his father in military renown and added to that distinction the glory of culture and intellectual power. It happens sometimes, too, that a man declines to follow in the footsteps of his fathers and pursues a vocation of his own. And in such callings those very frequently achieve signal success who, though sprung from humble parentage, have set their aims high. 1.117.  All these questions, therefore, we ought to bear thoughtfully in mind, when we inquire into the nature of propriety; but above all we must decide who and what manner of men we wish to be and what calling in life we would follow; and this is the most difficult problem in the world. For it is in the years of early youth, when our judgement is most immature, that each of us decides that his calling in life shall be that to which he has taken a special liking. And thus he becomes engaged in some particular calling and career in life, before he is fit to decide intelligently what is best for him. 1.128.  But we should give no heed to the Cynics (or to some Stoics who are practically Cynics) who censure and ridicule us for holding that the mere mention of some actions that are not immoral is shameful, while other things that are immoral we call by their real names. Robbery, fraud, and adultery, for example, are immoral in deed, but it is not indecent to name them. To beget children in wedlock is in deed morally right; to speak of it is indecent. And they assail modesty with a great many other arguments to the same purport. But as for us, let us follow Nature and shun everything that is offensive to our eyes or our ears. So, in standing or walking, in sitting or reclining, in our expression, our eyes, or the movements of our hands, let us preserve what we have called "propriety.
2. Epictetus, Discourses, 2.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

3. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 2.115, 7.1-7.6, 7.8-7.34, 7.160, 10.3-10.5, 10.28 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

2.115. Ptolemy Soter, they say, made much of him, and when he had got possession of Megara, offered him a sum of money and invited him to return with him to Egypt. But Stilpo would only accept a very moderate sum, and he declined the proposed journey, and removed to Aegina until Ptolemy set sail. Again, when Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, had taken Megara, he took measures that Stilpo's house should be preserved and all his plundered property restored to him. But when he requested that a schedule of the lost property should be drawn up, Stilpo denied that he had lost anything which really belonged to him, for no one had taken away his learning, while he still had his eloquence and knowledge. 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. 7.2. He was a pupil of Crates, as stated above. Next they say he attended the lectures of Stilpo and Xenocrates for ten years – so Timocrates says in his Dion – and Polemo as well. It is stated by Hecato and by Apollonius of Tyre in his first book on Zeno that he consulted the oracle to know what he should do to attain the best life, and that the god's response was that he should take on the complexion of the dead. Whereupon, perceiving what this meant, he studied ancient authors. Now the way he came across Crates was this. He was shipwrecked on a voyage from Phoenicia to Peiraeus with a cargo of purple. He went up into Athens and sat down in a bookseller's shop, being then a man of thirty. 7.3. As he went on reading the second book of Xenophon's Memorabilia, he was so pleased that he inquired where men like Socrates were to be found. Crates passed by in the nick of time, so the bookseller pointed to him and said, Follow yonder man. From that day he became Crates's pupil, showing in other respects a strong bent for philosophy, though with too much native modesty to assimilate Cynic shamelessness. Hence Crates, desirous of curing this defect in him, gave him a potful of lentil-soup to carry through the Ceramicus; and when he saw that he was ashamed and tried to keep it out of sight, with a blow of his staff he broke the pot. As Zeno took to flight with the lentil-soup flowing down his legs, Why run away, my little Phoenician? quoth Crates, nothing terrible has befallen you. 7.4. For a certain space, then, he was instructed by Crates, and when at this time he had written his Republic, some said in jest that he had written it on Cynosura, i.e. on the dog's tail. Besides the Republic he wrote the following works:of Life according to Nature.of Impulse, or Human Nature.of Emotions.of Duty.of Law.of Greek Education.of Vision.of the Whole World.of Signs.Pythagorean Questions.Universals.of Varieties of Style.Homeric Problems, in five books.of the Reading of Poetry.There are also by him:A Handbook of Rhetoric.Solutions.Two books of Refutations.Recollections of Crates.Ethics.This is a list of his writings. But at last he left Crates, and the men above mentioned were his masters for twenty years. Hence he is reported to have said, I made a prosperous voyage when I suffered shipwreck. But others attribute this saying of his to the time when he was under Crates. 7.5. A different version of the story is that he was staying at Athens when he heard his ship was wrecked and said, It is well done of thee, Fortune, thus to drive me to philosophy. But some say that he disposed of his cargo in Athens, before he turned his attention to philosophy.He used then to discourse, pacing up and down in the Stoa Poikile, which is also called the stoa or Portico of Pisianax, but which received its name from the painting of Polygnotus; his object being to keep the spot clear of a concourse of idlers. It was the spot where in the time of the Thirty 1400 Athenian citizens had been put to death. Hither, then, people came henceforth to hear Zeno, and this is why they were known as men of the Stoa, or Stoics; and the same name was given to his followers, who had formerly been known as Zenonians. So it is stated by Epicurus in his letters. According to Eratosthenes in his eighth book On the Old Comedy, the name of Stoic had formerly been applied to the poets who passed their time there, and they had made the name of Stoic still more famous. 7.6. The people of Athens held Zeno in high honour, as is proved by their depositing with him the keys of the city walls, and their honouring him with a golden crown and a bronze statue. This last mark of respect was also shown to him by citizens of his native town, who deemed his statue an ornament to their city, and the men of Citium living in Sidon were also proud to claim him for their own. Antigonus (Gonatas) also favoured him, and whenever he came to Athens would hear him lecture and often invited him to come to his court. This offer he declined but dispatched thither one of his friends, Persaeus, the son of Demetrius and a native of Citium, who flourished in the 130th Olympiad, at which time Zeno was already an old man. According to Apollonius of Tyre in his work upon Zeno, the letter of Antigonus was couched in the following terms: 7.8. Zeno to King Antigonus, greeting.I welcome your love of learning in so far as you cleave to that true education which tends to advantage and not to that popular counterfeit of it which serves only to corrupt morals. But if anyone has yearned for philosophy, turning away from much-vaunted pleasure which renders effeminate the souls of some of the young, it is evident that not by nature only, but also by the bent of his will he is inclined to nobility of character. But if a noble nature be aided by moderate exercise and further receive ungrudging instruction, it easily comes to acquire virtue in perfection. 7.9. But I am constrained by bodily weakness, due to old age, for I am eighty years old; and for that reason I am unable to join you. But I send you certain companions of my studies whose mental powers are not inferior to mine, while their bodily strength is far greater, and if you associate with these you will in no way fall short of the conditions necessary to perfect happiness.So he sent Persaeus and Philonides the Theban; and Epicurus in his letter to his brother Aristobulus mentions them both as living with Antigonus. I have thought it well to append the decree also which the Athenians passed concerning him. It reads as follows: 7.10. In the archonship of Arrhenides, in the fifth prytany of the tribe Acamantis on the twenty-first day of Maemacterion, at the twenty-third plenary assembly of the prytany, one of the presidents, Hippo, the son of Cratistoteles, of the deme Xypetaeon, and his co-presidents put the question to the vote; Thraso, the son of Thraso of the deme Anacaea, moved:Whereas Zeno of Citium, son of Mnaseas, has for many years been devoted to philosophy in the city and has continued to be a man of worth in all other respects, exhorting to virtue and temperance those of the youth who come to him to be taught, directing them to what is best, affording to all in his own conduct a pattern for imitation in perfect consistency with his teaching, it has seemed good to the people – 7.11. and may it turn out well – to bestow praise upon Zeno of Citium, the son of Mnaseas, and to crown him with a golden crown according to the law, for his goodness and temperance, and to build him a tomb in the Ceramicus at the public cost. And that for the making of the crown and the building of the tomb, the people shall now elect five commissioners from all Athenians, and the Secretary of State shall inscribe this decree on two stone pillars and it shall be lawful for him to set up one in the Academy and the other in the Lyceum. And that the magistrate presiding over the administration shall apportion the expense incurred upon the pillars, that all may know that the Athenian people honour the good both in their life and after their death. 7.12. Thraso of the deme Anacaea, Philocles of Peiraeus, Phaedrus of Anaphlystus, Medon of Acharnae, Micythus of Sypalettus, and Dion of Paeania have been elected commissioners for the making of the crown and the building.These are the terms of the decree.Antigonus of Carystus tells us that he never denied that he was a citizen of Citium. For when he was one of those who contributed to the restoration of the baths and his name was inscribed upon the pillar as Zeno the philosopher, he requested that the words of Citium should be added. He made a hollow lid for a flask and used to carry about money in it, in order that there might be provision at hand for the necessities of his master Crates. 7.13. It is said that he had more than a thousand talents when he came to Greece, and that he lent this money on bottomry. He used to eat little loaves and honey and to drink a little wine of good bouquet. He rarely employed men-servants; once or twice indeed he might have a young girl to wait on him in order not to seem a misogynist. He shared the same house with Persaeus, and when the latter brought in a little flute-player he lost no time in leading her straight to Persaeus. They tell us he readily adapted himself to circumstances, so much so that King Antigonus often broke in on him with a noisy party, and once took him along with other revellers to Aristocles the musician; Zeno, however, in a little while gave them the slip. 7.14. He disliked, they say, to be brought too near to people, so that he would take the end seat of a couch, thus saving himself at any rate from one half of such inconvenience. Nor indeed would he walk about with more than two or three. He would occasionally ask the bystanders for coppers, in order that, for fear of being asked to give, people might desist from mobbing him, as Cleanthes says in his work On Bronze. When several persons stood about him in the Colonnade he pointed to the wooden railing at the top round the altar and said, This was once open to all, but because it was found to be a hindrance it was railed off. If you then will take yourselves off out of the way you will be the less annoyance to us.When Demochares, the son of Laches, greeted him and told him he had only to speak or write for anything he wanted to Antigonus, who would be sure to grant all his requests, Zeno after hearing this would have nothing more to do with him. 7.15. After Zeno's death Antigonus is reported to have said, What an audience I have lost. Hence too he employed Thraso as his agent to request the Athenians to bury Zeno in the Ceramicus. And when asked why he admired him, Because, said he, the many ample gifts I offered him never made him conceited nor yet appear poor-spirited.His bent was towards inquiry, and he was an exact reasoner on all subjects. Hence the words of Timon in his Silli:A Phoenician too I saw, a pampered old woman ensconced in gloomy pride, longing for all things; but the meshes of her subtle web have perished, and she had no more intelligence than a banjo. 7.16. He used to dispute very carefully with Philo the logician and study along with him. Hence Zeno, who was the junior, had as great an admiration for Philo as his master Diodorus. And he had about him certain ragged dirty fellows, as Timon says in these lines:The while he got together a crowd of ignorant serfs, who surpassed all men in beggary and were the emptiest of townsfolk.Zeno himself was sour and of a frowning countece. He was very niggardly too, clinging to meanness unworthy of a Greek, on the plea of economy, If he pitched into anyone he would do it concisely, and not effusively, keeping him rather at arm's length. I mean, for example, his remark upon the fop showing himself off. 7.17. When he was slowly picking his way across a watercourse, With good reason, quoth Zeno, he looks askance at the mud, for he can't see his face in it. When a certain Cynic declared he had no oil in his flask and begged some of him, Zeno refused to give him any. However, as the man went away, Zeno bade him consider which of the two was the more impudent. Being enamoured of Chremonides, as he and Cleanthes were sitting beside the youth, he got up, and upon Cleanthes expressing surprise, Good physicians tell us, said he, that the best cure for inflammation is repose. When of two reclining next to each other over the wine, the one who was neighbour to Zeno kicked the guest below him, Zeno himself nudged the man with his knee, and upon the man turning round, inquired, How do you think your neighbour liked what you did to him? 7.18. To a lover of boys he remarked, Just as schoolmasters lose their common-sense by spending all their time with boys, so it is with people like you. He used to say that the very exact expressions used by those who avoided solecisms were like the coins struck by Alexander: they were beautiful in appearance and well-rounded like the coins, but none the better on that account. Words of the opposite kind he would compare to the Attic tetradrachms, which, though struck carelessly and inartistically, nevertheless outweighed the ornate phrases. When his pupil Ariston discoursed at length in an uninspired manner, sometimes in a headstrong and over-confident way. Your father, said he, must have been drunk when he begat you. Hence he would call him a chatterbox, being himself concise in speech. 7.19. There was a gourmand so greedy that he left nothing for his table companions. A large fish having been served, Zeno took it up as if he were about to eat the whole. When the other looked at him, What do you suppose, said he, those who live with you feel every day, if you cannot put up with my gourmandise in this single instance? A youth was putting a question with more curiosity than became his years, whereupon Zeno led him to a mirror, and bade him look in it; after which he inquired if he thought it became anyone who looked like that to ask such questions. Some one said that he did not in general agree with Antisthenes, whereupon Zeno produced that author's essay on Sophocles, and asked him if he thought it had any excellence; to which the reply was that he did not know. Then are you not ashamed, quoth he, to pick out and mention anything wrong said by Antisthenes, while you suppress his good things without giving them a thought? 7.20. Some one having said that he thought the chain-arguments of the philosophers seemed brief and curt, Zeno replied, You are quite right; indeed, the very syllables ought, if possible, to be clipped. Some one remarked to him about Polemo, that his discourse was different from the subject he announced. He replied with a frown, Well, what value would you have set upon what was given out? He said that when conversing we ought to be earnest and, like actors, we should have a loud voice and great strength; but we ought not to open the mouth too wide, which is what your senseless chatterbox does. Telling periods, he said, unlike the works of good craftsmen, should need no pause for the contemplation of their excellences; on the contrary, the hearer should be so absorbed in the discourse itself as to have no leisure even to take notes. 7.21. Once when a young man was talking a good deal, he said, Your ears have slid down and merged in your tongue. To the fair youth, who gave it as his opinion that the wise man would not fall in love, his reply was: Then who can be more hapless than you fair youths? He used to say that even of philosophers the greater number were in most things unwise, while about small and casual things they were quite ignorant. And he used to cite the saying of Caphisius, who, when one of his pupils was endeavouring to blow the flute lustily, gave him a slap and told him that to play well does not depend on loudness, though playing loudly may follow upon playing well. And to a youth who was talking somewhat saucily his rejoinder was, I would rather not tell you what I am thinking, my lad. 7.22. A Rhodian, who was handsome and rich, but nothing more, insisted on joining his class; but so unwelcome was this pupil, that first of all Zeno made him sit on the benches that were dusty, that he might soil his cloak, and then he consigned him to the place where the beggars sat, that he might rub shoulders with their rags; so at last the young man went away. Nothing, he declared, was more unbecoming than arrogance, especially in the young. He used also to say that it was not the words and expressions that we ought to remember, but we should exercise our mind in disposing to advantage of what we hear, instead of, as it were, tasting a well-cooked dish or well-dressed meal. The young, he thought, should behave with perfect propriety in walk, gait and dress, and he used continually to quote the lines of Euripides about Capaneus:Large means had he, yet not the haughtinessThat springs from wealth, nor cherished prouder thoughtsof vain ambition than the poorest man. 7.23. Again he would say that if we want to master the sciences there is nothing so fatal as conceit, and again there is nothing we stand so much in need of as time. To the question Who is a friend? his answer was, A second self (alter ego). We are told that he was once chastising a slave for stealing, and when the latter pleaded that it was his fate to steal, Yes, and to be beaten too, said Zeno. Beauty he called the flower of chastity, while according to others it was chastity which he called the flower of beauty. Once when he saw the slave of one of his acquaintance marked with weals, I see, said he, the imprints of your anger. To one who had been drenched with unguent, Who is this, quoth he, who smells of woman? When Dionysius the Renegade asked, Why am I the only pupil you do not correct? the reply was, Because I mistrust you. To a stripling who was talking nonsense his words were, The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is that we may listen the more and talk the less. 7.24. One day at a banquet he was reclining in silence and was asked the reason: whereupon he bade his critic carry word to the king that there was one present who knew how to hold his tongue. Now those who inquired of him were ambassadors from King Ptolemy, and they wanted to know what message they should take back from him to the king. On being asked how he felt about abuse, he replied, As an envoy feels who is dismissed without an answer. Apollonius of Tyre tells us how, when Crates laid hold on him by the cloak to drag him from Stilpo, Zeno said, The right way to seize a philosopher, Crates, is by the ears: persuade me then and drag me off by them; but, if you use violence, my body will be with you, but my mind with Stilpo. 7.25. According to Hippobotus he forgathered with Diodorus, with whom he worked hard at dialectic. And when he was already making progress, he would enter Polemo's school: so far from all self-conceit was he. In consequence Polemo is said to have addressed him thus: You slip in, Zeno, by the garden door – I'm quite aware of it – you filch my doctrines and give them a Phoenician make-up. A dialectician once showed him seven logical forms concerned with the sophism known as The Reaper, and Zeno asked him how much he wanted for them. Being told a hundred drachmas, he promptly paid two hundred: to such lengths would he go in his love of learning. They say too that he first introduced the word Duty and wrote a treatise on the subject. It is said, moreover, that he corrected Hesiod's lines thus:He is best of all men who follows good advice: good too is he who finds out all things for himself. 7.26. The reason he gave for this was that the man capable of giving a proper hearing to what is said and profiting by it was superior to him who discovers everything himself. For the one had merely a right apprehension, the other in obeying good counsel superadded conduct.When he was asked why he, though so austere, relaxed at a drinking-party, he said, Lupins too are bitter, but when they are soaked become sweet. Hecato too in the second book of his Anecdotes says that he indulged freely at such gatherings. And he would say, Better to trip with the feet than with the tongue. Well-being is attained by little and little, and nevertheless it is no little thing itself. [Others attribute this to Socrates.] 7.27. He showed the utmost endurance, and the greatest frugality; the food he used required no fire to dress, and the cloak he wore was thin. Hence it was said of him:The cold of winter and the ceaseless rainCome powerless against him: weak the dartof the fierce summer sun or racking painTo bend that iron frame. He stands apartUnspoiled by public feast and jollity:Patient, unwearied night and day doth heCling to his studies of philosophy.Nay more: the comic poets by their very jests at his expense praised him without intending it. Thus Philemon says in a play, Philosophers:This man adopts a new philosophy.He teaches to go hungry: yet he getsDisciples. One sole loaf of bread his food;His best dessert dried figs; water his drink.Others attribute these lines to Poseidippus.By this time he had almost become a proverb. At all events, More temperate than Zeno the philosopher was a current saying about him. Poseidippus also writes in his Men Transported:So that for ten whole daysMore temperate than Zeno's self he seemed. 7.28. And in very truth in this species of virtue and in dignity he surpassed all mankind, ay, and in happiness; for he was ninety-eight when he died and had enjoyed good health without an ailment to the last. Persaeus, however, in his ethical lectures makes him die at the age of seventy-two, having come to Athens at the age of twenty-two. But Apollonius says that he presided over the school for fifty-eight years. The manner of his death was as follows. As he was leaving the school he tripped and fell, breaking a toe. Striking the ground with his fist, he quoted the line from the Niobe:I come, I come, why dost thou call for me?and died on the spot through holding his breath. 7.29. The Athenians buried him in the Ceramicus and honoured him in the decrees already cited above, adding their testimony of his goodness. Here is the epitaph composed for him by Antipater of Sidon:Here lies great Zeno, dear to Citium, who scaled high Olympus, though he piled not Pelion on Ossa, nor toiled at the labours of Heracles, but this was the path he found out to the stars – the way of temperance alone. 7.30. Here too is another by Zenodotus the Stoic, a pupil of Diogenes:Thou madest self-sufficiency thy rule,Eschewing haughty wealth, O godlike Zeno,With aspect grave and hoary brow serene.A manly doctrine thine: and by thy prudenceWith much toil thou didst found a great new school,Chaste parent of unfearing liberty.And if thy native country was Phoenicia,What need to slight thee? came not Cadmus thence,Who gave to Greece her books and art of writing?And Athenaeus the epigrammatist speaks of all the Stoics in common as follows:O ye who've learnt the doctrines of the StoaAnd have committed to your books divineThe best of human learning, teaching menThat the mind's virtue is the only good!She only it is who keeps the lives of menAnd cities, – safer than high gates and walls.But those who place their happiness in pleasureAre led by the least worthy of the Muses. 7.31. We have ourselves mentioned the manner of Zeno's death in the Pammetros (a collection of poems in various metres):The story goes that Zeno of Citium after enduring many hardships by reason of old age was set free, some say by ceasing to take food; others say that once when he had tripped he beat with his hand upon the earth and cried, I come of my own accord; why then call me?For there are some who hold this to have been the manner of his death.So much then concerning his death.Demetrius the Magnesian, in his work on Men of the Same Name, says of him: his father, Mnaseas, being a merchant often went to Athens and brought away many books about Socrates for Zeno while still a boy. 7.32. Hence he had been well trained even before he left his native place. And thus it came about that on his arrival at Athens he attached himself to Crates. And it seems, he adds, that, when the rest were at a loss how to express their views, Zeno framed a definition of the end. They say that he was in the habit of swearing by capers just as Socrates used to swear by the dog. Some there are, and among them Cassius the Sceptic and his disciples, who accuse Zeno at length. Their first count is that in the beginning of his Republic he pronounced the ordinary education useless: the next is that he applies to all men who are not virtuous the opprobrious epithets of foemen, enemies, slaves, and aliens to one another, parents to children, brothers to brothers, friends to friends. 7.33. Again, in the Republic, making an invidious contrast, he declares the good alone to be true citizens or friends or kindred or free men; and accordingly in the view of the Stoics parents and children are enemies, not being wise. Again, it is objected, in the Republic he lays down community of wives, and at line 200 prohibits the building of sanctuaries, law-courts and gymnasia in cities; while as regards a currency he writes that we should not think it need be introduced either for purposes of exchange or for travelling abroad. Further, he bids men and women wear the same dress and keep no part of the body entirely covered. 7.34. That the Republic is the work of Zeno is attested by Chrysippus in his De Republica. And he discussed amatory subjects in the beginning of that book of his which is entitled The Art of Love. Moreover, he writes much the same in his Interludes. So much for the criticisms to be found not only in Cassius but in Isidorus of Pergamum, the rhetorician. Isidorus likewise affirms that the passages disapproved by the school were expunged from his works by Athenodorus the Stoic, who was in charge of the Pergamene library; and that afterwards, when Athenodorus was detected and compromised, they were replaced. So much concerning the passages in his writings which are regarded as spurious. 7.160. 2. ARISTONAriston the Bald, of Chios, who was also called the Siren, declared the end of action to be a life of perfect indifference to everything which is neither virtue nor vice; recognizing no distinction whatever in things indifferent, but treating them all alike. The wise man he compared to a good actor, who, if called upon to take the part of a Thersites or of an Agamemnon, will impersonate them both becomingly. He wished to discard both Logic and Physics, saying that Physics was beyond our reach and Logic did not concern us: all that did concern us was Ethics. 10.3. Hence the point of Timon's allusion in the lines:Again there is the latest and most shameless of the physicists, the schoolmaster's son from Samos, himself the most uneducated of mortals.At his instigation his three brothers, Neocles, Chaeredemus, and Aristobulus, joined in his studies, according to Philodemus the Epicurean in the tenth book of his comprehensive work On Philosophers; furthermore his slave named Mys, as stated by Myronianus in his Historical Parallels. Diotimus the Stoic, who is hostile to him, has assailed him with bitter slanders, adducing fifty scandalous letters as written by Epicurus; and so too did the author who ascribed to Epicurus the epistles commonly attributed to Chrysippus. 10.4. They are followed by Posidonius the Stoic and his school, and Nicolaus and Sotion in the twelfth book of his work entitled Dioclean Refutations, consisting of twenty-four books; also by Dionysius of Halicarnassus. They allege that he used to go round with his mother to cottages and read charms, and assist his father in his school for a pitiful fee; further, that one of his brothers was a pander and lived with Leontion the courtesan; that he put forward as his own the doctrines of Democritus about atoms and of Aristippus about pleasure; that he was not a genuine Athenian citizen, a charge brought by Timocrates and by Herodotus in a book On the Training of Epicurus as a Cadet; that he basely flattered Mithras, the minister of Lysimachus, bestowing on him in his letters Apollo's titles of Healer and Lord. 10.5. Furthermore that he extolled Idomeneus, Herodotus, and Timocrates, who had published his esoteric doctrines, and flattered them for that very reason. Also that in his letters he wrote to Leontion, O Lord Apollo, my dear little Leontion, with what tumultuous applause we were inspired as we read your letter. Then again to Themista, the wife of Leonteus: I am quite ready, if you do not come to see me, to spin thrice on my own axis and be propelled to any place that you, including Themista, agree upon; and to the beautiful Pythocles he writes: I will sit down and await thy divine advent, my heart's desire. And, as Theodorus says in the fourth book of his work, Against Epicurus, in another letter to Themista he thinks he preaches to her. 10.28. Hegesianax.of Human Life, four books.of Just Dealing.Neocles: dedicated to Themista.Symposium.Eurylochus: dedicated to Metrodorus.of Vision.of the Angle in the Atom.of Touch.of Fate.Theories of the Feelings – against Timocrates.Discovery of the Future.Introduction to Philosophy.of Images.of Presentation.Aristobulus.of Music.of Justice and the other Virtues.of Benefits and Gratitude.Polymedes.Timocrates, three books.Metrodorus, five books.Antidorus, two books.Theories about Diseases (and Death) – to Mithras.Callistolas.of Kingship.Anaximenes.Correspondence.The views expressed in these works I will try to set forth by quoting three of his epistles, in which he has given an epitome of his whole system.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
alexander the great Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
antigonus gonatas Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15; Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
antigonus of carystus Bryan (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251; Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
apollonius of tyre Bryan (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251; Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
aristo of chios Bryan (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 254; Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 254
aristotle,ethics and politics of Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
biography,of zeno Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251, 254
castaldi,francesco Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
choice Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
chrysippus Bryan (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251; Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
cicero Bryan (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 254; Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 254
cleanthes Bryan (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251; Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
consistency Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
cynicism,influence on zeno Bryan (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 254; Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 254
cynics/cynicism Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
demetrius of magnesia Bryan (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251; Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
dialectic Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
diogenes laertius Bryan (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251, 254; Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251, 254
diogenes of sinope Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
economics,epicurean,acceptable sources of income Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
economics,epicurean Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
ennius Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
epictetus Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
epicurus,economic commentary Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
freudenburg,kirk Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
goodness,good life Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
hecato Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
hellenistic philosophy,ethics of Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
homer,iliad Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
lucilius Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
mithres,identification Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
mithres Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
monarchy Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
panaetius Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
paradox Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
patronage,(greek) development of system Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
persaeus Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
piso Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
plato Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
polemo Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
prosopon Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
reason Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
role playing Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
self,concepts of Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
socrates Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
stilpo Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15; Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
stoics,origins of school Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251, 254
stoics/stoicism,condemned by greek authors Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
theatricality' Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
usener,hermann Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33
xenocrates Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
zeno of citium,biography Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251, 254
zeno of citium,conversion to philosophy Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
zeno of citium,ethics of Long (2006), From Epicurus to Epictetus Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy, 15
zeno of citium,influence from cynicism Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 254
zeno of citium,interest in socrates Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
zeno of citium,writings Wardy and Warren (2018), Authors and Authorities in Ancient Philosophy, 251
zeno of citium Yona (2018), Epicurean Ethics in Horace: The Psychology of Satire, 33