§ 1.p.1 BOOK 1
There are some who say that the study of philosophy had its beginning among the barbarians. They urge that the Persians have had their Magi, the Babylonians or Assyrians their Chaldaeans, and the Indians their Gymnosophists; and among the Celts and Gauls there are the people called Druids or Holy Ones, for which they cite as authorities the Magicus of Aristotle and Sotion in the twenty-third book of his Succession of Philosophers. Also they say that Mochus was a Phoenician, Zamolxis a Thracian, and Atlas a Libyan.
If we may believe the Egyptians, Hephaestus was the son of the Nile, and with him philosophy began, priests and prophets being its chief exponents.
§ p.2 Hephaestus lived 48,863 years before Alexander of Macedon, and in the interval there occurred 373 solar and 832 lunar eclipses. The date of the Magians, beginning with Zoroaster the Persian, was 5000 years before the fall of Troy, as given by Hermodorus the Platonist in his work on mathematics; but Xanthus the Lydian reckons 6000 years from Zoroaster to the expedition of Xerxes, and after that event he places a long line of Magians in succession, bearing the names of Ostanas, Astrampsychos, Gobryas, and Pazatas, down to the conquest of Persia by Alexander.
§ p.3 These authors forget that the achievements which they attribute to the barbarians belong to the Greeks, with whom not merely philosophy but the human race itself began. For instance, Musaeus is claimed by Athens, Linus by Thebes. It is said that the former, the son of Eumolpus, was the first to compose a genealogy of the gods and to construct a sphere, and that he maintained that all things proceed from unity and are resolved again into unity. He died at Phalerum, and this is his epitaph:
Musaeus, to his sire Eumolpus dear,
In Phalerean soil lies buried here;
and the Eumolpidae at Athens get their name from the father of Musaeus.
§ p.4 Linus again was (so it is said) the son of Hermes and the Muse Urania. He composed a poem describing the creation of the world, the courses of the sun and moon, and the growth of animals and plants. His poem begins with the line:
Time was when all things grew up at once;
and this idea was borrowed by Anaxagoras when he declared that all things were originally together until Mind came and set them in order. Linus died in Euboea, slain by the arrow of Apollo, and this is his epitaph:
Here Theban Linus, whom Urania bore,
The fair-crowned Muse, sleeps on a foreign shore.
And thus it was from the Greeks that philosophy took its rise: its very name refuses to be translated into foreign speech.
§ p.5 But those who attribute its invention to barbarians bring forward Orpheus the Thracian, calling him a philosopher of whose antiquity there can be no doubt. Now, considering the sort of things he said about the gods, I hardly know whether he ought to be called a philosopher; for what are we to make of one who does not scruple to charge the gods with all human suffering, and even the foul crimes wrought by the tongue amongst a few of mankind? The story goes that he met his death at the hands of women; but according to the epitaph at Dium in Macedonia he was slain by a thunderbolt; it runs as follows:
Here have the Muses laid their minstrel true,
The Thracian Orpheus whom Jove's thunder slew.
§ p.6 But the advocates of the theory that philosophy took its rise among the barbarians go on to explain the different forms it assumed in different countries. As to the Gymnosophists and Druids we are told that they uttered their philosophy in riddles, bidding men to reverence the gods, to abstain from wrongdoing, and to practise courage. That the Gymnosophists at all events despise even death itself is affirmed by Clitarchus in his twelfth book; he also says that the Chaldaeans apply themselves to astronomy and forecasting the future; while the Magi spend their time in the worship of the gods, in sacrifices and in prayers, implying that none but themselves have the ear of the gods. They propound their views concerning the being and origin of the gods, whom they hold to be fire, earth, and water; they condemn the use of images, and especially the error of attributing to the divinities difference of sex.
§ p.7 They hold discourse of justice, and deem it impious to practise cremation; but they see no impiety in marriage with a mother or daughter, as Sotion relates in his twenty-third book. Further, they practise divination and forecast the future, declaring that the gods appear to them in visible form. Moreover, they say that the air is full of shapes which stream forth like vapour and enter the eyes of keen-sighted seers. They prohibit personal ornament and the wearing of gold. Their dress is white, they make their bed on the ground, and their food is vegetables, cheese, and coarse bread; their staff is a reed and their custom is, so we are told, to stick it into the cheese and take up with it the part they eat.
§ p.8 With the art of magic they were wholly unacquainted, according to Aristotle in his Magicus and Dinon in the fifth book of his History Dinon tells us that the name Zoroaster, literally interpreted, means star-worshipper; and Hermodorus agrees with him in this. Aristotle in the first book of his dialogue On Philosophy declares that the Magi are more ancient than the Egyptians; and further, that they believe in two principles, the good spirit and the evil spirit, the one called Zeus or Oromasdes, the other Hades or Arimanius. This is confirmed by Hermippus in his first book about the Magi, Eudoxus in his Voyage round the World, and Theopompus in the eighth book of his Philippica.
§ p.9 The last-named author says that according to the Magi men will live in a future life and be immortal, and that the world will endure through their invocations. This is again confirmed by Eudemus of Rhodes. But Hecataeus relates that according to them the gods are subject to birth. Clearchus of Soli in his tract On Education further makes the Gymnosophists to be descended from the Magi; and some trace the Jews also to the same origin. Furthermore, those who have written about the Magi criticize Herodotus. They urge that Xerxes would never have cast javelins at the sun nor have let down fetters into the sea, since in the creed of the Magi sun and sea are gods. But that statues of the gods should be destroyed by Xerxes was natural enough.
§ p.10 The philosophy of the Egyptians is described as follows so far as relates to the gods and to justice. They say that matter was the first principle, next the four elements were derived from matter, and thus living things of every species were produced. The sun and the moon are gods bearing the names of Osiris and Isis respectively; they make use of the beetle, the dragon, the hawk, and other creatures as symbols of divinity, according to Manetho in his Epitome of Physical Doctrines, and Hecataeus in the first book of his work On the Egyptian Philosophy. They also set up statues and temples to these sacred animals because they do not know the true form of the deity.
§ p.11 They hold that the universe is created and perishable, and that it is spherical in shape. They say that the stars consist of fire, and that, according as the fire in them is mixed, so events happen upon earth; that the moon is eclipsed when it falls into the earth's shadow; that the soul survives death and passes into other bodies; that rain is caused by change in the atmosphere; of all other phenomena they give physical explanations, as related by Hecataeus and Aristagoras. They also laid down laws on the subject of justice, which they ascribed to Hermes; and they deified those animals which are serviceable to man. They also claimed to have invented geometry, astronomy, and arithmetic. Thus much concerning the invention of philosophy.
§ p.12 But the first to use the term, and to call himself a philosopher or lover of wisdom, was Pythagoras; for, said he, no man is wise, but God alone. Heraclides of Pontus, in his De mortua, makes him say this at Sicyon in conversation with Leon, who was the prince of that city or of Phlius. All too quickly the study was called wisdom and its professor a sage, to denote his attainment of mental perfection; while the student who took it up was a philosopher or lover of wisdom. Sophists was another name for the wise men, and not only for philosophers but for the poets also. And so Cratinus when praising Homer and Hesiod in his Archilochi gives them the title of sophist.
§ p.13 The men who were commonly regarded as sages were the following: Thales, Solon, Periander, Cleobulus, Chilon, Bias, Pittacus. To these are added Anacharsis the Scythian, Myson of Chen, Pherecydes of Syros, Epimenides the Cretan; and by some even Pisistratus the tyrant. So much for the sages or wise men.
But philosophy, the pursuit of wisdom, has had a twofold origin; it started with Anaximander on the one hand, with Pythagoras on the other. The former was a pupil of Thales, Pythagoras was taught by Pherecydes. The one school was called Ionian, because Thales, a Milesian and therefore an Ionian, instructed Anaximander; the other school was called Italian from Pythagoras, who worked for the most part in Italy.
§ p.14 And the one school, that of Ionia, terminates with Clitomachus and Chrysippus and Theophrastus, that of Italy with Epicurus. The succession passes from Thales through Anaximander, Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, Archelaus, to Socrates, who introduced ethics or moral philosophy; from Socrates to his pupils the Socratics, and especially to Plato, the founder of the Old Academy; from Plato, through Speusippus and Xenocrates, the succession passes to Polemo, Crantor, and Crates, Arcesilaus, founder of the Middle Academy, Lacydes, founder of the New Academy, Carneades, and Clitomachus. This line brings us to Clitomachus.
§ p.15 There is another which ends with Chrysippus, that is to say by passing from Socrates to Antisthenes, then to Diogenes the Cynic, Crates of Thebes, Zeno of Citium, Cleanthes, Chrysippus. And yet again another ends with Theophrastus; thus from Plato it passes to Aristotle, and from Aristotle to Theophrastus. In this manner the school of Ionia comes to an end.
In the Italian school the order of succession is as follows: first Pherecydes, next Pythagoras, next his son Telauges, then Xenophanes, Parmenides, Zeno of Elea, Leucippus, Democritus, who had many pupils, in particular Nausiphanes [and Naucydes], who were teachers of Epicurus.
§ p.16 Philosophers may be divided into dogmatists and sceptics: all those who make assertions about things assuming that they can be known are dogmatists; while all who suspend their judgement on the ground that things are unknowable are sceptics. Again, some philosophers left writings behind them, while others wrote nothing at all, as was the case according to some authorities with Socrates, Stilpo, Philippus, Menedemus, Pyrrho, Theodorus, Carneades, Bryson; some add Pythagoras and Aristo of Chios, except that they wrote a few letters. Others wrote no more than one treatise each, as Melissus, Parmenides, Anaxagoras. Many works were written by Zeno, more by Xenophanes, more by Democritus, more by Aristotle, more by Epicurus, and still more by Chrysippus.
§ p.17 Some schools took their name from cities, as the Elians and the Megarians, the Eretrians and the Cyrenaics; others from localities, as the Academics and the Stoics; others from incidental circumstances, as the Peripatetics; others again from derisive nicknames, as the Cynics; others from their temperaments, as the Eudaemonists or Happiness School; others from a conceit they entertained, as Truth-lovers, Refutationists, and Reasoners from Analogy; others again from their teachers, as Socratics, Epicureans, and the like; some take the name of Physicists from their investigation of nature, others that of Moralists because they discuss morals; while those who are occupied with verbal jugglery are styled Dialecticians.
§ p.18 Philosophy has three parts, physics, ethics, and dialectic or logic. Physics is the part concerned with the universe and all that it contains; ethics that concerned with life and all that has to do with us; while the processes of reasoning employed by both form the processes of dialectic. Physics flourished down to the time of Archelaus; ethics, as we have said, started with Socrates; while dialectic goes as far back as Zeno of Elea. In ethics there have been ten schools: the Academic, the Cyrenaic, the Elian, the Megarian, the Cynic, the Eretrian, the Dialectic, the Peripatetic, the Stoic, and the Epicurean.
§ p.19 The founders of these schools were: of the Old Academy, Plato; of the Middle Academy, Arcesilaus; of the New Academy, Lacydes; of the Cyrenaic, Aristippus of Cyrene; of the Elian, Phaedo of Elis; of the Megarian, Euclides of Megara; of the Cynic, Antisthenes of Athens; of the Eretrian, Menedemus of Eretria; of the Dialectical school, Clitomachus of Carthage; of the Peripatetic, Aristotle of Stagira; of the Stoic, Zeno of Citium; while the Epicurean school took its name from Epicurus himself.
Hippobotus in his work On Philosophical Sects declares that there are nine sects or schools, and gives them in this order: (1) Megarian, (2) Eretrian, (3) Cyrenaic, (4) Epicurean, (5) Annicerean, (6) Theodorean, (7) Zenonian or Stoic, (8) Old Academic, (9) Peripatetic. He passes over the Cynic, Elian, and Dialectical schools;
§ p.20 for as to the Pyrrhonians, so indefinite are their conclusions that hardly any authorities allow them to be a sect; some allow their claim in certain respects, but not in others. It would seem, however, that they are a sect, for we use the term of those who in their attitude to appearance follow or seem to follow some principle; and on this ground we should be justified in calling the Sceptics a sect. But if we are to understand by sect a bias in favour of coherent positive doctrines, they could no longer be called a sect, for they have no positive doctrines. So much for the beginnings of philosophy, its subsequent developments, its various parts, and the number of the philosophic sects.
§ p.21 One word more: not long ago an Eclectic school was introduced by Potamo of Alexandria, who made a selection from the tenets of all the existing sects. As he himself states in his Elements of Philosophy, he takes as criteria of truth (1) that by which the judgement is formed, namely, the ruling principle of the soul; (2) the instrument used, for instance the most accurate perception. His universal principles are matter and the efficient cause, quality, and place; for that out of which and that by which a thing is made, as well as the quality with which and the place in which it is made, are principles. The end to which he refers all actions is life made perfect in all virtue, natural advantages of body and environment being indispensable to its attainment.
It remains to speak of the philosophers themselves, and in the first place of Thales.
§ 1.22 1. THALES
Herodotus, Duris, and Democritus are agreed that Thales was the son of Examyas and Cleobulina, and belonged to the Thelidae who are Phoenicians, and among the noblest of the descendants of Cadmus and Agenor. As Plato testifies, he was one of the Seven Sages. He was the first to receive the name of Sage, in the archonship of Damasias at Athens, when the term was applied to all the Seven Sages, as Demetrius of Phalerum mentions in his List of Archons. He was admitted to citizenship at Miletus when he came to that town along with Nileos, who had been expelled from Phoenicia. Most writers, however, represent him as a genuine Milesian and of a distinguished family.
§ 1.23 After engaging in politics he became a student of nature. According to some he left nothing in writing; for the Nautical Astronomy attributed to him is said to be by Phocus of Samos. Callimachus knows him as the discoverer of the Ursa Minor; for he says in his Iambics:
Who first of men the course made plain
Of those small stars we call the Wain,
Whereby Phoenicians sail the main.
But according to others he wrote nothing but two treatises, one On the Solstice and one On the Equinox, regarding all other matters as incognizable. He seems by some accounts to have been the first to study astronomy, the first to predict eclipses of the sun and to fix the solstices; so Eudemus in his History of Astronomy. It was this which gained for him the admiration of Xenophanes and Herodotus and the notice of Heraclitus and Democritus.
§ 1.24 And some, including Choerilus the poet, declare that he was the first to maintain the immortality of the soul. He was the first to determine the sun's course from solstice to solstice, and according to some the first to declare the size of the sun to be one seven hundred and twentieth part of the solar circle, and the size of the moon to be the same fraction of the lunar circle. He was the first to give the last day of the month the name of Thirtieth, and the first, some say, to discuss physical problems.
Aristotle and Hippias affirm that, arguing from the magnet and from amber, he attributed a soul or life even to inanimate objects. Pamphila states that, having learnt geometry from the Egyptians, he was the first to inscribe a right-angled triangle in a circle, whereupon he sacrificed an ox. Others tell this tale of Pythagoras, amongst them Apollodorus the arithmetician.
§ 1.25 (It was Pythagoras who developed to their furthest extent the discoveries attributed by Callimachus in his Iambics to Euphorbus the Phrygian, I mean scalene triangles and whatever else has to do with theoretical geometry.)
Thales is also credited with having given excellent advice on political matters. For instance, when Croesus sent to Miletus offering terms of alliance, he frustrated the plan; and this proved the salvation of the city when Cyrus obtained the victory. Heraclides makes Thales himself say that he had always lived in solitude as a private individual and kept aloof from State affairs. Some authorities say that he married and had a son Cybisthus;
§ 1.26 others that he remained unmarried and adopted his sister's son, and that when he was asked why he had no children of his own he replied because he loved children. The story is told that, when his mother tried to foroe him to marry, he replied it was too soon, and when she pressed him again later in life, he replied that it was too late. Hieronymus of Rhodes in the second book of his Scattered Notes relates that, in order to show how easy it is to grow rich, Thales, foreseeing that it would be a good season for olives, rented all the oil-mills and thus amassed a fortune.
§ 1.27 His doctrine was that water is the universal primary substance, and that the world is animate and full of divinities. He is said to have discovered the seasons of the year and divided it into 365 days.
He had no instructor, except that he went to Egypt and spent some time with the priests there. Hieronymus informs us that he measured the height of the pyramids by the shadow they cast, taking the observation at the hour when our shadow is of the same length as ourselves. He lived, as Minyas relates, with Thrasybulus, the tyrant of Miletus.
The well-known story of the tripod found by the fishermen and sent by the people of Miletus to all the Wise Men in succession runs as follows.
§ 1.28 Certain Ionian youths having purchased of the Milesian fishermen their catch of fish, a dispute arose over the tripod which had formed part of the catch. Finally the Milesians referred the question to Delphi, and the god gave an oracle in this form:
Who shall possess the tripod? Thus replies Apollo: Whosoever is most wise.
Accordingly they give it to Thales, and he to another, and so on till it comes to Solon, who, with the remark that the god was the most wise, sent it off to Delphi. Callimachus in his Iambics has a different version of the story, which he took from Maeandrius of Miletus. It is that Bathycles, an Arcadian, left at his death a bowl with the solemn injunction that it should be given to him who had done most good by his wisdom. So it was given to Thales, went the round of all the sages, and came back to Thales again.
§ 1.29 And he sent it to Apollo at Didyma, with this dedication, according to Callimachus:
Lord of the folk of Neleus' line,
Thales, of Greeks adjudged most wise,
Brings to thy Didymaean shrine
His offering, a twice-won prize.
But the prose inscription is:
Thales the Milesian, son of Examyas [dedicates this] to Delphinian Apollo after twice winning the prize from all the Greeks.
The bowl was carried from place to place by the son of Bathycles, whose name was Thyrion, so it is stated by Eleusis in his work On Achilles, and Alexo the Myndian in the ninth book of his Legends.
But Eudoxus of Cnidos and Euanthes of Miletus agree that a certain man who was a friend of Croesus received from the king a golden goblet in order to bestow it upon the wisest of the Greeks; this man gave it to Thales, and from him it passed to others and so to Chilon.
§ 1.30 Chilon laid the question Who is a wiser man than I? before the Pythian Apollo, and the god replied Myson. Of him we shall have more to say presently. (In the list of the Seven Sages given by Eudoxus, Myson takes the place of Cleobulus; Plato also includes him by omitting Periander.) The answer of the oracle respecting him was as follows:
Myson of Chen in Oeta; this is he
Who for wiseheartedness surpasseth thee;
and it was given in reply to a question put by Anacharsis. Daimachus the Platonist and Clearchus allege that a bowl was sent by Croesus to Pittacus and began the round of the Wise Men from him.
The story told by Andron in his work on The Tripod is that the Argives offered a tripod as a prize of virtue to the wisest of the Greeks; Aristodemus of Sparta was adjudged the winner but retired in favour of Chilon.
§ 1.31 Aristodemus is mentioned by Alcaeus thus:
Surely no witless word was this of the Spartan, I deem,
Wealth is the worth of a man; and poverty void of esteem.
Some relate that a vessel with its freight was sent by Periander to Thrasybulus, tyrant of Miletus, and that, when it was wrecked in Coan waters, the tripod was afterwards found by certain fishermen. However, Phanodicus declares it to have been found in Athenian waters and thence brought to Athens. An assembly was held and it was sent to Bias;
§ 1.32 for what reason shall be explained in the life of Bias.
There is yet another version, that it was the work of Hephaestus presented by the god to Pelops on his marriage. Thence it passed to Menelaus and was carried off by Paris along with Helen and was thrown by her into the Coan sea, for she said it would be a cause of strife. In process of time certain people of Lebedus, having purchased a catch of fish thereabouts, obtained possession of the tripod, and, quarrelling with the fishermen about it, put in to Cos, and, when they could not settle the dispute, reported the fact to Miletus, their mother-city. The Milesians, when their embassies were disregarded, made war upon Cos; many fell on both sides, and an oracle pronounced that the tripod should be given to the wisest; both parties to the dispute agreed upon Thales. After it had gone the round of the sages, Thales dedicated it to Apollo of Didyma.
§ 1.33 The oracle which the Coans received was on this wise:
Hephaestus cast the tripod in the sea;
Until it quit the city there will be
No end to strife, until it reach the seer
Whose wisdom makes past, present, future clear.
That of the Milesians beginning Who shall possess the tripod? has been quoted above. So much for this version of the story.
Hermippus in his Lives refers to Thales the story which is told by some of Socrates, namely, that he used to say there were three blessings for which he was grateful to Fortune: first, that I was born a human being and not one of the brutes; next, that I was born a man and not a woman; thirdly, a Greek and not a barbarian.
§ 1.34 It is said that once, when he was taken out of doors by an old woman in order that he might observe the stars, he fell into a ditch, and his cry for help drew from the old woman the retort, How can you expect to know all about the heavens, Thales, when you cannot even see what is just before your feet? Timon too knows him as an astronomer, and praises him in the Silli where he says:
Thales among the Seven the sage astronomer.
His writings are said by Lobon of Argos to have run to some two hundred lines. His statue is said to bear this inscription:
Pride of Miletus and Ionian lands,
Wisest astronomer, here Thales stands.
§ 1.35 Of songs still sung these verses belong to him:
Many words do not declare an understanding heart.
Seek one sole wisdom.
Choose one sole good.
For thou wilt check the tongues of chatterers prating without end.
Here too are certain current apophthegms assigned to him:
Of all things that are, the most ancient is God, for he is uncreated.
The most beautiful is the universe, for it is God's workmanship.
The greatest is space, for it holds all things.
The swiftest is mind, for it speeds everywhere.
The strongest, necessity, for it masters all.
The wisest, time, for it brings everything to light.
He held there was no difference between life and death. Why then, said one, do you not die? Because, said he, there is no difference.
§ 1.36 To the question which is older, day or night, he replied: Night is the older by one day. Some one asked him whether a man could hide an evil deed from the gods: No, he replied, nor yet an evil thought. To the adulterer who inquired if he should deny the charge upon oath he replied that perjury was no worse than adultery. Being asked what is difficult, he replied, To know oneself. What is easy? To give advice to another. What is most pleasant? Success. What is the divine? That which has neither beginning nor end. To the question what was the strangest thing he had ever seen, his answer was, An aged tyrant. How can one best bear adversity? If he should see his enemies in worse plight. How shall we lead the best and most righteous life? By refraining from doing what we blame in others.
§ 1.37 What man is happy? He who has a healthy body, a resourceful mind and a docile nature. He tells us to remember friends, whether present or absent; not to pride ourselves upon outward appearance, but to study to be beautiful in character. Shun ill-gotten gains, he says. Let not idle words prejudice thee against those who have shared thy confidence. Whatever provision thou hast made for thy parents, the same must thou expect from thy children. He explained the overflow of the Nile as due to the etesian winds which, blowing in the contrary direction, drove the waters upstream.
Apollodorus in his Chronology places his birth in the first year of the 35th Olympiad.
§ 1.38 He died at the age of 78 (or, according to Sosicrates, of 90 years); for he died in the 58th Olympiad, being contemporary with Croesus, whom he undertook to take across the Halys without building a bridge, by diverting the river.
There have lived five other men who bore the name of Thales, as enumerated by Demetrius of Magnesia in his Dictionary of Men of the Same Name:
A rhetorician of Callatis, with an affected style.
A painter of Sicyon, of great gifts.
A contemporary of Hesiod, Homer and Lycurgus, in very early times.
A person mentioned by Duris in his work On Painting.
An obscure person in more recent times who is mentioned by Dionysius in his Critical Writings.
§ 1.39 Thales the Sage died as he was watching an athletic contest from heat, thirst, and the weakness incident to advanced age. And the inscription on his tomb is:
Here in a narrow tomb great Thales lies;
Yet his renown for wisdom reached the skies.
I may also cite one of my own, from my first book, Epigrams in Various Metres:
As Thales watched the games one festal day
The fierce sun smote him, and he passed away;
Zeus, thou didst well to raise him; his dim eyes
Could not from earth behold the starry skies.
§ 1.40 To him belongs the proverb Know thyself, which Antisthenes in his Successions of Philosophers attributes to Phemonoe, though admitting that it was appropriated by Chilon.
This seems the proper place for a general notice of the Seven Sages, of whom we have such accounts as the following. Damon of Cyrene in his History of the Philosophers carps at all sages, but especially the Seven. Anaximenes remarks that they all applied themselves to poetry; Dicaearchus that they were neither sages nor philosophers, but merely shrewd men with a turn for legislation. Archetimus of Syracuse describes their meeting at the court of Cypselus, on which occasion he himself happened to be present; for which Ephorus substitutes a meeting without Thales at the court of Croesus. Some make them meet at the Pan-Ionian festival, at Corinth, and at Delphi.
§ 1.41 Their utterances are variously reported, and are attributed now to one now to the other, for instance the following:
Chilon of Lacedaemon's words are true:
Nothing too much; good comes from measure due.
Nor is there any agreement how the number is made up; for Maeandrius, in place of Cleobulus and Myson, includes Leophantus, son of Gorgiadas, of Lebedus or Ephesus, and Epimenides the Cretan in the list; Plato in his Protagoras admits Myson and leaves out Periander; Ephorus substitutes Anacharsis for Myson; others add Pythagoras to the Seven. Dicaearchus hands down four names fully recognized: Thales, Bias, Pittacus and Solon; and appends the names of six others, from whom he selects three: Aristodemus, Pamphylus, Chilon the Lacedaemonian, Cleobulus, Anacharsis, Periander. Others add Acusilaus, son of Cabas or Scabras, of Argos.
§ 1.42 Hermippus in his work On the Sages reckons seventeen, from which number different people make different selections of seven. They are: Solon, Thales, Pittacus, Bias, Chilon, Myson, Cleobulus, Periander, Anacharsis, Acusilaus, Epimenides, Leophantus, Pherecydes, Aristodemus, Pythagoras, Lasos, son of Charmantides or Sisymbrinus, or, according to Aristoxenus, of Chabrinus, born at Hermione, Anaxagoras. Hippobotus in his List of Philosophers enumerates: Orpheus, Linus, Solon, Periander, Anacharsis, Cleobulus, Myson, Thales, Bias, Pittacus, Epicharmus, Pythagoras.
Here follow the extant letters of Thales.
Thales to Pherecydes
§ 1.43 I hear that you intend to be the first Ionian to expound theology to the Greeks. And perhaps it was a wise decision to make the book common property without taking advice, instead of entrusting it to any particular persons whatsoever, a course which has no advantages. However, if it would give you any pleasure, I am quite willing to discuss the subject of your book with you; and if you bid me come to Syros I will do so. For surely Solon of Athens and I would scarcely be sane if, after having sailed to Crete to pursue our inquiries there, and to Egypt to confer with the priests and astronomers, we hesitated to come to you. For Solon too will come, with your permission.
§ 1.44 You, however, are so fond of home that you seldom visit Ionia and have no longing to see strangers, but, as I hope, apply yourself to one thing, namely writing, while we, who never write anything, travel all over Hellas and Asia.
Thales to Solon
If you leave Athens, it seems to me that you could most conveniently set up your abode at Miletus, which is an Athenian colony; for there you incur no risk. If you are vexed at the thought that we are governed by a tyrant, hating as you do all absolute rulers, you would at least enjoy the society of your friends. Bias wrote inviting you to Priene; and if you prefer the town of Priene for a residence, I myself will come and live with you.
§ 1.45 2. SOLON
Solon, the son of Execestides, was born at Salamis. His first achievement was the σεισάχθεια or Law of Release, which he introduced at Athens; its effect was to ransom persons and property. For men used to borrow money on personal security, and many were forced from poverty to become serfs or daylabourers. He then first renounced his claim to a debt of seven talents due to his father, and encouraged others to follow his example. This law of his was called σεισάχθεια, and the reason is obvious.
He next went on to frame the rest of his laws, which would take time to enumerate, and inscribed them on the revolving pillars.
§ 1.46 His greatest service was this: Megara and Athens laid rival claims to his birthplace Salamis, and after many defeats the Athenians passed a decree punishing with death any man who should propose a renewal of the Salaminian war. Solon, feigning madness, rushed into the Agora with a garland on his head; there he had his poem on Salamis read to the Athenians by the herald and roused them to fury. They renewed the war with the Megarians and, thanks to Solon, were victorious.
§ 1.47 These were the lines which did more than anything else to inflame the Athenians:
Would I were citizen of some mean isle
Far in the Sporades! For men shall smile
And mock me for Athenian: Who is this?
An Attic slave who gave up Salamis;
Then let us fight for Salamis and fair fame,
Win the beloved isle, and purge our shame!
He also persuaded the Athenians to acquire the Thracian Chersonese.
§ 1.48 And lest it should be thought that he had acquired Salamis by force only and not of right, he opened certain graves and showed that the dead were buried with their faces to the east, as was the custom of burial among the Athenians; further, that the tombs themselves faced the east, and that the inscriptions graven upon them named the deceased by their demes, which is a style peculiar to Athens. Some authors assert that in Homer's catalogue of the ships after the line:
Ajax twelve ships from Salamis commands,
Solon inserted one of his own:
And fixed their station next the Athenian bands.
§ 1.49 Thereafter the people looked up to him, and would gladly have had him rule them as tyrant; he refused, and, early perceiving the designs of his kinsman Pisistratus (so we are told by Sosicrates), did his best to hinder them. He rushed into the Assembly armed with spear and shield, warned them of the designs of Pisistratus, and not only so, but declared his willingness to render assistance, in these words: Men of Athens, I am wiser than some of you and more courageous than others: wiser than those who fail to understand the plot of Pisistratus, more courageous than those who, though they see through it, keep silence through fear. And the members of the council, who were of Pisistratus' party, declared that he was mad: which made him say the lines:
A little while, and the event will show
To all the world if I be mad or no.
§ 1.50 That he foresaw the tyranny of Pisistratus is proved by a passage from a poem of his:
On splendid lightning thunder follows straight,
Clouds the soft snow and flashing hail-stones bring;
So from proud men comes ruin, and their state
Falls unaware to slavery and a king.
When Pisistratus was already established, Solon, unable to move the people, piled his arms in front of the Strategeion, and exclaimed, My country, I have served thee with my word and sword! Thereupon he sailed to Egypt and to Cyprus, and thence proceeded to the court of Croesus. There Croesus put the question, Whom do you consider happy? and Solon replied, Tellus of Athens, and Cleobis and Biton, and went on in words too familiar to be quoted here.
§ 1.51 There is a story that Croesus in magnificent array sat himself down on his throne and asked Solon if he had ever seen anything more beautiful. Yes, was the reply, cocks and pheasants and peacocks; for they shine in nature's colours, which are ten thousand times more beautiful. After leaving that place he lived in Cilicia and founded a city which he called Soli after his own name. In it he settled some few Athenians, who in process of time corrupted the purity of Attic and were said to solecize. Note that the people of this town are called Solenses, the people of Soli in Cyprus Solii. When he learnt that Pisistratus was by this time tyrant, he wrote to the Athenians on this wise:
§ 1.52 If ye have suffered sadly through your own wickedness, lay not the blame for this upon the gods. For it is you yourselves who gave pledges to your foes and made them great; this is why you bear the brand of slavery. Every one of you treadeth in the footsteps of the fox, yet in the mass ye have little sense. Ye look to the speech and fair words of a flatterer, paying no regard to any practical result.
Thus Solon. After he had gone into exile Pisistratus wrote to him as follows:
Pisistratus to Solon
§ 1.53 I am not the only man who has aimed at a tyranny in Greece, nor am I, a descendant of Codrus, unfitted for the part. That is, I resume the privileges which the Athenians swore to confer upon Codrus and his family, although later they took them away. In everything else I commit no offence against God or man; but I leave to the Athenians the management of their affairs according to the ordinances established by you. And they are better governed than they would be under a democracy; for I allow no one to extend his rights, and though I am tyrant I arrogate to myself no undue share of reputation and honour, but merely such stated privileges as belonged to the kings in former times. Every citizen pays a tithe of his property, not to me but to a fund for defraying the cost of the public sacrifices or any other charges on the State or the expenditure on any war which may come upon us.
§ 1.54 I do not blame you for disclosing my designs; you acted from loyalty to the city, not through any enmity to me, and further, in ignorance of the sort of rule which I was going to establish; since, if you had known, you would perhaps have tolerated me and not gone into exile. Wherefore return home, trusting my word, though it be not sworn, that Solon will suffer no harm from Pisistratus. For neither has any other enemy of mine suffered; of that you may be sure. And if you choose to become one of my friends, you will rank with the foremost, for I see no trace of treachery in you, nothing to excite mistrust; or if you wish to live at Athens on other terms, you have my permission. But do not on my account sever yourself from your country.
§ 1.55 So far Pisistratus. To return to Solon: one of his sayings is that 70 years are the term of man's life.
He seems to have enacted some admirable laws; for instance, if any man neglects to provide for his parents, he shall be disfranchised; moreover there is a similar penalty for the spendthrift who runs through his patrimony. Again, not to have a settled occupation is made a crime for which any one may, if he pleases, impeach the offender. Lysias, however, in his speech against Nicias ascribes this law to Draco, and to Solon another depriving open profligates of the right to speak in the Assembly. He curtailed the honours of athletes who took part in the games, fixing the allowance for an Olympic victor at 500 drachmae, for an Isthmian victor at 100 drachmae, and proportionately in all other cases. It was in bad taste, he urged, to increase the rewards of these victors, and to ignore the exclusive claims of those who had fallen in battle, whose sons ought, moreover, to be maintained and educated by the State.
§ 1.56 The effect of this was that many strove to acquit themselves as gallant soldiers in battle, like Polyzelus, Cynegirus, Callimachus and all who fought at Marathon; or again like Harmodius and Aristogiton, and Miltiades and thousands more. Athletes, on the other hand, incur heavy costs while in training, do harm when successful, and are crowned for a victory over their country rather than over their rivals, and when they grow old they, in the words of Euripides,
Are worn threadbare, cloaks that have lost the nap;
and Solon, perceiving this, treated them with scant respect. Excellent, too, is his provision that the guardian of an orphan should not marry the mother of his ward, and that the next heir who would succeed on the death of the orphans should be disqualified from acting as their guardian.
§ 1.57 Furthermore, that no engraver of seals should be allowed to retain an impression of the ring which he has sold, and that the penalty for depriving a one-eyed man of his single eye should be the loss of the offender's two eyes. A deposit shall not be removed except by the depositor himself, on pain of death. That the magistrate found intoxicated should be punished with death.
He has provided that the public recitations of Homer shall follow in fixed order: thus the second reciter must begin from the place where the first left off. Hence, as Dieuchidas says in the fifth book of his Megarian History, Solon did more than Pisistratus to throw light on Homer. The passage in Homer more particularly referred to is that beginning Those who dwelt at Athens ...
§ 1.58 Solon was the first to call the 30th day of the month the Old-and-New day, and to institute meetings of the nine archons for private conference, as stated by Apollodorus in the second book of his work On Legislators. When civil strife began, he did not take sides with those in the city, nor with the plain, nor yet with-the coast section.
One of his sayings is: Speech is the mirror of action; and another that the strongest and most capable is king. He compared laws to spiders' webs, which stand firm when any light and yielding object falls upon them, while a larger thing breaks through them and makes off. Secrecy he called the seal of speech, and occasion the seal of secrecy.
§ 1.59 He used to say that those who had influence with tyrants were like the pebbles employed in calculations; for, as each of the pebbles represented now a large and now a small number, so the tyrants would treat each one of those about them at one time as great and famous, at another as of no account. On being asked why he had not framed any law against parricide, he replied that he hoped it was unnecessary. Asked how crime could most effectually be diminished, he replied, If it caused as much resentment in those who are not its victims as in those who are, adding, Wealth breeds satiety, satiety outrage. He required the Athenians to adopt a lunar month. He prohibited Thespis from performing tragedies on the ground that fiction was pernicious.
§ 1.60 When therefore Pisistratus appeared with self-inflicted wounds, Solon said, This comes from acting tragedies. His counsel to men in general is stated by Apollodorus in his work on the Philosophic Sects as follows: Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath. Never tell a lie. Pursue worthy aims. Do not be rash to make friends and, when once they are made, do not drop them. Learn to obey before you command. In giving advice seek to help, not to please, your friend. Be led by reason. Shun evil company. Honour the gods, reverence parents. He is also said to have criticized the couplet of Mimnermus:
Would that by no disease, no cares opprest,
I in my sixtieth year were laid to rest;
§ 1.61 and to have replied thus:
Oh take a friend's suggestion, blot the line,
Grudge not if my invention better thine;
Surely a wiser wish were thus expressed,
At eighty years let me be laid to rest.
Of the songs sung this is attributed to Solon:
Watch every man and see whether, hiding hatred in his heart, he speaks with friendly countenance, and his tongue rings with double speech from a dark soul.
He is undoubtedly the author of the laws which bear his name; of speeches, and of poems in elegiac metre, namely, counsels addressed to himself, on Salamis and on the Athenian constitution, five thousand lines in all, not to mention poems in iambic metre and epodes.
§ 1.62 His statue has the following inscription:
At Salamis, which crushed the Persian might,
Solon the legislator first saw light.
He flourished, according to Sosicrates, about the 46th Olympiad, in the third year of which he was archon at Athens; it was then that he enacted his laws. He died in Cyprus at the age of eighty. His last injunctions to his relations were on this wise: that they should convey his bones to Salamis and, when they had been reduced to ashes, scatter them over the soil. Hence Cratinus in his play, The Chirons, makes him say:
This is my island home; my dust, men say,
Is scattered far and wide o'er Ajax' land.
§ 1.63 An epigram of my own is also contained in the collection of Epigrams in Various Metres mentioned above, where I have discoursed of all the illustrious dead in all metres and rhythms, in epigrams and lyrics. Here it is:
Far Cyprian fire his body burnt; his bones,
Turned into dust, made grain at Salamis:
Wheel-like, his pillars bore his soul on high;
So light the burden of his laws on men.
It is said that he was the author of the apophthegm Nothing too much, Ne quid nimis. According to Dioscurides in his Memorabilia, when he was weeping for the loss of his son, of whom nothing more is known, and some one said to him, It is all of no avail, he replied, That is why I weep, because it is of no avail.
The following letters are attributed to Solon:
Solon to Periander
§ 1.64 You tell me that many are plotting against you. You must lose no time if you want to get rid of them all. A conspirator against you might arise from a quite unexpected quarter, say, one who had fears for his personal safety or one who disliked your timorous dread of anything and everything. He would earn the gratitude of the city who found out that you had no suspicion. The best course would be to resign power, and so be quit of the reproach. But if you must at all hazards remain tyrant, endeavour to make your mercenary force stronger than the forces of the city. Then you have no one to fear, and need not banish any one.
Solon to Epimenides
It seems that after all I was not to confer much benefit on Athenians by my laws, any more than you by purifying the city. For religion and legislation are not sufficient in themselves to benefit cities; it can only be done by those who lead the multitude in any direction they choose. And so, if things are going well, religion and legislation are beneficial; if not, they are of no avail.
§ 1.65 Nor are my laws nor all my enactments any better; but the popular leaders did the commonwealth harm by permitting licence, and could not hinder Pisistratus from setting up a tyranny. And, when I warned them, they would not believe me. He found more credit when he flattered the people than I when I told them the truth. I laid my arms down before the generals' quarters and told the people that I was wiser than those who did not see that Pisistratus was aiming at tyranny, and more courageous than those who shrank from resisting him. They, however, denounced Solon as mad. And at last I protested: My country, I, Solon, am ready to defend thee by word and deed; but some of my countrymen think me mad. Wherefore I will go forth out of their midst as the sole opponent of Pisistratus; and let them, if they like, become his bodyguard. For you must know, my friend, that he was beyond measure ambitious to be tyrant.
§ 1.66 He began by being a popular leader; his next step was to inflict wounds on himself and appear before the court of the Heliaia, crying out that these wounds had been inflicted by his enemies; and he requested them to give him a guard of 400 young men. And the people without listening to me granted him the men, who were armed with clubs. And after that he destroyed the democracy. It was in vain that I sought to free the poor amongst the Athenians from their condition of serfdom, if now they are all the slaves of one master, Pisistratus.
Solon to Pisistratus
I am sure that I shall suffer no harm at your hands; for before you became tyrant I was your friend, and now I have no quarrel with you beyond that of every Athenian who disapproves of tyranny. Whether it is better for them to be ruled by one man or to live under a democracy, each of us must decide for himself upon his own judgement.
§ 1.67 You are, I admit, of all tyrants the best; but I see that it is not well for me to return to Athens. I gave the Athenians equality of civil rights; I refused to become tyrant when I had the opportunity; how then could I escape censure if I were now to return and set my approval on all that you are doing?
Solon to Croesus
I admire you for your kindness to me; and, by Athena, if I had not been anxious before all things to live in a democracy, I would rather have fixed my abode in your palace than at Athens, where Pisistratus is setting up a rule of violence. But in truth to live in a place where all have equal rights is more to my liking. However, I will come and see you, for I am eager to make your acquaintance.
§ 1.68 3. CHILON
Chilon, son of Damagetas, was a Lacedaemonian. He wrote a poem in elegiac metre some 200 lines in length; and he declared that the excellence of a man is to divine the future so far as it can be grasped by reason. When his brother grumbled that he was not made ephor as Chilon was, the latter replied, I know how to submit to injustice and you do not. He was made ephor in the 55th Olympiad; Pamphila, however, says the 56th. He first became ephor, according to Sosicrates, in the archonship of Euthydemus. He first proposed the appointment of ephors as auxiliaries to the kings, though Satyrus says this was done by Lycurgus.
As Herodotus relates in his first book, when Hippocrates was sacrificing at Olympia and his cauldrons boiled of their own accord, it was Chilon who advised him not to marry, or, if he had a wife, to divorce her and disown his children.
§ 1.69 The tale is also told that he inquired of Aesop what Zeus was doing and received the answer: He is humbling the proud and exalting the humble. Being asked wherein lies the difference between the educated and the uneducated, Chilon answered, In good hope. What is hard? To keep a secret, to employ leisure well, to be able to bear an injury. These again are some of his precepts: To control the tongue, especially at a banquet.
§ 1.70 Not to abuse our neighbours, for if you do, things will be said about you which you will regret. Do not use threats to any one; for that is womanish. Be more ready to visit friends in adversity than in prosperity. Do not make an extravagant marriage. De mortuis nil nisi bonum. Honour old age. Consult your own safety. Prefer a loss to a dishonest gain: the one brings pain at the moment, the other for all time. Do not laugh at another's misfortune. When strong, be merciful, if you would have the respect, not the fear, of your neighbours. Learn to be a wise master in your own house. Let not your tongue outrun your thought. Control anger. Do not hate divination. Do not aim at impossibilities. Let no one see you in a hurry. Gesticulation in speaking should be avoided as a mark of insanity. Obey the laws. Be restful.
§ 1.71 Of his songs the most popular is the following: By the whetstone gold is tried, giving manifest proof; and by gold is the mind of good and evil men brought to the test. He is reported to have said in his old age that he was not aware of having ever broken the law throughout his life; but on one point he was not quite clear. In a suit in which a friend of his was concerned he himself pronounced sentence according to the law, but he persuaded his colleague who was his friend to acquit the accused, in order at once to maintain the law and yet not to lose his friend.
He became very famous in Greece by his warning about the island of Cythera off the Laconian coast. For, becoming acquainted with the nature of the island, he exclaimed: Would it had never been placed there, or else had been sunk in the depths of the sea.
§ 1.72 And this was a wise warning; for Demaratus, when an exile from Sparta, advised Xerxes to anchor his fleet off the island; and if Xerxes had taken the advice Greece would have been conquered. Later, in the Peloponnesian war, Nicias reduced the island and placed an Athenian garrison there, and did the Lacedaemonians much mischief.
He was a man of few words; hence Aristagoras of Miletus calls this style of speaking Chilonean. . . . is of Branchus, founder of the temple at Branchidae. Chilon was an old man about the 52nd Olympiad, when Aesop the fabulist was flourishing. According to Hermippus, his death took place at Pisa, just after he had congratulated his son on an Olympic victory in boxing. It was due to excess of joy coupled with the weakness of a man stricken in years. And all present joined in the funeral procession.
I have written an epitaph on him also, which runs as follows:
§ 1.73 I praise thee, Pollux, for that Chilon's son
By boxing feats the olive chaplet won.
Nor at the father's fate should we repine;
He died of joy; may such a death be mine.
The inscription on his statue runs thus:
Here Chilon stands, of Sparta's warrior race,
Who of the Sages Seven holds highest place.
His apophthegm is: Give a pledge, and suffer for it. A short letter is also ascribed to him.
Chilon to Periander
You tell me of an expedition against foreign enemies, in which you yourself will take the field. In my opinion affairs at home are not too safe for an absolute ruler; and I deem the tyrant happy who dies a natural death in his own house.
§ 1.74 4. PITTACUS
Pittacus was the son of Hyrrhadius and a native of Mitylene. Duris calls his father a Thracian. Aided by the brothers of Alcaeus he overthrew Melanchrus, tyrant of Lesbos; and in the war between Mitylene and Athens for the territory of Achileis he himself had the chief command on the one side, and Phrynon, who had won an Olympic victory in the pancratium, commanded the Athenians. Pittacus agreed to meet him in single combat; with a net which he concealed beneath his shield he entangled Phrynon, killed him, and recovered the territory. Subsequently, as Apollodorus states in his Chronology, Athens and Mitylene referred their claims to arbitration. Periander heard the appeal and gave judgement in favour of Athens.
§ 1.75 At the time, however, the people of Mitylene honoured Pittacus extravagantly and entrusted him with the government. He ruled for ten years and brought the constitution into order, and then laid down his office. He lived another ten years after his abdication and received from the people of Mitylene a grant of land, which he dedicated as sacred domain; and it bears his name to this day Sosicrates relates that he cut off a small portion for himself and pronounced the half to be more than the whole. Furthermore, he declined an offer of money made him by Croesus, saying that he had twice as much as he wanted; for his brother had died without issue and he had inherited his estate.
§ 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.'
§ 1.77 Plato also cites him in the Protagoras: Even the gods do not fight against necessity. Again, Office shows the man. Once, when asked what is the best thing, he replied, To do well the work in hand. And, when Croesus inquired what is the best rule, he answered, The rule of the shifting wood, by which he meant the law. He also urged men to win bloodless victories. When the Phocaean said that we must search for a good man, Pittacus rejoined, If you seek too carefully, you will never find him. He answered various inquiries thus: What is agreeable? Time. Obscure? The future. Trustworthy? The earth. Untrustworthy? The sea. It is the part of prudent men, he said, before difficulties arise, to provide against their arising;
§ 1.78 and of courageous men to deal with them when they have arisen. Do not announce your plans beforehand; for, if they fail, you will be laughed at. Never reproach any one with a misfortune, for fear of Nemesis. Duly restore what has been entrusted to you. Speak no ill of a friend, nor even of an enemy. Practise piety. Love temperance. Cherish truth, fidelity, skill, cleverness, sociability, carefulness.
Of his songs the most popular is this:
With bow and well-stored quiver
We must march against our foe,
Words of his tongue can no man trust,
For in his heart there is a deceitful thought.
§ 1.79 He also wrote poems in elegiac metre, some 600 lines, and a prose work On Laws for the use of the citizens.
He was flourishing about the 42nd Olympiad. He died in the archonship of Aristomenes, in the third year of the 52nd Olympiad, having lived more than seventy years, to a good old age. The inscription on his monument runs thus:
Here holy Lesbos, with a mother's woe,
Bewails her Pittacus whom death laid low.
To him belongs the apophthegm, Know thine opportunity.
There was another Pittacus, a legislator, as is stated by Favorinus in the first book of his Memorabilia, and by Demetrius in his work on Men of the Same Name. He was called the Less.
To return to the Sage: the story goes that a young man took counsel with him about marriage, and received this answer, as given by Callimachus in his Epigrams:
§ 1.80 A stranger of Atarneus thus inquired of Pittacus, the son of Hyrrhadius:
Old sire, two offers of marriage are made to me; the one bride is in wealth and birth my equal;
The other is my superior. Which is the better? Come now and advise me which of the two I shall wed.
So spake he. But Pittacus, raising his staff, an old man's weapon, said, See there, yonder boys will tell you the whole tale.
The boys were whipping their tops to make them go fast and spinning them in a wide open space.
Follow in their track, said he. So he approached near, and the boys were saying, Keep to your own sphere.
When he heard this, the stranger desisted from aiming at the lordlier match, assenting to the warning of the boys.
And, even as he led home the humble bride, so do you, Dion, keep to your own sphere.
§ 1.81 The advice seems to have been prompted by his situation. For he had married a wife superior in birth to himself: she was the sister of Draco, the son of Penthilus, and she treated him with great haughtiness.
Alcaeus nicknamed him σαράπους and σάραπος because he had flat feet and dragged them in walking; also Chilblains, because he had chapped feet, for which their word was χειράς; and Braggadocio, because he was always swaggering; Paunch and Potbelly, because he was stout; a Diner-in-the-Dark, because he dispensed with a lamp; and the Sloven, because he was untidy and dirty. The exercise he took was grinding corn, as related by Clearchus the philosopher.
The following short letter is ascribed to him:
Pittacus to Croesus
You bid me come to Lydia in order to see your prosperity: but without seeing it I can well believe that the son of Alyattes is the most opulent of kings. There will be no advantage to me in a journey to Sardis, for I am not in want of money, and my possessions are sufficient for my friends as well as myself. Nevertheless, I will come, to be entertained by you and to make your acquaintance.
§ 1.82 5. BIAS
Bias, the son of Teutames, was born at Priene, and by Satyrus is placed at the head of the Seven Sages. Some make him of a wealthy family, but Duris says he was a labourer living in the house. Phanodicus relates that he ransomed certain Messenian maidens captured in war and brought them up as his daughters, gave them dowries, and restored them to their fathers in Messenia. In course of time, as has been already related, the bronze tripod with the inscription To him that is wise having been found at Athens by the fishermen, the maidens according to Satyrus, or their father according to other accounts, including that of Phanodicus, came forward into the assembly and, after the recital of their own adventures, pronounced Bias to be wise. And thereupon the tripod was dispatched to him; but Bias, on seeing it, declared that Apollo was wise, and refused to take the tripod.
§ 1.83 But others say that he dedicated it to Heracles in Thebes, since he was a descendant of the Thebans who had founded a colony at Priene; and this is the version of Phanodieus.
A story is told that, while Alyattes was besieging Priene, Bias fattened two mules and drove them into the camp, and that the king, when he saw them, was amazed at the good condition of the citizens actually extending to their beasts of burden. And he decided to make terms and sent a messenger. But Bias piled up heaps of sand with a layer of corn on the top, and showed them to the man, and finally, on being informed of this, Alyattes made a treaty of peace with the people of Priene. Soon afterwards, when Alyattes sent to invite Bias to his court, he replied, Tell Alyattes, from me, to make his diet of onions, that is, to weep.
§ 1.84 It is also stated that he was a very effective pleader; but he was accustomed to use his powers of speech to a good end. Hence it is to this that Demodicus of Leros makes reference in the line:
If you happen to be prosecuting a suit, plead as they do at Priene;
and Hipponax thus: More powerful in pleading causes than Bias of Priene.
This was the manner of his death. He had been pleading in defence of some client in spite of his great age. When he had finished speaking, he reclined his head on his grandson's bosom. The opposing counsel made a speech, the judges voted and gave their verdict in favour of the client of Bias, who, when the court rose, was found dead in his grandson's arms.
§ 1.85 The city gave him a magnificent funeral and inscribed on his tomb:
Here Bias of Priene lies, whose name
Brought to his home and all Ionia fame.
My own epitaph is:
Here Bias rests. A quiet death laid low
The aged head which years had strewn with snow.
His pleading done, his friend preserved from harms,
A long sleep took him in his grandson's arms.
He wrote a poem of 2000 lines on Ionia and the manner of rendering it prosperous. Of his songs the most popular is the following:
Find favour with all the citizens . . . . . . in whatever state you dwell.
For this earns most gratitude; the headstrong spirit often flashes forth with harmful bane.
§ 1.86 The growth of strength in man is nature's work; but to set forth in speech the interests of one's country is the gift of soul and reason. Even chance brings abundance of wealth to many. He also said that he who could not bear misfortune was truly unfortunate; that it is a disease of the soul to be enamoured of things impossible of attainment; and that we ought not to dwell upon the woes of others. Being asked what is difficult, he replied, Nobly to endure a change for the worse. He was once on a voyage with some impious men; and, when a storm was encountered, even they began to call upon the gods for help. Peace! said he, lest they hear and become aware that you are here in the ship. When an impious man asked him to define piety, he was silent; and when the other inquired the reason, I am silent, he replied, because you are asking questions about what does not concern you.
§ 1.87 Being asked What is sweet to men, he answered, Hope. He said he would rather decide a dispute between two of his enemies than between two of his friends; for in the latter case he would be certain to make one of his friends his enemy, but in the former case he would make one of his enemies his friend. Asked what occupation gives a man most pleasure, he replied, Making money. He advised men to measure life as if they had both a short and a long time to live; to love their friends as if they would some day hate them, the majority of mankind being bad. Further, he gave this advice: Be slow to set about an enterprise, but persevere in it steadfastly when once it is undertaken. Do not be hasty of speech, for that is a sign of madness.
§ 1.88 Cherish wisdom. Admit the existence of the gods. If a man is unworthy, do not praise him because of his wealth. Gain your point by persuasion, not by force. Ascribe your good actions to the gods. Make wisdom your provision for the journey from youth to old age; for it is a more certain support than all other possessions.
Bias is mentioned by Hipponax as stated above, and Heraclitus, who is hard to please, bestows upon him especial praise in these words: In Priene lived Bias, son of Teutames, a man of more consideration than any. And the people of Priene dedicated a precinct to him, which is called the Teutameum. His apophthegm is: Most men are bad.
§ 1.89 6. CLEOBULUS
Cleobulus, the son of Euagoras, was born at Lindus, but according to Duris he was a Carian. Some say that he traced his descent back to Heracles, that he was distinguished for strength and beauty, and was acquainted with Egyptian philosophy. He had a daughter Cleobuline, who composed riddles in hexameters; she is mentioned by Cratinus, who gives one of his plays her name, in the plural form Cleobulinae. He is also said to have rebuilt the temple of Athena which was founded by Danaus.
He was the author of songs and riddles, making some 3000 lines in all.
The inscription on the tomb of Midas is said by some to be his:
I am a maiden of bronze and I rest upon Midas's tomb. So long as water shall flow and tall trees grow, and the sun shall rise and shine,
§ 1.90 and the bright moon, and rivers shall run and the sea wash the shore, here abiding on his tearsprinkled tomb I shall tell the passers-by – Midas is buried here.
The evidence they adduce is a poem of Simonides in which he says:
Who, if he trusts his wits, will praise Cleobulus the dweller at Lindus for opposing the strength of a column to everflowing rivers, the flowers of spring, the flame of the sun, and the golden moon and the eddies of the sea? But all things fall short of the might of the gods; even mortal hands break marble in pieces; this is a fool's devising.
The inscription cannot be by Homer, because he lived, they say, long before Midas.
The following riddle of Cleobulus is preserved in Pamphila's collection:
§ 1.91 One sire there is, he has twelve sons, and each of these has twice thirty daughters different in feature; some of the daughters are white, the others again are black; they are immortal, and yet they all die.
And the answer is, The year.
Of his songs the most popular are: It is want of taste that reigns most widely among mortals and multitude of words; but due season will serve. Set your mind on something good. Do not become thoughtless or rude. He said that we ought to give our daughters to their husbands maidens in years but women in wisdom; thus signifying that girls need to be educated as well as boys. Further, that we should render a service to a friend to bind him closer to us, and to an enemy in order to make a friend of him. For we have to guard against the censure of friends and the intrigues of enemies.
§ 1.92 When anyone leaves his house, let him first inquire what he means to do; and on his return let him ask himself what he has effected. Moreover, he advised men to practise bodily exercise; to be listeners rather than talkers; to choose instruction rather than ignorance; to refrain from ill-omened words; to be friendly to virtue, hostile to vice; to shun injustice; to counsel the state for the best; not to be overcome by pleasure; to do nothing by violence; to educate their children; to put an end to enmity. Avoid being affectionate to your wife, or quarrelling with her, in the presence of strangers; for the one savours of folly, the other of madness. Never correct a servant over your wine, for you will be thought to be the worse for wine. Mate with one of your own rank; for if you take a wife who is superior to you, her kinsfolk will become your masters.
§ 1.93 When men are being bantered, do not laugh at their expense, or you will incur their hatred. Do not be arrogant in prosperity; if you fall into poverty, do not humble yourself. Know how to bear the changes of fortune with nobility.
He died at the ripe age of seventy; and the inscription over him is:
Here the wise Rhodian, Cleobulus, sleeps,
And o'er his ashes sea-proud Lindus weeps.
His apophthegm was: Moderation is best. And he wrote to Solon the following letter:
Cleobulus to Solon
You have many friends and a home wherever you go; but the most suitable for Solon will, say I, be Lindus, which is governed by a democracy. The island lies on the high seas, and one who lives here has nothing to fear from Pisistratus. And friends from all parts will come to visit you.
§ 1.94 7. PERIANDER
Periander, the son of Cypselus, was born at Corinth, of the family of the Heraclidae. His wife was Lysida, whom he called Melissa. Her father was Procles, tyrant of Epidaurus, her mother Eristheneia, daughter of Aristocrates and sister of Aristodemus, who together reigned over nearly the whole of Arcadia, as stated by Heraclides of Pontus in his book On Government. By her he had two sons, Cypselus and Lycophron, the younger a man of intelligence, the elder weak in mind.
§ 1.95 However, after some time, in a fit of anger, he killed his wife by throwing a footstool at her, or by a kick, when she was pregnant, having been egged on by the slanderous tales of concubines, whom he afterwards burnt alive.
When the son whose name was Lycophron grieved for his mother, he banished him to Corcyra. And when well advanced in years he sent for his son to be his successor in the tyranny; but the Corcyraeans put him to death before he could set sail. Enraged at this, he dispatched the sons of the Corcyraeans to Alyattes that he might make eunuchs of them; but, when the ship touched at Samos, they sat as suppliants in the temple of Hera, and were saved by the Samians.
Periander lost heart and died at the age of eighty. Sosicrates' account is that he died forty-one years before Croesus, just before the 49th Olympiad. Herodotus in his first book says that he was a guest-friend of Thrasybulus, tyrant of Miletus.
§ 1.96 Aristippus in the first book of his work On the Luxury of the Ancients accuses him of incest with his own mother Crateia, and adds that, when the fact came to light, he vented his annoyance in indiscriminate severity. Ephorus records his now that, if he won the victory at Olympia in the chariot-race, he would set up a golden statue. When the victory was won, being in sore straits for gold, he despoiled the women of all the ornaments which he had seen them wearing at some local festival. He was thus enabled to send the votive offering.
There is a story that he did not wish the place where he was buried to be known, and to that end contrived the following device. He ordered two young men to go out at night by a certain road which he pointed out to them; they were to kill the man they met and bury him. He afterwards ordered four more to go in pursuit of the two, kill them and bury them; again, he dispatched a larger number in pursuit of the four. Having taken these measures, he himself encountered the first pair and was slain. The Corinthians placed the following inscription upon a cenotaph:
§ 1.97 In mother earth here Periander lies,
The prince of sea-girt Corinth rich and wise.
My own epitaph on him is:
Grieve not because thou hast not gained thine end,
But take with gladness all the gods may send;
Be warned by Periander's fate, who died
Of grief that one desire should be denied.
To him belongs the maxim: Never do anything for money; leave gain to trades pursued for gain. He wrote a didactic poem of 2000 lines. He said that those tyrants who intend to be safe should make loyalty their bodyguard, not arms. When some one asked him why he was tyrant, he replied, Because it is as dangerous to retire voluntarily as to be dispossessed. Here are other sayings of his: Rest is beautiful. Rashness has its perils. Gain is ignoble. Democracy is better than tyranny. Pleasures are transient, honours are immortal.
§ 1.98 Be moderate in prosperity, prudent in adversity. Be the same to your friends whether they are in prosperity or in adversity. Whatever agreement you make, stick to it. Betray no secret. Correct not only the offenders but also those who are on the point of offending.
He was the first who had a bodyguard and who changed his government into a tyranny, and he would let no one live in the town without his permission, as we know from Ephorus and Aristotle.
He flourished about the 38th Olympiad and was tyrant for forty years.
Sotion and Heraclides and Pamphila in the fifth book of her Commentaries distinguish two Perianders, one a tyrant, the other a sage who was born in Ambracia.
§ 1.99 Neanthes of Cyzicus also says this, and adds that they were near relations. And Aristotle maintains that the Corinthian Periander was the sage; while Plato denies this.
His apophthegm is: Practice makes perfect. He planned a canal across the Isthmus.
A letter of his is extant:
Periander to the Wise Men
Very grateful am I to the Pythian Apollo that I found you gathered together; and my letters will also bring you to Corinth, where, as you know, I will give you a thoroughly popular reception. I learn that last year you met in Sardis at the Lydian court. Do not hesitate therefore to come to me, the ruler of Corinth. The Corinthians will be pleased to see you coming to the house of Periander.
Periander to Procles
§ 1.100 The murder of my wife was unintentional; but yours is deliberate guilt when you set my son's heart against me. Either therefore put an end to my son's harsh treatment, or I will revenge myself on you. For long ago I made expiation to you for your daughter by burning on her pyre the apparel of all the women of Corinth.
There is also a letter written to him by Thrasybulus, as follows:
Thrasybulus to Periander
I made no answer to your herald; but I took him into a cornfield, and with a staff smote and cut off the over-grown ears of corn, while he accompanied me. And if you ask him what he heard and what he saw, he will give his message. And this is what you must do if you want to strengthen your absolute rule: put to death those among the citizens who are pre-eminent, whether they are hostile to you or not. For to an absolute ruler even a friend is an object of suspicion.
§ 1.101 8. ANACHARSIS
Anacharsis the Scythian was the son of Gnurus and brother of Caduidas, king of Scythia. His mother was a Greek, and for that reason he spoke both languages. He wrote on the institutions of the Greeks and the Scythians, dealing with simplicity of life and military matters, a poem of 800 lines. So outspoken was he that he furnished occasion for a proverb, To talk like a Scythian.
Sosicrates makes him come to Athens about the 47th Olympiad in the archonship of Eucrates. Hermippus relates that on his arrival at the house of Solon he told one of the servants to announce that Anacharsis had come and was desirous of seeing him and, if possible, of becoming his guest.
§ 1.102 The servant delivered his message and was ordered by Solon to tell him that men as a rule choose their guests from among their own countrymen. Then Anacharsis took him up and said that he was now in his own country and had a right to be entertained as a guest. And Solon, struck with his ready wit, admitted him into his house and made him his greatest friend.
§ 1.103 After a while Anacharsis returned to Scythia, where, owing to his enthusiasm for everything Greek, he was supposed to be subverting the national institutions, and was killed by his brother while they were out hunting together. When struck by the arrow he exclaimed, My reputation carried me safe through Greece, but the envy it excited at home has been my ruin. In some accounts it is said that he was slain while performing Greek rites.
Here is my own epitaph upon him:
Back from his travels Anacharsis came,
To hellenize the Scythians all aglow;
Ere half his sermon could their minds inflame,
A winged arrow laid the preacher low.
It was a saying of his that the vine bore three kinds of grapes: the first of pleasure, the next of intoxication, and the third of disgust. He said he wondered why in Greece experts contend in the games and non-experts award the prizes. Being asked how one could avoid becoming a toper, he answered, By keeping before your eyes the disgraceful exhibition made by the drunkard. Again, he expressed surprise that the Greek lawgivers should impose penalties on wanton outrage, while they honour athletes for bruising one another. After ascertaining that the ship's side was four fingers' breadth in thickness, he remarked that the passengers were just so far from death.
§ 1.104 Oil he called a drug which produced madness, because the athletes when they anoint themselves with it are maddened against each other. How is it, he asked, that the Greeks prohibit falsehood and yet obviously tell falsehoods in retail trade? Nor could he understand why at the beginning of their feasts they drink from small goblets and when they are full from large ones. The inscription on his statues is: Bridle speech, gluttony, and sensuality. Being asked if there were flutes in Scythia, he replied, No, nor yet vines. To the question what vessels were the safest his reply was, Those which have been hauled ashore. And he declared the strangest thing he had seen in Greece to be that they leave the smoke on the mountains and convey the fuel into the city. When some one inquired which were more in number, the living or the dead, he rejoined, In which category, then, do you place those who are on the seas? When some Athenian reproached him with being a Scythian, he replied, Well, granted that my country is a disgrace to me, you are a disgrace to your country.
§ 1.105 To the question, What among men is both good and bad? his answer was The tongue. He said it was better to have one friend of great worth than many friends worth nothing at all. He defined the market as a place set apart where men may deceive and overreach one another. When insulted by a boy over the wine he said, If you cannot carry your liquor when you are young, boy, you will be a water carrier when you are old.
According to some he was the inventor of the anchor and the potter's wheel.
To him is attributed the following letter:
Anacharsis to Croesus
I have come, O King of the Lydians, to the land of the Greeks to be instructed in their manners and pursuits. And I am not even in quest of gold, but am well content to return to Scythia a better man. At all events here I am in Sardis, being greatly desirous of making your acquaintance.
§ 1.106 9. MYSON
Myson was the son of Strymon, according to Sosicrates, who quotes Hermippus as his authority, and a native of Chen, a village in the district of Oeta or Laconia; and he is reckoned one of the Seven Sages. They say that his father was a tyrant. We are told by some one that, when Anacharsis inquired if there were anyone wiser than himself, the Pythian priestess gave the response which has already been quoted in the Life of Thales as her reply to a question by Chilon:
Myson of Chen in Oeta; this is he
Who for wiseheartedness surpasseth thee.
His curiosity aroused, Anacharsis went to the village in summer time and found him fitting a share to a plough and said, Myson, this is not the season for the plough. It is just the time to repair it, was the reply.
§ 1.107 Others cite the first line of the oracle differently, Myson of Chen in Etis, and inquire what Myson of Etis means. Parmenides indeed explains that Etis is a district in Laconia to which Myson belonged. Sosicrates in his Successions of Philosophers makes him belong to Etis on the father's side and to Chen on the mother's. Euthyphro, the son of Heraclides of Pontus, declares that he was a Cretan, Eteia being a town in Crete. Anaxilaus makes him an Arcadian.
Myson is mentioned by Hipponax, the words being:
And Myson, whom Apollo's self proclaimed
Wisest of all men.
Aristoxenus in his Historical Gleanings says he was not unlike Timon and Apemantus, for he was a misanthrope.
§ 1.108 At any rate he was seen in Lacedaemon laughing to himself in a lonely spot; and when some one suddenly appeared and asked him why he laughed when no one was near, he replied, That is just the reason. And Aristoxenus says that the reason why he remained obscure was that he belonged to no city but to a village and that an unimportant one. Hence because he was unknown, some writers, but not Plato the philosopher, attributed to Pisistratus the tyrant what properly belonged to Myson. For Plato mentions him in the Protagoras, reckoning him as one of the Seven instead of Periander.
He used to say we should not investigate facts by the light of arguments, but arguments by the light of facts; for the facts were not put together to fit the arguments, but the arguments to fit the facts.
He died at the age of ninety-seven.
§ 1.109 10. EPIMEDES
Epimenides, according to Theopompus and many other writers, was the son of Phaestius; some, however, make him the son of Dosiadas, others of Agesarchus. He was a native of Cnossos in Crete, though from wearing his hair long he did not look like a Cretan. One day he was sent into the country by his father to look for a stray sheep, and at noon he turned aside out of the way, and went to sleep in a cave, where he slept for fifty-seven years. After this he got up and went in search of the sheep, thinking he had been asleep only a short time. And when he could not find it, he came to the farm, and found everything changed and another owner in possession. Then he went back to the town in utter perplexity; and there, on entering his own house, he fell in with people who wanted to know who he was. At length he found his younger brother, now an old man, and learnt the truth from him.
§ 1.110 So he became famous throughout Greece, and was believed to be a special favourite of heaven.
Hence, when the Athenians were attacked by pestilence, and the Pythian priestess bade them purify the city, they sent a ship commanded by Nicias, son of Niceratus, to Crete to ask the help of Epimenides. And he came in the 46th Olympiad, purified their city, and stopped the pestilence in the following way. He took sheep, some black and others white, and brought them to the Areopagus; and there he let them go whither they pleased, instructing those who followed them to mark the spot where each sheep lay down and offer a sacrifice to the local divinity. And thus, it is said, the plague was stayed. Hence even to this day altars may be found in different parts of Attica with no name inscribed upon them, which are memorials of this atonement. According to some writers he declared the plague to have been caused by the pollution which Cylon brought on the city and showed them how to remove it. In consequence two young men, Cratinus and Ctesibius, were put to death and the city was delivered from the scourge.
§ 1.111 The Athenians voted him a talent in money and a ship to convey him back to Crete. The money he declined, but he concluded a treaty of friendship and alliance between Cnossos and Athens.
So he returned home and soon afterwards died. According to Phlegon in his work On Longevity he lived one hundred and fifty-seven years; according to the Cretans two hundred and ninety-nine years. Xenophanes of Colophon gives his age as 154, according to hearsay.
He wrote a poem On the Birth of the Curetes and Corybantes and a Theogony, 5000 lines in all; another on the building of the Argo and Jason's voyage to Colchis in 6500 lines.
§ 1.112 He also compiled prose works On Sacrifices and the Cretan Constitution, also On Minos and Rhadamanthus, running to about 4000 lines. At Athens again he founded the sanctuary of the Solemn Gods (Semnai Theai), as Lobon of Argos tells us in his work On Poets. He is stated to have been the first who purified houses and fields, and the first who founded sanctuaries. Some are found to maintain that he did not go to sleep but withdrew himself for a while, engaged in gathering simples.
There is extant a letter of his to Solon the lawgiver, containing a scheme of government which Minos drew up for the Cretans. But Demetrius of Magnesia, in his work on poets and writers of the same name, endeavours to discredit the letter on the ground that it is late and not written in the Cretan dialect but in Attic, and New Attic too. However, I have found another letter by him which runs as follows:
Epimenides to Solon
§ 1.113 Courage, my friend. For if Pisistratus had attacked the Athenians while they were still serfs and before they had good laws, he would have secured power in perpetuity by the enslavement of the citizens. But, as it is, he is reducing to subjection men who are no cowards, men who with pain and shame remember Solon's warning and will never endure to be under a tyrant. But even should Pisistratus himself hold down the city, I do not expect that his power will be continued to his children; for it is hard to contrive that men brought up as free men under the best laws should be slaves. But, instead of going on your travels, come quietly to Crete to me; for here you will have no monarch to fear, whereas, if some of his friends should fall in with you while you are travelling about, I fear you may come to some harm.'
§ 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.
§ 1.115 Theopompus relates in his Mirabilia that, as he was building a shrine to the Nymphs, a voice came from heaven: Epimenides, not to the Nymphs but to Zeus, and that he foretold to the Cretans the defeat of the Lacedaemonians by the Arcadians, as already stated; and in very truth they were crushed at Orchomenus.
And he became old in as many days as he had slept years; for this too is stated by Theopompus. Myronianus in his Parallels declares that the Cretans called him one of the Curetes. The Lacedaemonians guard his body in their own keeping in obedience to a certain oracle; this is stated by Sosibius the Laconian.
There have been two other men named Epimenides, namely, the genealogist and another who wrote in Doric Greek about Rhodes.
§ 1.116 11. PHERECYDES
Pherecydes, the son of Babys, and a native of Syros according to Alexander in his Successions of Philosophers, was a pupil of Pittacus. Theopompus tells us that he was the first who wrote in Greek on nature and the gods.
Many wonderful stories are told about him. He was walking along the beach in Samos and saw a ship running before the wind; he exclaimed that in no long time she would go down, and, even as he watched her, down she went. And as he was drinking water which had been drawn up from a well he predicted that on the third day there would be an earthquake; which came to pass. And on his way from Olympia he advised Perilaus, his host in Messene, to move thence with all belonging to him; but Perilaus could not be persuaded, and Messene was afterwards taken.
§ 1.117 He bade the Lacedaemonians set no store by gold or silver, as Theopompus says in his Mirabilia. He told them he had received this command from Heracles in a dream; and the same night Heracles enjoined upon the kings to obey Pherecydes. But some fasten this story upon Pythagoras.
Hermippus relates that on the eve of war between Ephesus and Magnesia he favoured the cause of the Ephesians, and inquired of some one passing by where he came from, and on receiving the reply From Ephesus, he said, Drag me by the legs and place me in the territory of Magnesia; and take a message to your countrymen that after their victory they must bury me there, and that this is the last injunction of Pherecydes.
§ 1.118 The man gave the message; a day later the Ephesians attacked and defeated the Magnesians; they found Pherecydes dead and buried him on the spot with great honours. Another version is that he came to Delphi and hurled himself down from Mount Corycus. But Aristoxenus in his work On Pythagoras and his School affirms that he died a natural death and was buried by Pythagoras in Delos; another account again is that he died of a verminous disease, that Pythagoras was also present and inquired how he was, that he thrust his finger through the doorway and exclaimed, My skin tells its own tale, a phrase subsequently applied by the grammarians as equivalent to getting worse, although some wrongly understand it to mean all is going well.
§ 1.119 He maintained that the divine name for table is θυωρός, or that which takes care of offerings.
Andron of Ephesus says that there were two natives of Syros who bore the name of Pherecydes: the one was an astronomer, the other was the son of Babys and a theologian, teacher of Pythagoras. Eratosthenes, however, says that there was only one Pherecydes of Syros, the other Pherecydes being an Athenian and a genealogist.
There is preserved a work by Pherecydes of Syros, a work which begins thus: Zeus and Time and Earth were from all eternity, and Earth was called Γῆ because Zeus gave her earth (γῆ) as guerdon (γέρας). His sun-dial is also preserved in the island of Syros.
Duris in the second book of his Horae gives the inscription on his tomb as follows:
§ 1.120 All knowledge that a man may have had I;
Yet tell Pythagoras, were more thereby,
That first of all Greeks is he; I speak no lie.
Ion of Chios says of him:
With manly worth endowed and modesty,
Though he be dead, his soul lives happily,
If wise Pythagoras indeed saw light
And read the destinies of men aright.
There is also an epigram of my own in the Pherecratean metre:
The famous Pherecydes, to whom Syros gave birth,
§ 1.121 when his former beauty was consumed by vermin, gave orders that he should be taken straight to the Magnesian land in order that he might give victory to the noble Ephesians. There was an oracle, which he alone knew, enjoining this; and there he died among them. It seems then it is a true tale; if anyone is truly wise, he brings blessings both in his lifetime and when he is no more.
He lived in the 59th Olympiad. He wrote the following letter:
Pherecydes to Thales
§ 1.122 May yours be a happy death when your time comes. Since I received your letter, I have been attacked by disease. I am infested with vermin and subject to a violent fever with shivering fits. I have therefore given instructions to my servants to carry my writing to you after they have buried me. I would like you to publish it, provided that you and the other sages approve of it, and not otherwise. For I myself am not yet satisfied with it. The facts are not absolutely correct, nor do I claim to have discovered the truth, but merely such things as one who inquires about the gods picks up. The rest must be thought out, for mine is all guess-work. As I was more and more weighed down with my malady, I did not permit any of the physicians or my friends to come into the room where I was, but, as they stood before the door and inquired how I was, I thrust my finger through the keyhole and showed them how plague-stricken I was; and I told them to come to-morrow to bury Pherecydes.
So much for those who are called the Sages, with whom some writers also class Pisistratus the tyrant. I must now proceed to the philosophers and start with the philosophy of Ionia. Its founder was Thales, and Anaximander was his pupil.
§ 2.1 BOOK 2: 1. ANAXIMANDER
Anaximander, the son of Praxiades, was a native of Miletus. He laid down as his principle and element that which is unlimited without defining it as air or water or anything else. He held that the parts undergo change, but the whole is unchangeable; that the earth, which is of spherical shape, lies in the midst, occupying the place of a centre; that the moon, shining with borrowed light, derives its illumination from the sun; further, that the sun is as large as the earth and consists of the purest fire.
He was the first inventor of the gnomon and set it up for a sundial in Lacedaemon, as is stated by Favorinus in his Miscellaneous History, in order to mark the solstices and the equinoxes; he also constructed clocks to tell the time.
§ 2.2 He was the first to draw on a map the outline of land and sea, and he constructed a globe as well.
His exposition of his doctrines took the form of a summary which no doubt came into the hands, among others, of Apollodorus of Athens. He says in his Chronology that in the second year of the 58th Olympiad Anaximander was sixty-four, and that he died not long afterwards. Thus he flourished almost at the same time as Polycrates the tyrant of Samos. There is a story that the boys laughed at his singing, and that, when he heard of it, he rejoined, Then to please the boys I must improve my singing.
There is another Anaximander, also of Miletus, a historian who wrote in the Ionic dialect.
§ 2.3 2. ANAXIMENES
Anaximenes, the son of Eurystratus, a native of Miletus, was a pupil of Anaximander. According to some, he was also a pupil of Parmenides. He took for his first principle air or that which is unlimited. He held that the stars move round the earth but do not go under it. He writes simply and unaffectedly in the Ionic dialect.
According to Apollodorus he was contemporary with the taking of Sardis and died in the 63rd Olympiad.
There have been two other men named Anaximenes, both of Lampsacus, the one a rhetorician who wrote on the achievements of Alexander, the other, the nephew of the rhetorician, who was a historian.
Anaximenes the philosopher wrote the following letters:
Anaximenes to Pythagoras
§ 2.4 Thales, the son of Examyas, has met an unkind fate in his old age. He went out from the court of his house at night, as was his custom, with his maidservant to view the stars, and, forgetting where he was, as he gazed, he got to the edge of a steep slope and fell over. In such wise have the Milesians lost their astronomer. Let us who were his pupils cherish his memory, and let it be cherished by our children and pupils; and let us not cease to entertain one another with his words. Let all our discourse begin with a reference to Thales.
Anaximenes to Pythagoras
§ 2.5 You were better advised than the rest of us when you left Samos for Croton, where you live in peace. For the sons of Aeaces work incessant mischief, and Miletus is never without tyrants. The king of the Medes is another terror to us, not indeed so long as we are willing to pay tribute; but the Ionians are on the point of going to war with the Medes to secure their common freedom, and once we are at war we have no more hope of safety. How then can Anaximenes any longer think of studying the heavens when threatened with destruction or slavery? Meanwhile you find favour with the people of Croton and with the other Greeks in Italy; and pupils come to you even from Sicily.
§ 2.6 3. ANAXAGORAS
Anaxagoras, the son of Hegesibulus or Eubulus, was a native of Clazomenae. He was a pupil of Anaximenes, and was the first who set mind above matter, for at the beginning of his treatise, which is composed in attractive and dignified language, he says, All things were together; then came Mind and set them in order. This earned for Anaxagoras himself the nickname of Nous or Mind, and Timon in his Silli says of him:
Then, I ween, there is Anaxagoras, a doughty champion, whom they call Mind, because forsooth his was the mind which suddenly woke up and fitted closely together all that had formerly been in a medley of confusion.
He was eminent for wealth and noble birth, and furthermore for magnanimity, in that he gave up his patrimony to his relations.
§ 2.7 For, when they accused him of neglecting it, he replied, Why then do you not look after it? And at last he went into retirement and engaged in physical investigation without troubling himself about public affairs. When some one inquired, Have you no concern in your native land? Gently, he replied, I am greatly concerned with my fatherland, and pointed to the sky.
He is said to have been twenty years old at the invasion of Xerxes and to have lived seventy-two years. Apollodorus in his Chronology says that he was born in the 70th Olympiad, and died in the first year of the 88th Olympiad. He began to study philosophy at Athens in the archonship of Callias when he was twenty; Demetrius of Phalerum states this in his list of archons; and at Athens they say he remained for thirty years.
§ 2.8 He declared the sun to be a mass of red-hot metal and to be larger than the Peloponnesus, though others ascribe this view to Tantalus; he declared that there were dwellings on the moon, and moreover hills and ravines. He took as his principles the homoeomeries or homogeneous molecules; for just as gold consists of fine particles which are called gold-dust, so he held the whole universe to be compounded of minute bodies having parts homogeneous to themselves. His moving principle was Mind; of bodies, he said, some, like earth, were heavy, occupying the region below, others, light like fire, held the region above, while water and air were intermediate in position. For in this way over the earth, which is flat, the sea sinks down after the moisture has been evaporated by the sun.
§ 2.9 In the beginning the stars moved in the sky as in a revolving dome, so that the celestial pole which is always visible was vertically overhead; but subsequently the pole took its inclined position. He held the Milky Way to be a reflection of the light of stars which are not shone upon by the sun; comets to be a conjunction of planets which emit flames; shooting-stars to be a sort of sparks thrown off by the air. He held that winds arise when the air is rarefied by the sun's heat; that thunder is a clashing together of the clouds, lightning their violent friction; an earthquake a subsidence of air into the earth.
Animals were produced from moisture, heat, and an earthy substance; later the species were propagated by generation from one another, males from the right side, females from the left.
§ 2.10 There is a story that he predicted the fall of the meteoric stone at Aegospotami, which he said would fall from the sun. Hence Euripides, who was his pupil, in the Phathon calls the sun itself a golden clod. Furthermore, when he went to Olympia, he sat down wrapped in a sheep-skin cloak as if it were going to rain; and the rain came. When some one asked him if the hills at Lampsacus would ever become sea, he replied, Yes, it only needs time. Being asked to what end he had been born, he replied, To study sun and moon and heavens. To one who inquired, You miss the society of the Athenians? his reply was, Not I, but they miss mine. When he saw the tomb of Mausolus, he said, A costly tomb is an image of an estate turned into stone.
§ 2.11 To one who complained that he was dying in a foreign land, his answer was, The descent to Hades is much the same from whatever place we start.
Favorinus in his Miscellaneous History says Anaxagoras was the first to maintain that Homer in his poems treats of virtue and justice, and that this thesis was defended at greater length by his friend Metrodorus of Lampsacus, who was the first to busy himself with Homer's physical doctrine. Anaxagoras was also the first to publish a book with diagrams. Silenus in the first book of his History gives the archonship of Demylus as the date when the meteoric stone fell,
§ 2.12 and says that Anaxagoras declared the whole firmament to be made of stones; that the rapidity of rotation caused it to cohere; and that if this were relaxed it would fall.
Of the trial of Anaxagoras different accounts are given. Sotion in his Succession of the Philosophers says that he was indicted by Cleon on a charge of impiety, because he declared the sun to be a mass of red-hot metal; that his pupil Pericles defended him, and he was fined five talents and banished. Satyrus in his Lives says that the prosecutor was Thucydides, the opponent of Pericles, and the charge one of treasonable correspondence with Persia as well as of impiety; and that sentence of death was passed on Anaxagoras by default.
§ 2.13 When news was brought him that he was condemned and his sons were dead, his comment on the sentence was, Long ago nature condemned both my judges and myself to death; and on his sons, I knew that my children were born to die. Some, however, tell this story of Solon, and others of Xenophon. That he buried his sons with his own hands is asserted by Demetrius of Phalerum in his work On Old Age. Hermippus in his Lives says that he was confined in the prison pending his execution; that Pericles came forward and asked the people whether they had any fault to find with him in his own public career; to which they replied that they had not. Well, he continued, I am a pupil of Anaxagoras; do not then be carried away by slanders and put him to death. Let me prevail upon you to release him. So he was released; but he could not brook the indignity he had suffered and committed suicide.
§ 2.14 Hieronymus in the second book of his Scattered Notes states that Pericles brought him into court so weak and wasted from illness that he owed his acquittal not so much to the merits of his case as to the sympathy of the judges. So much then on the subject of his trial.
He was supposed to have borne Democritus a grudge because he had failed to get into communication with him. At length he retired to Lampsacus and there died. And when the magistrates of the city asked if there was anything he would like done for him, he replied that he would like them to grant an annual holiday to the boys in the month in which he died; and the custom is kept up to this day.
§ 2.15 So, when he died, the people of Lampsacus gave him honourable burial and placed over his grave the following inscription:
Here Anaxagoras, who in his quest
Of truth scaled heaven itself, is laid to rest.
I also have written an epigram upon him:
The sun's a molten mass,
This is his crime, his life must pay the price.
Pericles from that fate
Rescued his friend too late;
His spirit crushed, by his own hand he dies.
There have been three other men who bore the name of Anaxagoras [of whom no other writer gives a complete list]. The first was a rhetorician of the school of Isocrates; the second a sculptor, mentioned by Antigonus; the third a grammarian, pupil of Zenodotus.
§ 2.16 4. ARCHELAUS
Archelaus, the son of Apollodorus, or as some say of Midon, was a citizen of Athens or of Miletus; he was a pupil of Anaxagoras, who first brought natural philosophy from Ionia to Athens. Archelaus was the teacher of Socrates. He was called the physicist inasmuch as with him natural philosophy came to an end, as soon as Socrates had introduced ethics. It would seem that Archelaus himself also treated of ethics, for he has discussed laws and goodness and justice; Socrates took the subject from him and, having improved it to the utmost, was regarded as its inventor. Archelaus laid down that there were two causes of growth or becoming, heat and cold; that living things were produced from slime; and that what is just and what is base depends not upon nature but upon convention.
§ 2.17 His theory is to this effect. Water is melted by heat and produces on the one hand earth in so far as by the action of fire it sinks and coheres, while on the other hand it generates air in so far as it overflows on all sides. Hence the earth is confined by the air, and the air by the circumambient fire. Living things, he holds, are generated from the earth when it is heated and throws off slime of the consistency of milk to serve as a sort of nourishment, and in this same way the earth produced man. He was the first who explained the production of sound as being the concussion of the air, and the formation of the sea in hollow places as due to its filtering through the earth. He declared the sun to be the largest of the heavenly bodies and the universe to be unlimited.
There have been three other men who bore the name of Archelaus: the topographer who described the countries traversed by Alexander; the author of a treatise on Natural Curiosities; and lastly a rhetorician who wrote a handbook on his art.
§ 2.18 5. SOCRATES
Socrates was the son of Sophroniscus, a sculptor, and of Phaenarete, a midwife, as we read in the Theaetetus of Plato; he was a citizen of Athens and belonged to the deme Alopece. It was thought that he helped Euripides to make his plays; hence Mnesimachus writes:
This new play of Euripides is The Phrygians; and Socrates provides the wood for frying.
And again he calls Euripides an engine riveted by Socrates. And Callias in The Captives:
a. Pray why so solemn, why this lofty air?
b. I've every right; I'm helped by Socrates.
Aristophanes in The Clouds:
'Tis he composes for Euripides
Those clever plays, much sound and little sense.
§ 2.19 According to some authors he was a pupil of Anaxagoras, and also of Damon, as Alexander states in his Successions of Philosophers. When Anaxagoras was condemned, he became a pupil of Archelaus the physicist; Aristoxenus asserts that Archelaus was very fond of him. Duris makes him out to have been a slave and to have been employed on stonework, and the draped figures of the Graces on the Acropolis have by some been attributed to him. Hence the passage in Timon's Silli:
From these diverged the sculptor, a prater about laws, the enchanter of Greece, inventor of subtle arguments, the sneerer who mocked at fine speeches, half-Attic in his mock humility.
He was formidable in public speaking, according to Idomeneus;
§ 2.20 moreover, as Xenophon tells us, the Thirty forbade him to teach the art of words. And Aristophanes attacks him in his plays for making the worse appear the better reason. For Favorinus in his Miscellaneous History says Socrates and his pupil Aeschines were the first to teach rhetoric; and this is confirmed by Idomeneus in his work on the Socratic circle. Again, he was the first who discoursed on the conduct of life, and the first philosopher who was tried and put to death. Aristoxenus, the son of Spintharus, says of him that he made money; he would at all events invest sums, collect the interest accruing, and then, when this was expended, put out the principal again.
Demetrius of Byzantium relates that Crito removed him from his workshop and educated him, being struck by his beauty of soul;
§ 2.21 that he discussed moral questions in the workshops and the market-place, being convinced that the study of nature is no concern of ours; and that he claimed that his inquiries embraced
Whatso'er is good or evil in an house;
that frequently, owing to his vehemence in argument, men set upon him with their fists or tore his hair out; and that for the most part he was despised and laughed at, yet bore all this ill-usage patiently. So much so that, when he had been kicked, and some one expressed surprise at his taking it so quietly, Socrates rejoined, Should I have taken the law of a donkey, supposing that he had kicked me? Thus far Demetrius.
§ 2.22 Unlike most philosophers, he had no need to travel, except when required to go on an expedition. The rest of his life he stayed at home and engaged all the more keenly in argument with anyone who would converse with him, his aim being not to alter his opinion but to get at the truth. They relate that Euripides gave him the treatise of Heraclitus and asked his opinion upon it, and that his reply was, The part I understand is excellent, and so too is, I dare say, the part I do not understand; but it needs a Delian diver to get to the bottom of it.
He took care to exercise his body and kept in good condition. At all events he served on the expedition to Amphipolis; and when in the battle of Delium Xenophon had fallen from his horse, he stepped in and saved his life.
§ 2.23 For in the general flight of the Athenians he personally retired at his ease, quietly turning round from time to time and ready to defend himself in case he were attacked. Again, he served at Potidaea, whither he had gone by sea, as land communications were interrupted by the war; and while there he is said to have remained a whole night without changing his position, and to have won the prize of valour. But he resigned it to Alcibiades, for whom he cherished the tenderest affection, according to Aristippus in the fourth book of his treatise On the Luxury of the Ancients. Ion of Chios relates that in his youth he visited Samos in the company of Archelaus; and Aristotle that he went to Delphi; he went also to the Isthmus, according to Favorinus in the first book of his Memorabilia.
§ 2.24 His strength of will and attachment to the democracy are evident from his refusal to yield to Critias and his colleagues when they ordered him to bring the wealthy Leon of Salamis before them for execution, and further from the fact that he alone voted for the acquittal of the ten generals; and again from the facts that when he had the opportunity to escape from the prison he declined to do so, and that he rebuked his friends for weeping over his fate, and addressed to them his most memorable discourses in the prison.
He was a man of great independence and dignity of character. Pamphila in the seventh book of her Commentaries tells how Alcibiades once offered him a large site on which to build a house; but he replied, Suppose, then, I wanted shoes and you offered me a whole hide to make a pair with, would it not be ridiculous in me to take it?
§ 2.25 Often when he looked at the multitude of wares exposed for sale, he would say to himself, How many things I can do without! And he would continually recite the lines:
The purple robe and silver's shine
More fits an actor's need than mine.
He showed his contempt for Archelaus of Macedon and Scopas of Cranon and Eurylochus of Larissa by refusing to accept their presents or to go to their court. He was so orderly in his way of life that on several occasions when pestilence broke out in Athens he was the only man who escaped infection.
§ 2.26 Aristotle says that he married two wives: his first wife was Xanthippe, by whom he had a son, Lamprocles; his second wife was Myrto, the daughter of Aristides the Just, whom he took without a dowry. By her he had Sophroniscus and Menexenus. Others make Myrto his first wife; while some writers, including Satyrus and Hieronymus of Rhodes, affirm that they were both his wives at the same time. For they say that the Athenians were short of men and, wishing to increase the population, passed a decree permitting a citizen to marry one Athenian woman and have children by another; and that Socrates accordingly did so.
§ 2.27 He could afford to despise those who scoffed at him. He prided himself on his plain living, and never asked a fee from anyone. He used to say that he most enjoyed the food which was least in need of condiment, and the drink which made him feel the least hankering for some other drink; and that he was nearest to the gods in that he had the fewest wants. This may be seen from the Comic poets, who in the act of ridiculing him give him high praise. Thus Aristophanes:
O man that justly desirest great wisdom, how blessed will be thy life amongst Athenians and Greeks, retentive of memory and thinker that thou art, with endurance of toil for thy character; never art thou weary whether standing or walking, never numb with cold, never hungry for breakfast; from wine and from gross feeding and all other frivolities thou dost turn away.
§ 2.28 Ameipsias too, when he puts him on the stage wearing a cloak, says:
a. You come to join us, Socrates, worthiest of a small band and emptiest by far! You are a robust fellow. Where can we get you a proper coat?
b. Your sorry plight is an insult to the cobblers.
a. And yet, hungry as he is, this man has never stooped to flatter.
This disdainful, lofty spirit of his is also noticed by Aristophanes when he says:
Because you stalk along the streets, rolling your eyes, and endure, barefoot, many a hardship, and gaze up at us [the clouds].
And yet at times he would even put on fine clothes to suit the occasion, as in Plato's Symposium, where he is on his way to Agathon's house.
§ 2.29 He showed equal ability in both directions, in persuading and dissuading men; thus, after conversing with Theaetetus about knowledge, he sent him away, as Plato says, fired with a divine impulse; but when Euthyphro had indicted his father for manslaughter, Socrates, after some conversation with him upon piety, diverted him from his purpose. Lysis, again, he turned, by exhortation, into a most virtuous character. For he had the skill to draw his arguments from facts. And when his son Lamprocles was violently angry with his mother, Socrates made him feel ashamed of himself, as I believe Xenophon has told us. When Plato's brother Glaucon was desirous of entering upon politics, Socrates dissuaded him, as Xenophon relates, because of his want of experience; but on the contrary he encouraged Charmides to take up politics because he had a gift that way.
§ 2.30 He roused Iphicrates the general to a martial spirit by showing him how the fighting cocks of Midias the barber flapped their wings in defiance of those of Callias. Glauconides demanded that he should be acquired for the state as if he were some pheasant or peacock.
He used to say it was strange that, if you asked a man how many sheep he had, he could easily tell you the precise number; whereas he could not name his friends or say how many he had, so slight was the value he set upon them. Seeing Euclides keenly interested in eristic arguments, he said to him: You will be able to get on with sophists, Euclides, but with men not at all. For he thought there was no use in this sort of hair-splitting, as Plato shows us in the Euthydemus.
§ 2.31 Again, when Charmides offered him some slaves in order that he might derive an income from them, he declined the offer; and according to some he scorned the beauty of Alcibiades. He would extol leisure as the best of possessions, according to Xenophon in the Symposium. There is, he said, only one good, that is, knowledge, and only one evil, that is, ignorance; wealth and good birth bring their possessor no dignity, but on the contrary evil. At all events, when some one told him that Antisthenes' mother was a Thracian, he replied, Nay, did you expect a man so noble to have been born of two Athenian parents? He made Crito ransom Phaedo who, having been taken prisoner in the war, was kept in degrading slavery, and so won him for philosophy.
§ 2.32 Moreover, in his old age he learnt to play the lyre, declaring that he saw no absurdity in learning a new accomplishment. As Xenophon relates in the Symposium, it was his regular habit to dance, thinking that such exercise helped to keep the body in good condition. He used to say that his supernatural sign warned him beforehand of the future; that to make a good start was no trifling advantage, but a trifle turned the scale; and that he knew nothing except just the fact of his ignorance. He said that, when people paid a high price for fruit which had ripened early, they must despair of seeing the fruit ripen at the proper season. And, being once asked in what consisted the virtue of a young man, he said, In doing nothing to excess. He held that geometry should be studied to the point at which a man is able to measure the land which he acquires or parts with.
§ 2.33 On hearing the line of Euripides' play Auge where the poet says of virtue:
'Tis best to let her roam at will,
he got up and left the theatre. For he said it was absurd to make a hue and cry about a slave who could not be found, and to allow virtue to perish in this way. Some one asked him whether he should marry or not, and received the reply, Whichever you do you will repent it. He used to express his astonishment that the sculptors of marble statues should take pains to make the block of marble into a perfect likeness of a man, and should take no pains about themselves lest they should turn out mere blocks, not men. He recommended to the young the constant use of the mirror, to the end that handsome men might acquire a corresponding behaviour, and ugly men conceal their defects by education.
§ 2.34 He had invited some rich men and, when Xanthippe said she felt ashamed of the dinner, Never mind, said he, for if they are reasonable they will put up with it, and if they are good for nothing, we shall not trouble ourselves about them. He would say that the rest of the world lived to eat, while he himself ate to live. Of the mass of men who do not count he said it was as if some one should object to a single tetradrachm as counterfeit and at the same time let a whole heap made up of just such pieces pass as genuine. Aeschines said to him, I am a poor man and have nothing else to give, but I offer you myself, and Socrates answered, Nay, do you not see that you are offering me the greatest gift of all? To one who complained that he was overlooked when the Thirty rose to power, he said, You are not sorry for that, are you?
§ 2.35 To one who said, You are condemned by the Athenians to die, he made answer, So are they, by nature. But some ascribe this to Anaxagoras. When his wife said, You suffer unjustly, he retorted, Why, would you have me suffer justly? He had a dream that some one said to him:
On the third day thou shalt come to the fertile fields of Phthia;
and he told Aeschines, On the third day I shall die. When he was about to drink the hemlock, Apollodorus offered him a beautiful garment to die in: What, said he, is my own good enough to live in but not to die in? When he was told that So-and-so spoke ill of him, he replied, True, for he has never learnt to speak well.
§ 2.36 When Antisthenes turned his cloak so that the tear in it came into view, I see, said he, your vanity through your cloak. To one who said, Don't you find so-and-so very offensive? his reply was, No, for it takes two to make a quarrel. We ought not to object, he used to say, to be subjects for the Comic poets, for if they satirize our faults they will do us good, and if not they do not touch us. When Xanthippe first scolded him and then drenched him with water, his rejoinder was, Did I not say that Xanthippe's thunder would end in rain? When Alcibiades declared that the scolding of Xanthippe was intolerable, Nay, I have got used to it, said he, as to the continued rattle of a windlass. And you do not mind the cackle of geese.
§ 2.37 No, replied Alcibiades, but they furnish me with eggs and goslings. And Xanthippe, said Socrates, is the mother of my children. When she tore his coat off his back in the market-place and his acquaintances advised him to hit back, Yes, by Zeus, said he, in order that while we are sparring each of you may join in with `Go it, Socrates!' `Well done, Xanthippe!' He said he lived with a shrew, as horsemen are fond of spirited horses, but just as, when they have mastered these, they can easily cope with the rest, so I in the society of Xanthippe shall learn to adapt myself to the rest of the world.
These and the like were his words and deeds, to which the Pythian priestess bore testimony when she gave Chaerephon the famous response:
Of all men living Socrates most wise.
§ 2.38 For this he was most envied; and especially because he would take to task those who thought highly of themselves, proving them to be fools, as to be sure he treated Anytus, according to Plato's Meno. For Anytus could not endure to be ridiculed by Socrates, and so in the first place stirred up against him Aristophanes and his friends; then afterwards he helped to persuade Meletus to indict him on a charge of impiety and corrupting the youth.
The indictment was brought by Meletus, and the speech was delivered by Polyeuctus, according to Favorinus in his Miscellaneous History. The speech was written by Polycrates the sophist, according to Hermippus; but some say that it was by Anytus. Lycon the demagogue had made all the needful preparations.
§ 2.39 Antisthenes in his Successions of Philosophers, and Plato in his Apology, say that there were three accusers, Anytus, Lycon and Meletus; that Anytus was roused to anger on behalf of the craftsmen and politicians, Lycon on behalf of the rhetoricians, Meletus of the poets, all three of which classes had felt the lash of Socrates. Favorinus in the first book of his Memorabilia declares that the speech of Polycrates against Socrates is not authentic; for he mentions the rebuilding of the walls by Conon, which did not take place till six years after the death of Socrates. And this is the case.
§ 2.40 The affidavit in the case, which is still preserved, says Favorinus, in the Metroon, ran as follows: This indictment and affidavit is sworn by Meletus, the son of Meletus of Pitthos, against Socrates, the son of Sophroniscus of Alopece: Socrates is guilty of refusing to recognize the gods recognized by the state, and of introducing other new divinities. He is also guilty of corrupting the youth. The penalty demanded is death. The philosopher then, after Lysias had written a defence for him, read it through and said: A fine speech, Lysias; it is not, however, suitable to me. For it was plainly more forensic than philosophical.
§ 2.41 Lysias said, If it is a fine speech, how can it fail to suit you? Well, he replied, would not fine raiment and fine shoes be just as unsuitable to me?
Justus of Tiberias in his book entitled The Wreath says that in the course of the trial Plato mounted the platform and began: Though I am the youngest, men of Athens, of all who ever rose to address you – whereupon the judges shouted out, Get down! Get down! When therefore he was condemned by 281 votes more than those given for acquittal, and when the judges were assessing what he should suffer or what fine he should pay, he proposed to pay 25 drachmae. Eubulides indeed says he offered
§ 2.42 When this caused an uproar among the judges, he said, Considering my services, I assess the penalty at maintenance in the Prytaneum at the public expense.
Sentence of death was passed, with an accession of eighty fresh votes. He was put in prison, and a few days afterwards drank the hemlock, after much noble discourse which Plato records in the Phaedo. Further, according to some, he composed a paean beginning:
All hail, Apollo, Delos' lord!
Hail Artemis, ye noble pair!
Dionysodorus denies that he wrote the paean. He also composed a fable of Aesop, not very skilfully, beginning:
Judge not, ye men of Corinth, Aesop cried,
Of virtue as the jury-courts decide.
§ 2.43 So he was taken from among men; and not long afterwards the Athenians felt such remorse that they shut up the training grounds and gymnasia. They banished the other accusers but put Meletus to death; they honoured Socrates with a bronze statue, the work of Lysippus, which they placed in the hall of processions. And no sooner did Anytus visit Heraclea than the people of that town expelled him on that very day. Not only in the case of Socrates but in very many others the Athenians repented in this way. For they fined Homer (so says Heraclides ) 50 drachmae for a madman, and said Tyrtaeus was beside himself, and they honoured Astydamas before Aeschylus and his brother poets with a bronze statue.
§ 2.44 Euripides upbraids them thus in his Palamedes: Ye have slain, have slain, the all-wise, the innocent, the Muses' nightingale. This is one account; but Philochorus asserts that Euripides died before Socrates.
He was born, according to Apollodorus in his Chronology, in the archonship of Apsephion, in the fourth year of the 77th Olympiad, on the 6th day of the month of Thargelion, when the Athenians purify their city, which according to the Delians is the birthday of Artemis. He died in the first year of the 95th Olympiad at the age of seventy. With this Demetrius of Phalerum agrees; but some say he was sixty when he died.
§ 2.45 Both were pupils of Anaxagoras, I mean Socrates and Euripides, who was born in the first year of the 75th Olympiad in the archonship of Calliades.
In my opinion Socrates discoursed on physics as well as on ethics, since he holds some conversations about providence, even according to Xenophon, who, however, declares that he only discussed ethics. But Plato, after mentioning Anaxagoras and certain other physicists in the Apology, treats for his own part themes which Socrates disowned, although he puts everything into the mouth of Socrates.
Aristotle relates that a magician came from Syria to Athens and, among other evils with which he threatened Socrates, predicted that he would come to a violent end.
§ 2.46 I have written verses about him too, as follows:
Drink then, being in Zeus's palace, O Socrates; for truly did the god pronounce thee wise, being wisdom himself; for when thou didst frankly take the hemlock at the hands of the Athenians, they themselves drained it as it passed thy lips.
He was sharply criticized, according to Aristotle in his third book On Poetry, by a certain Antilochus of Lemnos, and by Antiphon the soothsayer, just as Pythagoras was by Cylon of Croton, or as Homer was assailed in his lifetime by Syagrus, and after his death by Xenophanes of Colophon. So too Hesiod was criticized in his lifetime by Cercops, and after his death by the aforesaid Xenophanes; Pindar by Amphimenes of Cos; thales by Pherecydes; Bias by Salarus of Priene; Pittacus by Antimenidas and Alcaeus; Anaxagoras by Sosibius; and Simonides by Timocreon.
§ 2.47 Of those who succeeded him and were called Socratics the chief were Plato, Xenophon, Antisthenes, and of ten names on the traditional list the most distinguished are Aeschines, Phaedo, Euclides, Aristippus. I must first speak of Xenophon; Antisthenes will come afterwards among the Cynics; after Xenophon I shall take the Socratics proper, and so pass on to Plato. With Plato the ten schools begin: he was himself the founder of the First Academy. This then is the order which I shall follow.
Of those who bear the name of Socrates there is one, a historian, who wrote a geographical work upon Argos; another, a Peripatetic philosopher of Bithynia; a third, a poet who wrote epigrams; lastly, Socrates of Cos, who wrote on the names of the gods.
§ 2.48 6. XENOPHON
Xenophon, the son of Gryllus, was a citizen of Athens and belonged to the deme Erchia; he was a man of rare modesty and extremely handsome. The story goes that Socrates met him in a narrow passage, and that he stretched out his stick to bar the way, while he inquired where every kind of food was sold. Upon receiving a reply, he put another question, And where do men become good and honourable? Xenophon was fairly pu2led; Then follow me, said Socrates, and learn. From that time onward he was a pupil of Socrates. He was the first to take notes of, and to give to the world, the conversation of Socrates, under the title of Memorabilia. Moreover, he was the first to write a history of philosophers.
Aristippus, in the fourth book of his work On the Luxury of the Ancients, declares that he was enamoured of Clinias,
§ 2.49 and said in reference to him, It is sweeter for me to gaze on Clinias than on all the fair sights in the world. I would be content to be blind to everything else if I could but gaze on him alone. I am vexed with the night and with sleep because I cannot see Clinias, and most grateful to the day and the sun for showing him to me.
He gained the friendship of Cyrus in the following way. He had an intimate friend named Proxenus, a Boeotian, a pupil of Gorgias of Leontini and a friend of Cyrus. Proxenus, while living in Sardis at the court of Cyrus, wrote a letter to Xenophon at Athens, inviting him to come and seek the friendship of Cyrus.
§ 2.50 Xenophon showed this letter to Socrates and asked his advice, which was that he should go to Delphi and consult the oracle. Xenophon complied and came into the presence of the god. He inquired, not whether he should go and seek service with Cyrus, but in what way he should do so. For this Socrates blamed him, yet at the same time he advised him to go. On his arrival at the court of Cyrus he became as warmly attached to him as Proxenus himself. We have his own sufficient narrative of all that happened on the expedition and on the return home. He was, however, at enmity with Meno of Pharsalus, the mercenary general, throughout the expedition, and, by way of abuse, charges him with having a favourite older than himself. Again, he reproaches one Apollonides with having had his ears bored.
§ 2.51 After the expedition and the misfortunes which overtook it in Pontus and the treacheries of Seuthes, the king of the Odrysians, he returned to Asia, having enlisted the troops of Cyrus as mercenaries in the service of Agesilaus, the Spartan king, to whom he was devoted beyond measure. About this time he was banished by the Athenians for siding with Sparta. When he was in Ephesus and had a sum of money, he entrusted one half of it to Megabyzus, the priest of Artemis, to keep until his return, or if he should never return, to apply to the erection of a statue in honour of the goddess. But the other half he sent in votive offerings to Delphi. Next he came to Greece with Agesilaus, who had been recalled to carry on the war against Thebes. And the Lacedaemonians conferred on him a privileged position.
§ 2.52 He then left Agesilaus and made his way to Scillus, a place in the territory of Elis not far from the city. According to Demetrius of Magnesia he was accompanied by his wife Philesia, and, in a speech written for the freedman whom Xenophon prosecuted for neglect of duty, Dinarchus mentions that his two sons Gryllus and Diodorus, the Dioscuri as they were called, also went with him. Megabyzus having arrived to attend the festival, Xenophon received from him the deposit of money and bought and dedicated to the goddess an estate with a river running through, which bears the same name Selinus as the river at Ephesus. And from that time onward he hunted, entertained his friends, and worked at his histories without interruption. Dinarchus, however, asserts that it was the Lacedaemonians who gave him a house and land.
§ 2.53 At the same time we are told that Phylopidas the Spartan sent to him at Scillus a present of captive slaves from Dardanus, and that he disposed of them as he thought fit, and that the Elians marched against Scillus, and owing to the slowness of the Spartans captured the place, whereupon his sons retired to Lepreum with a few of the servants, while Xenophon himself, who had previously gone to Elis, went next to Lepreum to join his sons, and then made his escape with them from Lepreum to Corinth and took up his abode there. Meanwhile the Athenians passed a decree to assist Sparta, and Xenophon sent his sons to Athens to serve in the army in defence of Sparta.
§ 2.54 According to Diocles in his Lives of the Philosophers, they had been trained in Sparta itself. Diodorus came safe out of the battle without performing any distinguished service, and he had a son of the same name (Gryllus) as his brother. Gryllus was posted with the cavalry and, in the battle which took place about Mantinea, fought stoutly and fell, as Ephorus relates in his twenty-fifth book, Cephisodorus being in command of the cavalry and Hegesilaus commander-in-chief. In this battle Epaminondas also fell. On this occasion Xenophon is said to have been sacrificing, with a chaplet on his head, which he removed when his son's death was announced. But afterwards, upon learning that he had fallen gloriously, he replaced the chaplet on his head.
§ 2.55 Some say that he did not even shed tears, but exclaimed, I knew my son was mortal. Aristotle mentions that there were innumerable authors of epitaphs and eulogies upon Gryllus, who wrote, in part at least, to gratify his father. Hermippus too, in his Life of Theophrastus, affirms that even Isocrates wrote an encomium on Gryllus. Timon, however, jeers at Xenophon in the lines:
A feeble pair or triad of works, or even a greater number, such as would come from Xenophon or the might of Aeschines, that not unpersuasive writer.
Such was his life. He flourished in the fourth year of the 94th Olympiad, and he took part in the expedition of Cyrus in the archonship of Xenaenetus in the year before the death of Socrates.
§ 2.56 He died, according to Ctesiclides of Athens in his list of archons and Olympic victors, in the first year of the 105th Olympiad, in the archonship of Callidemides, the year in which Philip, the son of Amyntas, came to the throne of Macedon. He died at Corinth, as is stated by Demetrius of Magnesia, obviously at an advanced age. He was a worthy man in general, particularly fond of horses and hunting, an able tactician as is clear from his writings, pious, fond of sacrificing, and an expert in augury from the victims; and he made Socrates his exact model.
He wrote some forty books in all, though the division into books is not always the same, namely:
§ 2.57 The Anabasis, with a preface to each separate book but not one to the whole work.
On the Duty of a Cavalry General.
A Defence of Socrates.
Hieron or Of Tyranny.
The Constitutions of Athens and Sparta.
Demetrius of Magnesia denies that the last of these works is by Xenophon. There is a tradition that he made Thucydides famous by publishing his history, which was unknown, and which he might have appropriated to his own use. By the sweetness of his narrative he earned the name of the Attic Muse. Hence he and Plato were jealous of each other, as will be stated in the chapter on Plato.
§ 2.58 There is an epigram of mine on him also:
Up the steep path to fame toiled Xenophon
In that long march of glorious memories;
In deeds of Greece, how bright his lesson shone!
How fair was wisdom seen in Socrates!
There is another on the circumstances of his death:
Albeit the countrymen of Cranaus and Cecrops condemned thee, Xenophon, to exile on account of thy friendship for Cyrus, yet hospitable Corinth welcomed thee, so well content with the delights of that city wast thou, and there didst resolve to take up thy rest.
§ 2.59 In other authorities I find the statement that he flourished, along with the other Socratics, in the 89th Olympiad, and Istrus affirms that he was banished by a decree of Eubulus and recalled by a decree of the same man.
There have been seven Xenophons: the first our subject himself; the second an Athenian, brother of Pythostratus, who wrote the Theseid, and himself the author, amongst other works, of a biography of Epaminondas and Pelopidas; the third a physician of Cos; the fourth the author of a history of Hannibal; the fifth an authority on legendary marvels; the sixth a sculptor, of Paros; the seventh a poet of the Old Comedy.
§ 2.60 7. AESCHINES
Aeschines was the son of Charinus the sausagemaker, but others make his father's name Lysanias. He was a citizen of Athens, industrious from his birth up. For this reason he never quitted Socrates; hence Socrates' remark, Only the sausage-maker's son knows how to honour me. Idomeneus declared that it was Aeschines, not Crito, who advised Socrates in the prison about making his escape, but that Plato put the words into the mouth of Crito because Aeschines was more attached to Aristippus than to himself. It was said maliciously – by Menedemus of Eretria in particular – that most of the dialogues which Aeschines passed off as his own were really dialogues of Socrates obtained by him from Xanthippe. Those of them which are said to have no beginning (ἀκέφαλοι) are very slovenly and show none of the vigour of Socrates; Pisistratus of Ephesus even denied that they were written by Aeschines.
§ 2.61 Persaeus indeed attributes the majority of the seven to Pasiphon of the school of Eretria, who inserted them among the dialogues of Aeschines. Moreover, Aeschines made use of the Little Cyrus, the Lesser Heracles and the Alcibiades of Antisthenes as well as dialogues by other authors. However that may be, of the writings of Aeschines those stamped with a Socratic character are seven, namely Miltiades, which for that reason is somewhat weak; then Callias, Axiochus, Aspasia, Alcibiades, Telauges, and Rhinon.
They say that want drove him to Sicily to the court of Dionysius, and that Plato took no notice of him, but he was introduced to Dionysius by Aristippus, and on presenting certain dialogues received gifts from him.
§ 2.62 Afterwards on his return to Athens he did not venture to lecture owing to the popularity of Plato and Aristippus. But he took fees from pupils, and subsequently composed forensic speeches for aggrieved clients. This is the point of Timon's reference to him as the might of Aeschines, that not unconvincing writer. They say that Socrates, seeing how he was pinched by poverty, advised him to borrow from himself by reducing his rations. Aristippus among others had suspicions of the genuineness of his dialogues. At all events, as he was reading one at Megara, Aristippus rallied him by asking, Where did you get that, you thief?
§ 2.63 Polycritus of Mende, in the first book of his History of Dionysius, says that he lived with the tyrant until his expulsion from Syracuse, and survived until the return of Dion, and that with him was Carcinus the tragic poet. There is also extant an epistle of Aeschines to Dionysius. That he had received a good rhetorical training is clear from his defence of the father of Phaeax the general, and from his defence of Dion. He is a close imitator of Gorgias of Leontini. Moreover, Lysias attacked him in a speech which he entitled On dishonesty. And from this too it is clear that he was a rhetorician. A single disciple of his is mentioned, Aristotle, whose nickname was Story.
§ 2.64 Panaetius thinks that, of all the Socratic dialogues, those by Plato, Xenophon, Antisthenes and Aeschines are genuine; he is in doubt about those ascribed to Phaedo and Euclides; but he rejects the others one and all.
There are eight men who have borne the name of Aeschines: (1) our subject himself; (2) the author of handbooks of rhetoric; (3) the orator who opposed Demosthenes; (4) an Arcadian, a pupil of Isocrates; (5) a Mitylenean whom they used to call the scourge of rhetoricians; (6) a Neapolitan, an Academic philosopher, a pupil and favourite of Melanthius of Rhodes; (7) a Milesian who wrote upon politics; (8) a sculptor.
§ 2.65 8. ARISTIPPUS
Aristippus was by birth a citizen of Cyrene and, as Aeschines informs us, was drawn to Athens by the fame of Socrates. Having come forward as a lecturer or sophist, as Phanias of Eresus, the Peripatetic, informs us, he was the first of the followers of Socrates to charge fees and to send money to his master. And on one occasion the sum of twenty minae which he had sent was returned to him, Socrates declaring that the supernatural sign would not let him take it; the very offer, in fact, annoyed him. Xenophon was no friend to Aristippus; and for this reason he has made Socrates direct against Aristippus the discourse in which he denounces pleasure. Not but what Theodorus in his work On Sects abuses him, and so does Plato in the dialogue On the Soul, as has been shown elsewhere.
§ 2.66 He was capable of adapting himself to place, time and person, and of playing his part appropriately under whatever circumstances. Hence he found more favour than anybody else with Dionysius, because he could always turn the situation to good account. He derived pleasure from what was present, and did not toil to procure the enjoyment of something not present Hence Diogenes called him the king's poodle Timon, too, sneered at him for luxury in these words:
Such was the delicate nature of Aristippus, who groped after error by touch.
He is said to have ordered a partridge to be bought at a cost of fifty drachmae, and, when someone censured him, he inquired, Would not you have given an obol for it? and, being answered in the affirmative, rejoined, Fifty drachmae are no more to me.
§ 2.67 And when Dionysius gave him his choice of three courtesans, he carried off all three, saying, Paris paid dearly for giving the preference to one out of three. And when he had brought them as far as the porch, he let them go. To such lengths did he go both in choosing and in disdaining. Hence the remark of Strato, or by some accounts of Plato, You alone are endowed with the gift to flaunt in robes or go in rags. He bore with Dionysius when he spat on him, and to one who took him to task he replied, If the fishermen let themselves be drenched with sea-water in order to catch a gudgeon, ought I not to endure to be wetted with negus in order to take a blenny?
§ 2.68 Diogenes, washing the dirt from his vegetables, saw him passing and jeered at him in these terms, If you had learnt to make these your diet, you would not have paid court to kings, to which his rejoinder was, And if you knew how to associate with men, you would not be washing vegetables. Being asked what he had gained from philosophy, he replied, The ability to feel at ease in any society. Being reproached for his extravagance, he said, If it were wrong to be extravagant, it would not be in vogue at the festivals of the gods.
Being once asked what advantage philosophers have, he replied, Should all laws be repealed, we shall go on living as we do now.
§ 2.69 When Dionysius inquired what was the reason that philosophers go to rich men's houses, while rich men no longer visit philosophers, his reply was that the one know what they need while the other do not. When he was reproached by Plato for his extravagance, he inquired, Do you think Dionysius a good man? and the reply being in the affirmative, And yet, said he, he lives more extravagantly than I do. So that there is nothing to hinder a man living extravagantly and well. To the question how the educated differ from the uneducated, he replied, Exactly as horses that have been trained differ from untrained horses. One day, as he entered the house of a courtesan, one of the lads with him blushed, whereupon he remarked, It is not going in that is dangerous, but being unable to go out.
§ 2.70 Some one brought him a knotty problem with the request that he would untie the knot. Why, you simpleton, said he, do you want it untied, seeing that it causes trouble enough as it is? It is better, he said, to be a beggar than to be uneducated; the one needs money, the others need to be humanized. One day that he was reviled, he tried to slip away; the other pursued him, asking, Why do you run away? Because, said he, as it is your privilege to use foul language, so it is my privilege not to listen. In answer to one who remarked that he always saw philosophers at rich men's doors, he said, So, too, physicians are in attendance on those who are sick, but no one for that reason would prefer being sick to being a physician.
§ 2.71 It happened once that he set sail for Corinth and, being overtaken by a storm, he was in great consternation. Some one said, We plain men are not alarmed, and are you philosophers turned cowards? To this he replied, The lives at stake in the two cases are not comparable. When some one gave himself airs for his wide learning, this is what he said: As those who eat most and take the most exercise are not better in health than those who restrict themselves to what they require, so too it is not wide reading but useful reading that tends to excellence. An advocate, having pleaded for him and won the case, thereupon put the question, What good did Socrates do you? Thus much, was the reply, that what you said of me in your speech was true.
§ 2.72 He gave his daughter Arete the very best advice, training her up to despise excess. He was asked by some one in what way his son would be the better for being educated. He replied, If nothing more than this, at all events, when in the theatre he will not sit down like a stone upon stone. When some one brought his son as a pupil, he asked a fee of 500 drachmae. The father objected, For that sum I can buy a slave. Then do so, was the reply, and you will have two. He said that he did not take money from his friends for his own use, but to teach them upon what objects their money should be spent. When he was reproached for employing a rhetorician to conduct his case, he made reply, Well, if I give a dinner, I hire a cook.
§ 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.
§ 2.74 To one who accused him of living with a courtesan, he put the question, Why, is there any difference between taking a house in which many people have lived before and taking one in which nobody has ever lived? The answer being No, he continued, Or again, between sailing in a ship in which ten thousand persons have sailed before and in one in which nobody has ever sailed? There is no difference. Then it makes no difference, said he, whether the woman you live with has lived with many or with nobody. To the accusation that, although he was a pupil of Socrates, he took fees, his rejoinder was, Most certainly I do, for Socrates, too, when certain people sent him corn and wine, used to take a little and return all the rest; and he had the foremost men in Athens for his stewards, whereas mine is my slave Eutychides. He enjoyed the favours of Lais, as Sotion states in the second book of his Successions of Philosophers.
§ 2.75 To those who censured him his defence was, I have Lais, not she me; and it is not abstinence from pleasures that is best, but mastery over them without ever being worsted. to one who reproached him with extravagance in catering, he replied, Wouldn't you have bought this if you could have got it for three obols? The answer being in the affirmative, Very well, then, said Aristippus, I am no longer a lover of pleasure, it is you who are a lover of money. One day Simus, the steward of Dionysius, a Phrygian by birth and a rascally fellow, was showing him costly houses with tesselated pavements, when Aristippus coughed up phlegm and spat in his face. And on his resenting this he replied, I could not find any place more suitable.
§ 2.76 When Charondas (or, as others say, Phaedo) inquired, Who is this who reeks with unguents? he replied, It is I, unlucky wight, and the still more unlucky Persian king. But, as none of the other animals are at any disadvantage on that account, consider whether it be not the same with man. Confound the effeminates who spoil for us the use of good perfume. Being asked how Socrates died, he answered, As I would wish to die myself. Polyxenus the sophist once paid him a visit and, after having seen ladies present and expensive entertainment, reproached him with it later. After an interval Aristippus asked him, Can you join us today?
§ 2.77 On the other accepting the invitation, Aristippus inquired, Why, then, did you find fault? For you appear to blame the cost and not the entertainment. When his servant was carrying money and found the load too heavy – the story is told by Bion in his Lectures – Aristippus cried, Pour away the greater part, and carry no more than you can manage. Being once on a voyage, as soon as he discovered the vessel to be manned by pirates, he took out his money and began to count it, and then, as if by inadvertence, he let the money fall into the sea, and naturally broke out into lamentation. Another version of the story attributes to him the further remark that it was better for the money to perish on account of Aristippus than for Aristippus to perish on account of the money. Dionysius once asked him what he was come for, and he said it was to impart what he had and obtain what he had not.
§ 2.78 But some make his answer to have been, When I needed wisdom, I went to Socrates; now that I am in need of money, I come to you. He used to complain of mankind that in purchasing earthenware they made trial whether it rang true, but had no regular standard by which to judge life. Others attribute this remark to Diogenes. One day Dionysius over the wine commanded everybody to put on purple and dance. Plato declined, quoting the line:
I could not stoop to put on women's robes.
Aristippus, however, put on the dress and, as he was about to dance, was ready with the repartee:
Even amid the Bacchic revelry
True modesty will not be put to shame.
§ 2.79 He made a request to Dionysius on behalf of a friend and, failing to obtain it, fell down at his feet. And when some one jeered at him, he made reply, It is not I who am to blame, but Dionysius who has his ears in his feet. He was once staying in Asia and was taken prisoner by Artaphernes, the satrap. Can you be cheerful under these circumstances? some one asked. Yes, you simpleton, was the reply, for when should I be more cheerful than now that I am about to converse with Artaphernes? Those who went through the ordinary curriculum, but in their studies stopped short at philosophy, he used to compare to the suitors of Penelope. For the suitors won Melantho, Polydora and the rest of the handmaidens, but were anything but successful in their wooing of the mistress.
§ 2.80 A similar remark is ascribed to Ariston. For, he said, when Odysseus went down into the under-world, he saw nearly all the dead and made their acquaintance, but he never set eyes upon their queen herself.
Again, when Aristippus was asked what are the subjects which handsome boys ought to learn, his reply was, Those which will be useful to them when they are grown up. To the critic who censured him for leaving Socrates to go to Dionysius, his rejoinder was, Yes, but I came to Socrates for education and to Dionysius for recreation. When he had made some money by teaching, Socrates asked him, Where did you get so much? to which he replied, Where you got so little.
§ 2.81 A courtesan having told him that she was with child by him, he replied, You are no more sure of this than if, after running through coarse rushes, you were to say you had been pricked by one in particular. Someone accused him of exposing his son as if it was not his offspring Whereupon he replied, Phlegm, too, and vermin we know to be of our own begetting, but for all that, because they are useless, we cast them as far from us as possible. He received a sum of money from Dionysius at the same time that Plato carried off a book and, when he was twitted with this, his reply was,, Well, I want money, Plato wants books. Some one asked him why he let himself be refuted by Dionysius. For the same reason, said he, as the others refute him.
§ 2.82 Dionysius met a request of his for money with the words, Nay, but you told me that the wise man would never be in want. To which he retorted, Pay! Pay! and then let us discuss the question; and when he was paid, Now you see, do you not, said he, that I was not found wanting? Dionysius having repeated to him the lines:
Whoso betakes him to a prince's court Becomes his slave, albeit of free birth,
If a free man he come, no slave is he.
This is stated by Diocles in his work On the Lives of Philosophers; other writers refer the anecdotes to Plato. After getting in a rage with Aeschines, he presently addressed him thus: Are we not to make it up and desist from vapouring, or will you wait for some one to reconcile us over the wine-bowl? To which he replied, Agreed.
§ 2.83 Then remember, Aristippus went on, that, though I am your senior, I made the first approaches. Thereupon Aeschines said, Well done, by Hera, you are quite right; you are a much better man than I am. For the quarrel was of my beginning, you make the first move to friendship. Such are the repartees which are attributed to him.
There have been four men called Aristippus, (1) our present subject, (2) the author of a book about Arcadia, (3) the grandchild by a daughter of the first Aristippus, who was known as his mother's pupil, (4) a philosopher of the New Academy.
The following books by the Cyrenaic philosopher are in circulation: a history of Libya in three Books, sent to Dionysius; one work containing twenty-five dialogues, some written in Attic, some in Doric, as follows:
§ 2.84 Artabazus.
To the shipwrecked.
To the Exiles.
To a Beggar.
To Lais, On the Mirror.
To the Master of the Revels.
To his Friends.
To those who blame him for his love of old wine and of women.
To those who blame him for extravagant living.
Letter to his daughter Arete.
To one in training for Olympia.
An Occasional Piece to Dionysius.
Another, On the Statue.
Another, On the daughter of Dionysius.
To one who considered himself slighted.
To one who essayed to be a counsellor.
Some also maintain that he wrote six Books of Essays; others, and among them Sosicrates of Rhodes, that he wrote none at all.
§ 2.85 According to Sotion in his second book, and Panaetius, the following treatises are his:
Introduction to Philosophy.
Six books of Essays.
Three books of Occasional Writings (χρεῖαι).
He laid down as the end the smooth motion resulting in sensation.
Having written his life, let me now proceed to pass in review the philosophers of the Cyrenaic school which sprang from him, although some call themselves followers of Hegesias, others followers of Anniceris, others again of Theodorus. Not but what we shall notice further the pupils of Phaedo, the chief of whom were called the school of Eretria.
§ 2.86 The case stands thus. The disciples of Aristippus were his daughter Arete, Aethiops of Ptolemais, and Antipater of Cyrene. The pupil of Arete was Aristippus, who went by the name of mother-taught, and his pupil was Theodorus, known as the atheist, subsequently as god. Antipater's pupil was Epitimides of Cyrene, his was Paraebates, and he had as pupils Hegesias, the advocate of suicide, and Anniceris, who ransomed Plato.
Those then who adhered to the teaching of Aristippus and were known as Cyrenaics held the following opinions. They laid down that there are two states, pleasure and pain, the former a smooth, the latter a rough motion, and that pleasure does not differ from pleasure nor is one pleasure more pleasant than another.
§ 2.87 The one state is agreeable and the other repellent to all living things. However, the bodily pleasure which is the end is, according to Panaetius in his work On the Sects, not the settled pleasure following the removal of pains, or the sort of freedom from discomfort which Epicurus accepts and maintains to be the end. They also hold that there is a difference between end and happiness. Our end is particular pleasure, whereas happiness is the sum total of all particular pleasures, in which are included both past and future pleasures.
§ 2.88 Particular pleasure is desirable for its own sake, whereas happiness is desirable not for its own sake but for the sake of particular pleasures. That pleasure is the end is proved by the fact that from our youth up we are instinctively attracted to it, and, when we obtain it, seek for nothing more, and shun nothing so much as its opposite, pain. Pleasure is good even if it proceed from the most unseemly conduct, as Hippobotus says in his work On the Sects. For even if the action be irregular, still, at any rate, the resultant pleasure is desirable for its own sake and is good.
§ 2.89 The removal of pain, however, which is put forward in Epicurus, seems to them not to be pleasure at all, any more than the absence of pleasure is pain. For both pleasure and pain they hold to consist in motion, whereas absence of pleasure like absence of pain is not motion, since painlessness is the condition of one who is, as it were, asleep. They assert that some people may fail to choose pleasure because their minds are perverted; not all mental pleasures and pains, however, are derived from bodily counterparts. For instance, we take disinterested delight in the prosperity of our country which is as real as our delight in our own prosperity. Nor again do they admit that pleasure is derived from the memory or expectation of good, which was a doctrine of Epicurus.
§ 2.90 For they assert that the movement affecting the mind is exhausted in course of time. Again they hold that pleasure is not derived from sight or from hearing alone. At all events, we listen with pleasure to imitation of mourning, while the reality causes pain. They gave the names of absence of pleasure and absence of pain to the intermediate conditions. However, they insist that bodily pleasures are far better than mental pleasures, and bodily pains far worse than mental pains, and that this is the reason why offenders are punished with the former. For they assumed pain to be more repellent, pleasure more congenial. For these reasons they paid more attention to the body than to the mind. Hence, although pleasure is in itself desirable, yet they hold that the things which are productive of certain pleasures are often of a painful nature, the very opposite of pleasure; so that to accumulate the pleasures which are productive of happiness appears to them a most irksome business.
§ 2.91 They do not accept the doctrine that every wise man lives pleasantly and every fool painfully, but regard it as true for the most part only. It is sufficient even if we enjoy but each single pleasure as it comes. They say that prudence is a good, though desirable not in itself but on account of its consequences; that we make friends from interested motives, just as we cherish any part of the body so long as we have it; that some of the virtues are found even in the foolish; that bodily training contributes to the acquisition of virtue; that the sage will not give way to envy or love or superstition, since these weaknesses are due to mere empty opinion; he will, however, feel pain and fear, these being natural affections;
§ 2.92 and that wealth too is productive of pleasure, though not desirable for its own sake.
They affirm that mental affections can be known, but not the objects from which they come; and they abandoned the study of nature because of its apparent uncertainty, but fastened on logical inquiries because of their utility. But Meleager in his second book On Philosophical Opinions, and Clitomachus in his first book On the Sects, affirm that they maintain Dialectic as well as Physics to be useless, since, when one has learnt the theory of good and evil, it is possible to speak with propriety, to be free from superstition, and to escape the fear of death.
§ 2.93 They also held that nothing is just or honourable or base by nature, but only by convention and custom. Nevertheless the good man will be deterred from wrong-doing by the penalties imposed and the prejudices that it would arouse. Further that the wise man really exists. They allow progress to be attainable in philosophy as well as in other matters. They maintain that the pain of one man exceeds that of another, and that the senses are not always true and trustworthy.
The school of Hegesias, as it is called, adopted the same ends, namely pleasure and pain. In their view there is no such thing as gratitude or friendship or beneficence, because it is not for themselves that we choose to do these things but simply from motives of interest, apart from which such conduct is nowhere found.
§ 2.94 They denied the possibility of happiness, for the body is infected with much suffering, while the soul shares in the sufferings of the body and is a prey to disturbance, and fortune often disappoints. From all this it follows that happiness cannot be realized. Moreover, life and death are each desirable in turn. But that there is anything naturally pleasant or unpleasant they deny; when some men are pleased and others pained by the same objects, this is owing to the lack or rarity or surfeit of such objects. Poverty and riches have no relevance to pleasure; for neither the rich nor the poor as such have any special share in pleasure.
§ 2.95 Slavery and freedom, nobility and low birth, honour and dishonour, are alike indifferent in a calculation of pleasure. To the fool life is advantageous, while to the wise it is a matter of indifference. The wise man will be guided in all he does by his own interests, for there is none other whom he regards as equally deserving. For supposing him to reap the greatest advantages from another, they would not be equal to what he contributes himself. They also disallow the claims of the senses, because they do not lead to accurate knowledge. Whatever appears rational should be done. They affirmed that allowance should be made for errors, for no man errs voluntarily, but under constraint of some suffering; that we should not hate men, but rather teach them better. The wise man will not have so much advantage over others in the choice of goods as in the avoidance of evils, making it his end to live without pain of body or mind.
§ 2.96 This then, they say, is the advantage accruing to those who make no distinction between any of the objects which produce pleasure.
The school of Anniceris in other respects agreed with them, but admitted that friendship and gratitude and respect for parents do exist in real life, and that a good man will sometimes act out of patriotic motives. Hence, if the wise man receive annoyance, he will be none the less happy even if few pleasures accrue to him. The happiness of a friend is not in itself desirable, for it is not felt by his neighbour. Instruction is not sufficient in itself to inspire us with confidence and to make us rise superior to the opinion of the multitude. Habits must be formed because of the bad disposition which has grown up in us from the first.
§ 2.97 A friend should be cherished not merely for his utility – for, if that fails, we should then no longer associate with him – but for the good feeling for the sake of which we shall even endure hardships. Nay, though we make pleasure the end and are annoyed when deprived of it, we shall nevertheless cheerfully endure this because of our love to our friend.
The Theodoreans derived their name from Theodorus, who has already been mentioned, and adopted his doctrines. Theodorus was a man who utterly rejected the current belief in the gods. And I have come across a book of his entitled Of the Gods which is not contemptible. From that book, they say, Epicurus borrowed most of what he wrote on the subject.
§ 2.98 Theodorus was also a pupil of Anniceris and of Dionysius the dialectician, as Antisthenes mentions in his Successions of Philosophers. He considered joy and grief to be the supreme good and evil, the one brought about by wisdom, the other by folly. Wisdom and justice he called goods, and their opposites evils, pleasure and pain being intermediate to good and evil. Friendship he rejected because it did not exist between the unwise nor between the wise; with the former, when the want is removed, the friendship disappears, whereas the wise are selfsufficient and have no need of friends. It was reasonable, as he thought, for the good man not to risk his life in the defence of his country, for he would never throw wisdom away to benefit the unwise.
§ 2.99 He said the world was his country. Theft, adultery, and sacrilege would be allowable upon occasion, since none of these acts is by nature base, if once you have removed the prejudice against them, which is kept up in order to hold the foolish multitude together. The wise man would indulge his passions openly without the least regard to circumstances. Hence he would use such arguments as this. Is a woman who is skilled in grammar useful in so far as she is skilled in grammar? Yes. And is a boy or a youth skilled in grammar useful in so far as he is skilled in grammar? Yes.
§ 2.100 Again, is a woman who is beautiful useful in so far as she is beautiful? And the use of beauty is to be enjoyed? Yes. When this was admitted, he would press the argument to the conclusion, namely, that he who uses anything for the purpose for which it is useful does no wrong. And by some such interrogatories he would carry his point.
He appears to have been called θεός (god) in consequence of the following argument addressed to him by Stilpo. Are you, Theodorus, what you declare yourself to be? To this he assented, and Stilpo continued, And do you say you are god? To this he agreed. Then it follows that you are god. Theodorus accepted this, and Stilpo said with a smile, But, you rascal, at this rate you would allow yourself to be a jackdaw and ten thousand other things.
§ 2.101 However, Theodorus, sitting on one occasion beside Euryclides, the hierophant, began, Tell me, Euryclides, who they are who violate the mysteries? Euryclides replied, Those who disclose them to the uninitiated. Then you violate them, said Theodorus, when you explain them to the uninitiated. Yet he would hardly have escaped from being brought before the Areopagus if Demetrius of Phalerum had not rescued him. And Amphicrates in his book Upon Illustrious Men says he was condemned to drink the hemlock.
§ 2.102 For a while he stayed at the court of Ptolemy the son of Lagus, and was once sent by him as ambassador to Lysimachus. And on this occasion his language was so bold that Lysimachus said, Tell me, are you not the Theodorus who was banished from Athens? To which he replied, Your information is correct, for, when Athens could not bear me any more than Semele could Dionysus, she cast me out. And upon Lysimachus adding, Take care you do not come here again, I never will, said he, unless Ptolemy sends me. Mithras, the king's minister, standing by and saying, It seems that you can ignore not only gods but kings as well, Theodorus replied, How can you say that I ignore the gods when I regard you as hateful to the gods? He is said on one occasion in Corinth to have walked abroad with a numerous train of pupils, and Metrocles the Cynic, who was washing chervil, remarked, You, sophist that you are, would not have wanted all these pupils if you had washed vegetables. Thereupon Theodorus retorted, And you, if you had known how to associate with men, would have had no use for these vegetables.
§ 2.103 A similar anecdote is told of Diogenes and Aristippus, as mentioned above.
Such was the character of Theodorus and his surroundings. At last he retired to Cyrene, where he lived with Magas and continued to be held in high honour. The first time that he was expelled from Cyrene he is credited with a witty remark: Many thanks, men of Cyrene, said he, for driving me from Libya into Greece.
Some twenty persons have borne the name of Theodorus: (1) a Samian, the son of Rhoecus. He it was who advised laying charcoal embers under the foundations of the temple in Ephesus; for, as the ground was very damp, the ashes, being free from woody fibre, would retain a solidity which is actually proof against moisture. (2) A Cyrenaean geometer, whose lectures Plato attended. (3) The philosopher above referred to. (4) The author of a fine work on practising the voice.
§ 2.104 (5) An authority upon musical composers from Terpander onwards. (6) A Stoic. (7) A writer upon the Romans. (8) A Syracusan who wrote upon Tactics. (9) A Byzantine, famous for his political speeches. (10) Another, equally famous, mentioned by Aristotle in his Epitome of Orators. (11) A Theban sculptor. (12) A painter, mentioned by Polemo. (13) An Athenian painter, of whom Menodotus writes. (14) An Ephesian painter, who is mentioned by Theophanes in his work upon painting. (15) A poet who wrote epigrams. (16) A writer on poets. (17) A physician, pupil of Athenaeus. (18) A Stoic philosopher of Chios. (19) A Milesian, also a Stoic philosopher (20) A tragic poet.
§ 2.105 9. PHAEDO
Phaedo was a native of Elis, of noble family, who on the fall of that city was taken captive and forcibly consigned to a house of ill-fame. But he would close the door and so contrive to join Socrates' circle, and in the end Socrates induced Alcibiades or Crito with their friends to ransom him; from that time onwards he studied philosophy as became a free man. Hieronymus in his work On Suspense of Judgement attacks him and calls him a slave. Of the dialogues which bear his name the Zopyrus and Simon are genuine; the Nicias is doubtful; the Medius is said by some to be the work of Aeschines, while others ascribe it to Polyaenus; the Antimachus or The Elders is also doubted; the Cobblers' Tales are also by some attributed to Aeschines.
He was succeeded by Plistanus of Elis, and a generation later by Menedemus of Eretria and Asclepiades of Phlius, who came over from Stilpo's school. Till then the school was known as that of Elis, but from Menedemus onward it was called the Eretrian school. Of Menedemus we shall have to speak hereafter, because he too started a new school.
§ 2.106 10. EUCLID
Euclides was a native of Megara on the Isthmus, or according to some of Gela, as Alexander states in his Successions of Philosophers. He applied himself to the writings of Parmenides, and his followers were called Megarians after him, then Eristics, and at a later date Dialecticians, that name having first been given to them by Dionysius of Chalcedon because they put their arguments into the form of question and answer. Hermodorus tells us that, after the death of Socrates, Plato and the rest of the philosophers came to him, being alarmed at the cruelty of the tyrants. He held the supreme good to be really one, though called by many names, sometimes wisdom, sometimes God, and again Mind, and so forth. But all that is contradictory of the good he used to reject, declaring that it had no existence.
§ 2.107 When he impugned a demonstration, it was not the premisses but the conclusion that he attacked. He rejected the argument from analogy, declaring that it must be taken either from similars or from dissimilars. If it were drawn from similars, it is with these and not with their analogies that their arguments should deal; if from dissimilars, it is gratuitous to set them side by side. Hence Timon says of him, with a side hit at the other Socratics as well:
But I care not for these babblers, nor for anyone besides, not for Phaedo whoever he be, nor wrangling Euclides, who inspired the Megarians with a frenzied love of controversy.
§ 2.108 He wrote six dialogues, entitled Lamprias, Aeschines, Phoenix, Crito, Alcibiades, and a Discourse on Love. To the school of Euclides belongs Eubulides of Miletus, the author of many dialectical arguments in an interrogatory form, namely, The Liar, The Disguised, Electra, The Veiled Figure, The Sorites, The Horned One, and The Bald Head. Of him it is said by one of the Comic poets:
Eubulides the Eristic, who propounded his quibbles about horns and confounded the orators with falsely pretentious arguments, is gone with all the braggadocio of a Demosthenes.
Demosthenes was probably his pupil and thereby improved his faulty pronunciation of the letter R.
§ 2.109 Eubulides kept up a controversy with Aristotle and said much to discredit him.
Among other members the school of Eubulides included Alexinus of Elis, a man very fond of controversy, for which reason he was called Elenxinus. In particular he kept up a controversy with Zeno. Hermippus says of him that he left Elis and removed to Olympia, where he studied philosophy. His pupils inquired why he took up his abode here, and were told that it was his intention to found a school which should be called the Olympian school. But as their provisions ran short and they found the place unhealthy, they left it, and for the rest of his days Alexinus lived in solitude with a single servant. And some time afterwards, as he was swimming in the Alpheus, the point of a reed ran into him, and of this injury he died.
§ 2.110 I have composed the following lines upon him:
It was not then a vain tale that once an unfortunate man, while diving, pierced his foot somehow with a nail; since that great man Alexinus, before he could cross the Alpheus, was pricked by a reed and met his death.
He has written not only a reply to Zeno but other works, including one against Ephorus the historian.
To the school of Eubulides also belonged Euphantus of Olynthus, who wrote a history of his own times. He was besides a poet and wrote several tragedies, with which he made a great reputation at the festivals. He taught King Antigonus and dedicated to him a work On Kingship which was very popular. He died of old age.
§ 2.111 There are also other pupils of Eubulides, amongst them Apollonius surnamed Cronus. He had a pupil Diodorus, the son of Ameinias of Iasus, who was also nicknamed Cronus. Callimachus in his Epigrams says of him:
Momus himself chalked up on the walls Cronus is wise.
He too was a dialectician and was supposed to have been the first who discovered the arguments known as the Veiled Figure and the Horned One. When he was staying with Ptolemy Soter, he had certain dialectical questions addressed to him by Stilpo, and, not being able to solve them on the spot, he was reproached by the king and, among other slights, the nickname Cronus was applied to him by way of derision.
§ 2.112 He left the banquet and, after writing a pamphlet upon the logical problem, ended his days in despondency. Upon him too I have written lines:
Diodorus Cronus, what sad fate Buried you in despair,
So that you hastened to the shades below, Perplexed by Stilpo's quibbles?
You would deserve your name of Cronus better If C and R were gone.
The successors of Euclides include Ichthyas, the son of Metallus, an excellent man, to whom Diogenes the Cynic has addressed one of his dialogues; Clinomachus of Thurii, who was the first to write about propositions, predications and the like; and Stilpo of Megara, a most distinguished philosopher, of whom we have now to treat.
§ 2.113 11. STILPO
Stilpo, a citizen of Megara in Greece, was a pupil of some of the followers of Euclides, although others make him a pupil of Euclides himself, and furthermore of Thrasymachus of Corinth, who was the friend of Ichthyas, according to Heraclides. And so far did he excel all the rest in inventiveness and sophistry that nearly the whole of Greece was attracted to him and joined the school of Megara. On this let me cite the exact words of Philippus the Megarian philosopher: for from Theophrastus he drew away the theorist Metrodorus and Timagoras of Gela, from Aristotle the Cyrenaic philosopher, Clitarchus, and Simmias; and as for the dialecticians themselves, he gained over Paeonius from Aristides; Diphilus of Bosphorus, the son of Euphantus, and Myrmex, the son of Exaenetus, who had both come to refute him, he made his devoted adherents.
§ 2.114 And besides these he won over Phrasidemus the Peripatetic, an accomplished physicist, and Alcimus the rhetorician, the first orator in all Greece; Crates, too, and many others he got into his toils, and, what is more, along with these, he carried off Zeno the Phoenician.
He was also an authority on politics.
He married a wife, and had a mistress named Nicarete, as Onetor has somewhere stated. He had a profligate daughter, who was married to his friend Simmias of Syracuse. And, as she would not live by rule, some one told Stilpo that she was a disgrace to him. To this he replied, Not so, any more than I am an honour to her.
§ 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.
§ 2.116 And conversing upon the duty of doing good to men he made such an impression on the king that he became eager to hear him. There is a story that he once used the following argument concerning the Athena of Phidias: Is it not Athena the daughter of Zeus who is a goddess? And when the other said Yes, he went on, But this at least is not by Zeus but by Phidias, and, this being granted, he concluded, This then is not a god. For this he was summoned before the Areopagus; he did not deny the charge, but contended that the reasoning was correct, for that Athena was no god but a goddess; it was the male divinities who were gods. However, the story goes that the Areopagites ordered him to quit the city, and that thereupon Theodorus, whose nickname was Θεός, said in derision, Whence did Stilpo learn this? and how could he tell whether she was a god or a goddess? But in truth Theodorus was most impudent, and Stilpo most ingenious.
§ 2.117 When Crates asked him whether the gods take delight in prayers and adorations, he is said to have replied, Don't put such a question in the street, simpleton, but when we are alone! It is said that Bion, when he was asked the same question whether there are gods, replied:
Will you not scatter the crowd from me, O much-enduring elder?
In character Stilpo was simple and unaffected, and he could readily adapt himself to the plain man. For instance, when Crates the Cynic did not answer the question put to him and only insulted the questioner, I knew, said Stilpo, that you would utter anything rather than what you ought.
§ 2.118 And once when Crates held out a fig to him when putting a question, he took the fig and ate it. Upon which the other exclaimed, O Heracles, I have lost the fig, and Stilpo remarked, Not only that but your question as well, for which the fig was payment in advance. Again, on seeing Crates shrivelled with cold in the winter, he said, You seem to me, Crates, to want a new coat, i.e. to be wanting in sense as well. And the other being annoyed replied with the following burlesque:
And Stilpo I saw enduring toilsome woes in Megara, where men say that the bed of Typhos is. There he would ever be wrangling, and many comrades about him, wasting time in the verbal pursuit of virtue.
§ 2.119 It is said that at Athens he so attracted the public that people would run together from the workshops to look at him. And when some one said, Stilpo, they stare at you as if you were some strange creature. No, indeed, said he, but as if I were a genuine man. And, being a consummate master of controversy, he used to demolish even the ideas, and say that he who asserted the existence of Man meant no individual; he did not mean this man or that. For why should he mean the one more than the other? Therefore neither does he mean this individual man. Again, vegetable is not what is shown to me, for vegetable existed ten thousand years ago. Therefore this is not vegetable. The story goes that while in the middle of an argument with Crates he hurried off to buy fish, and, when Crates tried to detain him and urged that he was leaving the argument, his answer was, Not I. I keep the argument though I am leaving you; for the argument will remain, but the fish will soon be sold.
§ 2.120 Nine dialogues of his are extant written in frigid style, Moschus, Aristippus or Callias, Ptolemy, Chaerecrates, Metrocles, Anaximenes, Epigenes, To his Daughter, Aristotle. Heraclides relates that Zeno, the founder of the Stoic school, was one of Stilpo's pupils; Hermippus that Stilpo died at a great age after taking wine to hasten his end.
I have written an epitaph on him also:
Surely you know Stilpo the Megarian; old age and then disease laid him low, a formidable pair. But he found in wine a charioteer too strong for that evil team; he quaffed it eagerly and was borne along.
He was also ridiculed by Sophilus the Comic poet in his drama The Wedding:
What Charinus says is just Stilpo's stoppers.
§ 2.121 12. CRITO
Crito was a citizen of Athens. He was most affectionate in his disposition towards Socrates, and took such care of him that none of his wants were left unsupplied. Further, his sons Critobulus, Hermogenes, Epigenes and Ctesippus were pupils of Socrates. Crito too wrote seventeen dialogues which are extant in a single volume under the titles:
That men are not made good by instruction.
What is expedient, or The Statesman.
On Doing Ill.
Of that which is Divine.
Protagoras, or The Statesman.
On Knowing, or On Science.
What is Knowledge.
§ 2.122 13. SIMON
Simon was a citizen of Athens and a cobbler. When Socrates came to his workshop and began to converse, he used to make notes of all that he could remember. And this is why people apply the term leathern to his dialogues. These dialogues are thirty-three in number, extant in a single volume:
Of the Gods.
Of the Good.
On the Beautiful.
What is the Beautiful.
On the Just: two dialogues.
Of Virtue, that it cannot be taught.
Of Courage: three dialogues.
On Guiding the People.
On Good Eating.
What is the Beautiful
§ 2.123 On Teaching.
On the Art of Conversation
On the Beautiful
On Reason, or On Expediency.
On Doing Ill.
He was the first, so we are told, who introduced the Socratic dialogues as a form of conversation. When Pericles promised to support him and urged him to come to him, his reply was, I will not part with my free speech for money.
§ 2.124b 14. GLAUCON
Glaucon was a citizen of Athens. Nine dialogues of his are extant in a single volume:
There are also extant thirty-two others, which are considered spurious.
§ 2.124c 15. SIMMIAS
Simmias was a citizen of Thebes. Twenty-three dialogues of his are extant in a single volume:
Of that which is becoming.
Of that which is to be chosen and avoided.
Of the Soul.
On a Good Life.
Of that which is possible.
What is the beautiful.
§ 2.125b 17. MENEDEMUS
Menedemus belonged to Phaedo's school; he was the son of Clisthenes, a member of the clan called the Theopropidae, of good family, though a builder and a poor man; others say that he was a scene-painter and that Menedemus learnt both trades. Hence, when he had proposed a decree, a certain Alexinius attacked him, declaring that the philosopher was not a proper person to design either a scene or a decree. When Menedemus was dispatched by the Eretrians to Megara on garrison duty, he paid a visit to Plato at the Academy and was so captivated that he abandoned the service of arms.
§ 2.126 Asclepiades of Phlius drew him away, and he lived at Megara with Stilpo, whose lectures they both attended.
Thence they sailed to Elis, where they joined Anchipylus and Moschus of the school of Phaedo. Down to their time, as was stated in the Life of Phaedo, the school was called the Elian school. Afterwards it was called the Eretrian school, from the city to which my subject belonged.
It would appear that Menedemus was somewhat pompous. Hence Crates burlesques him thus:
Asclepiades the sage of Phlius and the Eretrian bull;
and Timon as follows:
A puffing, supercilious purveyor of humbug.
§ 2.127 He was a man of such dignity that, when Eurylochus of Casandreia was invited by Antigonus to court along with Cleippides, a youth of Cyzicus, he declined the invitation, being afraid that Menedemus would hear of it, so caustic and outspoken was he. When a young gallant would have taken liberties with him, he said not a word but picked up a twig and drew an insulting picture on the ground, until all eyes were attracted and the young man, perceiving the insult, made off. When Hierocles, who was in command of the Piraeus, walked up and down along with him in the shrine of Amphiaraus, and talked much of the capture of Eretria, he made no other reply beyond asking him what Antigonus's object was in treating him as he did.
§ 2.128 To an adulterer who was giving himself airs he said, Do you not know that, if cabbage has a good flavour, so for that matter has radish? Hearing a youth who was very noisy, he said, See what there is behind you. When Antigonus consulted him as to whether he should go to a rout, he sent a message to say no more than this, that he was the son of a king. When a stupid fellow related something to him with no apparent object, he inquired if he had a farm. And hearing that he had, and that there was a large stock of cattle on it, he said, Then go and look after them, lest it should happen that they are ruined and a clever farmer thrown away. To one who inquired if the good man ever married, he replied, Do you think me good or not? The reply being in the affirmative, he said, Well, I am married.
§ 2.129 Of one who affirmed that there were many good things, he inquired how many, and whether he thought there were more than a hundred. Not being able to curb the extravagance of some one who had invited him to dinner, he said nothing when he was invited, but rebuked his host tacitly by confining himself to olives. However, on account of this freedom of speech he was in great peril in Cyprus with his friend Asclepiades when staying at the court of Nicocreon. For when the king held the usual monthly feast and invited these two along with the other philosophers, we are told that Menedemus said that, if the gathering of such men was a good thing, the feast ought to have been held every day; if not, then it was superfluous even on the present occasion.
§ 2.130 The 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.
§ 2.131 In other respects he is said to have been nervous and careful of his reputation; so much so that, when Menedemus himself and Asclepiades were helping a man who had formerly been a builder to build a house, whereas Asclepiades appeared stripped on the roof passing the mortar, Menedemus would try to hide himself as often as he saw anyone coming. After he took part in public affairs, he was so nervous that, when offering the frankincense, he would actually miss the censer. And once, when Crates stood about him and attacked him for meddling in politics, he ordered certain men to have Crates locked up. But Crates none the less watched him as he went by and, standing on tiptoe, called him a pocket Agamemnon and Hegesipolis.
§ 2.132 He was also in a way rather superstitious. At all events once, when he was at an inn with Asclepiades and had inadvertently eaten some meat which had been thrown away, he turned sick and pale when he learnt the fact, until Asclepiades rebuked him, saying that it was not the meat which disturbed him but merely his suspicion of it. In all other respects he was magnanimous and liberal. In his habit of body, even in old age, he was as firm and sunburnt in appearance as any athlete, being stout and always in the pink of condition; in stature he was well-proportioned, as may be seen from the statuette in the ancient Stadium at Eretria. For it represents him, intentionally no doubt, almost naked, and displays the greater part of his body.
§ 2.133 He was fond of entertaining and used to collect numerous parties about him because Eretria was unhealthy; amongst these there would be parties of poets and musicians. He welcomed Aratus also and Lycophron the tragic poet, and Antagoras of Rhodes, but, above all, he applied himself to the study of Homer and, next, the Lyric poets; then to Sophocles, and also to Achaeus, to whom he assigned the second place as a writer of satiric dramas, giving Aeschylus the first. Hence he quoted against his political opponents the following lines:
Ere long the swift is overtaken by the feeble,
And the eagle by the tortoise,
§ 2.134 which are from the Omphale, a satiric drama of Achaeus. Therefore it is a mistake to say that he had read nothing except the Medea of Euripides, which some have asserted to be the work of Neophron of Sicyon.
He despised the teachers of the school of Plato and Xenocrates as well as the Cyrenaic philosopher Paraebates. He had a great admiration for Stilpo; and on one occasion, when he was questioned about him, he made no other answer than that he was a gentleman. Menedemus was difficult to see through, and in making a bargain it was difficult to get the better of him. He would twist and turn in every direction, and he excelled in inventing objections. He was a great controversialist, according to Antisthenes in his Successions of Philosophers. In particular he was fond of using the following argument: Is the one of two things different from the other? Yes. And is conferring benefits different from the good? Yes. Then to confer benefits is not good.
§ 2.135 It is said that he disallowed negative propositions, converting them into affirmatives, and of these he admitted simple propositions only, rejecting those which are not simple, I mean hypothetical and complex propositions. Heraclides declares that, although in his doctrines he was a Platonist, yet he made sport of dialectic. So that, when Alexinus once inquired if he had left off beating his father, his answer was, Why, I was not beating him and have not left off; and upon Alexinus insisting that he ought to have cleared up the ambiguity by a plain Yes or No, It would be absurd, he said, for me to conform to your rules when I can stop you on the threshold. And when Bion persistently ran down the soothsayers, Menedemus said he was slaying the slain.
§ 2.136 On hearing some one say that the greatest good was to get all you want, he rejoined, To want the right things is a far greater good. Antigonus of Carystus asserts that he never wrote or composed anything, and so never held firmly by any doctrine. He adds that in discussing questions he was so pugnacious that he would only retire after he had been badly mauled. And yet, though he was so violent in debate, he was as mild as possible in his conduct. For instance, though he made sport of Alexinus and bantered him cruelly, he was nevertheless very kind to him, for, when his wife was afraid that on her journey she might be set upon and robbed, he gave her an escort from Delphi to Chalcis.
§ 2.137 He was a very warm friend, as is shown by his affection for Asclepiades, which was hardly inferior to the devotion shown by Pylades. But, Asclepiades being the elder, it was said that he was the playwright and Menedemus the actor. They say that once, when Archipolis had given them a cheque for half a talent, they stickled so long over the point as to whose claim came second that neither of them got the money. It is said that they married a mother and her daughter; Asclepiades married the daughter and Menedemus the mother. But after the death of his own wife, Asclepiades took the wife of Menedemus; and afterwards the latter, when he became head of the state, married a rich woman as his second wife. Nevertheless, as they kept one household, Menedemus entrusted his former wife with the care of his establishment.
§ 2.138 However, Asclepiades died first at a great age at Eretria, having lived with Menedemus economically, though they had ample means. Some time afterwards a favourite of Asclepiades, having come to a party and being refused admittance by the pupils, Menedemus ordered them to admit him, saying that even now, when under the earth, Asclepiades opened the door for him. It was Hipponicus the Macedonian and Agetor of Lamia who were their chief supporters; the one gave each of the two thirty minae, while Hipponicus furnished Menedemus with two thousand drachmae with which to portion his daughters. There were three of them according to Heraclides, his children by a wife who was a native of Oropus.
§ 2.139 He used to give his parties in this fashion: he would breakfast beforehand with two or three friends and stay until it was late in the day. And in the next place some one would summon the guests who had arrived and who had themselves already dined, so that, if anyone came too soon, he would walk up and down and inquire from those who came out of the house what was on the table and what o'clock it was. If then it was only vegetables or salt fish, they would depart; but if there was meat, they would enter the house. In the summer time a rush mat was put upon each couch, in winter time a sheepskin. The guest brought his own cushion. The loving-cup which was passed round was no larger than a pint cup. The dessert consisted of lupins or beans, sometimes of ripe fruit such as pears, pomegranates, a kind of pulse, or even dried figs.
§ 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:
§ 2.141 Menedemus to King Demetrius, greeting. I hear that a report has reached you concerning me. There is a tradition that one Aeschylus who belonged to the opposite party had made these charges against him. He seems to have behaved with the utmost dignity in the embassy to Demetrius on the subject of Oropus, as Euphantus relates in his Histories. Antigonus too was much attached to him and used to proclaim himself his pupil. And when he vanquished the barbarians near the town of Lysimachia, Menedemus moved a decree in his honour in simple terms and free from flattery, beginning thus:
§ 2.142 On the motion of the generals and the councillors – Whereas King Antigonus is returning to his own country after vanquishing the barbarians in battle, and whereas in all his undertakings he prospers according to his will, the senate and the people have decreed . . .
On these grounds, then, and from his friendship for him in other matters, he was suspected of betraying the city to Antigonus, and, being denounced by Aristodemus, withdrew from Eretria and stayed awhile in Oropus in the sanctuary of Amphiaraus. And, because some golden goblets went missing, he was ordered to depart by a general vote of the Boeotians, as is stated by Hermippus; and thereupon in despair, after a secret visit to his native city, he took with him his wife and daughters and came to the court of Antigonus, where he died of a broken heart.
§ 2.143 Heraclides tells quite another story, that he was made councillor of the Eretrians and more than once saved the city from a tyranny by calling in Demetrius – so then he would not be likely to betray the city to Antigonus, but was made the victim of a false charge; that he betook himself to Antigonus and was anxious to regain freedom for his country; that, as Antigonus would not give way, in despair he put an end to his life by abstaining from food for seven days. The account of Antigonus of Carystus is similar. With Persaeus alone he carried on open warfare, for it was thought that, when Antigonus was willing for Menedemus's sake to restore to the Eretrians their democracy, Persaeus prevented him.
§ 2.144 Hence on one occasion over the wine Menedemus refuted Persaeus in argument and said, amongst other things, Such he is as a philosopher but, as a man, the worst of all that are alive or to be born hereafter.
According to the statement of Heraclides he died in his seventy-fourth year. I have written the following epigram upon him:
I heard of your fate, Menedemus, how, of your own free will, you expired by starving yourself for seven days, a deed right worthy of an Eretrian, but unworthy of a man; but despair was your leader and urged you on.
These then are the disciples of Socrates or their immediate successors. We must now pass to Plato, the founder of the Academy, and his successors, so far as they were men of reputation.
§ 3.1 BOOK 3: PLATON
Plato was the son of Ariston and a citizen of Athens. His mother was Perictione (or Potone), who traced back her descent to Solon. For Solon had a brother, Dropides; he was the father of Critias, who was the father of Callaeschrus, who was the father of Critias, one of the Thirty, as well as of Glaucon, who was the father of Charmides and Perictione. Thus Plato, the son of this Perictione and Ariston, was in the sixth generation from Solon. And Solon traced his descent to Neleus and Poseidon. His father too is said to be in the direct line from Codrus, the son of Melanthus, and, according to Thrasylus, Codrus and Melanthus also trace their descent from Poseidon.
§ 3.2 Speusippus in the work entitled Plato's Funeral Feast, Clearchus in his Encomium on Plato, and Anaxilaides in his second book On Philosophers, tell us that there was a story at Athens that Ariston made violent love to Perictione, then in her bloom, and failed to win her; and that, when he ceased to offer violence, Apollo appeared to him in a dream, whereupon he left her unmolested until her child was born.
Apollodorus in his Chronology fixes the date of Plato's birth in the 88th Olympiad, on the seventh day of the month Thargelion, the same day on which the Delians say that Apollo himself was born. He died, according to Hermippus, at a wedding feast, in the first year of the 108th Olympiad, in his eightyfirst year.
§ 3.3 Neanthes, however, makes him die at the age of eighty-four. He is thus seen to be six years the junior of Isocrates. For Isocrates was born in the archonship of Lysimachus, Plato in that of Ameinias, the year of Pericles' death. He belonged to the deme Collytus, as is stated by Antileon in his second book On Dates. He was born, according to some, in Aegina, in the house of Phidiades, the son of Thales, as Favorinus states in his Miscellaneous History, for his father had been sent along with others to Aegina to settle in the island, but returned to Athens when the Athenians were expelled by the Lacedaemonians, who championed the Aeginetan cause. That Plato acted as choregus at Athens, the cost being defrayed by Dion, is stated by Athenodorus in the eighth book of a work entitled Walks.
§ 3.4 He had two brothers, Adeimantus and Glaucon, and a sister, Potone, who was the mother of Speusippus.
He was taught letters in the school of Dionysius, who is mentioned by him in the Rivals. And he learnt gymnastics under Ariston, the Argive wrestler. And from him he received the name of Plato on account of his robust figure, in place of his original name which was Aristocles, after his grandfather, as Alexander informs us in his Successions of Philosophers. But others affirm that he got the name Plato from the breadth of his style, or from the breadth of his forehead, as suggested by Neanthes. Others again affirm that he wrestled in the Isthmian Games – this is stated by Dicaearchus in his first book On Lives –
§ 3.5 and that he applied himself to painting and wrote poems, first dithyrambs, afterwards lyric poems and tragedies. He had, they say, a weak voice; this is confirmed by Timotheus the Athenian in his book On Lives. It is stated that Socrates in a dream saw a cygnet on his knees, which all at once put forth plumage, and flew away after uttering a loud sweet note. And the next day Plato was introduced as a pupil, and thereupon he recognized in him the swan of his dream.
At first he used to study philosophy in the Academy, and afterwards in the garden at Colonus (as Alexander states in his Successions of Philosophers), as a follower of Heraclitus. Afterwards, when he was about to compete for the prize with a tragedy, he listened to Socrates in front of the theatre of Dionysus, and then consigned his poems to the flames, with the words:
Come hither, O fire-god, Plato now has need of thee.
§ 3.6 From that time onward, having reached his twentieth year (so it is said), he was the pupil of Socrates. When Socrates was gone, he attached himself to Cratylus the Heraclitean, and to Hermogenes who professed the philosophy of Parmenides. Then at the age of twenty-eight, according to Hermodorus, he withdrew to Megara to Euclides, with certain other disciples of Socrates. Next he proceeded to Cyrene on a visit to Theodorus the mathematician, thence to Italy to see the Pythagorean philosophers Philolaus and Eurytus, and thence to Egypt to see those who interpreted the will of the gods; and Euripides is said to have accompanied him thither. There he fell sick and was cured by the priests, who treated him with sea-water, and for this reason he cited the line:
The sea doth wash away all human ills.
§ 3.7 Furthermore he said that, according to Homer, beyond all men the Egyptians were skilled in healing. Plato also intended to make the acquaintance of the Magians, but was prevented by the wars in Asia. Having returned to Athens, he lived in the Academy, which is a gymnasium outside the walls, in a grove named after a certain hero, Hecademus, as is stated by Eupolis in his play entitled Shirkers:
In the shady walks of the divine Hecademus.
Moreover, there are verses of Timon which refer to Plato:
Amongst all of them Plato was the leader, a big fish, but a sweet-voiced speaker, musical in prose as the cicala who, perched on the trees of Hecademus, pours forth a strain as delicate as a lily.
§ 3.8 Thus the original name of the place was Hecademy, spelt with e. Now Plato was a friend of Isocrates. And Praxiphanes makes them converse about poets at a country-seat where Plato was entertaining Isocrates. And Aristoxenus asserts that he went on service three times, first to Tanagra, secondly to Corinth, and thirdly at Delium, where also he obtained the prize of valour. He mixed together doctrines of Heraclitus, the Pythagoreans and Socrates. In his doctrine of sensible things he agrees with Heraclitus, in his doctrine of the intelligible with Pythagoras, and in political philosophy with Socrates.
§ 3.9 Some authorities, amongst them Satyrus, say that he wrote to Dion in Sicily instructing him to purchase three Pythagorean books from Philolaus for 100 minae. For they say he was well off, having received from Dionysius over eighty talents. This is stated by Onetor in an essay upon the theme, Whether a wise man will make money. Further, he derived great assistance from Epicharmus the Comic poet, for he transcribed a great deal from him, as Alcimus says in the essays dedicated to Amyntas, of which there are four. In the first of them he writes thus:
It is evident that Plato often employs the words of Epicharmus. Just consider. Plato asserts that the object of sense is that which never abides in quality or quantity, but is ever in flux and change.
§ 3.10 The assumption is that the things from which you take away number are no longer equal nor determinate, nor have they quantity or quality. These are the things to which becoming always, and being never, belongs. But the object of thought is something constant from which nothing is subtracted, to which nothing is added. This is the nature of the eternal things, the attribute of which is to be ever alike and the same. And indeed Epicharmus has expressed himself plainly about objects of sense and objects of thought.
a. But gods there always were; never at any time were they wanting, while things in this world are always alike, and are brought about through the same agencies.
b. Yet it is said that Chaos was the first-born of the gods.
a. How so? If indeed there was nothing out of which, or into which, it could come first.
b. What! Then did nothing come first after all?
a. No, by Zeus, nor second either,
§ 3.11 at least of the things which we are thus talking about now; on the contrary, they existed from all eternity. . . .
a. But suppose some one chooses to add a single pebble to a heap containing either an odd or an even number, whichever you please, or to take away one of those already there; do you think the number of pebbles would remain the same?
b. Not I.
a. Nor yet, if one chooses to add to a cubit-measure another length, or cut off some of what was there already, would the original measure still exist?
b. Of course not.
a. Now consider mankind in this same way. One man grows, and another again shrinks; and they are all undergoing change the whole time. But a thing which naturally changes and never remains in the same state must ever be different from that which has thus changed. And even so you and I were one pair of men yesterday, are another to-day, and again will be another to-morrow, and will never remain ourselves, by this same argument.
§ 3.12 Again, Alcimus makes this further statement: There are some things, say the wise, which the soul perceives through the body, as in seeing and hearing; there are other things which it discerns by itself without the aid of the body. Hence it follows that of existing things some are objects of sense and others objects of thought. Hence Plato said that, if we wish to take in at one glance the principles underlying the universe, we must first distinguish the ideas by themselves, for example, likeness, unity and plurality, magnitude, rest and motion; next we must assume the existence of
§ 3.13 beauty, goodness, justice and the like, each existing in and for itself; in the third place we must see how many of the ideas are relative to other ideas, as are knowledge, or magnitude, or ownership, remembering that the things within our experience bear the same names as those ideas because they partake of them; I mean that things which partake of justice are just, things which partake of beauty are beautiful. Each one of the ideas is eternal, it is a notion, and moreover is incapable of change. Hence Plato says that they stand in nature like archetypes, and that all things else bear a resemblance to the ideas because they are copies of these archetypes. Now here are the words of Epicharmus about the good and about the ideas:
§ 3.14 a. Is flute-playing a thing?
b. Most certainly.
a. Is man then flute-playing?
b. By no means.
a. Come, let me see, what is a flute-player? Whom do you take him to be? Is he not a man?
b. Most certainly.
a. Well, don't you think the same would be the case with the good? Is not the good in itself a thing? And does not he who has learnt that thing and knows it at once become good? For, just as he becomes a flute-player by learning flute-playing, or a dancer when he has learnt dancing, or a plaiter when he has learnt plaiting, in the same way, if he has learnt anything of the sort, whatever you like, he would not be one with the craft but he would be the craftsman.
§ 3.15 Now Plato in conceiving his theory of Ideas says: Since there is such a thing as memory, there must be ideas present in things, because memory is of something stable and permanent, and nothing is permanent except the ideas. `For how,' he says, `could animals have survived unless they had apprehended the idea and had been endowed by Nature with intelligence to that end? As it is, they remember similarities and what their food is like, which shows that animals have the innate power of discerning what is similar. And hence they perceive others of their own kind.' How then does Epicharmus put it?
§ 3.16 Wisdom is not confined, Eumaeus, to one kind alone, but all living creatures likewise have understanding. For, if you will study intently the hen among poultry, she does not bring forth the chicks alive, but sits clucking on the eggs and wakens life in them. As for this wisdom of hers, the true state of the case is known to Nature alone, for the hen has learnt it from herself.
It is no wonder then that we talk thus and are pleased with ourselves and think we are fine folk. For a dog appears the fairest of things to a dog, an ox to an ox, an ass to an ass, and verily a pig to a pig.
§ 3.17 These and the like instances Alcimus notes through four books, pointing out the assistance derived by Plato from Epicharmus. That Epicharmus himself was fully conscious of his wisdom can also be seen from the lines in which he foretells that he will have an imitator:
And as I think – for when I think anything I know it full well – that my words will some day be remembered; some one will take them and free them from the metre in which they are now set, nay, will give them instead a purple robe, embroidering it with fine phrases; and, being invincible, he will make every one else an easy prey.
§ 3.18 Plato, it seems, was the first to bring to Athens the mimes of Sophron which had been neglected, and to draw characters in the style of that writer; a copy of the mimes, they say, was actually found under his pillow. He made three voyages to Sicily, the first time to see the island and the craters of Etna: on this occasion Dionysius, the son of Hermocrates, being on the throne, forced him to become intimate with him. But when Plato held forth on tyranny and maintained that the interest of the ruler alone was not the best end, unless he were also pre-eminent in virtue, he offended Dionysius, who in his anger exclaimed, You talk like an old dotard. And you like a tyrant, rejoined Plato.
§ 3.19 At this the tyrant grew furious and at first was bent on putting him to death; then, when he had been dissuaded from this by Dion and Aristomenes, he did not indeed go so far but handed him over to Pollis the Lacedaemonian, who had just then arrived on an embassy, with orders to sell him into slavery.
And Pollis took him to Aegina and there offered him for sale. And then Charmandrus, the son of Charmandrides, indicted him on a capital charge according to the law in force among the Aeginetans, to the effect that the first Athenian who set foot upon the island should be put to death without a trial. This law had been passed by the prosecutor himself, according to Favorinus in his Miscellaneous History. But when some one urged, though in jest, that the offender was a philosopher, the court acquitted him. There is another version to the effect that he was brought before the assembly and, being kept under close scrutiny, he maintained an absolute silence and awaited the issue with confidence. The assembly decided not to put him to death but to sell him just as if he were a prisoner of war.
§ 3.20 Anniceris the Cyrenaic happened to be present and ransomed him for twenty minae – according to others the sum was thirty minae – and dispatched him to Athens to his friends, who immediately remitted the money. But Anniceris declined it, saying that the Athenians were not the only people worthy of the privilege of providing for Plato. Others assert that Dion sent the money and that Anniceris would not take it, but bought for Plato the little garden which is in the Academy. Pollis, however, is stated to have been defeated by Chabrias and afterwards to have been drowned at Helice, his treatment of the philosopher having provoked the wrath of heaven, as Favorinus says in the first book of his Memorabilia.
§ 3.21 Dionysius, indeed, could not rest. On learning the facts he wrote and enjoined upon Plato not to speak evil of him. And Plato replied that he had not the leisure to keep Dionysius in his mind.
The second time he visited the younger Dionysius, requesting of him lands and settlers for the realization of his republic. Dionysius promised them but did not keep his word. Some say that Plato was also in great danger, being suspected of encouraging Dion and Theodotas in a scheme for liberating the whole island; on this occasion Archytas the Pythagorean wrote to Dionysius, procured his pardon, and got him conveyed safe to Athens. The letter runs as follows:
Archytas to Dionysius, wishing him good health.
§ 3.22 We, being all of us the friends of Plato, have sent to you Lamiscus and Photidas in order to take the philosopher away by the terms of the agreement made with you. You will do well to remember the zeal with which you urged us all to secure Plato's coming to Sicily, determined as you were to persuade him and to undertake, amongst other things, responsibility for his safety so long as he stayed with you and on his return. Remember this too, that you set great store by his coming, and from that time had more regard for him than for any of those at your court. If he has given you offence, it behoves you to behave with humanity and restore him to us unhurt. By so doing you will satisfy justice and at the same time put us under an obligation.
§ 3.23 The third time he came to reconcile Dion and Dionysius, but, failing to do so, returned to his own country without achieving anything. And there he refrained from meddling with politics, although his writings show that he was a statesman. The reason was that the people had already been accustomed to measures and institutions quite different from his own. Pamphila in the twenty-fifth book of her Memorabilia says that the Arcadians and Thebans, when they were founding Megalopolis, invited Plato to be their legislator; but that, when he discovered that they were opposed to equality of possessions, he refused to go. There is a story that he pleaded for Chabrias the general when he was tried for his life, although no one else at Athens would do so,
§ 3.24 and that, on this occasion, as he was going up to the Acropolis along with Chabrias, Crobylus the informer met him and said, What, are you come to speak for the defence? Don't you know that the hemlock of Socrates awaits you? To this Plato replied, As I faced dangers when serving in the cause of my country, so I will face them now in the cause of duty for a friend.
He was the first to introduce argument by means of question and answer, says Favorinus in the eighth book of his Miscellaneous History; he was the first to explain to Leodamas of Thasos the method of solving problems by analysis; and the first who in philosophical discussion employed the terms antipodes, element, dialectic, quality, oblong number, and, among boundaries, the plane superficies; also divine providence.
§ 3.25 He was also the first philosopher who controverted the speech of Lysias, the son of Cephalus, which he has set out word for word in the Phaedrus, and the first to study the significance of grammar. And, as he was the first to attack the views of almost all his predecessors, the question is raised why he makes no mention of Democritus. Neanthes of Cyzicus says that, on his going to Olympia, the eyes of all the Greeks were turned towards him, and there he met Dion, who was about to make his expedition against Dionysius. In the first book of the Memorabilia of Favorinus there is a statement that Mithradates the Persian set up a statue of Plato in the Academy and inscribed upon it these words: Mithradates the Persian, the son of Orontobates, dedicated to the Muses a likeness of Plato made by Silanion.
§ 3.26 Heraclides declares that in his youth he was so modest and orderly that he was never seen to laugh outright. In spite of this he too was ridiculed by the Comic poets. At any rate Theopompus in his Hedychares says:
There is not anything that is truly one, even the number two is scarcely one, according to Plato.
Moreover, Anaxandrides in his Theseus says:
He was eating olives exactly like Plato.
Then there is Timon who puns on his name thus:
As Plato placed strange platitudes.
§ 3.27 Alexis again in the Meropis:
You have come in the nick of time. For I am at my wits' end and walking up and down, like Plato, and yet have discovered no wise plan but only tired my legs.
And in the Ancylion:
You don't know what you are talking about: run about with Plato, and you'll know all about soap and onions.
Amphis, too, in the Amphicrates says:
a. And as for the good, whatever that be, that you are likely to get on her account, I know no more about it, master, than I do of the good of Plato.
b. Just attend.
§ 3.28 And in the Dexidemides:
O Plato, all you know is how to frown with eyebrows lifted high like any snail.
Cratinus, too, in The False Changeling:
a. Clearly you are a man and have a soul.
b. In Plato's words, I am not sure but suspect that I have.
And Alexis in the Olympiodorus:
a. My mortal body withered up, my immortal part sped into the air.
b. Is not this a lecture of Plato's?
And in the Parasite:
Or, with Plato, to converse alone.
Anaxilas, again, in the Botrylion, and in Circe and Rich Women, has a gibe at him.
§ 3.29 Aristippus in his fourth book On the Luxury of the Ancients says that he was attached to a youth named Aster, who joined him in the study of astronomy, as also to Dion who has been mentioned above, and, as some aver, to Phaedrus too. His passionate affection is revealed in the following epigrams which he is said to have written upon them:
Star-gazing Aster, would I were the skies,
To gaze upon thee with a thousand eyes.
Among the living once the Morning Star,
Thou shin'st, now dead, like Hesper from afar.
§ 3.30 And he wrote thus upon Dion:
Tears from their birth the lot had been
Of Ilium's daughters and their queen.
By thee, O Dion, great deeds done
New hopes and larger promise won.
Now here thou liest gloriously,
How deeply loved, how mourned by me.
§ 3.31 This, they say, was actually inscribed upon his tomb at Syracuse.
Again, it is said that being enamoured of Alexis and Phaedrus, as before mentioned, he composed the following lines:
Now, when Alexis is of no account, I have said no more than this. He is fair to see, and everywhere all eyes are turned upon him. Why, my heart, do you show the dogs a bone? And then will you smart for this hereafter? Was it not thus that we lost Phaedrus?
He is also credited with a mistress, Archeanassa, upon whom he wrote as follows:
I have a mistress, fair Archeanassa of Colophon, on whose very wrinkles sits hot love. O hapless ye who met such beauty on its first voyage, what a flame must have been kindled in you!
§ 3.32 There is another upon Agathon:
While kissing Agathon, my soul leapt to my lips, as if fain, alas! to pass over to him.
I throw an apple to you and, if indeed you are willing to love me, then receive it and let me taste your virgin charms. But if you are otherwise minded, which heaven forbid, take this very apple and see how short-lived all beauty is.
An apple am I, thrown by one who loves you. Nay, Xanthippe, give consent, for you and I are both born to decay.
§ 3.33 It is also said that the epigram on the Eretrians, who were swept out of the country, was written by him:
We are Eretrians by race, from Euboea, and lie near Susa. How far, alas, from our native land!
Thus Venus to the Muses spoke:
Damsels, submit to Venus' yoke,
Or dread my Cupid's arms.
Those threats, the virgins nine replied,
May weigh with Mars, but we deride
Love's wrongs, or darts, or charms.
A certain person found some gold,
Carried it off and, in its stead,
Left a strong halter, neatly rolled.
The owner found his treasure fled,
And, daunted by his fortune's wreck,
Fitted the halter to his neck.
§ 3.34 Further, Molon, being his enemy, said, It is not wonderful that Dionysius should be in Corinth, but rather that Plato should be in Sicily. And it seems that Xenophon was not on good terms with him. At any rate, they have written similar narratives as if out of rivalry with each other, a Symposium, a Defence of Socrates, and their moral treatises or Memorabilia. Next, the one wrote a Republic, the other a Cyropaedia. And in the Laws Plato declares the story of the education of Cyrus to be a fiction, for that Cyrus did not answer to the description of him. And although both make mention of Socrates, neither of them refers to the other, except that Xenophon mentions Plato in the third book of his Memorabilia.
§ 3.35 It is said also that Antisthenes, being about to read publicly something that he had composed, invited Plato to be present. And on his inquiring what he was about to read, Antisthenes replied that it was something about the impossibility of contradiction. How then, said Plato, can you write on this subject? thus showing him that the argument refutes itself. Thereupon he wrote a dialogue against Plato and entitled it Sathon. After this they continued to be estranged from one another. They say that, on hearing Plato read the Lysis, Socrates exclaimed, By Heracles, what a number of lies this young man is telling about me! For he has included in the dialogue much that Socrates never said.
§ 3.36 Plato was also on bad terms with Aristippus. At least in the dialogue Of the Soul he disparages him by saying that he was not present at the death of Socrates, though he was no farther off than Aegina. Again, they say that he showed a certain jealousy of Aeschines, because of his reputation with Dionysius, and that, when he arrived at the court, he was despised by Plato because of his poverty, but supported by Aristippus. And Idomeneus asserts that the arguments used by Crito, when in the prison he urges Socrates to escape, are really due to Aeschines, and that Plato transferred them to Crito because of his enmity to Aeschines.
§ 3.37 Nowhere in his writings does Plato mention himself by name, except in the dialogue On the Soul and the Apology. Aristotle remarks that the style of the dialogues is half-way between poetry and prose. And according to Favorinus, when Plato read the dialogue On the Soul, Aristotle alone stayed to the end; the rest of the audience got up and went away. Some say that Philippus of Opus copied out the Laws, which were left upon waxen tablets, and it is said that he was the author of the Epinomis. Euphorion and Panaetius relate that the beginning of the Republic was found several times revised and rewritten, and the Republic itself Aristoxenus declares to have been nearly all of it included in the Controversies of Protagoras.
§ 3.38 There is a story that the Phaedrus was his first dialogue. For the subject has about it something of the freshness of youth. Dicaearchus, however, censures its whole style as vulgar.
A story is told that Plato once saw some one playing at dice and rebuked him. And, upon his protesting that he played for a trifle only, But the habit, rejoined Plato, is not a trifle. Being asked whether there would be any memoirs of him as of his predecessors, he replied, A man must first make a name, and he will have no lack of memoirs. One day, when Xenocrates had come in, Plato asked him to chastise his slave, since he was unable to do it himself because he was in a passion.
§ 3.39 Further, it is alleged that he said to one of his slaves, I would have given you a flogging, had I not been in a passion. Being mounted on horseback, he quickly got down again, declaring that he was afraid he would be infected with horse-pride. He advised those who got drunk to view themselves in a mirror; for they would then abandon the habit which so disfigured them. To drink to excess was nowhere becoming, he used to say, save at the feasts of the god who was the giver of wine. He also disapproved of over-sleeping. At any rate in the Laws he declares that
§ 3.40 no one when asleep is good for anything. He also said that the truth is the pleasantest of sounds. Another version of this saying is that the pleasantest of all things is to speak the truth. Again, of truth he speaks thus in the Laws: Truth, O stranger, is a fair and durable thing. But it is a thing of which it is hard to persuade men. His wish always was to leave a memorial of himself behind, either in the hearts of his friends or in his books. He was himself fond of seclusion according to some authorities.
His death, the circumstances of which have already been related, took place in the thirteenth year of the reign of King Philip, as stated by Favorinus in the third book of his Memorabilia, and according to Theopompus honours were paid to him at his death by Philip. But Myronianus in his Parallels says that Philo mentions some proverbs that were in circulation about Plato's lice, implying that this was the mode of his death.
§ 3.41 He was buried in the Academy, where he spent the greatest part of his life in philosophical study. And hence the school which he founded was called the Academic school. And all the students there joined in the funeral procession. The terms of his will were as follows:
These things have been left and devised by Plato: the estate in Iphistiadae, bounded on the north by the road from the sanctuary at Cephisia, on the south by the Heracleum in Iphistiadae, on the east by the property of Archestratus of Phrearrhi, on the west by that of Philippus of Chollidae: this it shall be unlawful for anyone to sell or alienate, but it shall be the property of the boy Adeimantus to all intents and purposes:
§ 3.42 the estate in Eiresidae which I bought of Callimachus, bounded on the north by the property of Eurymedon of Myrrhinus, on the south by the property of Demostratus of Xypete, on the east by that of Eurymedon of Myrrhinus, and on the west by the Cephisus; three minae of silver; a silver vessel weighing 165 drachmas; a cup weighing 45 drachmas; a gold signet-ring and earring together weighing four drachmas and three obols. Euclides the lapidary owes me three minae. I enfranchise Artemis. I leave four household servants, Tychon, Bictas, Apollonides and Dionysius.
§ 3.43 Household furniture, as set down in the inventory of which Demetrius has the duplicate. I owe no one anything. My executors are Leosthenes, Speusippus, Demetrius, Hegias, Eurymedon, Callimachus and Thrasippus.
Such were the terms of his will. The following epitaphs were inscribed upon his tomb:
Here lies the god-like man Aristocles, eminent among men for temperance and the justice of his character. And he, if ever anyone, had the fullest meed of praise for wisdom, and was too great for envy.
§ 3.44 Earth in her bosom here hides Plato's body, but his soul hath its immortal station with the blest, Ariston's son, whom every good man, even if he dwell afar off, honours because he discerned the divine life.
And a third of later date:
a. Eagle, why fly you o'er this tomb? Say, is your gaze fixed upon the starry house of one of the immortals?
b. I am the image of the soul of Plato, which has soared to Olympus, while his earth-born body rests in Attic soil.
§ 3.45 There is also an epitaph of my own which runs thus:
If Phoebus did not cause Plato to be born in Greece, how came it that he healed the minds of men by letters? As the god's son Asclepius is a healer of the body, so is Plato of the immortal soul.
And another on the manner of his death:
Phoebus gave to mortals Asclepius and Plato, the one to save their souls, the other to save their bodies. From a wedding banquet he has passed to that city which he had founded for himself and planted in the sky.
Such then are his epitaphs.
§ 3.46 His disciples were Speusippus of Athens, Xenocrates of Chalcedon, Aristotle of Stagira, Philippus of Opus, Hestiaeus of Perinthus, Dion of Syracuse, Amyclus of Heraclea, Erastus and Coriscus of Scepsus, Timolaus of Cyzicus, Euaeon of Lampsacus, Python and Heraclides of Aenus, Hippothales and Callippus of Athens, Demetrius of Amphipolis, Heraclides of Pontus, and many others, among them two women, Lastheneia of Mantinea and Axiothea of Phlius, who is reported by Dicaearchus to have worn men's clothes. Some say that Theophrastus too attended his lectures. Chamaeleon adds Hyperides the orator and Lycurgus,
§ 3.47 and in this Polemo agrees. Sabinus makes Demosthenes his pupil, quoting, in the fourth book of his Materials for Criticism, Mnesistratus of Thasos as his authority. And it is not improbable.
Now, as you are an enthusiastic Platonist, and rightly so, and as you eagerly seek out that philosopher's doctrines in preference to all others, I have thought it necessary to give some account of the true nature of his discourses, the arrangement of the dialogues, and the method of his inductive procedure, as far as possible in an elementary manner and in main outline, in order that the facts I have collected respecting his life may not suffer by the omission of his doctrines. For, in the words of the proverb, it would be taking owls to Athens, were I to give you of all people the full particulars.
§ 3.48 They say that Zeno the Eleatic was the first to write dialogues. But, according to Favorinus in his Memorabilia, Aristotle in the first book of his dialogue On Poets asserts that it was Alexamenus of Styra or Teos. In my opinion Plato, who brought this form of writing to perfection, ought to be adjudged the prize for its invention as well as for its embellishment. A dialogue is a discourse consisting of question and answer on some philosophical or political subject, with due regard to the characters of the persons introduced and the choice of diction. Dialectic is the art of discourse by which we either refute or establish some proposition by means of question and answer on the part of the interlocutors.
§ 3.49 Of the Platonic dialogues there are two most general types, the one adapted for instruction and the other for inquiry. And the former is further divided into two types, the theoretical and the practical. And of these the theoretical is divided into the physical and logical, and the practical into the ethical and political. The dialogue of inquiry also has two main divisions, the one of which aims at training the mind and the other at victory in controversy. Again, the part which aims at training the mind has two subdivisions, the one akin to the midwife's art, the other merely tentative. And that suited to controversy is also subdivided into one part which raises critical objections, and another which is subversive of the main position.
§ 3.50 I am not unaware that there are other ways in which certain writers classify the dialogues. For some dialogues they call dramatic, others narrative, and others again a mixture of the two. But the terms they employ in their classification of the dialogues are better suited to the stage than to philosophy. Physics is represented by the Timaeus, logic by the Statesman, Cratylus, Parmenides and Sophist, ethics by the Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Phaedrus and Symposium, as well as by the Menexenus, Clitophon, the Epistles, Philebus, Hipparchus and the Rivals, and lastly politics by the Republic,
§ 3.51 the Laws, Minos, Epinomis, and the dialogue concerning Atlantis. To the class of mental obstetrics belong the two Alcibiades, Theages, Lysis and Laches, while the Euthyphro, Meno, Io, Charmides and Theaetetus illustrate the tentative method. In the Protagoras is seen the method of critical objections; in the Euthydemus, Gorgias, and the two dialogues entitled Hippias that of subversive argument. So much then for dialogue, its definition and varieties.
Again, as there is great division of opinion between those who affirm and those who deny that Plato was a dogmatist, let me proceed to deal with this further question. To be a dogmatist in philosophy is to lay down positive dogmas, just as to be a legislator is to lay down laws. Further, under dogma two things are included, the thing opined and the opinion itself.
§ 3.52 Of these the former is a proposition, the latter a conception. Now where he has a firm grasp Plato expounds his own view and refutes the false one, but, if the subject is obscure, he suspends judgement. His own views are expounded by four persons, Socrates, Timaeus, the Athenian Stranger, the Eleatic Stranger. These strangers are not, as some hold, Plato and Parmenides, but imaginary characters without names, for, even when Socrates and Timaeus are the speakers, it is Plato's doctrines that are laid down. To illustrate the refutation of false opinions, he introduces Thrasymachus, Callicles, Polus, Gorgias, Protagoras, or again Hippias, Euthydemus and the like.
§ 3.53 In constructing his proofs he makes most use of induction, not always in the same way, but under two forms. For induction is an argument which by means of certain true premisses properly infers a truth resembling them. And there are two kinds of induction, the one proceeding by way of contradiction, the other from agreement. In the kind which proceeds by contradiction the answer given to every question will necessarily be the contrary of the respondent's position, e.g. My father is either other than or the same as your father. If then your father is other than my father, by being other than a father he will not be a father. But if he is the same as my father, then by being the same as my father he will be my father.
§ 3.54 And again: If man is not an animal, he will be either a stick or a stone. But he is not a stick or a stone; for he is animate and self-moved. Therefore he is an animal. But if he is an animal, and if a dog or an ox is also an animal, then man by being an animal will be a dog and an ox as well. This is the kind of induction which proceeds by contradiction and dispute, and Plato used it, not for laying down positive doctrines but for refutation. The other kind of induction by agreement appears in two forms, the one proving the particular conclusion under discussion from a particular, the other proceeding by way of the universal [by means of particular facts]. The former is suited to rhetoric, the latter to dialectic. For instance, under the first form the question is raised, Did so-and-so commit a murder? The proof is that he was found at the time with stains of blood on him.
§ 3.55 This is the rhetorical form of induction, since rhetoric also is concerned with particular facts and not with universals. It does not inquire about justice in the abstract, but about particular cases of justice. The other kind, where the general proposition is first established by means of particular facts, is the induction of dialectic. For instance, the question put is whether the soul is immortal, and whether the living come back from the dead. And this is proved in the dialogue On the Soul by means of a certain general proposition, that opposites proceed from opposites. And the general proposition itself is established by means of certain propositions which are particular, as that sleep comes from waking and vice versa, the greater from the less and vice versa. This is the form which he used to establish his own views.
§ 3.56 But, just as long ago in tragedy the chorus was the only actor, and afterwards, in order to give the chorus breathing space, Thespis devised a single actor, Aeschylus a second, Sophocles a third, and thus tragedy was completed, so too with philosophy: in early times it discoursed on one subject only, namely physics, then Socrates added the second subject, ethics, and Plato the third, dialectics, and so brought philosophy to perfection. Thrasylus says that he published his dialogues in tetralogies, like those of the tragic poets. Thus they contended with four plays at the Dionysia, the Lenaea, the Panathenaea and the festival of Chytri. Of the four plays the last was a satiric drama; and the four together were called a tetralogy.
§ 3.57 Now, says Thrasylus, the genuine dialogues are fifty-six in all, if the Republic be divided into ten and the Laws into twelve. Favorinus, however, in the second book of his Miscellaneous History declares that nearly the whole of the Republic is to be found in a work of Protagoras entitled Controversies. This gives nine tetralogies, if the Republic takes the place of one single work and the Laws of another. His first tetralogy has a common plan underlying it, for he wishes to describe what the life of the philosopher will be. To each of the works Thrasylus affixes a double title, the one taken from the name of the interlocutor, the other from the subject.
§ 3.58 This tetralogy, then, which is the first, begins with the Euthyphro or On Holiness, a tentative dialogue; the Apology of Socrates, an ethical dialogue, comes second; the third is Crito or On what is to be done, ethical; the fourth Phaedo or On the Soul, also ethical. The second tetralogy begins with Cratylus or On Correctness of Names, a logical dialogue, which is followed by Theaetetus or On Knowledge, tentative, the Sophist or On Being, a logical dialogue, the Statesman or On Monarchy, also logical. The third tetralogy includes, first, Parmenides or On Ideas, which is logical, next Philebus or On Pleasure, an ethical dialogue, the Banquet or On the Good, ethical, Phaedrus or On Love, also ethical.
§ 3.59 The fourth tetralogy starts with Alcibiades or On the Nature of Man, an obstetric dialogue; this is followed by the second Alcibiades or On Prayer, also obstetric; then comes Hipparchus or The Lover of Gain, which is ethical, and The Rivals or On Philosophy, also ethical. The fifth tetralogy includes, first, Theages or On Philosophy, an obstetric dialogue, then Charmides or On Temperance, which is tentative, Laches or On Courage, obstetric, and Lysis or On Friendship, also obstetric. The sixth tetralogy starts with Euthydemus or The Eristic, a refutative dialogue, which is followed by Protagoras or Sophists, critical, Gorgias or On Rhetoric, refutative, and Meno or On Virtue, which is tentative.
§ 3.60 The seventh tetralogy contains, first, two dialogues entitled Hippias, the former On Beauty, the latter On Falsehood, both refutative; next Ion or On the Iliad, which is tentative, and Menexenus or The Funeral Oration, which is ethical. The eighth tetralogy starts with Clitophon or Introduction, which is ethical, and is followed by the Republic or On Justice, political, Timaeus or On Nature, a physical treatise, and Critias or Story of Atlantis, which is ethical. The ninth tetralogy starts with Minos or On Law, a political dialogue, which is followed by the Laws or On Legislation, also political, Epinomis or Nocturnal Council, or Philosopher, political,
§ 3.61 and lastly the Epistles, thirteen in number, which are ethical. In these epistles his heading was Welfare, as that of Epicurus was A Good Life, and that of Cleon All Joy. They comprise: one to Aristodemus, two to Archytas, four to Dionysius, one to Hermias, Erastus and Coriscus, one each to Leodamas, Dion and Perdiccas, and two to Dion's friends. This is the division adopted by Thrasylus and some others.
Some, including Aristophanes the grammarian, arrange the dialogues arbitrarily in trilogies.
§ 3.62 In the first trilogy they place the Republic, Timaeus and Critias; in the second the Sophist, the Statesman and Cratylus; in the third the Laws, Minos and Epinomis; in the fourth Theaetetus, Euthyphro and the Apology; in the fifth Crito, Phaedo and the Epistles. The rest follow as separate compositions in no regular order. Some critics, as has already been stated, put the Republic first, while others start with the greater Alcibiades, and others again with the Theages; some begin with the Euthyphro, others with the Clitophon; some with the Timaeus, others with the Phaedrus; others again with the Theaetetus, while many begin with the Apology. The following dialogues are acknowledged to be spurious: the Midon or Horse-breeder, the Eryxias or Erasistratus, the Alcyon, the Acephali or Sisyphus, the Axiochus, the Phaeacians, the Demodocus, the Chelidon, the Seventh Day, the Epimenides. Of these the Alcyon is thought to be the work of a certain Leon, according to Favorinus in the fifth book of his Memorabilia.
§ 3.63 Plato has employed a variety of terms in order to make his system less intelligible to the ignorant. But in a special sense he considers wisdom to be the science of those things which are objects of thought and really existent, the science which, he says, is concerned with God and the soul as separate from the body. And especially by wisdom he means philosophy, which is a yearning for divine wisdom. And in a general sense all experience is also termed by him wisdom, e.g. when he calls a craftsman wise. And he applies the same terms with very different meanings. For instance, the word φαῦλος (slight, plain) is employed by him in the sense of ἁπλοῦς (simple, honest), just as it is applied to Heracles in the Licymnius of Euripides in the following passage:
Plain (φαῦλος), unaccomplished, staunch to do great deeds, unversed in talk, with all his store of wisdom curtailed to action.
§ 3.64 But sometimes Plato uses this same word (φαῦλος） to mean what is bad, and at other times for what is small or petty. Again, he often uses different terms to express the same thing. For instance, he calls the Idea form (εἶδος), genus (γένος), archetype (παράδειγμα), principle (ἀρχή) and cause (αἴτιον). He also uses contrary expressions for the same thing. Thus he calls the sensible thing both existent and non-existent, existent inasmuch as it comes into being, non-existent because it is continually changing. And he says the Idea is neither in motion nor at rest; that it is uniformly the same and yet both one and many. And it is his habit to do this in many more instances.
§ 3.65 The right interpretation of his dialogues includes three things: first, the meaning of every statement must be explained; next, its purpose, whether it is made for a primary reason or by way of illustration, and whether to establish his own doctrines or to refute his interlocutor; in the third place it remains to examine its truth.
And since certain critical marks are affixed to his works let us now say a word about these. The cross × is taken to indicate peculiar expressions and figures of speech, and generally any idiom of Platonic usage; the diple (<>) calls attention to doctrines and opinions characteristic of Plato;
§ 3.66 the dotted cross (⨰) denotes select passages and beauties of style; the dotted diple (⋗) editors' corrections of the text; the dotted obelus (÷) passages suspected without reason; the dotted antisigma (Ꜿ) repetitions and proposals for transpositions; the ceraunium the philosophical school; the asterisk (∗) an agreement of doctrine; the obelus (−) a spurious passage. So much for the critical marks and his writings in general. As Antigonus of Carystus says in his Life of Zeno, when the writings were first edited with critical marks, their possessors charged a certain fee to anyone who wished to consult them.
§ 3.67 The doctrines he approved are these. He held that the soul is immortal, that by transmigration it puts on many bodies, and that it has a numerical first principle, whereas the first principle of the body is geometrical; and he defined soul as the idea of vital breath diffused in all directions. He held that it is self-moved and tripartite, the rational part of it having its seat in the head, the passionate part about the heart, while the appetitive is placed in the region of the navel and the liver.
§ 3.68 And from the centre outwards it encloses the body on all sides in a circle, and is compounded of elements, and, being divided at harmonic intervals, it forms two circles which touch one another twice; and the interior circle, being slit six times over, makes seven circles in all. And this interior circle moves by way of the diagonal to the left, and the other by way of the side to the right. Hence also the one is supreme, being a single circle, for the other interior circle was divided; the former is the circle of the Same, the latter that of the Other, whereby he means that the motion of the soul is the motion of the universe together with the revolutions of the planets.
§ 3.69 And the division from the centre to the circumference which is adjusted in harmony with the soul being thus determined, the soul knows that which is, and adjusts it proportionately because she has the elements proportionately disposed in herself. And when the circle of the Other revolves aright, the result is opinion; but from the regular motion of the circle of the Same comes knowledge. He set forth two universal principles, God and matter, and he calls God mind and cause; he held that matter is devoid of form and unlimited, and that composite things arise out of it; and that it was once in disorderly motion but, inasmuch as God preferred order to disorder, was by him brought together in one place.
§ 3.70 This substance, he says, is converted into the four elements, fire, water, air, earth, of which the world itself and all that therein is are formed. Earth alone of these elements is not subject to change, the assumed cause being the peculiarity of its constituent triangles. For he thinks that in all the other elements the figures employed are homogeneous, the scalene triangle out of which they are all put together being one and the same, whereas for earth a triangle of peculiar shape is employed; the element of fire is a pyramid, of air an octahedron, of water an icosahedron, of earth a cube. Hence earth is not transmuted into the other three elements, nor these three into earth.
§ 3.71 But the elements are not separated each into its own region of the universe, because the revolution unites their minute particles, compressing and forcing them together into the centre, at the same time as it separates the larger masses. Hence as they change their shapes, so also do they change the regions which they occupy.
And there is one created universe, seeing that it is perceptible to sense, which has been made by God. And it is animate because that which is animate is better than that which is inanimate. And this piece of workmanship is assumed to come from a cause supremely good. It was made one and not unlimited because the pattern from which he made it was one. And it is spherical because such is the shape of its maker.
§ 3.72 For that maker contains the other living things, and this universe the shapes of them all. It is smooth and has no organ all round because it has no need of organs. Moreover, the universe remains imperishable because it is not dissolved into the Deity. And the creation as a whole is caused by God, because it is the nature of the good to be beneficent, and the creation of the universe has the highest good for its cause. For the most beautiful of created things is due to the best of intelligible causes; so that, as God is of this nature, and the universe resembles the best in its perfect beauty, it will not be in the likeness of anything created, but only of God.
§ 3.73 The universe is composed of fire, water, air and earth; of fire in order to be visible; of earth in order to be solid; of water and air in order to be proportional. For the powers represented by solids are connected by two mean proportionals in a way to secure the complete unity of the whole. And the universe was made of all the elements in order to be complete and indestructible.
Time was created as an image of eternity. And while the latter remains for ever at rest, time consists in the motion of the universe. For night and day and month and the like are all parts of time; for which reason, apart from the nature of the universe, time has no existence. But so soon as the universe is fashioned time exists.
§ 3.74 And the sun and moon and planets were created as means to the creation of time. And God kindled the light of the sun in order that the number of the seasons might be definite and in order that animals might possess number. The moon is in the circle immediately above the earth, and the sun in that which is next beyond that, and in the circles above come the planets. Further, the universe is an animate being, for it is bound fast in animate movement. And in order that the universe which had been created in the likeness of the intelligible living creature might be rendered complete, the nature of all other animals was created. Since then its pattern possesses them, the universe also ought to have them. And thus it contains gods for the most part of a fiery nature; of the rest there are three kinds, winged, aquatic and terrestrial.
§ 3.75 And of all the gods in heaven the earth is the oldest. And it was fashioned to make night and day. And being at the centre it moves round the centre. And since there are two causes, it must be affirmed, he says, that some things are due to reason and others have a necessary cause, the latter being air, fire, earth and water, which are not exactly elements but rather recipients of form. They are composed of triangles, and are resolved into triangles. The scalene triangle and the isosceles triangle are their constituent elements.
§ 3.76 The principles, then, and causes assumed are the two above mentioned, of which God and matter are the exemplar. Matter is of necessity formless like the other recipients of form. Of all these there is a necessary cause. For it somehow or other receives the ideas and so generates substances, and it moves because its power is not uniform, and, being in motion, it in turn sets in motion those things which are generated from it. And these were at first in irrational and irregular motion, but after they began to frame the universe, under the conditions possible they were made by God symmetrical and regular.
§ 3.77 For the two causes existed even before the world was made, as well as becoming in the third place, but they were not distinct, merely traces of them being found, and in disorder. When the world was made, they too acquired order. And out of all the bodies there are the universe was fashioned. He holds God, like the soul, to be incorporeal. For only thus is he exempt from change and decay. As already stated, he assumes the Ideas to be causes and principles whereby the world of natural objects is what it is.
§ 3.78 On good and evil he would discourse to this effect. He maintained that the end to aim at is assimilation to God, that virtue is in itself sufficient for happiness, but that it needs in addition, as instruments for use, first, bodily advantages like health and strength, sound senses and the like, and, secondly, external advantages such as wealth, good birth and reputation. But the wise man will be no less happy even if he be without these things. Again, he will take part in public affairs, will marry, and will refrain from breaking the laws which have been made. And as far as circumstances allow he will legislate for his own country, unless in the extreme corruption of the people he sees that the state of affairs completely justifies his abstention.
§ 3.79 He thinks that the gods take note of human life and that there are superhuman beings. He was the first to define the notion of good as that which is bound up with whatever is praiseworthy and rational and useful and proper and becoming. And all these are bound up with that which is consistent and in accord with nature.
He also discoursed on the propriety of names, and indeed he was the first to frame a science for rightly asking and answering questions, having employed it himself to excess. And in the dialogues he conceived righteousness to be the law of God because it is stronger to incite men to do righteous acts, that malefactors may not be punished after death also.
§ 3.80 Hence to some he appeared too fond of myths. These narratives he intermingles with his works in order to deter men from wickedness, by reminding them how little they know of what awaits them after death. Such, then, are the doctrines he approved.
He used also to divide things, according to Aristotle, in the following manner. Goods are in the mind or in the body, or external. For example, justice, prudence, courage, temperance and such like are in the mind; beauty, a good constitution, health and strength in the body; while friends, the welfare of one's country and riches are amongst external things.
§ 3.81 Thus there are three kinds of goods: goods of the mind, goods of the body and external goods. There are three species of friendship: one species is natural, another social, and another hospitable. By natural friendship we mean the affection which parents have for their offspring and kinsmen for each other. And other animals besides man have inherited this form.
By the social form of friendship we mean that which arises from intimacy and has nothing to do with kinship; for instance, that of Pylades for Orestes. The friendship of hospitality is that which is extended to strangers owing to an introduction or letters of recommendation. Thus friendship is either natural or social or hospitable. Some add a fourth species, that of love.
§ 3.82 There are five forms of civil government: one form is democratic, another aristocratic, a third oligarchic, a fourth monarchic, a fifth that of a tyrant. The democratic form is that in which the people has control and chooses at its own pleasure both magistrates and laws. The aristocratic form is that in which the rulers are neither the rich nor the poor nor the nobles, but the state is under the guidance of the best. Oligarchy is that form in which there is a property-qualification for the holding of office; for the rich are fewer than the poor. Monarchy is either regulated by law or hereditary. At Carthage the kingship is regulated by law, the office being put up for sale.
§ 3.83 But the monarchy in Lacedaemon and in Macedonia is hereditary, for they select the king from a certain family. A tyranny is that form in which the citizens are ruled either through fraud or force by an individual. Thus civil government is either democratic, aristocratic, oligarchic, or a monarchy or a tyranny.
There are three species of justice. One is concerned with gods, another with men, and the third with the departed. For those who sacrifice according to the laws and take care of the holy places are obviously pious towards the gods. Those again who repay loans and restore what they have received upon trust act justly towards men. Lastly, those who take care of tombs are obviously just towards the departed. Thus one species of justice relates to the gods, another to men, while a third species is concerned with the departed.
§ 3.84 There are three species of knowledge or science, one practical, another productive, and a third theoretical. For architecture and shipbuilding are productive arts, since the work produced by them can be seen. Politics and flute-playing, harp-playing and similar arts are practical. For nothing visible is produced by them; yet they do or perform something. In the one case the artist plays the flute or the harp, in the other the politician takes part in politics. Geometry and harmonics and astronomy are theoretical sciences. For they neither perform nor produce anything. But the geometer considers how lines are related to each other, the student of harmony investigates sounds, the astronomer stars and the universe. Thus some sciences are theoretical, others are practical, and others are productive.
§ 3.85 There are five species of medicine: the first is pharmacy, the second is surgery, the third deals with diet and regimen, the fourth with diagnosis, the fifth with remedies. Pharmacy cures sickness by drugs, surgery heals by the use of knife and cautery, the species concerned with diet prescribes a regimen for the removal of disease, that concerned with diagnosis proceeds by determining the nature of the ailment, that concerned with remedies by prescribing for the immediate removal of the pain. The species of medicine, then, are pharmacy, surgery, diet and regimen, diagnosis, prescription of remedies.
§ 3.86 There are two divisions of law, the one written and the other unwritten. Written law is that under which we live in different cities, but that which has arisen out of custom is called unwritten law; for instance, not to appear in the market-place undressed or in women's attire. There is no statute forbidding this, but nevertheless we abstain from such conduct because it is prohibited by an unwritten law. Thus law is either written or unwritten.
There are five kinds of speech, of which one is that which politicians employ in the assemblies; this is called political speech.
§ 3.87 The second division is that which the rhetors employ in written compositions, whether composed for display or praise or blame, or for accusation. Hence this division is termed rhetorical. The third division of speech is that of private persons conversing with one another; this is called the mode of speech of ordinary life. Another division of speech is the language of those who converse by means of short questions and answers; this kind is called dialectical. The fifth division is the speech of craftsmen conversing about their own subjects; this is called technical language. Thus speech is either political, or rhetorical, or that of ordinary conversation, or dialectical, or technical.
§ 3.88 Music has three divisions. One employs the mouth alone, like singing. The second employs both the mouth and the hands, as is the case with the harper singing to his own accompaniment. The third division employs the hands alone; for instance, the music of the harp. Thus music employs either the mouth alone, or the mouth and the hands, or the hands alone.
Nobility has four divisions. First, when the ancestors are gentle and handsome and also just, their descendants are said to be noble. Secondly, when the ancestors have been princes or magistrates, their descendants are said to be noble. The third kind arises when the ancestors have been illustrious; for instance, through having held military command or through success in the national games. For then we call the descendants noble.
§ 3.89 The last division includes the man who is himself of a generous and high-minded spirit. He too is said to be noble. And this indeed is the highest form of nobility. Thus, of nobility, one kind depends on excellent ancestors, another on princely ancestors, a third on illustrious ancestors, while the fourth is due to the individual's own beauty and worth.
Beauty has three divisions. The first is the object of praise, as of form fair to see. Another is serviceable; thus an instrument, a house and the like are beautiful for use. Other things again which relate to customs and pursuits and the like are beautiful because beneficial. Of beauty, then, one kind is matter for praise, another is for use, and another for the benefit it procures.
§ 3.90 The soul has three divisions. One part of it is rational, another appetitive, and a third irascible. Of these the rational part is the cause of purpose, reflection, understanding and the like. The appetitive part of the soul is the cause of desire of eating, sexual indulgence and the like, while the irascible part is the cause of courage, of pleasure and pain, and of anger. Thus one part of the soul is rational, another appetitive, and a third irascible.
Of perfect virtue there are four species: prudence, justice, bravery and temperance.
§ 3.91 Of these prudence is the cause of right conduct, justice of just dealing in partnerships and commercial transactions. Bravery is the cause which makes a man not give way but stand his ground in alarms and perils. Temperance causes mastery over desires, so that we are never enslaved by any pleasure, but lead an orderly life. Thus virtue includes first prudence, next justice, thirdly bravery, and lastly temperance.
Rule has five divisions, one that which is according to law, another according to nature, another according to custom, a fourth by birth, a fifth by force.
§ 3.92 Now the magistrates in cities when elected by their fellow-citizens rule according to law. The natural rulers are the males, not only among men, but also among the other animals; for the males everywhere exert wide-reaching rule over the females. Rule according to custom is such authority as attendants exercise over children and teachers over their pupils. Hereditary rule is exemplified by that of the Lacedaemonian kings, for the office of king is confined to a certain family. And the same system is in force for the kingdom of Macedonia; for there too the office of king goes by birth. Others have acquired power by force or fraud, and govern the citizens against their will; this kind of rule is called forcible. Thus rule is either by law, or by nature, or by custom, or by birth, or by force.
§ 3.93 There are six kinds of rhetoric. For when the speakers urge war or alliance with a neighbouring state, that species of rhetoric is called persuasion. But when they speak against making war or alliance, and urge their hearers to remain at peace, this kind of rhetoric is called dissuasion. A third kind is employed when a speaker asserts that he is wronged by some one whom he makes out to have caused him much mischief; accusation is the name applied to the kind here defined. The fourth kind of rhetoric is termed defence; here the speaker shows that he has done no wrong and that his conduct is in no respect abnormal; defence is the term applied in such a case.
§ 3.94 A fifth kind of rhetoric is employed when a speaker speaks well of some one and proves him to be worthy and honourable; encomium is the name given to this kind. A sixth kind is that employed when the speaker shows some one to be unworthy; the name given to this is invective. Under rhetoric, then, are included encomium, invective, persuasion, dissuasion, accusation and defence.
Successful speaking has four divisions. The first consists in speaking to the purpose, the next to the requisite length, the third before the proper audience, and the fourth at the proper moment. The things to the purpose are those which are likely to be expedient for speaker and hearer. The requisite length is that which is neither more nor less than enough.
§ 3.95 To speak to the proper audience means this: in addressing persons older than yourself, the discourse must be made suitable to the audience as being elderly men; whereas in addressing juniors the discourse must be suitable to young men. The proper time of speaking is neither too soon nor too late; otherwise you will miss the mark and not speak with success.
Of conferring benefits there are four divisions. For it takes place either by pecuniary aid or by personal service, by means of knowledge or of speech. Pecuniary aid is given when one assists a man in need, so that he is relieved from all anxiety on the score of money. Personal service is given when men come up to those who are being beaten and rescue them.
§ 3.96 Those who train or heal, or who teach something valuable, confer benefit by means of knowledge. But when men enter a law-court and one appears as advocate for another and delivers an effective speech on his behalf, he is benefiting him by speech. Thus benefits are conferred by means either of money or of personal service, or of knowledge, or of speech.
There are four ways in which things are completed and brought to an end. The first is by legal enactment, when a decree is passed and this decree is confirmed by law. The second is in the course of nature, as the day, the year and the seasons are completed. The third is by the rules of art, say the builder's art, for so a house is completed; and so it is with shipbuilding, whereby vessels are completed.
§ 3.97 Fourthly, matters are brought to an end by chance or accident, when they turn out otherwise than is expected. Thus the completion of things is due either to law, or to nature, or to art, or to chance.
Of power or ability there are four divisions. First, whatever we can do with the mind, namely calculate or anticipate; next, whatever we can effect with the body, for instance, marching, giving, taking and the like. Thirdly, whatever we can do by a multitude of soldiers or a plentiful supply of money; hence a king is said to have great power. The fourth division of power or influence is doing, or being done by, well or ill; thus we can become ill or be educated, be restored to health and the like. Power, then, is either in the mind, or the body, or in armies and resources, or in acting and being acted upon.
§ 3.98 Philanthropy is of three kinds. One is by way of salutations, as when certain people address every one they meet and, stretching out their hand, give him a hearty greeting; another mode is seen when one is given to assisting every one in distress; another mode of philanthropy is that which makes certain people fond of giving dinners. Thus philanthropy is shown either by a courteous address, or by conferring benefits, or by hospitality and the promotion of social intercourse.
Welfare or happiness includes five parts. One part of it is good counsel, a second soundness of the senses and bodily health, a third success in one's undertakings, a fourth a reputation with one's fellow-men, a fifth ample means in money and in whatever else subserves the end of life.
§ 3.99 Now deliberating well is a result of education and of having experience of many things. Soundness of the senses depends upon the bodily organs: I mean, if one sees with his eyes, hears with his ears, and perceives with his nostrils and his mouth the appropriate objects, then such a condition is soundness of the senses. Success is attained when a man does what he aims at in the right way, as becomes a good man.
A man has a good reputation when he is well spoken of. A man has ample means when he is so equipped for the needs of life that he can afford to benefit his friends and discharge his public services with lavish display. If a man has all these things, he is completely happy. Thus of welfare or happiness one part is good counsel, another soundness of senses and bodily health, a third success, a fourth a good reputation, a fifth ample means.
§ 3.100 There are three divisions of the arts and crafts. The first division consists of mining and forestry, which are productive arts. The second includes the smith's and carpenter's arts which transform material; for the smith makes weapons out of iron, and the carpenter transforms timber into flutes and lyres. The third division is that which uses what is thus made, as horsemanship employs bridles, the art of war employs weapons, and music flutes and the lyre. Thus of art there are three several species, those above-mentioned in the first, second and third place.
§ 3.101 Good is divided into four kinds. One is the possessor of virtue, whom we affirm to be individually good. Another is virtue itself and justice; these we affirm to be good. A third includes such things as food, suitable exercises and drugs. The fourth kind which we affirm to be good includes the arts of flute-playing, acting and the like. Thus there are four kinds of good: the possession of virtue; virtue itself; thirdly, food and beneficial exercises; lastly, flute-playing, acting, and the poetic art.
§ 3.102 Whatever is is either evil or good or indifferent. We call that evil which is capable of invariably doing harm; for instance, bad judgement and folly and injustice and the like. The contraries of these things are good. But the things which can sometimes benefit and sometimes harm, such as walking and sitting and eating, or which can neither do any benefit nor harm at all, these are things indifferent, neither good nor evil. Thus all things whatever are either good, or evil, or neither good nor evil.
§ 3.103 Good order in the state falls under three heads. First, if the laws are good, we say that there is good government. Secondly, if the citizens obey the established laws, we also call this good government. Thirdly, if, without the aid of laws, the people manage their affairs well under the guidance of customs and institutions, we call this again good government. Thus three forms of good government may exist, (1) when the laws are good, (2) when the existing laws are obeyed, (3) when the people live under salutary customs and institutions.
Disorder in a state has three forms. The first arises when the laws affecting citizens and strangers are alike bad,
§ 3.104 the second when the existing laws are not obeyed, and the third when there is no law at all. Thus the state is badly governed when the laws are bad or not obeyed, or lastly, when there is no law.
Contraries are divided into three species. For instance, we say that goods are contrary to evils, as justice to injustice, wisdom to folly, and the like. Again, evils are contrary to evils, prodigality is contrary to niggardliness, and to be unjustly tortured is the contrary of being justly tortured, and so with similar evils. Again, heavy is the contrary of light, quick of slow, black of white, and these pairs are contraries, while they are neither good nor evil.
§ 3.105 Thus, of contraries, some are opposed as goods to evils, others as evils to evils, and others, as things which are neither good nor evil, are opposed to one another.
There are three kinds of goods, those which can be exclusively possessed, those which can be shared with others, and those which simply exist. To the first division, namely, those which can be exclusively possessed, belong such things as justice and health. To the next belong all those which, though they cannot be exclusively possessed, can be shared with others. Thus we cannot possess the absolute good, but we can participate in it. The third division includes those goods the existence of which is necessary, though we can neither possess them exclusively nor participate in them. The mere existence of worth and justice is a good; and these things cannot be shared or had in exclusive possession, but must simply exist. Of goods, then, some are possessed exclusively, some shared, and others merely subsist.
§ 3.106 Counsel is divided under three heads. One is taken from past time, one from the future, and the third from the present. That from past time consists of examples; for instance, what the Lacedaemonians suffered through trusting others. Counsel drawn from the present is to show, for instance, that the walls are weak, the men cowards, and the supplies running short. Counsel from the future is. for instance, to urge that we should not wrong the embassies by suspicions, lest the fair fame of Hellas be stained. Thus counsel is derived from the past, the present and the future.
§ 3.107 Vocal sound falls into two divisions according as it is animate or inanimate. The voice of living things is animate sound; notes of instruments and noises are inanimate. And of the animate voice part is articulate, part inarticulate, that of men being articulate speech, that of the animals inarticulate. Thus vocal sound is either animate or inanimate.
Whatever exists is either divisible or indivisible. Of divisible things some are divisible into similar and others into dissimilar parts. Those things are indivisible which cannot be divided and are not compounded of elements, for example, the unit, the point and the musical note; whereas those which have constituent parts, for instance, syllables, concords in music, animals, water, gold, are divisible.
§ 3.108 If they are composed of similar parts, so that the whole does not differ from the part except in bulk, as water, gold and all that is fusible, and the like, then they are termed homogeneous. But whatever is composed of dissimilar parts, as a house and the like, is termed heterogeneous. Thus all things whatever are either divisible or indivisible, and of those which are divisible some are homogeneous, others heterogeneous in their parts.
Of existing things some are absolute and some are called relative. Things said to exist absolutely are those which need nothing else to explain them, as man, horse, and all other animals.
§ 3.109 For none of these gains by explanation. To those which are called relative belong all which stand in need of some explanation, as that which is greater than something or quicker than something, or more beautiful and the like. For the greater implies a less, and the quicker is quicker than something. Thus existing things are either absolute or relative. And in this way, according to Aristotle, Plato used to divide the primary conceptions also.
There was also another man named Plato, a philosopher of Rhodes, a pupil of Panaetius, as is stated by Seleucus the grammarian in his first book On Philosophy; another a Peripatetic and pupil of Aristotle; and another who was a pupil of Praxiphanes; and lastly, there was Plato, the poet of the Old Comedy.
§ 4.1 BOOK 4: 1. SPEUSIPPUS
The foregoing is the best account of Plato that we were able to compile after a diligent examination of the authorities. He was succeeded by Speusippus, an Athenian and son of Eurymedon, who belonged to the deme of Myrrhinus, and was the son of Plato's sister Potone. He was head of the school for eight years beginning in the 108th Olympiad. He set up statues of the Graces in the shrine of the Muses erected by Plato in the Academy. He adhered faithfully to Plato's doctrines. In character, however, he was unlike him, being prone to anger and easily overcome by pleasures. At any rate there is a story that in a fit of passion he flung his favourite dog into the well, and that pleasure was the sole motive for his journey to Macedonia to be present at the wedding-feast of Casander.
§ 4.2 It was said that among those who attended his lectures were the two women who had been pupils of Plato, Lastheneia of Mantinea and Axiothea of Phlius. And at the time Dionysius in a letter says derisively, We may judge of your wisdom by the Arcadian girl who is your pupil. And, whereas Plato exempted from fees all who came to him, you levy tribute on them and collect it whether they will or no. According to Diodorus in the first book of his Memorabilia, Speusippus was the first to discern the common element in all studies and to bring them into connexion with each other so far as that was possible.
§ 4.3 And according to Caeneus he was the first to divulge what Isocrates called the secrets of his art, and the first to devise the means by which fagots of firewood are rendered portable.
When he was already crippled by paralysis, he sent a message to Xenocrates entreating him to come and take over the charge of the school. They say that, as he was being conveyed to the Academy in a tiny carriage, he met and saluted Diogenes, who replied, Nay, if you can endure to live in such a plight as this, I decline to return your greeting. At last in old age he became so despondent that he put an end to his life. Here follows my epigram upon him:
Had I not learnt that Speusippus would die thus, no one would have persuaded me to say that he was surely not of Plato's blood; for else he would never have died in despair for a trivial cause.
§ 4.4 Plutarch in the Lives of Lysander and Sulla makes his malady to have been morbus pedicularis. That his body wasted away is affirmed by Timotheus in his book On Lives. Speusippus, he says, meeting a rich man who was in love with one who was no beauty, said to him, Why, pray, are you in such sore need of him? For ten talents I will find you a more handsome bride.
He has left behind a vast store of memoirs and numerous dialogues, among them:
Aristippus the Cyrenaic.
On Wealth, one book.
On Pleasure, one book.
On the Gods,
A Reply to Cephalus,
Clinomachus or Lysias,
Of the Soul,
A Reply to Gryllus,
§ 4.5 Aristippus,
Criticism of the Arts, each in one book.
Memoirs, in the form of dialogues.
Treatise on System, in one book.
Dialogues on the Resemblances in Science, in ten books.
Divisions and Hypotheses relating to the Resemblances.
On Typical Genera and Species.
A Reply to the Anonymous Work.
Eulogy of Plato.
Epistles to Dion, Dionysius and Philip.
Arrangements of Commentaries.
They comprise in all 43,475 lines. To him Timonides addresses his narrative in which he related the achievements of Dion and Bion. Favorinus also in the second book of his Memorabilia relates that Aristotle purchased the works of Speusippus for three talents.
There was another Speusippus, a physician of Alexandria, of the school of Herophilus.
§ 4.6 2. XENOCRATES
Xenocrates, the son of Agathenor, was a native of Chalcedon. He was a pupil of Plato from his earliest youth; moreover he accompanied him on his journey to Sicily. He was naturally slow and clumsy. Hence Plato, comparing him to Aristotle, said, The one needed a spur, the other a bridle. And again, See what an ass I am training and what a horse he has to run against. However, Xenocrates was in all besides dignified and grave of demeanour, which made Plato say to him continually, Xenocrates, sacrifice to the Graces. He spent most of his time in the Academy; and whenever he was going to betake himself to the city, it is said that all the noisy rabble and hired porters made way for him as he passed.
§ 4.7 And that once the notorious Phryne tried to make his acquaintance and, as if she were being chased by some people, took refuge under his roof; that he admitted her out of ordinary humanity and, there being but one small couch in the room, permitted her to share it with him, and at last, after many importunities, she retired without success, telling those who inquired that he whom she quitted was not a man but a statue. Another version of the story is that his pupils induced Lais to invade his couch; and that so great was his endurance that he many times submitted to amputation and cautery. His words were entirely worthy of credit, so much so that, although it was illegal for witnesses to give evidence unsworn, the Athenians allowed Xenocrates alone to do so.
§ 4.8 Furthermore, he was extremely independent; at all events, when Alexander sent him a large sum of money, he took three thousand Attic drachmas and sent back the rest to Alexander, whose needs, he said, were greater than his own, because he had a greater number of people to keep. Again, he would not accept the present sent him by Antipater, as Myronianus attests in his Parallels. And when he had been honoured at the court of Dionysius with a golden crown as the prize for his prowess in drinking at the Feast of Pitchers, he went out and placed it on the statue of Hermes just as he had been accustomed to place there garlands of flowers. There is a story that, when he was sent, along with others also, on an embassy to Philip, his colleagues, being bribed, accepted Philip's invitations to feasts and talked with him. Xenocrates did neither the one nor the other. Indeed on this account Philip declined to see him.
§ 4.9 Hence, when the envoys returned to Athens, they complained that Xenocrates had accompanied them without rendering any service. Thereupon the people were ready to fine him. But when he told them that now more than ever they ought to consider the interests of the state – for, said he, Philip knew that the others had accepted his bribes, but that he would never win me over – then the people paid him double honours. And afterwards Philip said that, of all who had arrived at his court, Xenocrates was the only man whom he could not bribe. Moreover, when he went as envoy to Antipater to plead for Athenians taken prisoners in the Lamian war, being invited to dine with Antipater, he quoted to him the following lines:
O Circe! what righteous man would have the heart to taste meat and drink ere he had redeemed his company and beheld them face to face?
and so pleased Antipater with his ready wit that he at once released them.
§ 4.10 When a little sparrow was pursued by a hawk and rushed into his bosom, he stroked it and let it go, declaring that a suppliant must not be betrayed. When bantered by Bion, he said he would make no reply. For neither, said he, does tragedy deign to answer the banter of comedy. To some one who had never learnt either music or geometry or astronomy, but nevertheless wished to attend his lectures, Xenocrates said, Go your ways, for you offer philosophy nothing to lay hold of. Others report him as saying, It is not to me that you come for the carding of a fleece.
§ 4.11 When Dionysius told Plato that he would lose his head, Xenocrates, who was present, pointed to his own and added, No man shall touch it till he cut off mine. They say too that, when Antipater came to Athens and greeted him, he did not address him in return until he had finished what he was saying. He was singularly free from pride; more than once a day he would retire into himself, and he assigned, it is said, a whole hour to silence.
He left a very large number of treatises, poems and addresses, of which I append a list:
On Nature, six books.
On Wisdom, six books.
On Wealth, one book.
The Arcadian, one book.
On the Indeterminate, one book.
§ 4.12 On the Child, one book.
On Continence, one book.
On Utility, one book.
On Freedom, one book.
On Death, one book.
On the Voluntary, one book.
On Friendship, two books.
On Equity, one book.
On that which is Contrary, two books.
On Happiness, two books.
On Writing, one book.
On Memory, one book.
On Falsehood, one book.
Callicles, one book.
On Prudence, two books.
The Householder, one book.
On Temperance, one book.
On the Influence of Law, one book.
On the State, one book.
On Holiness, one book.
That Virtue can be taught, one book.
On Being, one book.
On Fate, one book.
On the Emotions, one book.
On Modes of Life, one book.
On Concord, one book.
On Students, two books.
On Justice, one book.
On Virtue, two books.
On Forms, one book.
On Pleasure, two books.
On Life, one book.
On Bravery, one book.
On the One, one book.
On Ideas, one book.
§ 4.13 On Art, one book.
On the Gods, two books.
On the Soul, two books.
On Science, one book.
The Statesman, one book.
On Cognition, one book.
On Philosophy, one book.
On the Writings of Parmenides, one book.
Archedemus or Concerning Justice, one book.
On the Good, one book.
Things relating to the Understanding, eight books.
Solution of Logical Problems, ten books.
Physical Lectures, six books.
Summary, one book.
On Genera and Species, one book.
Things Pythagorean, one book.
Solutions, two books.
Divisions, eight books.
Theses, in twenty books, 30,000 lines.
The Study of Dialectic, in fourteen books, 12,740 lines.
After this come fifteen books, and then sixteen books of Studies relating to Style.
Nine books on Ratiocination.
Six books concerned with Mathematics.
Two other books entitled Things relating to the Intellect.
On Geometers, five books.
Commentaries, one book.
Contraries, one book.
On Numbers, one book.
Theory of Numbers, one book.
On Dimensions, one book.
On Astronomy, six books.
§ 4.14 Elementary Principles of Monarchy, in four books, dedicated to Alexander.
On Geometry, two books.
These works comprise in all 224,239 lines.
Such was his character, and yet, when he was unable to pay the tax levied on resident aliens, the Athenians put him up for sale. And Demetrius of Phalerum purchased him, thereby making twofold restitution, to Xenocrates of his liberty, and to the Athenians of their tax. This we learn from Myronianus of Amastris in the first book of his Chapters on Historical Parallels. He succeeded Speusippus and was head of the school for twenty-five years from the archonship of Lysimachides, beginning in the second year of the 110th Olympiad. He died in his 82nd year from the effects of a fall over some utensil in the night.
Upon him I have expressed myself as follows:
§ 4.15 Xenocrates, that type of perfect manliness, stumbled over a vessel of bronze and broke his head, and, with a loud cry, expired.
There have been six other men named Xenocrates: (1) a tactician in very ancient times; (2) the kinsman and fellow-citizen of the philosopher: a speech by him is extant entitled the Arsinoetic, treating of a certain deceased Arsinoe; (4) a philosopher and not very successful writer of elegies; it is a remarkable fact that poets succeed when they undertake to write prose, but prose-writers who essay poetry come to grief; whereby it is clear that the one is a gift of nature and the other of art; (5) a sculptor; (6) a writer of songs mentioned by Aristoxenus.
§ 4.16 3. POLEMO
Polemo, the son of Philostratus, was an Athenian who belonged to the deme of Oea. In his youth he was so profligate and dissipated that he actually carried about with him money to procure the immediate gratification of his desires, and would even keep sums concealed in lanes and alleys. Even in the Academy a piece of three obols was found close to a pillar, where he had buried it for the same purpose. And one day, by agreement with his young friends, he burst into the school of Xenocrates quite drunk, with a garland on his head. Xenocrates, however, without being at all disturbed, went on with his discourse as before, the subject being temperance. The lad, as he listened, by degrees was taken in the toils. He became so industrious as to surpass all the other scholars, and rose to be himself head of the school in the 116th Olympiad.
§ 4.17 Antigonus of Carystus in his Biographies says that his father was foremost among the citizens and kept horses to compete in the chariot-race; that Polemo himself had been defendant in an action brought by his wife, who charged him with cruelty owing to the irregularities of his life; but that, from the time when he began to study philosophy, he acquired such strength of character as always to maintain the same unruffled calm of demeanour. Nay more, he never lost control of his voice. This in fact accounts for the fascination which he exercised over Crantor. Certain it is that, when a mad dog bit him in the back of his thigh, he did not even turn pale, but remained undisturbed by all the clamour which arose in the city at the news of what had happened. In the theatre too he was singularly unmoved.
§ 4.18 For instance, Nicostratus, who was nicknamed Clytemnestra, was once reading to him and Crates something from Homer; and, while Crates was deeply affected, he was no more moved than if he had not heard him. Altogether he was a man such as Melanthius the painter describes in his work On Painting. There he says that a certain wilfulness and stubbornness should be stamped on works of art, and that the same holds good of character. Polemo used to say that we should exercise ourselves with facts and not with mere logical speculations, which leave us, like a man who has got by heart some paltry handbook on harmony but never practised, able, indeed, to win admiration for skill in asking questions, but utterly at variance with ourselves in the ordering of our lives.
He was, then, refined and generous, and would beg to be excused, in the words of Aristophanes about Euripides, the acid, pungent style,
§ 4.19 which, as the same author says, is strong seasoning for meat when it is high. Further, he would not, they say, even sit down to deal with the themes of his pupils, but would argue walking up and down. It was, then, for his love of what is noble that he was honoured in the state. Nevertheless would he withdraw from society and confine himself to the Garden of the Academy, while close by his scholars made themselves little huts and lived not far from the shrine of the Muses and the lecture-hall. It would seem that in all respects Polemo emulated Xenocrates. And Aristippus in the fourth book of his work On the Luxury of the Ancients affirms him to have been his favourite. Certainly he always kept his predecessor before his mind and, like him, wore that simple austere dignity which is proper to the Dorian mode.
§ 4.20 He loved Sophocles, particularly in those passages where it seemed as if, in the phrase of the comic poet,
A stout Molossian mastiff lent him aid,
and where the poet was, in the words of Phrynichus,
Nor must, nor blended vintage, but true Pramnian.
Thus he would call Homer the Sophocles of epic, and Sophocles the Homer of tragedy
He died at an advanced age of gradual decay, leaving behind him a considerable number of works. I have composed the following epigram upon him:
Dost thou not hear? We have buried Polemo, laid here by that fatal scourge of wasted strength. Yet not Polemo, but merely his body, which on his way to the stars he left to moulder in the ground.
§ 4.21 4. CRATES
Crates, whose father was Antigenes, was an Athenian belonging to the deme of Thria. He was a pupil and at the same time a favourite of Polemo, whom he succeeded in the headship of the school. The two were so much attached to each other that they not only shared the same pursuits in life but grew more and more alike to their latest breath, and, dying, shared the same tomb. Hence Antagoras, writing of both, employed this figure:
Passing stranger, say that in this tomb rest godlike Crates and Polemo, men magnanimous in concord, from whose inspired lips flowed sacred speech, and whose pure life of wisdom, in accordance with unswerving tenets, decked them for a bright immortality.
§ 4.22 Hence Arcesilaus, who had quitted Theophrastus and gone over to their school, said of them that they were gods or a remnant of the Golden Age. They did not side with the popular party, but were such as Dionysodorus the flute-player is said to have claimed to be, when he boasted that no one ever heard his melodies, as those of Ismenias were heard, either on shipboard or at the fountain. According to Antigonus, their common table was in the house of Crantor; and these two and Arcesilaus lived in harmony together. Arcesilaus and Crantor shared the same house, while Polemo and Crates lived with Lysicles, one of the citizens. Crates, as already stated, was the favourite of Polemo and Arcesilaus of Crantor.
§ 4.23 According to Apollodorus in the third book of his Chronology, Crates at his death left behind him works, some of a philosophical kind, others on comedy, others again speeches delivered in the assembly or when he was envoy. He also left distinguished pupils; among them Arcesilaus, of whom we shall speak presently – for he was also a pupil of Crates; another was Bion of Borysthenes, who was afterwards known as the Theodorean, from the school which he joined; of him too we shall have occasion to speak next after Arcesilaus.
There have been ten men who bore the name of Crates: (1) the poet of the Old Comedy; (2) a rhetorician of Tralles, a pupil of Isocrates; (3) a sapper and miner who accompanied Alexander; (4) the Cynic, of whom more hereafter; (5) a Peripatetic philosopher; (6) the Academic philosopher described above; (7) a grammarian of Malos; (8) the author of a geometrical work; (9) a composer of epigrams; (10) an Academic philosopher of Tarsus.
§ 4.24 5. CRANTOR
Crantor of Soli, though he was much esteemed in his native country, left it for Athens and attended the lectures of Xenocrates at the same time as Polemo. He left memoirs extending to 30,000 lines, some of which are by some critics attributed to Arcesilaus. He is said to have been asked what it was in Polemo that attracted him, and to have replied, The fact that I never heard him raise or lower his voice in speaking. He happened to fall ill, and retired to the Asklepeion, where he proceeded to walk about. At once people flocked round him in the belief that he had retired thither, not on account of illness, but in order to open a school. Among them was Arcesilaus, who wished to be introduced by his means to Polemo, notwithstanding the affection which united the two, as will be related in the Life of Arcesilaus.
§ 4.25 However, when he recovered, he continued to attend Polemo's lectures, and for this he was universally praised. He is also said to have left Arcesilaus his property, to the value of twelve talents. And when asked by him where he wished to be buried, he answered:
Sweet in some nook of native soil to rest.
It is also said that he wrote poems and deposited them under seal in the sanctuary of Athena in his native place. And Theaetetus the poet writes thus of him:
Pleasing to men, more pleasing to the Muses, lived Crantor, and never saw old age. Receive, O earth, the hallowed dead; gently may he live and thrive even in the world below.
§ 4.26 Crantor admired Homer and Euripides above all other poets; it is hard, he said, at once to write tragedy and to stir the emotions in the language of everyday life. And he would quote the line from the story of Bellerophon:
Alas! But why Alas? We have suffered the lot of mortals.
And it is said that there are extant these lines of the poet Antagoras, spoken by Crantor on Love:
My mind is in doubt, since thy birth is disputed, whether I am to call thee, Love, the first of the immortal gods, the eldest of all the children whom old Erebus and queenly Night brought to birth in the depths beneath wide Ocean;
§ 4.27 or art thou the child of wise Cypris, or of Earth, or of the Winds? So many are the goods and ills thou devisest for men in thy wanderings. Therefore hast thou a body of double form.
He was also clever at inventing terms. For instance, he said of a tragic player's voice that it was unpolished and unpeeled. And of a certain poet that his verses abounded in miserliness. And that the disquisitions of Theophrastus were written with an oyster-shell. His most highly esteemed work is the treatise On Grief. He died before Polemo and Crates, his end being hastened by dropsy. I have composed upon him the following epigram:
The worst of maladies overwhelmed you, Crantor, and thus did you descend the black abyss of Pluto. While you fare well even in the world below, the Academy and your country of Soli are bereft of your discourses.
§ 4.28 6. ARCESILAUS
Arcesilaus, the son of Seuthes, according to Apollodorus in the third book of his Chronology, came from Pitane in Aeolis. With him begins the Middle Academy; he was the first to suspend his judgement owing to the contradictions of opposing arguments. He was also the first to argue on both sides of a question, and the first to meddle with the system handed down by Plato and, by means of question and answer, to make it more closely resemble eristic.
He came across Crantor in this way. He was the youngest of four brothers, two of them being his brothers by the same father, and two by the same mother. Of the last two Pylades was the elder, and of the former two Moereas, and Moereas was his guardian.
§ 4.29 At first, before he left Pitane for Athens, he was a pupil of the mathematician Autolycus, his fellow-countryman, and with him he also travelled to Sardis. Next he studied under Xanthus, the musician, of Athens; then he was a pupil of Theophrastus. Lastly, he crossed over to the Academy and joined Crantor. For while his brother Moereas, who has already been mentioned, wanted to make him a rhetorician, he was himself devoted to philosophy, and Crantor, being enamoured of him, cited the line from the Andromeda of Euripides:
O maiden, if I save thee, wilt thou be grateful to me?
and was answered with the next line:
Take me, stranger, whether for maidservant or for wife.
§ 4.30 After that they lived together. Whereupon Theophrastus, nettled at his loss, is said to have remarked, What a quick-witted and ready pupil has left my school! For, besides being most effective in argument and decidedly fond of writing books, he also took up poetry. And there is extant an epigram of his upon Attalus which runs thus:
Pergamos, not famous in arms alone, is often celebrated for its steeds in divine Pisa. And if a mortal may make bold to utter the will of heaven, it will be much more sung by bards in days to come.
And again upon Menodorus, the favourite of Eugamus, one of his fellow-students:
§ 4.31 Far, far away are Phrygia and sacred Thyatira, thy native land, Menodorus, son of Cadanus. But to unspeakable Acheron the ways are equal, from whatever place they be measured, as the proverb saith. To thee Eugamus raised this far-seen monument, for thou wert dearest to him of all who for him toiled.
He esteemed Homer above all the poets and would always read a passage from him before going to sleep. And in the morning he would say, whenever he wanted to read Homer, that he would pay a visit to his dear love. Pindar too he declared matchless for imparting fullness of diction and for affording a copious store of words and phrases. And in his youth he made a special study of Ion.
§ 4.32 He also attended the lectures of the geometer Hipponicus, at whom he pointed a jest as one who was in all besides a listless, yawning sluggard but yet proficient in his subject. Geometry, he said, must have flown into his mouth while it was agape. When this man's mind gave way, Arcesilaus took him to his house and nursed him until he was completely restored. He took over the school on the death of Crates, a certain Socratides having retired in his favour. According to some, one result of his suspending judgement on all matters was that he never so much as wrote a book. Others relate that he was caught revising some works of Crantor, which according to some he published, according to others he burnt. He would seem to have held Plato in admiration, and he possessed a copy of his works.
§ 4.33 Some represent him as emulous of Pyrrho as well. He was devoted to dialectic and adopted the methods of argument introduced by the Eretrian school. On account of this Ariston said of him:
Plato the head of him, Pyrrho the tail, midway Diodorus.
And Timon speaks of him thus:
Having the lead of Menedemus at his heart, he will run either to that mass of flesh, Pyrrho, or to Diodorus.
And a little farther on he introduces him as saying:
I shall swim to Pyrrho and to crooked Diodorus.
He was highly axiomatic and concise, and in his discourse fond of distinguishing the meaning of terms. He was satirical enough, and outspoken.
§ 4.34 This is why Timon speaks of him again as follows:
And mixing sound sense with wily cavils.
Hence, when a young man talked more boldly than was becoming, Arcesilaus exclaimed, Will no one beat him at a game of knuckle-bone? Again, when some one of immodest life denied that one thing seemed to him greater than another, he rejoined, Then six inches and ten inches are all the same to you? There was a certain Hemon, a Chian, who, though ugly, fancied himself to be handsome, and always went about in fine clothes. He having propounded as his opinion that the wise man will never fall in love, Arcesilaus replied, What, not with one so handsome as you and so handsomely dressed? And when one of loose life, to imply that Arcesilaus was arrogant, addressed him thus:
§ 4.35 Queen, may I speak, or must I silence keep?
his reply was:
Woman, why talk so harshly, not as thou art wont?
When some talkative person of no family caused him considerable trouble, he cited the line:
Right ill to live with are the sons of slaves.
Of another who talked much nonsense he said that he could not have had even a nurse to scold him. And some persons he would not so much as answer. To a money-lending student, upon his confessing ignorance of something or other, Arcesilaus replied with two lines from the Oenomaus of Sophocles:
Be sure the hen-bird knows not from what quarter the wind blows until she looks for a new brood in the nest.
§ 4.36 A certain dialectic, a follower of Alexinus, was unable to repeat properly some argument of his teacher, whereupon Arcesilaus reminded him of the story of Philoxenus and the brickmakers. He found them singing some of his melodies out of tune; so he retaliated by trampling on the bricks they were making, saying, If you spoil my work, I'll spoil yours. He was, moreover, genuinely annoyed with any who took up their studies too late. By some natural impulse he was betrayed into using such phrases as I assert, and So-and-so (mentioning the name) will not assent to this. And this trait many of his pupils imitated, as they did also his style of speaking and his whole address.
§ 4.37 Very fertile in invention, he could meet objection acutely or bring the course of discussion back to the point at issue, and fit it to every occasion. In persuasiveness he had no equal, and this all the more drew pupils to the school, although they were in terror of his pungent wit. But they willingly put up with that; for his goodness was extraordinary, and he inspired his pupils with hopes. He showed the greatest generosity in private life, being ever ready to confer benefits, yet most modestly anxious to conceal the favour. For instance, he once called upon Ctesibius when he was ill and, seeing in what straits he was, quietly put a purse under his pillow. He, when he found it, said, This is the joke of Arcesilaus. Moreover, on another occasion, he sent him 1000 drachmas.
§ 4.38 Again, by introducing Archias the Arcadian to Eumenes, he caused him to be advanced to great dignity. And, as he was very liberal, caring very little for money, so he was the first to attend performances where seats were paid for, and he was above all eager to go to those of Archecrates and Callicrates, for which the fee was a gold piece. And he helped many people and collected subscriptions for them. Some one once borrowed his silver plate in order to entertain friends and never brought it back, but Arcesilaus did not ask him for it and pretended it had not been borrowed. Another version of the story is that he lent it on purpose, and, when it was returned, made the borrower a present of it because he was poor. He had property in Pitane from which his brother Pylades sent him supplies. Furthermore, Eumenes, the son of Philetaerus, furnished him with large sums, and for this reason Eumenes was the only one of the contemporary kings to whom he dedicated any of his works.
§ 4.39 And whereas many persons courted Antigonus and went to meet him whenever he came to Athens, Arcesilaus remained at home, not wishing to thrust himself upon his acquaintance. He was on the best of terms with Hierocles, the commandant in Munichia and Piraeus, and at every festival would go down to see him. And though Hierocles joined in urging him to pay his respects to Antigonus, he was not prevailed upon, but, after going as far as the gates, turned back. And after the battle at sea, when many went to Antigonus or wrote him flattering letters, he held his peace. However, on behalf of his native city, he did go to Demetrias as envoy to Antigonus, but failed in his mission. He spent his time wholly in the Academy, shunning politics.
§ 4.40 Once indeed, when at Athens, he stopped too long in the Piraeus, discussing themes, out of friendship for Hierocles, and for this he was censured by certain persons. He was very lavish, in short another Aristippus, and he was fond of dining well, but only with those who shared his tastes. He lived openly with Theodete and Phila, the Elean courtesans, and to those who censured him he quoted the maxims of Aristippus. He was also fond of boys and very susceptible. Hence he was accused by Ariston of Chios, the Stoic, and his followers, who called him a corrupter of youth and a shameless teacher of immorality.
§ 4.41 He is said to have been particularly enamoured of Demetrius who sailed to Cyrene, and of Cleochares of Myrlea; of him the story is told that, when a band of revellers came to the door, he told them that for his part he was willing to admit them but that Cleochares would not let him. This same youth had amongst his admirers Demochares the son of Laches, and Pythocles the son of Bugelus, and once when Arcesilaus had caught them, with great forbearance he ordered them off. For all this he was assailed and ridiculed by the critics abovementioned, as a friend of the mob who courted popularity. The most virulent attacks were made upon him in the circle of Hieronymus the Peripatetic, whenever he collected his friends to keep the birthday of Halcyoneus, son of Antigonus, an occasion for which Antigonus used to send large sums of money to be spent in merrymaking.
§ 4.42 There he had always shunned discussion over the wine; and when Aridices, proposing a certain question, requested him to speak upon it, he replied, The peculiar province of philosophy is just this, to know that there is a time for all things. As to the charge brought against him that he was the friend of the mob, Timon, among many other things, has the following:
So saying, he plunged into the surrounding crowd. And they were amazed at him, like chaffinches about an owl, pointing him out as vain, because he was a flatterer of the mob. And why, insignificant thing that you are, do you puff yourself out like a simpleton?
And yet for all that he was modest enough to recommend his pupils to hear other philosophers. And when a certain youth from Chios was not well pleased with his lectures and preferred those of the above-mentioned Hieronymus, Arcesilaus himself took him and introduced him to that philosopher, with an injunction to behave well.
§ 4.43 Another pleasant story told of him is this. Some one had inquired why it was that pupils from all the other schools went over to Epicurus, but converts were never made from the Epicureans: Because men may become eunuchs, but a eunuch never becomes a man, was his answer.
At last, being near his end, he left all his property to his brother Pylades, because, unknown to Moereas, he had taken him to Chios and thence brought him to Athens. In all his life he never married nor had any children. He made three wills: the first he left at Eretria in the charge of Amphicritus, the second at Athens in the charge of certain friends, while the third he dispatched to his home to Thaumasias, one of his relatives, with the request that he would keep it safe. To this man he also wrote as follows:
Arcesilaus to Thaumasias greeting.
§ 4.44 I have given Diogenes my will to be conveyed to you. For, owing to my frequent illnesses and the weak state of my body, I decided to make a will, in order that, if anything untoward should happen, you, who have been so devotedly attached to me, should not suffer by my decease. You are the most deserving of all those in this place to be entrusted with the will, on the score both of age and of relationship to me. Remember then that I have reposed the most absolute confidence in you, and strive to deal justly by me, in order that, so far as you are concerned, the provisions I have made may be carried out with fitting dignity. A copy is deposited at Athens with some of my acquaintance, and another in Eretria with Amphicritus.
He died, according to Hermippus, through drinking too freely of unmixed wine which affected his reason; he was already seventy-five and regarded by the Athenians with unparalleled good-will.
§ 4.45 I have written upon him as follows:
Why, pray, Arcesilaus, didst thou quaff so unsparingly unmixed wine as to go out of thy mind? I pity thee not so much for thy death as because thou didst insult the Muses by immoderate potations.
Three other men have borne the name of Arcesilaus: a poet of the Old Comedy, another poet who wrote elegies, and a sculptor besides, on whom Simonides composed this epigram:
This is a statue of Artemis and its cost two hundred Parian drachmas, which bear a goat for their device. It was made by Arcesilaus, the worthy son of Aristodicus, well practised in the arts of Athena.
According to Apollodorus in his Chronology, the philosopher described in the foregoing flourished about the 120th Olympiad.
§ 4.46 7. BION
Bion was by birth a citizen of Borysthenes [Olbia]; who his parents were, and what his circumstances before he took to philosophy, he himself told Antigonus in plain terms. For, when Antigonus inquired:
Who among men, and whence, are you? What is your city and your parents?
he, knowing that he had already been maligned to the king, replied, My father was a freedman, who wiped his nose on his sleeve – meaning that he was a dealer in salt fish – a native of Borysthenes, with no face to show, but only the writing on his face, a token of his master's severity. My mother was such as a man like my father would marry, from a brothel. Afterwards my father, who had cheated the revenue in some way, was sold with all his family. And I, then a not ungraceful youngster, was bought by a certain rhetorician, who on his death left me all he had.
§ 4.47 And I burnt his books, scraped everything together, came to Athens and turned philosopher.
This is the stock and this the blood from which I boast to have sprung. Such is my story. It is high time, then, that Persaeus and Philonides left off recounting it. Judge me by myself.
In truth Bion was in other respects a shifty character, a subtle sophist, and one who had given the enemies of philosophy many an occasion to blaspheme, while in certain respects he was even pompous and able to indulge in arrogance. He left very many memoirs, and also sayings of useful application. For example, when he was reproached for not paying court to a youth, his excuse was, You can't get hold of a soft cheese with a hook.
§ 4.48 Being once asked who suffers most from anxiety, he replied, He who is ambitious of the greatest prosperity. Being consulted by some one as to whether he should marry – for this story is also told of Bion – he made answer, If the wife you marry be ugly, she will be your bane; if beautiful, you will not keep her to yourself. He called old age the harbour of all ills; at least they all take refuge there. Renown he called the mother of virtues; beauty another's good; wealth the sinews of success. To some one who had devoured his patrimony he said, The earth swallowed Amphiaraus, but you have swallowed your land. To be unable to bear an ill is itself a great ill. He used to condemn those who burnt men alive as if they could not feel, and yet cauterized them as if they could.
§ 4.49 He used repeatedly to say that to grant favours to another was preferable to enjoying the favours of others. For the latter means ruin to both body and soul. He even abused Socrates, declaring that, if he felt desire for Alcibiades and abstained, he was a fool; if he did not, his conduct was in no way remarkable. The road to Hades, he used to say, was easy to travel; at any rate men passed away with their eyes shut. He said in censure of Alcibiades that in his boyhood he drew away the husbands from their wives, and as a young man the wives from their husbands. When the Athenians were absorbed in the practice of rhetoric, he taught philosophy at Rhodes. To some one who found fault with him for this he replied, How can I sell barley when what I brought to market is wheat?
§ 4.50 He used to say that those in Hades would be more severely punished if the vessels in which they drew water were whole instead of being pierced with holes. To an importunate talker who wanted his help he said, I will satisfy your demand, if you will only get others to plead your cause and stay away yourself. On a voyage in bad company he fell in with pirates. When his companions said, We are lost if we are discovered, And I too, he replied, unless I am discovered. Conceit he styled a hindrance to progress. Referring to a wealthy miser he said, He has not acquired a fortune; the fortune has acquired him. Misers, he said, took care of property as if it belonged to them, but derived no more benefit from it than if it belonged to others. When we are young, said he, we are courageous, but it is only in old age that prudence is at its height.
§ 4.51 Prudence, he said, excels the other virtues as much as sight excels the other senses. He used to say that we ought not to heap reproaches on old age, seeing that, as he said, we all hope to reach it. To a slanderer who showed a grave face his words were, I don't know whether you have met with ill luck, or your neighbour with good. He used to say that low birth made a bad partner for free speech, for –
It cows a man, however bold his heart.
We ought, he remarked, to watch our friends and see what manner of men they are, in order that we may not be thought to associate with the bad or to decline the friendship of the good.
Bion at the outset used to deprecate the Academic doctrines, even at the time when he was a pupil of Crates. Then he adopted the Cynic discipline, donning cloak and wallet.
§ 4.52 For little else was needed to convert him to the doctrine of entire insensibility.
Next he went over to Theodorean views, after he had heard the lectures of Theodorus the Atheist, who used every kind of sophistical argument. And after Theodorus he attended the lectures of Theophrastus the Peripatetic. He was fond of display and great at cutting up anything with a jest, using vulgar names for things. Because he employed every style of speech in combination, Eratosthenes, we hear, said of him that he was the first to deck philosophy with bright-flowered robes. He was clever also at parody. Here is a specimen of his style:
O gentle Archytas, musician-born, blessed in thine own conceit, most skilled of men to stir the bass of strife.
§ 4.53 And in general he made sport of music and geometry. He lived extravagantly, and for this reason he would move from one city to another, sometimes contriving to make a great show. Thus at Rhodes he persuaded the sailors to put on students' garb and follow in his train. And when, attended by them, he made his way into the gymnasium, all eyes were fixed on him. It was his custom also to adopt certain young men for the gratification of his appetite and in order that he might be protected by their goodwill. He was extremely selfish and insisted strongly on the maxim that friends share in common. And hence it came about that he is not credited with a single disciple, out of all the crowds who attended his lectures. And yet there were some who followed his lead in shamelessness.
§ 4.54 For instance, Betion, one of his intimates, is said once to have addressed Menedemus in these words: For my part, Menedemus, I pass the night with Bion, and I don't think I am any the worse for it. In his familiar talk he would often vehemently assail belief in the gods, a taste which he had derived from Theodorus. Afterwards, when he fell ill (so it was said by the people of Chalcis where he died), he was persuaded to wear an amulet and to repent of his offences against religion. And even for want of nurses he was in a sad plight, until Antigonus sent him two servants. And it is stated by Favorinus in his Miscellaneous History that the king himself followed in a litter.
Even so he died, and in these lines I have taken him to task:
§ 4.55 We hear that Bion, to whom the Scythian land of Borysthenes gave birth, denied that the gods really exist. Had he persisted in holding this opinion, it would have been right to say, He thinks as he pleases: wrongly, to be sure, but still he does think so. But in fact, when he fell ill of a lingering disease and feared death, he who denied the existence of the gods, and would not even look at a temple,
§ 4.56 who often mocked at mortals for sacrificing to deities, not only over hearth and high altars and table, with sweet savour and fat and incense did he gladden the nostrils of the gods; nor was he content to say I have sinned, forgive the past,
§ 4.57 but he cheerfully allowed an old woman to put a charm round his neck, and in full faith bound his arms with leather and placed the rhamnus and the laurel-branch over the door, being ready to submit to anything sooner than die. Fool for wishing that the divine favour might be purchased at a certain price, as if the gods existed just when Bion chose to recognize them! It was then with vain wisdom that, when the driveller was all ashes, he stretched out his hand and said Hail, Pluto, hail!
§ 4.58 Ten men have borne the name of Bion: (1) the contemporary of Pherecydes of Syria, to whom are assigned two books in the Ionic dialect; he was of Proconnesus; (2) a Syracusan, who wrote rhetorical handbooks; (3) our philosopher; (4) a follower of Democritus and mathematician of Abdera, who wrote both in Attic and in Ionic: he was the first to affirm that there are places where the night lasts for six months and the day for six months; (5) a native of Soli, who wrote a work on Aethiopia; (6) a rhetorician, the author of nine books called after the Muses; (7) a lyric poet; (8) a Milesian sculptor, mentioned by Polemo; (9) a tragic poet, one of the poets of Tarsus, as they are called; (10) a sculptor of Clazomenae or Chios, mentioned by Hipponax.
§ 4.59 8. LACYDES
Lacydes, son of Alexander, was a native of Cyrene He was the founder of the New Academy and the successor of Arcesilaus: a man of very serious character who found numerous admirers; industrious from his youth up and, though poor, of pleasant manners and pleasant conversation. A most amusing story is told of his housekeeping. Whenever he brought anything out of the store-room, he would seal the door up again and throw his signet-ring inside through the opening, to ensure that nothing laid up there should be stolen or carried off. So soon, then, as his rogues of servants got to know this, they broke the seal and carried off what they pleased, afterwards throwing the ring in the same way through the opening into the store-room. Nor were they ever detected in this.
§ 4.60 Lacydes used to lecture in the Academy, in the garden which had been laid out by King Attalus, and from him it derived its name of Lacydeum. He did what none of his predecessors had ever done; in his lifetime he handed over the school to Telecles and Evander, both of Phocaea. Evander was succeeded by Hegesinus of Pergamum, and he again by Carneades. A good saying is attributed to Lacydes. When Attalus sent for him, he is said to have remarked that statues are best seen from a distance. He studied geometry late, and some one said to him, Is this a proper time? To which he replied, Nay, is it not even yet the proper time?
§ 4.61 He assumed the headship of the school in the fourth year of the 134th Olympiad, and at his death he had been head for twenty-six years. His end was a palsy brought on by drinking too freely. And here is a quip of my own upon the fact:
Of thee too, O Lacydes, I have heard a tale, that Bacchus seized thee and dragged thee on tip-toe to the underworld. Nay, was it not clear that when the wine-god comes in force into the frame, he loosens our limbs? Perhaps this is why he gets his name of the Loosener.
§ 4.62 9. CARNEADES
Carneades, the son of Epicomus or (according to Alexander in his Successions of Philosophers) of Philocomus, was a native of Cyrene. He studied carefully the writings of the Stoics and particularly those of Chrysippus, and by combating these successfully he became so famous that he would often say:
Without Chrysippus where should I have been?
The man's industry was unparalleled, although in physics he was not so strong as in ethics. Hence he would let his hair and nails grow long from intense devotion to study. Such was his predominance in philosophy that even the rhetoricians would dismiss their classes and repair to him to hear him lecture.
§ 4.63 His voice was extremely powerful, so that the keeper of the gymnasium sent to him and requested him not to shout so loud. To which he replied, Then give me something by which to regulate my voice. Thereupon by a happy hit the man replied in the words, You have a regulator in your audience. His talent for criticizing opponents was remarkable, and he was a formidable controversialist. And for the reasons already given he further declined invitations to dine out. One of his pupils was Mentor the Bithynian, who tried to ingratiate himself with a concubine of Carneades; so on one occasion (according to Favorinus in his Miscellaneous History), when Mentor came to lecture, Carneades in the course of his remarks let fall these lines by way of parody at his expense:
§ 4.64 Hither comes an Old Man of the Sea, infallible, like to Mentor in person and in voice. Him I proclaim to have been banished from this school.
Thereupon the other got up and replied:
Those on their part made proclamation, and these speedily assembled.
He seems to have shown some want of courage in the face of death, repeating often the words, Nature which framed this whole will also destroy it. When he learnt that Antipater committed suicide by drinking a potion, he was greatly moved by the constancy with which he met his end, and exclaimed, Give it then to me also. And when those about him asked What? A honeyed draught, said he. At the time he died the moon is said to have been eclipsed, and one might well say that the brightest luminary in heaven next to the sun thereby gave token of her sympathy.
§ 4.65 According to Apollodorus in his Chronology, he departed this life in the fourth year of the 162nd Olympiad at the age of eighty-five years. Letters of his to Ariarathes, king of Cappadocia, are extant. Everything else was compiled by his pupils; he himself left nothing in writing. I have written upon him in logaoedic metre as follows:
Why, Muse, oh why wouldst thou have me censure Carneades? For he is ignorant who knoweth not how he feared death. When wasting away with the worst of diseases, he would not find release. But when he heard that Antipater's life was quenched by drinking a potion,
§ 4.66 Give me too, he cried, a draught to drink. What? pray what? Give me a draught of honeyed wine. He had often on his lips the words, Nature which holds this frame together will surely dissolve it. None the less he too went down to the grave, and he might have got there sooner by cutting short his tale of woes.
It is said that his eyes went blind at night without his knowing it, and he ordered the slave to light the lamp. The latter brought it and said, Here it is. Then, said Carneades, read.
He had many other disciples, but the most illustrious of them all was Clitomachus, of whom we have next to speak.
There was another Carneades, a frigid elegiac poet.
§ 4.10 10. CLITOMACHUS
Clitomachus was a Carthaginian, his real name being Hasdrubal, and he taught philosophy at Carthage in his native tongue. He had reached his fortieth year when he went to Athens and became a pupil of Carneades. And Carneades, recognizing his industry, caused him to be educated and took part in training him. And to such lengths did his diligence go that he composed more than four hundred treatises. He succeeded Carneades in the headship of the school, and by his writings did much to elucidate his opinions. He was eminently well acquainted with the three sects – the Academy, the Peripatetics, and the Stoics.
The Academics in general are assailed by Timon in the line:
The prolixity of the Academics unseasoned by salt.
Having thus reviewed the Academics who derived from Plato, we will now pass on to the Peripatetics, who also derived from Plato. They begin with Aristotle.
§ 5.1 BOOK 5: 1. ARISTOTLE
Aristotle, son of Nicomachus and Phaestis, was a native of Stagira. His father, Nicomachus, as Hermippus relates in his book On Aristotle, traced his descent from Nicomachus who was the son of Machaon and grandson of Asclepius; and he resided with Amyntas, the king of Macedon, in the capacity of physician and friend. Aristotle was Plato's most genuine disciple; he spoke with a lisp, as we learn from Timotheus the Athenian in his book On Lives; further, his calves were slender (so they say), his eyes small, and he was conspicuous by his attire, his rings, and the cut of his hair. According to Timaeus, he had a son by Herpyllis, his concubine, who was also called Nicomachus.
§ 5.2 He seceded from the Academy while Plato was still alive. Hence the remark attributed to the latter: Aristotle spurns me, as colts kick out at the mother who bore them. Hermippus in his Lives mentions that he was absent as Athenian envoy at the court of Philip when Xenocrates became head of the Academy, and that on his return, when he saw the school under a new head, he made choice of a public walk in the Lyceum where he would walk up and down discussing philosophy with his pupils until it was time to rub themselves with oil. Hence the name Peripatetic. But others say that it was given to him because, when Alexander was recovering from an illness and taking daily walks, Aristotle joined him and talked with him on certain matters.
§ 5.3 In time the circle about him grew larger; he then sat down to lecture, remarking:
It were base to keep silence and let Xenocrates speak.
He also taught his pupils to discourse upon a set theme, besides practising them in oratory. Afterwards, however, he departed to Hermias the eunuch, who was tyrant of Atarneus, and there is one story that he was on very affectionate terms with Hermias; according to another, Hermias bound him by ties of kinship, giving him his daughter or his niece in marriage, and so Demetrius of Magnesia narrates in his work on Poets and Writers of the Same Name. The same author tells us that Hermias had been the slave of Eubulus, and that he was of Bithynian origin and had murdered his master. Aristippus in his first book On the Luxury of the Ancients says that Aristotle fell in love with a concubine of Hermias,
§ 5.4 and married her with his consent, and in an excess of delight sacrificed to a weak woman as the Athenians did to Demeter of Eleusis; and that he composed a paean in honour of Hermias, which is given below; next that he stayed in Macedonia at Philip's court and received from him his son Alexander as his pupil; that he petitioned Alexander to restore his native city which had been destroyed by Philip and obtained his request; and that he also drew up a code of laws for the inhabitants. We learn further that, following the example of Xenocrates, he made it a rule in his school that every ten days a new president should be appointed. When he thought that he had stayed long enough with Alexander, he departed to Athens, having first presented to Alexander his kinsman Callisthenes of Olynthus.
§ 5.5 But when Callisthenes talked with too much freedom to the king and disregarded his own advice, Aristotle is said to have rebuked him by citing the line:
Short-lived, I ween, wilt thou be, my child, by what thou sayest.
And so indeed it fell out. For he, being suspected of complicity in the plot of Hermolaus against the life of Alexander, was confined in an iron cage and carried about until he became infested with vermin through lack of proper attention; and finally he was thrown to a lion and so met his end.
To return to Aristotle: he came to Athens, was head of his school for thirteen years, and then withdrew to Chalcis because he was indicted for impiety by Eurymedon the hierophant, or, according to Favorinus in his Miscellaneous History, by Demophilus, the ground of the charge being the hymn he composed to the aforesaid Hermias,
§ 5.6 as well as the following inscription for his statue at Delphi:
This man in violation of the hallowed law of the immortals was unrighteously slain by the king of the bow-bearing Persians, who overcame him, not openly with a spear in murderous combat, but by treachery with the aid of one in whom he trusted.
At Chalcis he died, according to Eumelus in the fifth book of his Histories, by drinking aconite, at the age of seventy. The same authority makes him thirty years old when he came to Plato; but here he is mistaken. For Aristotle lived to be sixty-three, and he was seventeen when he became Plato's pupil.
The hymn in question runs as follows:
§ 5.7 O virtue, toilsome for the generation of mortals to achieve, the fairest prize that life can win, for thy beauty, O virgin, it were a doom glorious in Hellas even to die and to endure fierce, untiring labours. Such courage dost thou implant in the mind, imperishable, better than gold, dearer than parents or soft-eyed sleep. For thy sake Heracles, son of Zeus, and the sons of Leda endured much in the tasks whereby they pursued thy might.
§ 5.8 And yearning after thee came Achilles and Ajax to the house of Hades, and for the sake of thy dear form the nursling of Atarneus too was bereft of the light of the sun. Therefore shall his deeds be sung, and the Muses, the daughters of Memory, shall make him immortal, exalting the majesty of Zeus, guardian of strangers, and the grace of lasting friendship.
There is, too, something of my own upon the philosopher which I will quote:
Eurymedon, the priest of Deo's mysteries, was once about to indict Aristotle for impiety, but he, by a draught of poison, escaped prosecution. This then was an easy way of vanquishing unjust calumnies.
§ 5.9 Favorinus in his Miscellaneous History affirms that Aristotle was the first to compose a forensic speech in his own defence written for this very suit; and he cites him as saying that at Athens
Pear upon pear grows old and fig upon fig.
According to Apollodorus in his Chronology he was born in the first year of the 99th Olympiad. He attached himself to Plato and resided with him twenty years, having become his pupil at the age of seventeen. He went to Mitylene in the archonship of Eubulus in the fourth year of the 108th Olympiad. When Plato died in the first year of that Olympiad, during the archonship of Theophilus, he went to Hermias and stayed with him three years.
§ 5.10 In the archonship of Pythodotus, in the second year of the 109th Olympiad, he went to the court of Philip, Alexander being then in his fifteenth year. His arrival at Athens was in the second year of the 111th Olympiad, and he lectured in the Lyceum for thirteen years; then he retired to Chalcis in the third year of the 114th Olympiad and died a natural death, at the age of about sixty-three, in the archonship of Philocles, in the same year in which Demosthenes died at Calauria. It is said that he incurred the king's displeasure because he had introduced Callisthenes to him, and that Alexander, in order to cause him annoyance, honoured Anaximenes and sent presents to Xenocrates.
§ 5.11 Theocritus of Chios, according to Ambryon in his book On Theocritus, ridiculed him in an epigram which runs as follows:
To Hermias the eunuch, the slave withal of Eubulus, an empty monument was raised by empty-witted Aristotle, who by constraint of a lawless appetite chose to dwell at the mouth of the Borborus [muddy stream] rather than in the Academy.
Timon again attacked him in the line:
No, nor yet Aristotle's painful futility.
Such then was the life of the philosopher. I have also come across his will, which is worded thus:
All will be well; but, in case anything should happen, Aristotle has made these dispositions. Antipater is to be executor in all matters and in general;
§ 5.12 but, until Nicanor shall arrive, Aristomenes, Timarchus, Hipparchus, Dioteles and (if he consent and if circumstances permit him) Theophrastus shall take charge as well of Herpyllis and the children as of the property. And when the girl shall be grown up she shall be given in marriage to Nicanor; but if anything happen to the girl (which heaven forbid and no such thing will happen) before her marriage, or when she is married but before there are children, Nicanor shall have full powers, both with regard to the child and with regard to everything else, to administer in a manner worthy both of himself and of us. Nicanor shall take charge of the girl and of the boy Nicomachus as he shall think fit in all that concerns them as if he were father and brother. And if anything should happen to Nicanor (which heaven forbid!) either before he marries the girl, or when he has married her but before there are children, any arrangements that he may make shall be valid.
§ 5.13 And if Theophrastus is willing to live with her, he shall have the same rights as Nicanor. Otherwise the executors in consultation with Antipater shall administer as regards the daughter and the boy as seems to them to be best. The executors and Nicanor, in memory of me and of the steady affection which Herpyllis has borne towards me, shall take care of her in every other respect and, if she desires to be married, shall see that she be given to one not unworthy; and besides what she has already received they shall give her a talent of silver out of the estate and three handmaids whomsoever she shall choose besides the maid she has at present and the man-servant Pyrrhaeus;
§ 5.14 and if she chooses to remain at Chalcis, the lodge by the garden, if in Stagira, my father's house. Whichever of these two houses she chooses, the executors shall furnish with such furniture as they think proper and as Herpyllis herself may approve. Nicanor shall take charge of the boy Myrmex, that he be taken to his own friends in a manner worthy of me with the property of his which we received. Ambracis shall be given her freedom, and on my daughter's marriage shall receive 500 drachmas and the maid whom she now has. And to Thale shall be given, in addition to the maid whom she has and who was bought, a thousand drachmas and a maid.
§ 5.15 And Simon, in addition to the money before paid to him towards another servant, shall either have a servant purchased for him or receive a further sum of money. And Tycho, Philo, Olympius and his child shall have their freedom when my daughter is married. None of the servants who waited upon me shall be sold but they shall continue to be employed; and when they arrive at the proper age they shall have their freedom if they deserve it. My executors shall see to it, when the images which Gryllion has been commissioned to execute are finished, that they be set up, namely that of Nicanor, that of Proxenus, which it was my intention to have executed, and that of Nicanor's mother; also they shall set up the bust which has been executed of Arimnestus, to be a memorial of him seeing that he died childless,
§ 5.16 and shall dedicate my mother's statue to Demeter at Nemea or wherever they think best. And wherever they bury me, there the bones of Pythias shall be laid, in accordance with her own instructions. And to commemorate Nicanor's safe return, as I vowed on his behalf, they shall set up in Stagira stone statues of life size to Zeus and Athena the Saviours.
Such is the tenor of Aristotle's will. It is said that a very large number of dishes belonging to him were found, and that Lyco mentioned his bathing in a bath of warm oil and then selling the oil. Some relate that he placed a skin of warm oil on his stomach, and that, when he went to sleep, a bronze ball was placed in his hand with a vessel under it, in order that, when the ball dropped from his hand into the vessel, he might be waked up by the sound.
§ 5.17 Some exceedingly happy sayings are attributed to him, which I proceed to quote. To the question, What do people gain by telling lies? his answer was, Just this, that when they speak the truth they are not believed. Being once reproached for giving alms to a bad man, he rejoined, It was the man and not his character that I pitied. He used constantly to say to his friends and pupils, whenever or wherever he happened to be lecturing, As sight takes in light from the surrounding air, so does the soul from mathematics. Frequently and at some length he would say that the Athenians were the discoverers of wheat and of laws; but, though they used wheat, they had no use for laws.
§ 5.18 The roots of education, he said, are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. Being asked, What is it that soon grows old? he answered, Gratitude. He was asked to define hope, and he replied, It is a waking dream. When Diogenes offered him dried figs, he saw that he had prepared something caustic to say if he did not take them; so he took them and said Diogenes had lost his figs and his jest into the bargain. And on another occasion he took them when they were offered, lifted them up aloft, as you do babies, and returned them with the exclamation, Great is Diogenes. Three things he declared to be indispensable for education: natural endowment, study, and constant practice. On hearing that some one abused him, he rejoined, He may even scourge me so it be in my absence. Beauty he declared to be a greater recommendation than any letter of introduction.
§ 5.19 Others attribute this definition to Diogenes; Aristotle, they say, defined good looks as the gift of god, Socrates as a short-lived reign, Plato as natural superiority, Theophrastus as a mute deception, Theocritus as an evil in an ivory setting, Carneades as a monarchy that needs no bodyguard. Being asked how the educated differ from the uneducated, As much, he said, as the living from the dead. He used to declare education to be an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity. Teachers who educated children deserved, he said, more honour than parents who merely gave them birth; for bare life is furnished by the one, the other ensures a good life. To one who boasted that he belonged to a great city his reply was, That is not the point to consider, but who it is that is worthy of a great country.
§ 5.20 To the query, What is a friend? his reply was, A single soul dwelling in two bodies. Mankind, he used to say, were divided into those who were as thrifty as if they would live for ever, and those who were as extravagant as if they were going to die the next day. When some one inquired why we spend much time with the beautiful, That, he said, is a blind man's question. When asked what advantage he had ever gained from philosophy, he replied, This, that I do without being ordered what some are constrained to do by their fear of the law. The question being put, how can students make progress, he replied, By pressing hard on those in front and not waiting for those behind. To the chatterbox who poured out a flood of talk upon him and then inquired, Have I bored you to death with my chatter? he replied, No, indeed; for I was not attending to you.
§ 5.21 When some one accused him of having given a subscription to a dishonest man – for the story is also told in this form – It was not the man, said he, that I assisted, but humanity. To the question how we should behave to friends, he answered, As we should wish them to behave to us. Justice he defined as a virtue of soul which distributes according to merit. Education he declared to be the best provision for old age. Favorinus in the second book of his Memorabilia mentions as one of his habitual sayings that He who has friends can have no true friend. Further, this is found in the seventh book of the Ethics. These then are the sayings attributed to him.
His writings are very numerous and, considering the man's all-round excellence, I deemed it incumbent on me to catalogue them:
§ 5.22 Of Justice, four books.
On Poets, three books.
On Philosophy, three books.
Of the Statesman, two books.
On Rhetoric, or Grylus, one book.
Nerinthus, one book.
The Sophist, one book.
Menexenus, one book.
Concerning Love, one book.
Symposium, one book.
Of Wealth, one book.
Exhortation to Philosophy, one book.
Of the Soul, one book.
Of Prayer, one book.
On Noble Birth, one book.
On Pleasure, one book.
Alexander, or a Plea for Colonies, one book.
On Kingship, one book.
On Education, one book.
Of the Good, three books.
Extracts from Plato's Laws, three books.
Extracts from the Republic, two books.
Of Household Management, one book.
Of Friendship, one book.
On being or having been affected, one book.
Of Sciences, one book.
On Controversial Questions, two books.
Solutions of Controversial Questions, four books.
Sophistical Divisions, four books.
On Contraries, one book.
On Genera and Species, one book.
On Essential Attributes, one book.
§ 5.23 Three note-books on Arguments for Purposes of Refutation.
Propositions concerning Virtue, two books.
Objections, one book.
On the Various Meanings of Terms or Expressions where a Determinant is added, one book.
Of Passions or of Anger, one book.
Five books of Ethics.
On Elements, three books.
Of Science, one book.
Of Logical Principle, one book.
Logical Divisions, seventeen books.
Concerning Division, one book.
On Dialectical Questioning and Answering, two books.
Of Motion, one book.
Propositions, one book.
Controversial Propositions, one book.
Syllogisms, one book.
Eight books of Prior Analytics.
Two books of Greater Posterior Analytics.
Of Problems, one book.
Eight books of Methodics.
Of the Greater Good, one book.
On the Idea, one book.
Definitions prefixed to the Topics, seven books.
Two books of Syllogisms.
§ 5.24 Concerning Syllogism with Definitions, one book.
Of the Desirable and the Contingent, one book.
Preface to Commonplaces, one book.
Two books of Topics criticizing the Definitions.
Affections or Qualities, one book.
Concerning Logical Division, one book.
Concerning Mathematics, one book.
Definitions, thirteen books.
Two books of Refutations.
Of Pleasure, one book.
Propositions, one book.
On the Voluntary, one book.
On the Beautiful, one book.
Theses for Refutation, twenty-five books.
Theses concerning Love, four books.
Theses concerning Friendship, two books.
Theses concerning the Soul, one book.
Politics, two books.
Eight books of a course of lectures on Politics like that of Theophrastus.
Of Just Actions, two books.
A Collection of Arts [that is, Handbooks], two books.
Two books of the Art of Rhetoric.
Art, a Handbook, one book.
Another Collection of Handbooks, two books.
Concerning Method, one book.
Compendium of the Art of Theodectes, one book.
A Treatise on the Art of Poetry, two books.
Rhetorical Enthymemes, one book.
Of Degree, one book.
Divisions of Enthymemes, one book.
On Diction, two books.
Of Taking Counsel, one book.
§ 5.25 A Collection or Compendium, two books.
On Nature, three books.
Concerning Nature, one book.
On the Philosophy of Archytas, three books.
On the Philosophy of Speusippus and Xenocrates, one book.
Extracts from the Timaeus and from the Works of Archytas, one book.
A Reply to the Writings of Melissus, one book.
A Reply to the Writings of Alcmaeon, one book.
A Reply to the Pythagoreans, one book.
A Reply to the Writings of Gorgias, one book.
A Reply to the Writings of Xenophanes, one book.
A Reply to the Writings of Zeno, one book.
On the Pythagoreans, one book.
On Animals, nine books.
Eight books of Dissections.
A selection of Dissections, one book.
On Composite Animals, one book.
On the Animals of Fable, one book.
On Sterility, one book.
On Plants, two books.
Concerning Physiognomy, one book.
Two books concerning Medicine.
On the Unit, one book.
§ 5.26 Prognostics of Storms, one book.
Concerning Astronomy, one book.
Concerning Optics, one book.
On Motion, one book.
On Music, one book.
Concerning Memory, one book.
Six books of Homeric Problems.
Poetics, one book.
Thirty-eight books of Physics according to the lettering.
Two books of Problems which have been examined.
Two books of Routine Instruction.
Mechanics, one book.
Problems taken from the works of Democritus, two books.
On the Magnet, one book.
Analogies, one book.
Miscellaneous Notes, twelve books.
Descriptions of Genera, fourteen books.
Claims advanced, one book.
Victors at Olympia, one book.
Victors at the Pythian Games, one book.
On Music, one book.
Concerning Delphi, one book.
Criticism of the List of Pythian Victors, one book.
Dramatic Victories at the Dionysia, one book.
Of Tragedies, one book.
Dramatic Records, one book.
Proverbs, one book.
Laws of the Mess-table, one book.
Four books of Laws.
Categories, one book.
De Interpretatione, one book.
§ 5.27 Constitutions of 158 Cities, in general and in particular, democratic, oligarchic, aristocratic, tyrannical.
Letters to Philip.
Letters of Selymbrians.
Letters to Alexander, four books.
Letters to Antipater, nine books.
To Mentor, one book.
To Ariston, one book.
To Olympias, one book.
To Hephaestion, one book.
To Themistagoras, one book.
To Philoxenus, one book.
In reply to Democritus, one book.
Verses beginning Ἁγνὲ θεῶν πρέσβισθ᾽ ἑκατηβόλε (Holy One and Chiefest of Gods, far-darting).
Elegiac verses beginning Καλλιτέκνου μητρὸς θύγατερ (Daughter of a Mother blessed with fair offspring).
In all 445,270 lines.
§ 5.28 Such is the number of the works written by him. And in them he puts forward the following views. There are two divisions of philosophy, the practical and the theoretical. The practical part includes ethics and politics, and in the latter not only the doctrine of the state but also that of the household is sketched. The theoretical part includes physics and logic, although logic is not an independent science, but is elaborated as an instrument to the rest of science. And he clearly laid down that it has a twofold aim, probability and truth. For each of these he employed two faculties, dialectic and rhetoric where probability is aimed at, analytic and philosophy where the end is truth; he neglects nothing which makes either for discovery or for judgement or for utility.
§ 5.29 As making for discovery he left in the Topics and Methodics a number of propositions, whereby the student can be well supplied with probable arguments for the solution of problems. As an aid to judgement he left the Prior and Posterior Analytics. By the Prior Analytics the premisses are judged, by the Posterior the process of inference is tested. For practical use there are the precepts on controversy and the works dealing with question and answer, with sophistical fallacies, syllogisms and the like. The test of truth which he put forward was sensation in the sphere of objects actually presented, but in the sphere of morals dealing with the state, the household and the laws, it was reason.
§ 5.30 The one ethical end he held to be the exercise of virtue in a completed life. And happiness he maintained to be made up of goods of three sorts: goods of the soul, which indeed he designates as of the highest value; in the second place bodily goods, health and strength, beauty and the like; and thirdly external goods, such as wealth, good birth, reputation and the like. And he regarded virtue as not of itself sufficient to ensure happiness; bodily goods and external goods were also necessary, for the wise man would be miserable if he lived in the midst of pains, poverty, and similar circumstances. Vice, however, is sufficient in itself to secure misery, even if it be ever so abundantly furnished with corporeal and external goods.
§ 5.31 He held that the virtues are not mutually interdependent. For a man might be prudent, or again just, and at the same time profligate and unable to control his passions. He said too that the wise man was not exempt from all passions, but indulged them in moderation.
He defined friendship as an equality of reciprocal good-will, including under the term as one species the friendship of kinsmen, as another that of lovers, and as a third that of host and guest. The end of love was not merely intercourse but also philosophy. According to him the wise man would fall in love and take part in politics; furthermore he would marry and reside at a king's court. Of three kinds of life, the contemplative, the practical, and the pleasure-loving life, he gave the preference to the contemplative. He held that the studies which make up the ordinary education are of service for the attainment of virtue.
§ 5.32 In the sphere of natural science he surpassed all other philosophers in the investigation of causes, so that even the most insignificant phenomena were explained by him. Hence the unusual number of scientific notebooks which he compiled. Like Plato he held that God was incorporeal; that his providence extended to the heavenly bodies, that he is unmoved, and that earthly events are regulated by their affinity with them (the heavenly bodies). Besides the four elements he held that there is a fifth, of which the celestial bodies are composed. Its motion is of a different kind from that of the other elements, being circular. Further, he maintained the soul to be incorporeal, defining it as the first entelechy [i.e. realization] of a natural organic body potentially possessed of life.
§ 5.33 By the term realization he means that which has an incorporeal form. This realization, according to him, is twofold.
Either it is potential, as that of Hermes in the wax, provided the wax be adapted to receive the proper mouldings, or as that of the statue implicit in the bronze; or again it is determinate, which is the case with the completed figure of Hermes or the finished statue. The soul is the realization of a natural body, since bodies may be divided into (a) artificial bodies made by the hands of craftsmen, as a tower or a ship, and (b) natural bodies which are the work of nature, such as plants and the bodies of animals. And when he said organic he meant constructed as means to an end, as sight is adapted for seeing and the ear for hearing. Of a body potentially possessed of life, that is, in itself.
§ 5.34 There are two senses of potential, one answering to a formed state and the other to its exercise in act. In the latter sense of the term he who is awake is said to have soul, in the former he who is asleep. It was then in order to include the sleeper that Aristotle added the word potential.
He held many other opinions on a variety of subjects which it would be tedious to enumerate. For altogether his industry and invention were remarkable, as is shown by the catalogue of his writings given above, which come to nearly 400 in number, i.e. counting those only the genuineness of which is not disputed. For many other written works and pointed oral sayings are attributed to him.
§ 5.35 There were in all eight Aristotles: (1) our philosopher himself; (2) an Athenian statesman, the author of graceful forensic speeches; (3) a scholar who commented on the Iliad; (4) a Sicilian rhetorician, who wrote a reply to the Panegyric of Isocrates; (5) a disciple of Aeschines the Socratic philosopher, surnamed Myth; (6) a native of Cyrene, who wrote upon the art of poetry; (7) a trainer of boys, mentioned by Aristoxenus in his Life of Plato; (8) an obscure grammarian, whose handbook On Redundancy is still extant.
Aristotle of Stagira had many disciples; the most distinguished was Theophrastus, of whom we have next to speak.
§ 5.36 2. THEOPHRASTUS
Theophrastus was a native of Eresus, the son of Melantes, a fuller, as stated by Athenodorus in the eighth book of his Walks. He first heard his countryman Alcippus lecture in his native town and afterwards he heard Plato, whom he left for Aristotle. And when the latter withdrew to Chalcis he took over the school himself in the 114th Olympiad. A slave of his named Pompylus is also said to have been a philosopher, according to Myronianus of Amastris in the first book of his Historical Parallels. Theophrastus was a man of remarkable intelligence and industry and, as Pamphila says in the thirty-second book of her Memorabilia, he taught Menander the comic poet.
§ 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.
§ 5.38 Although his reputation stood so high, nevertheless for a short time he had to leave the country with all the other philosophers, when Sophocles the son of Amphiclides proposed a law that no philosopher should preside over a school except by permission of the Senate and the people, under penalty of death. The next year, however, the philosophers returned, as Philo had prosecuted Sophocles for making an illegal proposal. Whereupon the Athenians repealed the law, fined Sophocles five talents, and voted the recall of the philosophers, in order that Theophrastus also might return and live there as before. He bore the name of Tyrtamus, and it was Aristotle who re-named him Theophrastus on account of his graceful style.
§ 5.39 And Aristippus, in his fourth book On the Luxury of the Ancients, asserts that he was enamoured of Aristotle's son Nicomachus, although he was his teacher. It is said that Aristotle applied to him and Callisthenes what Plato had said of Xenocrates and himself (as already related), namely, that the one needed a bridle and the other a goad; for Theophrastus interpreted all his meaning with an excess of cleverness, whereas the other was naturally backward. He is said to have become the owner of a garden of his own after Aristotle's death, through the intervention of his friend Demetrius of Phalerum. There are pithy sayings of his in circulation as follows: An unbridled horse, he said, ought to be trusted sooner than a badly-arranged discourse.
§ 5.40 To some one who never opened his lips at a banquet he remarked: Yours is a wise course for an ignoramus, but in an educated man it is sheer folly. He used constantly to say that in our expenditure the item that costs most is time.
He died at the age of eighty-five, not long after he had relinquished his labours. My verses upon him are these:
Not in vain was the word spoken to one of human kind, Slacken the bow of wisdom and it breaks. Of a truth, so long as Theophrastus laboured he was sound of limb, but when released from toil his limbs failed him and he died.
It is said that his disciples asked him if he had any last message for them, to which he replied: Nothing else but this, that many of the pleasures which life boasts are but in the seeming.
§ 5.41 For when we are just beginning to live, lo! we die. Nothing then is so unprofitable as the love of glory. Farewell, and may you be happy. Either drop my doctrine, which involves a world of labour, or stand forth its worthy champions, for you will win great glory. Life holds more disappointment than advantage. But, as I can no longer discuss what we ought to do, do you go on with the inquiry into right conduct.
With these words, they say, he breathed his last. And according to the story all the Athenians, out of respect for the man, escorted his bier on foot. And Favorinus tells that he had in his old age to be carried about in a litter; and this he says on the authority of Hermippus, whose account is taken from a remark of Arcesilaus of Pitane to Lacydes of Cyrene.
§ 5.42 He too has left a very large number of writings. I think it right to catalogue them also because they abound in excellence of every kind. They are as follows:
Three books of Prior Analytics.
Seven books of Posterior Analytics.
On the Analysis of Syllogisms, one book.
Epitome of Analytics, one book.
Two books of Classified Topics.
Polemical discussion on the Theory of Eristic Argument.
Of the Senses, one book.
A Reply to Anaxagoras, one book.
On the Writings of Anaxagoras, one book.
On the Writings of Anaximenes, one book.
On the Writings of Archelaus, one book.
Of Salt, Nitre and Alum, one book.
Of Petrifactions, two books.
On Indivisible Lines, one book.
Two books of Lectures.
Of the Winds, one book.
Characteristics of Virtues, one book.
Of Kingship, one book.
Of the Education of Kings, one book.
Of Various Schemes of Life, three books.
§ 5.43 Of Old Age, one book.
On the Astronomy of Democritus, one book.
On Meteorology, one book.
On Visual Images or Emanations, one book.
On Flavours, Colours and Flesh, one book.
Of the Order of the World, one book.
Of Mankind, one book.
Compendium of the Writings of Diogenes, one book.
Three books of Definitions.
Concerning Love, one book.
Another Treatise on Love, one book.
Of Happiness, one book.
On Species or Forms, two books.
On Epilepsy, one book.
On Frenzy, one book.
Concerning Empedocles, one book.
Eighteen books of Refutative Arguments.
Three books of Polemical Objections.
Of the Voluntary, one book.
Epitome of Plato's Republic, two books.
On the Diversity of Sounds uttered by Animals of the same Species, one book.
Of Sudden Appearances, one book.
Of Animals which bite or gore, one book.
Of Animals reputed to be spiteful, one book.
Of the Animals which are confined to Dry Land, one book.
§ 5.44 Of those which change their Colours, one book.
Of Animals that burrow, one book.
Of Animals, seven books.
Of Pleasure according to Aristotle, one book.
Another treatise on Pleasure, one book.
Theses, twenty-four books.
On Hot and Cold, one book.
On Vertigo and Di5iness, one book.
On Sweating Sickness, one book.
On Affirmation and Negation, one book.
Callisthenes, or On Bereavement, one book.
On Fatigues, one book.
On Motion, three books.
On Precious Stones, one book.
On Pestilences, one book.
On Fainting, one book.
Megarian Treatise, one book.
Of Melancholy, one book.
On Mines, two books.
On Honey, one book.
Compendium on the Doctrines of Metrodorus, one book.
Two books of Meteorology.
On Intoxication, one book.
Twenty-four books of Laws distinguished by the letters of the alphabet.
Ten books of an Epitome of Laws.
§ 5.45 Remarks upon Definitions, one book.
On Smells, one book.
On Wine and Oil.
Introduction to Propositions, eighteen books.
Of Legislators, three books.
Of Politics, six books.
A Political Treatise dealing with important Crises, four books.
Of Social Customs, four books.
Of the Best Constitution, one book.
A Collection of Problems, five books.
On Proverbs, one book.
On Coagulation and Liquefaction, one book.
On Fire, two books.
On Winds, one book.
Of Paralysis, one book.
Of Suffocation, one book.
Of Mental Derangement, one book.
On the Passions, one book.
On Symptoms, one book.
Two books of Sophisms.
On the solution of Syllogisms, one book.
Two books of Topics.
Of Punishment, two books.
On Hair, one book.
Of Tyranny, one book.
On Water, three books.
On Sleep and Dreams, one book.
Of Friendship, three books.
Of Ambition, two books.
§ 5.46 On Nature, three books.
On Physics, eighteen books.
An Epitome of Physics, two books.
Eight books of Physics.
A Reply to the Physical Philosophers, one book
Of Botanical Researches, ten books.
Of Botanical Causes, eight books.
On Juices, five books.
Of False Pleasure, one book.
One Dissertation on the Soul.
On Unscientific Proofs, one book.
On Simple Problems, one book.
Harmonics, one book.
Of Virtue, one book.
Materials for Argument, or Contrarieties, one book.
On Negation, one book.
On Judgement, one book.
Of the Ludicrous, one book.
Afternoon Essays, two books.
Divisions, two books.
On Differences, one book.
On Crimes, one book.
On Calumny, one book.
Of Praise, one book.
Of Experience, one book.
Three books of Letters.
On Animals produced spontaneously, one book.
Of Secretion, one book.
§ 5.47 Panegyrics on the Gods, one book.
On Festivals, one book.
Of Good Fortune, one book.
On Enthymemes, one book.
Of Discoveries, two books.
Lectures on Ethics, one book.
Character Sketches, one book.
On Tumult or Riot, one book.
On Research, one book.
On Judging of Syllogisms, one book.
Of Flattery, one book.
Of the Sea, one book.
To Casander on Kingship, one book.
Of Comedy, one book.
[Of Metres, one book.]
Of Diction, one book.
A Compendium of Arguments, one book.
Solutions, one book.
On Music, three books.
On Measures, one book.
Megacles, one book.
On Laws, one book.
On Illegalities, one book.
A Compendium of the Writings of Xenocrates, one book.
Concerning Conversation, one book.
On Taking an Oath, one book.
Rhetorical Precepts, one book.
Of Wealth, one book.
On the Art of Poetry, one book.
Problems in Politics, Ethics, Physics, and in the Art of Love, one book.
§ 5.48 Preludes, one book.
A Collection of Problems, one book.
On Physical Problems, one book.
On Example, one book.
On Introduction and Narrative, one book.
Another tract on the Art of Poetry, one book.
Of the Wise, one book.
On Consultation, one book.
On Solecisms, one book.
On the Art of Rhetoric, one book.
The Special Commonplaces of the Treatises on Rhetoric, seventeen books.
On Acting, one book.
Lecture Notes of Aristotle or Theophrastus, six books.
Sixteen books of Physical Opinions.
Epitome of Physical Opinions, one book.
On Gratitude, one book.
[Character Sketches, one book.]
On Truth and Falsehood, one book.
The History of Theological Inquiry, six books.
Of the Gods, three books.
Geometrical Researches, four books.
§ 5.49 Epitomes of Aristotle's work on Animals, six books.
Two books of Refutative Arguments.
Theses, three books.
Of Kingship, two books.
Of Causes, one book.
On Democritus, one book.
[Of Calumny, one book.]
Of Becoming, one book.
Of the Intelligence and Character of Animals, one book.
On Motion, two books.
On Vision, four books.
Relating to Definitions, two books.
On Data, one book.
On Greater and Less, one book.
On the Musicians, one book.
Of the Happiness of the Gods, one book.
A Reply to the Academics, one book.
Exhortation to Philosophy, one book.
How States can best be governed, one book.
Lecture-Notes, one book.
On the Eruption in Sicily, one book.
On Things generally admitted, one book.
[On Problems in Physics, one book.]
What are the methods of attaining Knowledge, one book.
On the Fallacy known as the Liar, three books.
§ 5.50 Prolegomena to Topics, one book.
Relating to Aeschylus, one book.
Astronomical Research, six books.
Arithmetical Researches on Growth, one book.
Acicharus, one book.
On Forensic Speeches, one book.
[Of Calumny, one book.]
Correspondence with Astycreon, Phanias and Nicanor.
Of Piety, one book.
Evias, one book.
On Times of Crisis, two books.
On Relevant Arguments, one book.
On the Education of Children, one book.
Another treatise with the same title, one book.
Of Education or of the Virtues or of Temperance, one book.
[An Exhortation to Philosophy, one book.]
On Numbers, one book.
Definitions concerning the Diction of Syllogisms, one book.
Of the Heavens, one book.
Concerning Politics, two books.
In all 232,808 lines. So much for his writings.
§ 5.51 I have also come across his will, couched in the following terms:
All will be well; but in case anything should happen, I make these dispositions. I give and bequeath all my property at home to Melantes and Pancreon, the sons of Leon. It is my wish that out of the trust funds at the disposal of Hipparchus the following appropriations should be made. First, they should be applied to finish the rebuilding of the Museum with the statues of the goddesses, and to add any improvements which seem practicable to beautify them. Secondly, to replace in the sanctuary the bust of Aristotle with the rest of the dedicated offerings which formerly were in the sanctuary. Next, to rebuild the small stoa adjoining the Museum at least as handsomely as before, and to replace in the lower stoa the tablets containing maps of the countries traversed by explorers.
§ 5.52 Further, to repair the altar so that it may be perfect and elegant. It is also my wish that the statue of Nicomachus should be completed of life size. The price agreed upon for the making of the statue itself has been paid to Praxiteles, but the rest of the cost should be defrayed from the source above mentioned. The statue should be set up in whatever place seems desirable to the executors entrusted with carrying out my other testamentary dispositions. Let all that concerns the sanctuary and the offerings set up be arranged in this manner. The estate at Stagira belonging to me I give and bequeath to Callinus. All the books I give to Neleus. The garden and the walk and the houses adjoining the garden, all and sundry, I give and bequeath to such of my friends hereinafter named as may wish to study literature and philosophy there in common,
§ 5.53 since it is not possible for all men to be always in residence, on condition that no one alienates the property or devotes it to his private use, but so that they hold it like a sanctuary in joint possession and live, as is right and proper, on terms of familiarity and friendship. Let the community consist of Hipparchus, Neleus, Strato, Callinus, Demotimus, Demaratus, Callisthenes, Melantes, Pancreon, Nicippus. Aristotle, the son of Metrodorus and Pythias, shall also have the right to study and associate with them if he so desire. And the oldest of them shall pay every attention to him, in order to ensure for him the utmost proficiency in philosophy. Let me be buried in any spot in the garden which seems most suitable, without unnecessary outlay upon my funeral or upon my monument.
§ 5.54 And according to previous agreement let the charge of attending, after my decease, to the sanctuary and the monument and the garden and the walk be shared by Pompylus in person, living close by as he does, and exercising the same supervision over all other matters as before; and those who hold the property shall watch over his interests. Pompylus and Threpta have long been emancipated and have done me much service; and I think that 2000 drachmas certainly ought to belong to them from previous payments made to them by me, from their own earnings, and my present bequest to them to be paid by Hipparchus, as I stated many times in conversation with Melantes and Pancreon themselves, who agreed with me. I give and bequeath to them the maidservant Somatale.
§ 5.55 And of my slaves I at once emancipate Molon and Timon and Parmeno; to Manes and Callias I give their freedom on condition that they stay four years in the garden and work there together and that their conduct is free from blame. Of my household furniture let so much as the executors think right be given to Pompylus and let the rest be sold. I also devise Carion to Demotimus, and Donax to Neleus. But Euboeus must be sold. Let Hipparchus pay to Callinus 3000 drachmas. And if I had not seen that Hipparchus had done great service to Melantes and Pancreon and formerly to me, and that now in his private affairs he has made shipwreck, I would have appointed him jointly with Melantes and Pancreon to carry out my wishes.
§ 5.56 But, since I saw that it was not easy for them to share the management with him, and I thought it more advantageous for them to receive a fixed sum from Hipparchus, let Hipparchus pay Melantes and Pancreon one talent each and let Hipparchus provide funds for the executors to defray the expenses set down in the will, as each disbursement falls due. And when Hipparchus shall have carried out all these injunctions, he shall be released in full from his liabilities to me. And any advance that he has made in Chalcis in my name belongs to him alone. Let Hipparchus, Neleus, Strato, Callinus, Demotimus, Callisthenes and Ctesarchus be executors to carry out the terms of the will.
§ 5.57 One copy of the will, sealed with the signet-ring of Theophrastus, is deposited with Hegesias, the son of Hipparchus, the witnesses being Callippus of Pallene, Philomelus of Euonymaea, Lysander of Hyba, and Philo of Alopece. Olympiodorus has another copy, the witnesses being the same. The third copy was received by Adeimantus, the bearer being Androsthenes junior; and the witnesses are Arimnestus the son of Cleobulus, Lysistratus the son of Pheidon of Thasos, Strato the son of Arcesilaus of Lampsacus, Thesippus the son of Thesippus of Cerameis, and Dioscurides the son of Dionysius of Epicephisia.
Such is the tenor of his will.
There are some who say that Erasistratus the physician was also a pupil of his, and it is not improbable.
§ 5.58 3. STRATO
His successor in the school was Strato, the son of Arcesilaus, a native of Lampsacus, whom he mentioned in his will; a distinguished man who is generally known as the physicist, because more than anyone else he devoted himself to the most careful study of nature. Moreover, he taught Ptolemy Philadelphus and received, it is said, 80 talents from him. According to Apollodorus in his Chronology he became head of the school in the 123rd Olympiad, and continued to preside over it for eighteen years.
§ 5.59 There are extant of his works:
Of Kingship, three books.
Of Justice, three books.
Of the Good, three books.
Of the Gods, three books.
On First Principles, three books.
On Various Modes of Life.
On the Philosopher-King.
On the Void.
On the Heaven.
On the Wind.
Of Human Nature.
On the Breeding of Animals.
Of the Crises in Diseases.
On Mining Machinery.
Of Starvation and Di5iness.
On the Attributes Light and Heavy.
Of Enthusiasm or Ecstasy.
On Growth and Nutrition.
On Animals the existence of which is questioned.
On Animals in Folk-lore or Fable.
Solutions of Difficulties.
Introduction to Topics.
§ 5.60 Of Definition.
On difference of Degree.
Of the logically Prior and Posterior.
Of the Genus of the Prior.
Of the Property or Essential Attribute.
Of the Future.
Examinations of Discoveries, in two books.
Lecture-notes, the genuineness of which is doubted.
Letters beginning Strato to Arsinoe greeting.
Strato is said to have grown so thin that he felt nothing when his end came. And I have written some lines upon him as follows:
A thin, spare man in body, take my word for it, owing to his use of unguents, was this Strato, I at least affirm, to whom Lampsacus gave birth. For ever wrestling with diseases, he died unawares or ever he felt the hand of death.
§ 5.61 There have been eight men who bore the name of Strato: (1) a pupil of Isocrates; (2) our subject; (3) a physician, a disciple, or, as some say, a fosterchild, of Erasistratus; (4) a historian, who treated of the struggle of Philip and Perseus against the Romans; (5) * *; (6) a poet who wrote epigrams; (7) a physician who lived in ancient times, mentioned by Aristotle; (8) a Peripatetic philosopher who lived in Alexandria.
But to return to Strato the physicist. His will is also extant and it runs as follows:
In case anything should happen to me I make these dispositions. All the goods in my house I give and bequeath to Lampyrio and Arcesilaus. From the money belonging to me in Athens, in the first place my executors shall provide for my funeral and for all that custom requires to be done after the funeral, without extravagance on the one hand or meanness on the other.
§ 5.62 The executors of this my will shall be Olympichus, Aristides, Mnesigenes, Hippocrates, Epicrates, Gorgylus, Diocles, Lyco, Athanes. I leave the school to Lyco, since of the rest some are too old and others too busy. But it would be well if the others would co-operate with him. I also give and bequeath to him all my books, except those of which I am the author, and all the furniture in the dining-hall, the cushions and the drinking-cups. The trustees shall give Epicrates 500 drachmas and one of the servants whom Arcesilaus shall approve.
§ 5.63 And in the first place Lampyrio and Arcesilaus shall cancel the agreement which Daippus made on behalf of Iraeus. And he shall not owe anything either to Lampyrio or to Lampyrio's heirs, but shall have a full discharge from the whole transaction. Next, the executors shall give him 500 drachmas in money and one of the servants whom Arcesilaus shall approve, so that, in return for all the toil he has shared with me and all the services he has rendered me, he may have the means to maintain himself respectably. Further, I emancipate Diophantus, Diocles and Abus; and Simias I make over to Arcesilaus. I also emancipate Dromo.
§ 5.64 As soon as Arcesilaus has arrived, Iraeus shall, with Olympichus, Epicrates, and the other executors, prepare an account of the money expended upon the funeral and the other customary charges. Whatever money remains over, Arcesilaus shall take over from Olympichus, without however pressing him as to times and seasons. Arcesilaus shall also cancel the agreement made by Strato with Olympichus and Ameinias and deposited with Philocrates the son of Tisamenus. With regard to my monument they shall make it as Arcesilaus, Olympichus and Lyco shall approve.
Such are the terms of his extant will, according to the Collection of Ariston of Ceos. Strato himself, however, was, as stated above, a man entitled to full approbation, since he excelled in every branch of learning, and most of all in that which is styled physics, a branch of philosophy more ancient and important than the others.
§ 5.65 4. LYCO
Strato's successor was Lyco, the son of Astyanax of Troas, a master of expression and of the foremost rank in the education of boys. For he used to say that modesty and love of honour were as necessary an equipment for boys as spur and bridle for horses. His eloquence and sonorousness of diction appear from the following fact; he speaks of a penniless maiden as follows: A grievous burden to a father is a girl, when for lack of a dowry she runs past the flower of her age. Hence the remark which Antigonus is said to have made about him, that it was not possible to transfer elsewhere the fragrance and charm of the apple, but each separate expression must be contemplated in the speaker himself as every single apple is on the tree.
§ 5.66 This was because Lyco's voice was exceedingly sweet, so that some persons altered his name to Glyco, by prefixing a G. But in writing he fell off sadly. For instance, those who regretted their neglect to learn when they had the opportunity and wished they had done so he would hit off neatly as follows, remarking that they were their own accusers, betraying, by vain regret, repentance for an incorrigible laziness. Those who deliberated wrongly he used to say were out in their calculations, as if they had used a crooked rule to test something straight, or looked at the reflection of a face in troubled water or a distorting mirror. Again, Many go in search of the garland of the market-place; few or none seek the crown at Olympia. He often gave the Athenians advice on various subjects and thus conferred on them the greatest benefits.
§ 5.67 In his dress he was most immaculate, so that the clothes he wore were unsurpassed for the softness of the material, according to Hermippus. Furthermore, he was well practised in gymnastics and kept himself in condition, displaying all an athlete's habit of body, with battered ears and skin begrimed with oil, so we are told by Antigonus of Carystus. Hence it is said that he not only wrestled but played the game of ball common in his birthplace of Ilium. He was esteemed beyond all other philosophers by Eumenes and Attalus, who also did him very great service. Antiochus too tried to get hold of him, but without success.
§ 5.68 He was so hostile to Hieronymus the Peripatetic that he alone declined to meet him on the anniversary which we have mentioned in the Life of Arcesilaus.
He presided over the school forty-four years after Strato had bequeathed it to him by his will in the 127th Olympiad. Not but what he also attended the lectures of the logician Panthoides. He died at the age of seventy-four after severe sufferings from gout. This is my epitaph upon him:
Nor, I swear! will I pass over Lyco either, for all that he died of the gout. But this it is which amazes me the most, if he who formerly could walk only with the feet of others, did in a single night traverse the long, long road to Hades.
§ 5.69 Other men have borne the name of Lyco: (1) a Pythagorean, (2) our present subject, (3) an epic poet, (4) a poet who wrote epigrams.
I have also come across this philosopher's will. It is this:
These are my dispositions concerning my property, in case I should be unable to sustain my present ailment. All the goods in my house I give to my brothers Astyanax and Lyco, and from this source should, I think, be paid all the money I have laid out at Athens, whether by borrowing or by purchase, as well as all the cost of my funeral and the other customary charges.
§ 5.70 But my property in town and at Aegina I give to Lyco because he bears the same name with me, and has resided for a long time with me to my entire satisfaction, as became one whom I treated as my son. I leave the Peripatus to such of my friends as choose to make use of it, to Bulo, Callinus, Ariston, Amphion, Lyco, Pytho, Aristomachus, Heracleus, Lycomedes, and my nephew Lyco. They shall put over it any such person as in their opinion will persevere in the work of the school and will be most capable of extending it. And all my other friends should co-operate for love of me and of the spot. Bulo and Callinus, together with their colleagues, shall provide for my funeral and cremation, so as to avoid meanness on the one hand and extravagance on the other.
§ 5.71 After my decease Lyco shall make over, for the use of the young men, the oil from the olive-trees belonging to me in Aegina for the due commemoration – so long as they use it – of myself and the benefactor who did me honour. He shall also set up my statue, and shall choose a convenient site where it shall be erected, with the assistance of Diophantus and Heraclides the son of Demetrius. From my property in town Lyco shall repay all from whom I have borrowed anything after his departure. Bulo and Callinus shall provide the sums expended upon my funeral and other customary charges. These sums they shall recover from the moneys in the house bequeathed by me to them both in common.
§ 5.72 They shall also remunerate the physicians Pasithemis and Medias who for their attention to me and their skill deserve far higher reward. I bequeath to the child of Callinus a pair of Thericlean cups, and to his wife a pair of Rhodian vessels, a smooth carpet, a rug with nap on both sides, a sofa cover and two cushions the best that are left, that, so far as I have the means of recompensing them, I may prove not ungrateful. With regard to the servants who have waited upon me, my wishes are as follows. To Demetrius I remit the purchase-money for the freedom which he has long enjoyed, and bequeath to him five minas and a suit of clothes to ensure him a decent maintenance, in return for all the toil he has borne with me. To Crito of Chalcedon I also remit the purchase money for his freedom and bequeath to him four minas. And Micrus I emancipate; and Lyco shall keep him and educate him for the next six years.
§ 5.73 And Chares I emancipate, and Lyco shall maintain him, and I bequeath him two minas and my published writings, while those which have not been given to the world I entrust to Callinus, that he may carefully edit them. To Syrus who has been set free I give four minas and Menodora, and I remit to him any debt he owes me. And to Hilara I give five minas and a double-napped rug, two cushions, a sofa-cover and a bed, whichever she prefers. I also set free the mother of Micrus as well as Noemon, Dion, Theon, Euphranor and Hermias. Agathon should be set free after two years, and the litter-bearers Ophelio and Posidonius after four years' further service.
§ 5.74 To Demetrius, to Crito and to Syrus I give a bed apiece and such bed-furniture out of my estate as Lyco shall think proper. These shall be given them for properly performing their appointed tasks. As regards my burial, let Lyco bury me here if he chooses, or if he prefers to bury me at home let him do so, for I am persuaded that his regard for propriety is not less than my own. When he has managed all these things, he can dispose of the property there, and such disposition shall be binding. Witnesses are Callinus of Hermione, Ariston of Ceos, Euphronius of Paeania.
Thus while his shrewdness is seen in all his actions, in his teaching and in all his studies, in some ways his will is no less remarkable for carefulness and wise management, so that in this respect also he is to be admired
§ 5.75 5. DEMETRIUS
Demetrius, the son of Phanostratus, was a native of Phalerum. He was a pupil of Theophrastus, but by his speeches in the Athenian assembly he held the chief power in the State for ten years and was decreed 360 bronze statues, most of them representing him either on horseback or else driving a chariot or a pair of horses. And these statues were completed in less than 300 days, so much was he esteemed. He entered politics, says Demetrius of Magnesia in his work on Men of the Same Name, when Harpalus, fleeing from Alexander, came to Athens. As a statesman he rendered his country many splendid services. For he enriched the city with revenues and buildings, though he was not of noble birth.
§ 5.76 For he was one of Conon's household servants, according to Favorinus in the first book of his Memorabilia; yet Lamia, with whom he lived, was a citizen of noble family, as Favorinus also states in his first book. Further, in his second book Favorinus alleges that he suffered violence from Cleon, while Didymus in his Table-talk relates how a certain courtesan nicknamed him Charito-Blepharos (having the eyelids of the Graces), and Lampito (of shining eyes). He is said to have lost his sight when in Alexandria and to have recovered it by the gift of Sarapis; whereupon he composed the paeans which are sung to this day.
For all his popularity with the Athenians he nevertheless suffered eclipse through all-devouring envy.
§ 5.77 Having been indicted by some persons on a capital charge, he let judgement go by default; and, when his accusers could not get hold of his person, they disgorged their venom on the bronze of his statues. These they tore down from their pedestals; some were sold, some cast into the sea, and others were even, it is said, broken up to make bedroom-utensils. Only one is preserved in the Acropolis. In his Miscellaneous History Favorinus tells us that the Athenians did this at the bidding of King Demetrius.
§ 5.78 And in the official list the year in which he was archon was styled the year of lawlessness, according to this same Favorinus.
Hermippus tells us that upon the death of Casander, being in fear of Antigonus, he fled to Ptolemy Soter. There he spent a considerable time and advised Ptolemy, among other things, to invest with sovereign power his children by Eurydice. To this Ptolemy would not agree, but bestowed the diadem on his son by Berenice, who, after Ptolemy's death, thought fit to detain Demetrius as a prisoner in the country until some decision should be taken concerning him. There he lived in great dejection, and somehow, in his sleep, received an asp-bite on the hand which proved fatal. He is buried in the district of Busiris near Diospolis.
§ 5.79 Here are my lines upon him:
A venomous asp was the death of the wise Demetrius, an asp withal of sticky venom, darting, not light from its eyes, but black death.
Heraclides in his epitome of Sotion's Successions of Philosophers says that Ptolemy himself wished to transmit the kingdom to Philadelphus, but that Demetrius tried to dissuade him, saying, If you give it to another, you will not have it yourself. At the time when he was being continually attacked in Athens, Menander, the Comic poet, as I have also learnt, was very nearly brought to trial for no other cause than that he was a friend of Demetrius. However, Telesphorus, the nephew of Demetrius, begged him off.
In the number of his works and their total length in lines he has surpassed almost all contemporary Peripatetics. For in learning and versatility he has
§ 5.80 no equal. Some of these works are historical and others political; there are some dealing with poets, others with rhetoric. Then there are public speeches and reports of embassies, besides collections of Aesop's fables and much else. He wrote:
Of Legislation at Athens, five books.
Of the Constitutions of Athens, two books.
Of Statesmanship, two books.
On Politics, two books.
Of Laws, one book.
On Rhetoric, two books.
On Military Matters, two books.
§ 5.81 On the Iliad, two books.
On the Odyssey, four books.
And the following works, each in one book:
An Exhortation to Philosophy.
Of the Constitution.
On the ten years of his own Supremacy.
Of the Ionians.
Of the Beam in the Sky.
A Denunciation of the Athenians.
A Sworn Assembly.
Of Old Age.
§ 5.82 His style is philosophical, with an admixture of rhetorical vigour and force. When he heard that the Athenians had destroyed his statues, That they may do, said he, but the merits which caused them to be erected they cannot destroy. He used to say that the eyebrows formed but a small part of the face, and yet they can darken the whole of life by the scorn they express. Again, he said that not only was Plutus blind, but his guide, Fortune, as well; that all that steel could achieve in war was won in politics by eloquence. On seeing a young dandy, There, quoth he, is a four-square Hermes for you, with trailing robe, belly, beard and all. When men are haughty and arrogant, he declared we should cut down their tall stature and leave them their spirit unimpaired. Children should honour their parents at home, out-of-doors everyone they meet, and in solitude themselves.
§ 5.83 In prosperity friends do not leave you unless desired, whereas in adversity they stay away of their own accord. All these sayings seem to be set down to his credit.
There have been twenty noteworthy men called Demetrius: (1) a rhetorician of Chalcedon, older than Thrasymachus; (2) the subject of this notice; (3) a Peripatetic of Byzantium; (4) one called the graphic writer, clear in narrative; he was also a painter; (5) a native of Aspendus, a pupil of Apollonius of Soli; (6) a native of Callatis, who wrote a geography of Asia and Europe in twenty books; (7) a Byzantine, who wrote a history of the migration of the Gauls from Europe into Asia in thirteen books, and another work in eight books dealing with Antiochus and Ptolemy and their settlement of Libya;
§ 5.84 (8) the sophist who lived at Alexandria, author of handbooks of rhetoric; (9) a grammarian of Adramyttium, surnamed Ixion because he was thought to be unjust to Hera; (10) a grammarian of Cyrene, surnamed Wine-jar, an eminent man; (11) a native of Scepsis, a man of wealth and good birth, ardently devoted to learning; he was also the means of bringing his countryman Metrodorus into prominence; (12) a grammarian of Erythrae enrolled as a citizen of Lemnos; (13) a Bithynian, son of Diphilus the Stoic and pupil of Panaetius of Rhodes;
§ 5.85 (14) a rhetorician of Smyrna. The foregoing were prose authors. Of poets bearing this name the first belonged to the Old Comedy; the second was an epic poet whose lines to the envious alone survive:
While he lives they scorn the man whom they regret when he is gone; yet, some day, for the honour of his tomb and lifeless image, contention seizes cities and the people set up strife;
the third of Tarsus, writer of satires; the fourth, a writer of lampoons, in a bitter style; the fifth, a sculptor mentioned by Polemo; the sixth, of Erythrae, a versatile man, who also wrote historical and rhetorical works.
§ 5.86 6. HERACLIDES
Heraclides, son of Euthyphro, born at Heraclea in the Pontus, was a wealthy man. At Athens he first attached himself to Speusippus. He also attended the lectures of the Pythagoreans and admired the writings of Plato. Last of all he became a pupil of Aristotle, as Sotion says in his Successions of Philosophers. He wore fine soft clothes, and he was extremely corpulent, which made the Athenians call him Pompicus rather than Ponticus. He was mild and dignified of aspect. Works by him survive of great beauty and excellence. There are ethical dialogues:
Of Justice, three books.
Of Temperance, one book.
Of Piety, five books.
Of Courage, one book.
Of Virtue in general, one book.
A second with the same title.
Of Happiness, one book.
§ 5.87 Of Government, one book.
On Laws, one book, and on subjects kindred to these.
Of Names, one book.
Agreements, one book.
On the Involuntary, one book.
Concerning Love, and Clinias, one book.
Others are physical treatises:
Of the Soul, and a separate treatise with the same title.
Of Celestial Phenomena, one book
Of Things in the Under-world.
On Various Ways of Life, two books.
The Causes of Diseases, one book.
Of the Good, one book.
Against Zeno's Doctrines, one book.
A Reply to Metron's Doctrines, one book.
To grammar and criticism belong:
Of the Age of Homer and Hesiod, two books
Of Archilochus and Homer, two books.
Of a literary nature are:
A work on passages in Euripides and Sophocles, three books.
On Music, two books.
§ 5.88 Solutions of Homeric Problems, two books.
Of Theorems, one book.
On the Three Tragic Poets, one book.
Characters, one book.
Of Poetry and Poets, one book.
Of Conjecture, one book.
Concerning Prevision, one book.
Expositions of Heraclitus, four books.
Expositions in Reply to Democritus, one book.
Solutions of Eristic Problems, two books.
Logical Proposition, one book.
Of Species, one book.
Solutions, one book.
Admonitions, one book.
A Reply to Dionysius, one book.
To rhetoric belongs:
Of Public Speaking, or Protagoras.
On the Pythagoreans.
Some of these works are in the style of comedy, for instance the tracts On Pleasure and On Temperance; others in the style of tragedy, as the books entitled Of those in Hades, Of Piety, and Of Authority.
Again, he has a sort of intermediate style of conversation which he employs when philosophers, generals and statesmen converse with each other.
§ 5.89 Furthermore, he wrote geometrical and dialectical works, and is, besides, everywhere versatile and lofty in diction, and a great adept at charming the reader's mind.
It seems that he delivered his native city from oppressions by assassinating its ruler, as is stated in his work on Men of the Same Name by Demetrius of Magnesia, who also tells the following story about him: As a boy, and when he grew up, he kept a pet snake, and, being at the point of death, he ordered a trusted attendant to conceal the corpse but to place the snake on his bier, that he might seem to have departed to the gods.
§ 5.90 All this was done. But while the citizens were in the very midst of the procession and were loud in his praise, the snake, hearing the uproar, popped up out of the shroud, creating widespread confusion. Subsequently, however, all was revealed, and they saw Heraclides, not as he appeared, but as he really was.
I have written of him as follows:
You wished, Heraclides, to leave to all mankind a reputation that after death you lived as a snake. But you were deceived, you sophist, for the snake was really a brute beast, and you were detected as more of a beast than a sage.
Hippobotus too has this tale.
§ 5.91 Hermippus relates that, when their territory was visited by famine, the people of Heraclea besought the Pythian priestess for relief, but Heraclides bribed the sacred envoys as well as the aforesaid priestess to reply that they would be rid of the calamity if Heraclides, the son of Euthyphro, were crowned with a crown of gold in his lifetime and after his death received heroic honours. The pretended oracle was brought home, but its forgers got nothing by it. For directly Heraclides was crowned in the theatre, he was seized with apoplexy, whereupon the envoys to the oracle were stoned to death. Moreover, at the very same time the Pythian priestess, after she had gone down to the shrine and taken her seat, was bitten by one of the snakes and died instantly. Such are the tales told about his death.
§ 5.92 Aristoxenus the musician asserts that Heraclides also composed tragedies, inscribing upon them the name of Thespis. Chamaeleon complains that Heraclides' treatise on the works of Homer and Hesiod was plagiarized from his own. Furthermore, Autodorus the Epicurean criticizes him in a polemic against his tract Of Justice. Again, Dionysius the Renegade, or, as some people call him, the Spark, when he wrote the Parthenopaeus, entitled it a play of Sophocles; and Heraclides, such was his credulity, in one of his own works drew upon this forged play as Sophoclean evidence.
§ 5.93 Dionysius, on perceiving this, confessed what he had done; and, when the other denied the fact and would not believe him, called his attention to the acrostic which gave the name of Pancalus, of whom Dionysius was very fond. Heraclides was still unconvinced. Such a thing, he said, might very well happen by chance. To this Dionysius, You will also find these lines:
a. An old monkey is not caught by a trap.
b. Oh yes, he's caught at last, but it takes time.
And this besides: Heraclides is ignorant of letters and not ashamed of his ignorance.
Fourteen persons have borne the name of Heraclides: (1) the subject of this notice; (2) a fellowcitizen of his, author of Pyrrhic verses and tales;
§ 5.94 (3) a native of Cyme, who wrote of Persia in five books; (4) another native of Cyme, who wrote rhetorical textbooks; (5) of Callatis or Alexandria, author of the Succession of Philosophers in six books and a work entitled Lembeuticus, from which he got the surname of Lembus (a fast boat or scout); (6) an Alexandrian who wrote on the Persian national character; (7) a dialectician of Bargylis, who wrote against Epicurus; (8) a physician of the school of Hicesius; (9) another physician of Tarentum, an empiric; (10) a poet who was the author of admonitions; (11) a sculptor of Phocaea; (12) a Ligurian poet, author of epigrams; (13) Heraclides of Magnesia, who wrote a history of Mithradates; (14) the compiler of an Astronomy.
§ 6.1 BOOK 6, 1. ANTISTHENES
Antisthenes, the son of Antisthenes, was an Athenian. It was said, however, that he was not of pure Attic blood. Hence his reply to one who taunted him with this: The Mother of the Gods too is a Phrygian. For his mother was supposed to have been a Thracian. Hence it was that, when he had distinguished himself in the battle of Tanagra, he gave Socrates occasion to remark that, if both his parents had been Athenians, he would not have turned out so brave. He himself showed his contempt for the airs which the Athenians gave themselves on the strength of being sprung from the soil by the remark that this did not make them any better born than snails or wingless locusts.
§ 6.2 To begin with, he became a pupil of Gorgias the rhetorician, and hence the rhetorical style that he introduces in his dialogues, and especially in his Truth and in his Exhortations. According to Hermippus he intended at the public gathering for the Isthmian games to discourse on the faults and merits of Athenians, Thebans and Lacedaemonians, but begged to be excused when he saw throngs arriving from those cities.
Later on, however, he came into touch with Socrates, and derived so much benefit from him that he used to advise his own disciples to become fellow-pupils with him of Socrates. He lived in the Peiraeus, and every day would tramp the five miles to Athens in order to hear Socrates. From Socrates he learned his hardihood, emulating his disregard of feeling, and thus he inaugurated the Cynic way of life. He demonstrated that pain is a good thing by instancing the great Heracles and Cyrus, drawing the one example from the Greek world and the other from the barbarians.
§ 6.3 He was the first to define statement (or assertion) by saying that a statement is that which sets forth what a thing was or is. He used repeatedly to say, I'd rather be mad than feel pleasure, and We ought to make love to such women as will feel a proper gratitude. When a lad from Pontus was about to attend his lectures, and asked him what he required, the answer was, Come with a new book, a new pen, and new tablets, if you have a mind to (implying the need of brains as well). When someone inquired what sort of wife he ought to marry, he said, If she's beautiful, you'll not have her to yourself; if she's ugly, you'll pay for it dearly. Being told that Plato was abusing him, he remarked, It is a royal privilege to do good and be ill spoken of.
§ 6.4 When he was being initiated into the Orphic mysteries, the priest said that those admitted into these rites would be partakers of many good things in Hades. Why then, said he, don't you die? Being reproached because his parents were not both free-born, Nor were they both wrestlers, quoth he, but yet I am a wrestler. To the question why he had but few disciples he replied, Because I use a silver rod to eject them. When he was asked why he was so bitter in reproving his pupils he replied, Physicians are just the same with their patients. One day upon seeing an adulterer running for his life he exclaimed, Poor wretch, what peril you might have escaped at the price of an obol. He used to say, as we learn from Hecato in his Anecdotes, that it is better to fall in with crows than with flatterers; for in the one case you are devoured when dead, in the other case while alive.
§ 6.5 Being asked what was the height of human bliss, he replied, To die happy. When a friend complained to him that he had lost his notes, You should have inscribed them, said he, on your mind instead of on paper. As iron is eaten away by rust, so, said he, the envious are consumed by their own passion. Those who would fain be immortal must, he declared, live piously and justly. States, said he, are doomed when they are unable to distinguish good men from bad. Once, when he was applauded by rascals, he remarked, I am horribly afraid I have done something wrong.
When brothers agree, no fortress is so strong as their common life, he said. The right outfit for a voyage, he said, is such as, even if you are shipwrecked, will go through the water with you.
§ 6.6 One day when he was censured for keeping company with evil men, the reply he made was, Well, physicians are in attendance on their patients without getting the fever themselves. It is strange, said he, that we weed out the darnel from the corn and the unfit in war, but do not excuse evil men from the service of the state. When he was asked what advantage had accrued to him from philosophy, his answer was, The ability to hold converse with myself. Some one having called upon him over the wine for a song, he replied, Then you must accompany me on the pipe. When Diogenes begged a coat of him, he bade him fold his cloak around him double.
§ 6.7 Being asked what learning is the most necessary, he replied, How to get rid of having anything to unlearn. And he advised that when men are slandered, they should endure it more courageously than if they were pelted with stones.
And he used to taunt Plato with being conceited. At all events when in a procession he spied a spirited charger he said, turning to Plato, It seems to me that you would have made just such a proud, showy steed. This because Plato was constantly praising horseflesh. And one day he visited Plato, who was ill, and seeing the basin into which Plato had vomited, remarked, The bile I see, but not the pride.
§ 6.8 He used to recommend the Athenians to vote that asses are horses. When they deemed this absurd, his reply was, But yet generals are found among you who had had no training, but were merely elected. Many men praise you, said one. Why, what wrong have I done? was his rejoinder. When he turned the torn part of his cloak so that it came into view, Socrates no sooner saw this than he said, I spy your love of fame peeping through your cloak. Phanias in his work on the Socratics tells us how some one asked him what he must do to be good and noble, and he replied, You must learn from those who know that the faults you have are to be avoided. When some one extolled luxury his reply was, May the sons of your enemies live in luxury.
§ 6.9 To the youth who was posing fantastically as an artist's model he put this question, Tell me, if the bronze could speak, on what, think you, would it pride itself most? On its beauty, was the reply. Then, said he, are you not ashamed of delighting in the very same quality as an inanimate object? When a young man from Pontus promised to treat him with great consideration as soon as his boat with its freight of salt fish should arrive, he took him and an empty wallet to a flour-dealer's, got it filled, and was going away. When the woman asked for the money, The young man will pay, said he, when his boatload of salt fish arrives.
Antisthenes is held responsible for the exile of Anytus and the execution of Meletus.
§ 6.10 For he fell in with some youths from Pontus whom the fame of Socrates had brought to Athens, and he led them off to Anytus, whom he ironically declared to be wiser than Socrates; whereupon (it is said) those about him with much indignation drove Anytus out of the city. If he saw a woman anywhere decked out with ornaments, he would hasten to her house and bid her husband bring out his horse and arms, and then, if the man possessed them, let his extravagance alone, for (he said) the man could with these defend himself; but, if he had none, he would bid him strip off the finery.
Favourite themes with him were the following. He would prove that virtue can be taught; that nobility belongs to none other than the virtuous.
§ 6.11 And he held virtue to be sufficient in itself to ensure happiness, since it needed nothing else except the strength of a Socrates. And he maintained that virtue is an affair of deeds and does not need a store of words or learning; that the wise man is self-sufficing, for all the goods of others are his; that ill repute is a good thing and much the same as pain; that the wise man will be guided in his public acts not by the established laws but by the law of virtue; that he will also marry in order to have children from union with the handsomest women; furthermore that he will not disdain to love, for only the wise man knows who are worthy to be loved.
§ 6.12 Diocles records the following sayings of his: To the wise man nothing is foreign or impracticable. A good man deserves to be loved. Men of worth are friends. Make allies of men who are at once brave and just. Virtue is a weapon that cannot be taken away. It is better to be with a handful of good men fighting against all the bad, than with hosts of bad men against a handful of good men. Pay attention to your enemies, for they are the first to discover your mistakes. Esteem an honest man above a kinsman. Virtue is the same for women as for men. Good actions are fair and evil actions foul. Count all wickedness foreign and alien.
§ 6.13 Wisdom is a most sure stronghold which never crumbles away nor is betrayed. Walls of defence must be constructed in our own impregnable reasonings. He used to converse in the gymnasium of Cynosarges (White hound) at no great distance from the gates, and some think that the Cynic school derived its name from Cynosarges. Antisthenes himself too was nicknamed a hound pure and simple. And he was the first, Diocles tells us, to double his cloak and be content with that one garment and to take up a staff and a wallet. Neanthes too asserts that he was the first to double his mantle. Sosicrates, however, in the third book of his Successions of Philosophers says this was first done by Diodorus of Aspendus, who also let his beard grow and used a staff and a wallet.
§ 6.14 Of all the Socratics Antisthenes alone is praised by Theopompus, who says he had consummate skill and could by means of agreeable discourse win over whomsoever he pleased. And this is clear from his writings and from Xenophon's Banquet. It would seem that the most manly section of the Stoic School owed its origin to him. Hence Athenaeus the epigrammatist writes thus of them:
Ye experts in Stoic story, ye who commit to sacred pages most excellent doctrines — that virtue alone is the good of the soul: for virtue alone saves man's life and cities. But that Muse that is one of the daughters of Memory approves the pampering of the flesh, which other men have chosen for their aim.
§ 6.15 Antisthenes gave the impulse to the indifference of Diogenes, the continence of Crates, and the hardihood of Zeno, himself laying the foundations of their state. Xenophon calls him the most agreeable of men in conversation and the most temperate in everything else.
His writings are preserved in ten volumes. The first includes:
A Treatise on Expression, or Styles of Speaking.
Ajax, or The Speech of Ajax.
Odysseus, or Concerning Odysseus.
A Defence of Orestes, or Concerning Forensic Writers.
Isography (similar writing), or Lysias and Isocrates.
A Reply to the Speech of Isocrates entitled Without Witnesses.
Vol. 2 includes:
Of the Nature of Animals.
Of Procreation of Children, or Of Marriage: a discourse on love.
Of the Sophists: a work on Physiognomy.
§ 6.16 On Justice and Courage: a hortative work in three books.
Concerning Theognis, making a fourth and a fifth book.
In the third volume are treatises:
Of the Good.
Of Law, or Of a Commonwealth.
Of Law, or Of Goodness and Justice.
Of Freedom and Slavery.
Of the Guardian, or On Obedience.
Of Victory: an economic work.
In the fourth volume are included:
The Greater Heracles, or Of Strength.
The fifth contains:
Cyrus, or Of Sovereignty.
Of Discussion: a handbook of debate.
Satho, or Of Contradiction, in three books.
§ 6.17 On Talk.
The seventh volume contains the following:
On Education, or On Names, in five books.
On the Use of Names: a controversial work.
Of Questioning and Answering.
Of Opinion and Knowledge, in four books.
Of Life and Death.
Of Those in the Underworld.
Of Nature, in two books.
A Problem concerning Nature, two books.
Opinions, or The Controversialist.
Problems about Learning.
In the eighth volume are:
On Wickedness and Impiety.
On the Scout.
The ninth volume contains:
Of the Odyssey.
Of the Minstrel's Staff.
Athena, or Of Telemachus.
Of Helen and Penelope.
Cyclops, or Of Odysseus.
§ 6.18 Of the Use of Wine, or Of Intoxication, or Of the Cyclops.
Of Odysseus, Penelope and the Dog.
The contents of the tenth volume are:
Heracles, or Midas.
Heracles, or Of Wisdom or Strength.
Cyrus, or The Beloved.
Cyrus, or The Scouts.
Menexenus, or On Ruling.
Archelaus, or Of Kingship.
This is the list of his writings.
Timon finds fault with him for writing so much and calls him a prolific trifler. He died of disease just as Diogenes, who had come in, inquired of him, Have you need of a friend? Once too Diogenes, when he came to him, brought a dagger. And when Antisthenes cried out, Who will release me from these pains? replied, This, showing him the dagger. I said, quoth the other, from my pains, not from life.
§ 6.19 It was thought that he showed some weakness in bearing his malady through love of life. And here are my verses upon him:
Such was your nature, Antisthenes, that in your lifetime you were a very bulldog to rend the heart with words, if not with teeth. Yet you died of consumption. Maybe some one will say, What of that? We must anyhow have some guide to the world below.
There have been three other men named Antisthenes: one a follower of Heraclitus, another a native of Ephesus, and the third of Rhodes, a historian.
And whereas we have enumerated the pupils of Aristippus and of Phaedo, we will now append an account of the Cynics and Stoics who derive from Antisthenes. And let it be in the following order.
§ 6.20 2. DIOGENES
Diogenes was a native of Sinope, son of Hicesius, a banker. Diocles relates that he went into exile because his father was entrusted with the money of the state and adulterated the coinage. But Eubulides in his book on Diogenes says that Diogenes himself did this and was forced to leave home along with his father. Moreover Diogenes himself actually confesses in his Pordalus that he adulterated the coinage. Some say that having been appointed to superintend the workmen he was persuaded by them, and that he went to Delphi or to the Delian oracle in his own city and inquired of Apollo whether he should do what he was urged to do. When the god gave him permission to alter the political currency, not understanding what this meant, he adulterated the state coinage, and when he was detected, according to some he was banished, while according to others he voluntarily quitted the city for fear of consequences.
§ 6.21 One version is that his father entrusted him with the money and that he debased it, in consequence of which the father was imprisoned and died, while the son fled, came to Delphi, and inquired, not whether he should falsify the coinage, but what he should do to gain the greatest reputation; and that then it was that he received the oracle.
On reaching Athens he fell in with Antisthenes. Being repulsed by him, because he never welcomed pupils, by sheer persistence Diogenes wore him out. Once when he stretched out his staff against him, the pupil offered his head with the words, Strike, for you will find no wood hard enough to keep me away from you, so long as I think you've something to say. From that time forward he was his pupil, and, exile as he was, set out upon a simple life.
§ 6.22 Through watching a mouse running about, says Theophrastus in the Megarian dialogue, not looking for a place to lie down in, not afraid of the dark, not seeking any of the things which are considered to be dainties, he discovered the means of adapting himself to circumstances. He was the first, say some, to fold his cloak because he was obliged to sleep in it as well, and he carried a wallet to hold his victuals, and he used any place for any purpose, for breakfasting, sleeping, or conversing. And then he would say, pointing to the Stoa of Zeus and the Pompeion, that the Athenians had provided him with places to live in.
§ 6.23 He did not lean upon a staff until he grew infirm; but afterwards he would carry it everywhere, not indeed in the city, but when walking along the road with it and with his wallet; so say Olympiodorus, once a magistrate at Athens, Polyeuctus the orator, and Lysanias the son of Aeschrio. He had written to some one to try and procure a cottage for him. When this man was a long time about it, he took for his abode the tub in the Metroon, as he himself explains in his letters. And in summer he used to roll in it over hot sand, while in winter he used to embrace statues covered with snow, using every means of inuring himself to hardship.
§ 6.24 He was great at pouring scorn on his contemporaries. The school of Euclides he called bilious, and Plato's lectures waste of time, the performances at the Dionysia great peep-shows for fools, and the demagogues the mob's lackeys. He used also to say that when he saw physicians, philosophers and pilots at their work, he deemed man the most intelligent of all animals; but when again he saw interpreters of dreams and diviners and those who attended to them, or those who were puffed up with conceit of wealth, he thought no animal more silly. He would continually say that for the conduct of life we need right reason or a halter.
§ 6.25 Observing Plato one day at a costly banquet taking olives, How is it, he said, that you the philosopher who sailed to Sicily for the sake of these dishes, now when they are before you do not enjoy them? Nay, by the gods, Diogenes, replied Plato, there also for the most part I lived upon olives and such like. Why then, said Diogenes, did you need to go to Syracuse? Was it that Attica at that time did not grow olives? But Favorinus in his Miscellaneous History attributes this to Aristippus. Again, another time he was eating dried figs when he encountered Plato and offered him a share of them. When Plato took them and ate them, he said, I said you might share them, not that you might eat them all up.
§ 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.
§ 6.28 And he would wonder that the grammarians should investigate the ills of Odysseus, while they were ignorant of their own. Or that the musicians should tune the strings of the lyre, while leaving the dispositions of their own souls discordant; that the mathematicians should gaze at the sun and the moon, but overlook matters close at hand; that the orators should make a fuss about justice in their speeches, but never practise it; or that the avaricious should cry out against money, while inordinately fond of it. He used also to condemn those who praised honest men for being superior to money, while themselves envying the very rich. He was moved to anger that men should sacrifice to the gods to ensure health and in the midst of the sacrifice should feast to the detriment of health. He was astonished that when slaves saw their masters were gluttons, they did not steal some of the viands.
§ 6.29 He would praise those who were about to marry and refrained, those who intending to go a voyage never set sail, those who thinking to engage in politics do no such thing, those also who purposing to rear a family do not do so, and those who make ready to live with potentates, yet never come near them after all. He used to say, moreover, that we ought to stretch out our hands to our friends with the fingers open and not closed. Menippus in his Sale of Diogenes tells how, when he was captured and put up for sale, he was asked what he could do. He replied, Govern men. And he told the crier to give notice in case anybody wanted to purchase a master for himself. Having been forbidden to sit down, It makes no difference, said he, for in whatever position fishes lie, they still find purchasers.
§ 6.30 And he said he marvelled that before we buy a jar or dish we try whether it rings true, but if it is a man are content merely to look at him. To Xeniades who purchased him he said, You must obey me, although I am a slave; for, if a physician or a steersman were in slavery, he would be obeyed. Eubulus in his book entitled The Sale of Diogenes tells us that this was how he trained the sons of Xeniades. After their other studies he taught them to ride, to shoot with the bow, to sling stones and to hurl javelins. Later, when they reached the wrestling-school, he would not permit the master to give them full athletic training, but only so much as to heighten their colour and keep them in good condition.
§ 6.31 The boys used to get by heart many passages from poets, historians, and the writings of Diogenes himself; and he would practise them in every short cut to a good memory. In the house too he taught them to wait upon themselves, and to be content with plain fare and water to drink. He used to make them crop their hair close and to wear it unadorned, and to go lightly clad, barefoot, silent, and not looking about them in the streets. He would also take them out hunting. They on their part had a great regard for Diogenes and made requests of their parents for him. The same Eubulus relates that he grew old in the house of Xeniades, and when he died was buried by his sons.
§ 6.32 There Xeniades once asked him how he wished to be buried. To which he replied, On my face. Why? inquired the other. Because, said he, after a little time down will be converted into up. This because the Macedonians had now got the supremacy, that is, had risen high from a humble position. Some one took him into a magnificent house and warned him not to expectorate, whereupon having cleared his throat he discharged the phlegm into the man's face, being unable, he said, to find a meaner receptacle. Others father this upon Aristippus. One day he shouted out for men, and when people collected, hit out at them with his stick, saying, It was men I called for, not scoundrels. This is told by Hecato in the first book of his Anecdotes. Alexander is reported to have said, Had I not been Alexander, I should have liked to be Diogenes.
§ 6.33 The word disabled (ἀναπήρους), Diogenes held, ought to be applied not to the deaf or blind, but to those who have no wallet (πήρα). One day he made his way with head half shaven into a party of young revellers, as Metrocles relates in his Anecdotes, and was roughly handled by them. Afterwards he entered on a tablet the names of those who had struck him and went about with the tablet hung round his neck, till he had covered them with ridicule and brought universal blame and discredit upon them. He described himself as a hound of the sort which all men praise, but no one, he added, of his admirers dared go out hunting along with him. When some one boasted that at the Pythian games he had vanquished men, Diogenes replied, Nay, I defeat men, you defeat slaves.
§ 6.34 To those who said to him, You are an old man; take a rest, What? he replied, if I were running in the stadium, ought I to slacken my pace when approaching the goal? ought I not rather to put on speed? Having been invited to a dinner, he declared that he wouldn't go; for, the last time he went, his host had not expressed a proper gratitude. He would walk upon snow barefoot and do the other things mentioned above. Not only so; he even attempted to eat meat raw, but could not manage to digest it. He once found Demosthenes the orator lunching at an inn, and, when he retired within, Diogenes said, All the more you will be inside the tavern. When some strangers expressed a wish to see Demosthenes, he stretched out his middle finger and said, There goes the demagogue of Athens.
§ 6.35 Some one dropped a loaf of bread and was ashamed to pick it up; whereupon Diogenes, wishing to read him a lesson, tied a rope to the neck of a wine-jar and proceeded to drag it across the Ceramicus.
He used to say that he followed the example of the trainers of choruses; for they too set the note a little high, to ensure that the rest should hit the right note. Most people, he would say, are so nearly mad that a finger makes all the difference. For, if you go along with your middle finger stretched out, some one will think you mad, but, if it's the little finger, he will not think so. Very valuable things, said he, were bartered for things of no value, and vice versa. At all events a statue fetches three thousand drachmas, while a quart of barley-flour is sold for two copper coins.
§ 6.36 To Xeniades, who purchased him, he said, Come, see that you obey orders. When he quoted the line,
Backward the streams flow to their founts,
Diogenes asked, If you had been ill and had purchased a doctor, would you then, instead of obeying him, have said 'Backward the streams flow to their founts'? Some one wanted to study philosophy under him. Diogenes gave him a tunny to carry and told him to follow him. And when for shame the man threw it away and departed, some time after on meeting him he laughed and said, The friendship between you and me was broken by a tunny. The version given by Diocles, however, is as follows. Some one having said to him, Lay your commands upon us, Diogenes, he took him away and gave him a cheese to carry, which cost half an obol. The other declined; whereupon he remarked, The friendship between you and me is broken by a little cheese worth half an obol.
§ 6.37 One day, observing a child drinking out of his hands, he cast away the cup from his wallet with the words, A child has beaten me in plainness of living. He also threw away his bowl when in like manner he saw a child who had broken his plate taking up his lentils with the hollow part of a morsel of bread. He used also to reason thus: All things belong to the gods. The wise are friends of the gods, and friends hold things in common. Therefore all things belong to the wise. One day he saw a woman kneeling before the gods in an ungraceful attitude, and wishing to free her of superstition, according to Zoilus of Perga, he came forward and said, Are you not afraid, my good woman, that a god may be standing behind you? – for all things are full of his presence – and you may be put to shame?
§ 6.38 He dedicated to Asclepius a bruiser who, whenever people fell on their faces, used to run up to them and bruise them.
All the curses of tragedy, he used to say, had lighted upon him. At all events he was
A homeless exile, to his country dead. A wanderer who begs his daily bread.
But he claimed that to fortune he could oppose courage, to convention nature, to passion reason. When he was sunning himself in the Craneum, Alexander came and stood over him and said, Ask of me any boon you like. To which he replied, Stand out of my light. Some one had been reading aloud for a very long time, and when he was near the end of the roll pointed to a space with no writing on it. Cheer up, my men, cried Diogenes; there's land in sight.
§ 6.39 To one who by argument had proved conclusively that he had horns, he said, touching his forehead, Well, I for my part don't see any. In like manner, when somebody declared that there is no such thing as motion, he got up and walked about. When some one was discoursing on celestial phenomena, How many days, asked Diogenes, were you in coming from the sky? A eunuch of bad character had inscribed on his door the words, Let nothing evil enter. How then, he asked, is the master of the house to get in? When he had anointed his feet with unguent, he declared that from his head the unguent passed into the air, but from his feet into his nostrils. The Athenians urged him to become initiated, and told him that in Hades those who have been initiated take precedence. It would be ludicrous, quoth he, if Agesilaus and Epaminondas are to dwell in the mire, while certain folk of no account will live in the Isles of the Blest because they have been initiated.
§ 6.40 When mice crept on to the table he addressed them thus, See now even Diogenes keeps parasites. When Plato styled him a dog, Quite true, he said, for I come back again and again to those who have sold me. As he was leaving the public baths, somebody inquired if many men were bathing. He said, No. But to another who asked if there was a great crowd of bathers, he said, Yes. Plato had defined Man as an animal, biped and featherless, and was applauded. Diogenes plucked a fowl and brought it into the lecture-room with the words, Here is Plato's man. In consequence of which there was added to the definition, having broad nails. To one who asked what was the proper time for lunch, he said, If a rich man, when you will; if a poor man, when you can.
§ 6.41 At Megara he saw the sheep protected by leather jackets, while the children went bare. It's better, said he, to be a Megarian's ram than his son. To one who had brandished a beam at him and then cried, Look out, he replied, What, are you intending to strike me again? He used to call the demagogues the lackeys of the people and the crowns awarded to them the efflorescence of fame. He lit a lamp in broad daylight and said, as he went about, I am looking for a man. One day he got a thorough drenching where he stood, and, when the bystanders pitied him, Plato said, if they really pitied him, they should move away, alluding to his vanity. When some one hit him a blow with his fist, Heracles, said he, how came I to forget to put on a helmet when I walked out?
§ 6.42 Further, when Meidias assaulted him and went on to say, There are 3000 drachmas to your credit, the next day he took a pair of boxing-gauntlets, gave him a thrashing and said, There are 3000 blows to your credit.
When Lysias the druggist asked him if he believed in the gods, How can I help believing in them, said he, when I see a god-forsaken wretch like you? Others give this retort to Theodorus. Seeing some one perform religious purification, he said, Unhappy man, don't you know that you can no more get rid of errors of conduct by sprinklings than you can of mistakes in grammar? He would rebuke men in general with regard to their prayers, declaring that they asked for those things which seemed to them to be good, not for such as are truly good.
§ 6.43 As for those who were excited over their dreams he would say that they cared nothing for what they did in their waking hours, but kept their curiosity for the visions called up in their sleep. At Olympia, when the herald proclaimed Dioxippus to be victor over the men, Diogenes protested, Nay, he is victorious over slaves, I over men.
Still he was loved by the Athenians. At all events, when a youngster broke up his tub, they gave the boy a flogging and presented Diogenes with another. Dionysius the Stoic says that after Chaeronea he was seized and dragged off to Philip, and being asked who he was, replied, A spy upon your insatiable greed. For this he was admired and set free.
§ 6.44 Alexander having on one occasion sent a letter to Antipater at Athens by a certain Athlios, Diogenes, who was present, said:
Graceless son of graceless sire to graceless wight by graceless squire.
Perdiccas having threatened to put him to death unless he came to him, That's nothing wonderful, quoth he, for a beetle or a tarantula would do the same. Instead of that he would have expected the threat to be that Perdiccas would be quite happy to do without his company. He would often insist loudly that the gods had given to men the means of living easily, but this had been put out of sight, because we require honeyed cakes, unguents and the like. Hence to a man whose shoes were being put on by his servant, he said, You have not attained to full felicity, unless he wipes your nose as well; and that will come, when you have lost the use of your hands.
§ 6.45 Once he saw the sacred officials leading away some one who had stolen a bowl belonging to the treasurers, and said, The great thieves are leading away the little thief. Noticing a lad one day throwing stones at a cross (gibbet), Well done, he said, you will hit your mark. When some boys clustered round him and said, Take care he doesn't bite us, he answered, Never fear, boys, a dog does not eat beetroot. To one who was proud of wearing a lion's skin his words were, Leave off dishonouring the habiliments of courage. When some one was extolling the good fortune of Callisthenes and saying what splendour he shared in the suite of Alexander, Not so, said Diogenes, but rather ill fortune; for he breakfasts and dines when Alexander thinks fit.
§ 6.46 Being short of money, he told his friends that he applied to them not for alms, but for repayment of his due. When behaving indecently in the marketplace, he wished it were as easy to relieve hunger by rubbing an empty stomach. Seeing a youth starting off to dine with satraps, he dragged him off, took him to his friends and bade them keep strict watch over him. When a youth effeminately attired put a question to him, he declined to answer unless he pulled up his robe and showed whether he was man or woman. A youth was playing cottabos in the baths. Diogenes said to him, The better you play, the worse it is for you. At a feast certain people kept throwing all the bones to him as they would have done to a dog. Thereupon he played a dog's trick and drenched them.
§ 6.47 Rhetoricians and all who talked for reputation he used to call thrice human, meaning thereby thrice wretched. An ignorant rich man he used to call the sheep with the golden fleece. Seeing a notice on the house of a profligate, To be sold, he said, I knew well that after such surfeiting you would throw up the owner. To a young man who complained of the number of people who annoyed him by their attentions he said, Cease to hang out a sign of invitation. Of a public bath which was dirty he said, When people have bathed here, where are they to go to get clean? There was a stout musician whom everybody depreciated and Diogenes alone praised. When asked why, he said, Because being so big, he yet sings to his lute and does not turn brigand.
§ 6.48 The musician who was always deserted by his audience he greeted with a Hail chanticleer, and when asked why he so addressed him, replied, Because your song makes every one get up. A young man was delivering a set speech, when Diogenes, having filled the front fold of his dress with lupins, began to eat them, standing right opposite to him. Having thus drawn off the attention of the assemblage, he said he was greatly surprised that they should desert the orator to look at himself. A very superstitious person addressed him thus, With one blow I will break your head. And I, said Diogenes, by a sneeze from the left will make you tremble. Hegesias having asked him to lend him one of his writings, he said, You are a simpleton, Hegesias; you do not choose painted figs, but real ones; and yet you pass over the true training and would apply yourself to written rules.
§ 6.49 When some one reproached him with his exile, his reply was, Nay, it was through that, you miserable fellow, that I came to be a philosopher. Again, when some one reminded him that the people of Sinope had sentenced him to exile, And I them, said he, to home-staying. Once he saw an Olympic victor tending sheep and thus accosted him: Too quickly, my good friend, have you left Olympia for Nemea. Being asked why athletes are so stupid, his answer was, Because they are built up of pork and beef. He once begged alms of a statue, and, when asked why he did so, replied, To get practice in being refused. In asking alms – as he did at first by reason of his poverty – he used this form: If you have already given to anyone else, give to me also; if not, begin with me.
§ 6.50 On being asked by a tyrant what bronze is best for a statue, he replied, That of which Harmodius and Aristogiton were moulded. Asked how Dionysius treated his friends, Like purses, he replied; so long as they are full, he hangs them up, and, when they are empty, he throws them away. Some one lately wed had set up on his door the notice:
The son of Zeus, victorious Heracles,
Dwells here; let nothing evil enter in.
To which Diogenes added After war, alliance. The love of money he declared to be mother-city of all evils. Seeing a spendthrift eating olives in a tavern, he said, If you had breakfasted in this fashion, you would not so be dining.
§ 6.51 Good men he called images of the gods, and love the business of the idle. To the question what is wretched in life he replied, An old man destitute. Being asked what creature's bite is the worst, he said, Of those that are wild a sycophant's; of those that are tame a flatterer's. Upon seeing two centaurs very badly painted, he asked, Which of these is Chiron? (worse man). Ingratiating speech he compared to honey used to choke you. The stomach he called livelihood's Charybdis. Hearing a report that Didymon the flute-player had been caught in adultery, his comment was, His name alone is sufficient to hang him. To the question why gold is pale, his reply was, Because it has so many thieves plotting against it. On seeing a woman carried in a litter, he remarked that the cage was not in keeping with the quarry.
§ 6.52 One day seeing a runaway slave sitting on the brink of a well, he said, Take care, my lad, you don't fall in. Seeing a boy taking clothes at the baths, he asked, Is it for a little unguent (ἀλειμμάτιον) or is it for a new cloak (ἄλλ' ἱμάτιον)? Seeing some women hanged from an olive-tree, he said, Would that every tree bore similar fruit. On seeing a footpad he accosted him thus:
What mak'st thou here, my gallant?
Com'st thou perchance for plunder of the dead?
Being asked whether he had any maid or boy to wait on him, he said No. If you should die, then, who will carry you out to burial? Whoever wants the house, he replied.
§ 6.53 Noticing a good-looking youth lying in an exposed position, he nudged him and cried, Up, man, up, lest some foe thrust a dart into thy back! To one who was feasting lavishly he said:
Short-liv'd thou'lt be, my son, by what thou – buy'st.
As Plato was conversing about Ideas and using the nouns tablehood and cuphood, he said, Table and cup I see; but your tablehood and cuphood, Plato, I can nowise see. That's readily accounted for, said Plato, for you have the eyes to see the visible table and cup; but not the understanding by which ideal tablehood and cuphood are discerned.
§ 6.54 On being asked by somebody, What sort of a man do you consider Diogenes to be? A Socrates gone mad, said he. Being asked what was the right time to marry, Diogenes replied, For a young man not yet: for an old man never at all. Being asked what he would take to be soundly cuffed, he replied, A helmet. Seeing a youth dressing with elaborate care, he said, If it's for men, you're a fool; if for women, a knave. One day he detected a youth blushing. Courage, quoth he, that is the hue of virtue. One day after listening to a couple of lawyers disputing, he condemned them both, saying that the one had no doubt stolen, but the other had not lost anything. To the question what wine he found pleasant to drink, he replied, That for which other people pay. When he was told that many people laughed at him, he made answer, But I am not laughed down.
§ 6.55 When some one declared that life is an evil, he corrected him: Not life itself, but living ill. When he was advised to go in pursuit of his runaway slave, he replied, It would be absurd, if Manes can live without Diogenes, but Diogenes cannot get on without Manes. When breakfasting on olives amongst which a cake had been inserted, he flung it away and addressed it thus:
Stranger, betake thee from the princes' path.
And on another occasion thus:
He lashed an olive.
Being asked what kind of hound he was, he replied, When hungry, a Maltese; when full, a Molossian – two breeds which most people praise, though for fear of fatigue they do not venture out hunting with them. So neither can you live with me, because you are afraid of the discomforts.
§ 6.56 Being asked if the wise eat cakes, Yes, he said, cakes of all kinds, just like other men. Being asked why people give to beggars but not to philosophers, he said, Because they think they may one day be lame or blind, but never expect that they will turn to philosophy. He was begging of a miserly man who was slow to respond; so he said, My friend, it's for food that I'm asking, not for funeral expenses. Being reproached one day for having falsified the currency, he said, That was the time when I was such as you are now; but such as I am now, you will never be. To another who reproached him for the same offence he made a more scurrilous repartee.
§ 6.57 On coming to Myndus and finding the gates large, though the city itself was very small, he cried, Men of Myndus, bar your gates, lest the city should run away. Seeing a man who had been caught stealing purple, he said:
Fast gripped by purple death and forceful fate.
When Craterus wanted him to come and visit him, No, he replied, I would rather live on a few grains of salt at Athens than enjoy sumptuous fare at Craterus's table. He went up to Anaximenes the rhetorician, who was fat, and said, Let us beggars have something of your paunch; it will be a relief to you, and we shall get advantage. And when the same man was discoursing, Diogenes distracted his audience by producing some salt fish. This annoyed the lecturer, and Diogenes said, An obol's worth of salt fish has broken up Anaximenes' lecture-class.
§ 6.58 Being reproached for eating in the market-place, Well, it was in the market-place, he said, that I felt hungry. Some authors affirm that the following also belongs to him: that Plato saw him washing lettuces, came up to him and quietly said to him, Had you paid court to Dionysius, you wouldn't now be washing lettuces, and that he with equal calmness made answer, If you had washed lettuces, you wouldn't have paid court to Dionysius. When some one said, Most people laugh at you, his reply was, And so very likely do the asses at them; but as they don't care for the asses, so neither do I care for them. One day observing a youth studying philosophy, he said, Well done, Philosophy, that thou divertest admirers of bodily charms to the real beauty of the soul.
§ 6.59 When some one expressed astonishment at the votive offerings in Samothrace, his comment was, There would have been far more, if those who were not saved had set up offerings. But others attribute this remark to Diagoras of Melos. To a handsome youth, who was going out to dinner, he said, You will come back a worse man. When he came back and said next day, I went and am none the worse for it, Diogenes said, Not Worse-man (Chiron), but Lax-man (Eurytion). He was asking alms of a bad-tempered man, who said, Yes, if you can persuade me. If I could have persuaded you, said Diogenes, I would have persuaded you to hang yourself. He was returning from Lacedaemon to Athens; and on some one asking, Whither and whence? he replied, From the men's apartments to the women's.
§ 6.60 He was returning from Olympia, and when somebody inquired whether there was a great crowd, Yes, he said, a great crowd, but few who could be called men. Libertines he compared to fig-trees growing upon a cliff: whose fruit is not enjoyed by any man, but is eaten by ravens and vultures. When Phryne set up a golden statue of Aphrodite in Delphi, Diogenes is said to have written upon it: From the licentiousness of Greece. Alexander once came and stood opposite him and said, I am Alexander the great king. And I, said he, am Diogenes the Cynic. Being asked what he had done to be called a hound, he said, I fawn on those who give me anything, I yelp at those who refuse, and I set my teeth in rascals.
§ 6.61 He was gathering figs, and was told by the keeper that not long before a man had hanged himself on that very fig-tree. Then, said he, I will now purge it. Seeing an Olympian victor casting repeated glances at a courtesan, See, he said, yonder ram frenzied for battle, how he is held fast by the neck fascinated by a common minx. Handsome courtesans he would compare to a deadly honeyed potion. He was breakfasting in the marketplace, and the bystanders gathered round him with cries of dog. It is you who are dogs, cried he, when you stand round and watch me at my breakfast. When two cowards hid away from him, he called out, Don't be afraid, a hound is not fond of beetroot.
§ 6.62 After seeing a stupid wrestler practising as a doctor he inquired of him, What does this mean? Is it that you may now have your revenge on the rivals who formerly beat you? Seeing the child of a courtesan throw stones at a crowd, he cried out, Take care you don't hit your father.
A boy having shown him a dagger that he had received from an admirer, Diogenes remarked, A pretty blade with an ugly handle. When some people commended a person who had given him a gratuity, he broke in with You have no praise for me who was worthy to receive it. When some one asked that he might have back his cloak, If it was a gift, replied Diogenes, I possess it; while, if it was a loan, I am using it. A supposititious son having told him that he had gold in the pocket of his dress, True, said he, and therefore you sleep with it under your pillow.
§ 6.63 On being asked what he had gained from philosophy, he replied, This at least, if nothing else – to be prepared for every fortune. Asked where he came from, he said, I am a citizen of the world. Certain parents were sacrificing to the gods, that a son might be born to them. But, said he, do you not sacrifice to ensure what manner of man he shall turn out to be? When asked for a subscription towards a club, he said to the president:
Despoil the rest; off Hector keep thy hands.
The mistresses of kings he designated queens; for, said he, they make the kings do their bidding. When the Athenians gave Alexander the title of Dionysus, he said, Me too you might make Sarapis. Some one having reproached him for going into dirty places, his reply was that the sun too visits cesspools without being defiled.
§ 6.64 When he was dining in a sanctuary, and in the course of the meal loaves not free from dirt were put on the table, he took them up and threw them away, declaring that nothing unclean ought to enter a sanctuary. To the man who said to him, You don't know anything, although you are a philosopher, he replied, Even if I am but a pretender to wisdom, that in itself is philosophy. When some one brought a child to him and declared him to be highly gifted and of excellent character, What need then, said he, has he of me? Those who say admirable things, but fail to do them, he compared to a harp; for the harp, like them, he said, has neither hearing nor perception. He was going into a theatre, meeting face to face those who were coming out, and being asked why, This, he said, is what I practise doing all my life.
§ 6.65 Seeing a young man behaving effeminately, Are you not ashamed, he said, that your own intention about yourself should be worse than nature's: for nature made you a man, but you are forcing yourself to play the woman. Observing a fool tuning a psaltery, Are you not ashamed, said he, to give this wood concordant sounds, while you fail to harmonize your soul with life? To one who protested that he was ill adapted for the study of philosophy, he said, Why then do you live, if you do not care to live well? To one who despised his father, Are you not ashamed, he said, to despise him to whom you owe it that you can so pride yourself? Noticing a handsome youth chattering in unseemly fashion, Are you not ashamed, he said, to draw a dagger of lead from an ivory scabbard?
§ 6.66 Being reproached with drinking in a tavern, Well, said he, I also get my hair cut in a barber's shop. Being reproached with accepting a cloak from Antipater, he replied:
The gods' choice gifts are nowise to be spurned.
When some one first shook a beam at him and then shouted Look out, Diogenes struck the man with his staff and added Look out. To a man who was urgently pressing his suit to a courtesan he said, Why, hapless man, are you at such pains to gain your suit, when it would be better for you to lose it? To one with perfumed hair he said, Beware lest the sweet scent on your head cause an ill odour in your life. He said that bad men obey their lusts as servants obey their masters.
§ 6.67 The question being asked why footmen are so called, he replied, Because they have the feet of men, but souls such as you, my questioner, have. He asked a spendthrift for a mina. The man inquired why it was that he asked others for an obol but him for a mina. Because, said Diogenes, I expect to receive from others again, but whether I shall ever get anything from you again lies on the knees of the gods. Being reproached with begging when Plato did not beg, Oh yes, says he, he does, but when he does so –
He holds his head down close, that none may hear.
Seeing a bad archer, he sat down beside the target with the words in order not to get hit. Lovers, he declared, derive their pleasures from their misfortune.
§ 6.68 Being asked whether death was an evil thing, he replied, How can it be evil, when in its presence we are not aware of it? When Alexander stood opposite him and asked, Are you not afraid of me? Why, what are you? said he, a good thing or a bad? Upon Alexander replying A good thing, Who then, said Diogenes, is afraid of the good? Education, according to him, is a controlling grace to the young, consolation to the old, wealth to the poor, and ornament to the rich. When Didymon, who was a rake, was once treating a girl's eye, Beware, says Diogenes, lest the oculist instead of curing the eye should ruin the pupil. On somebody declaring that his own friends were plotting against him, Diogenes exclaimed, What is to be done then, if you have to treat friends and enemies alike?
§ 6.69 Being asked what was the most beautiful thing in the world, he replied, Freedom of speech. On entering a boys' school, he found there many statues of the Muses, but few pupils. By the help of the gods, said he, schoolmaster, you have plenty of pupils. It was his habit to do everything in public, the works of Demeter and of Aphrodite alike. He used to draw out the following arguments. If to breakfast be not absurd, neither is it absurd in the market-place; but to breakfast is not absurd, therefore it is not absurd to breakfast in the marketplace. Behaving indecently in public, he wished it were as easy to banish hunger by rubbing the belly. Many other sayings are attributed to him, which it would take long to enumerate.
§ 6.70 He used to affirm that training was of two kinds, mental and bodily: the latter being that whereby, with constant exercise, perceptions are formed such as secure freedom of movement for virtuous deeds; and the one half of this training is incomplete without the other, good health and strength being just as much included among the essential things, whether for body or soul. And he would adduce indisputable evidence to show how easily from gymnastic training we arrive at virtue. For in the manual crafts and other arts it can be seen that the craftsmen develop extraordinary manual skill through practice. Again, take the case of flute-players and of athletes: what surpassing skill they acquire by their own incessant toil; and, if they had transferred their efforts to the training of the mind, how certainly their labours would not have been unprofitable or ineffective.
§ 6.71 Nothing in life, however, he maintained, has any chance of succeeding without strenuous practice; and this is capable of overcoming anything. Accordingly, instead of useless toils men should choose such as nature recommends, whereby they might have lived happily. Yet such is their madness that they choose to be miserable. For even the despising of pleasure is itself most pleasurable, when we are habituated to it; and just as those accustomed to a life of pleasure feel disgust when they pass over to the opposite experience, so those whose training has been of the opposite kind derive more pleasure from despising pleasure than from the pleasures themselves. This was the gist of his conversation; and it was plain that he acted accordingly, adulterating currency in very truth, allowing convention no such authority as he allowed to natural right, and asserting that the manner of life he lived was the same as that of Heracles when he preferred liberty to everything.
§ 6.72 He maintained that all things are the property of the wise, and employed such arguments as those cited above. All things belong to the gods. The gods are friends to the wise, and friends share all property in common; therefore all things are the property of the wise. Again as to law: that it is impossible for society to exist without law; for without a city no benefit can be derived from that which is civilized. But the city is civilized, and there is no advantage in law without a city; therefore law is something civilized. He would ridicule good birth and fame and all such distinctions, calling them showy ornaments of vice. The only true commonwealth was, he said, that which is as wide as the universe. He advocated community of wives, recognizing no other marriage than a union of the man who persuades with the woman who consents. And for this reason he thought sons too should be held in common.
§ 6.73 And he saw no impropriety either in taking something from a sanctuary or in eating the flesh of any animal; nor even anything impious in touching human flesh, this, he said, being clear from the custom of some foreign nations. Moreover, according to right reason, as he put it, all elements are contained in all things and pervade everything: since not only is meat a constituent of bread, but bread of vegetables; and all other bodies also, by means of certain invisible passages and particles, find their way in and unite with all substances in the form of vapour. This he makes plain in the Thyestes, if the tragedies are really his and not the work of his friend Philiscus of Aegina or of Pasiphon, the son of Lucian, who according to Favorinus in his Miscellaneous History wrote them after the death of Diogenes. He held that we should neglect music, geometry, astronomy, and the like studies, as useless and unnecessary.
§ 6.74 He became very ready also at repartee in verbal debates, as is evident from what has been said above.
Further, when he was sold as a slave, he endured it most nobly. For on a voyage to Aegina he was captured by pirates under the command of Scirpalus, conveyed to Crete and exposed for sale. When the auctioneer asked in what he was proficient, he replied, In ruling men. Thereupon he pointed to a certain Corinthian with a fine purple border to his robe, the man named Xeniades above-mentioned, and said, Sell me to this man; he needs a master. Thus Xeniades came to buy him, and took him to Corinth and set him over his own children and entrusted his whole household to him. And he administered it in all respects in such a manner that Xeniades used to go about saying, A good genius has entered my house.
§ 6.75 Cleomenes in his work entitled Concerning Pedagogues says that the friends of Diogenes wanted to ransom him, whereupon he called them simpletons; for, said he, lions are not the slaves of those who feed them, but rather those who feed them are at the mercy of the lions: for fear is the mark of the slave, whereas wild beasts make men afraid of them. The man had in fact a wonderful gift of persuasion, so that he could easily vanquish anyone he liked in argument. At all events a certain Onesicritus of Aegina is said to have sent to Athens the one of his two sons named Androsthenes, and he having become a pupil of Diogenes stayed there; the father then sent the other also, the aforesaid Philiscus, who was the elder, in search of him; but Philiscus also was detained in the same way.
§ 6.76 When, thirdly, the father himself arrived, he was just as much attracted to the pursuit of philosophy as his sons and joined the circle – so magical was the spell which the discourses of Diogenes exerted. Amongst his hearers was Phocion surnamed the Honest, and Stilpo the Megarian, and many other men prominent in political life.
Diogenes is said to have been nearly ninety years old when he died. Regarding his death there are several different accounts. One is that he was seized with colic after eating an octopus raw and so met his end. Another is that he died voluntarily by holding his breath. This account was followed by Cercidas of Megalopolis (or of Crete), who in his meliambics writes thus:
Not so he who aforetime was a citizen of Sinope,
That famous one who carried a staff, doubled his cloak, and lived in the open air.
§ 6.77 But he soared aloft with his lip tightly pressed against his teeth
And holding his breath withal. For in truth he was rightly named
Diogenes, a true-born son of Zeus, a hound of heaven.
Another version is that, while trying to divide an octopus amongst the dogs, he was so severely bitten on the sinew of the foot that it caused his death. His friends, however, according to Antisthenes in his Successions of Philosophers, conjectured that it was due to the retention of his breath. For he happened to be living in the Craneum, the gymnasium in front of Corinth. When his friends came according to custom and found him wrapped up in his cloak, they thought that he must be asleep, although he was by no means of a drowsy or somnolent habit. They therefore drew aside his cloak and found that he was dead. This they supposed to have been his deliberate act in order to escape thenceforward from life.
§ 6.78 Hence, it is said, arose a quarrel among his disciples as to who should bury him: nay, they even came to blows; but, when their fathers and men of influence arrived, under their direction he was buried beside the gate leading to the Isthmus. Over his grave they set up a pillar and a dog in Parian marble upon it. Subsequently his fellow-citizens honoured him with bronze statues, on which these verses were inscribed:
Time makes even bronze grow old: but thy glory, Diogenes, all eternity will never destroy.
Since thou alone didst point out to mortals the lesson of self-sufficingness and the easiest path of life.
§ 6.79 We too have written on him in the proceleusmatic metre:
a. Diogenes, come tell me what fate took you to the world below?
d. A dog's savage tooth.
But some say that when dying he left instructions that they should throw him out unburied, that every wild beast might feed on him, or thrust him into a ditch and sprinkle a little dust over him. But according to others his instructions were that they should throw him into the Ilissus, in order that he might be useful to his brethren.
Demetrius in his work On Men of the Same Name asserts that on the same day on which Alexander died in Babylon Diogenes died in Corinth. He was an old man in the 113th Olympiad.
§ 6.80 The following writings are attributed to him. Dialogues:
The Athenian Demos.
Art of Ethics.
Sosicrates in the first book of his Successions, and Satyrus in the fourth book of his Lives, allege that Diogenes left nothing in writing, and Satyrus adds that the sorry tragedies are by his friend Philiscus, the Aeginetan. Sotion in his seventh book declares that only the following are genuine works of Diogenes: On Virtue, On Good, On Love, A Mendicant, Tolmaeus, Pordalus, Cassandrus, Cephalion, Philiscus, Aristarchus, Sisyphus, Ganymedes, Anecdotes, Letters.
§ 6.81 There have been five men who were named Diogenes. The first, of Apollonia, a natural philosopher. The beginning of his treatise runs thus: At the outset of every discourse, methinks, one should see to it that the basis laid down is unquestionable. The second – of Sicyon – who wrote an Account of Peloponnesus. The third, our present subject. The fourth, a Stoic born at Seleucia, who is also called the Babylonian, because Seleucia is near Babylon. The fifth, of Tarsus, author of a work on poetical problems, which he attempts to solve.
Now the philosopher is said by Athenodorus in the eighth book of his Walks to have always had a sleek appearance owing to his use of unguents.
§ 6.82 3. MONIMUS
Monimus of Syracuse was a pupil of Diogenes; and, according to Sosicrates, he was in the service of a certain Corinthian banker, to whom Xeniades, the purchaser of Diogenes, made frequent visits, and by the account which he gave of his goodness in word and deed, excited in Monimus a passionate admiration of Diogenes. For he forthwith pretended to be mad and proceeded to fling away the small change and all the money on the banker's table, until at length his master dismissed him; and he then straightway devoted himself to Diogenes. He often followed Crates the Cynic as well, and embraced the like pursuits; whereupon his master, seeing him do this, was all the more persuaded that he was mad.
§ 6.83 He came to be a distinguished man; so much so that he is even mentioned by the comic poet Menander. At any rate in one of his plays, The Groom, his words are:
One Monimus there was, a wise man, Philo,
But not so very famous.
a. He, you mean,
Who carried the scrip?
b. Nay, not one scrip, but three.
Yet never a word, so help me Zeus, spake he
To match the saying, Know thyself, nor such
Famed watchwords. Far beyond all these he went,
Your dusty mendicant, pronouncing wholly vain
All man's supposings.
Monimus indeed showed himself a very grave moralist, so that he ever despised mere opinion and sought only truth.
He has left us, besides some trifles blended with covert earnestness, two books, On Impulses and an Exhortation to Philosophy.
§ 6.84 4. ONESICRITUS
Onesicritus some report to have been an Aeginetan, but Demetrius of Magnesia says that he was a native of Astypalaea. He too was one of the distinguished pupils of Diogenes. His career seems to have resembled that of Xenophon; for Xenophon joined the expedition of Cyrus, Onesicritus that of Alexander; and the former wrote the Cyropaedia, or Education of Cyrus, while the latter has described how Alexander was educated: the one a laudation of Cyrus, the other of Alexander. And in their diction they are not unlike: except that Onesicritus, as is to be expected in an imitator, falls short of his model.
Amongst other pupils of Diogenes were Menander, who was nicknamed Drymus or Oakwood, a great admirer of Homer; Hegesias of Sinope, nicknamed Dog-collar; and Philiscus of Aegina mentioned above.
§ 6.85 5. CRATES
Crates, son of Ascondas, was a Theban. He too was amongst the Cynic's famous pupils. Hippobotus, however, alleges that he was a pupil not of Diogenes, but of Bryson the Achaean. The following playful lines are attributed to him:
There is a city Pera in the midst of wine-dark vapour,
Fair, fruitful, passing squalid, owning nought,
Into which sails nor fool nor parasite
Nor glutton, slave of sensual appetite,
But thyme it bears, garlic, and figs and loaves,
For which things' sake men fight not each with other,
Nor stand to arms for money or for fame.
§ 6.86 There is also his widely circulated day-book, which runs as follows:
Set down for the chef ten minas, for the doctor
One drachma, for a flatterer talents five,
For counsel smoke, for mercenary beauty
A talent, for a philosopher three obols.
He was known as the Door-opener – the caller to whom all doors fly open – from his habit of entering every house and admonishing those within. Here is another specimen of his composition:
That much I have which I have learnt and thought,
The noble lessons taught me by the Muses:
But wealth amassed is prey to vanity.
And again he says that what he has gained from philosophy is
A quart of lupins and to care for no one.
This too is quoted as his:
Hunger stops love, or, if not hunger, Time,
Or, failing both these means of help, – a halter.
§ 6.87 He flourished in the 113th Olympiad.
According to Antisthenes in his Successions, the first impulse to the Cynic philosophy was given to him when he saw Telephus in a certain tragedy carrying a little basket and altogether in a wretched plight. So he turned his property into money, – for he belonged to a distinguished family, – and having thus collected about 200 talents, distributed that sum among his fellow-citizens. And (it is added) so sturdy a philosopher did he become that he is mentioned by the comic poet Philemon. At all events the latter says:
In summer-time a thick cloak he would wear
To be like Crates, and in winter rags.
Diocles relates how Diogenes persuaded Crates to give up his fields to sheep pasture, and throw into the sea any money he had.
§ 6.88 In the home of Crates Alexander is said to have lodged, as Philip once lived in Hipparchia's. Often, too, certain of his kinsmen would come to visit him and try to divert him from his purpose. These he would drive from him with his stick, and his resolution was unshaken. Demetrius of Magnesia tells a story that he entrusted a banker with a sum of money on condition that, if his sons proved ordinary men he was to pay it to them, but, if they became philosophers, then to distribute it among the people: for his sons would need nothing, if they took to philosophy. Eratosthenes tells us that by Hipparchia, of whom we shall presently speak, he had a son born to him named Pasicles, and after he had ceased to be a cadet on service, Crates took him to a brothel and told him that was how his father had married.
§ 6.89 The marriage of intrigue and adultery, he said, belonged to tragedy, having exile or assassination as its rewards; while the weddings of those who take up with courtesans are material for comedy, for as a result of extravagance and drunkenness they bring about madness.
This man had a brother named Pasicles, who was a disciple of Euclides.
Favorinus, in the second book of his Memorabilia, tells a pleasant story of Crates. For he relates how, when making some request of the master of the gymnasium, he laid hold on his hips; and when he demurred, said, What, are not these hip-joints yours as much as your knees? It was, he used to say, impossible to find anybody wholly free from flaws; but, just as in a pomegranate, one of the seeds is always going bad. Having exasperated the musician Nicodromus, he was struck by him on the face. So he stuck a plaster on his forehead with these words on it, Nicodromus's handiwork.
§ 6.90 He carried on a regular campaign of invective against the courtesans, habituating himself to meet their abuse.
When Demetrius of Phalerum sent him loaves of bread and some wine, he reproached him, saying, Oh that the springs yielded bread as well as water! It is clear, then, that he was a water-drinker. When the police-inspectors found fault with him for wearing muslin, his answer was, I'll show you that Theophrastus also wears muslin. This they would not believe: so he led them to a barber's shop and showed them Theophrastus being shaved. At Thebes he was flogged by the master of the gymnasium – another version being that it was by Euthycrates and at Corinth; and being dragged by the heels, he called out, as if it did not affect him:
Seized by the foot and dragged o'er heaven's high threshold:
§ 6.91 Diocles, however, says that it was by Menedemus of Eretria that he was thus dragged. For he being handsome and being thought to be intimate with Asclepiades the Phliasian, Crates slapped him on the side with a brutal taunt; whereupon Menedemus, full of indignation, dragged him along, and he declaimed as above.
Zeno of Citium in his Anecdotes relates that in a fit of heedlessness he sewed a sheepskin to his cloak. He was ugly to look at, and when performing his gymnastic exercises used to be laughed at. He was accustomed to say, raising his hands, Take heart, Crates, for it is for the good of your eyes and of the rest of your body.
§ 6.92 You will see these men, who are laughing at you, tortured before long by disease, counting you happy, and reproaching themselves for their sluggishness. He used to say that we should study philosophy to the point of seeing in generals nothing but donkey-drivers. Those who live with flatterers he declared to be as defenceless as calves in the midst of wolves; for neither these nor those have any to protect them, but only such as plot against them. Perceiving that he was dying, he would chant over himself this charm, You are going, dear hunchback, you are off to the house of Hades, – bent crooked by old age. For his years had bowed him down.
§ 6.93 When Alexander inquired whether he would like his native city to be rebuilt, his answer was, Why should it be? Perhaps another Alexander will destroy it again. Ignominy and Poverty he declared to be his country, which Fortune could never take captive. He was, he said, a fellow-citizen of Diogenes, who defied all the plots of envy. Menander alludes to him in the Twin Sisters in the following lines:
Wearing a cloak you'll go about with me,
As once with Cynic Crates went his wife:
His daughter too, as he himself declared,
He gave in marriage for a month on trial.
We come now to his pupils.
§ 6.94 6. METROCLES
Metrocles of Maroneia was the brother of Hipparchia. He had been formerly a pupil of Theophrastus the Peripatetic, and had been so far corrupted by weakness that, when he made a breach of good manners in the course of rehearsing a speech, it drove him to despair, and he shut himself up at home, intending to starve himself to death. On learning this Crates came to visit him as he had been asked to do, and after advisedly making a meal of lupins, he tried to persuade him by argument as well that he had committed no crime, for a prodigy would have happened if he had not taken the natural means of relieving himself. At last by reproducing the action he succeeded in lifting him from his dejection, using for his consolation the likeness of the occurrences. From that time forward Metrocles was his pupil, and became proficient in philosophy.
§ 6.95 Hecato in the first book of his Anecdotes tells us he burned his compositions with the words:
Phantoms are these of dreams o' the world below.
Others say that when he set fire to his notes of Theophrastus's lectures, he added the line:
Come hither, Hephaestus, Thetis now needeth thee.
He divided things into such as are procurable for money, like a house, and such as can be procured by time and trouble, like education. Wealth, he said, is harmful, unless we put it to a worthy use.
He died of old age, having choked himself.
His disciples were Theombrotus and Cleomenes: Theombrotus had for his pupil Demetrius of Alexandria, while Cleomenes instructed Timarchus of Alexandria and Echecles of Ephesus. Not but what Echecles also heard Theombrotus, whose lectures were attended by Menedemus, of whom we shall speak presently. Menippus of Sinope also became renowned amongst them.
§ 6.96 7. HIPPARCHIA
Hipparchia too, sister of Metrocles, was captured by their doctrines. Both of them were born at Maroneia.
She fell in love with the discourses and the life of Crates, and would not pay attention to any of her suitors, their wealth, their high birth or their beauty. But to her Crates was everything. She used even to threaten her parents she would make away with herself, unless she were given in marriage to him. Crates therefore was implored by her parents to dissuade the girl, and did all he could, and at last, failing to persuade her, got up, took off his clothes before her face and said, This is the bridegroom, here are his possessions; make your choice accordingly; for you will be no helpmeet of mine, unless you share my pursuits.
§ 6.97 The girl chose and, adopting the same dress, went about with her husband and lived with him in public and went out to dinners with him. Accordingly she appeared at the banquet given by Lysimachus, and there put down Theodorus, known as the atheist, by means of the following sophism. Any action which would not be called wrong if done by Theodorus, would not be called wrong if done by Hipparchia. Now Theodorus does no wrong when he strikes himself: therefore neither does Hipparchia do wrong when she strikes Theodorus. He had no reply wherewith to meet the argument, but tried to strip her of her cloak. But Hipparchia showed no sign of alarm or of the perturbation natural in a woman.
§ 6.98 And when he said to her:
Is this she
Who quitting woof and warp and comb and loom?
she replied, It is I, Theodorus, – but do you suppose that I have been ill advised about myself, if instead of wasting further time upon the loom I spent it in education? These tales and countless others are told of the female philosopher.
There is current a work of Crates entitled Epistles, containing excellent philosophy in a style which sometimes resembles that of Plato. He has also written tragedies, stamped with a very lofty kind of philosophy; as, for example, the following passage:
Not one tower hath my country nor one roof,
But wide as the whole earth its citadel
And home prepared for us to dwell therein.
He died in old age, and was buried in Boeotia.
§ 6.99 8. MENIPPUS
Menippus, also a Cynic, was by descent a Phoenician – a slave, as Achacus in his treatise on Ethics says. Diocles further informs us that his master was a citizen of Pontus and was named Baton. But as avarice made him very resolute in begging, he succeeded in becoming a Theban.
There is no seriousness in him; but his books overflow with laughter, much the same as those of his contemporary Meleager.
Hermippus says that he lent out money by the day and got a nickname from doing so. For he used to make loans on bottomry and take security, thus accumulating a large fortune.
§ 6.100 At last, however, he fell a victim to a plot, was robbed of all, and in despair ended his days by hanging himself. I have composed a trifle upon him:
May be, you know Menippus,
Phoenician by birth, but a Cretan hound:
A money-lender by the day – so he was called –
At Thebes when once on a time his house was broken into
And he lost his all, not understanding what it is to be a Cynic,
He hanged himself.
Some authorities question the genuineness of the books attributed to him, alleging them to be by Dionysius and Zopyrus of Colophon, who, writing them for a joke, made them over to Menippus as a person able to dispose of them advantageously.
§ 6.101 There have been six men named Menippus: the first the man who wrote a History of the Lydians and abridged Xanthus; the second my present subject; the third a sophist of Stratonicea, a Carian by descent; the fourth a sculptor; the fifth and sixth painters, both mentioned by Apollodorus.
However, the writings of Menippus the Cynic are thirteen in number:
Epistles artificially composed as if by the gods.
Replies to the physicists and mathematicians and grammarians; and
A book about the birth of Epicurus; and
The School's reverence for the twentieth day.
Besides other works.
§ 6.102 9. MENEDEMUS
Menedemus was a pupil of Colotes of Lampsacus. According to Hippobotus he had attained such a degree of audacity in wonder-working that he went about in the guise of a Fury, saying that he had come from Hades to take cognisance of sins committed, and was going to return and report them to the powers down below. This was his attire: a grey tunic reaching to the feet, about it a crimson girdle; an Arcadian hat on his head with the twelve signs of the zodiac inwrought in it; buskins of tragedy; and he wore a very long beard and carried an ashen staff in his hand.
§ 6.103 Such are the lives of the several Cynics. But we will go on to append the doctrines which they held in common – if, that is, we decide that Cynicism is really a philosophy, and not, as some maintain, just a way of life. They are content then, like Ariston of Chios, to do away with the subjects of Logic and Physics and to devote their whole attention to Ethics. And what some assert of Socrates, Diocles records of Diogenes, representing him as saying: We must inquire into
Whate'er of good or ill within our halls is wrought.
They also dispense with the ordinary subjects of instruction. At least Antisthenes used to say that those who had attained discretion had better not study literature, lest they should be perverted by alien influences.
§ 6.104 So they get rid of geometry and music and all such studies. Anyhow, when somebody showed Diogenes a clock, he pronounced it a serviceable instrument to save one from being late for dinner. Again, to a man who gave a musical recital before him he said:
By men's minds states are ordered well, and households,
Not by the lyre's twanged strings or flute's trilled notes.
They hold further that Life according to Virtue is the End to be sought, as Antisthenes says in his Heracles: exactly like the Stoics. For indeed there is a certain close relationship between the two schools. Hence it has been said that Cynicism is a short cut to virtue; and after the same pattern did Zeno of Citium live his life.
§ 6.105 They also hold that we should live frugally, eating food for nourishment only and wearing a single garment. Wealth and fame and high birth they despise. Some at all events are vegetarians and drink cold water only and are content with any kind of shelter or tubs, like Diogenes,