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Full text of "A History Of Cynicism"

THE BOOK WAS 
DRENCHED 



60354 >m 



A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 



A HISTORY 

OF 

CYNICISM 

From Diogenes to the 6 th Century A.D. 

by 
DONALD R. DUDLEY 

Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge 
Henty Fellow at Yale University 




METHUEN & CO. LTD. LONDON 
36 Essex Street, Strand, W.C.2 



First published in 1937 



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN 



PREFACE 

THE research of which this book is the outcome was mainly 
carried out at St. John's College, Cambridge, Yale University, 
and Edinburgh University. In the help so generously given 
to my work I have been no less fortunate than in the scenes 
in which it was pursued. I am much indebted for criticism 
and advice to Professor M. Rostovtseff and Professor E. R. 
Goodonough of Yale, to Professor A. E. Taylor of Edinburgh, 
to Professor F. M. Cornford of Cambridge, to Professor J. L. 
Stocks of Liverpool, and to Dr. W. H. Semple of Reading. 
I should also like to thank the electors of the Henry Fund for 
enabling me to visit the United States, and the College Council 
of St. John's for electing me to a Research Fellowship. Finally, 
to* the unfailing interest, advice and encouragement of Mr. 
M. P. Charlesworth of St. John's I owe an especial debt 
which I can hardly hope to repay. 

These acknowledgements do not exhaust the list of my 
obligations ; but I hope that other kindnesses have been 
acknowledged either in the text or privately. 

D. R. D. 

CAMBRIDGE 

March, 



CONTENTS 

CHAP. PAGE 

INTRODUCTION ix 

I ANTISTHENES. NO DIRECT CONNEXION WITH CYNICS. 

HIS ETHICS I 

II DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 17 

(a) DIOGENES IN LITERARY TRADITIONLIFE 

THOUGHT 

(b) ONESICRATUS 39 

(c) MONIMUS 40 

(d) CRATES LIFE WRITINGS CRATES AND HIPPARCHIA 42 

III 9 CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 59 

(a) BION 62 

(b) MENIPPUS 69 

(c) CERCIDAS 74 

(d) TELES 84 

(e) CYNIC EDUCATIONAL THEORY, ETC. 87 

IV CYNICISM AND THE PHILOSOPHICAL SCHOOLS IN THE 

THIRD CENTURY 95 

(a) THE MEGARIANS 95 

(b) ZENO 96 

(c) ARISTON IOO 

(d) HEDONISTS IO3 

(e) EPICUREANS I O6 
(/) TIMON 107 

V CYNIC INFLUENCE ON HELLENISTIC LITERATURE IIO 
VI CYNICISM IN THE SECOND AND FIRST CENTURIES B.C. 117 

VII DEMETRIUS. THE * PHILOSOPHIC OPPOSITION ' IN 

THE FIRST CENTURY A.D. 125 
vii 



viii A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

CHAP. PAGf 

VIII CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 143 

(a) GENERAL CHARACTER 143 

(b) DIG CHRYSOSTOM 148 

(c) DEMONAX 158 

(d) OENOMAUS l62 

(e) PEREGRINUS 170 

(/) MINOR FIGURES 1 82 

IX CYNICISM AND THE PHILOSOPHIC SCHOOLS IN THE 

FIRST AND SECOND CENTURIES A.D. 1 86 

(a) PHILO 

(b) CYNICS AND STOICS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE 

(c) FAVORINUS 

(d) MAXIMUS 

X CYNICISM FROM THE THIRD TO THE SIXTH CENTURIES 

A.D. <2,Q2 

(a) JULIAN AND THE CYNICS 

(b) MAXIMUS 

(c) ASTERIUS 

(d) SALLUSTIUS 

EPILOGUE 209 

APPENDICES 215 

INDEX 223 



INTRODUCTION 

THE Emperor Julian, speaking of the Cynic philosophy, says 
that ' it has been practised in all ages ... it does not need 
any special study, one need only hearken to the god of Delphi 
when he enjoins the precepts " know thyself " and " alter the 
currency " '. In claiming the Delphic god as the founder of 
Cynicism Julian is guilty of an obvious anachronism ; for 
Cynicism cannot be shown to antedate Diogenes of Sinope. 
But from the fourth century B.C. Cynicism endured to the 
last days of the ancient world ; Cynics were common in the 
days of Augustine ; they may have been known in the Empire 
of Byzantium. Long life is not of itself a criterion of worth ; 
and^it cannot be denied that Cynicism survived when much 
of immeasurably greater intellectual value perished. To the 
student of ancient philosophy there is in Cynicism scarcely 
more than a rudimentary and debased version of the ethics of 
Socrates, which exaggerates his austerity to a fanatic asceticism, 
hardens his irony to sardonic laughter at the follies of man- 
kind, and affords no parallel to his genuine love of knowledge. 
Well might Plato have said of the first and greatest Cynic, 
* That man is Socrates gone mad.' 

But to the student of social history, and of ancient thought 
as distinct from philosophy, there is much of interest in 
Cynicism. The Cynics are the most characteristically Greek 
expression of that view of the World as Vanity Fair, and 
the consequent rejection of all current values, and the desire 
to revert to a life based on the minimum of demands. It 
is a phenomenon to be found at several stages of Western 
civilization ; at different periods the moving causes have been 
political or economic injustice, religious enthusiasm, or re- 
action from an over-developed urban civilization. * Vanity 
of Vanities, saith the preacher, all is Vanity * the author of 
Ecclesiastes was, like the Cynics, a product of the Hellenistic 
age, a time when old standards had been discarded, and the 
individual was left to the mercy of capricious but irresistible 



x A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

forces. The Cynics were missionaries, and their message was/ 
that life could be lived on any terms the age could impose. 
It is particularly easy for the modern observer to see only 
the grotesque aspect of Cynicism, and to miss its real sig- 
nificance. This is partly due to the fact that Cynicism is 
usually presented to us in histories of Greek philosophy, where 
it forms an interlude of semi-comic relief between Socrates and 
Plato, or between Plato and the Stoics. But a most important 
reason is that the Cynics represented a standard with which 
we are unfamiliar that of the minimum. Through long 
exposure to statistics, we can readily grasp any conception 
that involves a norm the cost of living, the real wage of 
the working man, and so on but in the modern world no 
one voluntarily lives, as did the Cynics, at subsistence level. 
Our civilization admittedly has the disadvantage that it may 
be completely shattered by war : but in other respects we 
have far greater security than was known to the Hellenistic 
world. Slavery, in particular, is so remote from us that it is 
hard to comprehend how real a terror it was to the Greeks 
of that period. Yet one has only to consider how powerful 
were the pirates in the Mediterranean until their suppression 
by Pompeius, to see that any traveller by ship was running a 
real risk of being captured and sold into slavery. Exile has 
only recently been the lot of thousands of citizens of European 
States ; in the Hellenistic world it existed not only as a 
common form of punishment, but also as one of the normal 
risks attendant on a high position in politics. Again, during 
this period several cities were completely destroyed, as Thebes 
by Alexander, Lebedos and Kolophon by Lysimachus, and 
most notable of all such catastrophes in the Greek world, 
Corinth by the Romans. 

Conditions in the Roman Empire bore a sufficiently close 
resemblance to those of the Hellenistic age that the Cynic 
mission was again in demand. Exile, slavery, loss of home 
and possessions, are the frequent burthen of the Cynic diatribe ; 
if their thought on these subjects seems commonplace, it 
should not be forgotten that they were dealing with what 
their audience felt as very real terrors, and that they were 
performing a valuable service in showing that even these could 
be surmounted. 

The present account tells the history of Cynicism from 



INTRODUCTION xi 

^e time of Diogenes to the last years of the Roman Empire 
in the West. No continuous account is available of later date 
than that of Zeller, since when a good deal of new material 
has accumulated, both from the discovery of papyri and in 
the normal course of research. I have tried to embody the 
lessons of this new material in my narrative ; which, however, 
claims to be rather more than a cento of the conclusions of 
other scholars. Its central theme is that the traditional view 
of Cynicism as a minor Socratic school, founded by Antis- 
thenes, must be abandoned. Antisthenes had no direct con- 
tact with the Cynics, who never formed a school of philosophy 
at all, being intolerant of organization and impatient of theory. 
I have argued that the traditional view has been established by 
two interested parties Alexandrian writers of Successions of 
Philosophers and the Stoics. The former wished to trace all 
philosophical genealogies back to Socrates wherever possible ; 
the latter, desirous of showing themselves as the true heirs 
of Socrates, made great play with the connexion of their 
founder Zeno with the Cynic Crates, and turned Diogenes 
into*a Stoic saint. The sympathy for Cynicism which always 
marked the more austere wing of the Stoics was based on 
genuine affinities, and indeed Cynicism did preserve a recog- 
nizable version of the Socratic ethics in action. But the 
* succession ' Socrates-Diogenes-Crates-Zeno is a fabrication. 

Another current view of Cynicism which may be misleading 
is that which describes it as ' the philosophy of the proletariat '. 
To the modern reader such a phrase suggests an attempt to 
replace the existing social order by a new system. But with 
the exception of Cercidas and the reform party at Megalopolis, 
and possibly the Cynics of Alexandria in the second century A.D., 
we shall not find Cynicism involving any kind of political 
action on behalf of social reform. The Cynic * anarchy ' never 
became so practical as to organize the murder of tyrants, 
and their invective against wealth was as much for the spiritual 
benefit of the rich as for the material betterment of the poor. 
Indeed, by preaching that poverty and slavery are no bar 
to happiness, the Cynics implied that a social revolution would 
be superfluous. 

The conclusion of this study is that Cynicism was really a 
phenomenon which presented itself in three not inseparable 
aspects a vagrant ascetic life, an assault on all established 



xii A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

values, and a body of literary genres particularly well adapt^B 
to satire and popular philosophical propaganda. The third 
aspect is the one to which scholars have hitherto devoted most 
attention ; ind the researches of Gerhard, Geffcken, Wend- 
land, and others have shown how important and fertile was its 
influence on Hellenistic and Roman literature. It is here 
touched on only in passing, for my object has been rather to 
give an account of individual Cynics, and to show them at 
work in that role which they variously symbolized as the Scout 
of God, the Schoolmaster, the Doctor of Mankind. 



A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 



CHAPTER I 

ANTISTHENES. NO DIRECT CONNEXION WITH 
CYNICS. HIS ETHICS 

THE orthodox account of Cynicism regards Antisthenes as 
the founder of the sect. This is due to the influence of 
Diogenes Laertius, who says that Antisthenes ' learned his 
hardihood from Socrates, and inaugurated the Cynic way of 
life '- 1 His pupil was Diogenes of Sinope, Crates was a pupil 
of Diogenes. Zeno, the founder of Stoicism, was a pupil of 
Crates. There is thus an apostolic succession from Socrates 
to the Stoics. But the validity of the tradition which makes 
Antisthenes the founder of Cynicism has been questioned in 
both ancient and modern times. 2 This is hardly surprising, for 
a comparison between Antisthenes and the generally accepted 
picture of his ' pupil and successor ' Diogenes shows more 
points of divergence than of similarity. Both were ascetics : 
both stressed the opposition of ndvo<; and tfdovtf : both used 
Heracles as an example of jroVog. But the resemblance hardly 
goes further. We know from the unquestionable authority 
of Aristotle 3 that Antisthenes and his pupils were deeply 
interested in the problems of neo-Eleatic logic ; Diogenes 
designated the Megarians, the inheritors of that logic, as 
* bilious \ 4 Antisthenes had a liking for Homeric inter- 
pretations ; Diogenes remarked that * it was surprising that 
grammarians should investigate the ills of Odysseus, yet be com- 
pletely ignorant of their own \ 5 Antisthenes wrote treatises 
on rhetorical subjects ; Diogenes ' despised rhetoricians who 
made a great fuss about justice in their speeches, but never 
practised it '. 6 Poor and ascetic Antisthenes certainly was ; 
but it was in the manner of a companion of Socrates. He 
possessed a house and small piece of property, 7 used a bed 

1 vi. 2. 2 See Chap. 2, App. A. 

3 Top., 104, B. 21 ; Met., 10246, 32, and 10436, 24. 

4 D.L., vi. 24. 6 id., ib. 27. id., ib. 28. 7 Xen., Symp. 38. 

2 I 



2 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

and furniture, would accompany Socrates to the banquets tff 
the wealthiest men in Athens. Diogenes lived in the open 
air, or in his tub ; the staples of his diet were dried figs and 
water. Antisthenes frequented the lectures of the Sophists, 
and derived his living from teaching ; Diogenes * poured scorn 
on all his contemporaries V and lived the life of a beggar. 
Again, Alcibiades was reproved by Antisthenes for the crime 
of incest ; the avaidsia of Diogenes abolished all such bar- 
riers. These are striking differences and are recognized as 
such by ancient upholders of the * Cynic succession * from 
Antisthenes to Diogenes. To minimize them, they adduce 
stories which try to show that Diogenes reproved Antisthenes 
for not practising what he preached ; thus he is made to 
' liken Antisthenes to a brazen trumpet, which gave forth a 
gre?J noise but was unable to hear itself *. 2 So in modern 
times Gomperz, though accepting the * succession ', regards 
Diogene^ as * the founder of a practical Cynicism '. But 
a priori the traditional view seems unlikely, and one is 
not disposed to accept it unless well supported by early 
evidence. \ 

Such ev A Jence, however, is significantly lacking. Aristotle 
refers to th'e pupils of Antisthenes as 'AvcioQeveioi, not as 
xvvixoi, anal he further implies that they were mainly in- 
terested iry logical studies. The only fragments which we 
possess ofc Cynic writers contemporary with Diogenes are 
those of/ Crates and Onesicratus of Astypalaea. None of 
these rr/entions Antisthenes. Crates claimed Aioyevov<; elvcu 
nohlrriz? Onesicratus, asked by the Indian Gymnosophist 
whether any of the Greeks had led an ascetic life, replied, 
* Yes,, Pythagoras and Socrates and Diogenes, and I was a 
puipil of his.' 4 Middle Comedy has no reference to Antis- 
thenes ; for examples of notorious poverty and asceticism it 
makes use of a sect of Pythagoreans. In point of fact it is 
most unlikely that Diogenes and Antisthenes can have been 
contemporaries at Athens. The researches of Seltman 5 on 
the coinage of Sinope suggest that Diogenes in all probability 

1 D.L., vi. 24. 

2 Dio Chrys., viii, p. 275 ; Stobaeus, Flor. y xiii. 19. 
8 D.L., vi. 93. 4 Apud Strabo., xvi. 83-4. 

6 A fuller account of Mr. Seltman's researches is given below in 
connexion with the chronology of Diogenes. 



ANTISTHENES 3 

came to Athens later than 340 B.C., Antisthenes died soon 
after 366. l A story which probably derives from Theo- 
phrastus, 2 and hence may represent a contemporary account, 
shows Diogenes himself claiming to have been converted to 
philosophy, not by the teachings of Antisthenes, but by the 
practical example of a mouse ; and which further suggests 
that when he arrived at Athens he was already a devotee of 
the ascetic life. It is only in the later writers, Epictetus, 
Dio Chrysostom, Aelian, Stobaeus, Diogenes Laertius, and 
Suidas, that we hear of a connexion between Antisthenes and 
Diogenes ; and it is significant that they do not name any 
other pupils of Antisthenes apart from Diogenes, and that 
their stories about the relations between the two emphasize 
Antisthenes' surliness to pupils and Diogenes' dissatisfaction 
with his practical example. The tradition of a connexion 
seems to have arisen some time between Onesicratus and 
Epictetus ; the problem is to suggest among whom, and when, 
it may have made its appearance. Ancient literary fabrications 
are usually most readily discovered by the formula cut bono ? ; 
so here, who would stand to gain if Diogenes were portrayed 
as the pupil of Antisthenes ? 

The answer is partly suggested by an anecdote which appears 
in Diogenes Laertius' life of Zeno. 3 Coming to Athens after 
his shipwreck, says this account, Zeno one day sat down in a 
bookseller's shop. Now the bookseller was reading aloud the 
second book of Xenophon's Memorabilia, which so delighted 
Zeno that he asked where such men as Socrates might be 
found. Very opportunely, Crates passed by, and the book- 
seller said, * Follow that man.' From that day on, Zeno be- 
came Crates' pupil. . . . The Stoics recognized the merits of 
Cynicism, ' the wise man will play the Cynic, for Cynicism is a 
short cut to virtue, as Apollodorus says in his Ethics '. 4 They 

1 The birth of Antisthenes is usually placed c. 443, to fit the tradi- 
tion that he fought at ' Tanagra ' (? Delium, 423). Xenophon's 
Symposium, the dramatic date of which is 421 , shows him as a youngish 
man, but already an intimate companion of Socrates. But there is 
guarantee of Xenophon's chronological good faith on the point. 
Diodorus Siculus (xv. 76) speaks of Antisthenes as being alive in 
366, and Plutarch (Lye., 30) quotes a remark of his on the battle 
of Leuctra. We know that Diogenes was well known in Athens, 
c. 330- 

2 D.L., vi. 22. 8 id., vii. 2, 4 id., ib. 121. 



4 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

probably regarded Cynicism as representing in its purest form 
the ethical tradition of Socrates, and would be particularly 
anxious to show that they themselves were the direct inheritors 
of that tradition. Hence was constructed the ' succession ' 
Socrates Antisthenes Diogenes Crates Zeno : and hence 
Epictetus can use Socrates, Antisthenes, and Diogenes as 
good divinity for Stoic moral beliefs. 1 The Stoics would be 
aided and abetted by another body of interested persons, the 
Alexandrian writers of Successions of the Philosophers.' 2 ' Their 
schemata treated Socrates as of great importance, indeed as 
the virtual turning point of Greek philosophy. Any sect 
that professed (pihoaoyia must trace back its pedigree to 
Socrates ; how pedigrees came to be invented is clearly seen 
when we consider how Hedonists of the third century were 
linked up to Socrates via Aristippus. From the diagram in 
Appendix C we see how in the * successions ' adopted by 
Diogenes Laertius he is the nodal point of the * Ionian ' 
philosophy. The succession from Socrates via the Cynics 
to the Stoics seems to have been established by Sotion of 
Alexandria (c. 200-170 B.C.), the most voluminous and in- 
fluential of these writers. He was probably followed in this 
by Heracleides of Lembos, and Antisthenes and Sosicrates 
of Rhodes. This succession had become orthodoxy by the 
end of the Alexandrian period, and was apparently followed by 
such first-century and later authors as Diocles, Pamphila, and 
Favorinus. True there were dissenters (e.g. Hippobotus did 
not regard the Cynics as one of the * ten ethical schools ') ; 
but in Diogenes Laertius we have preserved the Schemata of 
the Alexandrian writers of diado%di (Successions). He prefers, 
he says, to regard Cynicism as a school of philosophy. It is a 
&IQBOII;, on a par with Stoicism, with which it has uowwia? 
Antisthenes learnt uaQreQia (endurance) from Socrates, and 
* was the first founder of Cynicism '. 4 He it was who gave 
the impulse to the indifference of Diogenes, the continence 
of Crates, and the hardihood of Zeno, himself laying the 
foundations of their code '. 5 Both Cynics and Stoics are 
thus an* 'AvnaOevovs, though this is elsewhere amended to 
' the more manly sect of Stoics ' (77 ardQcodforarr] ra)'Cxrj)* 

1 So Epict., i. xvii. 12, also iii. xxiv. 51. 

% Cf. Hicks, Diog. Laert. (Loeb series), Introd., p. xxiv. 

3 D.L., vi. 104. 4 id., ib. 2. 5 id., ib. 15. 6 id., ib. 14. 



ANTISTHENES 5 

' Some persons think that the Cynic school derives its name 
from the Cynosarges, and Antisthenes was himself called 
1 'Anhoxticov ' 1 (or 'Avroxvcov). But Diogenes Laertius fails to 
give any anecdote or apophthegm in which Antisthenes figures 
as a xvcov ; and we recall that Aristotle refers to his pupils 
as 'AvnaOev&oi. The supposed ' hostile ' references in Plato 
and Isocrates make no use of the opportunity such a nickname 
would afford. The original xvcov was undoubtedly Diogenes 
himself. He is so called by Aristotle 2 : Cercidas of Megal- 
opolis addresses him as * ahaOdax; \ Aioyevr^ Zavoq yovo<; 
ovqdvio<; re xvcov '. 3 The origin of the nickname is clear 
when we consider the use of the term in Homer. As is well 
known, it denotes shamelessness or audacity ; Helen applies 
it to herself in a fit of remorse ; 4 the enraged Hera calls 
Artemis xvov addeeq (* shameless bitch ') ; Liddell and Scott 
use this passage as evidence that xvcov was not so strong a 
term of abuse as with us ; but the Homeric goddesses were 
not given to mincing their words : the serving-maids of Penel- 
ope t are called * bitches ' by Odysseus. 5 The name was un- 
doubtedly first applied to Diogenes in a hostile sense, owing 
to his avdidsia, or habit of * doing everything in public ', 
and was retained by him and the later Cynics for its poten- 
tialities for allegory. The original and the later allegorizing 
explanations of the name are preserved by a scholium on 
Aristotle. 6 

There are four reasons why the * Cynics ' are so named. First 
because of the * indifference ' of their way of life (did to adidyoqov 
trig fcoffc), for they make a cult of adiayoQia and, like dogs, eat and 
make love in public, go barefoot, and sleep in tubs and at cross- 
roads. . . . The second reason is that the dog is a shameless 
animal, and they make a cult of shamelessness, not as being beneath 
modesty ('Avdwg\ but as superior to it. ... The third reason is 
that the dog is a good guard, and they guard the tenets of their 
philosophy. . . . The fourth reason is that the dog is a dis- 
criminating animal which can distinguish between its friends and 
enemies. ... So do they recognize as friends those who are 
suited to philosophy, and receive them kindly, while those unfitted 
they drive away, like dogs, by barking at them. 



1 id., ib. 13. 2 Rhet., iii. 10. 7. 

3 Apud D.L., vi. 77. 4 II., vi. 344 and 356. 

5 Od., xviii. 338. 6 Ed. Brandis, p. 23. 



6 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

The first certain application of the term KVVIKQ<; to any of 
Diogenes' followers is a fragment of Menander's Didumi. 1 



cbarjeg Kqatrfti rq> xvvixti noff rj 

Now there is no evidence that either Crates or Diogenes made 
use of the Cynosarges ; hence one may infer that the etymol- 
ogy deriving Cynic from the Cynosarges was an invention 
of the writers of diado%di, very probably by analogy with the 
Stoa and the Academy. 

Etymologically, then, the attempt to connect Antisthenes 
with the KWIKQI breaks down. But Diogenes Laertius further 
says that Antisthenes adopted what afterwards came to be 
recognized as the insignia of the Cynic, the Tglficov, the wallet, 
and the staff. The sources he gives for this statement enable 
us to perceive its unreliability. 

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 wallet. Neanthes 
too asserts that he was the first to double his mantle. Sosiciates, 
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 wallet. 2 

The significance of Diodorus of Aspendus we shall see shortly. 
Meanwhile, one remarks that Neanthes, writing probably in 
the third century, only suggests that Antisthenes doubled 
his cloak ; we have seen that, like Socrates, he probably 
wore the simplest clothing. It is only in Diocles, writing in 
the first century A.D., that the staff and the wallet are thrown 
in. In the Life of Diogenes? it is stated that 

some say Diogenes was the first to fold his cloak because he was 
obliged to sleep in it as well, and he carried a wallet to hold his 
victuals ... He did not lean upon a staff till 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 of Athens, Polyeuctes the 
orator, and Lysanias the son of Aeschrio. 4 

The three persons named were contemporaries of Theo- 

1 In. D.L., vi. 93. 2 id., ib. 13. 

8 id., ib. 22, 23. 4 id., ib. 23. 



ANTISTHENES 7 

phrastus, and von Fritz l contends with great probability that 
the reference to Diogenes comes from a dialogue of Theo- 
phrastus in which they figured. This gives us a good early 
tradition ; and implies that the staff and the wallet formed 
the equipment of the vagabond beggar. Odysseus entered 
the palace at Ithaca ' in the likeness of an aged and woeful 
beggar, leaning on a staff, and wretched was the raiment he 
wore on his body ' ; and Irus wore ' a miserable wallet, full 
of holes, and slung by a twisted cord (Od., xvii. 335 ; xviii. 
1 08). Aristophanes in the Acharniam 2 says that amongst the 
' Properties * kept by Euripides for that unhappily conceived 
character, Telephus, were a ragged cloak (Qaxlov), a basket 
(anvQidtov), and a beggar's staff. For Antisthenes, who was 
no beggar, such a get-up would be pointless. It was, how- 
ever, used in his day by the ascetic Pythagoreans, whom we 
know of through the Telauges of Aeschines, and to which sect 
Diodorus of Aspendus belonged. Aeschines 3 mentions the 
Ovhaxoc;, the pouch or wallet, carried by Telauges ; the Middle 
Comedy 4 has references to a xdoQvxoq, a leather wallet, as 
the distinguishing mark of these philosophers. Clearly this 
served the same purpose as the anvQidiov of Telephus or the 
nrjga of Diogenes. 

Diogenes Laertius, though himself regarding Cynicism as 
one of the minor Socratic schools, lets it be known that others 
held a different view. We have seen how Hippobotus 5 
refused to regard the Cynics as one of the ten ethical schools ; 
elsewhere it is remarked that * certain persons regard Cynicism 
as a mode of life 6 not as a sect of philosophy '. This view is 
fortunately preserved by the Emperor Julian. He quotes 
with approval the dictum of Oenomaus of Gadara, him- 
self a Cynic, that * Cynicism is neither Antisthenism nor 
Diogenism ' . . . 

For [says Julian] in all ages men have practised this philosophy. 
... It does not need any special study, one should merely hearken 



1 Quellen-Untersuchungen zu Leben und Phil, des D. von Sinope, 
1926. 
2 Acharn., n, 435, 448, 453. 

3 Cf. Dittmar, Aeschines von Sphettos, 417. 

4 Antiph., fr. n. 76; fr. n. 67. 5 D.L., i. 19. 
6 id., vi. 103. 



8 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

to the Delphic god when he enjoins these two maxims yv&Oi 
credvrov and nctQdxaQat-ov r6 vo^io^a. Hence obviously the founder 
of this philosophy is he who is responsible for all the goods the 
Greeks possess, the god at Delphi. 1 

Though he grants that Cynicism is a ' type of philosophy ', 2 
and one that ' rivals the noblest ', he insists that it is * universal 
and most natural '. 3 Noteworthy is his express statement that 
in his time no serious Cynic treatises were preserved ; 4 either 
the voluminous writings of Antisthenes, known at least in 
part to Diogenes Laertius, had in the interim perished, or 
else Julian did not connect them with Cynicism. When he 
does mention Antisthenes together with Diogenes and Crates, 
it is as a writer of myths ; 5 Hesiod, Xenophon, and Plato are 
also named in this connexion. Throughout, Julian emphasizes 
that Cynicism is a way of life : he will describe its true nature 
for the benefit of those ' about to enter upon this way '. He 
insists that one should distinguish the outward manifestations 
from the rationale, the true feature, of the Cynic life. 6 Cucullus 
non facit monachum, nor staff and wallet the Cynic. ^ 

We have seen, then, that it is extremely unlikely that there 
was any personal contact between Antisthenes and Diogenes. 
But it cannot be denied that the resemblance between the 
ethics of Antisthenes and those of the Cynics was sufficiently 
close to make the tradition of such connexion a plausible 
fiction. The earliest and best authority for Antisthenes' 
ethics is the Symposium of Xenophon. It will be remembered 
that each of the chief guests at the banquet was required to 
state what he was most proud of, and afterwards to deliver a 
speech justifying his choice. Antisthenes professed to be 
proud of his wealth, a statement which immediately provoked 
attention, for at the time he ' did not possess an obol '. 7 When 
his turn came to elaborate his choice, he explained that he had 
spoken figuratively, " I think, gentlemen, that men's poverty 
and wealth is to be sought for, not in their estates, but in their 
souls ' an essentially Socratic view (cf. Apology 290-308). 
Material wealth is a malignant disease 

for some despots destroy whole families, kill men wholesale, and 

1 Julian, I88C-D. 2 id., 1826. 3 id., 1876. 

4 id., i86B. 6 id., 20QA. 6 id., 2OiA. 

7 See Note i, Chap I. 



ANTISTHENES 9 

often enslave entire cities, for the sake of money ... for my own 
part my possessions are so great that I myself can hardly discover 
them all ; yet I have enough so that I can eat until I am no longer 
hungry and drink to the point of not being thirsty, and I clothe 
myself so that I do not feel the cold more than my opulent friend 
here, Callias. When I get into my house I regard the walls as 
exceedingly warm tunics, and the roof as an exceptionally thick 
blanket ; and I have sufficient bedding to make it a hard task to 
get me awake of a morning. When my body needs sexual satis- 
faction, whatever lies to hand is good enough for me. So the 
women I associate with are exceeding grateful to me, for no one 
else will approach them. In fact, all these possessions seem to me 
so enjoyable Jiat I could not wish for greater pleasure from them, 
but indeed for less ; for some of them do seern to me more pleasur- 
able than is advisable. The most valuable possession I derive from 
my wealth is this, that even though someone were to deprive me 
of all I possess, I see no occupation so humble that I could not 
derive adequate livelihood from it ... and one should note that 
wealth of this sort makes men generous. For Socrates, from whom 
I acquired my wealth, did not dole it out to me by measure and 
weight, but gave me all that I was capable of bearing. Similarly, 
I myself am not miserly to anyone, but I openly show my abun- 
dance to all my friends, and I share out to anyone who desires it 
the wealth that is in my soul [cf. Apology 316, 33B]. But you 
will observe that the most luxurious of all my possessions is that 
I always have leisure to go to see whatever is worth seeing, or hear 
whatever is worth hearing, and, (what I prize above all) can pass 
the whole day at leisure in the company of Socrates (cf. Theaet. 

I 7 2D). 

The doctrine, expounded in Socratic phraseology, is the 
familiar one in later Greek philosophy, of asceticism as the 
surest way of attaining evdaifjiovia (happiness). Now the 
evidence of Aristophanes and Ameipsias shows us that 
asceticism of some kind was practised in the * Socratic circle '. 
The Clouds describes the inhabitants of the ' Thinking- 
Shop ' as ' those pale-faced, barefooted wretches, like 
Chaerephon and Socrates ' ; and suggests that the prospect 
confronting the initiate is ivnreiv, neivf^v^ diyfjv \ avxnelv, 
Qiyovv, aoxov deiQew y while there are references to Socrates' 
need of a cloak and sandals, and the generally unwashed and 
unshaven character of his companions. 1 Clearly some sort of 
asceticism must have characterized them if the burlesque was 
1 11. 103-4, 441-2 (Oxford Text). 



io A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

to be plausible : the evidence of Plato, without containing any 
direct reference as to its origin, certainly suggests that Socrates 
followed an ascetic mode of life. Thus in the Phaedrus (zzgA.) 
he is represented as being * always barefooted ', in the 
Symposium (i74A) an occasion when he, for once, wore a new 
cloak and sandals is explained away as being a gesture in 
honour of the Banquet to which he was going ; and, more 
explicitly, we have the testimony of Alcibiades (Symp. 2198) 
of Socrates' remarkable endurance of hunger, cold, fatigue. 
This side of Socrates' character is given in greater detail in the 
Memorabilia^ but as it is uncertain whether or to what degree 
Xenophon is there influenced by Antisthenes' own portrayal 
of Socrates, perhaps his evidence should not be unduly pressed. 2 
But clearly this brand of asceticism is a very Socratic thing. 
Socrates neglected the pursuit of sensual pleasures, just as he 
neglected his own financial interests, to concentrate on the 
chief object of his ' mission ' the * care of his soul ' and the 
exhortation to his fellow-citizens to care for theirs. 3 It should 
be distinguished from two other ways of life with which it has 
sometimes been confused : the avraqxeia of a man like Hippias ; 
and the rigid asceticism, which becomes an end-in-itself, of 
Diogenes and his associates. 4 The latter practised, as we shall 
see, absolute simplicity of living, absolute renunciation of 
comforts. But Socrates, as is known from the Symposium of 
Plato, could enjoy good living when it came his way : and so 

1 Especially in i. 2. i, i. 3. 3, and i. 6. 2. 

2 Joel (Der echte und der Xenophontische Sokrates) regards Xeno- 
phon as throughout dependent upon Antisthenes, and uses the 
Memorabilia to reconstruct Antisthenes' ethical system. More 
recently H. Gomperz (Die Sokratische Frage ah geschichtliches 
Problems : Historische Zeitschrift, 1924), while admitting Joel's 
premisses that the Socrates of the Memorabilia is the Socrates of 
Antisthenes, attacks his conclusions that this is therefore not the 
Socrates of history. Antisthenes, according to him, was the most 
faithful disciple of Socrates : his picture of the Master is likely to 
be the most authentic. Other scholars regard the Memorabilia as, 
in the main, an independent attempt to give a portrait of Socrates, 
though it may borrow details from Plato and Antisthenes. The 
controversy is clearly one which falls outside the scope of this essay ; 
but in discussing the probable influence of Socrates upon Antis- 
thenes, I have thought it wiser to draw parallels from the early 
Platonic dialogues, and to use the Memorabilia only as supplementary 
to inferences based on other evidence. 

3 Cf. Apology 290, 30^, 4 See Note 2 to Chap. I. 



ANTISTHENES 11 

in the Symposium of Xenophon, Antisthenes drinks his Thasian 
wine, though he does not omit to add that he enjoys it less 
than he would simpler fare if he were really thirsty. Antis- 
thenes also used a house, a bed, and other comforts with which 
Diogenes dispensed. 

Even the scanty doxographical section 1 of Diogenes 
Laertius' biography shows the influence of Socrates as para- 
mount in Antisthenes' ethics. The familiar Socratic doctrine 
that aQ&rri may be taught appears, and aqsrri seems to have 
been defined in a Socratic way. It is self-sufficient as regards 
happiness, needing nothing else but the strength of a Socrates, 
it is * a weapon that cannot be taken away ' ; again, as wisdom 
it is * the safest kind of wall ' which must be constructed ' in 
our own impregnable reasoning '. This last implies the 
Socratic view of virtue as knowledge ; and the unity of the 
virtues appears in an Antisthenean doctrine preserved in a 
commentary on Homer. * Antisthenes says that if the wise 
man does anything, he does it in accordance with virtue as a 
whol^.' (Schol. Lips, on II., xv. 123). Further, the titles of 
some of his works are those of * virtues ' which we know to 
have been investigated by Socrates. There are for instance 
writings on Courage (cf. Laches), on Injustice and Impiety 
(cf. Euthyphro\ on Justice and Courage (cf. Protagoras). It 
is probable that in these works the same method was pursued 
as that which appears in the early Platonic dialogues, i.e. 
* popular ' instances of the virtue under discussion were taken 
and shown to be inadequate by the true standard. This is 
suggested by a quotation from Antisthenes preserved by 
Athenaeus (xii. 534^) via Satyrus *AvTioQevr]<; 6 ZaMqariKoQ 
cog dr) avronrrji; yeyovax; rov *Akm{$t,adov ' ia%VQov avrcv xal 
avdQ&dr] Hal ajialdsvrov KOI ro^a^ov xai WQOLIOV e<p j rjfax(a$ 
ndori<; yeveaOai (prjcriv. 

The point lies in anaidevroq ; lax^S and avdqeia are 
virtues when they are of the right brand, the ZWganw) 
this was what Alcibiades lacked, owing to his want of 



1 D.L., vi. 12, 13. 

2 Cf. Dittmar, Aeschines von Sphettos, p. 86, n. 68. He regards 
the quotation as from the Cyrus of Antisthenes. Miiller prints it 
under the fragments of the Alcibiades. The point probably cannot 
be definitely settled, 



12 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

In intimate connexion with this view of aqerri (Virtue) are 
the tenets of Antisthenes about the aocpoq which occur in the 
same passage of Diogenes Laertius. * The aoyoq will rule his 
life, not in accordance with the established Laws, but according 
to those of Virtue. ' The oocpos is self-sufficient/ * The 
oocpoq will love, for he alone knows how to love.' The Virtue 
of the wise man, which is ' self-sufficient as regards happiness ', 
is precisely that which Socrates insisted could be taught. 1 
This is brought out most clearly in the Phaedo (8aA ff.) where 
Socrates implies two levels of aqerri ; the first, a drifion^fi ncd 
nofanxf] aqerri . . . I $ eOov$ re Hal /teAerrjs ysyovvia avev 
(pdoaoyicu; re uai vov, the practisers of which will be rein- 
carnated as bees, ants, wasps or other ' social animals ', or as 
worthy men (^Erqioi avdqs<;} : the other, that of ol 6@0a)<; 
(pi^oaocpovvret; and navrshax; KoBaqoi and also of ol (piXo^aQelq 
who shall * enter the communion of the gods '. Since it 
occurs in the Phaedo, this distinction is in all probability that 
of Socrates ; and it is one of great importance for subsequent 
Greek thought. From the time of Socrates onwards, the 
gulf between the oocpos and the ordinary human being and 
his standards tends to widen, not only in Antisthenes but also 
in such Platonic passages as Theaetetus 175 A ff. (where the 
philosopher is totally indifferent to birth, wealth, fame, 
or rank), till eventually it becomes unbridgeable when we 
arrive at that paragon of inhuman virtue, the ooyos of the 
Stoics. 

This view of the oocpoi; was Antisthenes' reason for stress- 
ing the doctrines of rfdovrj and novoq : doctrines which the 
Alexandrian writers of Successions relied upon to prove his 
spiritual affinity with Zeno and the Stoics. Again, the 
influence of Socrates may be traced. In the great speech in 
the Phaedo y describing the life of the philosopher, it is stated 
that such a man will above all seek to emancipate himself from 
the flesh and its desires, its pleasures, and its pains, for every 
instance in which rjdovrj or kvnr} is felt, is a nail which nails 
the soul more firmly to the body. 2 tfdovtf and MTH?, pleasure 
and pain, are thus the chief enemies of the man who is trying 
to ' tend his soul '. evrsfela and oaxpQoavvr] are prophylactic 
against r;<5ow/, but what antidotes can be found for Hnr\ 
which generally comes from circumstances outside our con- 
1 Cf. Burnet, Thales to Plato, p. 174. * Phaedo, 838 ff. 



ANTISTHENES 13 

trol ? 1 The remedy of Antisthenes was novoq (toil), a word 
which he was perhaps the first to use in a technical sense. 
Socrates never uses novoc; in this way in any Platonic writing, 2 
and the fact that he does so use it in Xenophon's Memorabilia 
may be due to the influence of Antisthenes. 

' That toil is a good thing ', says Diogenes Laertius, * he 
established by the example of Heracles the Great and Cyrus, 
choosing one from the Greeks, the other from the barbarians/ 
This sentence has been used as evidence for attributing cos- 
mopolitanism to Antisthenes, but it will not really bear that 
interpretation. In fact, what Antisthenes did was merely to 
choose two examples from that gallery of great figures, some 
historic, some legendary, familiar to every educated person of 
his day. Admittedly few figures in that gallery were * bar- 
barians ', and of those few were cast in the role of hero, but 
such was undoubtedly the case with Cyrus. The great king, who 
appears in a favourable light even in the Old Testament, 
appears to have exercised a fascination over the Greeks through- 
out the fifth century. For Antisthenes, he appears not only 
as an example of the value of novos, but, as also for Xenophon, 
as the ideal of fiaaiXeia. 

The choice of Heracles to exemplify novot; is of course an 
obvious one. ' Who of all the sons of Zeus ', asks Unjust 
Logic in the Clouds, ' endured the most hardships and greatest 
toil ? ' ' Why, Heracles/ is the answer, and from the practice 
of that hero the moral is drawn that hot baths do not really 
have an enervating effect. But a favourable portrayal of 
Heracles, though it was certainly not originated by Antisthenes, 
appears to have been a recent tradition in his time. Cyrus 
also figured later in Cynic allegory, but did not play so 
prominent a part therein as Heracles, who became a veritable 
patron saint to the Cynic movement. 

The ethics of Antisthenes, then probably largely through 
his portrayal of Socrates had a considerable influence on the 
Cynics. But the narrow concentration on ethics to the 
exclusion of all other aspects of philosophy, the chief character- 
istic of Diogenes and the Cynics, is not found in the case of 

1 Cf. the case of the unfortunate Dionysius, ' the Renegade ', also 
suffered such agonies from ophthalmia that he could not bring 
himself to admit that Pain was adidcpoQov (D.L., vii. 166). 

2 In the Phaedo he says ol (pifoaoyovvcei; . . 



14 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

Antisthenes. The titles of his works cover ethics, logic, 
politics, and what were later called metaphysics, and we know 
that he was interested in rhetoric and in the * interpretation ' 
of Homer. His philosophy presumably formed a coherent 
whole, though there is not sufficient evidence to reconstruct 
it. But the impression left by an examination of what are 
known to have been his doctrines in various departments of 
knowledge is that there is little here that is original. His 
logical position was that of the * neo-Eleatics ' : the influence 
of Socrates is paramount in his ethics : his political views are 
a synthesis compounded of the Socratic ideal of the ao^oc, the 
' Sophistic ' opposition between vojuo<; and (pvais and the 
reactions of a ' Socratic man ' to the events of contemporary 
history. In his interest in ' names ' one may suspect the 
influence of Prodicus : that of Gorgias is undoubted on his 
style and his rhetorical studies : in Homeric ' interpretation ' 
he followed the already popular method of allegory. The 
conclusion is that here is a typical minor figure of that time 
of intellectual ferment, the age of Socrates and the Sophists ; 
probably Cicero's judgement of him is fair enough ''homo 
acutus magis quam eruditus '. But Antisthenes' philosophy 
was a structure which rested on flimsy foundations. Its basis 
was the ' neo-Eleatic ' logic : and before long the difficulties 
with which that system was confronted and the solutions it 
propounded were alike swept away by the Sophistes of Plato. 
This probably accounts for the contemptuous tone of Aris- 
totle's references to Antisthenes, 1 and suggests that Antis- 
thenes' logical treatises were quickly obsolete. But there is 
ample warrant of his popularity in ancient times. He was 
accepted as one of the canons of pure Attic style : Dionysius 
of Halicarnassus groups him with Andocides, Antiphon, 
Lysias, Critias, and Xenophon : Phrynichus ranks him with 
Plato, Demosthenes, and Critias. This popularity he must 
have attained as a writer of ZcaxqaTMoi Aoyoi.* The 
Socrates of his dialogues was undoubtedly the ascetic, the 
* man with a mission ', an aspect of the Master which tended 
to be obscured in the later Platonic dialogues, where Socrates 
becomes increasingly the mouthpiece for Plato's own thought. 
The Memorabilia of Xenophon are to some extent a reaction 

1 Cf. Met. 10246, 27 ff., 10436, 1 8. 

2 See note 3 to Chap. I. 



ANTISTHENES 15 

against Plato's portrayal of the Master : Antisthenes, together 
with other disciples, may well have felt that some such 
corrective was needed. 

To the Stoics and to the Alexandrian writers of Successions, 
Antisthenes would be most familiar as the author of Socratic 
discourses, in which the tradition of Socrates the ascetic was 
predominant. Antisthenes himself was known to have been 
master of a philosophic * school ' ; his ethics bore a marked 
resemblance to those of the Cynics and Stoics : he was there- 
fore the obvious choice as the first link in the * apostolic 
succession ' in which the Stoics wished to link themselves up 
to Socrates. Antisthenes thus became the ' founder of 
Cynicism ', and achieved a position in the history of philosophy 
to which his achievements as a thinker scarcely entitled him. 
We may agree with Vallette that he was the ' precursor of 
Cynicism ', but for the founder of the sect we must turn to 
Diogenes of Sinope. 



NOTES TO CHAPTER I 

1 . Antisthenes must have possessed money at some timb to be able 
to attend the lectures of Gorgias. In Xenophon's Symposium he 
appears to possess a small piece of land. Perhaps, as Burnet thinks 
was the case with Socrates, his poverty was of rather recent date 
in 421 or thereabouts (Symp., iii. 8). 

2. It has been suggested that the avraQxeia of Hippias, who once 
appeared at an Olympian festival wearing a cloak, girdles, ring, 
sandals, &c., all made by himself (Plato, Hipp. 3686), had an influence 
on Antisthenes' view of self-sufficiency. This is to confuse two 
fundamentally different methods of approach to the problem. For 
the individual avrdgxeia may be obtained either by (a) an extension 
of one's accomplishments and aptitudes till they can fulfil all the 
' desires ' (this is no^vrgoma : the versatility of a man like Hippias), 
or (b) an elimination of the * desires ' till they reach a point at which 
their demands are light and readily satisfied (this is evrekela, the 
method of Antisthenes and Socrates. This same point may be illus- 
trated if we consider amaQxeia in the meaning frequently used in 
Thucydides ' independent ' in the political sense, of a city which 
is sufficient to itself in both military and economic resources. If a 
state has relatively low * demands ' (i.e. a * low standing of living '), 
the occupations of its citizens will be few and simple. If its desires 
become more complex (i.e. it is attaining a * high standard of living '), 
then its citizens must engage in all manner of industries for it to be 



16 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

self-sufficient. The two states of society are contrasted in Rep. 370 
and 373. 

3. Panaetius accepted his Socratic dialogues as genuine : he is 
grouped with Xenophon and Plato not only by Diogenes Laertius (ii. 
47), but also by Epictetus (ii. 17. 35), Pronto (de. eloc. 98), Lucian 
(ad. doct. 27) and Julian (21 $C). 



CHAPTER II 
DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 

(a) * EVEN bronze groweth old with Time, but thy fame, Dio- 
genes, not all Eternity shall take away. For thou alone didst 
point out to mortals the lesson of self-sufficingness, and the easiest 
path of life.' * The prophecy has in a way been fulfilled ; 
for Diogenes is one of the more familiar figures of antiquity. 
Yet with him, as with other historical personages, the very 
merits of a good story have obscured rather than illuminated 
its moral, avraqneia is forgotten but the tub survives, nor 
does one bother to inquire closely precisely why Alexander 
was asked to stand out of the sun. In classical times, too, the 
reputation of Diogenes was subjected to a similar process ; 
for it rested largely on that Greek delight in personality for 
its own sake, quite apart from its didactic value. A people 
who can enjoy a good story can always invent oae ; hence 
Diogenes soon after his death became a literary stock figure, 
and as such, like Sir John Falstaff, achieved a reality almost 
independent of his historical existence. Small wonder, then, 
that it is hard to establish about him anything that by the 
severer standards of historical criticism can be admitted as 
fact. It is a task which must be attempted, but with caution ; 
the case of Diogenes is one in which irrefutability can be 
purchased at too high a price. If judgement is to be entirely 
suspended because so few of the stories about him can be 
verified, then the baby is emptied away with the bath water. 
All Aberdeen stories may be invented, yet the inference remains 
that the Aberdonians are a thrifty race. So, in analysing the 
anecdotes about Diogenes, one should expect the illumination 
rather of character than of fact. If from such an analysis a 
coherent individual portrait emerges, it may be possible to 
account for Diogenes* influence on later literature and thought. 

1 Anth. Pal., xvi. 334 ; said by D.L. to have been inscribed on a 
memorial at Sinope. 

3 i7 



i8 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

A scrutiny of the available sources shows the difficulty of 
arriving at a satisfactory estimate of Diogenes. 1 Though these 
sources vary in value, they have, apart from Philodemus, a 
common feature in their lateness. They are the outcome of a 
considerable literature which grew up round Diogenes for 
at least two centuries after his death, and which is only known 
to us from references in later authors. It is necessary to form 
some idea of this literature before attempting any estimate of 
the * historical ' Diogenes. 

The literature under consideration falls into two classes. 
In the first may be put the Cynic and Stoic works, in 
which Diogenes appears as the ideal cro^og, demonstrating in 
divers situations, the virtues of avrdgxeia, and exemplifying 
the quality of naQQ^aia in contact with the great historical 
figures of the day. In the second class is the general litera- 
ture of the writers of Successions (diado%di), and the collectors 
of anecdotes, for whom the individuality and humour of Dio- 
genes would have particular attraction. Of the Cynic authors 
the first to be considered is Crates. Crates wrote shortly after 
the death of Diogenes, and his works contain genuine reflections 
of his master's teachings ; though in the surviving fragments 
there are few direct references to Diogenes, they are our 
best authority for contemporary Cynic practices. Metrocles 
of Maroneia, 2 the associate of Crates, compiled a book of 
%Qslai ; perhaps here originated the * literary ' Diogenes whose 
apophthegms were used and probably added to by Bion of 
Borysthenes. Invention was soon busy with the life as well as 
the sayings of Diogenes, von Fritz 3 adduces good reasons 
for thinking that the story of the ' Sale of Diogenes ' was the 
invention of Menippus ; a subject also handled by a certain 
Eubulus, 4 of whom nothing else is known. At any rate the 
legend seems to have established itself, for it was used 
by Cleomenes 5 in his book On Pedagogues ; like Eubulus, 
Cleomenes would seem to have taken particular interest in 
showing Diogenes as the ideal naidaycoyog and olxovofjioQ. 
The Stoics 6 made use of Diogenes for the purpose of 
moralizing, but they seem to have found a certain amount 
of bowdlerizing necessary, as will appear when we consider 

1 See Note i to Chapter II. 2 D.L., vi. 33. 

3 op. cit., pp. 22-5. 4 D.L., vi. 30. 

6 id., ib. 75. 6 id., ib. 32, 37, 43. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 19 

the authenticity of the writings attributed to Diogenes 
himself. 

The general literature may be said to start with Theo- 
phrastus, who referred to Diogenes in the Megarian dialogue,' 1 
and who wrote a book entitled TCOV Awyevovs avvayaiyrj 2 
' a compendium of the works (or apophthegms ?) of Diogenes ' 
a title which suggests that already inventions and falsi- 
fications were current. Whether the * Eubulides J who wrote 
neql Aioyevovq 3 is the contemporary and opponent of Aris- 
totle, or a confusion with the Eubulus mentioned above, 
cannot be decided. Sotion, 4 the best known of the writers of 
diado%dt, y appears to have treated of Diogenes in his fourth 
and seventh books ; von Fritz 5 argues that he approved a 
Stoic redaction of Diogenes' works ; Stoic criticism seems 
also to have influenced Sosicrates and Satyrus. 8 Diocles of 
Magnesia 7 was apparently particularly interested in the Cynics, 
he was a close friend of the Cynic Meleager of Gadara. 
Antisthenes of Rhodes, 8 another writer of diado%di, is quoted 
by L^ertius for details of the death of Diogenes. 

Such are the available references for the Diogenes-literature 
of the fourth and third centuries B.C. ; in all probability 
they only represent a portion of it. For the Cynics and Stoics 
Diogenes became a second Heracles, the ideal ocxpdt; who 
could be used to emphasize any worthy moral or exemplify any 
desirable characteristic. These stories would be reflected in 
the general literature, and augmented by anecdotes which grew 
up around him as the embodiment of independent common 
sense and ready repartee. Almost all of this literature is lost ; 
but such traces as we have been able to follow show how the 
story of Diogenes, like a snowball rolled downhill, gathered 
additions to itself as it went along. 

I return to the later sources which form the only available 
evidence for Diogenes. Unsatisfactory though they are, the 
researches of von Fritz have shown how to make the best 
use of them. Since all are based on the lost Diogenes-litera- 
ture whose traces we have endeavoured to follow, their value 
will clearly depend on the facilities they offer for deciding 
the trustworthiness of their sources. On this criterion von 

1 id., ib. 22. 2 id., v. 43. 8 id., vi. 20. 

4 id., ib. 26, 80. 5 op. cit., pp. 55-8. 6 D.L., vi. 80. 

7 id., ib. 20, 56. 8 id., ib. 77, 87. 



20 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

Fritz shows that little profit is to be had from the accounts 
of Diogenes in Epictetus, Dio Chrysostom, or Julian. Their 
writings form an individual and coherent whole, in which 
borrowings from earlier sources have been assimilated and 
may not readily be resolved again. Partial exceptions to this 
are the tenth oration of Dio, which contains a passage ulti- 
mately derived from the Oedipus of Diogenes, and the sixth 
oration of Julian, which is, however, of more value for Crates 
than Diogenes. It is otherwise with Diogenes Laertius, whose 
literary demerits are to our advantage. His Life of Diogenes 
is a cento whose component parts may be dissected out ; and 
in many cases he himself names his sources. 1 

Diogenes was born at Sinope 2 in Pontus, a city of com- 
mercial importance but on the outer rim of the Greek world. 
His father was apparently a man of position, but for some 
reason Diogenes was exiled, and finally came to Athens. These 
events were narrated in widely different accounts, some of 
which are retailed by Diogenes Laertius. 3 

Diodes 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. More- 
over, Diogenes himself actually confesses in his Pordalus that he 
adulterated the coinage. Some say that having been appointed to 
superintend the workmen they urged him to do this, 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. 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 banishment. 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 currency, but what 
he should do to gain the greatest reputation ; and that then it was 
he received the oracle. 

The path of rationalizing criticism is clear, and Schwartz 4 
and von Fritz follow it confidently. According to the latter, 6 

1 See Note 2 to Chapter II. 2 D.L., vi. 20. 3 id., ib. 21. 
4 Charakter-kopfe, u. (1911), 23. 5 op. cit., p. 20. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 21 

the case is palpably one of invention ; its basis is that Diogenes 
himself used the paradox naqa^dqarreiv TO vojbuajua ' Alter 
the currency/ and thus gave rise to the stories. As for the 
banker father, he becomes explicable in the light of Diogenes' 
mission (naQa%aQarreiv TO vojuiajua) ; for did not Socrates 
have for mother a juala (midwife) and pride himself on his 
fjtaievTMfj liyy)} ? He follows Schwartz in regarding the 
oracle as an invention imitating the famous reply to Socrates. 
In the absence of material evidence, such criticism is of course 
the best method of handling the problem. But according to 
tradition one of the lessons taught by Diogenes was that a 
great deal of theory may be upset by a small amount of 
brute fact. The impossibility of motion having been proved 
by argument, he got up and walked. A similar comment on 
the arguments of Schwartz and von Fritz is supplied by Mr. 
Seltman in a paper read to the Cambridge Philological Society. 1 
This paper establishes that there was a Sinopean monetary 
magistrate called Hicesias at a time when the coinage of 
Sinope was subject to naQa%dqai;i<; to a degree unparalleled in 
any other Greek city at any period. It further suggests for 
Diogenes' arrival in Athens a much later date than 'ne tradi- 
tional one, thus strengthening the contention that his association 
with Antisthenes is an invention. On the other hNind, Mr. 
Seltman 's research not only confirms the traditional account 
of Diogenes' parentage and exile, but also throws a good 
deal of light on the reasons for his subsequent assault on 
established values. His father had been an important State 
official, he had himself occupied a position of trust ; the 
father, through pursuing a patriotic policy, had been unjustly 
thrown into prison, and had perhaps died there; 2 the son, 
already well on in years, had been forced to leave his country. 
He had ample justification for feeling a grudge against society, 
and for such contemptuous bitterness as appears in the re- 
mark, * Most men are so nearly mad that a finger's breadth 
would make the difference.' 3 

The story of the oracle Mr. Seltman accepts as founded on 
fact. The embittered Diogenes, smarting under the loss of 

1 I am greatly indebted to Mr. Seltman for his kindness in allowing 
me to read the MS. of this paper, which has not appeared in print. 
For a summary of his arguments cf. Note 3 to Chap. II. 

* D.L., vi. 21. 8 id., ib. 35. 



22 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

his position, asks, * What shall I do to become famous ? * 
* Alter the currency/ is the response. It is a hypothesis, as 
any explanation of the story must necessarily be. But there 
is much force in Schwartz's contention that the story is an 
imitation of the famous response given to Socrates. ' Is there 
any one wiser than Socrates ? ' had been the question of 
Chaerephon ; to which that of Diogenes bears resemblance. 
Schwartz does not adduce, as he might have done, the very 
similar story of the oracle given to Zeno. 1 

It is stated by Hecato and Apollonius of Tyre in his first book on 
Zeno that he consulted the oracle to know what he should do to 
attain the best life, and that the god's response was that he should 
take on the colour of the dead. Whereupon, perceiving what this 
meant, he studied ancient authors. 

Now it is perhaps significant that stories which look like 
imitations of the response to Socrates should be told about 
the Stoic ' saints ', Diogenes and Zeno. The Stoics, at least 

down to Panaetius, believed in oracles 



they say that divination in all its forms is a real and substantial 
fact, if there is really Providence. And they prove it to be actually 
a science pn the evidence of certain results : so Zeno, Chrysippus 
in the second book of the de Divinatione, and Athenodorus, and 
Posidonius . . . 2 

It is quite possible that the Stoics, concerned to link them- 
selves up with Socrates, should have circulated these stories 
of how divine advice had also been given to two other sages 
of the Succession. But whether the story of the oracle be 
an invention or no, there is little doubt that Diogenes him- 
self made effective use of the phrase naqa^dqaTTeiv TO vojLUOjua. 
Diogenes Laertius says * he himself admits in the Pordalus 
cog Tiaqa^dqa^ai TO vofjua^a '. 3 One can readily imagine the 
allegorical value to be extracted. * I was exiled for literally 
" altering the currency J> ; my philosophy teaches men to 
" alter the currency " in another sense. Let us strike out of 
circulation false standards and values of all kinds/ Perhaps 
further, ' Socrates said that his work was done at the 
command of the Delphic god : I make the same claim for 
mine/ 

1 D.L., vii. 2. a id,, ib. 149. 3 id., vi. 20. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 23 

However this may be, we can safely regard as authentic 
the story of Diogenes' exile. Even in the fourth century, 
when political life was less intense, exile was to the Greek a 
great calamity. To be cut off from his friends, from his 
familiar life, above all, to be deprived of his civic status, 
was for the individual affected a searching test of character. 
' Diogenes l would himself say that all the evils of tragedy 
had alighted on his head, for he was without city or home, 
cut off from his native land, a beggar and a wanderer, with 
food for but a day.' Yet by this means was he led to philos- 
ophy. 2 There is a curious and delightful story of the method 
of his conversion which, as it derives from Theophrastus, may 
well preserve a contemporary account. It says that Diogenes 
was converted (noqov e^evqe rfji; TzeQiaraaeax;) by watching a 
mouse running about, not looking for a place to lie down in, 
not afraid of the dark, not seeking any of the things that are 
considered dainties. 3 The precise date of his arrival at Athens 
is uncertain : on the evidence adduced by Mr. Seltman it 
cannot have been much earlier than 340 B.C. 4 If this date 
is correct, it at once discountenances several features of the 
traditional account of Diogenes. He cannot have been a 
4 pupil ' of Antisthenes, who died not much after 366, he can 
hardly have come into frequent contact with Plato. But it 
in no way conflicts with our only reliable evidence : that of 
Aristotle's Rhetoric, 5 that he was familiar in Athens as 6 KVWV 
in about 330 : and the notice in Diogenes Laertius 6 (pre- 
sumably from the Chronica of Apollodorus) that ' he was 
an old man in the i i3th Olympiad ', i.e. 328-325. A passage of 
Diogenes Laertius, 7 again probably derived from Theophrastus, 
suggests that he arrived in Athens already a devotee of an 
ascetic mode of life. ' For he wrote to a certain person to 
buy him a cottage, and when there was a delay about it, he 
took up his abode in a tub in the Metroon.' This episode 
probably took place at the beginning of his stay in Athens : 
later he seems to have slept in the porticoes of tempfes. The 
view that Diogenes was already an ascetic at the time of his 
arrival at Athens is also plausible in the light of his career. 
For while at Athens he directed on the ideas and conventions 

1 id., ib. 38. 2 id., ib. 49. 3 id., ib. 22. 

4 See Note 4 to Chap. II. 5 Rhet., iii. x. 7. 

D.L., vi. 81. 7 id., ib. 22, 



24 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

of the Greek nofas the most uncompromising criticism it 
had ever known. The stringency of this attitude becomes 
more understandable if it came from a penniless exile, already 
devoted to an extreme form of asceticism, and originating 
from the far ends of the Greek world. 

Very few details of his life in Greece can be settled with con- 
fidence. Eubulus' l story of his capture by pirates, and his sub- 
sequent purchase by the Corinthian Xeniades, is convincingly 
exposed by von Fritz 2 as an invention, perhaps originating with 
the AioyevovQ nqaau; 3 of Menippus. Tradition connects his 
name with other cities besides Athens. Perhaps he visited 
Sparta ; he was at any rate an admirer of Spartan institutions. 4 
Numerous stories connect him with Corinth ; Dio Chrysos- 
tom 5 says that he alternated between Athens and Sparta as did 
the Persian king between Sousa and Ecbatana ; other accounts 6 
make Corinth the scene of his old age and death. Schwartz 7 
is perhaps too drastic in regarding all the Corinthian stories 
as false, and based on the Aioyevovq n^aou;. Our earliest 
source, the passage derived from the Theophrastus 8 quoted 
above, shows that Diogenes was accustomed to wear the garb 
of the wandering beggar, and that he made journeys even in 
his old age. Diogenes was a man with a mission ; as such, 
he woulcf be most likely to visit the great games, with their 
crowds of spectators from all parts of the Greek world. There 
are anecdotes in existence which connect him with these fes- 
tivals ; 9 he may well have visited Corinth in order to be 
present at the Isthmian games. The date of his death is not 
certain. The tradition (for which Demetrius 10 is quoted) that 
he died on the same day as Alexander the Great, is pretty 
clearly an invention. More trust may be placed in the state- 
ment that he was an old man in the 113th 11 Olympiad (i.e. 
328-325). Presumably he died some time after 320. Of the 
manner of his death we hear most varied accounts, 12 some of 
them obvious fabrications ; there is further divergence as 
to whether it took place at Athens or Corinth. 13 A circum- 
stantial account is given on the authority of Antisthenes of 

1 D.L., vi. 30. 2 op. cit., pp. 22-6. 3 D.L., vi. 29. 

4 AT., Rhet. y in. x. 7. 5 D.L., vi. 197. 6 D.L., vi. 77. 

7 op. cit., p. 4. 8 D.L., vi. 22. 9 id., ib. 60 ; Julian, vii. 
10 D.L., vi. 80. u id., ib. prob. from Apollodorus. 

12 id., ib. 77-80. 13 id., ib. 77. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 25 

Rhodes l that it was in the gymnasium of the Craneion at 
Corinth, and that Diogenes committed suicide by holding his 
breath. Suicide of this kind is also alluded to in a fragment 
of Cercidas of Megalopolis, 2 and is thus clearly an early Cynic 
tradition. There is nothing inherently improbable in the story 
that he died at Corinth ; the Corinthians 3 are said to have 
carved a dog on his tomb, which was seen by Pausanias. 4 
But whatever the place of his death, there is no doubt that 
Athens is the most important scene for his life. The great 
majority of stories about him introduce Athenian personages, 
customs, and localities ; the inference clearly is that most of 
his time was spent in Athens, the ' mother-city of philosophy ' 
in his day as for many years after. 

Divergent traditions are also preserved about the writings 
of Diogenes. Diogenes Laertius 5 first gives a list of 21 works 
(14 dialogues and 7 tragedies), without quoting an authority. He 
then says that * Sosicrates in the first book of his Successions, and 
Satyrus in the fourth book of his Lives, allege that Diogenes left 
nothjng in writing, and that the sorry tragedies (ret TQaycodaQia) 
are by his friend Philiscus of Aegina '. Finally we have a list 
on the authority of Sotion, which excludes the tragedies, and 
gives the title of only five dialogues which occur in the first 
catalogue. Diogenes Laertius 6 was particularly interested in 
bibliography ; he gives bibliographies for 32 philosophers in 
all, including all the leading Stoics mentioned. This last fact, 
together with the evidence of Philodemus, 7 negircov Zrcotxcov, 
gives a clue to the list of Sotion. From Philodemus we see 
how the desire of the Stoics to link themselves up with Socrates, 
and the * Succession ', Socrates-Antisthenes-Diogenes-Crates- 
Zeno, involved the canonization of all these persons as Stoic 
Saints. This left later Stoic moralists with some very awk- 
ward matters to gloss over, particularly in connexion with the 
Republic of Zeno, and the Republic and tragedies of Diogenes. 
These works had been acceptable to the early Stoics : 
Cleanthes 8 praised the Republic of Diogenes : Chrysippus 9 

1 id., ib. 2 id., ib. 76. 3 id., ib. 78. 

4 See Note 5 to Chap. II. 5 D.L., vi. 80. 

6 Cf. Hope, op. cit., pp. 122-6. 

7 Here. Pap., 155^, 330 : see Cronert, Kolotes und Menedemos, 



8 Philo. d., col. xiii. 9 id., D.L., vii. 34. 



26 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

attested its genuineness and that of the Republic of Zeno. 
But both works contained ' praises ' of cannibalism and incest, 
and were highly unpalatable to the later Stoa. Naturally they 
were a ready mark for the School's opponents ; * we see in 
Philodemus how these assaults were parried. * Zeno was a 
young man at the time, we must pardon youth 2 besides he 
was not always Zeno, 3 he was once a mere nobody.' 4 As for 
Diogenes, ' it [the Republic} was not his at all, but was written 
by some evil-minded persons J . Now the same views of 
cannibalism and incest were apparently to be found in the 
tragedies, particularly the Oedipus and the Thyestes; 5 they 
were accordingly declared not to be his at all, but by Philiscus 
of Aegina, or according to Favorinus, Pasiphon. 6 The 
tradition is reflected in Julian. 7 

As for the tragedies of Diogenes, which are and are admitted to 
be the composition of some Cynic the only point of dispute being 
whether they are by the master Diogenes or his pupil Philiscus 
what reader would not abhor them, and find in them an excess of 
infamy surpassing that of harlots ? . . . We must judge ot the 
attitude ot Diogenes to gods and men, not . . . from the tragedies 
of Philiscus who by ascribing their authorship to Diogenes grossly 
slanders that sacred person but from his deeds. 

As the Republic and the tragedies are absent from the cata- 
logue of Sotion, we may with confidence agree with von 
Fritz 8 that this represents a Stoic redaction. The general 
bowdlerizing which went on in the Alexandrian period in the 
interest of morals is familiar from the ' athetized ' lines of 
Homer ; there is an interesting passage of Diogenes Laertius 9 
in which he apparently censures the bibliographers for not 
doing their duty by an indecent passage of Chrysippus. The 
view of Sosicrates and Satyrus represents a bolder type of 
criticism which, not content with ' athetizing ' objectionable 
works or placing them on an Index Expurgatorius, roundly 
declare that no authentic works of the philosopher exist. 

In conclusion, the inference is that the Republic and the 
Tragedies were genuine works of Diogenes, as in all probability 

1 von Arnim, Stoic vet. fr., i, 249-56. 

2 Philod., col. xv. 5. 8 id., i. 15. 4 id., col. xvi. 
6 id., col. vii. 6 D.L., vi. 73. 7 vii. 2iiE-2i2. 
8 op. cit., pp. 55-7. 9 D.L., vii. 188. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 27 

were the dialogues mentioned in both catalogues, i.e. the 
Cephalion, Pordalus, Aristarchus, and Eroticus. We are in no 
position to pronounce about the authenticity of the remaining 
works. 1 

No materials are available for tracing any development in 
Diogenes' theory or practice. He is presented to us as a 
constant factor in the society of his day, criticizing conventional 
values, exposing shams, unimpressed by reputation of any 
kind. The stories of his highly disconcerting appearances a 
in jthe lecture-rooms of the philosophers are probably apocry- 
phal ; yet it is likely enough that few of them escaped his 
criticism. The traditions that show him as a ' pupil ' of 
Antisthenes have been shown to be late ; but they contain a 
reflection of truth. For the conception of the ideal a expos, as 
Socrates was portrayed by Antisthenes, contained potentialities 
which as yet had not been realized. We have seen that the 
chronological evidence makes it highly improbable that Dio- 
genes can ever have come into personal contact with Antis- 
thej^ps ; and the evidence of Aristotle shows that the school 
in the Cynosarges was chiefly devoted to logical studies. It 
is probable, then, that Diogenes was merely influenced by a 
reading of Antisthenes' books, much as hearing Xenophon's 
Memorabilia is said to have ' converted ' Zeno to philosophy. 
He seems at any rate to have been impressed by Antisthenes' 
theory of the ideal aocpot;, though denying that the author had 
done much to put his theories into practice. 3 There is a 
story, found in Aelian 4 as well as Diogenes Laertius, to the 
effect that Plato used to say of Diogenes, * That man is 
Socrates gone mad.' The story is at least ben trovato; 
Diogenes represents the Socratic oro^og with its chief features 
pushed to extremes. Frugality in him becomes strict asceti- 
cism : elQcovela is represented by na^qr^aLa : aaxpQoavvr) by 
dnaOela. The Socratic disregard of the opinions of the mob 5 
becomes the Cynic avaideia. Like Socrates, Diogenes 6 
contrasted the skill of the craftsman with the haphazard con- 
duct of other human affairs ; like Socrates, again, his mission 
was to exhort people not to care for money and moneymaking 

1 See Note 6 to Chap. II. * D.L., vi. 40, 53, 39. 

8 Dio Chrys., viii. 275 ; Stob., Flor. y xiii. 19. 
4 D.L., vi. 54. Ael., xiv. 33. 6 Cf. Crito. 

6 D.L., vii. 70. 



28 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

but for their own souls. But there was this difference 
Diogenes was less hampered than Socrates by the ties of 
family or civic life or the influence of national tradition. 
Thanks to his exile he was wholly independent, Pythagoras' 
spectator looking at the navriyvqu; of life. It was, he pro- 
nounced, a world of fools : the standard of values was 
completely distorted. ' He would often vociferate that the 
gods had given men the means of living easily, but this had 
been lost sight of because we require honeyed cakes, unguents, 
and the like/ l Again, ' Things of value are bartered for what 
is worthless, and vice versa. At all events, a statue fetches 
3,000 drachmae, while a quart of barley-flour is sold for a 
couple of copper coins/ 2 Or to revert to the metaphor of 
Trapa^d^afeg, the conventional coin then in circulation was 
bad, for it was falsely struck, without reference to a true 
scale of value what was needed was that it should be defaced 
and put out of circulation. The mission of Diogenes thus 
became a thoroughgoing onslaught on convention, custom, and 
tradition in all aspects. He endeavoured to convert men. to a 
truer way of life, not, like Socrates, by dialectic, nor by allegory, 
as did Antisthenes, but by the practical example of his daily 
life. There is a story that his pupil Hegesias once asked for 
the loan of one of the master's books. * You are a simpleton, 
Hegesias/ was the reply ; * you don't choose painted figs, 
but real ones ; yet you would pass over the true training 
(TTJV dhrjOivfjv aaxrjcnv) and apply yourself to written rules.' 
In different accents, it is the cry of St. Francis of Assisi, ' I 
am your breviary, I am breviary.' In such a policy there was 
no room for compromise ; it demanded absolute freedom in 
speech, absolute fearlessness in deed. Hence na^Qrjala and 
avaideia, twin qualities which later made Cynicism famous, 
or at least notorious. ' naQqriaia is the finest thing in the 
world,' Diogenes 3 is reported to have said. Its value to the 
aocpos is clear ; it enabled him to resist the coercion of tyrants 
and to expose the pretensions of * intellectuals ' and politicians. 
Tradition is unanimous that Diogenes himself was remarkable 
for his powers of ridicule and repartee. Anecdotes show him 
in conflict with Antisthenes, Eucleides, Plato, and Aristotle 
amongst the philosophers, with Demosthenes, Philip, Alex- 
ander, Perdiccas, and Craterus among statesmen and * tyrants '. 
1 D.L., vi. 44. a id., ib. 36. 8 id., ib, 35. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 29 

Few or none of these stories are likely to be authentic. Some 
are obvious inventions for setting in opposition the Cynic 
ao(jpo<; and the evil tyrant : or the man of common sense and 
the ' sophist ' ; others involve chronological impossibilities. 
The only certain example of his apophthegms is that quoted by 
Aristotle * Taverns are the mess- tables of Attica.' 1 There 
is little point in retailing any of the stories from Diogenes 
Laertius ; they belong rather to an anthology of Greek humour 
than a discussion of philosophy. 2 

The counterpart of naQ^aia in speech is avaideia in 
action. Again, one cannot verify any of the numerous anec- 
dotes which illustrate this characteristic. Some merely offend 
against Greek views of good manners, others against more 
universal views of decency. We have no right to accept one 
set and reject another. This quality of avaideia has been 
shown to be the most likely origin of the nickname KVWV, 
shamelessness being the peculiar characteristic of the dog, 
according to the Greek view ; there is also the evidence of the 
early\ Stoics, who seem to have approved or even practised the 
qualfty, to the embarrassment of their successors. Again we 
see the uncompromising nature of Diogenes. For him, what- 
ever is ' according to nature ' is proper at all times and in all 
places. 

It was his habit to do everything in public, the works of Demeter 
and of Aphrodite alike. He used to produce such arguments as 
this. * If taking breakfast is nothing out of place (wdev ttronov), 
neither is it out of place in the market-place. But taking breakfast 
is nothing out of place, therefore it is nothing out of place to take 
breakfast in the market-place.' 3 

A typical bit of eristic reasoning ; we shall see again that 
Diogenes employed such sophisms if they suited his turn. 

1 Ar., Rhet. y iii. x. 7. 

2 Perhaps I may here be permitted to record the personal impres- 
sion that the stories about Diogenes are decidedly funnier than those 
Diogenes Laertius tells about other philosophers. This may be due 
to a variety of reasons. Perhaps some of the apophthegms, how- 
ever they have later been * contaminated ' in detail, did originate with 
Diogenes ; no doubt his reputation served as a magnet which would 
attract to itself a good story ; lastly, the source of several such stories 
may be Bion of Borysthenes, who himself possessed a pretty wit. 

8 D.L., vi. 69. 



30 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

It is clear that his writings attacked custom, convention, 
and tabu of every kind. Incest was defended as natural in 
the Oedipus and Republic ; the doxographical portion of the 
Life in Diogenes Laertius says that ' he saw nothing improper 
in stealing from the temples, nor from eating the flesh of any 
animal ; nor indeed in cannibalism, for one could find examples 
of it amongst the customs of foreign nations '. Of course, 
these statements cannot be taken at their face value to imply 
that Diogenes recommended incest and cannibalism. We have 
most of them on the authority of sources hostile to the Cynics, 
and we do not know in what context they occurred in Diogenes. 1 
The argument from foreign customs is familiar enough from 
the fifth century ; we need only cite one of the antinomies of 
the Aiaaol Ao'yoe, 2 which develop the theme VOJUOQ ndvrwv 
fiaoihevQy to show that uahov and dta^Qov are the same. ' If 
you brought together all the aia%Qa and put them in a big 
heap . . . and assembled representatives of all people and 
told them to take away only what is Kahov, you would have 
nothing left.' Interesting is the argument with which <Dio- 
genes is supposed to have justified cannibalism in the Thyestes. 3 

According to right reason, as he puts it, all elements are contained 
in all things, and pervade everything ; since meat is not only 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 says in the Thyestes . . . 

This is clearly a bit of popularized Anaxagorean physics, and 
it is strange to find it in Diogenes, who was so opposed to 
the natural sciences. One's first reaction to the mention of 
* vapour ' is to suppose that Diogenes may have been confused 
with his namesake, Diogenes of Apollonia. But reference to 
the Thyestes is quite explicit ; and when we consider the 
' sophism ' by which Diogenes justified his habit of breakfasting 
in public it seems likely enough that he would similarly seize 
on a bit of popular science and exploit it for his own ends. 
The point is important because it will reappear in a discussion 
of Diogenes' educational theories. 
The dvdtdeia of Diogenes was therefore didactic ; under- 

1 See Note 7 to Chap. II. 
2 In Diels, Frag. der. Vors\ 83, 18. 3 D.L., vi. 73. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 31 

taken to expose the artificiality of convention. The same 
explanation may be adduced for his notorious eccentricities 
how he went about in broad daylight with a lighted lantern, 1 
looking for an honest man : how he would enter a theatre 
when every one else was leaving it. 2 There is a good deal of 
the showman about such actions ; they were done for propa- 
ganda. Diogenes is said to have compared himself with the 
trainers of choruses * who pitch the note too high that the 
rest may get the right one ' 3 incidentally a sidelight on Greek 
music. naQa%dQau; as such is negative in its immediate 
results it invalidates a currency hitherto legal tender. But 
this is subordinate to a positive purpose, to restore the true 
currency which, according to the laws of economics, bad 
money has driven out of circulation. Was Diogenes suffi- 
ciently faithful to the metaphor of naQa^dqa^it; in all its 
implications that he had a constructive, as well as a destructive, 
side to his teachings ? The currency he sought to deface was 
that which bore in any form the superscription of vo^oq ; we 
can see whose superscription would have symbolized for 
Diogenes the restored currency of <pvai<;. l He claimed that 
he lived the same type of life as did Heracles, preferring liberty 
to everything.' 4 The phrase rov avrov %aQaxrfj()a rov fiiov 
suggests that we may be dealing with the actual words of 
Diogenes; %aQaxT?)Q used thus is a numismatical metaphor. 
The probability is increased by the fact that the sentence 
occurs in the doxographical section of the biography, which 
seems to depend on the writings of Diogenes. This opposi- 
tion of VOJUOQ and (pvaiq, paramount in the thought of Diogenes, 
had of course been one of the major issues of Greek philosophy 
for more than a century. The two conceptions were so familiar, 
the issue between them so clear-cut, that neither the Cynics 
nor the Stoics apparently found it necessary to define exactly 
what Kara yvoiv implied. Yet it is clear that <pvai<; has 
greatly altered from its meaning in the idealogy of Ionian 
science. Kaerst has said that (pvoiq for the Cynics was a 
' universal, invariable rational norm ', 5 but perhaps * minimum ' 
is a term less liable to misunderstanding than norm. Strip 
away all the accretions of convention, tradition, and social 
existence, and what is left is Kara yvaiv. To take a modern 

1 id., ib. 41. 2 id., ib. 35. 3 id., ib. 63. 

4 id., ib. 71. 5 Gesch. des. Hell., ii. 103. 



32 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

analogy, a Commission of eminent doctors have recently 
determined the minimum income on which a single man can 
support life ; if their findings, X/- per week, can be regarded 
as irreducible, then such a standard of living is in the Cynic 
sense Kara, cpvaw. It is the ofi ovx &vev applied to human 
affairs. Hence Diogenes' constant endeavour to reduce his 
wants to the * natural ' standards ; hence appeals to the habits 
of primitive man and of animals, who may be supposed to have 
preserved that standard in its least corrupted form. We have 
already seen how Diogenes considered the ways of the mouse 
and was wise ; the sixth oration of Dio Chrysostom puts into 
his mouth several such appeals to the example of animals. 
They are at least in his spirit, though they cannot be proved 
to be derived from any of his writings, and a sample may be 
quoted : 

Thanks to their delicacy men live a more wretched life than animals. 
For apimals drink water, and eat plants, and mostly go naked the 
year through ; they never enter a house nor use fire ; yet unless 
they m^eet a violent end they live the span of life allotted by nature 
to their\ species. . , . There are those who say that man cannot 
live as do the other animals because his body is so delicate, and he 
is hairless, unlike many beasts, and unprotected by fur or feathers, 
and wit/nout a thick skin. Diogenes would retort that men are so 
frail by reason of their mode of life, for they shun heat and cold 
so fa.t as they can. Hairlessness is not of itself a disadvantage, he 
woufrd instance frogs and other animals, whose bodies are much 
softer than that of man . . . yet who in many instances live 
throughout the winter in the coldest water. 1 

T'hat ' life in accordance with nature ' brought happiness was 
'fiis inevitable contention ; reinforced by the usual ascetic 
argument that the ' very contemning of pleasure is in itself the 
greatest of pleasures '. Confronted with the pleasure of the 
life according to Diogenes, the reaction of Vhomme moyen 
sensual must have been like that of the Victorian country 
squire who, hearing of the somewhat insipid pleasures to be 
provided for his entertainment in the next world, remarked 
that he hoped he would be given grace to enjoy this sort of 
thing when he got there. But Diogenes had a recipe for the 
acquisition of grace it lay in cfcrwycrtc, * training ', in the 



1 Dio Chrys., Or., vi. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 33 

stricter sense of the word. ' Nothing in life ', he maintained, 
' can be brought to a successful issue without training, but 
that alone is capable of overcoming everything.' l Hence he 
used to roll in hot sand in summer and in snow in winter, 
using every means of inuring himself to hardship (navra^oQev 
lavrov ovvaaKQjv).* The theory of aaxrjau; is expounded 
in more detail in the doxographical section of the Laertian 
biography. 

He would affirm that training is of two kinds, mental and physical ; 
the latter being that whereby, with constant exercise, perceptions 
are formed such as secure freedom of movement for virtuous deeds ; 
and one half of this training is incomplete without the other, good 
health and strength being equally included among the essential 
things for the soul as for the body. 3 

The whole passage is technical to a degree one does not associate 
with Diogenes ; von Fritz thinks that it comes from one of 
the Stoic compilations fostered on to him. But it can be 
shown, that the theory of sensation and the dependent theory 
of education were known in the fourth century : that the 
interdependence of mental and gymnastic training was a 
doctrine current in the circle of Diogenes : that Diogenes and 
the contemporary Cynics would borrow scientific terms when 
convenient. The inference is that, though the theories in the 
passage cannot have been the inventions of Diogenes, they 
may well have been expounded in his writings. 4 

Stobaeus 5 shows how Diogenes allegorized the story of 
Medea (presumably in the ' tragedy ' of that name) to exemplify 
the virtues of 



Diogenes said the Medea was a cro<p?/, and not a sorceress. For she 
took over flabby men, whose physique had been ruined by luxury, 
and by making them toil at gymnastic exercises and by sweat-baths, 
she made them strong and healthy again. Hence arose the legend 
that she boiled their flesh and made them into young men. 

This insistence on aam]Oi(; and novoQ in education was of 
course no new thing in Greece. For three hundred years the 
young Spartans had been brought up on an emnovot; aaxqaig 
which revolted the taste of Athens * we live at our ease, yet 

1 D.L., vi. 71. 2 id., ib. 23. 8 Hicks* translation. 

4 See Appendix II. 5 Flor., xxix. 92. 

4 



34 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

we are ready to face the same dangers that they do/ 1 Hence 
it is not surprising to find stories which show Diogenes as 
an admirer of Sparta. * Where have you seen good men, 
Diogenes ? ' he was asked. * Good men nowhere/ was the 
answer, * but I have seen good boys at Sparta. ' 2 So too 
asked, on his way from Sparta to Athens, whence and whither 
he was going, he replied, ' From the men's apartments to the 
women's/ 3 It was an admiration sometimes shared by Plato, 
though elsewhere, particularly in the Laws, he criticizes the 
Spartans for organizing their state for war as the be-all and 
end-all, and Spartan education for only teaching one aspect 
of virtue, namely courage, and only the less difficult parts of 
that. But it is in Aristotle 4 that we find philo-Laconism 
most explicitly condemned as obsolete. 

The Spartans brutalize their children by their laborious exercises, 
and do not attain their object, which is to make them virtuous. 
When they alone were assiduous in their drill, they were superior 
to others, but now they are beaten both in war and in the gym- 
nasium. . . . We should judge the Spartans, not from what they 
were, but from what they are ; for now they have rivals who 
compete with them : formerly they had none. 

But Diogenes' approval was presumably only of the method 
of Spartan education. At Sparta more than any other city of 
the Greek world, the State dominated the individual. Even 
the Athens of the fourth century, which all the efforts of 
Demosthenes failed to galvanize into its old political zest, 
seemed too narrow to the devotee of avrdqueia ; assuredly 
there was no place for the citizen of the world at Sparta. For 
the cosmopolitanism of Diogenes does seem to have been a 
new phenomenon. It is of course a truism to say that the 
fourth century was an age when men felt the city-state 
cramping : there had been amalgamations, federations, a 
growing sense, as in Lysias and Isocrates, of the unity of the 
Hellenic race : there had also been such sympathetic observers 
of the * barbarian ' as Xenophon. But the cosmopolitanism 
of Diogenes was not the well-travelled man's interest in alien 
cultures, like that of Herodotus, but rather a reaction against 
every kind of coercion imposed by the community on the 

1 Thuc., ii. 39. I. 2 D.L., vi. 27. 8 id., ib. 59. 

4 Politics, 13386, 20. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 35 

individual. c The only true commonwealth ', he maintained, 
' is that which is as wide as the universe.' * Again, asked 
whence he came, he replied with the famous word xoafjionohitris, 

* I am a citizen of the world/ 2 It is essential not to read too 
much into this profession. For us ' cosmopolitanism ' as a 
conception carries an emotional colour which is the legacy of 
Alexander, transmitted through the Roman Empire and the 
Catholic Church. But as Tarn 3 says, the phrase as used by 
Diogenes was one of negation, meaning, * I am not a citizen 
of any of your Greek cities. ' Because he happened to enunciate 
it at a period when Alexander was in fact trying to set up the 
first * international state ', a great deal of speculation has grown 
up about the possibility of Cynic influence on the great con- 
queror. Such speculation generally makes much of the fact 
that on Alexander's staff were two men who ' heard ' Diogenes, 
Onesicratus and Anaximenes. Of itself this does not seem 
convincing ; Alexander was not a man who took the advice of 
others, either on military or political points ; and if he had 
neglected the political ideas of the great Aristotle he was not 
likely to attach much weight to those of two admirers of a 
notorious eccentric of the Athenian streets. And in fact we 
find no trace in Diogenes of those two great ideas which are 
the pivots of Alexander's system the Brotherhood of Man 
and the King as Living Law. Tarn shows that the conception 
of the Brotherhood of Man in all probability originated with 
Alexander, and is in direct contrast with the ' cosmopolitanism ' 
of the Cynics and early Stoics. When, a few years after the 
death of Alexander, Alexarchus set up on Mt. Athos his little 

* world-state ' of Ouranopolis, with its coinage on which the 
King and his consort were symbolized by the sun and moon, 
the citizens by the stars ; when Demetrius Poliorcetes wore a 
robe on which were figured the hosts of heaven : they were 
reflecting the conception that the universe is a common city 
of gods and men. For Zeno, as Tarn says, it was a common 
city of gods and wise men ; that this was true of Diogenes 
seems likely from his contention that * all things are the property 
of the wise : for all things belong to the gods, the gods are 
friends to the wise : friends share all property in common : 

1 D.L., vi. 72. 2 id., ib. 63. 

8 * Alexander the Great and the Brotherhood of Man ', Proceedings 
of the British Academy y xix, 1932. 



36 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

therefore all things are the property of the wise. ' * Between the 
oocp6$ and the rest of the world a deep gulf is fixed ; and only 
the aocpoc; is a member of the ogOr] nohrela ev Koajjia). We 
have no early evidence that Diogenes was interested in king- 
ship ; the ooyoq being sufficient unto himself would need no 
overseer. It is only the literary Diogenes who appears, as in 
Dio Chrysostom, as the monitor of Alexander. The historical 
Diogenes is better reflected in the story of how, on hearing 
that the Athenians had given Alexander the title of Dionysus, 
he remarked, * Well, you'd better make me Serapis.' 2 

All the best evidence for Diogenes emphasizes his insistence 
on the avTaqxeia (self-sufficiency) of the individual. Philo- 
demus, who attacks Cynic doctrines which mostly seem to 
derive from the Politeia of Diogenes, says that * they [the 
Cynics] attach no validity to any of the cities we know, nor to 
any law '. 3 Cronert 4 mistakenly contrasts this with a passage 
from the doxographical portion of Diogenes Laertius. 

As to law : he would say that it is impossible for a society to exist 
without law. For without a city no benefit can be derived from 
that which is civilized : the city is civilized (darelov) : there is no 
benefit in law without a city : therefore the law is something 
civilized. 3 

But as von Fritz 6 shows, there is no conflict between the 
views if we remember that for Diogenes TO nofareveaOcu and 
to doreiov were not desiderata, since they were not xard 
tpvoiv. ' The privilege of the gods is to want nothing, and 
of those like the gods to want but little.' 7 

We can only get a disjointed idea of the other doctrines 
developed in the Republic. Philodemus says that Diogenes 
there discussed the uselessness of weapons, and agrees with 
Athenaeus 8 that he advocated a bone currency. It seems 
almost certain that the Republic of Diogenes, like that of Plato, 
dealt with the position of women. They were to wear the 
same dress as men, and to exercise nude in public, as at 
Sparta ; 9 they were to be held in common. * The only mar- 
riage he recognized was the union of the man who per- 

1 D.L., vi. 72. 2 id., ib. 63. 3 Here. Pap., 339. 

4 op. cit., p. 65, n. 318. 6 D.L., vi. 72. 

6 op. cit., p. 59 seq. 7 D.L., vi. 104. 8 iv. I59C. 

9 Here. Pap., No. 339, Col. ix. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 37 

suades with the woman who lets herself be persuaded. And 
for this reason he thought that children should be held in 
common/ l If Philodemus is throughout drawing on the 
writings of Diogenes, we gather that intercourse was to be 
permitted without restriction of place, person, or sex. 2 It 
goes without saying that all distinctions of rank and birth 
were to be abolished. Such appears to have been the * ideal 
state ' of Diogenes. That it might be realized he carried on a 
violent opposition, not merely to the customs and conventions, 
but to the ordinary business of existing communities. 

He would praise those who were about to marry and refrained, 
those who intended to go on a voyage and never set sail, those who 
thinking to engage in politics do no such thing, those also who 
purporting to raise a family do not do so, and those who make 
ready to associate with tyrants and yet never approach them 
after all. 3 

It is the extreme of individualism. To call it a political system 
at all is doubtless a contradiction, unless we are prepared to 
admit with Blake the possibility of a benevolent anarchy. 

It would be an exaggeration to speak of any Cynic ' school ' 
in the regular sense of organized teaching and a common 
body of doctrine. But Diogenes must have been a familiar 
figure to every Athenian of his time : and no doubt many 
persons listened to his discourses, if only out of curiosity. 
* He was heard by Phocion the Honest and Stilpo of Megara 
and many other political personages/ says Diogenes Laertius ; 
with them may be counted Onesicratus of Astypalaea, who 
was to play a not undistinguished part in the expedition 
of Alexander. But in addition Diogenes does seem to have 
gathered round himself a circle of disciples, who practised 
the way of life he proclaimed. The circle was probably not 
large ; as Diogenes said, * He was a dog whom all admired, 
yet few dared go hunting with him. ' 4 Diogenes Laertius 5 
gives the names of some half-dozen persons who presumably 
belonged to this little group ; two of them seem to have 
had nicknames, from which one gathers that they were well- 
known eccentrics. By far the most famous was Crates of 
Thebes ; there were also Hegesias, from Diogenes* own city 

1 D.L., vi. 72. a Here. Pap., No. 339, Col. ix. 

5 D.L., vi. 29. 4 id., ib. 33. 6 id., ib. 84. 



38 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

of Sinope and perhaps a close attendant of Diogenes, for he 
was called * The Dog-collar ' (6 Khoioq], Philiscus of Aegina, 
Menander * a great admirer of Homer ', called, we are not 
told why, AQVfjtos (oakwood), Monimus of Syracuse, satirized 
by Menander as carrying not one wallet but three, and per- 
haps also Pasiphon and Androsthenes. What form Diogenes' 
' teaching ' took is fairly clear. Music, astronomy, geometry, 
dialectic, he had abandoned all ; J the discourses which he 
delivered with such great persuasiveness 2 were no doubt in- 
formal lectures on ethical subjects, enlivened by analogies from 
the crafts and from the habits of animals, and illustrated by 
quotations from Homer and the allegorical interpretation 
of myths. Such discourses were the spoken precursors of 
diatribe ; but that form of composition, later the best-known 
Cynic literary genre, does not seem to have been employed by 
Diogenes. The catalogues of his works given by Laertius 
comprise only ' dialogues ' and ' tragedies ' the latter being 
probably burlesque parodies, like the sixty * tragedies ' 3 attrib- 
uted to Timon of Phlius, and bearing more resemblance to 
the mime than to the drama proper. Parody and allegory 
were of course familiar enough before Diogenes, and he does 
not seem to have played any part in the development of those 
genres which we shall find typical of later Cynic literature. 

The influence of Diogenes during his own lifetime was 
probably not great. Though Theophrastus thought it worth 
while to write a book about him, the general attitude towards 
him was most likely one of amused tolerance. But he was 
to be of much greater significance in the succeeding century 
than in his own. The reason for this is symbolized, probably 
not intentionally, in one of the many stories about his death. 
The romance of Eubulus told how he was asked in what 
manner he wished to be buried. ' On my face,' he replied, 
and explained that in a short time down was going to be 
changed to up the reference is explained as being to the newly 
gained supremacy of Macedon. 4 ret xdro) avco OTQeq)oOai 
serves well as a description of the effects of the period of 
the Diadochi, when the old city-state, and the ideals for 
which it stood, long moribund, were finally buried. The 
civilization fostered by the noTw; had had many of the char- 

1 D.L., vi. 104. 2 id., ib. 76. 3 id., vii. no. 

4 id,, vi. 31. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 39 

acteristics of a hot-house plant ; but now the greenhouse 
was broken and the inmates exposed to the cold. Every- 
where the individual found himself confronting an unfriendly 
world, with no other refuge than his own resources could 
provide. Bevan attributes the sketchiness of Stoic physics 
to the sheer urgency of erecting some kind of defence to serve 
men in their bitter need one does not dig foundations in a 
hurricane. 1 Antisthenes had said that wisdom was the safest 
wall, and that a fortress must be constructed in our own im- 
pregnable reason. The metaphor of the fortress is frequently 
echoed in Hellenistic philosophy. Crates found the island 
of Pera, the Cynic Paradise, a safe refuge from a sea of 
troubles ; the city of Diogenes, he said, was impregnable 
before the attacks of Fortune. Fortune, Tyche, ruling deity 
of the Hellenistic world, was the hostile power against whom 
Philosophy now erected her castles. Designed by different 
builders, her fortresses varied in complexity ; the earliest and 
simplest of them all was that designed by Diogenes, and by 
him most stoutly garrisoned. 

(b) Diogenes' pupils : Onesicratus. 

6 One of Diogenes' distinguished pupils/ according to Dio- 
genes Laertius, was Onesicratus of Astypalaea. 2 His career 
was one of considerable interest. A great admirer of Diogenes, 
he later joined the expedition of Alexander, in which he 
played a not unimportant part, being the pilot of the King's 
ship, and chief navigating officer under Nearchus in the famous 
voyage through the Persian Gulf. On his return to Greece 
he wrote a work about Alexander, which Diogenes Laertius 
implies was modelled on the Cyropaedia of Xenophon. His 
book, we gather, was popular, and was seen by Aulus Gellius 
on the book-stalls of Brundisium, together with those of 
other romancers. Romance, indeed, appears to have been its 
chief ingredient ' all Alexander's companions ', says Strabo 
austerely, ' appear to have greater affection for fable than for 
fact, but the stories of Onesicratus cap them all.' Never- 
theless, Strabo cites him on the habits of the elephant, on 
the banyan tree, on the great whales of the Southern Ocean, 

1 Stoics and Sceptics, p. 32. 

2 Fragments and references in Jacoby, Frag, d. Griech, Hist., 134 
(1929). 



40 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

and on the far lands of Taprobane and Cathay. It is interest- 
ing to see how he represented a sect of Indian fakirs as so 
many Cynics, living the life of rcoVog, and holding beliefs 
about a vanished Golden Age. Cynic, too, is the way in 
which he writes of the simple virtues of savage races ; 

of the country of Mousicanus he writes at some length, praising it 
. . . saying that its inhabitants are known for their longevity (they 
attain an age of a hundred and thirty years), and for their simple 
and healthful life, despite the fact that their country offers abundance 
of every commodity. They have public organizations for meals, 
as do the Spartans. . . . They use neither gold nor silver, although 
mines exist in their country. Instead of slaves they use the young 
men in their prime, as do the Cretans with the Aphamiotae, and 
the Spartans with the Helots. They cultivate no science except 
that of medicine indeed, some Indian tribes consider highly 
developed skill in the art of war and kindred subjects as positively 
wicked. They have no laws except for the punishment of murder 
and insolence. . . . 

Onesicratus is not an important figure in the development 
of Cynicism. He himself did not lead the XVVMOC; (3lo<; ; 
yet more than any Cynic he was ' a wanderer over the face 
of the earth ' ; and in discovering Diogenes' doctrines on the 
banks of the Indus he shows how, in the minds of its admirers, 
Cynicism is already not a school of philosophy, but a way 
of life. 

(c) Monimus. 

In contrast with Onesicratus, Monimus of Syracuse appears 
to have been one of the small coterie who lived after the 
example of Diogenes. What little Diogenes Laertius says 
about him apparently derives from Sosicrates ; and as it 
makes use of the story of * the Sale of Diogenes ' is pre- 
sumably untrustworthy as to detail. But it may be true that 
Monimus was the slave of a Corinthian banker, who after 
being driven out by his master took to the Cynic life. He is 
said to have been a follower of Crates as well as Diogenes, 
and was mentioned by Menander in the Groom, (a) * There 
was once a certain Monimus, Philo, a wise man, but some- 
thing too paradoxical. 1 (Ph.) You mean the man who carried 

1 Allison thus renders ddo^oTSQog. Hicks translates * not so very 
famous '. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 41 

the Wallet ? (a) The wallet ? Rather three Wallets ! l Yet 
he never spake a word to match the saying " know thyself ", 
nor such familiar watchwords. No, the squalid mendi- 
cant surpassed them all, for he declared all human sup- 
position to be illusion (TO ydq vno^cpOev rvcpov elvcu ndv 
e<pri). From this illusory world Monimus turned to seek the 
truth (e^QiQ^araroq eyevsro. ware (5o'f?/c xaracpQovelv, n@6<; 
(5 J akr]0e(av naQOQ^dv). 9 Perhaps an indication of where he 
found truth is to be derived from the statement that he 
wrote two books nsql OQJLUDV ; which taken in connexion with 
the phrase nqcx; dfajOeiav na^oq^idv suggests that truth was to 
be found from the ' impulses ', or what we should call the 
* instincts '. That vofioq has no validity because it violates 
the natural instincts is one of the arguments used by Antiphon, 2 
4 The law has laid down for the eyes what they should see 
and what they should not, for the feet whither they should go 
and whither not. . . .' A transgression of the Law of Nature 
brings punishment, ov did dogav cLUa 61 dkrfleiav. That 
truth should be found through the instincts would obviously 
accord well with Diogenes' insistence on the life according to 
Nature ; but probably the very scanty evidence will not admit 
our being too definite in attributing this doctrine to Monimus. 
The other writings assigned to him by Diogenes Laertius 
are an Exhortation to Philosophy and some * humorous writings, 
blended with covert seriousness J (naiyvia anovdfj hefyOvta 
fjie/jLiy^va). This last term can cover a wide range of com- 
positions, as is clear from the works of Crates, which con- 
tained parodies of Homer, of elegiac verse, of hymns, and of 
tragedy. TO anovdaioyehoiov 3 was of course the distinguish- 
ing mark of Cynic literature ; Demetrius 4 says, * The moralists 
often employ humorous forms of composition on suitable 
occasions, as at festivals or banquets, and in attacks on luxury. 
. . . Such is the manner of Cynic literature/ An example 
of these yva>/mi is quoted by Stobaeus : 5 ' Monimus said 
that it was better to lack sight than education. For under one 
affliction you fall to the ground, in the other deep under- 
ground (rov juev yd@ &!<; rov fidOgov, TOV <5' ei<; TO 



1 Whence Allison deduces that he was a hunchback and also had 
a paunch ! More likely the point is that he was greedy. 

2 Ox. Pap., 1364, Vol. xi. 

3 Strabo, xvi. 759. * Dem., de. el. 170. 5 ii. 13. 88. 



42 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 



The diatribe was probably not to be found 
among the naiyvia of Monimus ; but in the absence of 
references little can be said about his works. They do not 
seem to have had a great reputation, and it is significant 
that there are no allusions to him in the remains of Teles. 

(d) Crates. 

A figure of far greater importance in the story of Cynicism 
is that of Crates of Thebes. By later writers he was classed 
with Antisthenes and Diogenes as the Cynics par excellence ; in 
his own day he was referred to in the comedies of Menander 
and Philemon, and apparently introduced as a character by 
Antiphanes ; Zeno collected and published his apophthegms in a 
work which is probably the source of most later anecdotes ; 
he is referred to several times in the extant fragments of 
Teles. Plutarch, always interested in any famous Boeotian, 
wrote his biography, which apparently served as a source 
for the references in the sixth oration of Julian. There are 
allusions in Seneca, Epictetus, Athenaeus, Marcus Aurelius, 
Demetrius, Gregory Nazianzen, and Origen. Finally there 
is the biography by Diogenes Laertius, which quotes Zeno, 
Menander, Eratosthenes, Diocles, Demetrius of Magnesia 
Antisthenes of Rhodes, Hippobotus and Favorinus. Crates 
played a greater part than Diogenes in the development of 
Cynic literary genres, and the fragments l of his work which 
survive are extensive enough to give the impression of a high 
order of talent, particularly in the use of parody. 

The evidence for the chronology and the events of his 
life is scanty. He appears to have been a whole generation 
younger than Diogenes, for his * floruit ' is given as the H3th 
Olympiad (328-325), 2 in which Diogenes was an old man. 
Tradition agrees that he was originally a man of wealth, but 
renounced his possessions to take up the life of a Cynic. 
Details of this renunciation vary ; the Cynic tradition is per- 
haps that preserved by Diocles, 3 who says that on the advice 
of Diogenes he gave up his farms to sheep-pastures, and 
threw his money into the sea. If any trust may be placed 
in the stories which show him already a Cynic at the time 
of the destruction of Thebes by Alexander in 3 3 5, 4 we could 

1 Collected by Diels in Frag. Poet. Phil. Grace, Vol. i (1901). 

2 D.L., vi. 87. 3 id., ib. 87. 4 id., ib. 93. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 43 

infer that he came under the influence of Diogenes between 
340-335. The rest of his life seems to have been spent mainly 
in Athens. The account of his association with Zeno, and 
with Demetrius of Phalerum after his fall in 30*7 y l suggests that 
he lived through the last decade of the fourth century ; and 
since he appears to have died in old age his death can hardly 
have taken place much before 290. It is said that he was 
buried in Boeotia. 

If Diogenes is regarded as the embodiment of avrdqKeia 
Crates may stand for that of (pihavOgcoma, variously sym- 
bolized in the conceptions of the Cynic as the Watchdog, as 
Doctor, or as Scout, working in the interests of humanity. 
' He would go into any house J , says Plutarch, 2 ' and they 
would receive him gladly and with honour, and hence he was 
nicknamed the Door-Opener (0vQenavolxT?]c;), y * It was he ', 
according to Julian, 3 ' who was the originator of the noble 
doctrines of Zeno.' And they say that on his account the 
Greeks would write over their doorways * Entry for Crates, 
the Good Genius '. 4 Apuleius is more explicit. 

Crates, the follower of Diogenes, whom the Athenians of his time 
revered as a household deity (lar familiaris). No house was ever 
barred against him ; however private the rooms of the head of the 
family, Crates would enter it, and that most opportunely, for he 
was the umpire and arbiter of all family disputes and quarrels. 
Poets speak of the hero Heracles, and how by his valour he over- 
threw wild animals, monsters, and giants, and rid the earth of 
them ; our philosopher was in truth a very Heracles in contending 
against Anger, Envy, Greed, Lust, and other plagues and evils of 
the human soul. Of such pests would he free men's minds. . . . 

It is the familiar comparison, so dear to the Cynics them- 
selves, and which Lucian uses of Diogenes. ' Like Heracles, 
I march and fight against lusts. ... I am the deliverer of 
mankind and the healer of their woes/ But the methods of 
Diogenes were harsh : * Other dogs ', he would say, * bite 
their enemies, I bite my friends, for their salvation.' The 
nature of Crates was much more genial ; possibly because he 
had not suffered injustice as had been the lot of Diogenes. 
' He passed his whole life jesting and laughing, as though 

1 Plut., de. adul. et amic. 2 id., qu. con., ii. i. 6. 

3 Or., vi. zooB. 4 ayaB^ daipovi, obelized in Teubner text. 



44 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

on perpetual holiday,' * says Plutarch his very reproofs were 
delivered not with bitterness, but with kindliness a kindli- 
ness which on one occasion pleasantly surprised Demetrius of 
Phalerum. 

We are less dependent on secondary sources for an esti- 
mate of Crates than was the case with either Antisthenes or 
Diogenes ; his teaching can be deduced from the extant frag- 
ments of his own writings. Its lesson was that of a simple, 
practical asceticism. * Prefer not the oyster to the lentil, 
to bring us to confusion,' runs fragment 6 ; the moral is, as 
Plutarch explains, * that luxury and extravagance are not the 
least of the causes which produce revolution and tyranny in 
cities '. Simplicity and Good Judgement must replace Luxury 
and Extravagance ' Hail, Lady Mistress, the delight of the 
wise, Simplicity, offspring of famed Prudence, those who 
pursue the path of Justice honour thy virtue. ' 2 But asceticism, 
and even philosophy, are not ends in themselves. They are 
means to the supreme end, which is of course evdaiftovla, 
or what was synonymous to the Cynic, dndOeca. Philosophy 
should be pursued till we realize the worthlessness of d6a and 
Ti/utf, which are both rvcpoq (illusion). Through asceticism 
and * philosophy ' we may come to * the island of Pera ', the 
Cynic paradise described in perhaps the best-known fragment 
of Crates. 

Fr. 4. 5. 6. (Diels) 

There is a city, Pera, in the midst of the wine-coloured sea of 
T#9?o, a fair and fruitful it is, and exceeding squalid/ owning 
naught. Thither sails no fool nor parasite, no lecher whose delight 
is in harlots, but it beareth thyme y and garlic, figs and loaves. For 
such men fight not against each other, nor yet do they take up arms 
for petty gain, nor for glory. . . . [fr. 5]. Free they are [i.e. the 
inhabitants of Pera] from Lust the enslaver of men, they are unbent 
by it : rather do they delight in Freedom, and immortal Basileia $ 
. . . [fr. 6]. She ruleth their hearts and rejoiceth in her own 
possessions, no slave is she to gold nor to the wasting desires of 
Love, nor to aught that has to do with Wantonness. 3 

Such were the amenities of the island of Pera ; less lyrical 
is fragment 12, ' thou knowest not what power the wallet brings, 
and a quart of lupins, and caring for naught '. The philoso- 

1 de. an. tranq., 4. 226E. 2 Fr. 

3 See Note 8 to Chap. II. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 45 

phers of the schools were lost in rv(po$. ' rvcpoi; \ says Marcus 
Aurelius, 1 * is a great deceiver ; it especially bewitches you 
just when you think you are making headway on worthy 
matters. For consider what Crates says about Xenocrates 
himself ' presumably an allusion to the rvcpoi; of the master 
of the Academy, though the remark is not quoted. On the 
authority of Zeno, 2 we are told how 

Crates was once sitting in a cobbler's shop reading aloud the 
Protrepticus of Aristotle, which was written for Themison, the king 
of Cyprus. Aristotle there says that no one possessed better 
qualifications for philosophy than Themison, for he had ample 
wealth to expend on it, and a great reputation as well. While 
Crates was reading the cobbler listened attentively and at the same 
time continued stitching, and Crates remarked to him, ' Philiscus, 
I think I must write an " Exhortation to philosophy J> for you, for 
I see you are better qualified than the man to whom Aristotle 
dedicated his book.' 

Fragments i and 2 are an attack on the Megarians. 

(i) Yes, and Stilpo too I saw, suffering bitter woes, in Megara, a 
where they say is the bed of Typhon. Endlessly did he dispute, 
and many a comrade was round him. They wasted time in the 
verbal pursuit of Virtue. ^ ... (2) and I saw Asclepiades the 
Pheliasian and the bull of Eretria (Menedemus). 3 

A passage of Teles 4 attributes to Crates an attack on Hedonist 
doctrines which is interesting both in its content and as a good 
example of the lively style of Cynic moralizing : 

If we must judge the happy life [says Crates] by a favourable 
balance of pleasures, then no man will be truly happy. For if you 
choose to consider the several stages of a man's life, you will readily 
see that there is an overwhelming preponderance of pain. First 
of all, half of our entire life, the portion spent in sleep, is indifferent. 
Then the first stage, that of infancy, is exceedingly trying. The 
child is hungry, and the nurse tries to rock it to sleep ; it is thirsty, 
and she washes it : it would like to go to sleep, but she makes a 
row with the rattle. Should it escape the nurse, it gets into the 
hands of the tutor, the trainer, the schoolmaster, the music master, 
the painter. Advance a stage, and up comes the teacher of mathe- 

1 vi. 13. 2 Apud Strabo, 95, 21. 

3 See Note 9 to Chap. II. 4 Hense, p. 38, 3. 



46 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

matics, the geometrician, the riding-master ; the boy has to be up 
with the dawn, never a moment's spare time. And now he is an 
eplxebos : now he goes in fear of the prefect, the trainer, the drill- 
sergeant, the master of the gymnasium, by all of whom he is beaten, 
bullied and hustled about. If there are watches to be kept the 
ephebi must keep them : if there are guard-duties they perform 
them : if there are transport operations, they must embark on 
them. Now the youth has come to man's estate, he is in his prime. 
He goes on military expeditions and embassies on behalf of the 
State : engages in political life, is strategus, choregus, agonothetus. 
He lauds the days when he was a boy. Time goes on, he comes 
to be an old man. Once more the attendant lies in wait for him : 
he longs for his youth : quotes Euripides, ' Youth is ever sweet to 
me, Old Age lieth heavier than Etna.' So I can't see how anyone 
can live a happy life, if one is to judge from the criterion of a 
favourable balance of pleasures. 1 

The diatribe of Teles which uses this passage is entitled negi 
TOV //?) elvat, reA,o<; rjdovtfv. A work of Chrysippus on the 
same subject is thought to have been an attack on Epicurus ; 
but from the nature of the hedonist doctrines here assailed it 
seems likely that we have to deal with the views attributed in 
Diogenes Laertius to Aristippus. As has been said, the * end ' 
for the Cynics was evdai^ovia^ which is equated with 
avTaQxeia. Aristippus 2 substituted for this that rjdovrj against 
which Diogenes had marched ' like another Heracles '. De- 
throned from the position of TO r^Aog, evdai^ovia was defined 
by Aristippus in a way which was most repugnant to the 
Cynics. The end being the * individual * pleasure (rj Kara 
/LieQot; rjdovrj) evdai^ovia is the sum-total of all ' individual ' 
pleasures, in which are included pleasures both of the past and 
of the future. Further, evdaijuovla is desirable not for its 
own sake, but for the sake of the particular pleasures. This 
doctrine was attacked on similar grounds by Hegesias. His 
followers 

denied the possibility of happiness [i.e. as defined by Aristippus], 
for the body is afflicted with much suffering, in which the soul 
shares and is thereby disturbed. Moreover, expectations are 
frequently upset by Fortune. From all of which it follows that 
happiness cannot be attained. 3 

1 See Note 10 to Chap. II. a D.L., ii. 87, 88. 

8 id., ib. 93, 94, 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 47 

Cicero l says that in a book of Hegesias entitled " AnoxaQregtiv 
the story is narrated of a man who was committing suicide 
by fasting, and who, when his friends tried to dissuade him, 
replied by enumerating the evils of life (vitae humanae 
enumerat incommoda). The controversy is reflected in two 
epigrams of the Anthology,* in which the * evils of life ' 
are set out by Posidippus, and the good things of life by 
Metrodorus. 

The standards of the ordinary man were of course no less 
afflicted with rv<po$ than those of the dogmatists. ' He used 
to say that it is impossible to find anybody wholly free from 
flaws ; but, as in a pomegranate, one of the seeds is always 
going bad/ 3 Popular standards of values were satirized in the 

* famous day-book ' (rj ecprn^sQiQ ry Ogv^ov/tevr]) : 4 apparently 
an ironic picture of a wealthy man's account-book. 

* Set aside ten minas for a chef, a drachma for the doctor. 
Five talents for a flatterer, for council smoke. A talent for 
a whore, three obols for a philosopher/ 

In strong contrast to these distorted standards were the 

* natural ' values of the KVVIKOQ /9tog. The simplicity and 
frugality of Crates' own life are attested by the fragments of 
his work as well as the evidence of his follower Metrocles. 
' Gather lentils and beans, my friend ; if you do this you will 
readily set up a trophy of victory over Want and Poverty.' 5 
Elsewhere Poverty appears as the friend rather than the 
enemy. ' I am a citizen of the lands of Obscurity and Poverty, 
impregnable to Fortune, a fellow-citizen of Diogenes.' a 
Satisfied with his quart of lupins, he could care for naught. 
Though deformed and a hunchback, he appears to have prac- 
tised the aaM]ai<; of gymnastics which Diogenes so empha- 
sized. 7 In a passage of Teles Metrocles contrasts the expensive 
life of a student at the Academy or under Theophrastus with 
the simplicity of a disciple of Crates. 

Metrocles says, that when he studied under Theophrastus and 
Xenocrates, though he had a liberal allowance from home, he was 
actually afraid of starvation, and was constantly in a state of want 
and penury. But when he transferred to Crates, he could have 

1 Tusc., i. 83. 2 ix. 359, 360. 8 D.L., vi. 89. 

4 id., ib. 85. 6 Fr. 7. c D.L., vi. 93. 

7 id., ib. 92. 



48 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

maintained a second person besides himself without any allowance. 
For formerly it was essential to have sandals ... a cloak, a retinue 
of servants, a well-furnished household, to contribute to the common 
table fine wheaten bread, dainties above the common level, sweet 
wine, and to furnish the entertainments which came his way. 
Such a mode of life was there considered liberal. But when he 
changed over to become a follower of Crates there was none of that. 
Living on a much simpler scale he was satisfied with a rough coat 
and barley-bread and common herbs, and felt neither regret for 
his former mode of life nor dissatisfaction with that of the present. 
... If he wished to anoint himself, he would go into the baths 
and use oil-lees ; sometimes too he would go to the furnaces of the 
smithies, roast a sprat, mix a little oil, and sit down and make his 
breakfast. In summer he would sleep in the temples, in winter 
in the baths. Yet there was none of his previous want or penury, 
he had sufficient for his circumstances, and felt no desire for 
attendants. 

Yet there are not wanting indications that with Crates the 
austerity of Diogenes was to some extent relaxed. It is note- 
worthy that no anecdotes portray him as a beggar : possibly 
he had not renounced all his wealth. One account, quoted 
from Demetrius of Magnesia, says that he deposited his money 
with bankers to be paid to his sons if they were ordinary men 
(idia)Tai)j but to be distributed among the people if they became 
philosophers, for then they would want nothing. Now we 
have the authority of Eratosthenes for the statement that his 
son, Pasicles, went through the ephebate, and as he is not 
mentioned as a disciple of Crates, it is possible that as an 
' ordinary man ' he claimed his legacy. No doubt the genial 
nature of Crates himself is mainly responsible for the relaxing 
of the rigid standards of Diogenes which appears in fragment 
10, the parody of the prayer of Solon. 

Muses of Pieria, fair children of Olympian Zeus and of Memory, 
hearken to my prayer. Give me food day by day for my stomach, 
but give it without slavery, which makes life poor indeed. . . . 
May I be rather useful than agreeable to my friends. Little desire 
have I for famous riches : no craving do I feel for the wealth of 
the Beetle, nor the substance of the Ant. But I wish to attain a 
portion in Justice, and to amass such wealth as may easily be borne, 
is easily acquired, and precious for Virtue. If I may attain to this, 
I will worship Hermes and the holy Muses, not with costly offerings, 
but with pious deeds. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 49 

A passage of Teles * seems to suggest that Crates did not 
insist on complete renunciation of wealth from his followers. 

Crates replied as follows to the question, ' What shall it profit me 
to become a philosopher ? ' * You will be able to open your purse 
readily and to dip your hand therein, not as now, fumbling and 
hesitating and trembling, like a paralytic. With equanimity you 
"will see it full, and without regret empty, you will be equipped to 
employ money readily when prosperous ; but if penniless, you will 
not be harassed by longings for it. Your life will be one adapted 
to meet the situation, with no cravings for what you do not possess, 
and undisturbed by the vicissitudes of chance.' 

Probably such lessons were meant for the wider circle of the 
hearers of Cynic discourse rather than for the devotees of the 
Cynic life. Nevertheless, the attitude suggests, rather than the 
austerity which Diogenes undeviatingly maintained to the end 
of his life, the remark of Aristippus on his association with 
Lais. 2 * I have Lais, not she me : it is not abstinence from 
Pleasure which is best, but to master it without being 
worsted/ 

Through his association with Metrocles Crates was drawn 
into a relationship which caused great amazement in antiquity 
his xvvoya/Ala 3 with Hipparchia. The marriage seems to 
have been a historical fact ; it is mentioned by Diogenes 
Laertius, Suidas, and Apuleius in almost identical terms, 
which suggests that their accounts are based on a common 
source. This would not in itself be valuable evidence, but 
there is also a quotation from the Didumi of Menander, an 
epigram on Hipparchia by Antipater of Sidon, and a very 
striking passage of Epictetus. Exactly how the marriage came 
about we do not know. Probably Metrocles sent word to his 
family in Maroneia of how much happier he was as the follower 
of Crates than as a student at the great schools, perhaps he 
warmly eulogized his new master. But at any rate his sister 
Hipparchia, whose name suggests that she was of good family, 
fell violently in love with Crates, refused to consider her 
younger and more eligible suitors, and threatened to commit 
suicide unless she were allowed to marry him. To judge from 
the evidence of literature, young women were seldom so 
strong-minded in Greece. The idea that * Virtue is the same 

1 Hense, p. 28, 5. 2 D.L., ii. 75. 3 See Appendix III. 
5 



Jo A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

for women as for men ' admittedly goes back to Socrates, it 
was adopted by Antisthenes, and developed by Plato in the 
Republic. As we have seen, Diogenes proclaimed that there 
should be no distinction of dress between the sexes, and that 
women should conduct their athletic exercises in public just 
as men did. But the theory had never been put in practice 
so literally as was now proposed by Hipparchia. The girl's 
parents appealed to Crates to dissuade her ; ' he did all he 
could, and finally failing to convince her, got up, took off his 
clothes in front of her, and said : " This is the bridegroom, 
here are his possessions ; now make your choice. You will 
never be a helpmeet of mine, unless you share my pursuits/' * 
This final argument failed, and Hipparchia had her way. A 
precise date for this marriage cannot be determined. Since 
Metrocles studied at the Lyceum under Theophrastus before 
he became a Cynic, it must have been some time later than 
323, when Theophrastus became head of the Peripatetic School. 
The only other evidence is that of Menander : a fragment of 
the Didumi speaks of Crates having a daughter of marriage- 
able age. Menander died c. 291 ; of the date of the Didumi 
nothing is known. But from the nature of the reference the 
marriage of Crates and Hipparchia must have taken place 
some fifteen years or more before the production of the play, 
i.e. probably earlier than 310. The evidence thus points to 
some time in the decade following 320 as the date for the 



Hipparchia became a famous figure, ' she was nicknamed 
" the female philosopher ",' says Diogenes Laertius, ' and 
countless stories were told about her/ She was not the first 
woman who had adopted philosophy : one thinks immediately 
of Aspasia and her famous ' Salon ' : we also hear of two 
women, Lastheneia of Mantinea and Axiotheia of Phlious, as 
being pupils at the Academy. Aristippus, too, is said to have 
instructed his daughter in the hedonist doctrines. The fame 
of Hipparchia is to be explained partly by the constancy with 
which she adhered to the Cynic asceticism, * she went every- 
where with Crates, wearing the Cynic garb ', partly by the 
opportunities Cynic sexual morality gave to the inventors of 
scabrous stories. It is worth noting that lurid stories of the 
nuptials of Crates and Hipparchia appear only in Apuleius : 
they are absent from the earlier accounts. They may there- 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 51 

fore be dismissed with great probability as inventions, 
Hipparchia being chosen as a stock figure on which to fasten 
examples of dvaldeia. A more curious and interesting com- 
ment on the marriage is that made by Epictetus. 1 In the 
essay ' On the Calling of the Cynic ' it is maintained that in 
the present order of things the Cynic will not marry or rear 
children, for that will interfere with his duties as the messenger, 
the scout, the herald of the gods that he is. If he marries 

he must get a kettle to heat water for the baby . . . wool for his 
wife . . . oil, a cot, a cup, and many other pieces of crockery. . . . 
What then will become of the King, whose duty it is to be overseer 
over the rest of mankind who have married ; who have had 
children : who is treating his wife well, who ill : who quarrels : 
which house stands firm, which does not ; making his round like 
a physician feeling pulses. See to what straits we are reducing 
our Cynic, how we are taking his kingdom away from him. 

* Yes,' comes the objection, * but Crates married ' Crates the 
lar familiaris, the public consultant, the best example of this 
kind of labour in the interests of humanity. The answer is 
very odd. 

You are mentioning an instance of passionate love : besides, you 
are assuming another Crates in the person of the woman. Our 
inquiry is concerned with ordinary marriage, apart from special 
circumstances : which from our standpoint do not at present seem 
to concern the philosopher. 

Similar language is used by Diogenes Laertius. 

She fell passionately in love with Crates' discourses and ways of 
life (rJQa KQarrjTos xal r&v hoywv xal TOV fllov) . . . she threatened 
to commit suicide unless she were given in marriage to him. To 
her Crates was everything ... he tried to dissuade her, but her 
sincerity overcame him. 2 

It is another instance of Greek feeling of helplessness in the 
face of passionate love ; "Eqax; av MOLTS [td%av, unconquerable 
even by the Cynics, who can only offer as palliatives Hunger 
and Time ; if these fail, the only course is to use the Rope. 
Physical intercourse would have been perfectly in accord with 
Cynic sexual morality ; if Diogenes had permitted tor neioavra 

1 iii. 22, 76. 2 D.L., vi. 96. 



52 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

tr\ neioQelofl avvelvai, why should not the roles of the sexes 
equally well have been reversed ? It was the element of 
passion in the marriage, and its permanence that astounded 
the Greeks. ' She even went out to dinner with Crates * 
a thing only done, to use the Victorian phrase, by women 
of a certain class. naqa^aQarmv to vo^iv^a, the slogan of 
Diogenes, was followed by Crates and Hipparchia not only in 
their marriage, but also in the education of their children. 
According to Menander, Crates himself claimed that * he gave 
his daughter in marriage for a month on trial ' ; and on the 
authority of Eratosthenes we learn that he took his son Pasicles 
into a brothel and said, ' That is how your father married.' 
The marriage of Hipparchia and Crates affords one of the 
strangest and most interesting examples of Greek sexual 
morality. 

Of Crates' influence on philosophy through his association 
w jt]i Zeno, and on literature through the part he played in 
the development of Cynic genres, we shall have occasion to 
speaif later. But in one direction it is hard to evaluate his 
influejf 106 > I mean his services as a * public consultant ' to the 
Atheni| an people. In the latter half of the fifth century the 
ordinarY man at Athens was to a remarkable degree thrown 
on his- own resources in the conduct of his affairs. The laws 
of th^ State, of course, laid down certain limits which could 
not toe transgressed without punishment ; but in that very 
imp ortant section of human affairs which does not come within 
the/ province of the law, but on which happiness so largely 
d^{>ends, the average man had no guide. Religion could 
satisfy his craving for ritual in the State ceremonies, or provide 
emotional stimulus in the Mystery Cults, but it gave no advice 
on the conduct of his everyday affairs. The two great schools 
of Philosophy, the Academy and the Peripatetics, were scholarly 
and scientific in spirit, dominated by the Platonic conception 
ddvvarov nA.fjOo<; <pMao<pov etvai ; Theophrastus warned his 
pupils that the mastery of his doctrines would demand a world 
of labour. For his recurrent problems, so trivial in the general 
scheme of things, so important to him, the ordinary man could 
derive about as much help from them as could his modern 
equivalent from the Cavendish Laboratory. For help he had 
to have recourse to oracles or the interpretation of dreams, or 
to the advice of his friends (it is interesting to see how ancient 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 53 

discussions of friendship always insist that to give helpful 
advice is the most important function of a friend). But oracles 
were sometimes expensive and generally ambiguous ; while 
probably your friends often knew little more than you did 
yourself. The value of advice from a man like Crates, himself 
detached from the ordinary business of life, would be that it 
was impartial, clear, and related to a known standard of values. 
We may picture him doing much what Socrates is made to do 
in the Memorabilia, preaching the virtues of agreement between 
brothers, pointing out the advantages of self-control to those 
who seemed much in need of it. Philosophy brought to the 
masses inevitably differed from the Philosophy of Plato and 
Aristotle ; from the noble quest to satisfy the curiosity of the 
intellect it has descended to become Daily Strength for Daily 
Needs. To us Crates, the cheerful hunchback, who renounced 
his wealth, made one of the few successful love-matches known 
in Greek literature, and had a talent for literary parody, is a 
pleasant and interesting figure ; for the life of the average 
Athenian of his day he was perhaps more important than 
Theophrastus or the learned professors of the Academy. 



NOTES TO CHAPTER II 

i. The most important is necessarily the biography by Diogenes 
Laertius an extraordinary piece of uncritical exuberance. One of 
the longest Laertian biographies, it contains anecdote heaped upon 
anecdote, frequent repetitions, two or more accounts of the same 
event, all strung together in an inconceivable disorder of which von 
Fritz rightly complains. The Florilegium of Stobaeus contains 
numerous apophthegms under the name of Diogenes ; similar dicta 
are attributed to him by Epictetus, Maximus of Tyre, and Julian, 
and, less frequently, by Athenaeus, Aelian, and Plutarch. As a 
literary figure, he appears in the works of Dio Chrysostom and 
Lucian. Nine anecdotes, only one of which is retailed by Diogenes 
Laertius, appear in a papyrus of the first century B.C., 1 and five 
apophthegms in what seems to be an Egyptian school copybook of the 
third or fourth centuries A.D. 2 Much more important are the frag- 
ments of Philodemus, 3 On the Stoics, which give evidence for the 
contents of Diogenes' Politeia. 

1 The so-called * Wiener Diogenes-papyrus *, vide Cronert, Kolotes 
und Menedemos, p. 49. 

2 Papyrus Bouriant, n. i : Cronert, op. cit., p. 157. 

3 Hercul. Pap., Nos. 155 and 339 : ib., pp. 53-67. 



54 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

2. Von Fritz divides the Life as follows : cap. 1-24 form a biography, 
probably based by D.L. on a single original ; cap. 25 opens with 
the sentence deivog r 9 ?\v xaraoo^aQevaaaOai T&V d'AAcov, and cap. 
25-69 are filled with a series of anecdotes, most of which illustrate 
this characteristic ; cap. 70-3 contain %Qeiai, in all probability 
from the same source as the biography above, c. 74 begins eticero- 
%a)Ta.Tos (5* eyevETo EV TGC% anavtr\G&Gi TCDV hoycov, cog Sfjhov E fad 
nQoeiQrjxajuov. and thus may link on to cap. 25-69 ; the cap. 
74-fin. contain additions inserted by Diogenes Laertius himself an 
epigram of his own composition, the date of Diogenes' death, a 
discussion of the writings attributed to him, and a list of namesakes. 
There are then two main portions, the Biography and the Collection 
of Anecdotes. The second of these depends largely on Cynic and 
Stoic sources, while the first derive from general literature as well. 
Thus analysed, the Life by Laertius is our chief source for Diogenes. 

3. Mr. Seltman 's evidence is here briefly reproduced. Sinope, as the 
most important city of the Euxine, issued an uninterrupted succession 
of good coinage throughout the fourth century. This falls into three 
issues the first 1 covering the years prior to 370 (obverse a nymph's 
head, reverse eagle on a dolphin, the letters ZINQ and two or more 
letters of a magistrate's name), the second 2 37-362 when Sinope was 
under the control of the Satrap Datames of Dascylium (same as 
above, except that ZINQ is replaced by AATAMA), the third 3 362 
to at least 310 (same as first issue, except that there is often an 
aplustre in front of the nymph's head). Nine coins 4 are listed in 
the Recueil Ge*ne*ral des Monnaies Grecques d'Asie Mineure which 
bear as the name of the magistrate the letters IKEEIO, and which 
belong to the third series. Some time after 362, then, a magistrate 
of the same name as that given for the father of Diogenes was actually 
in charge of the Mint at Sinope. What of naQa%aQa%i(; ? Besides 
the three issues of good Greek coins, we find a large number of alien 
imitations of the currency of Sinope. Mr. Seltman cites 37 coins 
with Sinopean types but the Aramaic legend Ariawrath, and 18 with 
the Aramaic letters ABDSSN, or 55 coins in all. ARIAWRATH 
must be Ariarathes, satrap of Cappadocia between 351 and 333. 
Besides the coins bearing Aramaic legends B which Mr. Seltman shows 
cannot have been minted at Sinope, we have 40 specimens of a 
barbarous imitation 6 of a Sinopean type, with blundered Greek 
letters. The inference is clear. 

During the decade after 350 the credit of Sinope was being seriously 
undermined by the circulation of imitations of her currency, eman- 
ating notably from the satrap of Cappadocia. What action was taken 
to meet the situation is readily seen. Of the 55 coins with Aramaic 
legends 31 (or about 60 per cent.), of the 40 barbarian coins 8 (or 
20 per cent.), have been defaced by a large chisel-stamp. This was 

1 R.G., No. 20. 2 id., No. 216. 3 id., Nos. 21, 21, 22, 23. 

4 id., p. 193. 5 id., Nos. 33-360. 6 id., No. 24. 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 55 

done to put them out of circulation ; and is, Mr. Seltman argues, 
naQa%aQat;i<; in the true fourth-century sense. (The word was a rare 
one, it cannot mean the issue of false coinage, the word for which 
was ncLQaxonrew, and besides no Sinopean coins of base metal are 
known.) The work must have been that of a high official at the 
Mint, it exactly coincides with what we are told about Diogenes' 
father Hicesias. Hicesias, then, was a ' sound money man ', he acted 
in the best interests of the State ; why did he suffer imprisonment ? 
Mr. Seltman has two suggestions. After the control of Datames at 
Sinope from 370 to 362 there was probably a pro-Persian party in 
the city, which could easily say that the na^a^dqa^ic, of the coins of 
the Cappadocian satrap was an insult which would probably lead to 
trouble. Furthermore, the na.Qa%dQai<; was not confined to the 
imitation currency : of the good Sinopean coins, 2 out of 43 listed 
of the first issue, 10 out of 130 of the third issue have been so defaced. 
This was probably due to carelessness on the part of under officials, 
but it could easily be turned into a serious accusation against the 
Master of the Mint. So for one or both of these reasons Hicesias 
was imprisoned, and his son Diogenes, who was an assistant at the 
Mint, was driven into exile. 

4. Ariarathes did not become satrap of Cappadocia till 351 ; as 40 
per cent, of his issues have not been ' paracharacted ', the inference 
is that this measure was not taken till the issue had been going on 
for some years. 

5. The whole tradition is rejected by von Fritz, 1 who says that it is 
* incredible ' that the Corinthians should not have written an epitaph 
for the tomb, or that Diogenes Laertius should not have retailed it 
if they had. Again, the scepticism seems too dogmatic ; we have 
no means of settling the point : the only epigram in the Anthology a 
which refers to the dog on the tomb is anonymous and undated. 

6. Von Fritz* 3 attempts to show that the neql aQerfji;, TISQI dyaOov, 
and Philiscus are Stoic compilations are not convincing ; the first two 
could well be alternative titles for dialogues in the early catalogue ; 
either for instance would fit the tiyyr\ rflixri. Von Fritz objects to 
the Philiscus because, * There is no analogy in antiquity for a philos- 
opher to name a dialogue after one of his pupils.' But Theaetetus 
was a member of the Academy, though perhaps rather a fellow- 
student than a pupil of Plato. (Aristotle wrote a Eudemus named 
after a fellow-student, Eudemus of Cyprus.) 4 The dialogue in the 
list of Sotion entitled * Casandrus ' can hardly be by Diogenes if it 
refers to the Macedonian successor of Alexander, who did not come 

1 op. cit. * Anth. Pal., vii. 64. 

3 op. cit., pp. 55 and 57. 

4 Stilpo is said to have written a dialogue entitled * To his daughter ', 
D,L., ii, 120. 



56 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

into prominence till after Diogenes' death. But further speculation 
on the authenticity of the remaining works is not of great value ; 
the list we have inferred to be genuine includes all writings which 
later authorities explicitly quote for the sayings of Diogenes. 

7. Professor Taylor reminds me that if Book V of the Republic were 
only known to us from similar sources we might imagine that it was 
' in praise ' of Free Love, and that the attacks of Sextus Empiricus 
on * shocking ' tenets of Zeno and Chrysippus merely show that the 
early Stoics were fond of discussing * extreme * cases. 

8. a The history of the word rv<poQ is interesting. Primarily of 
course it simply means * smoke ' or ' vapour '. The associated verb 
rv<p6o), according to Liddell and Scott, is only used in the metaphorical 
sense * to be puffed up ', with conceit. There are two implications in 
the metaphorical use of rwpos inflation, and obscurity. The second 
seems to have been the earlier usage ; for the Hippocratean writings 
described the delirium produced by fever as rvqpos : hence * typhoid ' 
fever is a fever that darkens or * clouds ' the brain. But the word 
is uncommon before fourth-century prose ; c5 terv^o^eve, ' deluded 
fellow ', occurs in the Hippias Major ; Aristotle calls the bewildered 
stage of drunkenness rvyoq ; Demosthenes in several passages uses 
TeTV(pa)ju,evo$ to mean * deluded, misled '. With the Cynics rv<pog 
became almost a technical term. The twofold implication was re- 
tained : the opponent of the Cynics was * puffed up ' and arrogant 
(cf. the Cynic story of how Diogenes trampled on the fine carpets 
of Plato * with conceit of another kind, Diogenes ', was the reply ; 
and the similar story of Antisthenes) ; all doctrines except the Cynic 
dotjai were obscure and illusory. Menander makes Monimus say 
that the whole of supposition is an illusion. In our passage, rvcpos 
refers to the obscurity of false beliefs and illusory sense impressions. 

Reading JIEQIQQVTIOQ with Stephanus. Diels follows Rieske in 
reading neQiQQVToi;, which admittedly reproduces the wording of 
Homeric lines. 



iiq, yai ecrri jUEcrq) en oivom novrq) 
KaXt] wai meiga, jifQtgQVTos, etc. 

but seems to have little force. mQigQvnoc, would be used naqanqoadoK 
like Twpq> in the previous line, and is an apt reference to the well- 
known squalor of the Cynic life. Menander called Monimus 6 
TiQOcraiTcbv xai gvn&v. 

y The pun of 6vfj,o<;, ' Thyme ', and Ovpog, ' strength ', is not to 
be accurately rendered in English. Perhaps one might say ' heart- 
sease '. 

5 Reading with Diels dOdvarov flaaiheiav ; Wilamowitz reads 
dOavdratv fiaffiAelav, ' rejoicing in the rule of the immortals ', but 
this is not specifically Cynic and overlooks the role played by paoihela 
in Cynic conceptions. /3aatfata personifies the Cynic self-mastery, 
as opposed to the condition of a man dominated by Lusts, who is 



DIOGENES AND HIS ASSOCIATES 57 

under a rvqavviq. The whole conception is well illustrated in the 
famous story of Heracles in Dio Chrysostom, 1 which Weber and 
Francois regard as based on Cynic originals. There Heracles is 
shown a great mountain with twin peaks, the one called paoihslaq 
cixQa and sacred to Zevs paadevQ ; the other, axga TVQavvixr), was 
called Tvy&voc, dxga ; Typhon as usual signifying illusion. On the 
first was enthroned Paaiheta, who is called [jiaxaQla datjuoov, Aio<; 
paaihecoi; exyovoq, and is attended by AIKY\, "Evvo/tta, 'EiQTjvr], and 
NofjLoc, (who is also oqQoc, Ao'yog). On the Peak of Illusion was 
enthroned TvQawk, attended by *Qju6rri<; 9 e/ Yp()i$ t 'Avo/Liia, andrdm<;. 
The Cynic, then, could well be said dyandv . . . fiaadeiav nal 



9. a Cf. Iliad, II. 783, ew *A(t(/ioi,<;, oOi <paai Tvyawvc, e/ujuevcu evvd<;. 
ev Meydqoic, is naQanQoadoxiav for elv 'AQI/UOIC;. There is no mytho- 
logical connexion of Typhon with Megara ; as in the passage already 
quoted from Dio Chrysostom, the Titan is the personification of 
Illusion. Perhaps the conception is based on the famous description 
in Pindar (Pyth., i. 29) of the monster confined beneath Etna, from 
which 

/iisv dnkdrov nvQO$ dyvordrai 
naydi noTa/iol d 9 dfjicQaioiv /uv JIQO%EOVTCU 
QOOV Kanvov \ aiOcova. nth. 

Diels (Sillog. Grace., ii. 193) quotes Aristotle (Rhet., 1412, d. 33) 
rd de nagd yqa^^a nolei ov% o My&i kiyciv, dAA' o ^eraaTQS(pEi ovo^a. 
The point is twofold : (a) Stilpo pursued dQerrj in verbal quibbles 
(his eristic studies), (b) and another object of his pursuit was not 
ager?! herself, but his mistress Nixaqerr}. The doubles entendres 
which Wachsmuth discovered in evvdq dicbxew and xararQ^eiv do 
not commend themselves to Diels. But xaTaTQi{3eiv was so fre- 
quently used sensu obsceno that the suspicion seems justified. 

10. Diels hesitates to ascribe the passage to Crates ; * vereor ', he 
says, ' ne ea quae congruenter cum Axiocho, p. 336D, exponuntur, a 
Cratete abhorreant. Ilium enim ncc tarn Attice gesturum fuisse, ut 
Thebanum, nee tarn molliter, ut Cynicum.' The first does not seem 
an important objection ; Crates passed much of his time at Athens 
and must have been perfectly familiar with Athenian customs. For 
the second, we shall see that with him the austerity of Diogenes was 
considerably relaxed. The parallel with the Axiochus is admittedly 
striking, but there is no evidence to prove that Teles is quoting that 
dialogue. The date of the Axiochus is disputed. Immisch gives 
35~3 as a probable date, which Taylor quotes with the remark 
that * it may be too early '. Chevalier argues that it is of Neo- 
Pythagorean origin and does not appear to be earlier than the first 
century B.C. ; the Bude* editor, regarding the passage of the Axiochus 
as being a quotation from Teles rather than vice versa and further 

fiaaifatag, i. 65. 



58 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

relying on two other passages (366E : 3676) which show the influence 
of Bion of Borysthenes, dates it about the end of the third century. 
However this may be, it is probable that both our passage and that 
of the Axiochus have a common source in Prodicus. It is expressly 
stated in the Axiochus that ravra a heyo), IlQodixov rov acxpov eariv 
ami%Yiiiaia . . . (pQaooiji av ooi ravra d jivijjuovevoa). The famous 
story of Prodicus about the choice of Heracles, quoted in Xenophon's 
Memorabilia, seems to have formed the basis of much Cynic allegory 
(cf. Dio Chrys., i. 65) ; and it is very possible that Crates might 
have adapted a familiar passage of Prodicus to the refutation of 
Hedonist theories. This would itself account for the * non-Cynic 
softness which Diels discovers. 



CHAPTER III 
CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 

BY the beginning of the third century B.C. Cynicism must 
have been a familiar phenomenon in the Greek world. In 
attempting to determine its influence during the Hellenistic 
period it is important to remember that it was a phenomenon 
which presented itself in three aspects. There was first the 
KWMOS /3/o, the mendicant life, whose insignia were the 
wallet, the TQificov and the staff. Second, there was the 
Cynic slogan, naQa^dqarreiv TO vojuiajua, with all it implied 
in the way of attack on established conventions and values. 
Finally, there was the KVVIKCH; tQonoq in literature ; for the 
writings of Monimus, Crates, and Metrocles had established 
TO anovdaioyeXoiov as the genus of Cynic writings, though 
one of its most familiar species, the diatribe, was a develop- 
ment largely due to Bion. Since Cynicism was never a school 
of philosophy in the strict sense, these diverse aspects were 
not inseparable ; hence we shall find men of widely different 
outlook and temperament described as ' Cynics ' ; hence, too, 
tendencies inherent in earlier Cynicism were found when 
developed to lead to very divergent conclusions. Doubtless 
many persons took up staff and wallet and imagined that by 
virtue of this alone they were the disciples of Diogenes, although 
to judge from the literary evidence there were not so many 
charlatans associated with Cynicism during this period as 
later in the Roman Empire. Again, the Cynic naqa^d^a^K; 
attracted from time to time philosophers of the dogmatic 
schools who were particularly interested in stressing the gulf 
that separates the Wise Man from the standard of the normal 
world ; while the ridicule of accepted values was pushed to 
its nihilistic conclusion by such persons as Menippus, who 
became * The mocker of human life '. The literary influence 
of Cynicism leads to the appearance of Cynic forms and ideas 
in writers who were very far from living the xwinoq 

59 



60 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

such as Leonidas of Tarentum, and, in Roman times, Lucilius 
and even Horace. It will be most convenient to deal first with 
the followers of the KVVIKOQ /?/og, the Cynics proper ; then 
with the influence of Cynicism on the philosophic schools ; 
finally (and more briefly, since it has attracted the attention 
of many scholars), something must be said about the literary 
influence of Cynicism. 

The ' succession ' of Cynics given by Diogenes Laertius 
takes us two or three generations beyond Metrocles, i.e. well 
into the latter half of the third century. 

The * pupils ' of Metrocles were Theombrotus and Cleomenes ; 
Theombrotus had for a pupil Demetrius of Alexandria ; while 
Cleomenes instructed Timarchus of Alexandria and Echecles of 
Ephesus. Echecles also heard Theombrotus ; his own lectures 
were attended by Menedemus. . . . Menippus of Sinope also 
became famous amongst them. 1 

Nothing more is known of Timarchus, Theombrotus, and 
Echecles ; and of Cleomenes only that he wrote a book called 
naidaycoxixos, which employed the legend of the ' Sale of 
Diogenes '. Cronert 2 was the first to point out that the 
passage of diatribe quoted by Stobaeus viii. 20 is almost 
certainly a fragment of Demetrius of Alexandria. The frag- 
ment gives independent grounds for dating the floruit of 
Demetrius c. 250 B.C., for the employment of personification 
shows the influence of Bion. It deals, in the manner of the 
choice of Heracles, with the struggle between good and evil 
instincts in the human soul : the style is lively, the sentences 
short, with frequent appeals to the ' imaginary adversary '. 

Now if Courage and Cowardice were to take their stand beside the 
soldier in the battle-line, what contradictory advice do you suppose 
they would give ? Would not Courage bid him stand fast and 
guard his post ? ' But the enemy have opened fire/ * Stand fast/ 
* But I shall be wounded.' ' Be brave. 1 * But I shall die.'-' Die 
rather than leave your post.' A stubborn council this, and bitter ; 
but the advice of Cowardice is indulgent, and full of loving kindness 
(<pddv6QOjno<;). He is frightened, she bids him retire forthwith. 
' My shield gets in my way.' ' Throw it away, then.' ' So does 
my breastplate.' ' Loosen it ' ; yes, truly a milder counsel than 
the former. So is it in other things Continence says, * Take 
nothing from a forbidden source. Go without food, without 

1 D.L., vi. 95. 2 Kolotes und Menedemos, pp. 46-7. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 61 

drink but persevere, be strong. And at the last, die, rather than 
live by crime.' Incontinence says : * Drink what you like, eat 
what is sweetest. Your neighbour's wife is fair in your eyes ? 
Take her. You lack money ? Borrow. You have borrowed, and 
are still in want ? Don't pay anything back. Your credit is not 
good for further borrowing ? Then steal/ Great indeed is the 
difference between them on this point ; yet who knows not, that 
the goodwill of Incontinence brings ruin to those who accept her, 
while that of Continence is as a saviour to man ? 

Cronert l is also responsible for the fact that we are able 
to view Menedemus is a more sober light than that in which 
he is portrayed by Diogenes Laertius. 

Menedemus [according to the latter] reached such a pitch of 
charlatanry as a miracle-monger that he used to go about dressed 
as a Fury, saying he had come from Hades as a scout (enloxonos) of 
human wrong-doing, and that he was going to report on it to the 
nether-gods. He was dressed in a long grey tunic, with a crimson 
girdle ; on his head an Arcadian hat (or mko<;} with the twelve signs 
of the Zodiac wrought on it. . . . 2 

Cronert argues that Menedemus is here confused with some 
character (perhaps Menippus himself), from the Nexvia of 
Menippus. It is noteworthy that parallels to this passage can 
be found in two of Lucian's dialogues which are based on 
Menippus. In the XaQwv ij emoxonovvres Charon is brought 
up by Hermes to view the world of men ; in the Menippus, 
Menippus wears the mAog, and has gained admission to the 
underworld by the help of a Chaldaean astrologer ; the 
twelve signs of the zodiac are of course of an astrological 
significance. 

This portion of the ftlos can then be dismissed as fictitious, 
but there is no reason to doubt the statement that Menedemus 
was first a pupil of Colotes of Lampsacus, the Epicurean ; 
that later, becoming that very rare phenomenon, an apostate 
from Epicureanism, he came under the influence of the Cynic 
Echecles of Ephesus. Two papyri from Herculaneum confirm 
this, 3 they show Menedemus in conflict with his former master 
on the question of Epicurean criticism of Poetry, when a 
spirited interchange of argument evidently took place. The 

1 op. cit., p. I fT. 
2 D.L., vi. 102. 3 Here. Pap., Nos. 208, 1082. 



62 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

controversy will be more relevant in the chapter on the relations 
between Cynicism and the philosophic schools. 

We find no mention in Diogenes Laertius of Sochares, the 
subject of satirical epigrams of Leonidas of Tarentum, nor of 
Teles ; while Bion of Borysthenes is classified as a follower 
of the Academy, and a quotation from Cercidas of Megalopolis 
is introduced into the Life of Diogenes without a definite 
statement that he was a Cynic. The lack of exact chronological 
data for the last three writers and for Menippus makes it a 
matter of some doubt as to their proper places in an account of 
Cynicism during the third century ; but chronology will be 
approximately observed, and it will be most convenient to 
treat them in the order Bion-Menippus-Cercidas-Teles. 

(a) Bion. 

Approximately contemporary with Metrocles, and of great 
importance in the development of Cynicism, is Bion of Borys- 
thenes. Diogenes Laertius, though admitting that he had 
Cynic connexions, includes him amongst the followers of the 
Academy ; but there is an essentially Cynic spirit in the sur- 
viving fragments of his writings, and he played an important 
part in the development of the diatribe, so that he may properly 
be considered here. 

' A strange creature,' is Tarn's opinion; * few men in the 
third century are harder to judge, and probably few had more 
influence/ Bion's career is of interest as showing what the 
age had to offer to a man of humble birth who chose to make 
his living by his wits. He was the son of a fishmonger and a 
hetaira a combination from which, as von Arnim penetratingly 
remarks, he may have derived that familiarity with vulgar 
phraseology which distinguished his style. But perhaps there 
was more than the argot of the fish-market to be learned at 
Borysthenes. In the time of Dio Chrysostom the town was 
remarkable for its devotion to Homer * they are all enthusi- 
astic admirers of the poet : most of the citizens know the 
Iliad off by heart . . . their poets refer to Homer alone in 
their writings.' l So it is possible that the young Bion was 

1 Dio Chrys., 36, 9. Prof. Rostovtseff tells me that recent 
archaeological finds at Borysthenes (Olbia) strikingly confirm Dio, 
for over a long period both papyri and inscriptions abound with 
Homeric personal names. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 63 

not wholly uneducated when his father's fraudulency caused 
the whole family to be sold into slavery. At any rate he was 
handsome, and was bought by * a certain rhetorician ' for 
obvious enough purposes ; a fact which Bion's enemies 
pounced on, and which he hardly troubled to deny. But the 
boy seems to have had brains as well as looks, and the rhetorical 
training which he got (presumably) during this period was to 
have an important influence on his style. When his master 
died he left all his possessions to Bion. * I burned all his 
speeches,' 1 Bion says ; ' scraped everything together, and came 
to Athens to study philosophy. ' 2 We cannot say precisely 
when this was : but it seems to have been earlier than 314, for 
he is associated with Xenocrates. In keeping with the custom 
of the age he went the round of the schools ; the passage of 
Diogenes Laertius which gives his philosophical training has 
caused much controversy. But perhaps the most likely account 
is that he first studied at the Academy under Xenocrates, 
then for a time lived as a Cynic, then studied with Theodorus 
' the atheist ' and finally with Theophrastus. 3 

At some time in his career Bion ' taught ' at Rhodes : like 
the Sophists he went on lecture-tours round the Greek world : 
but the only other date we can determine with anything like 
certainty is for his visit to Antigonus Gonatas at Pella, which 
Tarn thinks must have been later than 276. The date of 
Bion's death is unknown, though one may conjecture that it 
was between 260 and 250 ; tradition says that it took place at 
Chalcis, and, according to Favorinus, Antigonus himself 
attended his old counsellor's funeral. 

1 Hicks translates cfvyyQdju^ara as ' books ', but it is probably more 
technical than that * written speeches 'if used of the works of a 
rhetor. Cf. Isoc. 405 c. 

2 These biographical details, up to the arrival at Athens, are from 
a letter which Laertius says was addressed by Bion to Antigonus 
Gonatas as an answer to his traducers. Cronert doubts its genuine- 
ness : but it is accepted by Hirzel, Hense, and Tarn : also by Kiesling 
with the reservation ' haec si vera non sunt at ad veritatem ficta esse 
concedi debet '. This is true ; the passage is marked by the (pogrMa 
3v6jna.Ta which Bion is described as using (TO> dyxtivi dnojuvaadjuevos) : 
the use of quotation (ravr^ roi yeveflq re xai al^aroq ev^o^iai slvai) : 
the sentiments are those of Bion (axonei, d /*' eg* Iftavrov). Hense 
considers that the passage of Stobaens (86. 13) on the same theme 
a man's a man for a' that- derives from this letter. 

a See Note i to Chap. III. 



64 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

Bion's career and temperament were such as to earn him 
many enemies ; and their attacks have survived in the biography 
of Diogenes Laertius. Hense l finds that the life in Diogenes 
Laertius uses two sources hostile to Bion, one attacking his 
morals and way of life, the other a criticism of his style. The 
former is the more malignant, and since it contains charges of 
homosexuality similar to those found in the Life of Arcesilaus, 
he lends somewhat hesitating support to Wilamowitz 5 view 
that these derive from Aristippus nsgl nahaiaq TQvyfjs. 
Charges of homosexuality are of course the stock-in-trade of 
Greek scabrous gossip, but there remain indictments against 
Bion which do not come under this head, and which deserve 
more detailed examination. They are found in Plutarch and 
Stobaeus as well as Diogenes Laertius ; though the latter puts 
the case most concisely in his description of Bion as aocpia- 
rr/c nowihoq,* ' a most versatile sophist '. Certainly Bion 
followed the practice which originally brought the Sophists 
into disrepute that of giving lectures for money. Diogenes 
Laertius says that he was no^vrs^ ; and Stobaeus 3 quotes 
him as saying that there were three types of pupil, like Hesiod's 
three races of men ; the golden learned and paid, the silver 
paid but did not learn, the bronze learned but did not pay. 
Of course no follower of the Cynic way of life could charge 
high fees for his lectures and remain true to the ideal of Penury ; 
still, the mere charging for professional services cannot have 
carried the stigma that it did in the days of Socrates. A 
student at the Lyceum or the Academy needed a well-lined 
purse, as we have seen from the complaints of Metrocles ; the 
objection to Bion was not that he demanded a fee but that he 
had little to offer in return that he was, in fact, a charlatan, 
both in his life and his writings. His manner of life is described 
as being no^niKoc, KOI djioAavacu rv<pov dvvdjtievoc;, ' showy, 
and able to derive pleasure from arrogance ' ; he was yavxaoiav 
eTtire'xvcbfjievoq, ' one who devised methods of ostentation ' : 
* extremely selfish ' ; above all, * one who gave many openings 
to those who wished to rail against philosophy '. We know 
that Persaeus and Philonides 4 tried to dissuade Antigonus 
from inviting Bion to the court at Pella by stressing his lowly 
origin ; possibly they also urged on the king that Bion was no 

1 Tel., Rel y Ix. 2 D.L., iv. 4?- 3 Flor. t 31. 97- 

4 D.L., iv. 47. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 65 

real philosopher, and are ultimately responsible for the charges 
we have been examining. 

More value may be attached to the criticisms directed against 
the style of Bion, for, as Hense points out, the numerous writ- 
ings of Bion would give ample material for a fair judgement ; 
it is furthermore possible to suggest that these criticisms 
derive from the Stoics of the second century B.C. and their 
theory of the Plain Style. 1 

The hostile references to Bion are embittered by the fact 
that through his association with Theodorus he was charged 
with being an atheist, which seems to have prejudiced Diogenes 
Laertius against him. Diogenes makes this the subject of 
one of his usual frigid epigrams how Bion had denied the 
gods all his life, and how when he came to die at Chalcis he 
wore amulets and muttered charms * as though the gods only 
existed when Bion graciously chose to recognize them '. For 
this pragmatic conversion he applies to Bion the particularly 
opprobrious term of Ae/^efe, ' scum '. Hense points out that 
there are not many examples of impious dicta related of Bion, 
and what there are are of the usual Cynic type, retorts to the 
priests of the mystery religions, doubts about oracles, and the 
like. 

* Of all the many who flocked to his lectures ', says Diogenes 
Laertius, ' not one is named as his pupil.' This may well be 
true ; on the formal side of philosophy Bion had nothing new 
to offer. Eclectics are not the persons to start a new move- 
ment, their doctrines are generally hastily patched together to 
meet an emergency, and become obsolete when that emergency 
has passed. No direct trace remains of Bion's lectures ; and 
Laertius gives no formal list of his writings, he merely says 
that * He left very many memoirs (vnojuv^^ara) and also 
sayings of useful application' (anocpdey^ara %Qi,a)dr] nqayfrnreiav 
neQie%ovTa) ; while from a fragment of Philodemus we gather 
that one of his diatribes was called negl oqyr]<;. But it is 
a small change from the spoken lecture to the written dia- 
tribe which is designed for a larger audience than can be 
reached by word of mouth, and quotations from Bion in 
Teles are sufficiently numerous and detailed to enable us 
to form a clear picture of his methods. The most obvious 
point about Bion's philosophy is that it treats of ordinary 

1 See Note 2 to Chap. III. 
6 



66 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

human problems in a common-sense spirit, though for emphasis 
employing all the devices of contemporary prose style. It 
follows the spirit of the Socrates of Xenophon's Memorabilia, 
or of Crates going from house to house to cure the dissensions 
that arise in family life. The situations dealt with are those 
that may confront any man, from the universalia of old age, 
poverty, exile, slavery, the fear of death, down to the more 
particular case of a nagging wife. The panacea is still avTag- 
xeia-andOeta but with a difference ; for the blending of 
Hedonist and Cynic doctrines adopted by Bion had evolved 
an avraqxeia quite different from the aggressive asceticism of 
Diogenes, one best expressed by the famous simile of the 
Actor. The actor's concern is to play adequately the part 
assigned to him by the playwright ; but while doing that he 
preserves the integrity of his own personality. Hecuba is in 
reality nothing to him, however much his performance gives 
an impression to the contrary. * Just as the good actor plays 
with skill the Prologue, the middle portion, and the denoue- 
ment of a play, so should a good man play well the beginning, 
the middle, and the end of life.' It is the attitude represented 
in the Spartan verses, 

ovre TO f}V Oe^evoi xahov ovre to Ovfiaxew 
TO ravra xahax; CLJLKPOTEQ* enrehiaai. 



Circumstances being unalterable, the key to happiness lies in 
our approach to them. 

Bion says, just as the bites of wild animals depend on how you 
hold them (e.g. get hold of a snake round the middle and you'll be 
bitten, grasp it by the neck and you'll come to no harm), so 
with circumstances, one's approach to them determines the amount 
of pain that will be experienced. If you treat them as did Socrates, 
there will be no pain : if otherwise, you will experience pain due 
not to circumstances themselves, but to your own character and 
false illusions. Hence we should not try to alter circumstances, 
but to adapt ourselves to them as they really are, as do sailors. 
They don't try to change the winds or the sea, but take care that 
they are ready to adapt themselves to conditions. In a dead calm 
they use the oars, with a following breeze they crowd on sail ; 
with a head wind they shorten sail or heave to. Do you adapt 
yourself to circumstances in the same way. You have grown old, 
do not long for youth. Again, you are weak : do not hanker after 
what belongs to the strong. . . . You are penniless, do not seek 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 67 

the ways of the wealthy. . . . Adapt yourself to conditions as sails 
to the wind. . . .* 

The fault is always in ourselves 

... If circumstances could speak, as we do, and had the power to 
state their case . . . would not Poverty say to the man reviling her, 
* What is your quarrel with me ? Have I deprived you of any 
good thing ? Of prudence, or justice, or courage ? Or are you 
short of any of the necessities of life ? Well, are the roads not 
full of herbs, and the springs of water ? Do I not offer you a bed 
wherever there is soil, and bedding wherever there are leaves ? 
Can you not make merry in my company ? What, have you never 
heard an old woman singing to herself as she munches her barley- 
cake ? ' . . . If Poverty spoke in this vein, what answer would you 
have to make ? I think I should have nothing to say. But we 
blame anything rather than our own bad training and disposition, 
age, poverty, our adversary, the day, the hour, the place. 2 

Avoidance of fjiB^i^oiQia is essential to happiness, the 
recipe for which is simple. * If you can fashion a man who 
despises lusts, and is not oppressed by toils, who takes glory 
and obscurity alike and has no fear of death, then you have a 
man who can do anything without sorrow. J 3 The first three 
of these qualifications may obviously be attained by the method 
of adapting oneself to circumstances ; for the last, a new set 
of similes is employed. ' We regard death as the most dread 
of terrors ' but in reality it is nothing of the sort. ... * The 
aged should quit life as gladly as would a tenant a tumbledown 
house. ' 

Just as we leave a house [says Bion] when the landlord, failing to 
get the rent, takes away the door or the slating, or closes up the 
well : so should we quit our bodies, when Nature, our landlord, 
deprives us of the use of our eyes, ears, hands, and feet. ... I 
do not remain behind : as a replete guest from a feast, so do I 
leave life, when the hour is come for ' passengers to board ship '. 

It is possible that the piling up of similes in this passage is 
artificial, for after all what we have is Theodorus' epitome of 
Teles' version of Bion : but we can at any rate, when con- 
fronted with the famous similes of life as a Paneguris, as a 
feast, and of the aged body as a ruined house, appreciate the 
force of the adjective noiKihot; applied to Bion. 

*6. aff. 2 4- 6ff. 3 ii. 7- 



68 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

There is nothing new about the thought of the passages 
quoted : even the similes are sometimes old ones refurbished. 
It is significant, too, that the apophthegms ascribed to Bion 
so frequently parallel those quoted of earlier personages, 
especially Diogenes. 1 It is likely enough that Bion would take 
some apophthegm of Diogenes, common currency amongst the 
Cynics, alter it to suit conditions, and pass the result off as his 
own. 

* Bion mingled together every aspect of style ' ; the diatribe 
as he developed it employed all the devices of contemporary 
prose. Hense 2 points out the care taken in the balance of 
syllables and their rhythm, the use of asyndeton and assonance, 
and of the * conversionis figurae ' ; perhaps Bion learned these 
from the teacher of rhetoric who gave him his early education. 
Fiske notes the use of quotation, of %Qslai, of allegorical 
personification, of little scenes which appear to be influenced 
by the Mime, of stock-figures, animal similes, and character- 
sketches. The latter show the influence of Theophrastus, the 
parallels with whom are interesting. 3 

In Fiske's judgement, * Bion added nothing to the world's 
thought ' ; none the less, he is of great importance to Cynicism, 
and to a lesser degree to the development of Greek literature. 
The question of the influence of the diatribe as perfected by 
Bion on the satire of Lucilius and Horace has been fully dis- 
cussed by Fiske, and is not especially relevant here. For the 
Cynic movement, Bion has a double significance. We have 
seen how Diogenes personified the Cynic conception of 
avraqxeia, while Crates stands for that of cpihavOgamia ; a 
third great ideal, that of the Koa^onoXiir](;, finds its first real 
embodiment amongst the Cynics in Bion. Diogenes and 
Crates, while professing the ideal of cosmopolitanism, had in 
fact kept to the great centres of Greek civilization, mainly, of 
course, to Athens. But Bion, like the Sophists, travelled 
from city to city, and made prolonged stays at Rhodes and 
Pella. The vagrant preacher, who became so important a 
figure in the Roman Empire, finds his prototype in Bion, the 
traditional accounts of whom remind us of the description of 
Whistler * the scintillant tramp . . . exempt from human 
knowledge and human decencies '. But Eratosthenes admitted 

x See Note 3 to Chap. III. 2 op. cit. 

3 See Note 4 to Chap. III. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 69 

that under his trappings Bion was sound ; and there is perhaps 
some justification for Bion's own claim, that what he brought 
to market was the wheat of philosophy, not the barley of 
rhetoric. Only, it was the philosophy of Hellenistic times, 
which we have defined as daily strength for daily needs. Bion, 
too, was the first Cynic to become court-philosopher ; Tarn 
thinks he may well have had much influence on Antigonus 
Gonatas, or, at least, that their viewpoints had a good deal in 
common. The Stoics played the role of King's counsellor 
more successfully than any other school ; the Cynic, if true 
to his profession, was too wedded to na,QQr]ala to be amenable 
to all but the most tolerant of monarchs. Nevertheless, there 
were Cynics at court under the Empire ; here as elsewhere 
Bion anticipates the later Cynicism, rather than reflects the 
earlier. 

On the world in general, Bion's influence has not been 
negligible. 

Dixeris egregie, notum si callida verbum 
reddiderit iunctura novum . . . 

the simile of Man the actor on the stage of the world, of Life 
as a Feast which one should quit * ut conviva satur ', the 
advice to trim your sails to the breeze, the story of the dying 
frog, * this may be fun to you, but it's death to me ' have 
all passed into common usage. One is tempted to say that 
Bion, in a different way from that of Diogenes, fulfilled the 
command na^a^dqarreiv ro v6/u,f,o^a. Similes and metaphors 
are indeed a kind of currency ; * licuit semperque licebit, 
signatum praesente nova producere verbum ' ; some of the 
best issues, whose values have not depreciated, bear the impress 
of Bion. 

(b) Memppus. 

The name of Menippus is familiar, yet we have surprisingly 
little detailed information about him ; like the Cheshire cat, 
he has faded away to a grin. Ancient tradition is agreed that 
he was a slave ; according to Diocles I he was born at Gadara, 
and was in the service of a citizen of Pontus, but in some way 
obtained his freedom and lived at Thebes. Here he came 
under Cynic influence, most likely that of Metrocles. This 

1 D.L., vi. 99. 



70 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

evidence shows that his floruit falls in the first half of the third 
century ; we do not know when he died. The tradition that 
he was a moneylender and speculator in marine insurance is 
probably apocryphal, resting as it does on the always dubious 
authority of Hermippus. This account has led Zeller and 
other modern writers to speak of him as ' a degenerate Cynic ', 
but Varro refers to him as ' Menippus ille, nobilis quidem 
canis ', and Lucian ranks him with Antisthenes, Crates, and 
Diogenes as the most notable of the Cynics. 

In the writings of Menippus the Cynic spirit of mockery of 
human values was all-pervading. Lucian x says that he went 
about KWfjicodonoi&v xal ye^anonotdjv ; Marcus Aurelius 2 
calls him ' the mocker of mankind '. * No serious treatises 
were produced by him/ says Diogenes Laertius, * but his books 
overflow with ridicule ' ; there is no conflict here, as both 
Hicks 3 and Helm 4 suggest, with the description of him as 
onovdaioyeAoiog in Strabo. 5 TO Gnovdaioyshoiov was a distinct 
literary genre ; Diogenes Laertius, or rather his source Diocles, 
means that all Menippus' works are thus comprised, there are 
no serious ethical writings, such as were perhaps some of the 
Dialogues of Diogenes, and certainly the Epistles of Crates. 
The comic genius of Menippus may well have stressed the 
yeholov, but to judge from the fragments of the Sale of Diogenes 
and those dialogues of Lucian which use Menippus as a model, 
an element of the anovdalov was not absent. Very scanty 
fragments of Menippus survive, and it is a highly speculative 
proceeding to try to reconstruct his works from Varro or even 
from Lucian. Lucian was obviously attracted by the detached 
and satiric attitude of Menippus, so like his own ; he also 
found a ready vehicle for his thought in the adaptation of the 
dialogue for comic and satiric purposes, which was Menippus' 
chief contribution to literature. The classical theory of 
Imitation demanded that in handling a particular literary genre 
an author should conform to a more or less definite framework, 
but it offered plenty of scope for originality in detail. It is 
not therefore likely that from the dialogues of Lucian we can 
reconstruct in any detail the Menippean original. 6 To take 

1 Bis. Ace., 33. 3 vi. 47. 3 Diog. Laert,, vol. ii, p. 103 (Loeb). 
4 Pauly-Wissowa, s.v. Menippus. 5 xvi. 759. 

6 For an attempt to do this see R. Helm, Lucian und Menipp., 
Leipzig, 1906. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 71 

one example, the Sale of Diogenes is generally conceded to have 
influenced Lucian in writing his Sale of Creeds : but in detail 
they must have differed widely, for we know that the work of 
Menippus held up Diogenes to admiration, while Lucian 
ridicules him together with the other philosophers. The most 
that can be done is to gather a general idea of the subject and 
spirit of the Menippean writings from the evidence of their 
titles, and from the outlines of those dialogues of Lucian which 
seem to have been influenced by them. * The books of 
Menippus ', says Diogenes Laertius, 1 * number thirteen/ and 
he gives a partial catalogue as follows : ' Nsuvta, AiaOfjxcu, 
'EmoTohal xsxo/Liyjev/jievai, and rov ra>v Oetiv nqoadmov, 
rovq yvaiKoix; Hal /taOrj/mTixovt; KOI y >// /mi ixoix;, 
'EmxovQov, ra<; GQnaxsva^evaQ \vn* avrcov] elxddat; xai aMa.' 
How many books are thus comprised we do not know ; but 
the titles of some of the works not in this list may be gathered 
from other sources. 

Diogenes Laertius 2 himself mentions a book called A ioyevov<; 
and Athenaeus 3 speaks of a av^noaiov and an 



The original of all Greek vexvtat is of course Homer's 
description of the descent of Odysseus to Hades in the eleventh 
Book of the Odyssey. Literature has always been ready to 
grant the Duchess of Malfi's wish 

Oh that 'twere possible we might 

But hold some two days' converse with the dead ; 

In Greek literature stories of the Underworld had enforced 
the loftiest lessons of philosophy, as in the myths of Plato, or 
provided material for hilarious comedy, as in the Frogs of 
Aristophanes. But for no purposes are they better adapted 
than those of Satire ; and Menippus is one of a long line of 
satirists who have taken a tour of the Underworld to describe 
how there, where a truer standard of values prevails, their 
enemies are faring very badly indeed. The Homeric parodies 
of Crates seem to have touched on the Nexvta, and, like the 
Zikhoi of Menippus' contemporary Timon of Phlious, to have 
described the wretched state of his philosophical opponents in 
the life to come. The Nexvta of Menippus formed the model 
for Lucian in several dialogues (such as the Menippus, or 

1 vi. 101. 2 vi. 29. 8 xiv. 27, 84. 



72 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

Necyomanteia, the Charon, the KardnAov$, and the Dialogues 
of the Dead), from which we may catch something of its spirit. 
From the evidence of a passage of Diogenes Laertius which 
Cronert clearly shows to be based on the Nenvta of Menippus, 
it seems clear that the journey was made by Menippus 
himself by the aid of magic arts ; and that its avowed object 
was to consult Tiresias is likely both from the Homeric original 
and the presumable echoes of Menippus in Horace and Lucian. 
There was of course a description of our future state. Sceptre 
and Crown have tumbled down ; the only people to enjoy 
happiness are the poor man and the Cynic, who are free from 
Illusion in this world and the next. The Cynic does not 
shrink from inquiring too curiously, and we see Philip of 
Macedon cobbling old shoes in a corner, and are unable to 
distinguish the skull of a famous beauty from that of Thersites. 
To judge from the Icaromenippus of Lucian, and the fact that 
one of Varro's satires was called the Endymiones, it is possible 
that the Nexvta included a tour of Heaven as well as Hell, and 
that the gods received scarcely more respectful treatment than 
had the dead kings and potentates. 

The AiaQr\Kai (Wills or Testaments) may have been parody 
of the Wills of Philosophers ; or more probably pieces of 
humorous legislation like the decree proposed against the 
rich by Skull the son of Skeleton of the deme Cadaver in 
Lucian 's Menippus^ and the resolution to exclude undesirable 
aliens from Olympus in the Gods in Council* 

The Epistles composed as through from Gods were Lucian J s 
model for the Letters of Cronos ; the comic possibilities are 
many and obvious ; Lucian confines himself to satire on the 
importunate nature of human prayer, and the conflict between 
the rich and poor. 

The Sale of Diogenes may be conjectured to have played 
an important part in the development of the Diogenes legend. 
Menippus, himself once a slave, was evidently concerned to 
show that slavery was something indifferent to the Wise Man. 
His ideal aoyos was, of course, Diogenes, and he must be 
turned into a slave in the way most probable at that time, by 
being captured and sold by pirates. 3 Fragments are preserved 
in the account of Diogenes Laertius. Diogenes was put up 

1 Men. y 20. 2 Deor. Con., 14. 

8 Possibly in imitation of the stones about Plato. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 73 

for sale in the market of Crete. Asked what he could do, he 
replied ' Govern men ', and told the crier to advertise that he 
was available in case any one wished to purchase himself a 
master. He was bought by Xeniades of Corinth, who was 
soon aware of what kind of purchase he had made, and put 
Diogenes in command of his estate and of the education of 
his sons. 

Of the contents of the Symposium we only know that in it 
the exjivQcoau; of the Stoics was described as a dance. 1 Some 
form of philosophical conversation was held appropriate for 
the genre ; it may well have taken the form of parody in this 
case. Hirzel's 2 suggestion that the encounter of Hipparchia 
and Theodorus described by Diogenes Laertius 3 derives from 
Menippus is interesting, but not very probable. The way in 
which the incident is mentioned, * This story and countless 
others are told of the female philosopher/ suggests that it 
comes from a collection of %qslai. Nor do we know how far 
the Symposium of Lucian, which shows the sages present 
behaving or rather misbehaving like so many Lapiths, is based 
on the work of Menippus. 

The remaining works form an attack in the true Cynic 
manner on devotees of useless knowledge. ' Away with the 
learning of the clerks ! ' is the cry, natural scientists, mathe- 
maticians, and philologists are employed in wasting time and 
in little else. The schools of philosophy are also attacked ; 
the Arcesilaus is presumably directed against the first head of 
the Middle Academy, whose devotion to dialectic would earn 
him the contempt of the Cynics ; while the Birth of Epicurus 
and The School's Reverence for the Twentieth Day are clearly 
attacks on the Epicureans. 4 

The literary importance of Menippus is that he developed 
for comic purposes two genres previously monopolized by 
Philosophy the dialogue and the letter. True, such a 
development had been foreshadowed in some of the Platonic 
dialogues, notably the Euthydemus and the Menexenus ; but on 
the whole Dialogue had hitherto, as he complains in the Bis 

1 Athen., xiv. 27. 2 Der Dialog., p. 365, n. 3. 3 vi. 97 f. 

* In the Will of Epicurus (D.L., x. 18), the school was directed 
to meet on the twentieth day of the month in commemoration 
of Epicurus and Metrodorus. The custom was still observed in 
the time of Cicero. 



74 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

Accmatus of Lucian, ' been a dignified person, pondering on 
the gods and on Nature and the Cycle of the Universe '. Now, 
however, his tragic mask has been snatched away, and one 
comic, satiric, and almost ridiculous thrust upon him. Worse 
still, he has become a hybrid, a centaur-like creature, neither 
prose nor verse, a strange phenomenon to all who hear him. 
(The complaint is, of course, directed against Lucian, but the 
main features of its indictment apply to Lucian's model 
Menippus.) In the Menippus the Cynic appears lisping in 
numbers, which had come from his association with Euripides 
and Homer in the Underworld, and it is some time before he 
can be called to his senses and prose. The mixture of prose 
and verse is found also in Varro, in the Apocolocyntosis of 
Seneca, and in Petronius, for all of which Menippus was, 
even if indirectly, a model. 

One can only regret the loss of the writings of Menippus, 
our estimate of Greek humour would almost certainly have 
been increased had they survived. The claim made by Lucian, 
that he improved the Dialogue by giving good injections of 
Eupolis and Aristophanes, could probably be advanced for 
Menippus. For, like Aristophanes, his laughter ranged over 
Earth and Heaven and Hell : only it has lost a tone or two of 
geniality, it has become truly a mordant wit, that of the Cynic 
who yehajv a/tia edawev. To Menippus the world was a 
vast madhouse ; as Diogenes had said, most men are so nearly 
lunatics that a finger's breadth would make the difference. 
Equally absurd are the trappings of wealth, the pedantry of 
learning, the vanity of beauty, and that most awful of all cosmic 
phenomena, the exnvQcoais of the Stoics, is no more than a 
mummery. This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, 
but a grimace. 

(c) Ccrcidas 

The connexion between Antigonus Gonatas and Bion shows 
the Cynic in contact with the man of affairs ; but what, if 
any, political result came of their relationship we lack evidence 
to decide. In Cercidas of Megalopolis, however, we have a 
man of Cynic leanings who played a very prominent part in the 
politics of his own city, and a not inconsiderable role on a 
larger stage. Cercidas is one of those figures whose personality 
has become definite in the light of the evidence of papyri. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 75 

Two Megalopolitan statesmen of that name were known, one 
of whom lived in the fourth century, and was denounced by 
Demosthenes 1 for having betrayed his country to the Mace- 
donians, the other the friend of Aratus 2 who helped to bring 
about the alliance between Antigonus Doson and the Achaean 
League. Which of these was the aqiorof; vo^oGstt^ KOI /uefa- 
d/ipa>v noirjri'jG of Stephanus of Byzantium 3 was uncertain ; 
Meineke and Gerhard inclined to regard him as the older man. 
That the writer of meliambic poems had Cynic leanings was 
an inference from the fragment in praise of Diogenes of Sinope, 
preserved by Diogenes Laertius. Then in 1906 came the 
discovery of an Oxyrhynchus papyrus, containing seven frag- 
ments, described as KegKida KVVO<; ^shd^oi, the meliambic 
poems of Cercidas the Cynic. Hunt 4 showed that the chrono- 
logical evidence indicated the latter half of the third century 
as the date of their author : Powell 5 that the Cercidas of that 
date was the more likely to be described as vojuoOerr]^. The 
poems are, moreover, marked by obvious Cynic sentiments, iri 
some cases of peculiar relevance to current political events. 
All the evidence, then, points to the conclusion that the Cynic 
meliambic poet was also the friend of Aratus ; we thus liave 
a phenomenon unique at this period of history a <pynic 
politician. \ 

We first hear of Cercidas in the year 225. It would her& be 
irrelevant to narrate the events which brought Aratus and 
Cleomenes of Sparta face to face as rivals for the headship of 
the Achaean League and supremacy in the PeloponneseV 
Suffice it to say that the war between Sparta and the Achaean! 
League had at first found Aratus half-hearted, and the driving 
force on the Achaean side had come from Sparta's old enemies, 
Megalopolis and Argos. But by 225 Cleomenes* policy and 
his resources were obvious, and Aratus could be indifferent 
no longer. The year before Cleomenes had offered to come 
to terms with the League, the condition being that he should 
be made strategos for life ; had not a haemorrhage prevented 
him from attending the League Council at Lerna, his terms 
would probably have been accepted. As it was, Aratus 
secured their rejection, but his position, the work of years of 

1 De Corona, 295. 2 Polyb., ii. 65. 

3 s.v. Meydkfj nohg. * Ox. Pap., viii. 26 ff. 

6 Collectanea Alexandrina y p. 201. 



76 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

skilful, patient, and unscrupulous intrigue, was now really 
desperate. Luck had been on his side at Lerna ; but the 
troops of the Achaean League were no match for Spartans 
under a Cleomenes, as was shown at Hecatombaeon ; through- 
out the Peloponnese the masses were ready to rise for Cleo- 
menes and revolution ; there was the threat of an alliance 
between Sparta and the Aetolians. Help could only come 
from one quarter ; Aratus, who had won his ascendancy by 
driving the Macedonians out of the Peloponnese, must bring 
them back again to retain it. The story of the negotiations 
which brought Macedon into the war, and the campaigns 
leading up to the decisive battle of Sellasia, are of absorbing 
interest, heightened by the good fortune that we have accounts 
written from opposite standpoints. The pro-Spartan history 
of Phylarchus seems to have been Plutarch's chief source for 
his Life ofCleomencs ; while Aratus' own memoirs are generally 
conceded to have been followed in the account of Polybius. 
Certainly the ingenious piece of special pleading with which 
the negotiations with Antigonus are justified is not unworthy 
of that politician. 

Perceiving the Achaean League to be in desperate straits . . . [says 
Polybius (or Aratus)], and knowing that Antigonus was a man of 
energy, and of sense, and moreover of some pretensions to honour ; 
but knowing full well that kings always measure their friends and 
foes by the sole standard of expediency . . . Aratus determined 
to come to terms with the said monarch, pointing out to him what 
would be the most likely result of the political situation. . . . And 
he had to act in a very overt way, on many occasions being com- 
pelled to do and say things in public which were quite contrary to 
his real intentions, so as to keep his designs hidden by creating 
the exact opposite impression. Hence some things he has not 
written about even in his Memoirs. 1 

What masterpieces of dissimulation are thus withheld we can 
but speculate : but what is revealed is disingenuous enough. 

The Macedonian had to be approached : but how to do it ? 
The obvious answer was through Megalopolis, ever since her 
foundation anti-Laconian, and as a corollary the ally of whatever 
Northern power wished to curb the influence of Sparta in the 
Peloponnese. The Megalopolitans had borne the brunt of 

1 Polyb., ii. 48 ff. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 77 

the war against Cleomenes, so an appeal would come well 
from them, and Aratus had family friends there, Cercidas and 
Nicophanes, who would be well qualified to make it. So, on 
the suggestion of Aratus, Cercidas and Nicophanes proposed 
to the Megalopolitans that envoys should be appointed to seek 
the alliance of Antigonus, if they could first get the permission 
of the League. (No doubt it was a principle of the Achaean 
League that any alteration of foreign policy by one of its 
members must be with the consent of the League Council, but 
clearly this move suited Aratus well. He could sound the 
opinions of the Council on a Macedonian alliance, and if they 
were unfavourable, the odium would rest on Megalopolis.) 
The embassy was approved by the Megalopolitans, and in due 
course by the League Council, and Cercidas and Nicophanes 
went to the court of Antigonus. To him ' they said very little 
about the affairs of their own city, but spoke as Aratus instructed 
them ', that is, they urged on the King the advantages of an 
alliance between Macedon and the Achaean League at that 
particular moment. * Aratus would see that good terms were 
offered : he would also tell the King just when his help was 
required/ Antigonus recognized that Aratus' summary of 
the political situation was true, and perhaps he, too, rejoiced 
at the prospect of alliance with one whose sole standard was 
expediency. At all events, he gave the envoys to understand 
that help from him could be looked for when needed. Nicoph- 
anes seems to have played the leading part in this embassy. 
Cercidas may have been chosen because he stood well at the 
Macedonian Court through his kinship with the pro-Mace- 
donian Cercidas of the time of Demosthenes. The envoys 
then returned to Megalopolis, and in the spring of 224 reported 
their mission to the League. Megalopolis, they said, had 
obtained the goodwill of Antigonus, whose aid they could now 
count on. Thereupon Aratus, who had private information 
from Nicophanes of the King's attitude, rose to his feet. He 
was delighted to hear of the King's sympathy, but would it 
not be more honourable if they could win the war by them- 
selves ? Macedon should only be brought in as a last resort. 
It was a masterly stroke : secure in the knowledge that Anti- 
gonus would come in when he gave the word, Aratus had 
covered his tracks from every one but the King and his friends, 
the envoys of Megalopolis ; the latter, if they had any sense 



78 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

of humour, must have found the Council of 224 very satisfying. 
But, as Aratus doubtless expected, the League soon proved 
quite incapable of resisting Cleomenes by itself ; the duress 
of events forced Aratus to sacrifice his quixotic sense of honour 
for his country's good. Antigonus was called in. But the 
troubles of Megalopolis were not over ; in 223 Cleomenes 
captured the city, though most of the citizens succeeded in 
escaping to Messene. What then happened is not quite 
clear, apparently Cleomenes offered to spare the city if the 
inhabitants would return as his allies. The terms were 
rejected, it is said at the instance of the young Philopoemen, 
and Cleomenes razed the city to the ground. Cercidas would 
seem to have been amongst those who escaped to Messene, 
for we next hear of him as commanding the thousand Megalo- 
politans, exiles who fought on the Achaean side at Sellasia. 
But the honours of that day were not to be with the higher 
officers among the Megalopolitans, but with Philopoemen, 
who saw the psychological moment to attack, and seized it in 
the face of their orders. Sellasia was decisive, Cleomenes fled 
into exile ; Aratus returned to the headship of the Archaean 
League ; and the inhabitants of Megalopolis to their ruined 
city. Over the refounding and rebuilding of the city there 
was much dispute and bitterness, and a reform party proposed 
to reduce the city to a size which could more easily be defended, 
and to provide for additional citizens by dividing up a third 
of the land of existing landowners. They met with strenuous 
opposition, and Antigonus appointed Prytanis, an eminent 
member of the Peripatetic school, as vo^oOdr^t;. 1 The code 
he proposed caused violent controversy, and the dispute was 
not settled till 217, through the mediation of Aratus. It 
seems highly probable that this was the occasion on which 
Cercidas distinguished himself as vo/noOerr]^. 2 

There had been nothing of the Cynic cosmopolitanism about 
Cercidas' conduct in standing so resolutely by his country in 
her misfortunes, and in being so concerned about the right 
ordering of her own political affairs. Not for him the indiffer- 
ence of Crates, asked by Alexander if he favoured the restora- 
tion of Thebes after her fall, ' Why should it be restored ? 
Perhaps another Alexander would destroy it again/ 3 Cercidas 

1 Pol. t v. 93. 2 See Note 5 to Chap. III. 

3 D.L., vi. 93. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 79 

had been a citizen of Megalopolis, not the fellow-citizen of 
Diogenes in the HOOTCH;. But in one very remarkable frag- 
ment 1 we see how his Cynic leanings influenced his political 
views. 

(Why does not God) choose out Xenon, that greedy cormorant of 
the well-lined purse, the child of licentiousness, and make him the 
child of poverty, giving to us who deserve it the silver that now 
runs to waste ? What could prevent it (ask God that question, 
since it is easy for him to bring about whatever his mind resolves) 
that the man who ruins wealth by pouring out what he has or the 
filthy-dross-stained usurer, should be drained of their swine- 
befouled wealth, and the money now wasted given to him that has 
but his daily bread, and dips his cup at the common bowl ? Has 
Justice then the sight of a mole, does Phaethon squint with a single 
pupil, is the vision dimmed of Themis the bright ? How can one 
hold them for gods that lack eyes to see and ears to hear ? Yet 
men say that the dread king, lord of the lightning, sits in mid- 
olympus holding the scales of justice, and never nods. So says 
Homer in the Iliad. ' He doth incline the scale to the mighty of 
valour, when the day of fate is at hand/ Why then does the 
impartial balancer never incline to me ? * But the Brygians, 2 dregs 
of humanity (yet I dread to say it), see how far they swing down in 
their favour the scales of Zeus ! What lords, then, what sons of 
Ouranos shall a man find, that he may have justice ? For Zeus, 
father of us all, verily is a father to some, to others but a step- 
father. Best leave the problem to astrologers ; I think for them 
it will be a light task to solve. But for us, let us have a care for 
Paean, and for Sharing she is indeed a goddess and Retribution 
that walketh the earth. While the godhead blows a favourable 
wind astern, hold her in honour ; but though mortals fare well, 
yet shall a sudden wind blow vaunted wealth and proud fortune 
away. Who then shall vomit them back to you from the deep ? ' 

Can we date this remarkable outburst against social in- 
equality ? Tarn thinks it emanates from the period when the 
reforms of Cleomenes were arousing the oppressed classes 
throughout the Peloponnese. Cercidas, he says, ' is actually 
found preaching philanthropy and exhorting his fellows ' (i.e. 
the governing classes) * to heal the sick and give to the poor 
while they had time, otherwise the social revolution might be 

1 Fr. 4 (Powell). 

2 Reading, with Knox, ru d 9 ea^ara Egvyta Mva&v. Powell reads 

MvaaJv. 



8o A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

upon them and their wealth taken away \ l But this seems to 
miss the bitterness of the passage : Cercidas does not speak 
of himself as one of the governing classes, but rather as one 
oppressed by the unequal distribution of wealth. * Why not 
give to us the wealth that flows on useless expense ? ' and 
again, * Why does the impartial balancer never incline the 
scales to me ? ' 

We know from Polybios that social distress was particularly 
rife in Megalopolis about the time of the refounding of the 
city after its destruction by Cleomenes, and I suggest that it 
is to these years that we must assign the poem. Polybius says 
that there was a party which proposed to force men of property 
to contribute a third of their land to make up the numbers of 
new citizens required ; and it is significant that the poem twice 
refers to the division of superfluous wealth for redistribution 
amongst the poor. The bitterness of the reference to Xeno 
harmonizes well with the ' disputes, jealousies, and mutual 
hatreds ' which Polybius says were rife amongst the Megalo- 
politans. If we accept Knox's attractive suggestion that ra 
6* samara {tQvyia Mvaa>v are the Macedonians, the nature of the 
allusion (a^op^ai ds Ofy fayeiv) is understandable. Cercidas, 
who had played a leading part in securing the Macedonian 
alliance, could hardly complain if its results were unsatisfac- 
tory. That Antigonus would do little for the reforming party 
is likely enough, as Tarn says, Macedonia was always the 
bulwark of law and order and the existing state of affairs. 
The Peripatetics, too, were always more or less dependent on 
Macedonian protection, and it is likely that the code of Pry- 
tanis, which caused so much dispute, unduly favoured the 
wealthy. On this interpretation, the poem is not a warning 
to the governing classes to mend their ways while there is time, 
but a call to the party of reform not to wait for the vengeance 
of Heaven to strike the rich, but to act themselves under the 
inspiration of a new triad of deities, Paean and Sharing, and 
Nemesis. The tone in which the false deities of popular belief 
are assailed is essentially Cynic, as is the attack on luxury. 
The three deities are especially interesting. As Hunt well 
observes, the Cynics had a particular reverence for doctors, 
they themselves were targoi of men's souls, so the reference 
to Paean is readily intelligible, it implies healing both physically 
1 Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. vii, p. 755. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 81 

and spiritually. What of Sharing (Msrddwg) ? Cercidas was 
an enthusiast on the old poets, and doubtless knew the line of 
Hesiod, ' Giving (Ad)$) is a good wench, but Thieving a bad 
one, the bringer of Death '. Merddax; would be a very suitable 
deity for a party whose programme included land-distribution, 
and one can understand the commendation deoq yaq avra. 
NB^OK; Kara ydv is thus not named as a threat to the wealthy 
that Cleomenes and the Spartans will be upon them, but per- 
haps a reminder to the party of reform that they have to fulfil 
on earth the functions assigned to Zeus in heaven. As for the 
wealthy, at present the winds blow fair, but let them beware 
a sudden squall. 

The other fragments of Cercidas can be more briefly dealt 
with. Powell fragment 5 amplifies the saying of Euripides 
that Love has two breezes (diaaa nvsvfiara nvl<; "Egax;) to 
enforce the Cynic maxim that the sexual instincts should be 
gratified with as little trouble as possible. One should avoid 
the grande affaire \ ' against whomsoever Aphrodite's son 
loosens his left jaw, rousing the whirlwinds and hurricanes of 
passion, their voyage is ever beset with unending turmoils of 
waves '. The wise man will not embark on such a stormy 
voyage when a calmer passage may be had. ' Take Aphrodite 
that walks the market-place, she brings not repentance. She's 
there whenever you like, whenever you want her, nothing to 
fear or fret over. For an obol you may lie with her, and think 
yourself son-in-law to Tyndarus.' Fiske x deals very fully 
with the conception of ' Venus parabilis ' in the literature of 
Epicureans, and with the obvious imitations of this passage of 
Cercidas in Lucilius, and more especially in Horace, satire II. 
He suggests with some probability that Cercidas' simile of the 
stormy and the calm voyages of love is influenced by Epicurus' 
contrast of the tempest of the soul (%eip,<bv rrj<; yv%fj$), and the 
calm of the soul (yahrjvrj). 

Another fragment, 2 much mutilated, appears to be an attack 
on music as an enervating influence. Apollo is the god of 
' races who dwell in the shade, of mortals benumbed by 
pleasure, avoiding toil '. The offsprings of ' the lofty-tragic- 
goddess (Music) ' are ' the Phrygian eunuch with puffed cheeks 
and the Lydian harlot '. Cynic parallels are readily found. 
Diogenes 3 would * marvel that musicians should tune the 
1 Lucilius and Horace, p. 250 ff. 2 Powell, fr. 6. 8 D.L., vi. 27. 
7 



82 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

strings of the lyre, while leaving discordant the disposition of 
their souls ', and Bion * in general made sport of music and 
geometry ' we have as a sample his attack on Archytas * born 
of the strings, happy in his conceit, skilled beyond all men to 
awake the bass note of discord '.* 

Powell fragments 8 and 9 are joined by Knox ; the general 
sense is clear enough, the Stoics of Cercidas' time are attacked 
as having degenerated from the standard of Zeno. The text 
is in very bad condition, particularly fragment 9, so that there 
are many doubtful readings. 2 Knox's restoration of fragment 
9, lines 1-7, suggests an attack on the preoccupation of the 
Stoics with dialectic, and their neglect of discipline. * Petti- 
fogging lawyers they, babbling pitiful nonsense, and whetting 
well their pointed tongues, no habit of discipline blunteth, nor 
fatigue, its bitter edge.' Fragment 8 explicitly alludes to 
' Sphaerus ' as one of these degenerates ; this is almost cer- 
tainly Sphaerus of Bosporus, the philosophic adviser of Cleo- 
menes of Sparta. In the list of his writings given by Diogenes 
Laertius are works on Similars, on Definitions, on Contra- 
dictory Statements, on Predicates, on Ambiguous terms, and 
a Handbook of Dialectic in two volumes, besides treatises on 
* physical ' subjects, such as the sense-organs, and minimal 
parts (neql ^a^iarcor). All such occupations would come 
within the sphere of rvqpot; to the Cynic. Throughout the 
two fragments is evidence that the erotic practices of Sphaerus 
and his associates are unfavourably contrasted with the ' SQGX; 
Zavconxos 9 ' the love of a Zeno '. 

Fragment 2 quotes an animal proverb. ' Remember what 
the wrinkled tortoise said, " Truly home is dearest and best ".' 
Whether these lines can be linked on to fragment 5, as Knox 
suggests, is highly doubtful. The tortoise * happy in its thick 
shell ' might well typify the Cynic anaQsia ; Gerhard quotes 
Plutarch for the tortoise as a symbol of olxovqia and aichnr], 
and suggests that its affection for its home typifies Diogenes' 
attachment to his tub ! But perhaps we are here dealing not 
with that sagacious animal, but with the other tortoise who 
rashly desired to quit his lowly station and see the wonders 
of the upper air, and who came to a bad end. 3 The animal 

1 D.L., iv. 52. 2 See Note 6 to Chap. III. 

3 Cf. Aesop's Fables : The eagle and the tortoise : quoted by 
Powell. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 83 

is thus warning us from the wisdom of experience, against the 
folly of fjiefji^i^oiQia. 

Fragment i is the encomium of Diogenes quoted in Dio- 
genes Laertius, hailing him as t rightly named the offspring 
of Zeus, and the Heavenly Dog '. Fragment 3 apparently 
assails those addicted to rgvyi}. ' How can they see wisdom 
standing close at hand . . . men whose heart with mud 
is filled, and with lees whose stain may not be washed 
away ? ' 

Cercidas was the inventor of the meliambic measure ; from 
a statement in Athenaeus it appears that he wrote iambics 
also. Knox * maintains with great force that the iambic verses 
contained in two second-century papyri, Londinensis 155, and 
Heidelberg Pap. 310, form part of a moral anthology compiled 
by Cercidas. The Cynic sympathies of the author at least of 
the Heidelberg fragment are unmistakable, and it is likely 
enough that some such anthology, which would fulfil the same 
use as a collection of XQslai, would be compiled by a Cynic. 
The ideas underlying these fragments, and the parallels 
throughout Greek literature, are fully discussed by Gerhard ; 2 
their spirit is akin to that of the diatribes of Teles, together 
with which they will be briefly considered. 

There is no evidence to decide how long Cercidas lived after 
the vojuoOeaia of 217 ; Powell fragment 7 is his address to 
his soul when on the threshold of old age. It is the declara- 
tion of a man who had enjoyed his life, and certainly Cercidas 
had had a full one. He had been in contact with great political 
figures of the day, had negotiated with Antigonus Doson, and 
seen from the inside the subtle workings of the policy of 
Aratus, he had been present on that July day at Sellasia when 
Sparta fought one of her greatest battles and suffered, in effect, 
her final defeat. Of all this there is no direct mention ; his 
thoughts are on the delights of literature, and of the frugal life. 

Oft will a man unwillingly close his eyes in surrender, though not 
beaten ; but thou didst have an unshakeable heart 3 within thy 
breast, and one unconquered by all the cares that attend flesh- 

1 The First Greek Anthologist, Cambridge, 1922. 

2 Phoenix von Kolophon, Leipzig, 1909. 

8 Of the perseverance shown by the Megalopolitan exiles after the 
sack of the city ? 



84 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

wasting luxury. No good thing ever escaped thee, ever within thy 
affections were all the cublings of the Muses. Thou hast been a 
hunter, my soul, of all the Pierian maids, and a most keen tracker. 
But now are a few white hairs round the fringes of thy cheeks. . . .* 

4 Thou wast a hunter, my soul, of the Pierian maids ' . . . 
whether it refers to his own works, to his enthusiasm for litera- 
ture in general, or more narrowly to his industry as an anthol- 
ogist, it is an odd reversal of the epitaph of Aeschylus, who 
says nothing of his glory as a tragedian, but only that he fought 
at Marathon. Yet here is no reference to Sellasia. Cercidas' 
devotion to literature passed into tradition. c He ordered 
Books I and II of the Iliad to be buried with him/ we are 
told ; 2 and Aelian 3 describes how 

A man from Megalopolis in Arcadia, Cercidas by name, being about 
to die, told his sorrowing kinsmen that he gladly departed this life, 
for, he said, he had hopes of meeting Pythagoras amongst the 
philosophers, of the historians Hecataeus, of musicians, Olympus, 
and of poets Homer. So saying, he gave up the ghost. 

In the Apology, Socrates declared himself ready to meet a 
hundred deaths, if he might meet Orpheus and Musaeus, 
Hesiod and Homer. 

The name of Cercidas was gratefully remembered by his 
fellow-citizens ; and in Stephanus of Byzantium the notice 
under Megalopolis reads, ' that is where Cercidas came from, 
that excellent lawgiver and meliambic poet '. Gregory Nazian- 
zen refers to him as 6 (piXrarot;^ and his verses were echoed by 
Lucilius and Horace. In the years after 240 Megalopolis 
produced a succession of noteworthy men, the far-seeing tyrant 
Lydiades, Philopoemen, * the last of the Greeks ', and the 
historian Polybius. To their company one must admit Cer- 
cidas, * a^LaroQ ro//oOer^g nai 



(d) Teles 

It is a curious turn of literary fortune that Teles, apparently 
a fourth-rate writer of little originality, known in no reference 

1 Knox takes the passage to refer to the compilation of the anthol- 
ogy, the * cublings of the Muses ' were the improving passages ; 
Cercidas congratulates himself on his diligence, he never missed a 
reference (TO> nv di(pevye xah&v ovdev noxa). 

2 Apud. Phot., 190 (151 Bekk). * Hist., xiii. 20. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 85 

of earlier date than Stobaeus, should be represented by larger 
fragments than Crates, Bion, and Menippus, whose works 
were admired and frequently alluded to in classical times. 
Teles comes down to us in extracts made by Stobaeus from 
an inito^ made by an otherwise unknown Theodorus x 
there may have been other middlemen involved in the process. 
The fragments are edited and the date and sources of Teles 
discussed in Hense, Teletis reliquiae ; he has also occupied 
the attention of Wilamowitz 2 and Cronert. 3 As a result of 
these studies it is known that Teles was a Megarian school- 
master who flourished in the second half of the third century ; 
the one reference which can be definitely dated shows that the 
diatribe TIEQI qwyfjc; was composed later than 240, 4 and delivered 
to an audience of youths at Megara ; Teles has a Megarian 
name, his writings employ certain Doric forms, and he alludes 
to himself as naidaywydi;. 5 The seven fragments are dia- 
tribes ; four on such familiar Cynic themes as Exile, Self- 
Sufficiency, Poverty and Wealth ; that entitled neql neqia- 
Taaeo)v is a warning against ^B^^toiQia ; while two have a 
polemical purpose, being respectively directed against the 
Hedonist doctrine that Pleasure is the End, and the popular 
view that outward appearance is the true criterion of justice 
(neql rov doxelv KOI rov elvat). 

A literary judgement of Teles must be based on the evidence 
we possess, and can only be unfavourable. It is of course 
always possible that this evidence does him much less than 
justice ; it is uncertain whether his diatribes were published 
as delivered or from the notes of an auditor, and in all ages 
it is the fate of lecturers to be remembered for their jokes 
rather than for their matter. But in six of the seven frag- 
ments, if we take away borrowed passages and anecdotes, Teles 
himself is represented by little more than a few connecting 
sentences. This may be due to the successive " cuttings " of 
Theodorus, Stobaeus, and whatever other epitomators took a 
hand in it ; but it implies at least that Teles' own work was 
less interesting than what he quoted. A further difficulty is 

1 Conjectured to have been a Cynic of the time of the revival of 
Cynicism in the first century A.D. But definite evidence is lacking. 

2 Antigonus von Karystus, Exkurs. Der kynischer prediger Teles. 
8 Kolotes und Menedemos, pp. 37-47. 

4 16. 3. 5 16. 13. 



86 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

that Theodorus (presumably) maintains an annoying running 
commentary to ensure that his reader is missing nothing 
* You see the joke ? ' he asks anxiously, and again, on the 
bravery of Spartan women, * What woman of our day would 
have acted thus ? ' These comments are not always easy to 
distinguish from what may have been Teles' remarks to his 
class, e.g. * Would any of us have gone to sleep in such circum- 
stances ? ' (of Socrates' fortitude in prison). But in the first 
diatribe there is less extraneous matter than in the others and 
some judgement can be formed of Teles' style. 

A. They say it is better to seem just than to be just. Well, is 
it better to seem good than to be good ? B. Hardly. A. Again, 
are actors esteemed for seeming to be good, or for being good ? 
B. For being good. A. And do men become accounted good 
harpists by seeming to be good harpists, or for being good ? B. For 
being good. A. And in general, do men become successful in all 
things rather by seeming to be good, or by being good ? B. By 
being good. A. By the presence of that quality success is assured, 
rather than by its absence ; so that it does seem a better thing to 
be good than to seem good, and the just man is good, not he who 
appears to be just. . . . 

And so on. However edifying this may have been to the youth 
of Megara, it is deficient in both literary and logical virtues. 
But, like many bad authors, Teles is of interest in reflecting 
the literary tastes of his audience. His great heroes are 
Socrates, Diogenes, and Crates ; and Cynic literature is freely 
quoted, especially Bion. There are references to ol aQ%aloi y 
presumably the older Cynic authors, and explicit quotations 
from Crates and Metrocles, though it cannot be decided 
whether he got them at first hand, or, as Hense maintains, 
through Bion, or through books of ^qelai.^ Socrates he knows 
at best through the Xenophontic tradition ; the allusion to 
the PJiaedo 2 can hardly be at first hand, for it is coupled with 
a magnificent howler about the last words of Socrates which 
argues a very dubious source. Stilpo is naturally drawn upon 
as an eminent Megarian philosopher. Of quotations from the 
poets the great majority are from Homer, in all ages the school- 

1 35- 4- There is one definite allusion to the 

of Zeno. 
ii. 15 ; 12. i. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 87 

book of Hellas. The only gnomic poet quoted is Theognis. 
Of the tragedians Euripides is quoted six times, Sophocles 
once, Aeschylus not at all ; there are several quotations from 
unknown authors. The Old Comedy is not quoted, and the 
New Comedy represented by Philemon and not Menander. 
Finally there are references to mythological characters such as 
Heracles, Cadmus, Tantalus, Oedipus, and Perseus, to familiar 
historical personages, Aristeides, Lysander, Callias, and to 
contemporaries, Ptolemy, Antigonus, Chremonides. Several 
admiring references to Sparta imply that her valorous conduct 
on such occasions as her resistance to Pyrrhus maintained 
during the third century the Spartan reputation for avdpsia. 
The taste catered for is clearly a popular one whose chief 
interest lay in the didactic aspect of literature. 

Whatever our disparagement of Teles as a writer, we can 
but be grateful that these fragments have been preserved ; 
without them we should know little of third-century diatribe 
or of Bion. 

(e) Educational Theory 

The Cynics had always laid great stress on naidda though 
Teles is the only known case of a Cynic schoolmaster. During 
the third century Cynic works on education appeared in which 
Diogenes was depicted as the ideal naidayayyoq ; two such 
books known to us were the TlaiQaywyiKoc, of Cleomenes x 
and the Aioyevovi; n^aou; of Eubulus. 2 The fragment pre- 
served from the latter is of especial interest, for it outlines a 
curriculum supposed to have been adopted by Diogenes in 
educating the sons of his master Xeniades of Corinth. * After 
their other studies he taught them to ride, to shoot with the 
bow, to sling stones and hurl javelins. He also took them out 
hunting/ . . . Such exercises were presumably recommended 
as involving jioVog, and it is interesting to be told that * in 
the wrestling-school he would not permit the master to give 
them full athletic training, but only sufficient to keep them 
in colour and in good condition '. The Cynics deprecated 
specialization in athletics and several apophthegms directed 
against athletes were attributed to Diogenes. 3 ' He would 

1 D.L., vi. 75. 

2 id., ib. 30, presumably Eubulus was himself a Cynic, 
8 id., ib. 27, 33, 49, 68, &c. 



88 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

wonder that men would strive to out- do each other in digging 
and kicking, and yet no one strove to become a good man * : 
1 Athletes are so stupid because they are built up of pigs'-flesh 
and bulls '-flesh ' ; a victory at the Great Games was won over 
slaves, the Cynic's victory over men. The point was, of 
course, that the athlete's abounding energy might be better 
directed. The boys' intellectual development was to be 
secured by * making them learn by heart many passages from 
the poets, historians, and the works of Diogenes himself ; and 
he would try every short cut to improve their memories '. 
We see from the quotations and historical allusions in Teles 
that the poets and historians were esteemed for their didactic 
value, they provided koyoi xprjarot. As for behaviour, * he 
taught them to wait on themselves, to eat plain food, and to 
drink water. They were made to crop their hair, and wear 
it unadorned, and to go about lightly clad and barefoot ; in 
the streets they were to be silent and not to stare about them.' 
The educational programme thus fostered on Diogenes is a 
compound of various existing systems, interpreted in a Cynic 
spirit. The ordinary Greek elementary education (ra yQajn- 
fiara) forms its backbone, augmented by features derived from 
Sparta (hunting) and from the Persian system described by 
Xenophon in the Cyropaedia (shooting with the bow, riding). 
The regimen is that of the Cynic avrdgxeia, but the aim of 
the system is not to produce little Cynics, as naidaycoyos in the 
literal, largos in a figurative sense, the Cynic labours not on 
behalf of his movement but of mankind. 

The papyri 1 dealing with the theme of ala%()oxe()Seia are 
on the same literary level as the diatribes of Teles. They are 
obviously part of an anthology ; Knox's theory that the 
compilation is due to Cercidas is attractive and probable. 
Addressed to a certain Parnos, who ' lends a ready ear to 
ennobling verse ', 2 they are an expression of disgust at an age 
of shameless commercialism whose keynote is the line of 
Sophocles, 

Faith withers, and Faithlessness comes to flower. 

1 Londinensis 155 ; Pap. Bod. MS., Gr. F. i, Heidelberg Pap. 
210. I follow Knox in regarding them as connected. 

2 On Knox's reading. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 89 

The author announces his own intention of abiding by ' That 
old rule of simplicity, to be no slave of luxury, nor of the 
stomach's pleasures '. Though Business Ethics have driven 
Faith and Justice from the earth, and Zeus and the gods of 
popular belief are apparently impotent, the righteous man can 
live in the knowledge that a day will come ... * for I see 
many who grow rich on shamelessness, yet their wealth all 
vanished as though it had never been '. There follows a 
remarkable outburst. 



ecfTiv yd@ eoTfv, og tads 
o$ ev #(>oVa> to Oelov ov 
vefiei d' xdcfT) rrjv xaraictiov 

The deity in question is, one may conjecture, Nemesis ; 
Theophrastus, asked what powers govern human life, answered 
Evegysoia xai Ti/mcoQia, divinities also recognized by Democ- 
ritus. 1 To enforce the warning against aia%QoxE$deia an 
iambic poem of Phoenix of Colophon is cited ; it deals with 
profiteers where * houses are fair and noble and worth a fortune, 
but they themselves would be no bargain at three obols a 
head '. Gerhard's very full discussion of these fragments 
shows how the ' commonplaces ' and similes they contain are 
those regarded as especially appropriate to the theme of 
ala%QoxsQdeia ; and Fiske points out the parallels in Horace, 
Satires, i. i. 

NOTES TO CHAPTER III 

i . The data are as follows . Diogenes Laertius includes Bion amongst 
the adherents of the Academy, after Arcesilaus (e%ojLievco$ 'AQxeaMq)) . 
He speaks of him as one of the pupils of Crates the Academic (iv. 
23) ; then in the biography of Bion comes the following passage : 
ofaoc, TTJV CLQ^TIV {Jiiv TtQotJQ^ro^ rd 'Axadri^aiKd, xaO J ov %QOVOV ijxove 
Kgdrr^roQ' eh 9 STtaveiheto trjv XVVIM'JV dycDyrjv, hdflcav TQipaJva KGLL JHJQCLV. 
Hal ri ydg a'/Uo nereaxevaaev avrov nqcx; djiaOslav ; Ineira em rd Seodchqeia 
fierrjWe dianovaai; Qeodcbgov rov dQeov xard ndv elSo<; hoyov acxpicfTevov- 
rog' fied' oft QeocpQactrov dir^ovas rov neQinairftwov. This certainly 
seems to imply a sequence, but as it stands it involves some confus- 
ion, for, as Zeller points out, Crates was not head of the Academy 
till c. 276 B.C. He thinks Crates the Academic is confused with 
Xenocrates or with Crates the Cynic, and von Arnim in Pauly- 

1 See Powell, op. cit., p. 206. 

2 noQflrefto Hunt followed by Hicks. 



90 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

Wissowa agrees. 1 Gomperz on the other hand refuses to attach any 
significance to the Laertian chronology, further remarking that there 
is no reason why Bion should not have heard the Academic Crates 
before he was scholarch. In this he is followed by Hense, who gives 
a quotation (from the Acad. Phil. Ind. Herc. y xvi. 62, 30) which makes 
Bion one of the pupils of this Crates. 

But the order Cynic Theodorus (whom Zeller believes to have 
visited Athens in 306) Theophrastus involves no chronological 
difficulty ; furthermore, a passage of Laertius 2 definitely associates 
him with Xenocrates, who died in 314. Again, the reading naQflreiro 
deserves more attention than it has received from Gomperz and 
Hense. Hicks 3 adopts it and translates * Bion at the outset used 
to deprecate the Academic doctrines, even when a pupil of Crates '. 
If we accept Zeller's view that Crates the Academic has been con- 
fused with Xenocrates, this difficulty is resolved. D.L., iv. 10 shows 
Bion * mocking ' at Xenocrates. * Xenocrates, when mocked by 
Bion, refused to reply, saying that tragedy does not deign to answer 
the banter of comedy.' The anecdote which follows is perhaps not 
without significance. To an unnamed person who wished to attend 
his lectures, Xenocrates said, * Go away, you give philosophy nothing 
to catch hold of.' Bion joined in the Cynic deprecation of astronomy 
and grammar and similar * useless ' pursuits ; 4 it is perhaps not 
wholly fanciful to suggest that he may have been the ill-prepared 
student in question. Of course, Bion may have heard Crates lecture 
before he became scholarch. Crates was on the most intimate terms 
with Polemon, head of the Academy from 314 to 276 ; Bion was 
probably in Athens for the greater part of this time. But in any 
case the doctrines of the Academy seem to have had little or no effect 
on Bion's thought. 

2. The relevant passage of Diogenes Laertius runs as follows fy 'de 
xal QearQixoq xai nokvg ev rw yehoiwt; diwpOQfjacu, (poQtixolq dvo^aai Kara 
rcbv ftQayjudrajv %Qd){j,evo<;. dia <5r) ofiv TO navri eidei, koyov nexQacrOai (pacrt 
Myeiv in avrov TOV 'JEgaToffOevrjv, w$ nq&Toc; Blcov (pikoacxptav dvOivd 



This passage has engaged the attention of Wachsmuth, 5 Hense, 
and Fiske, and their interpretations leave its meaning fairly clear. 
The chief point of difference between them is the exact value to be 
attached to Qearqixog, : Wachsmuth thinks it refers to the little mime- 
like scenes, the nQoaaononoia, which Bion frequently employed ; 
Hense more broadly refers it to the whole stylistic method of Bion, 
which was more adapted to the stage than to the works of philosophy, 
' theatricus enim mini audit philosophus qui philosophatur ng>6<; 
d%Aov xal OedTQov qui in speciem laborat risum captans . . . magno- 
que intervallo separatur ab illo cui alter philosophus satis magnum 
theatrum est.' 6 Fiske follows this interpretation, further adducing 

1 s.v. Bion. * iv. 10. 8 Loeb edition. D.L., i. 429. 

4 Stob., 2. i. 30 ; 3. 4. 32. D.L., iv. 53. 

5 Sill. Graec., p. 76. 6 Tel. ReL, Ivn-lix. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 91 

the sensationalism of Dion's methods, as exemplified by the story 
of the sailors at Rhodes. 1 The phrase xai noXvq . . . xQcopevoe he 
' refers to the diction of Bion, which was absolutely realistic.* Finally 
the mixing of ' every style of diction * clad the works of Bion in 
flowery garments (dvOwti) unbecoming the ae/worr)/; of philosophy. 
These criticisms suggest the standard of the Plain Style formulated 
by the Stoics Diogenes of Babylon and Panaetius, which, as Fiske a 
shows, go back to the Peripatetic doctrines of TO TIQJZOV, a probability 
increased by the fact that the criticism about the dvOivd seems to 
have been made in the first place by Theophrastus. 

The five merits of style, according to Diogenes, were pure Greek 
^EXXr]via^6<;\ conciseness (avvropla), clearness (aa(pr]vela), appro- 
priateness (TO ngenov), and distinction (xaTaaxevrj). 3 Panaetius 
developed this theory, in particular enlarging the concept of TO 
ngenov ' from the field of aesthetics to the field of ethics *. 4 From 
Cicero we gather that Panaetius repudiated the Cynic JiaQqrjaia as 
an offence against decency. ' Cynicorum vera ratio tota est eicienda : 
est enim inimica verecundiae, sine qua nihil recte esse potest, nihil 
iucundum.' 5 The (poQrwa ovo^ara of Bion were doubtless included 
with the * obscena verba ' of Diogenes in this condemnation. The 
phrase KOI noKvc, . . . ^oco/^evog, taken as a whole, suggests a charge 
of /?co/JoAo;ta, scurrilous jesting, which Cicero, again following 
Panaetius, describes as * illiberale, petulans, flagitiosum, obscenum.' 6 
The * theatrical ' nature of Bion's style was inappropriate for philos- 
ophy, and hence offended against rd nqercov ; the <p6QTMa ovd/Liara, 
violated the canon of 'EMrjnajuos, which does not employ * the 
language of the streets ' (^ elxatq. avvriQel(i) y and of xaraaxevrj, 
which is Ae'ffcg exnecpevyvla rov idiconajLiov. The inference is there- 
fore that these criticisms of Bion's style come from a period when 
the adherents of the Stoic theory of the Plain Style were rejecting 
the naQQr]aia of the Cynics for the eviQanekla of the Socratic writers. 
If this is so, the source from which Diogenes Laertius derives this 
portion of the life of Bion will probably be of the first century B.C. 
or later ; unless we regard him as deriving directly from Panaetius 
a likely guess would be Diocles. 

3. As in the following examples : (a) Stob. n. 20. 7. * Bion says 
that astronomers were ridiculous for pretending that they know all 
about the fish in the sky, though they neglect the fish on the beach.' 
Similar remarks are attributed to Diogenes, who * would marvel that 
astronomers would look at the sun and the moon, and neglect matters 
close at hand '. 7 Again, * a certain astronomer was exhibiting a map 
of the heavens in the agora here, he said, are the eccentric stars 

1 D.L., iv. 53 

2 For a full discussion of the plain style see Fiske, op. cit., reference 
in Index sub Panaetius. 

3 D.L., vii. 59. 4 Fiske, op. cit., p. 73- 5 de Offic., i. 148. 
6 ib., i. 128. 7 D.L., vi. 28. 



92 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

" Don't lie,'* said Diogenes, " the eccentrics are not there but here " 
(pointing to the spectators).' 1 Astronomers, in fact, had been used 
as examples of nohvnQayfJiovet; ever since the Thracian servant-girl 
jeered at Thales. 2 (b) Another variation on the theme of nhavcbjLievoi. 
' Bion said that grammarians who busy themselves on the wander- 
ings of Odysseus are heedless of their own ; nor do they discern 
that they are themselves astray on this very point, i.e. that they are 
wasting their time on valueless pursuits.' 3 With this compare the 
story that Diogenes * would wonder that men should study the woes 
of Odysseus, when they are ignorant of their own '. 4 Wilamowitz 
thinks that the similarity of these dicta of Bion and Diogenes is 
explained by their occurrence in books of %Qeicu ; notably that 
compiled by Zeno, and that the names have got mixed. Hense 
accounts for the confusion by the familiar habit of the ancients of 
quoting without acknowledging their sources. 

4. The date of the Characters is taken to be 319 or earlier ; if we 
take the statement of Diogenes Laertius that Bion studied under 
Theophrastus after he had heard Theodorus, we get a date for their 
association some time after 306. The delineation of character-types 
had in the meantime been perfected by the poets of the New Comedy, 
especially by Philemon and Menander, the latter also the pupil of 
Theophrastus. That Bion was interested in the analysis of character 
is confirmed by the apophthegms which appear in Laertius as well as 
by passages in Teles generally assumed to be quoting Bion ; in 
almost every case a parallel can be found in Theophrastus. Thus, 
Bion retorts to an ddoM0%riG TO avov aoi nGioa), edv nctQaxhrjTovi; 
nefjiyfli; xal avroq juf] eA0#g. 5 'Ado^ea^ia is the subject of one 
of the Theophrastean character-sketches, x dv vno^vrj -cu; avwv 
IJLYI d<piardaOai (naqacteiaavra drj delioix; roiovrov^ rcov dvOgtincov uai 
diagajLievov dnaXMrreaQai). Again, Bion says of a wealthy miser, 
* He has not acquired a fortune, it has acquired him ' ; and ' Misers 
take care of their property as though it belonged to them, but get 
no more benefit from it than if it belonged to others '. Of the 
fiixQoA.oyos Theophrastus says, * ra>v juixQohoycw rag dQyvQo6r']xa<; eanv 
Idelv ev^cortcocrag, airtovq d& (poQovvra^ eAdrrco ra>v furfQcov rd l^arta. 

Of the other Theophrastean types, we find in Bion references to 
the dhda>v, diaidai/i(jov, neyinoiQ&v . The ftdaxavos of D.L. 51 
may be compared with the ao/ldyog of Theoph. xxviii ; and the 
definitions of virtue, courage, prudence, &c., are in the vein of the 
definition which Theophrastus always prefixes to his character- 
sketches. 

5. This is the view of Croiset, 6 von Hiller, 7 and Tarn. 8 Gerhard 9 
and Powell, 10 however, urge that this vofioOeaCa more probably took 

1 Stob., 2. 22. 2 Theaet., 1740. 3 Stob., 5. 4. 53. 

4 D.L., vi. 27. 5 id., iv. 50. 6 Journal, d. Sav. y 1911. 

7 P.W., s.v. Megalopolis. 8 C.A.H., Vol. vii, p. 755. 

9 in P.W., s.v. Kerkidas. 10 Collect. Alex., p. 201. 



CYNICISM IN THE THIRD CENTURY B.C. 93 

place after the abdication of the tyrant Lydiades, i.e. some time later 
than 235 ; Powell thinks that Cercidas may have been given supreme 
authority for the purpose. Unfortunately the coinage of Megalopolis 
gives no help ; but (i) the only occasion on which we are expressly 
told of a vonoOeala in Megalopolis at this period is the year 217. 
(2) Lydiades would seem to have been the most prominent man in 
Megalopolis, even after he abdicated as a tyrant, down to his death 
at the battle of Ladoceia. (3) The tone of the references to Cercidas 
as aQiarot; vo/bioOerr^ imply that the code he drew up was successful. 
If he had so distinguished himself as a lawgiver after the abdication 
of Lydiades, why was there so much discontent and civil discord 
at Megalopolis in 221 and the following years ? On the other hand, 
Polybius says that the voftoOeala of 217 was satisfactory, * the terms 
on which they composed their differences were engraved on a stone 
and set up beside the altar of Hestia in the Homarium ' ; l (4) Polyb- 
ius also implies that the code of Prytanis was rejected, and the final 
settlement was due to the influence of Aratus. Cercidas was the 
friend of Aratus, he had commanded the Megalopolitan contingent 
at Sellasia, what more likely than that Aratus appointed him as 
for his native city ? 



6. The sequence of thought does seem intelligible, always admitting 
that the uncertainty of the readings makes any interpretation highly 
conjectural. For (i) on Knox's emendation, the first lines of fr. 8 
are to be taken thus, * What driver of a team of four horses brightly 
sparkling in the sun, would use to spur them a goad fitted for oxen's 
flanks ? ' 2 (2) 8, lines 8-15, though fragmentary, contain un- 
mistakable attacks on Sphaerus and his associates. ' This is the 
pathway trodden of villains. ... O Stoic Callimedon (not alone 
is Scylla the harlot evil , . .), 3 if thou dost yield aught to Sphaerus 
(ZtpdiQio ya.Q al TI . . . nQopatys) . . . this leads not to virtue . . . 
thou art a hunter after boys ( l^veveiq) 4 ... it bears a harvest of 
madness.' (3) Fragment 9, lines 11-16, describe the Move of a 
Zeno '. ' When thou shalt find a youth, formed in perfect harmony, 
then shalt thou find equal desire, temperate (K* aardOsvrov : Powell) 
and sweet. This is the love of man for man, this the love of a Zeno.' 

The SQOX; ZavwvMog was notoriously homosexual, as his enemies 
were not slow to point out. But Zeno's views on the subject were 
evidently akin to the theory of sublimation through sexual love 
developed in the Phaedrus ; * they say the wise man will love those 
youths who by their countenance show a natural disposition to virtue. 
Thus Zeno in the Republic' 5 So with the * image of a youth ' de- 
scribed by Zeno, together with the physical characteristics we find 

1 v. 93. 

2 Reading nor' alokwnohov v di/Aonhrj&povaoq) pvcom 



8 Powell, restoration suggested by Wilamowitz. 

4 Thus Powell. B D.L., vi. 129. 



94 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 



postulated d^06g vov<; nq6q rov "kbyov, dgvrrjs xai xaraxcoxf} ra>v 
ogOcbs elQrjftevow . . . aldax; ftev InavQeiro) KOI aQQevconia. 1 We 
have then two types of love contrasted, one that of Zeno, which is 
dardOevrov (Powell aptly quotes Hor. Od. ii. 19. 28. * Me lentum 
Glycerae torret amor meae '), the other that of Sphaerus, which is 
* a pathway trodden of villains ', bringing an evil harvest. One thinks 
at once of the diaoa nvev^ara QCOTO<; of the fragment previously 
considered, the ' temperate love ' would be the * calm voyage governed 
by the rudder of persuasion ', the love of Sphaerus the xa)f4aTta<; 
dMov noQdpos. What then of the charioteer and the goad ? I 
suggest that they are an adaptation of the famous simile of the 
Phaedrus, which compares the soul of man to a charioteer and his 
double yoke of horses. (That we are here dealing with a four-horse 
team is no great objection.) The voyage of love is now made in a 
chariot instead of a ship, and the violent breezes which provide a 
stormy passage are here symbolized by the ox-goad, obviously a goad 
too heavy to apply to a team of spirited horses. 

1 von Arnim, Stoic, vet., fr. i, 246. 



CHAPTER IV 

CYNICISM AND THE PHILOSOPHICAL SCHOOLS 
IN THE THIRD CENTURY 

FOR the sake of clearness the relations between Cynicism and 
the philosophical schools were not discussed in the last chapter. 
The problem deserves a chapter to itself, which may well be 
prefaced with a recapitulation of the aspects Cynicism pre- 
sented. First, then, Diogenes and Crates were living examples 
that autdOeia, in one form or another the End of all the Hellen- 
istic philosophies, could be attained, at least through the 
frugality of the XVVIKOS ftto<;. Second, the Cynic naqa^dqa^K; 
emphasized in an extreme form the cleft between the Wise 
Man and the accepted values of the age, a cleft which also 
figured in most of the new systems. Third, by the middle 
of the third century Cynicism had evolved a type of literature 
TO anovdatoy^oiovy which offered definite genres both foi 
popular exposition and for satire. 

We shall find that the influence of Cynicism was most 
potent during the lifetime of Diogenes and Crates, and rapidly 
declined later. This is readily explicable : Cynicism was 
then a novel phenomenon represented by men of striking 
personality : further, the age was eminently one of the founding 
of new philosophies. By the middle of the third century the 
several schools had taken on their individual shape : a hundred 
years later only the Stoics, Epicureans, and the New Academy 
were of any importance. Of these, the New Academy had 
no point of contact with the Cynics ; the Stoics accepted them 
more or less as poor relations : the Epicureans were uncom- 
promisingly hostile. This chapter is therefore mainly con- 
cerned with the period c. 340-250 B.C. 

(a) The philosophical school with which Cynicism first came 
in contact was that of Megara ; for a time close relations seem 
to have existed between that school and the circle of Diogenes. 
Pasicles, the brother of Crates, was a pupil of Eucleides of 

95 



96 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

Megara : 1 Stilpo 2 himself for a while came under the influence 
of Diogenes, and in his turn gave instruction to the Cynic 
Philiscus of Aegina. 3 One of the Dialogues of Diogenes bore 
the name of the Megarian Ichthyas, while Stilpo named one 
of his works after Metrocles. The influence of Diogenes is 
discernible in the ethics of Stilpo, who made andQeia the end 
of philosophy, and stressed the self-sufficiency of the Wise 
Man, who would remain unaffected by the loss of his worldly 
goods ; knowing that wisdom and knowledge could not be 
taken from him. Teles, 4 teaching the Cynic doctrine that 
exile is a matter of indifference to the wise man, cites as an 
authority a passage of Stilpo. Like Diogenes, Stilpo urged 
the necessity of philanthropy, in its widest sense ; Demetrius 
the Fair is said to have been greatly impressed by his lecture 
TIBQI evegysalag. 5 He joined in Diogenes' attacks on popular 
religion : and apparently practised the iyHQarsia which was 
a feature of their life. * The intimates of Stilpo ', says Cicero, 8 
* describe him as a man naturally inclined to wine and women : 
and in doing so they are rather praising him than the reverse. 
;For, they add, none ever discovered him indulging these 
ir ) iclinations ' and he concludes with the well-known story of 
^ocrates and the phrenologist. It was probably through 
i Stilpo that a diluted version of Cynicism influenced Menedemus 
of Eretria, who was called by his enemies KVQOV xal AfJQos. 1 
AfJQog evidently refers to his skill in controversy, KVWV prob- 
ably to his habitual na^oia, perhaps also the frugality of his 
well-known suppers, upon him the influence of Cynicism was 
not of much weight. But Stilpo 's ethics undoubtedly joined 
on to his logical studies and his doctrine of the One Good to 
form a coherent individual system, though we lack evidence 
to reconstruct it in detail. What is apparent is that his devotion 
to logic brought down on him the inevitable Cynic ridicule ; 
and Crates in his Ualyna attacked Stilpo for * wasting his 
time on the verbal pursuit of apery \ 

(b) Stilpo 's influence, however, was short-lived ; Cynicism 
was to contribute to a more enduring system, that of Zeno of 
Citicum. After landing at Athens in 314, Zeno attached 
himself to Crates the Cynic ; the reason for the attachment 



1 D.L., vi. 89. 2 id., ib. 76. 3 Suidas, s.v. 

4 Teles ncQt yvyfjg. 6 D.L., xi. 116. 6 de fato, 5. 10. 

7 D.L., iii. 140 



CYNICISM AND THE PHILOSOPHICAL SCHOOLS 97 

is clear, Zeno recognized in Crates the ideal oocpog after the 
pattern of Socrates. How long their association lasted is 
not known, later Zeno passed on from Crates to the more 
scientific teachings of Stilpo and Polemon. But the con- 
tact with Crates had lasting influence on Zeno's philosophy, 
and indeed on Stoicism as a whole. The core of the Stoic 
system is admittedly ethics ; the core of Zeno's ethics is 
the simplified version of the Socratic teaching preserved by 
Diogenes and Crates, as a brief examination of his doctrines 
will show. 

The * End ' (rs'Aoc) of Zeno's system is defined in the 
famous formula ' Life in accordance with the law of Nature ' 
(djuo^oyoviLidvax; rfj (pvaet, rjv) ; l here Zeno is borrowing and 
expanding the r^Aog of the Cynics, which is * Life in Accord- 
ance with virtue ' (XOLT' aqerrjv f^>). 2 The Cynics regarded 
aqerri as Kara cpvaiv, but the (pvaii; of Zeno is an altogether 
deeper conception and ofjiohoyovpevcoq rfj yvoei fjv meant 
obedience to Universal Law, much as did Heracleitus' precept, 
del SneoOcu ra> vvq>. 

The Cynics, like Zeno, adopted the Tripartite division of 
things into * Good, Bad, and Indifferent ' (dyada, ad, and 
ddidqpoQo) ; Zeno went beyond them in introducing a further 
Tripartite division of things ddidyoqa. With wealth and 
good birth classed as nqoriy^sva (preferables), poverty, slavery, 
and death as dnonQorj'yjueva (not preferables), the way was 
clearly open for a pragmatism very different from the uncom- 
promising morality of the Cynics, though such a course was 
not followed by Zeno himself. We have seen from the frag- 
ments of Crates how Cynicism emphasized the contrast 
between the ao<pd$, safe in the Island of Pera, and the rest of 
mankind storm-tossed on the sea of Illusion. The contrast 
is preserved in Zeno's division of mankind into anovdaloi and 
(pavhoiy of whom the former are uniformly happy, the latter 
uniformly miserable. For him, as for the Cynics, Virtue is 
independent as regards happiness, and once won cannot be 
lost ; the oo<po<; is impeccable, and worthy of the love of his 
equals. As already remarked, the cro^og of the Stoics is a 
development along lines laid down by Socrates ; Zeno would 

1 The evidence is on the whole in favour of the view that rfj <pvaei 
was included in the definition of Zeno, and was not a later addition. 

2 D.L., vi. 104. 

8 



98 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

come in contact with another version of the Socratic teachings 
in his studies at the Old Academy under Polemon. Antiochus 
and Cicero, indeed, charged him with having taken his entire 
ethical system from the Academy ; l but it is clear that Zeno 
himself never admitted this. His own acknowledgements were 
paid to Crates, as is shown by the fact that he wrote 
the KQarrjTo<; oTTOfivrjjuovevjuaTa ^Ano^vri^ovev^ara formed a 
recognized literary genre, the Memorabilia of a master written 
by a pupil. Moreover, that the Stoics themselves admitted 
that they received the Socratic teaching via Cynicism is to be 
inferred from the reaction in the direction of Cynicism which 
we find in Ariston of Chios, and from the canonization of 
Antisthenes and Diogenes as Stoic saints. 

The simplicity of the Cynic life was also copied by Zeno : 
* after their pattern did Zeno of Citieum live his life '. 2 This 
statement cannot be accepted in all its implications ; Zeno 
never adopted the staff and wallet, for he never practised the 
wandering mendicancy of a Diogenes ; he seems also to have 
avoided the Cynic dvaldeta, which Diogenes displayed partly 
for purposes of advertisement. But he wore the rqifiajv, 
followed the frugal Cynic diet, drank cold water ; his temper- 
ance passed into a proverb at Athens, and is amply confirmed 
by the comedians. 3 * A single loaf of bread his food, figs 
his dessert, water his drink ', says Philemon ; ' truly this man 
teaches a novel philosophy to go hungry ; yet he gets dis- 
ciples/ That his disciples were required to copy his own 
frugality is the inference from the lines of Timon, c Meanwhile 
he gathered around him a swarm of poverty-stricken creatures, 
surpassing all in beggary, the most worthless people in town ' * 
a description which recalls Aristophanes' abuse of the 
companions of Socrates. 

The ancient authorities agree that in at least one of Zeno's 
works the Republic there was clear trace of Cynic influence. 
From the taunt that it was written Im rfjg rov KVVO<; OVQOK; one 
can suppose that it was published shortly after he had left 
Crates for Stilpo, and still showed that he * had not let go of 
the dog's tail '. 6 This agrees with the statement of the Stoic 
apologetic quoted in Philodemus, that the book was written 

1 de Fin., IV, et alia. 2 D.L., vi. 104. 

8 id., vii. 27. * id., ib. 16. 

6 D.L. says he wrote it while a disciple of Crates. 



CYNICISM AND THE PHILOSOPHICAL SCHOOLS 99 

when Zeno was still an imprudent young man. 1 The Cynic 
naqa^dqa^iq appeared in the book in its treatment of incest, 
cannibalism, and unnatural vice as not ' opposed to nature ' ; 
and the Oedipus and Thyestes together with the Republic of 
Diogenes formed fine material for the attacks of the enemies 
of Stoicism. 2 The teachings of Diogenes about the abolition 
of currency, temples, law courts, and gymnasia were adopted 
by Zeno, as was the famous * community of women ' ; but in 
making ".E^cog as the bringer of dftovoia, the ruling deity of 
the ideal community, 3 Zeno was going beyond the Cynic ideas, 
possibly to conceptions introduced by Alexander. In the 
Republic, again, Zeno joined in the Cynic deprecation of the 
Greek * liberal education ' (TO, eyxvxXia juadrj/taTa) : it is 
suggested that in connexion with the Republic Zeno published 
a series of works made up of the ' Homeric Problems ', ' On 
the Hearing of Poetry ', * On the Greek System of Education \ 
as educational treatises, outlining an alternative curriculum, 
in which the allegorical interpretation of Homer evidently 
figured large. 4 This is a feature which can hardly have been 
borrowed from Diogenes or Crates : Diogenes, as we have 
seen, allegorized the story of Medea, but elsewhere he 
deprecates the wasting of time on Homeric exegesis, a practice 
apparently never indulged in by Crates. Zeno's source here 
is pretty certainly Antisthenes. 

To sum up, Zeno incorporated in his system the ooyos of 
the Cynics : provided a logical and scientific theory which 
showed this ethical ideal in its relation to the macrocosm ; and 
by the doctrine of the jiQotjyjuevov made possible for his 
followers a way of life that would avoid the Cynic narrowness 
and fanaticism. Cynicism was, therefore, introduced into the 
Stoic system by its founder, and a Cynic element formed 
a left wing the dvdQcodeardrrj ErcMxrj 5 in the school through- 
out its history. Of its occasional reactions against the neglect 
on the part of official Stoicism of the practical aspects of 
philosophy for the theoretical, the most powerful took place 
in the generation immediately following Zeno, and gave rise to 
the heresy headed by that interesting figure, Ariston of Chios. 

1 Here. Pap., No. 339 (P), Col. xv. 

2 See Note i to Chapter IV. 

3 von Arnim, op. cit., Stoic, vet. fragmenta. i. 263. 

4 Stein, Logik und Erkenntnis. der. Stoa. t n .689. 6 D.L., vi. 14. 



ioo A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

(c) Ariston left the Stoic school while Zeno was ill, and 
came for a time under the influence of Polemon. This must 
have been earlier than 276,* but perhaps Ariston did not open 
a school of his own till after the death of Zeno, i.e. probably 
not till after 260 ; he lectured in the Cynosarges, as Antisthenes 
had done. The teachings of Ariston represent a protest 
against the additions with which Zeno had encumbered the 
simple Socratic ethics he had taken from the Cynics. Two 
of Zeno's branches of philosophy, Logic and Physics, were 
rejected by Ariston ; Logic, he said, had nothing to do with 
us, while Physics is far beyond our ken. 2 Dialectical reason- 
ings he likened, in one of those comparisons for which he had 
a gift, to spiders' webs, their workmanship is admirable, but 
they serve no useful purpose. 3 Philosophy's sole concern is 
with Ethics ; and in that sphere too Ariston tried to simplify 
the system of Zeno. He rejected the tripartite division of 
things adidyoQa, reaffirming the Cynic doctrine that every- 
thing between virtue and vice is completely indifferent. 4 
Moreover, Zeno had extended the category of things naia (pvatv 
to cover the nQotfyjueva ; Ariston contended that none of the 
adcd<poQa y health, disease, wealth, poverty, &c., is by nature 
either desirable or undesirable, they are only to be judged xara 
neqiaraoiv according to individual cases. He showed, for 
example, that for the ooyos occasions might arise on which 
he would prefer to die of disease than to live. 5 The ethical 
system of Ariston posited a different r^Aog from that of 
Zeno ; instead of ' a life lived in harmony with Nature ' we 
are commended to * a life of complete indifference to every- 
thing between virtue and vice '. To illustrate this precept he 
borrowed Bion's simile of the Actor : the wise man will be 
like the good actor who, whether cast as Thersites or Agamem- 
non, will play his part well. 6 To continue with the simile, the 
business of philosophy was to produce the good actor, not, 
according to Ariston, to coach him in separate roles. For he 
rejected not only Logic and Physics, but also one branch of 
ethics, the vnoQetinos nal naQaivsrixot; ronot;^ This study, 
according to Seneca, ' dat propria cuique personae praecepta 
nee in universum componit hominem ' ; it gave advice on the 

1 D.L., vii. 160. 2 von Arnim, op. cit., i. 351. 3 id., ib, 

4 id., ib. 360. 5 id., ib. 361. 6 D.L., vii. 160. 

7 von Arnim, op. cit,, 50. 358. 



CYNICISM AND THE PHILOSOPHICAL SCHOOLS 101 

conduct of marital affairs, on the management of servants, and 
so on ; Cleanthes in particular seems to have devoted atten- 
tion to it. Such precepts were rejected by Ariston as improper 
for philosophy. They were too numerous and too particular 
to be embraced under the * laws of Philosophy, which should 
be brief and universal '. For, says Ariston, 

consider the case of one giving precepts on marriage. He must 
advise separately the husband who has wedded a virgin, and he 
who has a wife who has known sex before marriage, he must provide 
rules for living with (a) a rich wife, (b) one without a dowry. Must 
he not also cater for, (c) a barren woman, (d) a prolific one ; (e) a 
mother, (/) one who is a step-mother ? . . . 

This was a field of study fitted rather for the nurse and the 
schoolmaster : in any case it was superfluous for the aoqpd<; 
who having grasped the central principles of agent] would 
necessarily act virtuously in individual cases. 

Ariston also differed from Zeno in his definition of the nature 
of dQsrtf. 1 Zeno, by taking over the c four cardinal virtues ' 
of Plato, and regarding them as at once inseparable and distinct 
from one another, had become involved in logical difficulties. 
Ariston maintained that virtue is by nature one, an emanfi^r] 
dyaOtov xai KCM&V, and the separate ' virtues ' such as Courage, 
Justice, &c., that Ijuarrj^r] operating in a particular sphere. 

Ariston resembles the Cynics not only in his teachings on 
adiayoQia, and the uncompromising way in which he con- 
centrates all the philosopher's powers on the pursuit of d^erry, 
but also in his earnest description of philosophy as aam]ai<; 
nal [id%r) y and his insistence on the fact that by nature we have 
neither country nor lands nor possessions. We are told that 
he fell away from his own ideals ; but none the less he was 
an important figure in his day. His pupil Eratosthenes, 
indeed, thought it miraculous that a single city should contain 
at the same time philosophers of such eminence as Ariston 
and Arcesilaus ; but Strabo in citing the remark adds that 
therein Eratosthenes showed how foolish his judgement was, 
that he should praise a man who left no successors rather than 
the disciples of Zeno. 2 But Ariston had at least one quality 
Zeno lacked, he was a most persuasive speaker, and was nick- 

1 See Note 2 to Chap. IV. 

2 See von Arnim, op. cit., i. 338. 



102 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

named * The Siren \ l He also had wit, as shown by his 
description of Arcesilaus as a chimaera, * Plato in front and 
Pyrrho behind, in the midst, Diodorus ', and his remark that 
those who wasted their time on the synvxhia padrjiJiara, and 
never studied Philosophy, were like the suitors of Penelope, 
who spent their time seducing the maids and never came at 
the mistress. 2 For a while his school seems to have attracted 
more pupils than did the Stoa proper : and indeed it is possible 
that Chrysippus deserves to be called ' the second founder of 
Stoicism ' as much for maintaining the school against the rival 
attractions of Ariston as in repelling the attacks of the 
Epicureans and of Arcesilaus. But though the Ethics of 
Ariston were more scientifically formulated than those of the 
Cynics, yet his system resembled theirs in that it depended 
largely on the personality of its leader, and lacked a compre- 
hensive theoretical background which might ensure its survival. 
Consequently we hear nothing of it after the first generation of 
his pupils, amongst whom are known the names of Miltiades 
and Diphilus. 

Meanwhile, the development of the orthodox Stoic teaching 
under Cleanthes and Chrysippus had been tending to lay less 
emphasis on the Cynic element in Stoicism. True, both 
retained the Cynic features of Zeno's Republic ; 3 but Chry- 
sippus, in admitting that dyerr'] can be lost, and that there is 
some profit to be derived from the eynmUa juadrj/Aara, is 
dissenting from Zeno and the Cynics. 4 But above all the 
great development made by Cleanthes in Physics, in Logic by 
Chrysippus, had introduced into Stoicism a complexity little 
to the Cynic taste. We have already seen the attacks made by 
Cercidas on the dialectical studies of Sphaerus and his 
followers ; if, as Helm thinks, the Symposium of Menippus 
was a model for that of Lucian, it would seem that the Stoics 
were there especially made mock of ; in any case it is likely 
enough that they came in for their share of satire poured forth 
on all the dogmatic schools by Menippus in the works ngoq 
rovt; yvaixoix; Kal juaO^uari^o^ Hal y^a^aiiKO^. It is 
interesting to learn that there were apparently retorts from 
the Stoic side ; for Hermagoras, a pupil of Persaeus, wrote a 

1 D.L., vii. 166. 2 von Arnim, op. cit., i. 350. 

3 Philodemus negl ZTCOM ; cf. Cronert, op. cit., p. 53 ff. 

4 D.L. vii. 127, 129. 



CYNICISM AND THE PHILOSOPHICAL SCHOOLS 103 

dialogue called Anti-Cynic (Miaoxticov). 1 Official Stoicism 
indeed became increasingly opposed to Cynicism ; an opposi- 
tion which culminates in Panaetius. From the fragment of 
Philodemus 2 we see how the Middle Stoa tried to explain 
away the offensive passages of Zeno and Diogenes ' Zeno 
was only a young man when he wrote that . . .' * Anyway, 
Diogenes didn't write the tragedies, they are the work of 
certain wicked persons.' . . . Diogenes and Antisthenes were 
still Stoic saints, and were accepted as such by Posidonius. 
But the new Stoicism was determined to have no truck with 
Cynicism in its own day ; * Cynicorum vero ratio tota eicienda 
est.' The expulsion was never achieved ; there were still two 
parties in the School as regards Cynicism. The controversy 
is preserved by Cicero, who says that some Stoics held Cynicism 
to be proper for the tfogpo'g, should chance lead him into it, 
others that it was wrong in any circumstances. 3 The anti- 
Cynics are presumably Panaetius and his school ; a repre- 
sentative of the other party was Apollodorus of Seleucia, whose 
floruit was apparently in the middle of the second century 
B.C. He maintained that ' the aocp6<; will play the Cynic : for 
Cynicism is a short cut to virtue.' 4 The same party held that 
the (7o<pog, once a Cynic, would remain so. 5 The Stoic street 
preachers in Rome during the latter half of the first century 
B.C. were, as we meet them in Horace's Satires, Cynic in all 
but name and tunic ; the Stoics always used Cynic literary 
genres for what may be called their exoteric teachings. Thus 
the Cynic element, present in Stoicism from its foundation, 
was maintained throughout the three hundred years we are 
considering, and indeed the noblest conception of Cynicism 
ever formulated was to come from the Stoic Epictetus. 

(d) The philosophic doctrine to which Cynicism was most 
opposed was that which posited Pleasure as the End ; later 
stories contrast Diogenes and Aristippus as the respective 
extremes of asceticism and hedonism. But between Diogenes 
and the elder Aristippus there was probably never any contact, 
and we know too little about the life of the younger Aristippus 
to know whether he can ever have met Diogenes. It is how- 
ever certain that Hedonist doctrines were attacked by the 
early Cynics ; we have already seen how Teles' diatribe neql 

1 Suidas. 2 Cronert, op. cit., p. 53 ff. 3 de Fin., iii. 20, 68. 
*D,L., vii. i2i, 5 Stob., 238. 



io 4 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

rov fjiri elvcu rthog r]bovr\v quotes Crates to prove that the 
happy life cannot be judged by a favourable balance of pleasures. 
But the doctrines of Aristippus were greatly modified by later 
Hedonists such as Anniceris, Hegesias, and Theodorus, and 
their systems had much in common with Cynicism, particu- 
larly as regards contempt for accepted values. Scholars who 
accept the ' successions ' given by Diogenes Laertius explain 
this rapprochement on the grounds of a ' family likeness between 
the minor Socratic schools ' ; l but Cynicism never was strictly 
a Socratic school, as we have tried to show, and, moreover, 
the * Cyrenaic ' succession as given by Diogenes Laertius is 
notably open to suspicion. 

A more probable explanation is simply that both the asceti- 
cism of Diogenes and the sensualism of Aristippus were modi- 
fied at a later period, and we have in Theodorus of Cyrene an in- 
stance of contact between Cynicism and Hedonism. Theodorus 
was a teacher of Bion at Athens shortly after Bion had been a 
disciple of Crates, and it is very likely that he came under the 
influence of Crates himself. 

Theodorus 2 was an aristocrat of Cyrene, and had an eventful 
life. He was twice exiled from Cyrene ; the fact that through- 
out his career he seems to have been on friendly terms with 
Ptolemy the Lagid points pretty certainly to the anti-Egyptian 
risings in 322 and again in 313 as the occasions. Both times 
he took refuge in Greece : and during his second period of 
exile, some time between 313 and 306, we find him lecturing 
at Athens and also at Corinth. At Athens his notorious 
' Atheism ' got him into trouble, and he was only saved by the 
influence of Demetrius of Phalerum from having to appear 
before the Areopagus on a charge of impiety. Even thus ho 
was expelled from Athens, and seems to have gone to the court 
of Ptolemy. The king evidently thought well of him, for 
later he sent him on an embassy to Lysimachus, but to judge 
from the stories of his conduct on that occasion, diplomacy 
does not appear to have been one of Theodorus' strong 
points. 3 Later he returned to Cyrene, once again in Egyptian 
hands, and was held in high honour by its ruler, Magas, a 
brother of Ptolemy. 

The philosophy of Theodorus rejected, with the Cynics, 

1 As does Zeller. 2 Cf. D.L., f n. 98 ff. 

8 Cic., Tusc., i. 43. 102; D.L., ii. 102. 



CYNICISM AND THE PHILOSOPHICAL SCHOOLS 105 

the principle that Pleasure (fidovrj) is the End ; his reasons were 
probably those of Hegesias, that Pleasure is not always in our 
control. As an improvement on Aristippus 5 opposition of 
fldovri and novo<; he suggested %OQO. and \vnri ' cheerfulness 
and grief, both states of mind depending respectively on 
wisdom and folly ((pQovrjau; and ayQoovvr]). ' Cheerfulness 
of mind ' had been of course a characteristic of Crates : though 
we are not expressly told that this practical example had any 
influence on the thought of Theodorus. The indispensability 
of intelligence for the production of this mental cheerfulness 
led Theodorus to insist as strongly as did the Cynics on the 
gulf dividing the Wise ( the aocpoi or tpQovifjioi) from the 
rest of mankind, who are mere fools (dygovet;). The wise man 
is completely self-sufficient, and the standards which govern 
the &<PQOV&(; cannot be applied to him. It was this doctrine 
which caused Theodorus to be described later as an inciter 
of his pupils to theft, adultery and sacrilege. Actually his 
position was like that familiar in the last century Hell is an 
excellent thing for the working-classes, but there is no need 
for us to believe in it. The wise man will commit such actions 
ev xaiQw, on occasions, of which of course he will be the judge, 
for they are not by nature alo%Qa y though the opinion that they 
are ala^qd is of value in keeping in order the foolish (Ivexa T% 
rcov d<pQovcov 0vvo%fj<;). Theodorus probably discussed these 
actions much as did Diogenes and the Stoics ; he is said to 
have complained that his pupils misunderstood him, perhaps 
they were more lenient in their interpretation of the clause 
ev xaiQO). The self-sufficiency of the wise man would of 
course recognize no ties of patriotism ; and Theodorus 
expressly said that it was a good motion which resolves that 
the wise man will not fight for his country. 1 With Diogenes 
he affirmed that his true country was the Universe ; he even 
went beyond the avraQxeia of the Cynic Sage by denying the 
necessity of friendship. The nature of the ' atheism ' which 
was the best-known feature of his philosophy cannot be 
determined from the references. Cicero says that he totally 
denied the existence of the gods ; 2 Clement of Alexandria 3 
that he only denied the gods of popular belief. &6eo$ would 
of course be used at both positions. Diogenes Laertius, 
though admitting that he had read Theodorus' book On the 
1 D.L., ii. 98. a de Nat. Deor., i. z. 8 Paed., xv. A. 



io6 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

Gods, does not definitely say which was his view ; but implies 
that it was the second. 1 Though we cannot take literally 
Laertius' statement that * Epicurus borrowed most of what he 
wrote on the gods from Theodorus ', 2 we can see how 
' atheism ' was necessary for Theodorus * philosophy. The 
wise man cannot be self-sufficient if his avraQxeia is liable to 
disturbance from the gods, an external agency over which he 
has no control. Theodorus, like Epicurus, was concerned to 
deliver mankind from * the fear of Heaven '. 

Theodorus of all the Hedonists most closely approached 
Cynicism ; the system of Hegesias, though joining in the 
deprecation of external goods, denies that self-sufficiency can 
be attained even by the wise man. Moreover, there is no 
record of direct relations between Hegesias and any follower 
of Cynicism. 

(e) Of the Hellenistic schools of philosophy that of Epicurus 
adhered most faithfully to the teachings of its founder and 
kept the strongest hold on its adherents. Converts to 
Epicureanism were numerous and apostates few for, said 
its opponents, men may become eunuchs, but eunuchs can 
hardly become men. 3 One of the precepts of Epicurus, 
enunciated in his book On Lives, is that the Wise Man will not 
beg, nor live as a Cynic ; 4 he is said to have described the 
Cynics as * the enemies of Hellas J . 5 This hostility was 
probably due to the repugnance Epicurus felt to the Cynic 
avaideia ; certainly the life of the Epicurean Sage avoided 
the Cynic naqa^dqa^iq of established law and convention. 
For their part, the Cynics attacked the Epicureans for their 
doctrines of r\bovr\ and for the elaborate physical and logical 
aspects of their system ; two books of the satires of Menippus 
were expressly directed against the Epicureans and their 
reverence for the festival of their founder. 6 Polystratus, an 
Epicurean of the later part of the third century, wrote a book 
called n&Qi dhoyov xaTOKpQovrjoeax; which attacked amongst 
others the * sect of the Cynics, who profess themselves to be 

1 He says Theodorus completely rejected the dogai (popular 
beliefs) of the gods. The story about the remark of Lysimachus' 
minister, Mithras, * It seems you do not recognize kings either, 
Theodorus ', suggests that Theodorus was dOeot; in the second sense. 

2 D.L., ii. 97. 8 id., iv. 43. 4 id., ix. 119. 
6 id., ib. 8. 6 id., vi. 101, 



CYNICISM AND THE PHILOSOPHICAL SCHOOLS 107 

anaOeis ' ; while in the neoi <pihoao<pla<; he describes them 
as ' acting and speaking utterly at random \ the companions 
of Bion, he says, may well be called dogs, for they go sniffing 
round everything improper. The Epicurean system offers 
the true philosophy, not a life of vagrancy. 1 The Cynic 
Menedemus was one of the few whose tracks are seen leading 
out of the lions' den of Epicureanism, and a personal con- 
troversy raged between him and his former Epicurean master 
Colotes of Lampsacus. Menedemus apparently attacked the 
Epicurean deprecation of poetry ; Colotes replies that Mene- 
demus does not understand the Epicurean position, and 
interprets all too literally the saying of his own ally Zeno. 
The dispute was apparently a lengthy one. Colotes attacks 
Menedemus in the book Against Plato's Euthydemus. Mene- 
demus, he says, ' keeps on bringing up reproaches against us ' ; 
' even the Stoics are beginning to get tired of him ' ; ' they walk 
up and down in the Stoa saying that Menedemus will not give 
up his childish, foolish, trivial, and contemptible arguments.' 
Colotes also attacked Bion in a controversial essay entitled 
' That life is impossible on the systems of other philosophers '. 
Epicurean polemic against the Stoics made great play with 
the Cynic features of Stoicism ; and Philodemus, 2 castigating 
the immorality of the Republic of both Zeno and Diogenes, 
exclaims against ' those accursed beings who choose to live 
the lives of dogs '. 

(/ ) The Cynic spirit of antagonism to the dogmatists found 
an ally in Timon of Phlius, and it is not surprising that in his 
satiric writings Timon should have followed Cynic models. 
Wachsmuth 3 points out that his Zihhoi are clearly an imitation 
of Crates ; who himself parodied the Nexvta of Homer's 
Odyssey and showed the wretched state of the philosophers 
in Hades. Incidentally it is noteworthy that none of the 
fragments of the ZiMoi attack any Cynic, though the Stoics 
and especially Zeno come in for abuse. Timon was also 
following Crates in his use of the iambic metre for purposes 
of satire ; and in the numerous ' tragedies ' he composed he 
may have been influenced by those of Diogenes. Indeed, 
were it not for his exposition of the philosophy of Pyrrho, we 

1 Cronert, op. cit., p. 36. 

2 neQi TO>V ZTWM. Col. viii, Cronert, op. cit., p. 63. 

3 Corp. poes. Graec. lud., Vol. ii, Introd. 



io8 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

should class Timon with Menippus as the outstanding literary 
representatives of the Cynic nihilism. 



NOTES TO CHAPTER IV 

1 . We have said in dealing with Diogenes that these charges are 
probably not to be pressed, and the caution applies even more 
emphatically as regards Zeno, Probably the * shocking ' passages 
in question amounted to little more than an argument that in certain 
hypothetical cases even incest and cannibalism would be permissible ; 
e.g. Chrysippus l seems to have argued that if a Wise Man and his 
daughter were the sole survivors of some catastrophe which fell on 
mankind incest would be permissible, * for the preservation of the 
human race '. To say that the Stoics * recommended ' cannibalism 
is absurd. 

2. As the difference is not dealt with fully by Zeller, and is definitely 
muddled by von Arnim in Pauly-Wissowa, it may be worth while 
to examine the evidence here. I begin with the statement of Dio- 
genes Laertius that * Ariston did not admit the existence of many 
virtues called by many names, but treated it according to the theory 
of relative modes * (ard TO 7tQo<; rC nax; e/eiv). 2 The ' theory of 
relative modes ' is illustrated by a passage of Plutarch 3 Ariston 
said that * virtue is by nature one . . . but in relation to separate 
cases becomes many, as though for example our sight were called 
" whitesight " when it saw white objects, " blacksight " when it saw 
black objects, or something of the sort. So virtue, when determining 
what should be done and what should not, is called ygovqais ; in 
controlling desires, and appointing a limit and a season for pleasures, 
it is called awqpQoavvr] , &c.' This illustration is borne out by a passage 
of Galen ; 4 but Galen says that Ariston called dgm; an emartj^r] 
dyaO&v x,ai xaxcov ; Plutarch that he called it vyieia. The last phrase 
is clearly incomplete, vyiita as such was reckoned by Ariston amongst 
the ddidtpoQa..* The vyieia must have been that of the logical portion 
of the soul, a necessary condition for the functioning of the ejiumjfAri 
dyaOwv nal xax&v ; Cleanthes adopted a similar theory in his account 
of the i0%d<; yv%f)i; induced by rorog. 6 But it is evident that von 
Arnim is wrong in asserting that Ariston found the essence of aQerr) 
to be (pQ6vr]ai<;. In none of the passages which deal with his views 
of dgerr) does (pQ6vt]oic, ever appear to be equated with it ; it is 
always d^errj functioning in a particular sphere. That the equation 
was made by Apollophanes, 7 a pupil of Ariston, is no evidence for 
Ariston 's own position. And as a matter of fact this is apparently 
precisely the point on which Ariston joined issue with Zeno. For 



1 von Arnim, Stoic. Vet.fr., in. 743. 2 D.L., vii. 160. 

8 See von Arnim, op. cit., i. 375. 4 id., ib. 374. 

* id., ib. 361. 6 id., ib. 563. 7 id., ib. 406. 



CYNICISM AND THE PHILOSOPHICAL SCHOOLS 109 

Zeno's views on the nature of dQerrj we are dependent on two passages 
of Plutarch ; l but they indicate chat Zeno was involved in difficulties 
of logic. Apparently he adopted the four * cardinal virtues * of Plato, 
regarding them as at once inseparable and distinct from one another ; 
and attempted to define dvdgeCa, aaxpQocrvvr) and dixaioavvi] as 
<pQ6vr)m<; operating in different spheres. Ariston was clearly trying 
to provide a more logical definition of aqerci]. The point on which 
he differed from the Megarians is not clearly brought out by Diogenes 
Laertius ; he agreed with them that d^err} was * one called by many 
names ' but added the qualification Kara, rty JIQOS ii G%aw* That 
is, the Megarians presumably held that dixaioavvri, <pQ6vi]ai$ t &c., 
were equally valid synonyms for aQET/j ; Ariston that they could 
be only used as ' accidental aspects ' of dgerfj. 3 Ariston's views of 
the nature of aQerrj clearly imply a deprecation of the naQouveTtx6<; 
t6no<; of ethics : once the emcmj/Lirj dyadcov xal xax&v is acquired 
the virtuous performance of individual acts is assured. 



1 id., ib. 200, 201. 2 Galen, Hipp, et Plato, vii. i. 

3 The comparison with the phraseology of Herbart is made by 
Zeller. 



CHAPTER V 

CYNIC INFLUENCE ON HELLENISTIC 
LITERATURE 

To complete the survey of Cynicism in the Hellenistic period 
it remains to give some account of the development and 
influence of the literary KVVIXOQ tQonoi;. Literary forms, 
like animals, survive by adapting themselves to environment ; 
the evolution of the KVVMO<; rgonoq is in the main an attempt 
to adapt the * Socratic J forms of popular philosophical prop- 
aganda to the requirements of the Hellenistic age. The 
conversation and character of Socrates had given rise to the 
Socratic dialogue, in the hands of Plato perhaps the supreme 
achievement in prose form. The spirit of irony of Socrates, 
and the brilliant fancy of Plato, had introduced into it an 
element of the yttoiov in the shape of parody and myth. A 
less serious form of composition was the ov/j,noalov ; and 
the Memorabilia of Xenophon was the first work in a genre 
which was to gain great popularity in the third century and 
later. Finally, the epistle had been used for philosophical 
exposition by Plato, Isocrates, and Aristotle. Such were the 
traditional literary forms for philosophical propaganda available 
at the end of the fourth century. The first literary produc- 
tions of the Cynics seem to have been predominantly * serious ' 
y^novdatov) : Diogenes used the dialogue and epistle ; the 
:ra S v 'pdies of Crates * bore the most solemn stamp of philos- 
3 P"y >' r while his epistles * were written in a style closely 
resembling that of Plato '. 1 But it was soon found that the 
style suited ^ the intelligentsia of Athens was far above the 
heads ot the L mdience to which the Cynics addressed them- 
selves. Diogene, s himself discovered that ' when he spoke in 
earnest on serious <, sub : ects> none stayed to hear him> but when 
he began to whistle, a crowd soon gathered >. , Tfae common 
people, unlike the e^ companions of Socrates, had 

>D.L.,vi. 9 8 8 Md.,ib.a 7 . 

no 



INFLUENCE ON HELLENISTIC LITERATURE in 

neither the leisure nor the inclination to ' follow the argument 
wherever it might lead, not caring how many digressions were 
made, provided that truth was attained in the end '.* They 
wanted the lessons of philosophy presented ready digested, and 
in an easily remembered form ; their tastes are fairly represented 
by the collection of aphorisms, none of them more than three 
words long, inscribed on a stone at Cyzicus, about the year 
300 B.C. 2 Clearly for such an audience simplicity was all 
yevxrtov f} rgrixela na^aiveaiq. Primarily to cater for their 
needs were evolved those literary forms which comprise the 
genus of TO anovdaioyehoiov ; the prose forms of which 
were mainly the adaptation and popularization of ' Socratic ' 
literature ; while in verse the influence of the old gnomic 
poetry, of the Mime, and of Comedy, are all discernible. 

Of the prose genres the most highly developed was the 
Diatribe. AiaTQiprj was of course originally synonymous 
with diaAoyoQ as describing the conversations of a philosopher, 
in the Apology Socrates says the Athenians are condemning 
him because they cannot bear ra<; e^d<; dcar^dt; xai TOVQ 
Ao'yovc. 3 It is probably in this sense that the writings attrib- 
uted to Aristippus were called diaTQifidi ; 4 diatribe as a 
literary genre appears to have been the work of Bion. We 
have seen the chief characteristics of the diatribe as he developed 
it its use of allegory, anecdote, and quotation, its appeals to 
an imaginary adversary, &c. It is obviously a popularized 
form of the dialogue ; as the diatribe is not a ' zetetic ' argu- 
ment but an exposition, there is only room for one main speaker, 
and the other characters of the dialogue are dispensed with, 
or combined in the ' imaginary adversary '. The definition of 
Hermogenes is worth quoting diarQifir} eari pQa%o<; diavorjjua- 
rog fiQwr} 'dnGeaiq * Diatribe is a moral exposition of some brief 
topic'. 5 After Diogenes the Cynics abandoned the * serious' 
dialogue, though, as we have seen, the form was adapted for 
comic purposes by Menippus. 

The arcoiJLvrifjLovEv^ara was a genre obviously suited to the 
purposes of the Cynics, and a closely allied form is the 
&ro/m^ara. In theory these two forms are distinct, the 
ajio/Avrjftovev/iaTa being the sayings, acts, &c., of a master 
collected by a pupil, while the vno^vrnjiara is the scrap-book 



1 Theaet. iyzD. *J.HS., xxvii. 3 syD. * D.L., ii. 
'Rhet. Graec. Ill, p. 4060*. 



H2 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

of a writer or philosopher. We are told of Bion that he left 
many memoirs . . . and expecially maxims having a useful 
application (moyOey^ara %Q&id)dri nqayfjiareiav e%ovra) and 
the^gWa, which formed the basis of the ajtojavrj^ovev^ara 
and the feo/m^ara, was one of the chief weapons of Cynic 
propaganda. The %Qela is, on the definition of Theon, 
' ovvrojuos aji6(pQa.ai<; f} nQat;i<; /tex 9 evoro^iaf; avacpe^o^vri s'lg n 
a)Qiaju,vov ngdaconov V i.e. an anecdote with a moral, attached 
to the name of a well-known person (with the Cynics, of 
course, notably Diogenes). Though the %Qela was not a 
Cynic invention, it was one of their favourite forms, being 
introduced into diatribe and even verse with great frequency. 
Being short, easily remembered, instructive, and yet popular, 
it was admirably adapted to their needs, and played a large 
part in education, as we see from the * Wiener-Diogenes 
Papyrus ' and the later Papyrus Bouriant. 2 

The epistle, used as a serious form by Diogenes and Crates, 
was turned to comic purposes by Menippus ; and the first- 
century Letters of the Cynics are the chief contribution known 
of Cynics of that period to TO onovdaioythoiov proper. 

The ovjunoolov was used by Menippus and Meleager, similar 
were the ovjunoTMol diahoyoi of the Stoic Persaeus. 

For the Cynic propaganda verse was also employed. It had 
of course always been one of the staples of Greek education 
Lucian says that * The sayings of wise men and the great deeds 
of old and moral stories are set to verse that they may be easily 
remembered ' ; 3 we have seen that TO evjuv^juove^rov was 
aimed at in the Cynic curriculum. Theognis, Simonides, and 
Aesop had been popular in the circle of Socrates ; and both 
tragedians and comedians had claimed to be the instructors of 
the public * rcoAAd ju,ev yehoia /** emelv, noMa de onovdaia \ 
says Aristophanes. 4 But as a model for gnomic and satiric 
verse it was necessary to go back beyond the fifth century to 
such writers as Theognis, Hipponax, and Archilochus. Crates 
was the first of the Cynics to revive the old measures : the 
iambic, appropriate to satire from the time of Archilochus, 

1 Prog. 6. 

2 Cf. also Sen., ep. 336, '. . . pueris sententias ediscendas damus 
et has quas Graeci chrias vocant, quia complecti illas puerilis animus 
potest. . . .' 

* Lucian, An., 21. 4 Frogs, 339. 



INFLUENCE ON HELLENISTIC LITERATURE 113 

appears in several fragments, notably in the ^(prujieqtq : elegiacs 
are used for the * Hymn to Euteleia ' and the parody of the 
epitaph of Sardanapalus : hexameters appear, naturally enough, 
in the parodies of Homer. The early Stoics followed the 
example of Crates, and we have iambics associated with Zeno, 
Cleanthes, and Ariston, while hexameter is used by Cleanthes 
in his famous ' Hymn to Zeus '. Cercidas, as we have seen, 
invented a new metre, the * Meliambus ' ; the verses of the 
London and Heidelberg Papyri ne^l dia%QOKd()dei,a<; employ 
the choliambic measure. 

The great quantity of moralizing verse which characterizes 
the Hellenistic age cannot all be put down to the account of the 
Cynics, though it is safe to say that Cynic influence gave the 
first impetus to that literature. And it is noteworthy that this 
gnomic poetry exhibits the same features as the moralizing 
prose of the diatribe, the %Qia, and the ajzojuvqiuovevjua. 
It abounds with quotation and parody, with anecdotes, and 
with examples taken from the familiar figures of the past. 
Heracles, Odysseus, Socrates, and Diogenes were the stock 
heroes of the prose literature : verse adds new figures to the 
gallery. Hipponax, a wanderer, a beggar, and noted for his 
mordant wit, was obviously well suited to appear as * Anima 
naturaliter Cynica ' ; so were the slave Aesop and the barbarian 
sage Anacharsis. Poetic %Qiai and aphorisms could be 
fathered on to the Seven Wise Men, one of several examples that 
might be quoted is the anonymous epigram (Anth., ix. 366.) 

Learn of the Seven Sages the city, the name, and the precept. 
First Cleobulus of Lindus, who tells us that * Measure is best J ; 
Cheilon, * Know Thyself ', declared in the valley of Sparta j 

* Keep thy temper in hand ', the Corinthian sage Periander. 

* Naught in excess ' is the word of Pittacus from Mitylene ; 
Solon of Athens has said, ' See thou consider the end/ 

* Most men are mad * 'twas declared by Bias the wise of Priene. 

* Put not thy name to a pledge ', warns us Milesian Thales. 

For didactic purposes the verse of the older writers and 
philosophers were parodied ; a Hibeh papyrus of 280-240 
B.C. brings us some thirty lines of the Epicharmea of 
Axiopistus (?) 1 ; parodies of Phocylides, Xenophanes and 
Pythagoras were also in circulation in Hellenistic times ; and 
both Gerhard and Wachsmuth conjecture that the collection 
1 Pap. Hibeh, i. i ; Powell, op. cit., 219. 



H4 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

which has come down under the name of Theognis includes 
Cynic additions. 

The XVVMOS rqonoQ in literature was, as has been said, not 
necessarily connected with the KWMOS /3lo<; ; and the popular 
philosophy of the Hellenistic age has so many features in 
common with Cynicism that it is difficult to decide where 
Cynic influence begins and ends in the case of individual 
writers of the period. For example, Gerhard l identifies 
Sotades of Maroneia, the ' cinaedologus ', with a Cynic of 
that name mentioned in a story by Gregory of Nazianzen. 
The story derives from a late source, and the incident there 
told of Sotades and Ptolemy is elsewhere related of Diogenes 
and Alexander. 2 However, once the identification is made it 
is easy to find the Cynic avaldeia in his obscene verses, and 
the Cynic na^qriaia in his attack on the marriage of Ptolemy 
Philadelphus and his sister Arsinoe. But of course obscenity 
was not a monopoly of the Cynics, and if Sotades was true to 
the Cynic naQgrjcrla in attacking a king, he was false to the 
Cynic na^a^dQa^ig in rebuking incest. More convincing 
evidence for Cynic influence on Sotades is the fact that he 
wrote a Descent to Hades 3 as did Crates and Menippus ; further, 
it seems likely that his poems contained moral precepts, for 
such occur in verses quoted under his name by Stobaeus. 4 
One may therefore conjecture that Sotades at least came under 
the influence of the nvvwdg tqoTtot;^ as we have seen was the 
case with Timon of Phlius. The same may be said of Chares, 5 
whose verses on the avoidance of gluttony read like Crates, 
and were actually assigned to the Cynic by Bergk. But in 
claiming Phoenix of Colophon as a Cynic in the full sense of 
the term, Gerhard is certainly rash. The story of Ninos and 
the lines on aia%Qoxe()dei,a are not necessarily Cynic, and when 
the * Chough-bearers ' is described as a Cynic begging-song 
one must withhold assent, if not admiration. These are, how- 
ever, minor figures ; the influence of Cynicism is discernible 
in one of the greatest of Hellenistic authors, Leonidas of 
Tarentum. Though one cannot with Gerhard regard pes- 
simism 6 and contempt for death 7 as specifically Cynic, it 
must be admitted that Leonidas approaches the Cynic evreXeia 

1 op. cit., p. 245. 2 36. lOOoB. 3 Suidas. 

4 Powell, op. cit., p. 240. 5 id., ib. p. 223. 

6 As in A. P., viii. 472. 7 As in A. P. vii. 731. 



INFLUENCE ON HELLENISTIC LITERATURE 115 

in his description of his wandering frugal life in the following 
poem. 

Vex thyself not through all thy wanderings, 
through all thy vagrant course from land to land 
Vex thyself not, if but there be to hand 
A hut, a fire for warmth, and simple things 
For food a cake, kneaded from trough of stone 
Relished with mint or thyme, or salt alone. 1 

He shows an interest in the Cynics, writing on the death of 
Diogenes, and on an unworthy follower of his ; and expands 
into an iambic epigram Bion's remark that the road to Hades 
is an easy one, for it can be travelled with the eyes closed. 2 
His sympathy for the common people is well known, he sings 
of the fisherman, the neatherd and the aged weaver. And in 
one of the most striking of his epigrams an echo of Simonides 
is turned into what Geffcken 3 justly calls a diatribe in verse : 

Countless the years, O man, that have been ere ever 

thou didst see the light, countless the years that will be when thou 

art in Hades : 
What measure of Life is left thee, but as it were a pin's point, or 

aught that may be more meagre ? 
Short verily is thy span of life, and even thus not sweet, but more 

bitter than Death the enemy. . . . 
Consider, O man, as day followeth day, how sorry is all thy strength, 

and live a frugal life : 
Ever be mindful in thy dealings with mortals, that thy nature is 

a thing compounded of straw. 4 

The influence of the KVVIKQC. r$6no<; on Hellenistic moraliz- 
ing verse was powerful, though its limits cannot always be 
precisely determined. In later times, too, the Cynic writers 
of the third century B.C. were still a potent force. The dia- 
tribe, in a particular, became an important literary genre, 
and the influence of Bion thus affected not only the diatribes 
of Seneca, Musonius, and Epictetus, but also the sermons 
of Dio Chrysostom, and, at a later period, of Synesius, 
Themistius, and Gregory of Nazianzen. 5 The old view of satire 
as a purely Roman production has long been abandoned ; and 
Fiske shows how marked is the influence of Bion's diatribe in 
Lucilius and Horace. Menippus, again, was the model of 
Varro in his Satirae Menippeae thus indirectly influencing 

1 A.P., vii. 736. 2 Stob., I20. 3 Leon von tar., 131. 

4 A.P., vii. 472. 5 vide Wilamowitz, Ant . von. Kar. exkurs Teles. 



ii6 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

Petronius and Seneca and is of course of great importance 
for Lucian. It may be conjectured that the Cynic XQeiai 
influenced similar Roman compilations, and it is certain 
that as school-books they were widely used throughout the 
Greek-speaking portion of the Roman Empire. A detailed 
account of these developments falls outside the scope of this 
book. Here we are only concerned to note how in * TO 
GTtovdcuoyehoiov ' the Cynics evolved from the * Socratic ' 
literary forms and from the old gnomic poetry a powerful and 
many-sided instrument for popular philosophical propaganda, 
and that the KVVMOS rgonot; was a fertile influence successively 
on Hellenistic, Roman, and later Greek literature. 



NOTE TO CHAPTER V 

i. Only a brief account would here seem necessary : the extant 
fragments of Cynic literature have largely been discussed in connexion 
with individual authors : and besides the ground has been covered 
by the research of Geffcken, Fiske, Wendland, above all, Gerhard, 
as well as by the standard histories of Alexandrine literature. This 
chapter is simply a general summary of the KVVIXOS rgdnog as a whole. 



CHAPTER VI 

CYNICISM IN THE SECOND AND FIRST 
CENTURIES B.C. 

IN the life and literature of the third century the Cynics had 
played a prominent part, but after about 200 B.C. strangely 
little is heard of them. Cynic literary genres as perfected by 
Bion and Menippus certainly influenced Roman satire ; but 
there are very few references to Cynicism as a still observed 
evcttaGu; plov till the revival in the first century of our era. 
Zeller indeed supposed that the movement entirely died out, 
and that the revival alluded to was really a rebirth of Cynicism 
out of Stoicism. This is certainly not the case ; we do possess 
evidence that Cynicism continued during the second and first 
centuries B.C., though it was obscure and unimportant. Before 
setting out this evidence it is pertinent to suggest causes for 
Cynicism's lengthy eclipse. 

A consideration of the history of the movement itself during 
the third century reveals one set of causes. The Cynics were 
so called as the followers of Diogenes of Sinope ; the founder 
of Cynicism was a man of outstanding personality, and he had 
a worthy pupil in Crates. But of course a succession of such 
4 originals ' was not to be expected, the next hundred years of 
Cynicism failed to produce a man of the Oavjuaarri neiOco 1 
of Diogenes. Bion was a brilliant figure, but there was in him 
too great a discrepancy between precept and practice to win 
many converts, and Menippus does not seem to have ' taught ' 
at all. The decline in personality from a Diogenes to a Teles 
is obvious. Now a school of philosophy with a definite 
theoretical background, like a well- organized state, can survive 
and even prosper without men of genius ; Epicureanism is not 
marked by a man of any real distinction between Epicurus and 
Lucretius. But Cynicism had never had such a background : 
its appeal lay in the character of its adherents. Moreover, as 
the first of the new * philosophies of retreat ', Cynicism as 
\D.L., vi. 75- 
117 



n8 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

represented by Diogenes and Crates, had attracted men of 
such intellect as Zeno, Stilpo, and Menedemus. But by the 
end of the third century the essential features of the Cynic 
system, the avraQxeia and ajzaOeia enjoyed by its ooyos, 
were to be found without the Cynic squalor in Stoicism and 
Epicureanism, which also gave a comprehensive theoretical 
background. The weakness of Cynicism lay in its inability 
to give an account of itself (hoyov didovai) ; now that its adherents 
could not command the ' persuasive charm ' (tvyf) of a 
Diogenes, it could make no appeal to the intelligence. 
Cynicism thus became a * popular ' philosophy ; the philos- 
ophy of the proletariat as it has been called, and the descrip- 
tion will serve provided one avoids the implications such a 
phrase would carry to-day. Moreover, the Cynic himself was 
becoming a familiar rather than a remarkable figure, and his 
avaideia ceased to shock ; we now regard a communist orator 
as part of the furnishings of Hyde Park rather than as a fore- 
runner of the Red Dawn. 

But an even more potent set of causes for the eclipse of 
Cynicism were those produced by the great shift in the centre 
of gravity of the civilized world to Rome. The ultimate 
fusion of Greek and Roman culture achieved in the Roman 
Empire tends to obscure the fact that many features of the 
older civilization were not to the taste of the Rome of 
the Republic. ' Captive Greece took captive her proud 
conqueror ' ; yes, but truth has been sacrificed for effect. 
Rome only took what she wanted from Greece, and she did 
not want Cynicism, at least as an evaraaig plov for some time 
to come. Philosophy had to meet the tastes of the Roman 
aristocracy with their traditions of * gravitas ' ; such men as 
Scipio Aemilianus or Laelius would have regarded Cynicism 
as offensive vulgarity. They found what they wanted in the 
modified Stoicism of Panaetius and Posidonius, a nice blend 
of Stoic aQSTT) and Roman ' virtus '. One of the achievements 
of Panaetius was to purge Stoicism of the Cynic features which 
had marked it under Zeno and Chrysippos ; how hostile the 
new Stoicism was to Cynicism can be gathered from the reflec- 
tion of its criticism in Cicero. 1 For indeed, Cynicism had 

1 e.g. De Officiis, i. 148. ' Cynicorum vero ratio tota est eicienda : 
est enim inimica verecundiae, sine qua nihil rectum esse protest, 
nihil hones torn.* 



IN THE SECOND AND FIRST CENTURIES B.C. 119 

flourished in a ' Zeitgeist ' very different from that which now 
prevailed at Rome. The age of the Diadochi had been one of 
a growing distaste for politics, and politics at Rome in the last 
days of the Republic ran a course whose very turbulence is a 
tribute to their vigour ; it had seen the decay of the city-state 
and the spread of cosmopolitanism, while Roman nationalism 
was still vigorous ; its keynote was a * world- weariness ' which 
was not felt at Rome till the end of another hundred years of 
civil war and bloodshed. Admittedly certain features of the 
Hellenistic age which had provided material for the preachings 
of Cynicism, a great increase in luxury, and gross inequality 
in the distribution of wealth were just as prevalent in 
Republican Rome. But Rome had her own contrast to those 
in the ' antiqua virtus ', without calling on the material of the 
Cynics. Why cite Diogenes as an example of virtuous poverty 
when Cincinnatus and Cato lay to hand ? Again, no need to 
go back to the mythical labours of Heracles to emphasize the 
virtues of novos, they could be demonstrated by the * proles 
Sabella ' and their hard life in the fields. It is worth noting 
that in Satires 2. 2, Horace, in enunciating educational pre- 
cepts which are in the familiar Cynic-Stoic tradition, places 
them on the lips of that exemplar of Italian peasant virtue, 
the farmer Ofellus. 1 Rome had her own ideology in these 
matters * malo unum Catonem quam trecentos Socratas ' 
and there is no reason to suppose that in the Republic 
Diogenes would have commanded a much better rate of 
exchange. 

For all these reasons, Cynicism was known at Rome mainly 
as a literary phenomenon, as an examination of the evidence 
shows. The references to Cynicism in the Roman Comedy 2 
do not justify the assumption that it was a familiar thing at 
Rome, for Plautus and Terence derived their material from the 
New Comedy of Greece, in which such references were fre- 
quent. Nor can we assume with Hirzel 3 that Varro had an 
' early phase of Cynicism ' because he wrote ' satirae Menip- 
peae '. Admittedly he is called ' Cynicus Romanus ', but the 
reference is to his imitation of Cynic Satire : he is the ' Romani 
stili Diogenes '. 4 As Cicero makes him say, * he did not so 

1 Cf. Fiske, op. cit., pp. 379 ff. 

8 Cf. Plautus Stichus, 5. 4. 22 ; Pers., 120-5. 

8 Der Dialog., 441, note 2. * Tert., Ap. 14. 



izo A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

much translate Menippus as imitate him ' ; * it was a Romani- 
zation of a Greek literary form, much as were the satires of 
Lucilius and Horace. Street preachers were familiar enough 
in Rome towards the end of the first century B.C., as we gather 
from Horace's references to such persons as Fabius, Crispinus, 
and Stertinius. The discourses of these men were Cynic 
diarqipdi in their improvisatory nature, in their use of stock 
exemplars and similes, and in the lessons they inculcated 
avoid jueftyijuoiQlay live simply, know that virtue is indepen- 
dent of externals in regard to happiness, satisfy your sexual 
desires with as little trouble as possible. 2 There is nothing to 
distinguish them from the Cynics of Hellenistic times as far as 
their creed goes, but they call themselves Stoics ; they resemble 
the Stoics who * differ from the Cynics only in dress ' alluded 
to by Juvenal. But that the xwixog /?/o was not wholly 
unknown at Rome is to be inferred from an allusion in one of 
the mimes of Laberius to the * Cynica haeresis ' ; ' sequere in 
latrinum, ut aliquid gustes a Cynica haeresi ' ; 3 which suggests 
that the audience would be familiar with the Cynic &vaideia. 
Still more significant is a passage of Cicero's Academica (1-2) 
where Varro is discussing the possible variations of philo- 
sophical sects. All sects of philosophy, he says, may be 
followed, ' according to the Cynic, or to the conventional, 
garb and rationale ' (' habitus et consuetude '), which does 
suggest that the Cynic * habitus et consuetudo ' were known at 
Rome. A person with a more genuine claim than that of 
Varro to the title of * cynicus Romanus ' was Marcus 
Favonius, the devoted adherent of Cato the younger. Born 
about the year 90, he makes stormy entrances on the political 
scene from the candidature as tribunus plebis in 6 1 to his 
capture by Octavian after Philippi. Cynic at least are his 
naqQrioia and his fierce opposition to luxury ; it was during 
his aedilship that Cato gave the famous games at which expenses 
were so ruthlessly reduced, and we hear of a speech of his in 
support of a sumptuary law. The most characteristic story 
about him is that in Plutarch's Brutus. Before the battle of 
Philippi Brutus and Cassius were on bad terms ; a meeting 
was held to compose their differences. The meeting was in 
private, and to judge from the angry voices heard by those 

1 Acad. t 1.8. a See Fiske, op. cit., index. 

8 Comptialia, fr. 3. 



IN THE SECOND AND FIRST CENTURIES B.C. 121 

outside the tent, it was anything but friendly. None had the 
courage to intervene but Favonius. * A man ', says Plutarch, 
' more impetuous and frenzied than reasonable in his devotion 
to philosophy, 1 but amusing enough, if you could tolerate his 
impertinence.' Brushing aside the attendants, Favonius burst 
into the tent, in true Cynic style with a line of Homer on his 
lips, * Listen to me, young men, for I am your elder in years.' 
Brutus thrust him out with the trite pun which one would 
expect from him. ' You call yourself a Cynic, Favonius, but 
you are really a dog.' But at dinner that night Favonius 
turned up uninvited, and sat down between the now reconciled 
leaders : there was much wit and learning shown in the con- 
versation, we are told. The Cynic naQQr]ata also appears in 
Favonius' attacks in the Senate on Ptolemy Auletes, in his 
opposition to the Triumvirs, and his abuse of Octavian for his 
brutal treatment of the prisoners taken at Philippi. But in 
his devotion to the cause of the Republic, in good days and in 
bad, and in his attempts to bring back the ' antiqua virtus ' of 
a bygone Rome he was the follower of Cato rather than of 
Diogenes. 2 

Cynicism did, then, apparently succeed in gaining a footing 
in Rome during the first century B.C., though it appears in an 
altered form and is of no great importance. The evidence 
for its survival in the Greek world during this period is equally 
scanty, though less ambiguous. One name is indeed men- 
tioned as that of a Cynic, and a surprising name it is ; that of 
Meleager of Gadara, weaver of the famous Stephanas, and 
author of some of its most graceful and sensuous pieces. 
Yet the tradition is unanimous ; the Cynic in Athenaeus* 
Deipnosophists permits him to be called 6 n$6yovo$ v/ta>v and 
6 KWMoq ; 3 Diogenes Laertius classes him with Menippus ; 
and Meleager 4 himself speaks of the axrjnTQoyoQOG ooyia on 
which he had prided himself, but which is now overmastered 
by Love. Meleager was presumably born about 135, for his 
floruit is given c. 96 B.C. He tells us himself the main details 
of his biography ; he was born at Gadara (' in Syria, but Attic 

1 Plut., Brutus, 34. One thinks of Agricola, who but for his 
mother's care might have become * more learned in philosophy than 
was proper for a Roman and a gentleman '. Tac., Ag. 9 4. 4. 

2 Cf. Plut., Brut., 34 ; Caes., 21 ; Dio Cassius, 38. 7 ; 39. 14* 
8 1576 ; 5020. 4 Anth,, xii, 101. 



122 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

for all that ', he claims), passed his early manhood at Tyre, 
and finally went to live at Cos. Since he lived to a ripe old 
age, his death probably took place c. 50 B.C. His earliest 
literary venture was to write satires after the manner of his 
fellow-countryman Menippus %aQirs(; he calls them, and 
says ' they rival with the Muses* aid the Graces of Menippus '. 
Only a fragment of them is preserved, in which it is claimed 
that Homer was a Syrian, ' for the Syrians do not eat fish, nor 
does Homer allow his heroes to do so, though the Hellespont 
abounds with them '.* He also followed Menippus in writing 
a Symposium ; another work on a Cynic theme was that 
entitled AeniQov ncd (paufjt; owyxQiai<;. 2 The last-named was 
presumably a humorous description of the Cynic diet, whose 
range was comprised in the choice between Lentil soup thick 
or clear. As is to be expected, there are few traces of Cynicism 
in the poems of Meleager contained in the Garland, though an 
expression of the Cynic cosmopolitanism is found in the epitaph 
he composed for him, * If I am a Syrian, what wonder in that ? 
Stranger, we are citizens of one city ; the universe : one 
Chaos is the begetter of all mortal things.' From the evidence 
of the epigrams it is clear that Meleager was no follower of the 
XVVMOI; /?to as defined by Diogenes, he was a Cynic after the 
persuasion of Teles, who in enunciating the principle * There 
must be no indulgence in luxury ', added the saving clause, 
* unless circumstances are favourable J . 3 Circumstances seem 
to have favoured Meleager ; 4 but there is evidence that that 
asceticism still survived amongst the Cynics. Diocles of 
Magnesia, the friend to whom Meleager dedicated the Garland, 
had a particular interest in Cynicism and was evidently one 
of Diogenes Laertius' chief sources of information about it. 
In one passage based on Diocles the reference seems to be to 
Cynics of Diocles' own day. After discussing the individual 
Cynics, Diogenes Laertius gives some account of * their common 
doctrines ' (ra uoivfj aQ^axovta 



They hold that we should live frugally, eating food for nourishment 
only and wearing nothing but the TQipow, and they despise wealth 
and high birth and fame. Some of them live on vegetables and 

1 Athea ? 157^ 2 id., ib. 8 Tel, Ret., p. 41. 6. 

4 Ermatinger, in Virchow. Samm., N.F. 13, calculates that * he 
mentions 14 persons of both sexes, in terms of amorous passion '. 



IN THE SECOND AND FIRST CENTURIES B.C. 123 

drink only cold water, and are content with any kind of shelter, or 
with tubs, as Diogenes had been. . . . l 

That the * Cynicus habitus J at least was known in Greece in 
the Augustan age is to be inferred from an epigram of Antipater 
of Thessalonica 2 on a degenerate Cynic. 

They cry shame on you, the wallet, and the stout staff of Diogenes 
of Sinope, meet weapon for a Heracles, and the doubled cloak 
bespattered with filthy mud, protection against bitter showers, they 
are befouled by hanging from your shoulders. Truly Diogenes 
was the Heavenly Dog, but you the dog of the dust heap. Put off 
these weapons that are not yours ; the lion's array is not for bearded 
goats. 

Apart from the works of Meleager, there is little evidence 
of literary activity amongst the Cynics of this period. Berlin 
Papyrus, No. 13044, is dated by Wilcken 3 as c. 100 B.C. and is 
an echo of Onesicratus' description of the Gymnosophists. 
Alexander, however, does not receive favourable treatment, he 
is the rvqavvoQ finally discomfited by the wisdom of the 
Gymnosophists, who wear the cloak of the Cynics. There is 
little or no literary merit about the fragment, it is a popularized 
version of the theme of an encounter between Cynic and 
tyrant : a theme later elaborately treated by Dio Chrysostom. 
The first half of the first century B.C. is apparently the date of 
the * Wiener Diogenes Papyrus ', a collection of anecdotes, most 
of which are in Laertius' account of Diogenes. The so-called 
4 letters of the Cynics ' date in part at least from the Augustan 
age. 4 They purport to come from Antisthenes, Diogenes and 
Crates, but as von Fritz 5 shows, evince no sign of acquaintance 
with the works of their supposed authors, their knowledge of 
whom derives from the accounts built up by the %Qeiai and the 
fictitious Diogenes-literature of the third century and later. 
Frequently they are merely elaborations of familiar Cynic 
anecdotes, e.g. the story of how Diogenes learned to dispense 
with his wooden drinking-cup ; others again are dialogues 
narrated in a letter. The remarkable 28th epistle of Diogenes 
is addressed to the Greek race as a whole, and is a bitter polemic 
against the general standards of contemporary civilization. 

1 D.L., vi. 104. a Anth., xi. 158. 8 Berlin, Ak. Sits:., 1923. 

4 Capelle, De Cynic, epistulis, Gott. Diss., 1896. 

5 Diog. 9 von Sin. 



124 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

From the number of references to tyrants and the misery of 
their lot in the epistles it is likely that many of them were 
composed in the Early Roman Empire. The purpose of the 
epistles may well have been, as Capelle suggests, to provide 
propaganda for the revival of Cynicism in the first century 
A.D. The absence of any individual character makes it hard 
to date them, but their anonymity is a true reflection of a period 
when the * Cynic philosophy ' resembled nothing so much as 
an hereditary collection of well-worn gramophone records. 

This completes the examination of the evidence for the 
survival of Cynicism during the last two centuries before 
Christ. We have seen that it did little more than gain a 
footing at Rome, and was presumably unknown elsewhere in 
the West ; in the Eastern half of the Mediterranean world it 
survived in obscurity, attracting far less attention than had 
been the case in the third century. Though Cynic writings 
of the best period still exert a considerable influence on 
literature, little new literature is found coming from the move- 
ment. Surveying the state of Cynicism at the end of the 
Augustan age, we should not be inclined to predict for it a 
revival and at least another five hundred years of life. But 
history was repeating itself, at least, in so far as it ever does ; 
that is to say that the conditions which had proved favourable 
for the growth of Cynicism after the death of Alexander were 
being reproduced in the early years of the first century A.D. 
The Imperial system, though an enormous gain in efficiency 
of administration, had taken the interest out of politics ; 
there was a great increase in cosmopolitanism ; finally, luxury 
was more rampant than ever, and philosophy, even Stoicism, 
had compromised with it. There was a demand for a simpler, 
practical creed, which Cynicism was to meet. The * lion's 
array ' of Diogenes would again find worthy wearers ; Cynic- 
ism was to be, not reborn, but revived. 



CHAPTER VII 

DEMETRIUS. THE 'PHILOSOPHIC OPPOSITION 
IN THE FIRST CENTURY A.D. 

THE first name heard of after Cynicism's long period of 
obscurity and anonymity is that of Demetrius. 1 If no Cynic 
of the previous two hundred years stands in so clear a light, 
it is but another indication of how during this period interest 
focuses on Rome. Men may have followed the Cynic life 
with commendable, if not equal, austerity in Greece or in 
Asia Minor, but their names have not survived because they 
lacked Roman admirers. Demetrius carried on his propa- 
ganda at Rome, and aroused the interest of the Roman nobility, 
whose influence is paramount in the Latin literature of the 
period. If, then, he appears as an isolated phenomenon, this 
is probably misleading. 

Demetrius would seem to have been born earlier than A.D. 10 ; 
nothing is known of his family or his earlier years. We first 
hear of him as attracting attention in Rome during the reign 
of Caligula 2 ; for Seneca says that he has heard from 
Demetrius' own lips how the Emperor had offered him 
200,000 sesterces, which he had refused. * It would have cost 
him his whole Empire ', the Cynic would add, * to induce me 
to change my way of life.' From this passage von Arnim 3 
deduces that already Demetrius was noted for the ' anti- 
monarchical radicalism ' that he showed under Nero and 
Vespasian. This assumption would appear to read more into 
the passage than is warranted ; and a more probable explana- 
tion is that the story of Demetrius' poverty and asceticism, 
which were remarkable even by Cynic standards, had provoked 
Caligula's erratic curiosity to discover whether such virtue 
was indeed proof against the temptation of wealth. The 
language of Seneca supports this view : the Emperor is trying 

1 See Note to Chap. VII. 2 Sen., de ben., vii. n. 

3 In Pauly-Wissowa v. sub Demetrius, 91. 

125 



126 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

' aut honorare aut corrumpere Demetrium ', who rejects the 
gift with scorn as being ' not even worth refusing ' (' ne dignam 
qua non accepta gloriaretur '). Moreover, had Demetrius 
really been a troublesome opponent, it is unlikely that attempts 
to silence him would have stopped at unsuccessful bribery. 

The next references belong to the early years of Nero, and 
show Demetrius as a well-known figure in Rome, unsparing 
alike in his own asceticism and in attacks on the luxury of the 
age. He was probably in Rome thenceforward till the death 
of Thrasea Paetus in 66 l ; in addition to his connexions with 
the curious coterie that surrounded Thrasea, he was cultivated 
by Seneca, alike when minister of Nero and in retirement. 
After the death of Thrasea he appears to have been banished 
from Rome and to have lived in Greece, 2 but he must have 

1 Philostratus has a story that he taught at Corinth during some 
part of this period ; that there he came under the influence of Apol- 
lonius of Tyana, whom he followed to Rome, but shortly afterwards 
(we are to infer) was expelled by Tigellinus for attacking the Thermae 
of Nero as useless and demoralizing extravagance. The details of 
this story do not bear examination. The Thermae were built in 60, 
but Tigellinus did not come into power till 62, and since Philostratus 
says that the attack was delivered on the completion of the Thermae, 
it must have taken place (if at all) after their rebuilding in 66. But 
in the Epistles to Lucilius y composed between 57 and 64, Seneca refers 
several times to Demetrius in a way which suggests he was then in 
Rome, and in the De Providentia, which is generally dated A.D. 62, 
says definitely that he has just been in his company (' a quo recens 
sum ', de Prov., 3, 3). It is certain that Demetrius was with Thrasea 
Paetus at his death in 66, and hardly questionable that he had then 
been in close touch with him for several years. A visit of Demetrius 
to Greece between the years 57 and 66 is therefore unlikely, at least, 
it is hardly conceivable that he could have been there long enough 
to gather about him a crowd of disciples, as Philostratus suggests. 
He may well have been banished just after 66, but for more serious 
reasons than an attack on the Thermae ; Nero was very tolerant of 
such criticism. And it is a comment on the value of Philostratus 
as evidence that he does not mention Demetrius' connexion with 
Thrasea ; though he can give a detailed account of how the Cynic's 
' pupil * Menippus escaped in the nick of time from being married 
to a vampire. 

2 It must be admitted that the evidence on this point is scanty. 
Epictetus quotes him as being undismayed when threatened with 
death by Nero, which suggests most naturally that proceedings were 
taken against him after the death of Thrasea. Philostratus, as has 
been said, states that he was banished for criticizing the Thermae, 
and further states that he met Musonius engaged on digging Nero's 



DEMETRIUS 127 

returned to Rome soon after the end of Nero's reign, for we 
find him opposing Musomus Rufus in the prosecution of 
Egnatius Celer. In vituperation at least he was the most 
prominent of the philosophers who opposed Vespasian, and 
was expelled from Rome in 71 . Of his later life little is known ; 
but it seems likely that he lived in Greece, to judge from the 
stories of his encounter with Vespasian and his influence on 
Demonax. Philostratus represents him as living at Dicae- 
archia in Italy during the later years of Domitian, with what 
truth is unknown. 

The teaching of Demetrius, at least so far as it can be 
recaptured from the references in Seneca, seems to have been 
in the familiar tradition of the austerer Cynicism. The 
insistence on the practical aspect of philosophy, and the 
consequent depreciation of theory and of scientific speculation, 
contempt for the unconverted mass of humanity, complete 
suppression of desires, attacks on the luxury of the age all 
are in the well-known vein of the gospel according to Diogenes. 
For the opponents of convention had standardized both the 
manner and the matter of their assault into a conventional 
form, which demanded of its expositors no originality of 
thought, but rather, at best, unimpeachable asceticism and 
sufficient wit and rhetorical power to hold the attention of an 
audience. The only passage whose thought does not quite 
harmonize with that of traditional Cynicism is one where 
Demetrius professes complete and unquestioning resignation 
to the Will of God. Resignation, indeed, the older Cynicism 
had counselled, but rather resignation to Fate ; and one 
cannot but suspect that the religious colour of the passage may 
be due rather to Seneca than to Demetrius. Even if it is true 
for Demetrius, it is probably a borrowing from contemporary 
Stoicism. The apophthegms quoted by Seneca bear evidence 
of Demetrius' powers of expression ; that which calls a life 
which has never borne the attacks of Fortune a Dead Sea, 
is perhaps the most striking. But for us Demetrius is 
chiefly interesting not for his teaching or for a few striking 

Isthmian Canal. Chronologically there is no objection to these 
stories ; the Thermae were completed in 66, the Canal begun in 67. 
The story in Lucian (adv. indoct., 19), which shows Demetrius at 
Corinth, does not help, as it cannot be assigned specifically to the 
years 66-9. 



128 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

phrases, but rather for the appearance he makes in Roman 
history. 

The association of Demetrius with Thrasea Paetus and his 
circle is the most valuable piece of evidence for the so-called 
' philosophic opposition ' which is such an interesting feature 
of Roman politics in the second half of the first century A.D. 
The precise nature and extent of this opposition have been 
very variously estimated. Dio Cassius says that Thrasea and 
Soranus were killed, not for what they did but for what they 
were ; a point which Tacitus makes in his own way by telling 
how Nero, as the culmination of his Reign of Terror, deter- 
mined to attack Virtue Incarnate in the person of Thrasea 
Paetus. Boissier, 1 in saying that the opposition was * plus 
morale que politique ', also implies that its persecution was the 
revenge of outraged vice on virtue. But, as Henderson justly 
remarks, 2 ' a mere dislike of arrogated superiority in morals is 
not quite an adequate explanation of a rigorous treatment ' ; 
and one remembers that similar rigour was employed by 
Vespasian and Domitian. The circumstances of the attacks 
made on the Stoic opposition by the three emperors are very 
similar ; in each case a prominent Roman aristocrat of Repub- 
lican sympathies was put to death, and Cynic and Stoic phil- 
osophers were banished from Rome. This differentiation in 
the punishment accorded to the two elements of the opposition 
shows how the authorities estimated the relative degree of 
political danger they represented ; and any analysis of the 
opposition must recognize its twofold nature. For, though 
the Roman aristocrats might be in agreement with their Greek 
philosophical directors in allegiance to Stoic ethical doctrine, 
they cannot have taken their political views from Zeno or 
Diogenes. Thrasea, Helvidius Priscus, Paconius Agrippinus 
and the rest, represent a resurgence of the old Roman aristo- 
cratic spirit which found its true embodiment in Cato, and it 
was an essentially Roman tradition, and not Stoicism, which 
governed their political outlook. Admittedly the mind of a 
Cato is an ' anima naturaliter Stoica ' ; but the Roman 
Republic, though idealized by Panaetius, was always different 
from a Stoic commonwealth. Early Stoicism had defined the 
best constitution as being a blend of kingship, oligarchy, and 

1 U Opposition sous les Ctfsars, p. 103. 

2 Life and Principate of the Emperor Nero, p. 295. 



DEMETRIUS 129 

democracy ; but the insistence on the Stoic paradox of the 
fiaoik&ia enjoyed by the oocpos made it especially sympathetic 
to the idea of the philosopher-king. This sympathy for 
paodeia is especially marked in the Stoics of the first century 
A.D. Nature herself, according to Seneca, first conceived the 
idea of a king, as we see from the example of bees and other 
insects. 1 The Roman emperor must recognize that he holds 
the most sacred and most responsible of all positions, he has 
been chosen as the viceroy of God on earth. 2 Musonius Rufus 
regarded a king as * Law Incarnate, the contriver of good 
government and harmony (oftovola), the emulator of God, 
and, as He is, the father of his subjects '. 3 So too Dio 
Chrysostom 4 described to Trajan the majestic spectacle of 
the Peak of Kingship, also called the Peak of God, where 
Basileia sits throned, attended by Justice and Good Govern- 
ment, Law and Peace. Chrysippus had said that the oocpo<; will 
live with kings, and Seneca declares that he above all others 
will feel gratitude to the monarch who makes it possible for 
him to enjoy leisure, to control his own time, and to live in a 
tranquillity uninterrupted by public employments. To such 
a man, the emperor will seem a god ... * deus nobis haec 
otia fecit '. And Epictetus 5 acknowledges the debt the world 
owes to Trajan for the gift of peace, though insisting that peace 
of the soul can only be won through philosophy. Against 
monarchy as such, Philosophy had no objection to urge ; if 
it criticizes, the criticism must be directed against the monarch 
himself. For according to the Stoic paradox, the aoyoi; is a 
king in his own right, understanding the art of government, 
though his kingdom is not of worldly things. As for the 
Cynic, he is schoolmaster as well as king, the naidaywyos of 
the human race, whose duty is to advise or admonish all who 
stand in need of correction, even though it be the Emperor 
himself. So the Cynic Isidorus reproached Nero, with the 
well-worn Cynic taunt that * he knew well how to sing the 
ills of Nauplia, but disposed ill of his own goods '. 6 

From Stoic-Cynic doctrine, then, there was no menace to 

1 de Clem., i. 19. 

2 ' Electus sum, qui in terris deorum vice fungerer.* de Clem., 
i. 2. 

8 fr. viii. 8. i. * Or., i. 74, 75. 6 Epict., Ixxiii. 10. 

6 Suet., Nero, c. 39. 
10 



130 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

monarchy, but authority must always claim to judge a move- 
ment by its fruits. There were, at the beginning of Nero's 
reign, those who regarded Philosophy as a potential source of 
danger : there was some opposition to Seneca's acting as tutor 
to Nero, on the grounds that the Stoic system was most 
unsuitable for the education of princes. 1 In 64 Seneca found 
it necessary to protest against the view that * The faithful 
adherents of Philosophy are rebellious and fractious persons, 
ever deriding kings and officials and those responsible for the 
conduct of public affairs/ 2 The protagonists of this view, 
one of whom was Tigellinus, must have felt that their case was 
greatly strengthened by the evidence of the Pisonian con- 
spiracy. The record of Stoicism, viewed from the official 
standpoint in the early months of 66, could only have seemed 
a bad one. Rubellius Plautus, a possible rival for the prin- 
cipate, first banished to Asia and then executed, had been a 
prominent member of the sect ; his teacher, Musonius Rufus, 
was exiled shortly after the Pisonian conspiracy, which had 
implicated other distinguished adherents of Stoicism in Seneca 
and Lucan. Henderson 3 stresses the complete change in 
Nero's attitude to the nobility after the Pisonian conspiracy ; 
for the previous ten years he had treated them with marked 
clemency, now he regarded the nobility with distrust and the 
Senate with hatred. Such is the necessary preface to a con- 
sideration of Nero's attack on that eminent noble, senator, and 
Stoic, Thrasea Paetus. 

The attack was, of course, not unexpected. Thrasea had 
incurred Nero's displeasure some years earlier, though there 
had been an attempt at a reconciliation. It is improbable 
that the reconciliation was sincere ; and we have evidence 
that for several months before his trial Thrasea had been 
living in daily expectation of exile or death. 4 The actual 
evidence on which he was condemned is dismissed by 
Furneaux 6 as * flimsy ' ; but he rightly insists that no evidence 

1 de. Clem., ii. v. 2. 2 Sen. Epist. Mor., 73. 3 op. cit., p. 288 ff. 

4 Epictetus [i. i. 26 ff.] tells how he remarked to Musonius Rufus, 
* I would rather be put to death to-day than exiled to-morrow.* 
Musonius was banished late in 65 or early in 66, the trial of Thrasea 
was held in July 66. Coming from Musonius' pupil the story is 
trustworthy. 

6 Tacitus, Annals, Vol. ii, p. 81. 



DEMETRIUS 131 

can have been produced of another conspiracy of which 
Tacitus says nothing, for the trial was held in the Senate, 
and Tacitus presumably derives his information from official 
reports. We may be confident, then, that the Tacitean 
account represents the substance of the case against Thrasea, 
and indeed it is hard to see why some scholars have tried to 
look outside it to find the reasons for his condemnation. I 
do not, of course, suggest that his accusers, Capito Cossutianus 
and Eprius Marcellus, were animated by any concern for 
the welfare of the state ; they were Nero's creatures, and 
were chiefly concerned to earn the handsome reward they 
might expect if a conviction was secured. That being 
admitted, it can hardly be denied that they produced a strong 
case. 

The gist of it is, Thrasea was setting himself up as the * dux 
et auctor ' of a system which was opposed to the Imperial 
authority : his prestige among his followers was enormous, 
and was elsewhere attracting widespread attention : there was 
the possibility (hinted at but not directly mentioned by the 
prosecution) that the more impetuous of his followers might 
attempt to assassinate the Emperor. There the accusers were 
content to rest their case, and it is odd that modern scholars 
should so often have asked more of them. Their dissatis- 
faction, one may suggest, arises from failure to estimate 
correctly the Emperor's position, above all, his exposure to 
assassination. Boissier, for example, belittles the importance 
of Thrasea's opposition on the grounds that his political 
activities consisted in doing nothing. 1 But non-participation 
and passive resistance are the most effective weapons against 
an Imperial system, as a far more liberal Empire than that of 
the Caesars has recently experienced. Idealism, no doubt, 
would prefer that Thrasea should have headed a party in the 
Senate and have worked for a majority with the object of 
finally deposing Nero senatus consulto. But such methods 
were completely impracticable in the Rome of the Emperors 
and there were in any case quicker ways of getting rid of a 
rule that depended on the life of a single man. But though 
modern historians have doubted the force of the case for the 
prosecution, it was fully acknowledged by Thrasea and his 
party. For them, the question was not how to effect a defence, 
1 op. cit., p. 102. 



1-s A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

out simply whether or not Thrasea should appear in the 
Senate on the day of the trial. 1 Conviction they regarded as 
inevitable, but it was felt that a better moral could be pointed 
by absence : and Thrasea's last act of non-participation was to 
stay away from his own trial. He was condemned to death, 
and it is hard to see how the verdict could have gone other- 
wise ; for though in private life he may have been the embodi- 
ment of virtue, that was from the official point of view entirely 
irrelevant. 

His associates, Helvidius Priscus and Paconius Agrip- 
pinus, who had ' not as yet dared to emulate the contumacy of 
their leader ', were banished from Italy, a relatively mild 
punishment. Demetrius, Thrasea's philosophic guide, was 
probably banished shortly after the trial ; and about this time 
or a little earlier a similar sentence was passed on Cornutus, 
the teacher of Lucan no doubt occasioned rather by his 
profession of the * intempestiva sapientia ' of the Stoics than 
by any too outspoken criticism of Nero's literary abilities. 
Barea Soranus, whose trial took place on the same day as that 
of Thrasea, is not explicitly named as one of the latter's 
' satellites '. But he was a prominent Stoic, and enjoyed the 
intimacy of Musonius Rufus ; he was condemned, like 
Musonius, on the score of his old associations with Rubellius 
Plautus. By the end of Nero's reign the Stoic opposition was 
muzzled, for all its most prominent members had either been 
put to death or else exiled. 

After the death of Nero the exiles appear to have flocked 
back. Musonius and Helvidius Priscus were recalled by 
Galba ; before the end of 69 Demetrius was probably again 
in Rome. During the next few years the opposition had more 
scope for political action than had been the case under Nero ; 
the disorders of the ' Year of the Four Emperors ' gave the 
Senate a political importance it had not enjoyed since the 
establishment of the Principate, and of the surviving members 
of Thrasea Paetus* coterie, both Arulenus Rusticus and 
Helvidius held important offices, being praetors for the years 
69 and 70 respectively. 2 Again, Vespasian was at first tolerant, 
till the intransigeance of the opposition forced him to severe 
measures. Unfortunately, our evidence for the opposition 
to Vespasian is scanty. Tacitus stressed the importance of 
1 Annals, xvi. 25, 26. 2 Tac., Hist., in, 80; iv, 53. 



DEMETRIUS 133 

the career of Helvidius Priscus * which won him much glory 
and much hatred ', and gives a character sketch as a prelude 
to the frequent appearances he is to make ; but the Histories, 
as we have them, break off before his opposition to Vespasian 
has become acute, and even the account of its early stages 
contains a most annoying lacuna at a critical point. The nar- 
rative of Dio Cassius is also much abridged ; and Suetonius, 
the only authority for the fate of Helvidius, says little of his 
policy. The impression of the opposition that can be derived 
from these authorities is that it was directed by Helvidius, 
who began with two main objects in view, to exact revenge 
from the ' delatores ' responsible for the deaths of Thrasea 
and Barea Soranus, and to secure a greater share of political 
importance for the Senate in general and for himself in 
particular. His impetuosity and ambition brought him in- 
creasingly into conflict with Vespasian, thus driving him to 
an embittered opposition to the monarchy which finally became 
so vocal that the reluctant Emperor had to get rid of him. 1 

Helvidius' first act in the principate of Galba was an attempt 
to bring the arch- informer, Eprius Marcellus, to justice. The 
possibility of a trial caused great excitement in the Senate, 
some warmly approved of it, others were themselves too 
deeply involved to feel easy about the outcome of investiga- 
tions into the * delatores '. Moreover, Galba himself was in 
insecure occupation of the throne, and could not afford to face 
a major split in the Senate. He therefore prevailed on Helvi- 
dius to drop the case against Marcellus for a time ; it was in 
fact not taken up till some months later, under Vespasian. 

When the attack on the delatores was taken up again, as a 
preliminary trial of strength it was decided to fly at lesser game 
than Eprius Marcellus. 2 The obvious object of attack was the 
notorious Egnatius Celer, the betrayer of Barea Soranus. He 
was not a senator, nor one of the great ' delatores ', so that his 
fall was unlikely to involve any one else, moreover he was 
manifestly guilty. The case was clearly one in which the 
Emperor could safely let public feeling have its way, and feeling 
was overwhelmingly opposed to Celer. The prosecution was 
conducted by Musonius Rufus, the defence, surprisingly 

1 Our chief authority for what follows is Tacitus. Vide Hist., iv, 
c. 5-1 1 ; 40-4; 53. 
8 Hist., iv. 10 and 40. 



i 3 4 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

enough, by the Cynic Demetrius. Tacitus says that Demetrius 
appeared to be acting ' ambitiosius quam honestius ' in under- 
taking the defence. 1 It is hard to see what he means, and one 
is tempted to suppose he is indulging his penchant for dis- 
covering evil motives behind every action. Celer lacked the 
skill or the nerve to defend himself, and however guilty, had a 
claim to be represented : it is hard to say what ambition 
Demetrius could be serving in thus championing an unpopular 
case. The spectacle of Stoic and Cynic appearing in the Roman 
courts as prosecutor and counsel for the defence is in itself 
remarkable, and appears even more so when we consider the 
charge on which Celer was tried. He was, of course, con- 
demned, and men read in the enthusiasm which greeted his 
downfall a favourable omen for the attack on those greater 
personages, the ' delatores ' themselves. A measure was 
passed in the Senate which required all members to take an 
oath that they were personally innocent of any attack on the 
life of a senator during the reign of Nero, and which requested 
the Emperor to permit access to the Imperial archives, that the 
names of the * delatores ' might be discovered in each case. 
The oath was taken with much prevarication and some perjury, 
and the feeling against the delatores was becoming intense. 
All who had suffered joined the attack ; and there was one 
particularly stormy meeting of the Senate. Domitian was 
present, and at the climax of a series of attacks Helvidius 
fiercely denounced Eprius Marcellus. 

So hostile was the temper of the Senate that the chief 

* delatores ' found it prudent to withdraw ; in so doing, 
Marcellus uttered the ominous remark, * I leave you to your 
Senate, Priscus, play the king in the presence of Caesar.' 
The day was passed in bitter discord, the majority of the 
Senate being for the destruction of the ' informers ', while a 

* few strong men ' urged an amnesty. The House rose with 
nothing decided, but the prospects for the overthrow of the 
informers were never so bright. At the next meeting came 
the reversal, with a display of the Emperor's power which was 
all the more impressive from the moderation of its tone. 
Before any one else was called on to give an opinion, Domitian 
spoke in favour of an amnesty ; he was followed by Mucianus, 

1 Possibly * acting more from desire for notoriety than desire for 
good repute '. 



DEMETRIUS 135 

who spoke to the same effect, in particular suggesting the 
abandonment of the case against the delatores. Mucianus' 
speech was couched in mild language, amounting almost to a 
plea, but it was obviously * inspired '. Once the Emperor's 
wishes were known, the obedient Senate performed a complete 
volte-face, and the matter was dropped. It was a crushing 
blow for the policy of Helvidius Priscus, and it may well be that 
the headstrong bitterness of his later opposition to Vespasian 
was largely occasioned by the disappointment of that day. 

At every point the Senate had failed Helvidius' hopes, but 
he did all that a single individual could to lessen the Emperor's 
prestige. As praetor he omitted the Emperor's titles on his 
edicts, on his return to Rome he greeted him merely by the 
name ' Vespasian ', ' such was his disrespect for the Emperor 
on all occasions that he seemed to be almost depriving him of 
his status ' (' cogere eum in ordinem ').* As has been said, 
our evidence for Helvidius' actions at this period is scanty, 
we merely know that his opposition was daring and bitter, 
and that Vespasian showed remarkable tolerance. We hear of 
a scene in the Senate, when Helvidius opposed Vespasian, 
who left the House in tears with the remark, * Either my son 
shall succeed me, or no one at all.' 2 

Rostovtseff makes the attractive suggestion that the point 
at issue was the succession to the throne, and that Helvidius 
had objected to the nomination of Titus as heir, and wished 
the next emperor to be chosen as the * best man ', in the Stoic- 
Cynic sense. 3 Opposition to the principle of hereditary 
monarchy may well have been a feature of Stoic-Cynic propa- 
ganda, and as RostovtsefF points out, Philosophy made a truce 
with the monarchy when the principle of adoption was 
observed, as it was from Nerva to Marcus Aurelius. But it 
seems hardly possible to doubt that Helvidius was a genuine 
Republican ; his book in praise of Cato, his refusal to ac- 
knowledge the Emperor's titles on his edicts, his behaviour 
* ut libera semper civitate usus ', all point in that direction. 
More significant still are the reasons Dio Cassius gives for his 
final suppression. 

1 Suet., Vesp. y c. 15. 2 id., ib., c. 25 ; Dio. Cass., Ixv. 12. i. 

3 Social and Economic Hist, of the Roman Empire, p. 519, p. 14. 
Elsewhere he appears to think that the remark referred to a coi}- 
spiracy. 



136 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

Vespasian hated Helvidius, not on account of his abuse of himself 
and his friends, but because he was a turbulent fellow who culti- 
vated the mob and was for ever praising democracy and denouncing 
the monarchy. He banded men together as though it were the 
function of philosophy to overthrow the established order, insult 
those in power, and bring about a revolution. 1 

Helvidius was first punished by ' relegatio in insulam ', then 
by death, though at the last moment the Emperor tried to 
cancel the order of his execution. 

The banishment of Helvidius and the expulsion of Stoic 
and Cynic philosophers from Rome presumably took place 
about the same time, i.e. between 71 and 75, and more probably 
in the early part of that period rather than the later. The 
expulsion was ordered at the instigation of Mucianus, and the 
reasons for it are stated in more general terms that those which 
led to the suppression of Helvidius. 

Inasmuch as many philosophers actuated by Stoic principles, 
especially Demetrius the Cynic, were taking advantage of the name 
of philosophy to preach publicly many doctrines inappropriate to 
the age, and had thus subtly corrupted certain persons, Mucianus 
. . . denounced them at length and persuaded Vespasian to expel 
all such persons from the city. 

The nature of these inappropriate doctrines is not stated, but 
it is tempting to believe with Rostovtseff that what the Cynics 
and Stoics were opposing was the principle of hereditary 
succession to the principate : such doctrines were certainly 
inappropriate so soon after Titus' nomination as * Imperator 
designatus '. It is clear, too, that in their propaganda they 
vigorously assailed the Emperor personally, and his favourite 
Mucianus ; Mucianus had not the Emperor's tolerance of 
* yapping dogs ', and his resentment shows through his denunci- 
ation of the Stoics. 

They are full of empty boasting, and if one of them grows a long 
beard and elevates his eyebrows, and throws his TQifiwvtov over his 
shoulder and goes barefooted he claims straightway wisdom and 
courage and righteousness, and gives himself great airs, though he 
may not know his letters nor, as the saying goes, how to swim. 
They despise every one, and call the man of good family effeminate, 

1 D.C., 65. 12. 



DEMETRIUS 137 

the low-born poor-spirited, the handsome man a debauchee, the 
ugly person simple-minded, the rich covetous, and the poor greedy. 1 

The passage is interesting as showing how at this period Stoic 
and Cynic philosophers were practically indistinguishable, 
alike in their rationale and their propaganda. Demetrius and 
Hostilianus were the most prominent undesirables, and were 
treated with the harsher sentence of ' relegatio in insulam ', 2 
the others being merely expelled from the city of Rome. 
Hostilianus withdrew, but Demetrius remained obstinate, 
continuing his abuse and propaganda. Vespasian wisely 
refused to honour him with martyrdom, and ultimately he was 
compelled to accept his sentence ; so far as we know, he never 
again returned to Rome. The expulsion of Stoics and Cynics 
was complete, but for one exception Musonius Rufus, who 
appears to have been exempted by name from the decree. It 
is probable that the prestige he had gained from his successful 
prosecution of Celer made it unwise to take immediate action 
against him ; that his doctrines were not more acceptable than 
those of the rest of the sect is suggested by the statement that 
he was banished shortly after the decree of general expulsion. 3 

But by A.D. 75 some of the Cynics had got back again into 
Rome, and were fanning the popular opposition to the marriage 
of Titus and Berenice. One Diogenes entered the theatre 
when it was full, and denounced them in a long abusive speech. 
He got off with a flogging, but another member of the sect, 
called Heras, who, expecting no harsher treatment, * gave vent to 
many abusive remarks ', was beheaded. 4 Rostovtseff suggests 
that the punishment of Heras is evidence that he directly 
attacked the Emperor himself. 

The next occasion on which philosophy came into conflict 
with the Imperial authority was during the reign of Domitian. 
It is clear that there were two separate ' expulsions of philos- 
ophers ', 5 and it is reasonable to suppose that the first of these 

iD.C., 65. 13. 2 id., ib. 13. 

8 Vide Hense, Musonii reliquiae, p. xxxv. 4 D.C., 65. 15. 

5 Furneaux (Tac., Agric., note on c. 2) says that Eusebius is an 
only authority for the earlier exile. But Dio Cassius (67. 13. 2) 
speaks of * the philosophers being again driven out ', i.e. the general 
expulsion which followed the prosecution of Rusticus and Herennius 
Senecio, clearly implying that measures had previously been taken 
against them. 



138 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

was in 89, and in some way connected with the conspiracy of 
Antonius Saturninus. This conspiracy was for Domitian 
what the Pisonian conspiracy was for Nero ; henceforward he 
was suspicious of the nobility, and hag-ridden by a perpetual 
and well-founded dread of assassination. The suppression of 
the conspiracy was followed by the execution of many Roman 
nobles. These executions were carried out in a secrecy which 
made them even more formidable; we know few names of 
victims, but it is likely that many of those mentioned by 
Suetonius as executed for trivial reasons were really implicated 
in the conspiracy of Saturninus. The measures taken against 
the philosophers are not clear. It is probable that their 
expulsion came about through connexion with the discontented 
and rebellious members of the aristocracy, as had been the 
case under Vespasian. But the decree of expulsion can hardly 
have been a general one, or if so it was not rigidly enforced, 
for in five years' time we find the philosophers back in the 
city again ; while it does not seem likely that any action was 
taken against the philosopher Artemidorus till the second 
expulsion. 

The more severe storm broke in 94 x to suppress an opposi- 
tion that was clearly becoming more vocal. The features of 
Domitian 's rule which caused the aristocracy to hate him 
more than any previous emperor are well known his abolition 
of the principle of dyarchy, and the consequent disappearance 
of the last vestiges of senatorial authority, his insistence on the 
cult of his personal divinity, all combined to transform the 
Roman Empire into an Oriental tyranny. All men were not 
content with preserving that * fifteen-year-long silence ' which 
Tacitus says lay so heavily on his generation. The opposition 
came from the quarter in which one would naturally look for 
it : the survivors and descendants of those who had opposed 
Nero. Helvidius Priscus, son of the victim of Vespasian, 
produced an Atellane farce which apparently could be con- 
strued as a satire on the intrigue between the Empress Domitilla 
and the actor Paris ; the fact that the satire came from one of 
that name no doubt weighed heavily against him, and he was 

1 I follow the chronology of Otto (Sitz. der. Bayer. Akad., 1919, 
10, p. 43 if.), who places the decree against the philosophers in the 
last months of 94, a position he defends (id., 1923, i., p. 4 ff.) against 
the attack of Baehrens (Hermes, 58 (1923), p. 109 ff.). 



DEMETRIUS 139 

put to death. Shortly after his death appeared the two famous 
eulogies on the great Stoic martyrs, that on Thrasea Paetus 
by Arulenus Rusticus, who as a rash young tribune had pro- 
posed to interpose his veto on Thrasea's trial ; that on Helvidius 
Priscus by Herennius Senecio, from materials supplied by 
Helvidius' wife, Fannia. The publication of these books 
evidently attracted much notice, and inflamed the hostility 
already felt towards Domitian ; accordingly the informers were 
unleashed, and in the issue the authors were put to death, and 
their books publicly and ignominiously burned. 

In connexion with this affair came the decree of the Senate 
which expelled from the city all philosophers, ' mathematici ', 
and * astrologi. 5 The philosophers were implicated, as they had 
been in the time of Vespasian by their connexions with the 
disaffected Roman aristocrats ; Artemidorus, one of the most 
prominent Stoics of the day, was the son-in-law of Musonius 
Rufus, and Epictetus had been Musonius' pupil. 1 The mathe- 
matici and astrologi were expelled because their revelations of 
the future served to encourage conspiracies against the 
Emperor's life. In some cases the role of * philosopher ' and 
astrologer might be combined, as is clear from the story of 
Apollonius of Tyana. ' During the reign of Domitian ', says 
Philostratus, * some philosophers fled for refuge to the Western 
Celts, others hid themselves in Scythia or Libya.' 2 This can 
hardly be taken as evidence for the results of the expulsion of 
94 ; the only philosopher known to have visited Scythia 
is Dio Chrysostom, who had been banished from Bithynia 
twelve years earlier, and who only took up philosophy after his 
banishment. One suspects that the Western Celts and Libya 

1 It is highly probable that Epictetus withdrew to Nicopolis in 94, 
and that those who, with Robert (in P.W., sub Epictetus), regard 
89 as the occasion of his retirement from Rome are wrong. For 
(i) Aulus Gellius (cv. n) definitely says that he retired as a conse- 
quence of the senatorial decree banishing philosophers ; (2) Pliny 
(Ep. y iii., xi. i) connects the expulsion of philosophers with the 
prosecution of Herennius Senecio and Arulenus Rusticus, as does 
Tacitus (Agr., c. 2). 

2 Phil., vii. 4. Throughout this section Philostratus' purpose is 
to contrast the cowardly action of other philosophers with that of his 
hero Apollonius. They fled for refuge to the ends of the earth, 
Apollonius (not a little fortified, it may be suggested, by his useful 
gift of being able to disappear at will) remained to confront Domitian. 



i 4 o A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

are introduced as rhetorical antitheses to Scythia ; and the 
statement of Pliny that he visited Artemidorus in a suburban 
villa near Rome shows that the clause of the decree which 
banned the philosophers from Italy was not immediately 
enforced. But Artemidorus seems to have been kept under 
some kind of surveillance, and it was dangerous for any one 
in authority to visit him. The teaching of Epictetus in 
Nicopolis, on the other hand, seems to have been in no way 
restricted. The statement of Dio Cassius that * many persons 
were put to death on this same charge of philosophizing ' 
refers (if to any one, for no names are given) to Roman aristo- 
crats ; the only case we know in which a non- aristocrat was 
executed for this or similar reasons is that of the * sophist ' 
Maternus, who was * put to death for abusing tyranny in a 
practice speech '.* 

Within two years after the expulsion of the philosophers 
Domitian was dead, and the ' period of tribulation for the 
human race ' was over. Under the mild and benignant rule 
of Nerva ' monarchy and liberty, previously irreconcilable, 
were joined together '. * Libertas publica ', * Roma renas- 
cens ', were more than legends on the coinage, they were true 
reflections of the spirit of the times. ' If Cato were alive 
to-day, he would be a monarchist ', is a statement which by 
itself can hardly carry much weight, coming as it does from 
one who was guilty of the grossest flattery under Domitian. 
But the chorus of approval is universal, the Panegyricus of 
Pliny and the speeches TZEQI fiaoiheiac; of Dio Chrysostom 
show how the nobles and the philosophers, the two disaffected 
classes in the time of Domitian, are enthusiastic in support of 
the New Model monarchy of Trajan. Philosophy, indeed, as 
we have already seen, had never opposed monarchy, but only 
individual monarchs, and Dio Chrysostom, describing the 
Stoic-Cynic ideal of ftaadela, suggests that it finds an embodi- 
ment in Trajan. 2 

Pliny had been the friend of the Stoic aristocrats who 

1 D.C., 67. 12. Was Maternus a rhetorician of the * Second 
Sophistic ' or a philosopher ? Dion Cassius speaks of the Cynics 
who crept back into Rome after the expulsion in the reign of Vespasian 
as acxpiaral, but the account of the * practice speech ' suggests that 
Maternus was really a rhetorician. 

2 Dio Chrys., i. 55. 



DEMETRIUS 141 

perished under Domitian, but he was probably not so much 
attracted by the ideal of Cato as repelled by the actions of 
Domitian. He and his kind were not Republicans, they knew 
a good emperor when they saw one, and were prepared to 
support him. The small and closely related group of irrecon- 
cilables which had successively opposed Nero, Vespasian and 
Domitian had been almost extinguished. Writing in A.D. 107, 
when Fannia, widow of the elder Helvidius Priscus, lay dying, 
Pliny laments that, ' though she leaves descendants, yet at her 
death an ancient house will seem to be extinct \ ! This appears 
to imply that the descendants were mere children, and in any 
case none of them adopted the role of opposition to the Emperor 
which was almost hereditary in their house. The only 
descendant we know of the Stoics of Domitian's reign is that 
Junius Rusticus who was consul suffectus in 133, city-prefect 
in the reign of Antoninus, and the teacher of Marcus Aurelius. 
Fannia, that indomitable old lady, must have been the last of 
the Republicans. Henceforward, as Rostovtseff says, there 
was an alliance between the educated classes and the monarchy 
an alliance whose undisturbed harmony led to the Golden 
Age of the Antonines. Philosophy and especially Stoicism 
enjoyed the imperial favour ; and although Cynicism, its 
companion in adversity, did not follow it to court in the second 
century, there is no sign of any general opposition of the Cynics 
to the monarchy. 2 Under Antoninus the principle was laid 
down that * no one in the garb of a philosopher was ever to be 
punished '. Finally, with Marcus Aurelius the old dream of 
the philosopher king was at last realized. 



NOTE TO CHAPTER VII 

Authorities. For the character and teaching of Demetrius the best 
authority is Seneca. His references to Demetrius may fairly be 
regarded as trustworthy ; he esteemed the philosopher highly, and 

1 Pliny, epist. vii. 

2 Dio Chrysostom says that in the time of Trajan the Cynics in 
Alexandria were to blame for outbreaks of rioting ; while Peregrinus 
inveighed against Antoninus in Rome, and was apparently concerned 
in an abortive rising in Achaea, as we shall see. But Alexandria 
always had politics of its own, which necessitated its being treated 
as a special case. Peregrinus, too, was not a person from whose 
actions it is safe to generalize. 



H2 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

was apparently very intimate with him throughout the years A.D. 
51-65. Tacitus mentions Demetrius* connexion with Thrasea 
Paetus and the * philosophic opposition ' ; his activities under 
Vespasian, and his banishment, are referred to by Suetonius and Dio 
Cassius. There are also several references to him in Philostratus* 
Life of Apollonius of Tyana, but, as will be contended, these are of 
doubtful value. 



CHAPTER VIII 
CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 

(a) General Character 

The period between the death of Vespasian and that of 
Marcus Aurelius saw Cynicism numerically far stronger than 
it had ever been before. The fact is reflected in the literature 
of the period, for references to the Cynics appear in almost 
every author from Martial to Lucian and nearly always they 
are uncomplimentary. By the early years of the second century 
the Cynics were numerous at Rome, and even more so in 
Alexandria ; a great crowd of them from all parts of the Greek- 
speaking world assembled for the ' apotheosis ' of Peregrinus 
at the Olympic games of 167 ; a few years later the humbler 
classes of artisan were turning Cynic in such numbers that 
Lucian professes alarm at the prospect of work being brought 
to a standstill. But, though Cynicism increased its numbers, 
there is no evidence that it widened its range ; as in the earlier 
period, the wanderings of the Cynics seem to have been 
confined to the Eastern portion of the Graeco-Roman world, 
apart from their appearance in Rome itself. To judge from 
his name, Crescens may have been a Roman, but otherwise all 
the Cynics known were of Greek extraction, and probably few 
of them could speak Latin. The Western half of the Empire 
was in any case an unpromising field for the Cynic, its inhabi- 
tants had little use for philosophers, and the climate was unsuit- 
able for the vagrant, begging life. But we hear of Cynics in 
all parts of the Eastern provinces they were numerous in 
Asia and Syria, Athens and Corinth appear to have been their 
favourite places in Greece : they were familiar in Epirus and 
Thrace ; even in the remoter parts of Pontus and Moesia the 
inhabitants knew that a man in a beggar's dress might be a 
* philosopher '. But most of their * teaching ' seems to have 
been done in the larger towns the psychological background 
of Cynicism is that of a reaction against an overdeveloped urban 
civilization and probably they were seen in the country only 
on their wanderings from city to city. 

143 



144 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

Yet of all these adherents of Cynicism we know only the 
names of some dozen men who were certainly historical figures, 
and for only four of those Dio Chrysostom, Demonax, 
Oenomaus of Gadara, and Peregrinus is the evidence suffi- 
ciently detailed to enable any real estimate to be made. 
There is evidence of a certain amount of Cynic literary 
activity during this period, though very little of it has 
survived. Several of Dio Chrysostom's orations were delivered 
while he was leading the KVVIKQC, fiio<; ; Oenomaus of Gadara 
was a prolific writer after the model of the older Cynics of the 
time of Diogenes ; Peregrinus Proteus sent ' letters, testaments 
and codes to all the chief cities ' to be delivered after his 
immolation ; some of the * Cynic epistles ', particularly those 
which go under the name of Crates, may be as late as the 
second century. But on the whole literary production was 
not characteristic of the Cynics of this period ; some few, 
such as Demonax, were perhaps averse to it because they felt 
obliged to concentrate all their activities on the practical side 
of their teaching, while many others were more or less illiterate. 
It seems likely that few men of striking personality were to be 
found amongst them ; the more earnest members of the sect 
probably conformed more or less to the stock-figure represented 
by the impersonal * Cynicus ' of the pseudo-Lucianic dialogue 
of that name. It is obvious, too, that as in the Hellenistic 
period, the KWIKOS {tto$ did not involve adherence to an 
organized system of doctrine. Demonax and Oenomaus were 
thorough-going sceptics in all religious matters ; the Cynicism 
of Peregrinus and his numerous followers was tinged with 
mysticism, and finally evolved a cult of its own ; Peregrinus 
was for a time a member of the Christian community while 
leading the Cynic life ; Crescens was an opponent of the 
Christians, and responsible for the martyrdom of Justin. 

A feature of the growth of Cynicism during this period was 
the influx into the movement of a large number of charlatans. 
The most vivid picture of this aspect of contemporary Cynicism 
is that given in the Fugitivi of Lucian ; the work was written 
shortly after the death of Peregrinus, when Lucian was especi- 
ally hostile, and one would be inclined to suspect his account 
were it not that ample confirmation is to be found elsewhere. 
Juvenal, Martial, and Aelius Aristides speak in the same way 
of the Cynics ; more important still is the fact that Dio 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D, 145 



Chrysostom, who had himself lived the xwixde (Mos, inveighs 
against ' those who bring the name of philosophy into dis- 
grace ', while Epictetus, for whom the ideal Cynic was the 
highest type of philosopher, speaks with contempt of con- 
temporary representatives of the profession. The Fugitivi 
may therefore be accepted as evidence for one side of second- 
century Cynicism. The dialogue opens on Olympus, where 
Zeus and Apollo are discussing the suicide of Peregrinus 
Proteus. They are interrupted by the entrance of Philosophy, 
weeping, and complaining of her treatment on earth. She 
has been outraged, she complains, not by the vulgar mob, as 
in the days of Socrates, nor by the philosophers themselves, 
but by a race of half-breeds 

whose dress and look and equipment is like my own, and who claim 
to be enrolled under my command, and give themselves out as the 
pupils and comrades and devotees of Philosophy. But their life 
is an abomination, full of ignorance and boldness and depravity, 
and of great insolence towards myself. 1 

She then narrates the story of her career on earth in discharging 
the task Zeus laid on her as the * healer of mankind ' (cf . the 
Cynic conception of the largos). Beginning with the bar- 
barians, she had forced the Indians to come down off their 
elephants and turn to philosophy : then came the sages of 
Chaldaea, Babylon and Egypt. Then she turned her atten- 
tion to the Greeks, was the friend of the Ionian scientists, the 
foe of the Sophists, and at the death of Socrates was minded 
to leave the Earth altogether, but was persuaded to stay by 
the older Cynics, Antisthenes, Diogenes, Crates and Menippus. 
These reminiscences are interrupted by Zeus, who demands 
to be told of her present aggressors. They are, she says, a 
low type of humanity, mostly slaves and hirelings, whose lack 
of leisure deprived them of any acquaintance with Philosophy 
in their youth, her very name they had never heard. But 
when they grew up and saw the respect in which philosophers 
were held, and the licence of speech allowed them, and the 
influence they possessed, they considered Philosophy to be a 
4 potent despotism '. They had no means of learning the 

1 Cf. the remark of Dio Chrysostom in the first Tarsian oration, 
that there is nothing in their appearance to distinguish the Cynic 
charlatan from the true philosopher. 
II 



146 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

necessary and true attributes of the profession ; but on the 
other hand their trades were shabby and laborious, and offered 
a bare livelihood, and many found slavery insupportable. So 
summoning up boldness and ignorance and shamelessness, 
and practising new forms of abusiveness, they assumed the 
garb of a philosopher, and, like Aesop's donkey, thought they 
were the lion when they had put on its skin and brayed. . . . 

The whole city is full of this roguery, especially of such as call 
themselves followers of Diogenes, Antisthenes and Crates, and 
enroll themselves under the sign of the Dog ... the canine 
qualities they possess are barking, lasciviousness, theft, sexual 
licence, flattery, fawning on any one who will feed them. . . . We 
shall soon see wholesale desertion from the factories, when the 
workers realize how they have to toil and labour from morning till 
night, and wear themselves out to earn a pittance for their drudgery, 
while these quacks and charlatans live a life of plenty, demanding 
like lords and readily getting what they ask. . . . This is what 
they call the life of the Golden Age * when honey drops from heaven 
into their mouths. . . . Many of them seduce the wives of their 
hosts and lead them off to be philosophers too, quoting Plato's 
dictum that women should be held in common 2 . . . their be- 
haviour at banquets, and their drunkenness would be a long story 
to narrate. 3 And this they do while reproving drunkenness, 
adultery, lechery and greed. No two things are more utterly 
opposed than their precepts and their practices. . . . And then, 
the greed of their mendicancy ! Some even make a fortune out 
of it, and then, good-bye to the wallet, cloak and tub ! . . . So 
the average man holds Philosophy in contempt, and thinks all its 
adherents are like the Cynics. 

Moved by the plight of Philosophy, Zeus decides to take 
measures against this plague. To the great patron saint of 
the Cynics, Heracles himself, is assigned the task of rooting 
out the pest, a duty which he says will be even more unpleasant 
than cleansing the Augean stables. By way of a beginning, 
Heracles, Hermes and Philosophy go down to Thrace, to 
Philippopolis, where notable charlatans are to be found, three 
runaway slaves, accompanied by a woman. (The fact that a 

1 Cf. Maximus of Tyre, Diss. 36. The Cynic life is the life of the 
Golden Age. 

2 In Athenaeus, Cynic women are mentioned. One of them, 
Nicion, nicknamed * Dog-fly ', was presumably a courtesan. 

8 Cf. what is said of Cynics at banquets by Lucian in the Lapithae, 
and by Athenaeus. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 147 

definite locality is named, and some details given of the career 
of the leader of this little group, one Cantharus, suggests that 
Lucian is referring to real persons.) Through the agency of 
the gods these runaways are handed back to their masters, 
having first been exposed as arrant quacks. 

Cantharus and his friends are, I think, to be taken as typical 
of many of the new converts to Cynicism. It is easy to under- 
stand how the * free life ' of the Cynic could attract those 
engaged in the generally oppressive and monotonous tasks of 
an artisan in the ancient world. To a slave the attraction would 
be still greater, and the rapid spread of Christianity, and such 
of the mystery religions as were open to them, amongst the 
slaves, shows how eager they were to embrace any creed which 
would lighten the monotony of their lot. Nor must one forget, 
amongst the possible converts to Cynicism, those people, 
numerous in any civilization, who are characterized by what 
has lately been called the * escape-psychology ' the desire to 
emancipate themselves from all the restraints imposed by an 
ordered society. It was this temperament, allied with religious 
mysticism, that later produced the curious extravagances of 
the anchorites of the Thebaid. That the KWIKQC. (Mot; in 
itself offered exceptional scope to the debauchee is improbable. 
The general standard of morals in the Empire placed no undue 
restraint on the sensual appetites, and there was no need to 
have recourse to the Cynic avaidsia for indulgence. The 
accusations of immorality against the Cynics are animated by 
disgust not so much at the practices themselves as for the 
hypocrisy of those who indulge in them. But, all in all, it is 
easy to see that, for those in humble circumstances, there was 
some inducement to turn Cynic. It offered freedom from 
restraint, change of scene, wide tolerance of behaviour, and a 
living (of a sort) without work. And one must remember that 
however ascetic the traditional Cynic diet seems to us, it was 
probably little plainer than the normal fare of the lower classes. 
Moreover, the slave or artisan turned Cynic would meet with 
the respect of his equals, however much he might be despised 
by the cultured. For Lucian is right in saying that the illiterate 
Cynics of his day were taking advantage of the high respect gen- 
erally accorded to philosophy ; in this sense one may admit the 
description of Cynicism as the ' philosophy of the proletariat '. 

From this general description of Cynicism during the period 



148 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

I pass on to consider those individual Cynics of whom any 
record survives, especially Dio Chrysostom, Demonax, 
Oenomaus of Gadara, and Peregrinus. 

(6) Dio Chrysostom 

Alike to the student of the Roman Empire and of classical 
literature, the most attractive of these names is that of Dio 
Chrysostom. Here he is of interest as the most illustrious 
example of a man who lived the Cynic life * under pressure of 
circumstance ' (xaia neQiaraow), a course which had been 
approved by the Stoics as proper for the aocp6$ and as one in 
which he would persevere unless circumstances again inter- 
vened and forced him to renounce it. Such a change of 
fortune did occur for Dio, and he abandoned the vagrant 
Cynic life to become the friend of Trajan, a person of great 
influence in the affairs of his native province in Bithynia, and 
a kind of unofficial but influential intermediary between the 
Roman government and the Greek states generally. Weber's 
description of Dio as ' cynicorum sectator ' 1 is thus very 
inadequate, and indeed Dio drew on Stoic quite as much as 
on Cynic ideas, and was also influenced by Plato and even 
Aristotle. Since Weber's time, however, the researches of 
von Arnim 2 into the chronology of his writings enable us to 
gauge with some accuracy the limits of the influence exercised 
upon him by Cynicism. We are here concerned with Dio as 
seen from within these limits, and as affording evidence for the 
nature of Cynicism in his day. For a full-length biography 
the reader must be referred to von Arnim, and to Dill 3 for a 
short but brilliant account of his work as a * philosophic 
missionary '. 

Dio's birth and upbringing alike prepared him for a career 
very different from that which circumstances actually forced 
him to follow. He came from one of the wealthiest families 
in Prusa : and after his father's death his own sumptuous style 
of living, more particularly untimely expenditure on building 
at a period of famine, drew down on him the hatred and envy 
of his poorer fellow-citizens. He received a rhetorical training, 
and won considerable fame as a Sophist ; and his speech 

1 * De Dione Chrysostomo Cynicorum sectatore. 1 

2 Leben itnd Werke des Dion von Prusa, 1898. 

8 Social Life at Rome from Nero to Marcus Aurclius, p. 367 ff. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 149 

ra>v (piXoo6<pa>v shows that he shared the hostility felt by 
the Second Sophistic towards the philosophers. His standing 
in his native city and his reputation as a Sophist brought him 
excellent connexions at Rome, he enjoyed the acquaintance 
of Titus, and was intimate with his stepson Flavius Sabinus. 1 
He was an ardent Hellenist, and the Rhodian oration, delivered 
shortly before his exile, ^shows him looking forward to a cultural 
revival which should make the Hellenic cities the moral and 
spiritual leaders of the Roman world. His brilliant prospects 
were suddenly and completely destroyed by the execution of 
Flavius Sabinus, who was suspected of conspiracy against 
Domitian, in A.D. 82. His downfall involved Dio, ' as a friend 
and a counsellor (yihov dvra Hal av^ovXov). For this is a 
habit of tyrants, and even as the Scythians bury with their kings 
their cupbearers and cooks and concubines, so do tyrants add 
many other innocent persons to the list of their victims/ 2 Dio 
was sentenced to exile, a sentence which Emperius shows as 
meaning banishment from (i) Rome and Italy, (2) his native 
province of Bithynia. 3 The sentence was an imperial decree, 
not a senatus consultum, like the expulsion of philosophers in 
94, nor a judicial sentence, arising out of a prosecution. Its 
term was intended to be ' in perpetuum ', as may be deduced 
from the fact that ' it was not lifted till after Domitian 's death, 
when Nerva refused to endorse the " acta " of his predecessor '. 
Severe though the sentence was, it did not force Dio to the 
vagrant life which he chose to lead. Though he no longer 
derived any support from his property in Prusa and was appar- 
ently without means, several cities made him an offer of citizen 
rights, 4 and he could have made a living as a sophist in any 
part of the Roman Empire other than Rome, Italy or Bithynia. 
Von Arnim suggests that his amour-propre as a famous sophist 
was outraged by the Emperor's action, at once unjust and 
contemptuous, and that he determined to revenge himself by 
carrying on a literary campaign against Domitian. Such a 
course would draw down the Emperor's anger on any com- 
munity which harboured him, and Dio would naturally hesitate 
before establishing himself in any city when he knew that he 

1 von Arnim (op. cit.) makes a convincing case for Flavius Sabinus 
as ' the person of the highest connexions ' whose fall Dio describes 
as responsible for his own exile. 

2 Or. 13. i. 3 Emperius, Dio von Prusa, 1844. 4 Or. 44. 6. 



150 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

was a potentially dangerous guest. These considerations, 
however, are not mentioned in Dio's own account ; he leaves 
us rather to infer that he adopted the vagrant life on the advice 
of the Delphic god. ' Following the ancestral custom of the 
Greeks,' he says, * I went to Delphi, and asked the god whether 
exile was a good thing or a bad/ l He must further have 
asked for advice on his particular case, for the reply was, ' Do 
the near-by thing with all earnestness, as though it were of 
the highest importance, till you come to the ends of the earth.' 
The advice, and the fact that it was followed, suggest that 
the question came from a man whose world had crashed about 
his ears. Dio was cut off from his family and his home, 
apparently for ever, his dream of leading a revival of Hellenic 
culture had to be abandoned, and he was no longer interested 
in the career of a sophist. The only advice which could help 
a man in his situation was that which the oracle gave ; 
Oenomaus, in his demonstration of the futility of all oracles, 
wisely says nothing about the response given to Dio. 

During the next fourteen years Dio wandered through the 
north-eastern portion of the Roman Empire, and we hear of 
him in Greece, in Pontus, in Asia, and in Moesia. He sup- 
ported himself from the humblest occupations, and was at 
different times a gardener, a bath-attendant, an agricultural 
labourer, and, frequently, a beggar. 2 Naturally he was brought 
into contact with the lowliest people, and he, who, as he tells 
us, * had sat at table with kings and satraps ', 3 learned that 
greater hospitality and kindness were to be found in the homes 
of the poor. His life during these years damaged his health, 4 
but it brought him a deeper insight into the lives of the poor 
than can be found in any classical author since Hesiod, 
Furthermore, as with Diogenes, it was through his exile that 
he was brought to philosophy. He calls himself ' a self-made 
philosopher ' (avrovqyoc; rrjq cro^tag), 5 and describes the process 
in a passage which is interesting in itself and as evidence for con- 
temporary views of the Cynics. 6 As he wandered from place 
to place, clad in rough clothes, he says that, 

the people who met me judged from my appearance that I was a 
vagrant or a beggar, while some took me for a philosopher. So it 



1 Or. 13. 9. 2 von Arnim, op. cit., p. 238 ff. 8 Or. 7. 65. 
4 ib., 19 ; 40. 2. 5 ib., i. 9. 6 ib., 13. i ff. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 151 

happened that by degrees, without any deliberate intention on my 
part for I did not rate myself so highly that I came to bear the 
name of philosopher. Now most of the so-called philosophers 
announce themselves, like the heralds at the Olympic games. But 
in my case it was a name given by others, and I could not for ever 
be contradicting them. And indeed I came to reap a benefit from 
the appellation. For many would come and ask me what were my 
opinions of Good and Evil, so that I was forced to meditate on 
these topics to be able to answer those who questioned me. Again, 
they would bid me stand forward and make a speech. . . . When 
I reflected ... it seemed to me that all were, so to speak, devoid 
of wit, and that none knew what to do nor where to look to find 
release from the evils that beset him and from his own gross ignor- 
ance . . . that all were led astray in the same manner and nearly 
always by the same distractions money, reputation, and bodily 
pleasures, and that none knew how to escape them and free his 
soul. ... So I blamed them all, and especially myself. . . . 

It was therefore as a Cynic that Dio was asked for advice, 
and it was as a Cynic that he replied, when he felt justified in 
so doing. The most important ethical discourses belonging to 
these years are Orations 6, 8, 9 and 10, in each of which 
Diogenes is the central figure. 1 The orations are all marked 
by what von Arnim rightly calls a * radical Cynicism ', with 
emphasis on the familiar slogans of dvaldsia (Shamelessness), 
avraQKeta (Self-Sufficiency), andao^cr^ (Training). A series 
of shorter speeches, or diake&is which von Arnim assigns to 
this period, deal with such subjects as yOovot; (Envy), evdai^ovia 
(Happiness), doa (Reputation), &c., and show Dio in the 
capacity of the iarqoq (Doctor) healing the diseases of the 
human soul. His eagerness to fulfil another of the Cynic's 
functions that of the emaxonos (Scout) leads him towards 
the end of his exile into a most interesting venture. The 
period was one of arduous fighting on the Danube frontier 
against the warlike Dacians or Getae, who had just inflicted a 
defeat on the Romans and were causing much anxiety. 2 Dio 
was eager to * see the state of affairs in the country ' and 
journeyed thither, no doubt with the same curiosity that again 
led him to the Danube in Trajan's reign, ' to see one side 
struggling for power and empire, and the other for their 
country and freedom \ The result of his stay in what later 

1 See Note i to Chap. VIII. a von Arnim, op, cit., p. 302 ff. 



152 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

became the Roman province of Dacia was A History of the 
Getae (ra Finna), which unfortunately has not survived. Von 
Arnim makes the attractive and highly probable suggestion 
that he saw in the barbarous Getae men nearer to ' the life 
according to Nature ' than the over-civilized inhabitants of 
the Roman Empire, and that in their great leader Decebalus he 
found exemplified the Stoic-Cynic conception of the paadevs 
as * the shepherd of the people '. 

According to Dio his activities during these years were 
characterized by an outspoken invective against Domitian. 

I had for my enemy no common person . . . but the so-called 
Lord and Master . . . whom I never flattered, nor attempted to 
deprecate his hostility, but I was quite openly incensed against him. 
The evils that confronted me I am not now going to write and speak 
about, for I have already written and spoken of them, and my 
speeches were delivered everywhere, and my books widely circulated. 

At first sight these claims hardly seem to be borne out in the 
extant speeches, where, apart from the remarkable prophecy 
of Domitian's murder in Or. 66, the references to the Emperor 
seem veiled and indirect. Von Arnim, indeed, pointing out 
that Dio makes a clear distinction between his speeches and 
his writings, suggests that the denunciations on which the 
claim is chiefly based, have not survived. Though possible 
this is not likely, for Dio prided himself on his conduct in 
opposing Domitian, and would probably have taken care, at 
least after his exile, to publish his most notable piece of invec- 
tive. Two considerations may be urged to show that the 
extant writings do substantiate his claim that he showed a 
laudable degree of independence. In the first place one must 
remember the retrospective traditions of the literature of the 
age. The precept del aq%diov nvo<; nqdy^arot; was so firmly 
established that on one occasion Dio apologizes for talking 
about Nero and the moderns rather than Cyrus or Alcibiades ; l 
the accepted practice was to represent contemporary persons 
or events by examples chosen from history. Dio's audience 
would therefore be much readier than a modern reader to see 
that Heracles and Eurystheus, or Diogenes and Alexander, 
stand for Dio and Domitian. Secondly, there is the fate of 
Maternus 2 to remind us that denunciation of tyrants, even if 

1 Or. 21. 10. 2 See above, p. 140. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 153 

couched in general terms, could towards the end of Domitian 's 
reign be perilous to the speaker. Admittedly Maternus 
delivered his speech at Rome, while Dio was in remote and 
often semi- barbarous parts of the Empire, but none the less 
Dio was a marked man through his connexion with Flavius 
Sabinus. At least it must be said for Dio that if his con- 
duct during the reign of Domitian be compared with that of 
such upholders of the ancient Roman virtues as Tacitus and 
Juvenal, it is not the Greek who has the worst of the com- 
parison. 

It is evident that towards the end of his exile Dio had acquired 
a considerable reputation as a philosopher. He himself says 
that his writings were widely circulated, and we know what 
enthusiasm was evoked by his appearance at Borysthenes. 
But the most striking example of his influence and personality 
(if the story can be believed) is an incident which occurred at 
the very end of his exile. 1 On his way back from the country 
of the Getae he was staying incognito in the Roman legionary 
camp of Viminacium, when the news of Domitian's murder 
came through. Domitian was popular with the soldiers, and 
the news of Nerva's succession to the principate aroused the 
men at Viminacium to the point of revolt. Dio realized the 
critical nature of the situation, * flung aside his disguise with 
the words " Out of the rags stepped forth many-counselling 
Odysseus " and stood before them, no beggar, but Dio the 
philosopher '. He delivered a speech in which he denounced 
the murdered Emperor and praised, from personal experience, 
his successor ; apparently he was successful in quelling the 
disturbance. One remembers that Musonius was not so 
successful in an attempt to soothe infuriated Roman soldiers. 2 

Dio had been ' to the ends of the earth ' in fulfilment of the 
oracle's advice, and the death of Domitian meant that his exile 
was at end, for he was immediately recalled by Nerva. He 
returned to Prusa, to be loaded with honours by his own and 
neighbouring states. Illness delayed a project of going to 
Rome on behalf of Prusa, and when it could be realized Nerva 
was dead and Trajan had succeeded him. The favour he 
enjoyed from the latter is a tribute both to his own character 
and to the discernment of the Emperor. Philostratus, in his 
zeal for glorifying Dio at the expense of Trajan, tells a ludicrous 
1 Philos., vita Soph., sv. Dio. 2 Tac., Hist., iii. 81. 



IS4 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

story 1 which gives a completely false picture of their relation- 
ship. According to him, Dio is the brilliant sophist, Trajan 
the simple soldier, admiring but bewildered, ' who would often 
exclaim " I can't understand a word you say, Dio, but I love 
you as myself ".' But as von Arnim points out, there were 
good reasons why an earnest and enlightened ruler like Trajan 
should have found Dio highly useful. He was a person of 
much influence in Bithynia, and we know from Pliny that the 
province was then giving the Emperor considerable anxiety. 
Again, his fourteen years of wandering and his familiarity with 
the lives of the common people must have given him a know- 
ledge of conditions in the north-eastern portion of the Roman 
Empire which few could have equalled. The fact that he had 
lived for some time among the Getae must also have 
commended him to Trajan, in view of his plans for taking the 
offensive against these troublesome enemies. Finally his 
reputation both as a philosopher and a Hellenist made him an 
important figure in the Greek-speaking portion of the Roman 
Empire ; and it was in some sense as a representative of the 
educated classes of that very important section, that he delivered 
before Trajan the four speeches ne^l fiaaiheiau;, expressing 
its hopes and expectations from the new regime. In these 
speeches one may see the triumph of Stoic- Cynic propaganda, 
the realization of that conception of the philosopher as the 
counsellor of kings which the Cynics had depicted in their 
favourite fiction of Diogenes giving advice to Alexander. But 
this was no fictitious encounter : the Stoic-Cynic ideas of the 
fiaaifeia were being preached to the ' master of the world . . . 
the vice-regent of God on earth ', in person. 

Oration i, the first to be delivered before Trajan, shows that 
Dio was well aware of the importance of the occasion. The 
speech is extremely skilful : the beginning is modest and 
unassuming : there is a straightforward description * in plain 
and simple language J of the good king according to Homer, 
ending with the remark, * If any of these qualities appear to 
belong to you, happy are you in your noble and gracious 
character, and happy are we who share in its benefit.' 2 Then 
a loftier note is struck by the reference to Zeus, * king of mortals 
and pattern of kings ', and of the universe, ' the embodiment 
of bliss and wisdom, sweeping in infinite cycles through infinite 

1 Apparently believed by Dill (op. cit., p. 368). 2 c. 36. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 155 

time, guided by good fortune and the divine power, and by 
providence (UQovota) and the most righteous and perfect of 
governing principles '. But with the remark that these themes 
are too vast for the time available Dio introduces a * sacred 
and edifying parable ' (/tvOoc;) which Trajan is advised to 
' reflect upon in private '. During his exile Dio once lost his 
way in a remote part of the Peloponnese, and came to a rude 
shrine, by which dwelt a venerable old woman. The shrine 
was that of Heracles, and the woman gifted with the power of 
divination. She prophesied that Dio's exile would end before 
long, as would the ' period of tribulation for mankind ', i.e. 
the rule of Domitian. * Some day ', she told Dio, ' you will 
meet a mighty man, the ruler of many lands and peoples. 
Do not hesitate to tell him the following parable, even though 
many scoff at you.' The parable is the famous story of the 
Choice of Heracles, to which we have already referred. 
Heracles, it will be remembered, makes the choice between 
Kingship and Tyranny. Heracles himself is depicted as 
having several of the traits of Trajan, while the picture of 
tyranny is unmistakably drawn from Domitian. At the end 
of the speech it is said that Heracles would give honour and 
protection in his life wherever he found a kingdom and a 
king, * and this work he continues to this day, for in him you 
have a helper and protector of your government, so long as 
you reign like a king ' (Scog av rvy%dvr]G paaihevoov). 1 The 
other three speeches lack the eloquence of the first, but are 
equally governed by Stoic- Cynic ideas. The true king must 
have naQTSQia and undergo novo$, he is the bringer of o^ovota 
to his people : he is symbolized by the shepherd of the flock, 
the bull of the herd, the ' king ' of the bees. The familiar 
Cynic stock-figure of Sardanapalus as the king led astray by 
pleasure (<pt,Atfdovo$ paaifevs), of Alexander as the immoderate 
lover of glory ((pdcxWfog), of Diogenes as the wise adviser, 
are exhibited, not to a small crowd in some unimportant city 
of Pontus or Greece, but before the Roman Emperor himself. 
Despite the evidence of rhetorical ability they display, these 
speeches were not mere entdelgei*;. The principles of the 

1 The coinage of the second century, particularly that of Antoninus, 
shows the devotion professed by the Emperors to the cult of Heracles, 
the guardian deity of the good king. Rostovtseff, op. cit., sv. 
Heracles. 



156 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 



they envisaged were actually those that governed the 
administration of Trajan and his three successors. 1 Admit- 
tedly that practical experience of administration which was the 
legacy of a long line of Roman statesmen had more to do with 
the establishment of the benevolent government of the age than 
had the theories of the philosophers. But it is true to say that 
during this period, the Golden Age of the government in the 
ancient world, philosophy played well its part of adviser and 
encourager of men of affairs. 

Apart from the orations negl Paoiheias there is naturally 
less trace of Cynic influence in Dio's speeches after his return 
from exile. The Alexandrine Oration is the speech of an 
unofficial representative of the Emperor : the numerous 
speeches delivered in Bithynia and Asia those of a man * of 
wide knowledge of men and the world J giving advice on local 
politics and government. But his fourteen years' exile had 
left on Dio an indelible impression, and towards the end of 
his life we find him corning back to the problem of the poor, 
and what manner of life they are to lead. His views are set 
out in the famous seventh oration, which is based upon Stoic 
and Cynic ethical ideals, though it is the production of a man 
of wide experience of social conditions in the Roman Empire. 2 
It is worth while to give a summary of its main ideas, if only 
to show how careful one must be not to interpret from modern 
analogies the description of Cynicism as * the philosophy of 
the proletariat '. The discourse was intended to be a serious 
contribution to a grave social problem rather than a theoretical 
discussion of poverty, for Dio expresses the hope that it will 
be found useful both in the government of cities, and for poor 
people in search of employment. 3 It differs from most schemes 
of reform offered to the modern proletariat in that economics 
are throughout subordinated to ethics. The object of man 
is to live a virtuous life, and of itself poverty is no hindrance 
to that end. Indeed, says Dio, ' poverty seems to have some- 
thing holy about it ', and 

one must consider whether in word and deed and in their relations 
with each other the poor are by reason of their poverty at a dis- 
advantage compared with the rich so far as leading a seemly life 

1 Cf . Rostovtseff, op. cit., p. ii4ff. 
8 SeelNote 2 to Chap. VIII. 8 Or. 7, c. 127. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 157 

and one according to nature, or whether they do enjoy an advantage 
in every respect. 1 

The familiar and delightful description of the Euboean peasants 
proves that in Dio's opinion the latter is the case. Their toil 
in the fields and their self-sufficiency bring them nearer to the 
4 life according to Nature ' than it is possible for any one to be 
in an urban civilization. The occupations of farmer, hunter 
or shepherd are therefore suitable for the poor : thus employed, 
they will be able to lead happier and more useful lives than 
those engaged in the struggle for wealth. Dio then passes to 
the more difficult problems which confront the poor in a large 
city. The best solution, he thinks, would be to remove all the 
1 respectable poor ' (ol xop,yol nevrirai) 2 from the cities and 
settle them in the country. For urban civilization really 
demands that all its members should be prosperous, since in 
a city money is indispensable ; to its poor it can offer little 
but a choice between degrading employment and idleness. 
However, failing this solution, even in cities honourable 
employment can be found for the poor. Unfortunately the 
discourse as we have it is not complete, and while Dio expressly 
mentions many occupations that are unsuitable for the poor, 
we have few indications of those which he felt they could 
safely follow. The only occupations he expressly commends 
are those of the hired servant, the attendant, and the school- 
master ; but since he also approves of the * artisan ' 
(%eiQOT%vrj<;), it is to be presumed that in the last portion 
of the discourse the various praiseworthy re'/vai were dis- 
cussed. None the less, it is apparent that his real desire was 
to see ' all the respectable poor, by any means possible, become 
rustics '. 3 There is little need to dwell upon the urgent 
necessity of some such scheme of ' back to the land ' for large 
areas of the Roman Empire in Dio's time. In Italy and 
Greece, in particular, agriculture was at a low ebb, and much 
land had gone out of cultivation. In the little city to which 
the Euboean peasants of this oration belong two-thirds of the 
land without the walls was uncultivated, while much of that 
within them was sown or pasture-land, and sheep grazed in 
the market-place. On the other hand the great cities of the 
Empire, especially Rome and Alexandria, had vast, idle city 

1 ib., c. 81. 2 ib., c. 107. 3 108. 



158 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

mobs who were a standing nuisance to their rulers and for 
whom no useful occupation was ever found. The difference 
between Dio's scheme of social reform and the majority of 
those of modern times is also obvious. There is no attempt 
to obviate poverty as such : Dio appears to assume that the 
poor we shall always have with us, and the problem is to 
provide them with suitable employment. Consequently he 
can dispense with schemes for redistributing wealth ; once 
the poor have been found suitable occupations they should be 
capable of leading happy lives ; if they do not, the cause is 
not the injustice of social conditions but their own indulgence 
in the fault of 



(c) Demonax 

The only authority for Demonax is the Life 1 that has come 
down under the name of Lucian. It is obviously conceived 
as a panegyric, but there is no reason to doubt its evidence on 
the few details it gives of Demonax* career, nor its general 
description of his character. Demonax came of a good family 

1 The question of its genuineness has long been a vexed one. 
Those who regard it as spurious mainly rely on two arguments. 
(a) The feebleness of the anecdotes it contains ; Lucian, however 
prejudiced, is usually amusing. But this is the only work in the 
Lucianic corpus which belongs to the genre of the ano^vr]^ dvsv/uaTa, 
a genre whose conventions give little scope to the personal merits 
of the author, (b) The remark that the writer has elsewhere written 
of Demonax' contemporary, Sostratus, who bore the nickname of 
' Heracles '. Such a treatise is not to be found in the extant works 
of Lucian, nor is there any reference to it elsewhere. But this is not 
a conclusive objection the work may have been written and never 
published. At any rate, if published, it seems quickly to have been 
forgotten, for Philostratus, writing some fifty years after the death 
of Demonax, takes his account of this * Heracles ' from a letter of 
Herodes Atticus. Funk (PhiloL, Suppl. 10 [1907]) considers the 
work to be that of Lucian ; he points out that the sceptical, eclectic 
nature of Demonax is that of Lucian himself, and of his philosophic 
mouthpiece Menippus. Lucian, he concludes, was greatly influenced 
by Demonax. One may perhaps quote in this connexion the remark 
made in the Fugitivi that ' there are some few genuine philosophers 
left in Greece ' (i.e. in Athens). May not this be a reference to 
Demonax ? On the whole, the case for regarding the work as spurious 
is not convincing. But, as Zeller says, its value as evidence for 
Demonax is not affected if we refuse to accept Lucian as the author ; 
whoever the author was, he was a contemporary of Demonax and 
had long been familiar with him. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 159 

in Cyprus, and received a thorough literary education and 
rhetorical training. But he was led by an * inherent love of 
philosophy ' (e/tyvrov nqo<; (pdoaoylav HQCOTOS) to lead a 
life which would * set an example to all who saw him of his 
intellect and of the sincerity of his philosophy '. His philo- 
sophic * teachers ' were Demetrius, Epictetus and Agatho- 
boulos two Cynics and a Stoic his rhetorical training was 
probably received under the sophist and eclectic philosopher 
Timocrates of Heraclia. He was himself an eclectic in that 
' he would never reveal which form of philosophy he favoured ' ; 
of the philosophers he ' thought all were admirable, but revered 
Socrates, wondered at Diogenes, and loved Aristippus '. But 
in dress he was a Cynic, and what we are told of his work at 
Athens suggests that he combined the * philanthropy ' of Crates 
with the scepticism and nihilism of Menippus. 

When he first came to Athens is not known. 1 He was given 
Athenian citizenship, entered political life, and, possibly because 
of the reputation he had acquired in Cyprus, quickly attained 
office. But his outspokenness made him many enemies, and 
he was prosecuted, like Socrates, on a charge of impiety, for 

1 Few details are certain about his chronology. We know that he 
lived to be nearly a hundred, but are told nothing of the dates of his 
birth or death. An anecdote which brings him into contact with 
Peregrinus Proteus suggests that he must have been teaching in 
Athens later than A.D. 159, the probable date of Proteus' arrival in 
Greece ; on the other hand we are told of a remark he made about 
Apollonius of Tyana when the latter was * going from Athens to be 
tutor to the Emperor \ The Emperor in question was Titus 
(Philost., vi. 30) ; which would mean that Demonax was already in 
Athens about A.D. 72, and hence can hardly have been born later 
than A.D. 50. Of the two stories I prefer to reject the second, since 
all other persons with whom he is said to have been in contact in 
Athens belong to the second century so far as we know. The later 
date, too, best fits what is said of his lengthy philosophical training. 
Epictetus set up his school at Nicopolis in 94 ; Demetrius cannot 
have * taught ' in Greece earlier than 75 ; the floruit of Agathoboulos 
was c. 1 20. Moreover, Demonax appears to have taken some part 
in the politics of Cyprus ; probably he was middle-aged when he 
came to Athens. For the date of his death, the passage of the Fugitivi 
quoted in the last note is relevant. If the reference is to Demonax, 
he must have been living after the death of Peregrinus in 167. I 
therefore suggest that his life may best be dated c. A.D. 70-170 ; that 
he * studied ', probably in that order, with Demetrius, Epictetus, 
Timocrates, and Agathoboulos, and that he came to Athens about 
120. 



160 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

he refused to sacrifice to Athena, and was the only citizen of 
Athens who had not been initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries. 
The boldness of his defence caused him to be acquitted; 
thenceforward he acquired an extraordinary influence and 
prestige at Athens, until at the end of his life he was regarded 
with universal veneration and affection. 

His philosophical activities appear to have been entirely 
devoted to the naQaivstwd*; TOJIOC;. 



When any of his friends were apparently prosperous, he would 
remind them that they were elated over imaginary and ephemeral 
blessings. Others, who were bewailing poverty, or finding exile 
hard to bear, or complaining of old age or sickness, he would laugh- 
ingly console, pointing out that they did not realize how soon their 
troubles would end, and that they would soon find forgetfulness 
of their lot, good or bad, and lasting freedom. He also made it 
his concern to compose the quarrels of brothers, and to negotiate 
peace between husband and wife. On occasion he spoke words 
of reason to angry mobs, and usually persuaded them to serve their 
country in a sensible manner. 

These activities, together with what we are told about his 
kindliness and charm of manner, and his dictum that we should 
hate sin but love sinners, recall Epictetus' conception of the 
Ideal Cynic ; doubtless Epictetus' views had much influence 
on his pupil. 1 But Epictetus held that the Cynic should 
abstain from political affairs, while Demonax * played a part in 
society and politics ', and, as we have seen, even held office. 
It will be remembered that Dio Chrysostom, after his return 
from exile, was concerned with political issues much more 
important than the municipal affairs of Athens, and indeed he 
held that * the work of the true philosopher is no other than 
the rule of men '. 2 From Chrysippus onwards the Stoics 
were divided as to the proper attitude of the oo<p6<; to politics. 
Those who regarded philosophy, as Epictetus did Cynicism, 
as a special service for an emergency, would allow nothing to 
interfere with the primary duties of the philosopher ; and of 
course a * political career ' with its attendant ambitions would 
at all times be improper for the ao(po<;. But where a philos- 
opher possessed influence in the State (whether through family 
connexions and philosophic reputation combined, as in the 
case of Dio, or, like Demonax, through mere force of character), 
1 See below, p. 190 f. z Or. 49. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 161 

then it was proper for him to come forward and give advice 
on public affairs. For the philosopher's duty is to ally himself 
with the Law and Order of the Universe, whose earthly 
manifestation is the Law and Order prevailing in the well- 
ordered State (cf. once more Dio's conception of the virtues 
attendant on the Good King, and his duties as the bringer of 
Peace and ojuorola). It was in this spirit that Demonax 
quelled civic disturbance by his mere appearance in the 
Assembly, 1 and dissuaded the Athenians from instituting 
gladiatorial shows in emulation of Corinth. 

In sharp contrast with his contemporary, Peregrinus Proteus, 
he mitigated the austerities of Cynic life; he abandoned its 
vagrancy and mendicancy ; its traditional squalor and theatri- 
cality, in fact, as Praechter 2 says, all that aspect of Cynicism 
governed by the slogan naQa^dqarrsiv TO vofjiia^a. Towards 
the end of his life 

he used to eat and sleep uninvited in any house which he happened 
to be passing, and its occupants regarded it as some divine visita- 
tion, and thought that a Good Spirit (ayaQ6<; dai/uwv) had entered 
their house. The bread- women would try to attract his attention 
as he passed by, each wanting him to take bread from her, and the 
one who was successful thought she had brought herself luck. The 
children, too, would bring him fruit, and call him father. . . . 
When he died, the Athenians gave him a magnificent public funeral 
. . . afterwards they would bow down before the stone on which 
he used to rest when tired ; and hang it with garlands, feeling that 
the very stone on which he sat was sacred. The whole city attended 
his funeral, especially the philosophers, who carried his body to 
the grave. 

Unless the panegyric is grossly exaggerated and there is 
no reason to believe that it is Demonax can stand with Crates 
as an embodiment of the Cynic ideal of (pdavOgcoma the 
service of mankind. The scene of his ministry, the Athens 
of the second century, was of course a place of no great impor- 
tance ; its greatness had long left it, and it was now little more 
than a University town in a declining province. But it would 
have been well for the Roman Empire if men like Demonax 
had been found in its municipalities in the next two centuries. 

1 Cf. the stories of attempts by Musonius and Dio to quell riots, 

P. 153. 

2 In Ueberweg, Gesch. d. Phil., Vol. i, p. 511. 

12 



i6z A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

For the alienation of so many of the better elements from any 
interest in public life or the conduct of political affairs was 
one of the most potent causes of the decline and fall of the 
Empire. 

(d) Oenomaus of Gadara 

Authorities for the date of Oenomaus disagree, though 
it is highly probable that his floruit was in the reign of 
Hadrian. 1 There is no evidence for the dates of his birth 
and death, nor for his family. His native city was Gadara 
in Peraea, one of those Greek cities in Syria whose ruins 
testify to the high degree of material prosperity they enjoyed 
in the second century A.D. It was perhaps in revolt against 
the luxury of his day that Oenomaus turned his thoughts to 
philosophy, and came to Colophon to ask Clarius Apollo for 
guidance and advice. How he was disappointed will be seen ; 
at present it is to be remarked that he does not say that his 
search for a master was successful, and he may well have been, 
like Dio Chrysostom, avrodldanroi; ngoq aQertfv. We do 
not know whether he followed the vagrant Cynic life ; Demonax 
was his contemporary, but there are no stories of contact 
between them. Indeed, all that we hear of his relations with 
contemporaries is the interesting evidence, collected by 
Vallette, 2 which suggests that he may be identical with that 
pagan philosopher 'Abnimos Hagardi ', who appears in 
Hebrew tradition as the friend of the second- century Rabbi 
Meir. The identification, however, is far from certain, for 
according to Hebrew scholars the Hebraic equivalent of 
Abnimos can with difficulty stand for the Greek Oenomaus ; 
and the anecdotes themselves are devoid of any individual 
characterization which might offer a pointer. Probably little 
more can be said than that there is nothing inherently unlikely 
in a story of contact between a Cynic and a Jewish rabbi in 
Syria in the second century A.D. 

Unlike Demonax and Demetrius, then, Oenomaus is known 
to us only through his writings. To judge from their titles, 
these appear to have followed the old Cynic models. The list 
of Suidas mentions the following : tleql 
negl rfjs naQ' "OfjiriQov yihoaocpicu;, m^l K^ 

Julian speaks of an avroycovla rov xvvos, a Kara TOJV 

1 See Note 3 to Chap. VIII. 2 De Oenomao Cynico, p. 6 ff. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 163 

XQrjarrjQicov and of tragedies. 1 Vallette conjectures that * avro- 
(pcovia TOV Kvvot; ' is an alternative title for the book neql 
Kwictfjiov ; Julian says that ' according to Oenomaus, 
Cynicism is neither Antisthenism nor Diogenism ', 2 no doubt 
in reference to the famous claim that Heracles is the real pro- 
totype of the Cynic life. %Qr\viiol avrocpwvoi are oracles 
delivered directly by the god, without the agency of priest 
or omen. The ingenious ^^cr/ioi avrofpwvoi, of Alexander of 
Abonuteichos were one of his most effective pieces of publicity, 
as we know from Lucian. In the avrocpawia TOV Kvvoq then, 
Oenomaus may well have given the precepts of the * philosophy ' 
itself, as Crusius says, it represented Des Kyon leibhafte Stimmef 
heard directly and not through its prophet Diogenes. One 
may further suggest that these precepts were in verse, and 
were parodies of oracles like those found in the yorjrcov qpcoQa. 
This would be in the vein of Crates ; in the Politeia and the 
Tragedies Oenomaus was following the model of Diogenes. 
These last seem to have maintained the traditional Cynic 
dvaldeia, to judge from the horrified comments of Julian. 
Of the book On the Philosophy according to Homer nothing 
more than the title is known ; Vallette conjectures that it 
burlesqued the stories of gods and heroes. Our judgement of 
Oenomaus must be based on the surviving passages of the 
yorjTcov (pd)Qa The Charlatans Exposed, which Valette identifies 
with the book Against the Oracles mentioned by Julian. 4 

The yorjTcov <pa)()a. The book is known to us through passages 
quoted by Eusebius in the Praeparatio Evangelica to support 
his attack on divination ; some of his quotations were used 
again by Theodoretus. It does not seem likely that the 
passages as quoted by Eusebius preserve the order of Oenomaus, 
but as we have them, they fall into three divisions : (i) an 
analysis of famous oracles, revealing their worthlessness, (2) 
the story of Oenomaus' own experiences at the shrine of 
Clarius Apollo, (3) a general refutation, on quasi-philosophical 
grounds, of the possibility of prophecy. The oracles quoted 
are all taken from classical Greek history or mythology ; the 
reason being obvious in the light of Plutarch's statement 6 that, 
owing to the decay of the Greek cities and their loss of 

1 Or. vii. 209. 2 Or. vi., 187 B.C. 

3 Crusius, xliv. (1889), p. 309 ff. 

4 Cf. Vallette, op. cit., p. 54, &c. 5 Plut., de Pyth. Or., 28. 



164 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

independence, no important public oracles had been given 
for several generations. The Delphic god himself is the 
* imaginary adversary ' of the Cynic's diatribe ; his oracles 
are analysed, shown to be absurd or worthless, and in most 
cases the unfortunate deity is then roundly abused. Two 
kinds of oracle are dealt with, (i) those which claim to be 
prophecies of the future, e.g. the famous reply to Croesus, or 
the oracles given to the Athenians and Spartans in the Persian 
War, (2) those which give advice, as the oracle to Lycurgus. 
Of the first class, it is observed that they evince no real know- 
ledge of the future, but only shrewdness in realizing the possible 
issues of the event, and ingenuity in composing a response 
which would be equally applicable to any one of them. One 
example will suffice to show Oenomaus' method his treat- 
ment of the oracle given to the Athenians at the beginning of 
the invasion of Xerxes. The oracle says that the wooden 
walls will alone be invincible, * let them not withstand the foe 
with horse and foot, but turn their backs : elsewhere shall the 
foe front them. O divine Salamis, thou shalt destroy the sons 
of women, either when Demeter scatters or when she is 
gathering the corn.* 1 It did not need a god, is Oenomaus' 
comment, to forecast that the Athenians, weak in infantry and 
cavalry, would find their best refuge in the ' wooden walls ' of 
their fleet. And as for the couplet about Salamis, the god 
has not predicted what the result of the battle will be ; as 
for its season, he knew that naval battles are not fought in 
winter, and the phrase * either when Demeter scatters or when 
she gathers the corn ' pretty well covers the rest of the year. 
(It may be urged that Apollo did get the place of the battle 
right, but Oenomaus characteristically refuses to give him 
any credit for it.) When the god has been exposed as a prophet, 
he is then arraigned as a giver of advice. The divine advice, 
as revealed in oracles, is ' either commonplace or harmful. 
Consider the precepts of good government given to Lycurgus. 2 

So long as ye keep your promises and oaths to the oracles, and 
preserve justice in relations with each other and with strangers and 
with piety and reverence honour old age, and honour too the Tyn- 
daridae and Menelaus and the other deathless heroes whom divine 
Lacedaemon contains, even so long shall Zeus spare you. 

1 Vail., op. cit., p. 39 ff. 2 id., ib., p. 50. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 165 

Commonplace stuff, says Oenomaus is that the sort of thing 
people come from the land of the Hyperboreans to hear ? 
Any nurse could have done better. Again, oracles giving 
advice on marriage, on the begetting of children, and on exile 
are unfavourably compared with the teachings of Socrates on 
the same subjects. Sometimes Oenomaus, in the manner of 
Crates, emends the response of the oracle, so that they convey 
the true precepts of philosophy. When not platitudinous, he 
says, the oracles are harmful, as when they promise immor- 
tality to stupid athletes like Theagenes or indecent poets such 
as Archilochus, or befriend tyrants, as in the case of Cypselus. 
The whole tone of the attack is rhetorical, with small regard 
for either logic or consistency ; any stick will serve to beat 
Apollo. For while dislike of athletes conies well enough from 
a Cynic, the criticism of Archilochus for obscenity ill befits 
Oenomaus, whose own writings were so indecent that Julian 
cannot find a fit comparison for them. The oracle is reproved 
for not encouraging the Athenians and Spartans in their 
patriotic duties in the Persian War ; it is also reproved for 
answering Homer's question about the city of his birth as 
well, says Oenomaus, might the god tell a dung-beetle about 
its native dung-heap. Again, Apollo is blamed for his treachery 
to his devout worshipper, Croesus of Lydia ; but for his 
support of Cypselus of Corinth he is stigmatized as the ' friend 
of tyrants '. In other words, Oenomaus is perfectly willing to 
drop the mask of the Cynic whenever it suits him to do so, 
just as the arch-sceptic Lucian poses on occasion as a pious 
believer in the Olympian gods. 1 But nowhere is his unfairness 
more obvious than in his treatment of the oracle given to Laius. 2 
We have seen how Oenomaus has satirized oracles worded so 
ambiguously that they would fit any event ; in this case, 
Apollo was quite definite, Laius was to be slain by his son. 
Such a prediction, say Oenomaus, is impossible, it involves too 
many unknowns, for Laius might refuse to beget children, or 
Oedipus, if born at all, might refuse to be tyrant of Thebes, 
and so on. Apollo is therefore pretending a knowledge he 
cannot have possessed. But, says the god, it turned out as I 
foretold. ' Pure luck ', is the reply. 

1 De mort. Per., c. 13 and 21 ; cf. Bernays, Lukian und die Kyniker, 
p. 56. 

2 Vail., op. cit., pp. 74 ff. 



166 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

To the modern reader, however, the most interesting 
passage is that in which Oenomaus describes his own experi- 
ences with the oracle of Clarius Apollo at Colophon. 1 The 
shrine was one which enjoyed great celebrity at the time, 
perhaps due to the manner in which its responses were given. 
For, according to Tacitus, 2 

. . . the priest merely ascertains the number and the names of the 
consultants ; then he goes into a cave, drinks water from a hidden 
spring, and, though as a rule he knows nothing of poetry or letters, 
he delivers oracular replies in verse on the subjects which each man 
has in mind. 

An apt response would thus be an impressive achievement on 
the part of the god, and on one occasion a sceptical Roman 
proconsul was notably disconcerted. 3 Oenomaus does not 
tell us the precise form of the question he put to the god ; he 
calls it * a philosophical transaction ' (ejunogla negi aoqptas), 
and it is clear that it had to do with the acquisition of oocpia 
or aQerr]. The oracle replied : 

There in the land of Trachis the garden of Heracles bloometh, 
Bearing all manner of fruits, which all men daily do gather, 
Naught shall be lacking there, 'tis dowered with waters unfailing. 

* Fool that I was,' says Oenomaus, * I was elated when I heard 
of Heracles and his garden, 4 and the mention of Trachis made 
me think of the sweat of Hesiod, and then again I thought I 
should have an easy life through the flowering garden.' His 
train of thought is elucidated by Vallette. T()fj%ivo<; atr] made 

1 id., ib., pp. 34-8. 2 Annals, ii. 54. 

3 Plut., de Def. Or., c. 45. 

4 sh* eycb dxovaag 6 pdxr]ko$ Hal avroi; vn6 rov f Hgaxheovc, eqpvarjdqv 
KCH rov * Hgaxhrjiov xr)nov OdAAovrog . Of the'Jast four words Vallette 
says * haec verba quid sententiae addant equidem non perspicio '. 
He is attracted by the emendation of Guenther (Genethl. Getting., 
p. 19), who transposes the text to read, eh 9 sycb dxovcraQ 6 /fcb^Aoc 
rov f HQaxhr)iov xtfnov fldAAovfo?, xal avro<; vn6 TO# Y/gaxAe'ovc l(pvcf^0r)v. 
But it may be suggested that the text makes sense as it stands. 
May not the * garden of Heracles ' have reminded Oenomaus of the 
other Cynic paradise, * the isle of Pera ' described by Crates ? (see 
above, p. 44). Heracles was the great example of the life of novos 
and also the patron saint of the Cynics : Oenomaus may well have 
taken the oracle as a command to lead the Cynic life. Of course, 
according*to the Cynic paradox the Kvvixoq fttog was the easiest open 
to mankind. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 167 

him think of the rqr}%vv ofyov of the famous lines of Hesiod, 
which were so constantly quoted as a maxim of philosophy. 



rfjfe d 9 aQETfJG TtQonaQOiOev Qeoi idgajra eOtjxav 
dOavaroi. JUCLXQOS de xal ogOioq ol/uo$ eg avrrjv 
tcai IQWIX; to TZQCOTOV. enrjv d' eq OLHQOV M 
f) eneira nkei> %ahenii neg eovaa 



That TroVog must precede CLQSTJJ was of course axiomatic ; 
Oenomaus therefore took the oracle as meaning that if he 
would undertake the rigours demanded by Philosophy he 
should thereafter have a happy life. But as he was putting 
the question as to whether the gods would help him in his 
project, one of the bystanders said that he had heard precisely 
the same reply given to one Callistratus, a business man from 
Pontus. Oenomaus, not unnaturally, was indignant that the 
god should make no difference between questions relating to 
philosophy and mundane business affairs ' I felt as though 
Callistratus had robbed me of my d^er^,' he says. Neverthe- 
less, he asked Callistratus whether he too had been cheered by 
the mention of Heracles. Callistratus, it seemed, had also 
interpreted the oracle according to his lights, * he expected 
that he would have to work hard, then he could expect a profit, 
and after that he would be able to have a good time '. 

When I realized [says Oenomaus] what his labours were like, and 
also the orgies he had in mind, I refused the comparison and the 
oracle alike. . . . For after all, robber, soldier, lover, flatterer, 
rhetorician, and sycophant, might all claim that oracle, for each one 
of them might expect toil, to be followed by pleasure. 

But apparently Oenomaus had not yet lost faith in oracles. 
For * when he was making some progress, and needed a guide 
to philosophy, but such a man was hard to find ', he came 
again to Colophon to ask Apollo's guidance. ' Thy business 
shall be done 'midst easy men, and Greeks/ came the reply. 
Too vague, is Oenomaus' complaint after all, if a man were 
seeking a master in painting or sculpture he would hardly be 
satisfied with the reply, * Thy business shall be done 'midst 
easy men, and Greeks.' In order to get more explicit informa- 
tion, he asked, * Where had I best go from Colophon ? ' But 
either the oracle was by now getting tired of Oenomaus, or 
else it decided that his wish for a personal response should be 



168 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

at last gratified. At all events, he was answered with this 
effusion : 

Far, far off from hence stands a man who whirleth a slingbow, 
Countless the geese he slays with stones, as they browse upon herbage. 

This was the last straw for Oenomaus. Who could find 
a meaning for the countless geese ? he asks. Away with 
you, Apollo, innumerable geese, incomprehensible oracle, and 
all! 

In the final portion l of the passages quoted Oenomaus 
passes from the particular to the general, and demonstrates the 
uselessness of divination on the theory of predestination, and 
its impossibility on that of free-will. As representatives of 
the former theory he names Democritus, whose mechanical 
chain of cause and effect leads mankind into slavery, and 
Chrysippus, whose doctrine of ' principal and secondary causes ' 
involves a * modified slavery ' (^/-adovAfi/av), which is the most 
ridiculous theory of all. For, if everything is predestined, what 
is the use of such oracles as that given to Carystus ? * Carystus, 
dear son of famed Cheiron, leave Pelion and seek the heights 
of Euboea, where it is decreed that thou must found a sacred 
shrine. Go, and delay not.' * But is anything in the power 
of man ? ' Carystus might say ; * is it in my power to wish to 
leave Pelion ? I have heard wise men, many of them, say that 
if it is determined that I shall ascend the heights of Euboea and 
found a sacred shrine, I shall ascend them and found it, 
whether you bid me or no, whether I am willing or not.' 
Again, on the theory of predestination, how can one find fault 
with the bad ? One can praise virtue, but not the virtuous, 
like Chrysippus or Cleanthes, for they are so through no merit 
of their own. And what right have they to abuse Epicurus ? 
On this theory, then, oracles will be useless, since no warning 
can avail to divert destiny from its course. 

But, according to Oenomaus, the theory of predestination is 
wrong. For the only basis of knowledge is the evidence of 
our senses, and our perception of ourselves (YI ovvaiaQrioit; re 
Hal avnkfiyiq THJL&V avra>v). By this faculty we may discern 
the motions and impulses that lie within our own choice (rcov 
iv r\iJiiv avQaiQirwv nal piaicov). Hence we know the 
difference between walking and being led, between choosing 

1 Vail., op. cit., pp. 68-80. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 169 

and being forced. Our own will is therefore itself the * first 
cause ' (aQX?]) of many matters. Consider, in the light of this, 
the oracle given to Laius, that he should be killed by his 
own son ; the oracle which Chrysippus chose to demonstrate 
his own compromise between free-will and predestination. 
According to Chrysippus, it was within the power of Laius to 
refuse to beget children, but the god could foresee that if he 
did beget them, he would be slain by his son. But the son, too, 
is master of his will ; it is within his choice whether or not he 
will slay his father. Similarly, the oracle ' that the whole of 
his house shall be drowned in blood * the event depends on 
too many unknowns to make prediction possible. For, 

on either argument [i.e. * complete free-will, or the modified free- 
will of Chrysippus '], living things give rise within themselves either 
to few or to many First Causes. Now each First Cause cuts out 
what has gone before it and introduces other events (at de dgxal 
del rd IA%QI,<; avrwv diaxoyacrcu avrai d'AAa ngodyovai n^dy/iaxa). 
These in their turn can progress only so long as no other First Cause 
appears to prevent what comes after it from following on what went 
before it, and to force succeeding events to be dependent on itself. 
An ass or a dog or a flea can be a First Cause : let none deprive 
even a flea of its functions. For your flea is a being moved by an 
impulse (<%/??) of its own, which may sometimes become involved 
in human affairs, and constitute itself the First Cause of some chain 
of events. 

In the section under consideration Oenomaus shows a 
knowledge of philosophy unusual in a Cynic, but of course 
he is not the originator of the arguments employed. The 
Stoic theory of eiQ^aQ^evrj (fatum) is refuted by arguments 
which, as Vallette l shows, are used by Cicero in the De Fata 
and the De Divinatione. Cicero himself, as is well known, 
employed the weapons of the New Academy, and particularly 
of Carneades. The theory of sense-perception is not Academic. 
Vallette thinks it may be that of the Epicureans, although it does 
not reproduce accurately their terminology. Oenomaus thus 
borrows familiar arguments to prove his point, in exactly the 
same manner as Eusebius was later to borrow from him. 

The conclusion to be drawn from the whole treatise is that, 
since knowledge of the future is impossible, oracles do not 
proceed from the gods, but are impudent frauds perpetrated 
1 op. cit., pp. 116, 117. 



170 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

by the human custodians of the temples. It will at once be 
seen how Oenoinaus differed from Epictetus, whose idealized 
Cynic enjoyed the privilege of ' dreams and omens, and 
converse with the gods ' ; also from Demetrius, who appears, 
from his profession of resignation to the will of Heaven, to 
have believed in the Stoic theory of e^jua^^vr]. It does not 
follow from Oenomaus' arguments that the gods do not exist, 
for it is open to him to agree with the Epicureans that they do 
exist, but take no * interest in human affairs J . But it is easy 
to see why Julian calls him ' a scorner of everything human and 
divine ', whose object was ' to do away with all reverence for 
the gods and to dishonour human wisdom ' (he means, of 
course, the wisdom of the Stoics). For according to Julian, 
the gods manifest their providence (nQovoia) for the human 
race through the medium of oracles ; but the arguments of 
Oenomaus about the impossibility of knowledge of the future 
sweep away providence and oracles alike. If his views of the 
freedom of choice possessed by the human will were accepted, 
there would be an end of the reign of the gods, whose statues 
he calls ' the wooden and stone masters of man '. But those 
who do not share the scruples of the pious Emperor must admit 
that the book is perhaps the most interesting piece of Cynic 
literature we possess. 1 Despite its rhetorical tone, lack of 
original thought, and deficiencies in logic, it is good popular 
polemic, on much the same intellectual level as popular contri- 
butions to the Darwinian controversy in the last century. 
And it is yet another example of that vein of mocking scepticism 
which, remembering Menippus and Lucian, we may call the 
peculiar contribution of Syria to Greek literature. 

(e) Peregrinus 

Unfortunately, authorities for Peregrinus are not satisfactory. 
The brief references in Tatian, Athenagoras, Aulus Gellius, 
Philostratus, and Ammianus Marcellinus are of minor impor- 
tance compared with Lucian 's work On the Death of Peregrinus > 
but the use of this last is beset with obvious difficulties. It is 
throughout a polemic, for Lucian had an intense dislike of 
Peregrinus on both general and personal grounds. No 
eighteenth-century divine had a more rooted objection to 

1 Bernays (op. cit., p. 35) calls it ' einer Schrift, die zu den leben- 
digst geschrieben Prosawerken des zweiten Jahrhunderts geh6rt *, 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 171 

' enthusiasm ' than had Lucian 1 and indeed it cannot be 
denied that scepticism such as his was a healthy antidote to 
the generally superstitious atmosphere of his age but as a 
result he is always open to suspicion when he is dealing with 
persons of a mystic or religious temperament. Moreover, 
Lucian's information about Peregrinus' private life is derived 
from his fellow-citizens, and we know that as a result of law- 
suits there was much ill-feeling towards him in Parium. The 
story of his career is told in a speech by an unnamed person at 
the Olympic festival, in opposition to the encomium of his 
follower Theagenes : it is really, as Bernays 2 conjectures, an 
invective by Lucian. Ancient invective never dealt in half- 
tones, its villains were always coloured in the deepest dye. 
The danger of any attempt at revaluation is of going too far, 
and achieving a ' whitewashing ' equally far from the truth. 
But in the few cases where we can check the account of Lucian, 
it is obvious how distorted a picture he presents. For example, 
Lucian insinuates that Theagenes, despite his profession of 
poverty, has a hoard of 15 talents hidden away at Patrae ; but 
the unimpeachable authority of Galen 3 shows him at the end 
of his life living in the most stringent austerity, * in a wretched 
hut . . . without wife or child or attendant '. Again, Lucian 
tells us nothing of Peregrinus' teaching, but infers that it was 
a mere empty display of gross dvaideia. Aulus Gellius, who 
was for a time a pupil of his, speaks of him as * virum graven 
atque constantem ', and testifies to the value of his teachings. 
But though one must always suspect Lucian's imputation of 

1 The example usually quoted, that of Lucian's treatment of 
Alexander of Abonuteichos, is not very striking ; for when all allow- 
ances are made, it is doubtful whether any apologetic can make a 
case for Alexander as an apostle of the Higher Thought. Far more 
significant is what Lucian, in this same work, has to say about the 
Christians. ' They still worship the man who was crucified in 
Palestine, on the grounds that he introduced a new mystic religion 
(re^errf) into life. . . . The poor wretches have persuaded them- 
selves that they are immortal and will live for ever, which is why 
they despise death, and in some cases willingly yield themselves up. 
Their founder has also persuaded them they are brethren of one 
another. ... So that if any charlatan comes among them, some 
clever man who knows the way of the world, he can soon make money 
and laugh at the poor fools * ( 12, 13). 

2 Lucian, und die Kyniker. 

^Method, med. 13, 15 ; cf. Bernays, op. cit., p. 14 ff. 



172 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

motives, somewhat more reliance can be placed in his mere 
statement of facts. After all, the story of Peregrinus' self- 
immolation at Olympia would be almost incredible but for the 
evidence of Lucian, who himself witnessed it. Since Lucian 
says that it was then the fourth Olympic festival he had attended, 
he may well have been present at the two previous festivals at 
which Peregrinus achieved notoriety. It is therefore a fair 
assumption that the main outlines of Peregrinus' career as 
given by Lucian are trustworthy. 

Life. Since Peregrinus committed suicide at the Olympic 
festival of 167 *, and was then an old man, he must have been 
born in the closing years of the first century. His native city 
was Parium on the Propontis, and his father was evidently 
one of the more prosperous members of that not very flourishing 
community. 2 His father was esteemed by the city, and Pere- 
grinus was under suspicion of having killed him because he 
was an intolerable nuisance in his old age. This charge is 
mentioned as one that would be familiar to those listening to 
the invective against Peregrinus ; whatever its truth, Pere- 
grinus went into voluntary exile. During his wanderings he 
came into contact with the Christian community in Palestine, 
amongst whom he quickly rose to a position of authority. 3 

Connexion with the Christians. ' Some of their books he 
expounded and interpreted ; many others he wrote himself, 
so that they honoured him as a god, used him as a lawgiver, 
and enrolled him as a patron/ 4 His works as a Christian 
apologist are cited in a third-century catalogue from Memphis ; 
Volke's theory, that he was responsible for the six Epistles from 
Asia, ascribed to Ignatius, has not commanded general accept- 
ance. 5 His position as leader of the Christian community 
brought him into contact with the Roman authority, 6 and he 

1 Nissen, Rh. AT, 1888. 

2 He is said to have left a fortune of 30 talents. According to 
Lucian, the total wealth of Parium together with five neighbouring 
cities would not have amounted to 5,000 talents. 

3 According to Lucian, he became nQoyrjTrjs xai OiaadQ%r)s xai 
^vvaycoyeix; KO.I navra. /udvot; avrdq &>v. 

4 n. 

6 Die Apost. Vat. neu. untersuch, Vol. 2, 10. 2,. 

6 Ueberweg (Gesch. der, Phil., Vol. i, p. 512) conjectures that this 
must have been ' infolge eines besonders herausfordernden Verhaltens 
(cine allgemeine Christen Verfolgung kommt bei der freien Bewegung 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 173 

suffered a term of imprisonment. During his imprisonment 
the Christians lavished such attention on him that Lucian's 
ridicule is aroused. 

Old women and orphans would hang about the prison all day long ; 
the leaders of the community bribed the gaolers to let them in to 
sleep with him. Elegant meals were carried in, the sacred writings 
were read, and the good Peregrinus for such was the title he still 
bore was proclaimed as the new Socrates. ... It really is extra- 
ordinary to what trouble this sect will go about any matter that 
affects their common interests. 

The importance of Peregrinus is proved by the fact that the 
Christian communities in Asia sent deputations and loyal 
advice. He expected and perhaps desired martyrdom, but the 
governor of Palestine, * a man given to philosophy ', released 
him from prison. 

After his release Peregrinus adopted the Cynic garb, and, 
thus attired, returned to his native city. He gave the residue 
of his father's property to the state ; an action which Lucian 
represents as a clever move to quash proceedings being taken 
against him for his father's murder. But of course renuncia- 
tion of property was the approved Cynic practice, and had the 
authority of Crates. That Peregrinus claimed to be following 
his example is to be inferred from the fact that he was hailed 
by his fellow-citizens as * the true disciple of Diogenes and 
Crates '. Once more he resumed his wanderings and Lucian 
suggests that he did not follow the Cynic poverty, for he was 
supplied lavishly with all necessities by the Christians. His 
connexion with the Christian community lasted for some time 
longer, and it is interesting to find Peregrinus in the garb of 
a Cynic professing the Christian faith. 1 But eventually 
Peregrinus offended the Christians in some way, and was 
expelled from their community. 

Cynics and Christians. This episode in Peregrinus' life is 

der iibrigen Gemeindeglieder nicht in Frage) '. Lucian definitely 
says that he was imprisoned because of his profession of Christianity 
(Inl rovrco ovMrjyOeis). It was a frequent practice of the authorities 
to arrest the leaders of Christian communities, probably as sureties. 
1 At about the same time Justin was teaching Christianity ' in the 
garb of a philosopher * ; a further proof of Augustine's statement 
that the Church forced men to change their beliefs, but not their 
dress. 



174 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

of especial interest as being the earliest and best authenticated 
example of connexion between the Cynics and the Christians. 
A priori there are obvious grounds of sympathy between the 
movements ; the Jews, the Cynics, and the Christians were 
alike hostile to the general standards of Graeco- Roman civiliza- 
tion. The sympathy of outlook is commented upon by Aelius 
Aristides, who says that the Cynics 

resemble the impious sect in Palestine in their customs. For with 
the latter a mark of their impiety is that they do not reverence the 
gods ; and so do these philosophers in like manner cut themselves 
off from the Greeks, and, indeed, from all divine authority. 1 

Aristides, it is to be noticed, speaks of a resemblance and not 
of a connexion, but the career of Peregrinus is not the only 
evidence of the relations between the two movements. The 
ascetic sect of the ' Encratites ' were undoubtedly influenced 
by the Cynics, as their name suggests ; and Hippolytus calls 
them * more Cynic than Christian '. Their leader Tatian was 
a contemporary of Peregrinus and quotes his writings, and the 
Cynic philosopher Crescens, though responsible for the martyr- 
dom of Tatian 's disciple Justin, was evidently in close touch 
with the Christians, for Justin says of him that he found it 
necessary to * avoid the suspicion of being himself a Chris- 
tian J . 2 It is also noteworthy that Theagenes, reviewing the 
claims of Peregrinus to fame, 3 mentions his imprisonment in 
Syria, which implies that the Christian connexion was not 
deprecated by the Cynics themselves. Later, of course, the 
connexion was to become still closer, and we get such phen- 
omena as the Cynic Maximus being Christian Bishop of Con- 
stantinople. The influence of the Cynics on the monastic 
orders and on the Egyptian eremites was probably consider- 
able, though it is hard to trace ; and the Church's toleration 
of Cynicism is seen not only from Augustine but from the fact 
that there were Cynics in Byzantium. 

After his expulsion from the Christian community Pere- 
grinus returned to Parium, and tried to get an Imperial order 
to recover the legacy he had given to the city. His enemies 
naturally said that he wished to recover the money for his own 
use ; Bernays suggests that he might have found that it was 

1 Vol. 2, p. 402, Dindorf cf. Bernays, op. cit., p. 100 f. 

2 Apol., 2. 3 De mort. Per., 4. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 175 

being spent in a way of which he disapproved. Whatever the 
truth of the matter may have been, his appeal was rejected on 
the grounds that the gift had been entirely voluntary. On two 
occasions, then, Peregrinus had come in contact with the 
imperial authority to his own disadvantage, and a sense of 
personal grievance may well have been a contributary cause 
of the anti-Roman feeling which he showed at a later stage of 
his career. But one may suspect that an even more important 
influence in this direction was that under which he next came. 
* In his third wandering abroad ', says Lucian, * he came to 
Egypt to study with Agathoboulos, whence he derived that 
wonderful rationale of his.' 

Agathoboulos is to us little more than a name, but there 
is evidence that he was a person of importance in his 
own day. Eusebius names him with Plutarch, Sextus, and 
Oenomaus as the most notable philosophers flourishing about 
A.D. 1 20 ; 1 and that he was one of the most prominent Cynics 
is to be inferred from the fact that he * taught ' both Demonax * 
and Peregrinus. Nothing more can be said about his life 
except that it extended beyond A.D. 155, the date of Peregrinus' 
visit. 3 He practised Cynicism in its most ascetic form, laying 
particular stress on its squalor, 4 on the public exhibition of 

1 Vide p. 184, n. 3. * Vide Dem., i. 

8 Perhaps he came from Rhodes, and was the * famous Rhodian * 
from whom Demetrius of Sunium learned the Cynic philosophy (see 
Lucian, Toxaris). I agree with Zeller that Demetrius of Sunium 
can hardly be identical with the famous Cynic of the first century 
A.D. Zeller's reason for doubt on this point is the uncertainty of 
the Toxaris belonging to the Lucianic corpus. More recently the 
editors of Lucian have been inclined to regard it as genuine, but 
there are other reasons for doubt about Demetrius of Sunium. The 
name Demetrius is a particularly common one, nearly one hundred 
persons of that name are listed in Pauly-Wissowa. Moreover, we 
nowhere hear of the first-century Demetrius as going to Egypt, still 
less to India, as Demetrius of Sunium is said to have done. Con- 
nexion with the Brachmani of India was a feature of the Cynicism 
of Peregrinus and Theagenes ; if Demetrius of Sunium was a pupil 
of Agathoboulos, he may well have been their link with the Eastern 
sages. We know of no * famous * Cynic, Rhodian or otherwise, from 
whom the first-century Demetrius could have learned the philosophy. 
The most satisfactory inference is that Demetrius of Sunium is not 
the same person as the friend of Seneca, but lived considerably later 
and was the pupil of Agathoboulos. 

v, Luc., vit. Per. t 17. 



176 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

dvaideia and of the endurance of pain. 1 These austerities, 
however, were not the sole activity of the Cynics of Alexandria. 
In the Oration to the Alexandrians Dio Chrysostom 2 speaks 
of them as being a bad influence on the populace, and suggests 
that their speeches inflamed the excitable temper of the city 
mob and so helped to cause the frequent riots which broke 
out in Alexandria, a notable example of which had occurred 
just before his visit in A.D. 105. Rostovtseff 3 gives the best 
explanation of the peculiar turbulence of Alexandrian politics 
throughout the early Empire ; according to him, the usual 
social struggle between rich and poor was complicated by an 
anti- Roman feeling, and since the Roman government sup- 
ported the richer classes, the outbreaks of the city mob, though 
they might take the form of Jewish pogroms, were really 
demonstrations against the Roman authority. Nor is docu- 
mentary evidence lacking to show that the Cynics encouraged 
the anti- Roman feeling of the Alexandrian lower classes. 
That curious document known as the ' Acts of the Heathen 
Martyrs ', though a compilation of the age of Commodus, 
contains, according to Rostovtseff, much material of an earlier 
date. He points out how its whole tone is anti- Roman, and 
also how Cynic influence is to be seen in the denunciation of 
tyrants. Now immediately after his stay with Agathoboulos 
Peregrinus went to Rome and began to abuse the Emperor, 
and afterwards stirred up anti-Roman feeling to the point of 
armed rebellion in Achaea. All indications point in the same 
direction that Agathoboulos was the most prominent of these 
Alexandrian Cynics who throughout the second century were 
notorious for their anti-Roman attitude and for their influence 
on the city mob. 4 

After his stay in Egypt Peregrinus sailed for Italy. 
* Straight off the boat ', says Lucian, 5 * he began a campaign 
of invective, especially against the Emperor, whom he knew 
to be most mild and forbearing.' This hostile voice in the 
reign of the almost universally beloved Antoninus must have 

1 For r6 dvexrlxov as a Cynic duty, cf. Epict., iii. 22. 100. 

* D.C., Or. 33 (657 R). 

8 Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire, s.v. Alexandria. 

4 A revolt broke out in Egypt shortly before the visit of Peregrinus, 
probably in 153. But since it was in Upper Egypt it is hardly likely 
that the Cynics of Alexandria can have been directly involved. 

6 18. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 177 

attracted attention, but there were no great nobles of Republican 
leanings to make Peregrinus their philosophic model, and the 
policy of the Emperor was not to punish any one who wore 
the garb of a philosopher. According to Lucian, Peregrinus 
gained a following sv TO it; IdiAraiq^ by which he must mean 
the lower classes. And it was probably while in Rome that 
he came in contact with Theagenes, who appears as his chief 
disciple at the final immolation. Eventually his abuse became 
too excessive to be tolerated, and he was expelled by the City 
Prefect on the grounds that ' Rome did not need a philosopher 
of that kind '. His followers immediately compared him with 
Musonius, Dio and Epictetus, philosophers who had also paid 
the penalty of freedom of speech. In the speech of Theagenes 
the expulsion from Rome is mentioned together with the im- 
prisonment in Syria as the most notable persecutions Pere- 
grinus had endured in the name of philosophy ; and it was 
clearly in something of an atmosphere of martyrdom that he 
left Italy for Greece. 

Since one of his first activities in Greece was to * abuse 
the Elians ', it is to be conjectured that he went there to 
attend the Olympic games of 159 B.C. Probably the Elians 
were abused as harbouring the games, an attitude which 
would be consistent with the Cynic hostility to athletes. But 
of course the great festivals themselves were useful for the 
Cynics in that they provided the greatest publicity attainable 
in the Greek world, as we see from the stories of Diogenes 
at the Isthmian games, in Dio Chrysostom's eighth and ninth 
orations. Whether the * armed insurrection against the 
Romans ' which Peregrinus provoked was before or after the 
Olympic festival cannot be determined ; the Vita Antonini 
Pit * alludes to * rebelliones in Achaia atque Aegypto ', with- 
out indicating any dates. The reference to Peregrinus is 
therefore our only authority for supposing that the rebellion 
in Greece took place later than that in Egypt. At the Olympic 
games Peregrinus abused the millionaire and philanthropist 
Herodes Atticus for his benefactions to Greece, and especially 
for bringing water to Olympia : * He was turning the Greeks 
into women/ was the Cynic's comment. The infuriated crowd 
attacked and stoned Peregrinus, so that he was forced to take 
refuge at the altar of Zeus. 

*c. 5. 
13 



t?8 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

His teaching. The last eight years of his life Peregrinus 
probably spent in Greece ; he seems to have attracted numerous 
disciples. Aulus Gellius l tells how he frequently visited him 
in a hut outside Athens, and * heard him say many useful and 
noble things '. He was, Gellius says, a dignified and earnest 
man [virum gravem atque constantem] ; but he tells us little 
of his teaching beyond the insistence, made in the spirit of 
Socrates, that the good man will not sin even if he can be 
sure of escaping the observation of gods and men. From 
Tatian we know how he said that not even the avragHeta of 
the Cynic could be absolute, * for he has need of services of 
the leather-cutter for his wallet, the woodcutter for his staff, 
and the weaver for his cloak '. Scanty as these indications are, 
Bernays is right in emphasizing them as a contrast to the 
evidence of Lucian, from whose pages it is hard to view Pere- 
grinus as anything but a charlatan. He seems to have main- 
tained the asceticism of Agathoboulos, to judge from the story 
of an attempt to rebuke the less austere Demonax. * Demonax,' 
said he, * you do not play the part of a Cynic.* * Peregrinus/ 
came the retort, * you do not play the part of a human being/ 2 
But the difference between Peregrinus and Demonax was more 
than one of different levels of asceticism. Demonax and 
Oenomaus represent in the second century the sceptical, 
nihilistic side of Cynicism : while it is obvious that mysticism 
played an important part on the system of Peregrinus. Unfor- 
tunately, the references of Lucian are not sufficiently detailed 
to afford a coherent picture of this side of his teaching, but 
indications point to such a blend of Hellenic religion, Oriental 
mysticism, and neo-Pythagoreanism as we find in Apollonius 
of Tyana. 3 Peregrinus claims to hear the commands of Zeus 
in dreams : he is careful to avoid polluting the sacred pre- 
cincts : after his death he is to be worshipped as a hero together 
with Heracles and Hephaestus. His suicide by fire was to 
be an example of endurance like that of the Brachmami. 4 
One recalls the sympathy of the Cynics for the ' Gymnoso- 

1 Noct. Att., 8. 3. 2 Vit. Dem., zi. 

8 See Note 4 to Chap. VIII. 

4 Bernays observes that such a manner of death was rare among 
the ancients, despite the frequency with which they committed 
suicide. Its rarity is the only excuse that can be found for Lucian *s 
remark that it is practically painless. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 179 

phists ' of India, already seen in Onesicratus and in the Berlin 
Pap., No. 13044 ; one of these sages had actually appeared at 
Athens during the reign of Augustus, where he publicly burned 
himself to death * in accordance with ancestral custom '. 
During the time of the Roman Empire, as to-day, the ' wise 
men of the East ' exercised that curious fascination they have 
always had over a certain type of Western mind ; the picture 
they present in Philostratus is very like many a modern attempt 
to portray them as the guardians of esoteric wisdom. The 
influence of neo-Pythagoreanism on Peregrinus can be seen 
in certain ritualistic details of his suicide 1 ; a blending of 
Cynic and neo-Pythagorean ideas is to be seen in the Pinax 
of Cebes. 

At the Olympic games of 163 Peregrinus delivered a 
speech (which Lucian maliciously says had taken him four 
years to compose) apologizing for his attack on Herodes 
Atticus, and ' explaining ' his flight to the temple of Zeus. 
The explanation he may have felt to be necessary because 
a Cynic was supposed to endure stoning and flogging : per- 
haps Peregrinus justified himself on the plea that it was 
in the interests of mankind that he should meet death in 
another fashion. At all events, shortly after this festival was 
over he issued his famous proclamation announcing his inten- 
tion of publicly burning himself to death at the next. Now 
it is clear that Peregrinus had a great following among the 
Cynics, and was probably regarded by them as in some sense 
the leader of the sect. The oracles circulated just before his 
death call him * the best of all the Cynics ' 2 ; and we are told 
that Theagenes did not think Diogenes fit to compare with 
Peregrinus. In view of the great reverence usually expressed 
for the founder of the sect, this is of some significance. There 
was, of course, always a tendency to find the ideal aoyos 
incarnate in the person of a contemporary, as was done 
by admirers of Demetrius and Demonax. But the case of 
Peregrinus seems an attempt to increase the influence of Cyni- 
cism by providing it with a cult ; the Cynic <pdavOQconia is 
to be exercised by Peregrinus even after death, and he will 

1 The ceremony took place at moonrise : Peregrinus was clad in 
a white linen robe ; he turned to the south before leaping into the 
flames, &c. 

2 29. 



i8o A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

become ' a guardian spirit of the night ', the associate of the 
great benefactors of mankind, Hephaestus and Heracles. The 
foundation of a cult was of course not without precedent in 
the second century, as we know from the popularity of the 
worship of Antinous. Sceptics like Lucian professed to find 
no other motive for Peregrinus' action than vainglory ; he 
compares Peregrinus with an obscure individual from Ephesus, 
who could find no other road to fame than burning down the 
temple of Diana. The comparison is obviously unjust, and 
in point of fact Lucian does allow Peregrinus' own version of 
his motives to appear. * During the last portion of his life ', 
we are told, * Peregrinus wished to be called Phoenix, after 
the Indian bird which burns itself to death in advanced old 
age.' To commit suicide in old age was of course the accepted 
Cynic practice; the peculiarity of Peregrinus' death was the 
form it took, which is explained by the few words Lucian 
allows to him to say for himself. 

He said that he wished to put a golden finial to a golden life. 
For he, who had lived like Heracles, must die like Heracles, and 
commingle with the aether. And I wish, said he, to help mankind 
by showing them how to despise death. For all men must be the 
Philoctetes to my Heracles. 1 

The passage is a good example of the blend of Cynicism and 
neo-Pythagoreanism characteristic of Peregrinus. To live like 
Heracles was the aim of every Cynic. Why should not emula- 
tion be extended to the manner of his death ? The Cynic's 
duty was to set mankind an example in enduring pain and 
despising death ; this end also would be served by the pro- 
posed self-immolation. Moreover, according to neo-Pytha- 
gorean belief, the burning by fire would purify the soul till 
it commingled with the aether, a condition necessary for 
immortality. 2 Perhaps, as has been recently suggested, 3 a 
further consideration which led Peregrinus to adopt this form 
of suicide may have been a desire to emulate the Christian 
martyrs particularly Polycarp whose fortitude in meeting 
death had been attracting much attention. 

The four years' interval between the Olympic festivals had 
enabled news of Peregrinus' intention to be circulated through- 

1 27, 28. 2 See Note 4 to Chap. VIII. 

8 See Note 4 to Chap. VIII. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 181 

out the Graeco-Roman world. How much interest he had 
attracted can be read through Lucian's description. He was 
followed by great crowds, not only of Cynics but of the general 
public ; the crowd greeted him with shouts of ad)ov "EUrjcnv, 
' Save yourself for the Greeks ! ' ; an expression of scepticism 
was apt to provoke a brawl. The immolation took place on 
the last night of the festival, at Harpina, some 20 stades 
distant from Olympia, in order to avoid pollution of the holy 
place. The final scene is best read in the pages of Lucian, 
together with the latter's demonstration of how easily a legend 
may be started. 

But perhaps the most interesting feature of this extra- 
ordinary story is its sequel. 

To almost all the principal cities [says Lucian] 1 Peregrinus had 
despatched letters in the form of testaments (diaOrjxa*;), exhortations, 
and codes (v6/j,ov$). Several of his companions he chose as ambas- 
sadors for this purpose, with the titles of Messengers and Couriers 
of the Dead. 

This was of course in keeping with the Cynic's profession to 
be the messenger of God and the schoolmaster of mankind. 
What of the cult ? Lucian's remark that ' there is nothing 
odd if some of the many fools abroad should claim to have 
been relieved of quartan fevers through his agency ' is recog- 
nized by Bernays as a * prophecy after the event ' ; and we 
know from Athenagoras 2 that at some date earlier than 180 
there was a statue of Peregrinus in the agora of his native city 
Parium, which was credited with prophetic powers. If we 
interpret other and similar remarks of Lucian in the same 
way, it seems that statues were also set up at Elis and else- 
where, and that on the site of the pyre near Olympia there 
was a regular oracular shrine, with all the machinery of priests, 
mystic rites, and inmost sanctuary. Lucian expects that his 
friend Cronius will meet many who regard Peregrinus with 
awe : and apparently some one, whether devotee or collector, 
was found to pay a talent for the staff which he was holding 
before he sprang into the flames. 3 There, so far as antiquity 
goes, the curious story ends for we do not know how long 
the cult of Peregrinus lasted. There is one later incident 
which may be mentioned, since it is oddly in keeping with 

1 41. 2 Supp. pro Christ., 26. 8 Lucian, adv. ind., 14. 



182 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

the rest that in the seventeenth century Lucian 's book On 
the Death of Peregrinus was placed on the Index Librorum 
prohibitorum. 1 

(/) Sostratus. Sostratus, the paragon of physical prowess, 
mentioned at the beginning of the Life of Demonax, is probably 
to be numbered among the Cynics of the time. 2 His nickname 
of * Heracles ', perhaps originally given to him on account of 
his physique, he proceeded to justify by emulating the hero 
and Cynic patron saint in his * labours on behalf of mankind '. 
Sostratus seems to have been a ' strong man J of the type that 
from time to time becomes the wonder of a countryside. He 
was about eight feet high, was well made, and had an appetite 
proportionate to his size, though his diet was restricted to 
barley and milk. He was born in Boeotia, and spent his life 
in the country districts of Boeotia and Attica, sometimes living 
on Mount Parnes, at others wandering about, maintained by 
the farmers, who called him ' Goodfellow ' and thought he 
brought them luck. It was natural that a certain amount of 
superstition should spring up around him : according to 
Lucian, some of the Greeks actually thought that he was a 
reincarnation of Heracles, while Philostratus says that he him- 
self claimed to be the son of the rustic hero Marathon. He 
used to wear the skins of wolves 3 and after the pattern of 
Heracles ' slew wild beasts and robbers, made highways in 
deserted country, and built bridges over impassable places '. 
These exploits doubtless increased the regard which was felt 
for him by the country people ; and archaic though they 
sound, were probably by no means superfluous in the Greece 
of the second century A.D. The fall in the population and the 
decay of agriculture which characterized the period in Greece 
must have led to many roads and bridges falling into disuse 
and disrepair : there would also be an increase in the number 
of wild animals : as for brigands, Dio Chrysostom mentions 
them as one of the dangers to be feared by the little city in 
Euboea, not very far from the district of Sostratus. There 
is therefore nothing impossible about the exploits of Sostratus ; 
indeed, it could be claimed for him that here was a man who 
led the * Life of Heracles * in simple fact and not in allegory. 

1 Bernays, op. cit., p. 87 f. 2 See Note 5 to Chap. VIII. 

3 Cf. the Cynic Honoratus, whose garb was a bear-skin. Lucian, 
Demon., c. 19. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 183 

But the probability that this rustic prodigy is to be numbered 
among the Cynics of the second century is but another indi- 
cation of how little Cynicism at that period necessarily had 
to do with anything that we should recognize as philosophy. 
Theagenes. Lucian only mentions by name one of the 
numerous followers of Peregrinus Theagenes, whom he casts 
as devreQaya)viarrj<; in the farce of Peregrinus' death. Thea- 
genes is also the only one of whom we hear anything further 
and that because he figured in Galen's case-book (Galen, de 
method rned., 10). After the death of Peregrinus, Theagenes 
went to Rome, where he taught daily in the Forum of Trajan, 
and became a familiar figure in the city. He was celibate, 
and lived in the utmost frugality, without any attendant, and 
in a humble house. Finally he contracted fever, and suc- 
cumbed as a victim to medical experiment. His doctor was 
Attalus the * Thessalian ', Galen's opponent, and Galen de- 
scribes with true medical gusto how the patient died under his 
rival's treatment. With the death of Theagenes our know- 
ledge of an epoch of Cynicism comes to an end. The sect 
itself undoubtedly continued, but apart from a single reference 
to Antiochus, who lived in the reign of Septimus Severus, 
nothing more is known of the Cynics till the reign of Julian. 1 

NOTES TO CHAPTER VIII 

i . Von Arnim 2 shows the use made of Cynic material in the sixth 
oration, which he believes to have been compiled from four different 
sources, (a) a description of the way of life of Diogenes, (b) a collection 

1 The other Cynics named in the literature of the period demand 
only brief notice. With the Didymus Planetiades of Plutarch, as 
with the Alcidamas of Lucian's * Banquet ', it is uncertain whether 
one is dealing with a real person or a fictitious character. Athenaeus 
(Deipnos y 1550) mentions a Cynics' Symposium written by one Par- 
meniscus, which appears to have resembled Meleager's * Contest of 
Thick and Clear soup '. Lentil soup followed lentil soup through- 
out the courses, and the Cynics present discussed with a gourmet's 
appreciation the flavour of water in various localities. One of the 
characters was a * Carneius of Megara, ' who may be the same as the 
* Carneades ' mentioned by Eunapius (454) as a * famous Cynic '. If 
so, then Carneius, Cebes of Cyzicus and the rest, must have belonged 
to the first century A.D., for Eunapius speaks of Carneades as the con- 
temporary of Demetrius andMusonius. Athenaeus also mentions an 
Art of Love written by a Cynic called Sphodrias (Deipnos, ibzb). 

2 op. cit., p. 263. 



184 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

of %Qelai and dnocpOtyuaTa attributed to Diogenes, (c) a Cynic dia- 
tribe on the animals as examples of the * natural ' life, (d) another, 
later diatribe on the miseries of tyrants. 

2. Though the Cynic stress on avraQxeia is apparent throughout 
the passage, there is no trace of their traditional avaideia and the de- 
scription of the family lives of the shepherds is rather in the spirit 
of Musonius. Musonius, too, was an advocate of the farmer's life 
as suitable for the ao<p6<;. 

3. Suidas 1 says that he was not much older than Porphyry, which 
would give a floruit in the first half of the third century A.D. Hier- 
onymus, 2 however, says that in the year 120 ' Plutarch of Chaeronea, 
Sextus, Agathoboulos, and Oenomaus were well-known philosophers '. 
Rohde 3 prefers to rely on Suidas, finding support from Eusebius' 
reference to Oenomaus as * a recent author ' (TIQ TWV vecov). But 
Vallette * shows that Eusebius 1 statement is too vague to be admitted 
as evidence, also that Eusebius himself elsewhere says that Oenomaus, 
Sextus and Agathoboulos flourished * in the year when Plutarch was 
procurator in Achaea ', i.e. A.D. 120. Vallette thinks that Oenomaus 
is placed c a little before Porphyry ' by Suidas because Porphyry 
resisted his attacks on religion. But, he says, this could easily happen 
if Oenomaus lived a century or more earlier than Porphyry ; indeed, 
we know from Julian that as late as the fourth century Oenomaus 
was considered one of the most notorious opponents of Greek religion. 
The authority of Hieronymus is therefore to be preferred, and one 
may with some confidence place the floruit of Oenomaus in the reign 
of Hadrian. Moreover, such a date best fits the famous attack on 
oracles contained in the yoryrcov (pa>Qa. As is well known, shortly 
after Plutarch wrote On the Cessation of Oracles a revival of oracles 
occurred, and the shrines of Colophon, Branchidae, and Amphilochus 
in particular enjoyed great prestige. Amphilochus and Colophon 
are both mentioned by Oenomaus ; and his book falls naturally into 
place as a contribution to a discussion of the value of oracles, together 
with the Alexander and Zeus Elenchomenos of Lucian, the De super- 
stitione of Plutarch and the XlXth Dissertation of Maximus of Tyre. 

4. H. M. Hornsby's article on * The Cynicism of Peregrinus Proteus J 
(Hermathena, 1934) examines three theories that would account for 
the strain of mysticism found in Peregrinus and his followers, (a) 
that such a strain was present in Cynicism from the beginning, and 
could be traced to the influence of Antisthenes, (b) that the Cynicism 
of Peregrinus was tinged with Neo-Pythagoreanism, (c) that by the 
middle of the second century Cynicism had come to terms with the 
general superstition of the age. (c) is regarded as the true explana- 
tion ; and I agree that such terms were made by Peregrinus and his 

1 Vide sub 'Oivoudos. a d. 2135. 3 Rh. M.> xxxiii., p. 165. 
* De Oenomao Cynico (Paris These, 1908) ; much the best thing 
on Oenomaus, which supersedes earlier dissertations. 



CYNICISM IN THE SECOND CENTURY A.D. 185 

followers. But the sceptical strain represented by Demonax and 
Oenomaus must not be forgotten, and indeed she admits that there 
was considerable divergence of belief amongst the Cynics of the 
period. There seems no reason why theories (b) and (c) should be 
mutually exclusive ; the rejection of any connexion between the 
Cynics and Pythagoreans fails to take any account of the Pinax of 
Cebes. 

5. Funk l was the first to point out that the * Sostratus-Heracles ' of 
Lucian was the same person as the * Agathion-Heracles * of Philo- 
stratus. 2 The identification is incontestable : date, place, and de- 
scription agree : and the objection that Philostratus calls him * Aga- 
thion ' instead of Sostratus is removed by the consideration that 
* Agathion ' appears to have been simply another nickname, given 
to him by the farmers of Boeotia and Attica. The description of 
Philostratus is quoted from a letter of Herodes Atticus, who had some 
association, apparently a brief one, with Sostratus himself. 

1 PhiL SuppL, 10, 1907. 2 Vit. Soph., 47. 



CHAPTER IX 

CYNICISM AND THE PHILOSOPHIC SCHOOLS 
IN THE FIRST AND SECOND CENTURIES A.D. 

(a) DURING the second and first centuries B.C., as we have seen, 
Cynicism was of little importance ; both Epicureanism and 
the Middle Stoa, the dominant systems of the period, were 
hostile, while with the New Academy, preoccupied with dialec- 
tic, it had no point of contact. But about the time of the 
Cynic revival, early in the first century A.D., Cynicism once 
more influenced a philosophical system of some importance. 
The system in question was that of Philo, whose blending 
of Greek, Jewish, and Oriental thought was so characteristic 
a product of the intellectual atmosphere of his native Alex- 
andria. Wendland l was the first to point out the parallels 
between numerous passages in Philo and Musonius, and to 
argue that they must have had a common origin in Cynic- 
Stoic diatribe. Philosophy for Philo meant primarily Stoi- 
cism, and the Cynic ingredients of the older Stoicism reappear 
in his ethics, as do the standard themes and figures of the 
popular preaching which was common to Stoic and Cynic 
alike. But so far as is known, the influence of Cynicism on 
Philo was purely historical and literary ; he seems to have 
had no personal relations with contemporary Cynics, of whom 
he speaks with contempt and disgust. Brehier 2 has shown 
the part played by Cynic ideas in Philo 's moral system and 
in his views of &axri<ri$. Virtue is the supreme Good for 
man ; rjdovr} the great enemy which hinders him in attaining 
it. Unremitting novoq is essential if Virtue is to be attained ; 3 
to God alone belongs the faculty of possessing the Good with- 
out novo<;. The ability of the soul to endure and even wel- 
come the hardships inseparable from n6voq are due to the 
mystic love of the soul for God. Philo's view of 



1 Philo und die Kynische-Stoische diatribe. 
* Les idtes morale et religieuse de Philon. 3 De fug. et. invid. 

1 86 



IN THE FIRST AND SECOND CENTURIES A.D. 187 

which must exercise every part of the body and mind to aid 
in the struggle for Virtue, recalls the educational theory which 
we have seen reason to attribute to Diogenes. The Cynic 
origin of these ideas is obvious, as are the additions made 
by Philo himself. As Brehier says, a sharp distinction must 
be drawn between the ideas proper to Cynicism and the 
mysticism which Philo imposed upon them. He was using 
borrowed material for purposes of his own as openly as when 
he took the old allegory of * The Choice of Heracles ' and 
adapted it to the story of Cain and Abel. 

The influence of Cynicism on Philo is an isolated phenom- 
enon ; there was no sequel or reaction, and to an essay 
dealing with the history of Cynicism Philo is a cul-de-sac. 
None the less the digression is worth making because it shows 
the ideas of Cynicism incorporated in a fully developed system 
of philosophy an achievement already noted in the case of 
Zeno, but one beyond either the interest or the intellect of 
the Cynics themselves. 

(b) Stoicism. It has already been shown that the evidence for 
the independent survival of Cynicism discredits the view that 
the Cynic revival of the first century A.D. was a rebirth of 
Cynicism out of Stoicism. But the attention paid to Cynics 
by the literature of the period, as compared with their obscur- 
ity in that of the previous century, was largely due to the 
renewed interest of Stoicism in its poor relation. The develop- 
ment of Roman Stoicism from its Republican representatives 
to those of the age of Nero is a subject which lies beyond the 
scope of this essay. In any case, the facts are familiar, and 
may be thus briefly summarized. Stoicism rapidly advanced 
in popularity at the expense of its rivals, until it almost monop- 
olized what attention was devoted to philosophy at Rome. 
The qualification is necessary, for the commercial classes, and 
people in country districts a large section of Rome and Italy 
remained untouched by philosophy. 1 But the street 
preachers whom we meet in the pages of Horace 2 carried on 
their propaganda amongst the poor of the cities in increasing 
numbers ; while what may be called * official Stoicism ', repre- 
sented by such men as Attalus, Musonius Rufus, and Epic- 
tetus drew most of its adherents, as formerly, from the Roman 

1 Trimalchio in this respect stands for his class. 

2 See above, p. 120. 



x88 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

aristocracy. The matter of the street preachers' diatribes, 
composed of a few familiar precepts and standardized anec- 
dotes, varied little with the new age, but official Stoicism 
altered to meet the new demands of its patrons. The Stoi- 
cism which first took root in Rome was that of Panaetius 
and Posidonius ; a liberal, relatively speculative creed well 
suited to the tastes of the great nobles of the Scipionic circle, 
devotees of the new Greek learning and as yet political masters 
of the Roman world. But for Cato and his friends Stoicism 
played that role of consoler to a losing cause with which it 
became so familiar in the next century. Under the Empire 
the Roman nobility's long misgovernment of the world came 
to an end ; the policy of the Emperors to the aristocracy as 
a class was to conciliate it, so long as it combined dignity with 
impotence, but above all to keep it firmly in check. At best, 
then, the Roman noble who remembered the ruling traditions 
of his class had to practise resignation ; at worst, he must face 
sudden changes of fortune, exile, possibly death. 1 On their 
behalf, Philosophy was recalled from even that mild indul- 
gence in speculation which had been hers for the last two 
centuries, and reminded of her duties in regulating the lives 
of men, and enabling them to take arms against a sea of 
troubles. All the Stoic authors of the first century A.D. stress 
the practical aspect of philosophy : * facere docet philosophia, 
non dicere ' is the slogan. 

The phenomenon is one which, as they might have said 
themselves, ' does not need numerous proofs '. 2 Seneca quotes 
with approval the dictum of Demetrius that it is much better 
to know a few of the precepts of philosophy, providing they 
are kept ready at hand and in constant use, than to have a 
scholarly knowledge of many which are yet not readily avail- 
able, and quotes his illustration from the wrestling ring. 

As the good wrestler is not the man who knows every kind of grip 
and hold, such as are seldom of use against an opponent, but rather 
he who has patiently practised one or two holds and is ever on the 

1 A long list of Roman Stoics were put to death or committed 
suicide in the first century. Those under Nero and Domitian we 
have already mentioned : to them may be added, under Tiberius, 
Cremutius Cordus, under Gaius, Canus and Rectus, under Claudius, 
Caecina Paetus, under Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus. 

2 Cf. M.R., 8n ov del 



IN THE FIRST AND SECOND CENTURIES A.D. 189 

look-out for an opportunity to use them (for it does not matter 
how much he knows, provided he knows enough to win) ; so in 
the contests of philosophy, there are many things that bring delight, 
but few that bring victory. 1 

So Musonius 2 insists that virtue is not merely a theoretical 
science, but a practical one, on a par with medicine and 
music. Just as doctor or musician do not merely learn the 
theory of their science, but train themselves in action accord- 
ing to that theory, so must the man who is to be virtuous 
not merely learn what studies are conducive to virtue, but 
must also drill himself therein faithfully and assiduously. 
How can a man straightway become temperate, if he only 
knows that it is wrong to be mastered by pleasure, but is 
not himself schooled to withstand it ? Or how just, knowing 
that one must love fairness, but not being accustomed to 
avoid selfishness ? (nXsove^ia). Cynicism in the past had 
been called a * short cut to virtue ' ; its merit lay in that it 
offered the spectacle of the Wise Man in action which above 
all others commended itself to the Stoicism of the Empire. 
The true Wise Man, says Seneca, appears on earth as seldom 
as the phoenix, yet such was Demetrius * an outstanding figure, 
even if compared with the greatest ', and worthy to rank with 
Socrates, Diogenes, and Cato. He was sent to earth by 
Providence, ' that our own age might not lack both example 
and testimony \ 3 The same claim is advanced for Demonax 
in the Life which goes under the name of Lucian, 4 and as 
we shall see, the conception of the Cynic as the * messenger 
of God ' is most fully developed in Epictetus. 

The stress laid by the new Stoicism on ^e^ertf and aaKV]ai$ 
meant that their regimen approached the Cynic austerity. In 
Seneca, the multi-millionaire and Imperial minister, this is 
naturally not the case ; he is careful to tell us of his frugal 
diet, but for the rest he * does not mind seeming too rich in 
the eyes of those to whom Demetrius seems too poor J . But 
the teachings of Musonius on diet and dress have the Cynic 
ring. Diet should be vegetarian as far as possible, though 
we cannot rival the frugality of the gods, who live on exhala- 
tions. Water is sufficient drink ; and above all, gluttony 
must be avoided because, unlike other pleas- 



1 De Ben., vii. i. 3. 2 M.R., p. 22. 5 (Hense). 

8 Sen., De Ben., vii. 8. 4 Luc., Dem., i. 



190 A HISTORY OP CYNICISM 

ures, it may be indulged twice or more every day. We should 
go barefoot, and be accustomed to withstand heat and cold 
in moderation which implies that Musonius did not approve 
of the extreme forms of hardihood attributed to Diogenes. 
As for dress, ' one cloak is better than two, and no cloak, 
but a single garment (ijuarlov) better than one '. A natural 
cave which gave adequate shelter would really be the best 
type of house ; but since these are scarce, we must look for 
the simplest available house, and furnish it as sparsely as 
possible. Since novos is essential to the philosopher, the life 
best fitted for him is that on the land, whether as farmer or 
labourer. 1 Parallels between these passages and the pseudo- 
Lucianic dialogue, The Cynic, are quoted in Hense's edition 
of Musonius. It is interesting to notice in these passages how 
Musonius speaks of two levels of asceticism, of which the more 
extreme is commendable, but is not for every one to follow. 
The disciples of philosophy, he suggests elsewhere, need not 

* exceed normal limitations ' (eufidiveiv to KOIVOV rwv noMa>v). 2 

Sympathy for Cynicism is even more marked in Musonius' 
pupil, Epictetus. This was only natural, for while Musonius 
was of the equestrian order, a descendant of an old Etruscan 
family with a long Roman tradition behind him, Epictetus was 
of Asiatic birth, the slave of Nero's freedman Epaphroditus. 
His sympathies, however, were not for the Cynics of his own 
day, but for an ideal standard of which they fell far short. 
Fortunately, there is no need to reconstruct this ideal from 
scattered references, it is the subject of one of the best known 
and most eloquent of the Discourses that entitled ' On the 
calling of a Cynic '. 3 The essay is so familiar that a transla- 
tion would be superfluous, and I will therefore confine myself 
to an analysis of the ideas it contains. 

The discussion arose out of the desire of a young man, 
presumably one of Epictetus' pupils, 4 to embrace the Cynic 
profession, and his inquiry, put to the Master, as to what 

1 These details are from M.R. t fr. xviiiA and xviiiB, xix, and xx 
(Hense). For a fuller treatment of Musonius, cf. M. P. Charlesworth, 

* Five Men '. 

2 M.R., p. 88. 9 (Hense). 3 Epict., iii. 22. 

* lie is said to be rcov yvcoQ^icov n$, but the description of the 
austerities to which he was already accustomed make it almost certain 
that he was a pupil of Epictetus ( 9-11). 



IN THE FIRST AND SECOND CENTURIES A.D. 191 

sort of man the true Cynic should be. In reply, Epictetus' 
first care is to warn the young man that he is entertaining a 
project of the utmost seriousness, which cannot be embarked 
upon without the help of God, since failure means public 
disgrace. He then employs the familiar Stoic-Cynic figure 
of the Household of the World : can we be sure that the 
Lord of the Mansion has allotted to the young man the task 
of a Cynic ? Let us look more closely and see what that 
task really involves. The popular conception is utterly inade- 
quate a man is a Cynic if he has a wallet and a staff and 
big jaws, with which he gobbles up everything given to him, 
or reviles tactlessly any one he meets. Such an impression 
is certainly fostered by the present-day representatives of the 
profession, * dogs of the table, guardians of the gate ', fol- 
lowers of Diogenes in shamelessness alone. 1 Possibly the 
young man thinks he will have to do little more than to main- 
tain his present asceticism, and to take up the Cynic insignia 
and lead the vagabond, begging life, rebuking the more obvious 
forms of luxury, such as the use of depilatories, or the wearing 
of gaudy clothes. If he conceives the matter in some such way 
as that, he should give it a wide berth, it is not for him. But 
if he has some impression of its true magnitude, and confi- 
dence in himself, let him take a mirror, and look at his loins, 
for he is entering for an Olympic contest. Like the athletes, 
he will be called upon to enter on a long and arduous period 
of training : only in his case the aim to be achieved is the 
complete eradication of sensual desire, ambition, and emotion. 
By these means alone can he acquire that sine qua non of 
his calling a Guiding Principle that is absolutely pure. TO 
fiyepovMov del Kadagov noifjacu Epictetus twice repeats the 
phrase. His plan of life must be the following. 

From now on my mind is to be my material, like timber to a car- 
penter, or leather to a shoemaker ; and my work is to make the 
right use of my impressions (d#0?) XQfjaie ra>v (pavraaicov). My 
paltry body and its parts are nothing to me, as for Death let it come 
when it will. . . . Exile ? Whither can I be thrust out, since I 
cannot be thrust out of the Universe, and wherever I go there are 
the sun, moon and stars, dreams and omens, and my converse with 
the gods. 

l 80. 



192 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

Perfected in this training, he will be able to understand 
the true nature, and undertake the duties, of his profession. 

He is sent as a messenger of God to mankind, to show them how 
they have gone astray in questions of good and evil, and are seeking 
the nature of the good where it is not, and know not where it is ; 
he is furthermore a scout, sent like Diogenes to Philip after the 
battle of Chaeronea. 1 

These conceptions represent two complementary aspects of 
the Cynic's mission ; in the first role he reports to mankind, 
on the authority of God, that they are ignorant of the true 
way of life ; in the second, he must himself penetrate more 
deeply than other men into the realm of human experience, 
as does a scout into enemy country, and bring back to his 
fellows a true report of what lies ahead of them. There is 
nothing new in these conceptions, and the religious tone is 
characteristic of the age, though perhaps its fervour is Epic- 
tetus' own. We then have a specimen of Cynic diatribe, 
using Agamemnon as imaginary adversary to show the folly 
of popular conceptions of the good. * Tell us, sir messenger 
and scout, where lies the good, if not in these things ? ' is 
humanity's natural demand. Now comes the central doctrine 
of the Cynic evangelism that happiness, serenity, freedom 
from restraint, can only be found within, since our will alone 
is completely our own. * My mind to me a kingdom is ' is 
the burthen of his teaching a kingdom that bears sway over 
desire and revulsion, choice and refusal. Everything external 
must be renounced ; but again comes the question : * How is 
serenity possible for the man who has nothing, who is naked, 
without home or hearth, living in squalor, without a slave or 
a city, to live in serenity ? ' The Cynic * non praeceptor veri 
sed testis ' must be able to supply the answer by practical 
example, to show that he fulfils all these qualifications. ' Yet 
he is free from pain and fear, gets what he desires, avoids 
what he does not, blames neither God nor man. . . . Such 
are the words that befit a Cynic, such his character and way 
of life.' Epictetus also uses the familiar figures of the Cynic 
as Schoolmaster, the xowog naidevrijs of the world, and as 
King, whose staff is his sceptre, and whose kingly appearance 
forces all to acknowledge his mastery. 

1 23-5- 



IN THE FIRST AND SECOND CENTURIES A.D. 193 

Cynicism is therefore a special service for an emergency, the 
emergency being constituted by the present chaotic state of 
human life. Epictetus expressly says that in a city of ooyot, 
no one would lightly embrace the Cynic profession, for whose 
interests could he serve by so doing ? If he did become a 
Cynic, he would form human relationships just as do other 
men, for then his wife would be a philosopher, likewise, and 
his children. But the present state of affairs is like a battle- 
field, hence the Cynic should avoid incurring any commit- 
ments which will interfere with his service of God. Since 
marriage is of all human relationships the most binding, the 
Cynic will refrain from marrying, ' lest he lose his kingdom \ l 
At first sight this doctrine might appear to contradict the con- 
tention of Musonius 2 that marriage is no hindrance to the 
philosopher, more especially as Musonius cites Crates to prove 
his point, while Epictetus, as we have already seen, is at pains 
to point out that the marriage of Crates was a very special 
instance, fulfilling conditions that normally could only be 
looked for in the * city of ootpoi \ But the contradiction is 
more apparent than real. Epictetus recognizes that the duties 
of marriage and family life, to which Musonius attaches so 
much importance, are part of the role of * the good and worthy 
man ' (TO rov Kakov K dyaOov n^oaconov) ; only to the Cynic, 
conscious of his special mission, would they be an impediment. 
The married Cynic would find himself in a dilemma, for if 
he neglected his family duties he could no longer be a good 
man, while if he carried them out conscientiously he would 
have no time left for his duties as the messenger and scout 
that he is. It is therefore best for him to abjure a tie that 
makes so many demands, and to reflect that he has * taken all 
mankind for his children : the women he has for daughters, 
the men for sons : in that spirit he approaches and cares for 
them all. ... He reproves them as a father, as a brother, 
as a servant of God, who is the Father of us all.' 3 

And as his family life is concerned with the Family of Man- 
kind, so will his political cares be for the city of Zeus rather 
than for the city of Cecrops. What nobler politics could be 
found than those in which he is engaged ? Is he to come 
forward in Athens and talk about incomes and revenues, when 
he ought to be addressing all men about happiness and un- 
1 68, 69. 2 M.R., p. 70. i. 14 (Hense). 3 82. 

14 



194 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

happiness, slavery and freedom, failure and success ? 1 Nor 
will he hold office, for no office is nobler than that he now 
has. And if any one tries to scare him by mentioning those 
who bear rule and are held in honour, he bids them go look 
for children, since he does not fear a painted devil. Nor will 
ill-treatment at the hands of the populace deter him from his 
mission. He must be prepared to find * that there is this very 
pleasant strand woven into the Cynic's life, that he must needs 
be flogged like an ass, and while he is being flogged, he must 
love the men who flog him, as though he were the father and 
brother of them all '. 2 In no point is the resemblance between 
the Cynics and the Franciscans, so often commented on, more 
striking, though even here the analogy must not be pressed 
too far. The Franciscans courted flogging as a healthy moral 
tonic : the Cynic, through his spirit of endurance (TO dvexrixov), 
supports any ill-treatment that may come his way. For in all 
things he is utterly submissive to the will of Heaven, having 
always on his lips the words 

Lead thou me on, O Zeus and Destiny, 
Wherever is ordained by your decree. 8 

Epictetus also idealizes the Cynic dress and rationale, its 
frugality he leaves unaltered, but refuses to tolerate its custom- 
ary squalor. The Cynic's body must be strong and healthy, 
an advertisement of the merits of his simple open-air life. If 
he can achieve the radiant complexion traditionally associated 
with Diogenes, his testimony will carry the more weight. He 
should not excite pity, for then people will regard him as a 

1 Possibly a reference to Demonax, who held office in Athens, is 
intended. 

2 The only actual mention we have of a Cynic being flogged is that 
already mentioned of the Diogenes who spoke against the marriage 
of Titus and Berenice. But it is clear that Epictetus is not speaking 
of flogging as a punishment for political agitation. The situation 
he envisages is one in which the ordinary man would immediately 
appeal to the Proconsul, obviously a case of assault at the hands of 
private individuals. The Cynics were exposed to such ill-treatment ; 
they were often considered as popular butts, and the stories of assaults 
on Diogenes, historically doubtless apocryphal, show the kind of 
thing a Cynic might have to endure (D.L., vi. 41, 42, 66, &c.). This 
is confirmed by what Dio Chrysostom says about popular opposition 
to Cynics in Or. 72. 

'96. 



IN THE FIRST AND SECOND CENTURIES A.D. 195 

beggar and turn away from him. Presumably Epictetus does 
not mean to discourage the Cynic from begging for his liveli- 
hood, for it is hard to see how else he is to obtain it ; unlike 
Musonius, Epictetus does not mention farming as the philos- 
opher's most suitable avocation. The point is that the Cynic 
must differ from the beggar in outward appearance, so that 
men will pay attention to his teachings ; a requirement which 
Dio Chrysostom during his Cynic period apparently failed to 
satisfy. 1 Even in the squalor of the Cynic, says Epictetus, 
there must be something cleanly and attractive. Nor is 
na^Qr\aia sufficient by itself, for unless united with great 
natural charm and wit, his talk becomes mere snivel (juvt-a 
yivercu KOI ovdev d'AAo). Here again Diogenes is held up as 
the ideal, but in another respect, to which Epictetus attaches 
the greatest importance, even he is found seriously deficient. 
Nothing was more characteristic of the old Cynicism than its 
ideals of avaldeia and avaiayvvria. Epictetus on the contrary 
postulates aida)$ as indispensable, for it must serve the Cynic 
as his house, his gates, his guards at the bedroom door, his 
concealing darkness ; if once it breaks down, he is caught in 
broad daylight and disgraced, and cannot continue to supervise 
other men. 2 In this respect it seems possible to detect a wide 
divergence in practice between the two groups previously 
mentioned as characteristic of Stoicism in the first century. 
On the one hand, the street preachers, Stoic and Cynic alike, 
seem to have been zealous in maintaining that dvatdeia insisted 
on by Diogenes, Zeno, and the early Stoics. But the * official ' 
representatives of Stoicism, Seneca, Musonius Rufus and 
Epictetus, appear to have been as deeply opposed to this aspect 
of the older teachings as we have seen was the case with Posi- 
donius and Panaetius. The bowdlerization accomplished by 
the Middle Stoa was approved by the great Stoics of the 
Empire and again one suspects that the tastes catered for are 
those which paid tribute to the old Roman ideal of ' gravitas '. 
The difference is particularly noticeable when we compare 
the views of Diogenes or Zeno on the sexual appetites with 
those of the Stoics of our present period. Diogenes had 
advocated the casual gratification of natural desires, * Let the 
man who persuades lie with the woman who is persuaded' ; 
Zeno had been notorious for his practice of homosexuality. 
1 Dio Chrya., xiii. i, &c. 2 15. 



196 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

Epictetus insists that the Cynic must abjure all desire for 
* wench or boy-favourite ' ; Dio Chrysostom regards brothels 
as indefensible, and castigates with great severity the argu- 
ments sometimes advanced on their behalf. As for Musonius 
Rufus, the whole range of classical literature contains nothing 
which more closely approaches the Puritan spirit. Sexual 
intercourse is absolutely prohibited except to the legally 
married, and they should regard it as ordained for the pro- 
creation of children and not for the purposes of pleasure. 1 

Such were Epictetus' conception of Cynicism : a profession 
the aspirant to which must * think the matter over carefully, 
know himself, ask of God, and do nothing without His con- 
sent '. 2 It is an idealization of that philanthropy we have 
found best exemplified by Crates, expounded at times in 
Epictetus' own psychological terminology, and infused with 
that religious feeling which marks him out even in a religious 
age. The Diogenes of history fell far short of such an ideal ; 
and even the Diogenes of literary tradition was undeniably 
lacking in the essential quality of aldax;* Epictetus does not 

1 M.R. y rl xBcpakalov ydjuov, fr. xiiA and B. Here again, as 
indeed in Musonius 5 whole attitude to women, their capabilities and 
the respect due to them, the dominant influence appears to be the 
old Roman tradition. Admittedly philosophy, as early as the time 
of Plato, had protested against the low status of women in Greece, 
but the difference between Greek and Roman views is apparent if 
we contrast the Conjugalia Praecepta of Plutarch with the teachings 
of Musonius on marriage. Plutarch's attitude is merely a more 
enlightened expression, not essentially different in kind, of the view 
of women found in Xenophon's Oeconomicus. But one feels that 
behind Musonius stand the dignified and accomplished figures of the 
great Roman matrons, an Arria or a Calpurnia, and the capabilities, 
if not the virtues, of such women as the Empress Livia. 

2 53- 

3 That Epictetus derived his knowledge of Diogenes from the 
literary tradition and not from Diogenes* own writings is clear from 
the references themselves. In i. 24. 3 he quotes a story about Dio- 
genes which Diogenes Laertius gives * on the authority of Dionysius 
the Stoic ' (vi. 43). The reference about Diogenes having the duty 
of rebuking men in a kingly manner refers to the numerous stories 
of his retorts to Plato, Demosthenes, Phryne, Perdiccas, Alexander, 
&c., in fact to nearly all the prominent figures of the fourth century. 
Epictetus also shows Diogenes as having conversations with the King 
of the Persians and with Archidamus, King of Sparta (iv. i. 155) ; 
also as writing a letter to the Persian King. He also believes in 
the story of Diogenes* capture by pirates (iii. xxiv. 59-66, iv. I. 



IN THE FIRST AND SECOND CENTURIES A.D. 197 

tell us of any Cynic of his time who approached this level, 
and this raises an interesting point. For Demetrius, as we 
find him portrayed by Seneca, might seem to fulfil many of 
its requirements; he had achieved complete suppression of 
desire, his austerity was of unexampled rigour, he professed 
complete submission to the will of God. Now Epictetus must 
have known Demetrius, for he was a pupil of Musonius in 
Rome during Nero's reign. Since he only once mentions 
Demetrius, and since his general references to contemporary 
Cynicism are contemptuous in tone, it is clear that he did not 
regard Demetrius, as did Seneca, as the example of the ideal 
Wise Man. Precisely why not we cannot say, though reasons 
may be suggested. Demetrius was apparently married ; 
furthermore, he was guilty of political agitation, at least during 
the reign of Vespasian : both forms of activity which Epictetus 
declared inappropriate for the Cynic. But an action even 
more likely to awaken Epictetus' dislike was his opposition to 
Epictetus' master Musonius in the prosecution of Egnatius 
Celer. It is clear from Tacitus how much odium Demetrius 
thus incurred, an odium which must have been particularly 
deeply felt in Stoic circles where Celer was regarded as an 
arch-traitor. Besides his personal ties with Musonius, Epic- 
tetus admired the great Roman Stoics, such as Helvidius and 
Paconius Agrippinus, and we know that he shared the resent- 
ment felt for Celer 's betrayal of his pupil. 1 Small wonder, 
then, if he had no great admiration for the philosopher who 
took Celer's side. 2 None of his contemporaries, then, seemed 
to Epictetus to personify the ideal of the true Cynic ; it had 
been most nearly, though even so not wholly, attained by his 
favourite exemplar, the Diogenes of literary tradition. In 

155 &c.), which we have seen to be almost certainly unhistorical. In 
iv. 152, Epictetus seems to assert that Diogenes was not born of 
free parents. He also quotes anecdotes that can be paralleled in 
Diogenes Laertius (cf. ii. xiii. 26, and D.L., vi. 29, iii. ii. n, and 
D.L., vi. 34, iii. xii. iii., and D.L., vi. 23, iv. xxii. 88, and D.L., vi. 
81, &c.) ; or from the Epistles of the Cynics. Elsewhere, as Schenkl 
notes, he appears to have used letters ascribed to Diogenes that have 
not survived (Schenkl, on IV. i. 156). 

1 Ep., iv. i. 139. 

2 Nothing can safely be inferred from the fact that there is no 
mention of Demetrius in Musonius ; for the latter seldom refers to 
his contemporaries. 



198 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

actual fact, it is to be doubted whether any came so near to 
it as did Epictetus himself. 

If in Musonius and Epictetus we find a greater sympathy 
for Cynicism than in any later Stoic writing, it must not be 
assumed that the Stoicism of the second century was marked 
by a reaction from this attitude. It is through Marcus Aure- 
lius that most of our knowledge of Stoicism at this period is 
derived, and the Stoic tutors of Marcus Aurelius had seen that 
phoenix, the Ideal Wise Man, in their own day, in the person 
of Epictetus. * Marcus thoroughly Epictetizes ', says the 
Scholiast, and he is borne out by the Emperor's grateful recog- 
nition of the debt he owes to Rusticus for introducing him to 
the writings of Epictetus, and by the frequency of quotations 
from Epictetus in the Meditations. Marcus Aurelius shared 
the Stoic regard for Diogenes as one of the greatest of all 
philosophers ; he quotes Monimus and Crates ; and it is 
interesting to find him placing Dio Chrysostom in the com- 
pany of Thrasea, Helvidius, Cassius, and Brutus. But his 
chief reverence was for Epictetus. What Demetrius had been 
to Seneca and Thrasea, such was Epictetus to the Stoics of 
the second century. Since the Stoicism of Epictetus was 
strongly flavoured with Cynicism, it is safe to assume a sym- 
pathy for Cynicism on the part of his enthusiastic admirers. 
And we have evidence that the connexion was maintained in 
the statement that the Cynic Demonax was one of the pupils 
of the Stoic Timocrates of Heraclia. Cynic influence is also 
to be found in that interesting and curious little book known 
as the Pinax of Cebes, which probably belongs to the second 
century. 1 Cebes' interest in Pythagoreanism is not surprising 
in a period when Stoicism was far less self-contained than 
formerly. The Pinax is another version of the old allegory 
of the Pythagorean Y the Two Ways of Life, which is also 
the theme of Dio Chrysostom 's story of the Choice of Heracles. 
Like Dio, by whom it was probably influenced, it makes 
great use of allegorical personification, a regular feature of 
Cynic diatribe, developed, though probably not invented, by 
Bion. The importance attached to na^reqia and eynqdreia 

1 The date of the Pinax is uncertain. The Teubner editor gives 
reason for thinking that it is later than Dio Chrysostom, and as we 
know it to be earlier than Lucian the first half of the second century 
seems the best conjecture. 



IN THE FIRST AND SECOND CENTURIES A.D. 199 

in acquiring true apery recalls similar Cynic influence on 
Musonius. 

Throughout this period, then, Cynicism was a kind of radi- 
cal Stoicism : the relation between the two may be likened 
to that between the more ascetic monastic orders and the main 
body of the Catholic Church. Crates, and especially Diogenes, 
were major figures of Stoic hagiography ; the KVVIKQI; tqonoq 
in garb and rationale differed in degree and not in kind from 
that of normal Stoic practice : the vehicle for Stoic popular 
propaganda was the diatribe, the chief genre of the KVVIKOS 
TQonoi; in literature. Over the external aspects of Stoicism 
Cynicism thus exerted a powerful influence, as it had done 
in the days of Zeno and Chrysippus. In going back to the 
founders of the sect and neglecting the anti-Cynic develop- 
ments of the Middle Stoa, the Stoics of the Empire were true 
to the retrospective and archaistic tendencies so general in the 
culture of their age. The Cynic leanings of Stoicism at this 
period, and especially the use of Cynic literary forms for 
popular preaching, are responsible for the traces of Cynicism 
that can be discovered at third-hand in eclectics who came 
under Stoic influence, such as Favorinus and Maximus of 
Tyre. The newly-discovered fragments of Favorinus negl 
qpvyfjs are an excellent illustration of this point. 1 

(c) Favorinus must have been brought into contact with Cynic 
ideas through his association with Dio Chrysostom and with 
Epictetus ; he is said, though on more doubtful authority, to 
have been a warm admirer of Demetrius the Cynic. Exile was, 
of course, one of the most hackneyed themes of the Cynic 
diatribe, since voluntary or involuntary exile was so often the 
prelude to the vagrant Cynic life. The canons of the diatribe 
demanded stock figures, traditional metaphors and similes, 
which any one wishing to preach to one of the standard texts 
would find ready-made ; and in this fragment one can see how 
Favorinus has availed himself of them. Thus the familiar 
Cynic trio of Heracles, Odysseus, and Diogenes appear as 
examples of persons who became famous through exile. 
Odysseus also appears again in the Cynic tradition as 
TIo\vrqonri<; in the good sense ; he is the wise man who willingly 
in his time plays many parts in the drama written by the 
Heavenly Playwright. 

1 Studi et Testi, No. 53 (il Papiro Vaticano), 



200 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

Amid all the shifts of Fortune, I can imagine him each time saying 
to God : * Do you wish me to play the king ? I am willing. A 
king will I be, but one unlike Echetus and Sardanapalus and 
Arbaces. Do you wish me to be shipwrecked ? I am willing. 
Shipwrecked will I be, and more piously than Ajax. Do you wish 
me to suffer hunger ? I will do it, and more stoutly than my 
comrades. Do you wish me to be a beggar ? I will be a beggar 
more beggarly than Irus, and will endure though beaten and struck 
most savagely by my foes. If you wish me again to be a king, I 
will do it at your command. . . .' 

The metaphor of the ' drama of life ', whose first elaboration 
was probably due to Bion, was as much a favourite with 
Favorinus as with his Stoic contemporaries ; besides the 
example quoted, it is elaborated in 2, lines 20-3, line 15. 
Another Cynic metaphor used is that of Life as an Olympic 
contest, in which the athletes are the aocpol whose training 
(aaxqaii;) is to enable them to overcome their opponents, in 
their case the numerous oviJi<poQdi that beset human life. Our 
contest is not ' on the stage, or at the Dionysia . . . but at 
the feast of Heracles, in the stadium of virtue, a contest of 
deeds, not of words '. Again, we find the metaphor of the 
Voyage of Life, in which the acxpos will adapt himself to 
conditions as sailors adapt the rigging to the winds. The 
speech is also marked by appeals, in the favourite manner of 
the Cynics, to the habits of animals as affording evidence for 
the standards of the * natural life '. Thus in 9, 15 ff., it is 
asserted that 

the earth is the common mother and nurse of all mankind. Now 
God gave the finny creatures one fatherland, the sea, to dwell in, 
and one to the winged race, the heavens, and to those animals that 
dwell on land he allotted a safe refuge, the earth, roofing it over 
with the heavens and walling it in with the ocean. Now the birds 
and the fish preserve the distribution of God, and so do all other 
animals, that dwell on land. But men alone through lust of greed 
(nfawefla) portion out the earth, splitting up the gift of God and 
dividing it up amongst themselves, &c. 

Again, ' The cranes are wiser than we are. For they go from 
Thrace to Egypt, and do not think Thrace their home nor 
Egypt a land of exile, but to them this is but a change of place, 
of dwellings for summer and winter/ The lesson that we 



IN THE FIRST AND SECOND CENTURIES A.D. 201 

should be content with the qualities we possess tcara yvaiv and 
not seek 66t;a and rt^rj is enforced by appealing to 



the horse, which never thinks of its repute or ill-repute amongst 
other beasts, but thinks that because of its speed it enjoys a kind 
of natural sovereignty amongst them. Nor does a lion much care 
what the other animals say and think about it, but thinks that it 
excels in strength, and they exert the most natural kind of sov- 
ereignty over those who are weaker. 



Finally, there are reminiscences of well-known 
p,ara as Diogenes' remark that if the Sinopeans sentenced 
him to exile, he sentenced them to stay at home, or Antis- 
thenes' definition of avro%Qovta as a property of slugs and 
worms. In fact, the thought of the fragment is essentially 
that of a Cynic diatribe. Were the piece anonymous, the only 
doubts as to its Cynic origin would be occasioned by the 
evidence of rhetorical ability by which it is marked. 

(d) Maximus. Similar traces of the influence of Cynicism are 
to be found in Maximus of Tyre. Diss. 36 is the most notable 
example, in which Maximus discusses the question as to 
whether the Cynic life is a nQoriyfjievov, i.e. meet for the Stoic 
ooqpos. In deciding in the affirmative he is following the view 
we have shown to be dominant in contemporary Stoicism. 
The familiar conception of the Cynic life as the life of man in 
the Golden Age is developed in the essay. 



CHAPTER X 

CYNICISM FROM THE THIRD TO THE 
SIXTH CENTURIES A.D. 

THE importance of Cynicism in the second century is strikingly 
reflected in the literature of the time. For its history during 
the last three centuries of the Ancient World there is but 
incomplete evidence. A few scattered references attest its 
existence during the turmoil of the third century : for the 
second half of the fourth century there is more detailed evidence 
to be had from the attacks of Julian on contemporary Cynics 
and from the reference in the Fathers to the career of the 
Cynic Maximus : a hundred years later something is known 
of the Cynic Sallustius. Of the Cynics known to us by name 
during the whole period only Maximus and Sallustius leave 
any impression as individuals ; but the general features of 
Cynicism are clearly the same as those noticed in the second 
century. Julian's description of the charlatans who masquer- 
aded as Cynics recalls those of Epictetus and Lucian ; the 
connexion of Cynicism with Christianity is illustrated by 
Maximus ; while Sallustius reproduces the extreme austerity 
and the mysticism of a Peregrinus. 

(a) The two orations (6 and 7) of Julian against the Cynics date 
from 361. Both by temperament and training Julian was 
sympathetic to the ideals of the austerer Cynicism. Though 
his tutor Mardonius had endeavoured to arouse him to disgust 
towards the unkempt appearance of his fellow-pupil, the 
Cynic Iphicles, Julian himself seems to have presented at 
Antioch a very model of Cynic squalor, and indeed his mode 
of life after he entered Constantinople as Augustus was of 
a Cynic simplicity. Moreover, among the Sophists most 
admired by Julian, such as Themistius and Libanius, it was 
fashionable to profess admiration for Diogenes and Crates. 
Yet Julian, while protesting his sympathy with the genuine 
Cynic, doubts whether there are any such left ; towards the 

202 



FROM THE THIRD TO SIXTH CENTURIES A.D. 203 

Cynics of his day he feels indignation and disgust. It is not 
hard to suggest reasons for this attitude. His adoption of the 
* philosopher's garb ' after entering Constantinople as Augustus 
drew to his court swarms of Cynics who hoped to exploit 
an Imperial sympathizer. ' First arrived Asclepiades, then 
Serenianus, then Chytron, then a tall youth with yellow hair 
whose name I don't know then you, and with you twice as 
many more . . . none of you ever visited a philosopher's 
school as diligently as you did my secretary.' But the cold 
baths, the simple fare, and the hard living of Julian were not 
to the taste of these Cynics ; they expressed their disgust by 
ridiculing as * ostentatious ' the asceticism of a Diogenes, 
which Julian professed to follow, while Heraclios annoyed 
Julian by relating an * impious myth ', in which Julian appeared 
as Pan, while he himself was Zeus. It was, therefore, to 
reprove the Cynics of his time and to recall them to their 
proper duties that Julian delivered the 6th and yth orations 
addressed * to the uneducated Cynics ' and ' to the Cynic 
Heraclios '. He regards Cynicism as ' the most universal and 
natural philosophy ' ; its true founder was the Delphic god 
when he gave to mankind the precept, * Know thyself '. 
Diogenes he refers to as a * sacred personage ', and emphatically 
rejects as spurious the obscene tragedies attributed to him. 
Several anecdotes about Diogenes are quoted, and their 
meaning rather strained, to show that piety was one of his 
characteristics, a moral also deduced from Crates' Hymn to 
Simplicity, which was evidently a favourite reading of Julian's. 
There is much that recalls Epictetus in his bowdlerized and 
spiritualized account of the old Cynicism, and of the frame 
of mind in which that way of life must be entered. The 
Cynics of his own day disgust Julian by their effeminacy and 
shamelessness, which brought philosophy into general dis- 
repute, and, above all, by their impiety. ' A Cynic must not 
be, like Oenomaus, a scorner of all things human and divine.' 
For their shamelessness and impiety he likens them to the 
' monks ' who had recently given him much trouble, and he 
expects the ' Egyptian Cynic ' of Oration 6 to recognize a 
quotation from * the words of the Galilaeans '. The close 
association which then existed between Christianity and 
Cynicism is exemplified by the career of Maximus. 
(V) The evidence for Maximus largely derives from hostile 



204 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

sources, and the authority of such eminent Fathers as Gregory 
Nazianzen and Jerome has caused Church historians to follow 
them in depicting Maximus as an impudent impostor. But 
the bitterness of ecclesiastical controversy did not make for 
balanced judgements ; if the extravagant praise of Maximus in 
Gregory's 23rd oration be discounted, similar allowance 
should be made for his fierce attacks after the Cynic had tried 
to oust him from the See of Constantinople. 

Maximus was born at Alexandria, presumably earlier than 
A.D. 350, of a family which had produced Christian martyrs. 
Nothing is known of his training, but he seems to have adopted 
Cynicism at an early age, and from the first may well have 
combined the Cynic garb and the Christian faith. The Church 
was then disturbed by the Arian dispute, and as an adherent 
of Athanasius Maximus was involved in the turmoils of the 
time. In the disorders of 374 he was whipped and later 
banished to the desert, where, according to Gregory, his 
constancy and his austerity were a notable example to others 
of the faithful. After returning to Alexandria he won the 
confidence of the Bishop, Peter II, who sent him to Constanti- 
nople in 379. The events that followed are explicable as the 
product of cross-currents from two controversies the Arian 
conflict and the dispute over the See of Constantinople. The 
Arians had then recently lost ground in Constantinople, though 
as yet there was no Orthodox bishop ; Gregory Nazianzen 
being ' diocesan ' in the Orthodox interest. He had been 
appointed to this position by Peter II, whose action was in 
accordance with the claim that the Bishop of Alexandria held 
control over the appointment to the See of Constantinople. 
But Gregory was highly popular with the Catholics of Con- 
stantinople, who wished for independence from Alexandria, 
and Peter may perhaps have thought it better to have in 
Maximus a nominee more under his control. 

Gregory welcomed Maximus with enthusiasm, and took the 
unusual step of pronouncing a public panegyric over him as 
he stood by the altar of the famous church Anastasia. This 
speech, known as * Oration in praise of the philosopher Hero ', 
is interesting as a Christian opinion of Cynicism. Alluding 
to the xaQrsqia of the philosopher, Gregory remarks that 
Maximus will demonstrate this quality by listening unmoved 
to the recital of his own praises. Then he addresses him as 



FROM THE THIRD TO SIXTH CENTURIES A.D. 205 

the best and most perfect of philosophers . . . one who follows 
our Faith in an alien garb, nay, perhaps not in an alien garb, if the 
wearing of bright and shining robes is the mark of angels, as it is 
so depicted. . . . This man is a Cynic not through shamelessness 
but through freedom of speech, not through gluttony but through 
the simplicity of his daily life ... a Dog who greets virtue not 
with barking but with hearkening, who fawns on what is friendly 
because it is good, who snarls at what is alien because it is bad. 

Elsewhere he praises the Cynic 's neglect of speculative philos- 
ophy, his philanthropy, and his cosmopolitanism ; and his 
superiority to * the meat-eating of Diogenes, the quackery of 
Antisthenes, and the wedding of Crates '. However, adds 
Gregory, we must spare the ancient Cynics through our 
reverence for Maximus. He then proceeds to an account of 
Maximus' deeds and sufferings as a supporter of the Nicene 
faith, and concludes by exhorting him to continue to combat 
* Gentile superstitions ' and to uphold orthodoxy. 

But Gregory was much deceived by Maximus. The Cynic 
intrigued against him in Constantinople and tried to form a 
party of his own supporters ; finally he attempted a coup by 
getting himself ordained Bishop at a secret and midnight 
service in the church. But news of this attempt leaked out 
and the service was interrupted by the civil authorities and 
the populace, who drove Maximus and his adherents from the 
church ; they fled to a * flute-player's shop ', where the 
ordination was completed. How long Maximus remained in 
the See on which he had thus imposed himself is uncertain, 
but it must have been long enough for him to carry out several 
acts and ordinations. But popular discontent forced him 
to appeal to Theodosius in Thessalonica, who charged the 
Bishop of Thessalonica to refer to Damasus, Bishop of Rome. 
Damasus replied with two letters, still extant, strongly con- 
demning both Maximus and the manner of his ordination. 
Maximus then returned to Alexandria to claim the support of 
Peter II ; the latter refused, perhaps because he thought it 
unwise to oppose the wishes of the Orthodox community in 
Constantinople, when they were so clearly expressed. There- 
upon Maximus headed a * disorderly mob ' of supporters, and 
caused such a disturbance that he was expelled from Egypt by 
the Prefect. To this period belong the hostile references to 
Maximus in the Carmina and epistles of Gregory, whose 



206 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

admiration for ' the most perfect of philosophers ' had changed 
to bitter hatred of the man who had tried to supplant him on 
the Bishop's throne. 

At the Oecumenical Council of 381 Maximus' ordination 
was pronounced uncanonical, and his acts invalidated. But 
this Council was held at Constantinople, where the interests 
of the Eastern Church may well have predominated. The 
issue was probably as much between Constantinople and 
Alexandria as between Gregory and Maximus, for the Second 
Canon of the Council restricted the authority of the Bishop of 
Alexandria to Egypt. Rebuffed in the East by both Emperor 
and Church, Maximus appealed to the West. He put his case 
to the Italian bishops at the Synod of Milan, and tried to 
strengthen his claims by presenting to the Emperor Gratian 
' a notable polemic against the Arians ', which Sajdak l con- 
jectures to be the * writing ' included in the works of Athanasius 
as ' N. adversus Arianos '. The Latin bishops decided to 
support Maximus, and demanded that a new General Council 
should be held at which the whole question of the See of 
Constantinople might be settled. Theodosius, however, re- 
fused to re-open the question of Maximus* ordination, and 
at the Synod of Rome in 383 the Italian bishops withdrew 
their support. At this point Maximus disappears from history ; 
the only further reference is that of the Church Council of 
861, which pronounced an anathema upon him. 

Of the man himself it is hard to form a judgement when we 
hear little about him except unrelieved abuse or praise. The 
issues with which he was concerned were clearly of the highest 
importance to the Church, and the fact that he had the con- 
fidence to appeal to both the Eastern and Western Emperors, 
and that, at least temporarily, he gained the support of Peter 
II and Ambrose, suggests that he must have been a person 
of ability. It is true that on at least two occasions he was the 
cause of riots, but such disturbances were almost inseparable 
from the fierce ecclesiastical controversies of the time. In 
such ages as the fourth century A.D. there is a tendency for the 
judgements of History to be delivered on the formula vae 
victis ! Maximus, as an unsuccessful claimant, may well have 
been a victim. 

(c) There is little reason to doubt that for Cynicism in general 
1 Quaest. Nagianzenicae, Pt. i. 



FROM THE THIRD TO SIXTH CENTURIES A.D. 207 

Gregory Nazianzen had a warm sympathy ; the enmity which 
developed between him and Maximus was a purely personal 
quarrel. The extensive influence of the Cynic diatribe and 
its ' commonplaces ' in his sermons has been fully shown 
by Geffcken. 1 And indeed it is not surprising that many in 
the Church should have welcomed the Cynics as allies in the 
fight for the ideals of poverty and asceticism. St. Basil 
expressed admiration for Diogenes, whose way of life he 
regarded as a heathen exemplar of that of the poor monk. But 
nowhere are these Cynic affinities better exemplified than in 
the works of Asterius, Bishop of Amasea. There Lazarus 
appears as the beggar-philosopher : the Cynic similes of the 
Doctor and the Scout are borrowed to describe the functions of 
the Apostles : and Christ preaching to the rich young man 
uses almost the accents of Crates in exhorting him to renounce 
worldly goods and cleave to Philosophy, the only mother of 
virtue. As Bretz 2 rightly says, Asterius and his like stand at 
the junction of the pagan and the Christian worlds. 

(d) Sallustius, who is referred to in Damascius' Life of his 
friend Isidorus, is the last known to us by name of the long 
line of followers of Diogenes. He was probably born about 
A.D. 430, and since Damascius speaks of him as a contemporary, 
it is likely that he lived into the sixth century. The origins of 
Cynicism lay in the period of the end of Classical Greece and 
the beginnings of the Hellenistic Age ; Sallustius stands at 
the death of the Graeco-Roman civilization to which the 
Hellenistic world gave birth. In 529 the philosophical schools 
of Athens were closed. 

The characteristic features of Cynicism were vigorously 
marked in its last-known adherent : the references to Sallustius 
would serve to describe a Cynic of the time of Lucian, or 
even, but for an element of mysticism, of the time of Crates. 
But in the sixth century Sallustius was an archaism : perhaps 
he was consciously so, for we hear that during his training 
in rhetoric he showed a preference for the ancient orators 
over the admired models of the day. 

Born, like so many Cynics, in Syria, he had an education 
in rhetoric and sophistic that recalls that of Dio Chrysostom. 

1 Kynika und Verwandtes ; vide index, sub. Greg. Naz. 
* ' Studien . . . zu Asterios von Amasea ', in Harnack und Schmidt 
Texte und Untersuch, 3te Reihe, 10. 



208 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

He studied rhetoric at Emesa, for philosophy he went to Athens 
and later to Alexandria. But the dogmatic schools had no 
attraction for him. ' Philosophy ', he declared, * is not only 
hard for mortal men, it is impossible.' He therefore set out 
as a vagrant Cynic to wander the world. He seems to have 
stayed for some time in Dalmatia with Marcellinus, in whom 
he may have found the Ideal Ruler sought by the Ideal Philos- 
opher. After Marcellinus' death he went with Isidorus to 
Alexandria. Asmus 1 has shown how the Alexandrian neo- 
Platonists had an interest in Cynicism, and Sallustius would 
appear to have been adopted by the curious circle that worked 
for a revival of Hellenism. No doubt they saw in him the 
pattern of the ao^o'c, as Seneca did in Demetrius, and Marcus 
Aurelius in Epictetus. There are the same praises of his 
asceticism, his boldness before tyrants, his scorn for rv<po$. 
He was opposed to the Christians and to the Christianized 
Cynics ; though he himself was not devoid of mysticism. 
For he practised a curious kind of divination, ' by looking into 
people's eyes he could foretell the manner of their deaths ', 
as he is said to have done with Marcellinus. The neo- 
Platonists of Alexandria were dispersed in the Isaurian rising 
of 488, and nothing is known of Sallustius' life after that date. 
Sallustius is chiefly interesting as a proof that in the last 
age of the Ancient World the * Island of Pera ', the Cynic 
paradise, was still inhabited. How long it so continued is 
uncertain. It is likely that Cynics were known in the Byzantine 
Empire, but by then Pera must have been a veritable Easter 
Island. Long ago Onesicratus had praised the virtues of the 
* noble savage ', by the sixth century A.D. the savage had come 
again and conquered the world. The State and its institu- 
tions, which Diogenes had found an intolerable burden on 
the individual, were shattered, and the ordinary individual 
worse off than ever before. Having little to hope for in this 
world, he turned to a religion that would promise him redress 
in the next. Cynicism had nothing further to offer mankind. 

1 * Der Kyniker Sallustius bei Damascius ', Neue Jahr, xxv, 1910. 



EPILOGUE 

THE sixth century A.D. is the proper finishing-point for a 
History of Cynicism. 

But the ' universal and most natural philosophy ' which 
Julian saw represented in Cynicism has continued to claim 
adherents * in all ages and all places '. The Wise Men of the 
East teach the same lessons that they taught centuries before 
Diogenes, and the ' naked philosophers ' are as conspicuous 
in India to-day as when Onesicratus saw them on the banks 
of the Ganges. A similar continuity is lacking in the Western 
world ; but it is possible to point to outbreaks of kindred 
movements at various ages as manifestations of a tendency 
deeply rooted in human nature, and asserting itself whenever 
the rights of the individual need upholding against the political, 
moral, or economic constraints of society. 

The link between the Ancient World and that of the Middle 
Ages is here to be found in the ascetic orders of Christianity, 
with whom the Cynics had had direct connexion. But the 
Cynics had confined themselves to Rome and to the Eastern 
half of the Roman Empire ; monasticism and anchoritism, 
originally hardly distinct, reached the West about A.D. 400. 
Later they spread to Britain and were adopted with enthusiasm 
by the Celtic Church, especially in Ireland. 1 The later revival 
of anchoritism in the eighth to tenth centuries under the Rule 
of Tallaght is particularly notable, for it gave rise to the finest 
expression of asceticism known to literature. 

The ascetic fare, hard bed, and coarse clothing, were some of the 
means by which the hermits attained their chief objects, spiritual 
purity and communion with God unhampered by the defilements 
of the flesh ; continual prayer and penitence were to be their 
occupation, and peacefulness, free from disturbing emotions and 
alarms, was the way of life desired. 2 

1 Cf. K. H. Jackson, Early Celtic Nature Poetry (Cambridge 
University Press). 

2 op. cit., p. 99. 

15 209 



2io A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

The descriptions of the life of the Irish hermits contain remark- 
ably close parallels to the austerities of Cynicism ; Coemgen 
is said to have lived at Glendaloch * 

without food but the nuts of the wood and the plants of the ground 
and pure water to drink ; and he had no bed but a pillow of stone 
under his head and a flag under him and a flag on each side of him, 
and he had no dwelling above him, and the skins of wild beasts 
were clothing for him. 

But the quiet humility of the Irish hermits was alien to the 
Cynic spirit ; and their love of wild nature and sympathy for 
the birds and animals which shared their life in the woods could 
scarcely be matched in the whole range of classical literature. 
Centralizing tendencies were predominant in the Christian 
world between 1000 and 1200, marked by the great increase 
in the power of the papacy and the extension of the Roman 
pattern of Church organization throughout Christendom. The 
anchorite movements gave way before Benedictine monas- 
ticism, though they did not everywhere die out, as witness the 
Culdees in Scotland. But the great increase in the temporal 
power and material possessions of the Church soon aroused 
opposition, 2 which found its strongest expression in the sects 
known as Albigenses or Catharists, a movement which owed 
doctrinal allegiance to the anchorites of the Eastern Church. 
Violently anti-clerical, and insisting on asceticism, they offer 
a parallel to the reaction of the Cynics to official Stoicism, 
while the division of the sect into Credents and Perfect! recalls 
Epictetus* views of the relations between the ordinary * good 
man ' and the Cynic philosopher. How widespread were 
dissatisfaction with monastic capitalism and a desire to return 
to simpler standards is unmistakably shown by the rapid 
growth of the Dominican and Franciscan orders at the begin- 
ning of the thirteenth century. St. Dominic realized that for 
the suppression of the Albigensian heresy it was necessary to 
have orthodox missionaries who could equal the poverty and 
asceticism of the Perfecti, and who could make similar use of 
the appeal to the Poverty of Christ. The parallel between the 
Cynics and the mendicant friars is of course widely familiar. 

1 op., cit., p. 98. 

2 Cf. G. G. Coulton, Five Centuries of Religion, Vol. ii, esp. c. i 
and 6-9, 



EPILOGUE 211 

When the Dominicans punned on their name and called them- 
selves the * Domini canes ' it is most improbable that any 
reference to Diogenes was or could have been intended, but 
a modern observer may translate the phrase in a more special 
meaning as ' the Cynics of the Lord '. The Franciscans, 
wandering through the world, voluntarily living at subsistence 
level, getting money for their needs by toil in the fields or by 
begging, and everywhere preaching to the people, invite com- 
parison with Epictetus' ideal of Cynicism as a special service 
in an emergency. Like Dio Chrysostom, St. Francis believed 
that poverty was in itself a good thing, and he, too, called on 
the poor not to endow themselves, but to despoil themselves. 1 
But he did not believe that his followers should practise any 
greater degree of asceticism than was inseparable from their 
way of life, he discouraged mendicancy, and his spirituality 
and that of many of his followers are without parallel amongst 
the Cynics. 

The more radical sects of the Reformation, with their in- 
sistence on the supreme importance of the individual and their 
appeal to the oppressed classes, also offer an interesting com- 
parison with the Cynics. Particularly is this true of the 
Anabaptists, who opposed all constituted authority, and 
regarded the State as inherently evil. Their longing for a 
divine leader, expressed in such pamphlets as The Reformation 
of the Emperor Frederick ///, are curiously like the Cynic 
Search for the True King. But they differed from the Cynics 
in that they had a programme of social amelioration ; they 
were the * religion of the proletariat ' in a modern sense, we 
have seen that Cynicism was not its philosophy. That they 
represented a serious danger to the civil and religious au- 
thorities is shown by the energetic measures taken to suppress 
them. The sects which survived, such as the Quakers and 
Baptists, were less radical : their championship of individual 
rights was primarily concerned with securing freedom of 
worship and of personal religious experience. 

In modern times the movement most akin to Cynicism is 
Anarchism. In the eighteenth century it appears, though not 
under that name, in the speculations of Rousseau and Diderot 
on the Golden Age, or later in Blake's vision of the Age of 
Innocence ; all marked by nostalgia for an imaginary age when 
1 Cf. Coulton, op. cit,, c. 8. 



212 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

man as an individual had the widest scope for achieving 
happiness, untrammelled by the constraints of the social 
system. As a political factor Anarchism belongs to the nine- 
teenth century, and dates from Proudhon, whose chief aim 
was to secure for the masses liberation from economic tyranny. 
Later Anarchists, such as Stirner, advocate the full liberation 
of the individual from all moral and social bands. Bakunin 
regarded the State as a ' historically necessary evil ', the neces- 
sity for which mankind will soon outgrow. It is especially 
interesting to find Kropotkin recognizing the * best exposition 
from the Ancient World of the principles of Anarchism ' in 
the Republic of Zeno, which was of course composed when 
Zeno was under the influence of Cynicism. Anarchism was 
most important in the middle decades of the nineteenth cen- 
tury ; in 1871 the International Working Men's Association 
was formed. Its importance has since declined, partly due to 
its adoption, towards the end of the century, of a policy of 
violence, more particularly to the rival attractions of Com- 
munism, which also attacks the economic system and can point 
to some spectacular successes. But to the Anarchist, the 
State Capitalism envisaged by the Communists will merely 
mean replacing one tyranny by another. Though Anarchism 
has been of small importance of recent years it continues to 
exist, and recent events in Spain, 1 a country where it has taken 
root more deeply than in any other, have again brought it into 
general notice. 

There remains another very different force to be considered 
among those working in favour of individualism in the modern 
world. Ever since the great explorations of the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries the Frontier has been a prominent feature 
in the life of the Western nations and has been both the refuge 
and the nursery of individualism. In the woods of America, 
on the African veldt, in the bush of Australia, men have won 
freedom from the constraints of society, and have developed 
the character of the Pioneer. This, in its insistence on the 
importance of the individual, in the self-sufficiency demanded 
by its environment, in its dislike for law and authority even 
where their effects are beneficial, and lastly, in its frequent 
contempt for learning and culture, has many features in 
common with Cynicism. 

1 Written in 1936. 



EPILOGUE 213 

Our own age is one in which centralizing tendencies are 
again dominant. In Germany, Italy, and Russia the State 
claims complete authority over the individual ; the material 
efficiency thus attained forces rival nations to similar measures. 
Modern industrial methods, which are being rapidly extended 
to cover all fields of labour, reduce the worker to the level of 
a cog in a machine. A standardized urban civilization is 
everywhere menacing local cultures. The Frontiers are 
closing down ; it may well be that within a generation the 
last frontier will have been reached. The precedents of his- 
tory suggest that we may expect a reaction towards individu- 
alism. For this conflict between the claims of society and the 
claims of the individual is as fundamental as that of the Love 
and Strife of Empedocles : 

ph 0Mrrjri, ovveQ%6fj,ev' el$ ev dnavra 
ddv 6i%* exaara 



being rooted in the dual nature of Man, at once a gregarious 
animal, and a separate personality. 

l Emped., fr. 17. n. 67-8. 



APPENDIX I 

THE succession of the Ionian philosophy, according to Diogenes 
Laertius, i. 14. 

Thales 

Anaximander 
Anaximenes 
Anaxagoras 

Archelaus 
I 

SOCRATES 



Aristotle 



Theophrastus 



Plato 



Speusippus 
Xenocrates 

Polemo 

Grantor 

Crates 

Middle Academy 
New Academy. 



Antisthenes 



Diogenes 
Crates 

Zeno 
Cleanthes 
Chrysippus 



2*5 



APPENDIX II 

THE whole passage is technical to a degree one does not associate 
with Diogenes ; and the expression ratfrrjv naff f\v ev yvftvaatq awe- 
ye.1 yivofjidvai (pavraalai evAvalav nqo<; rd rrjq dgerrjc; eqya naqB^dvrai is 
an obscure one. The wording at first sight seems Stoic, and von 
Fritz argues that the passage derives from one of the Stoic compila- 
tions which we have seen were foisted on to Diogenes ; he thinks 
it would be in place in the negi dgerrj^. But before refusing to 
accept the theory as that of Diogenes, it is necessary briefly to 
consider the use of the word (pavraala in the fourth century, particu- 
larly in Plato and Aristotle, (i) (pavraala is an abstract noun derived 
from the verb (pavra&aOai, and its primary meaning is simply that 
of * appearance '. (When Aristotle says of (pavraala that it is ovo^a 
dn6 rov (pdoQ eUrjyev one must admit that here is an ancient etymology 
that is substantially correct.) It is used in this simple and very 
general sense in Theaetetus 1520. Discussing Protagoras' proposi- 
tion that ola exaara Ifiol (pdiverai, roiavra pev eanv ejtol Socrates 
points out that hence (pavraaia xal aiaOrjais r* avrov [earlv] ev re 
BeQftolg xal ndai rots roiovrou; [i.e. * seeming and perception are 
the same in cases of heat, &c.']. On this theory, he says, the whole 
science of dialectics is quite useless r& yaq emoxonetv KOI tmxeiQeiv 
eMy%eiv rag dAA^Acov (pavraala$ KQ.I dot-as, dgOds Ixdarov o^fcrag, o^ 
ftaxgd ph xai dicohvyCos (pkvaQta ; Aristotle also uses (pavraala in 
this sense in de Anima [4026, 23], where ard rty yavcaatav 
= xord rovro 8 (paivsrai rjftiv. 

(2) A more technical use is that of Sophist, 264A, B, where 
(palvsiai (== yavraaCa) is defined as cw////ef aioOrjadax; xal 66rj<; 
' a mixture of perception and judgement \ yavraala in this passage 
is distinguished from dog a as arising through sensation, while d6ga 
arises * by thought in the soul ' (ev yvxfj Hard diavoiav). (pavraala 
is, however, one of the most elastic words in Plato, and in Philebus 
3 9 A. Plato speaks of a d6a ex /w^/^g xai dioOrjatcog which is the 
same as the (pavraala of Sophist 2646. 

(3) Philebus 396 describes ' imagination ' as a * painter in the 
soul ' who produces (pavrda/jiara ea>yQa(pij/Aeva 9 which are the elxoves 
ra>v . . . doaaQevrwv xal foyo/jidvwv (i.e. * imagination ' in a more 
* fanciful ' sense than a recorder of sensations, the faculty for which 
is likened simply to a scribe). 

216 



APPENDIX II 217 

(4) Aristotle's formal definition of (pavraata is to be found in 
De Anima, c. iii. He uses it to denote the faculty of imagination, 
but finds the Platonic definitions unsatisfactory. For the higher 
animals have imagination in its * reproductive sense ', since they 
live rats (pavraaidi<; xal ralq fivrjftaiQ. Hence do'fa, which Plato had 
introduced into his definition of (pavraata, must be divorced from 
it. For (5o'a is followed by ntanq, and one cannot talk of ntaru; 
amongst irrational creatures. Aristotle 's own definition of (pavraata, 
is xlvrjaig vno rrjq aladrjaeoog rfj$ xar* evagyslav yiyvoftevr) 1 (' a motion 
generated by actual perception ' Hicks). In other words, while 
for Plato (pavraata in the sense of imagination was a form of judge- 
ment, for Aristotle it was a form of perception an dadevfjs ri$ alaBqau;, 
a residuum of sense perception in the mind, made weaker by the 
absence of real sensation. The De Anima and especially this 
passage is of fundamental importance for Stoic epistemology : Zeno 
really added nothing except the famous KaraKr\nriK^ (pavraata, which 
is the basis for knowledge. 2 

The plural (pavraatai was also used in a general and a technical 
sense. Thus corresponding to (i) above is the phrase rag dMrjhcov 
yavraatas xai d6a<; of Theaetetus i6zE, also Aristotle's remark 
that di (pavraaiai yiyv6vrai at n^eiovg \pevdel<;. Corresponding to 
the meaning of a residue of sense-perception are the * writings in 
the soul ' of Philebus (which Plato does not actually call (pavraatai in 
the passage), and Aristotle's reference to the (pavraaiai xai ^vri^ai 
which govern the life of the more highly developed animals, and 
to the (pavraatai which remain in us and are o^otai rats alaOrjaeai* 
Hicks 4 rightly compares this use of (pavraotai with the ' fancies ' 
which Hobbes defines as ' motions within us, reliques of those 
made by the senses '. It is in this way that one must interpret 
the educational theory under discussion. The da^aiQ of gymnastics 
gives rise to a set of yavraaiai in the mind that make easy (noQB^ovrai 
nQog evhvotav) the performance of virtuous acts. Relevant in this 
connexion is Aristotle's account of the part played by (pavraata in 
the * instincts ' of animals (oifo dgexTixdv TO (dov avev (pavtaolaq) ; 
we are told that Diogenes 5 strongly insisted on the well-being 
(eve&a of the body) ; such well-being existed when the natural 
instincts had full play. 

So much for an elucidation of the theory, which is seen to be 
one that could have been propounded in the fourth century. But 
can it be that of Diogenes ? Certainly he cannot have originated 
it, for the theory of sensation which underlies it that of the mind 

1 De Anim.y 429(2. i. 2 Cf. von Arnim, Stoic, vet. fr. 

8 De Anim., 429^. 13. 4 Aristotle's De Anima, n. to 4290. 13. 

6 D.L., vi. 70. 



ai8 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

as a wax tablet, the locus classicus for which is Theaetetus 19 iC 
was a familiar one in the fourth century. The importance of 
gymnastics as a mental training is found in the Pythagoreans, with 
their doctrine of $vQ{j,6<;, which is expounded by Plato in the Timaeus 
and Laws. Taylor says in his edition of the Timaeus * 

Two things are necessary if a man is to acquire virtue and wisdom. 
(a) He must get right nurture (dqQf] rgoyr}) from the first ... his 
body must grow up in the right way. . . . For this reason Plato 
starts his great discussion in the Laws (vii, 788 seqq.) by demanding 
that even before the child is born its mother's diet and exercise shall 
be carefully regulated, and as soon as it is born the first care shall 
be to see that it grows ogOov ' straight-limbed '. . . . The Pytha- 
goreans were medical men as well as mathematicians the later 
tradition was that the society attached the highest importance to diet 
and exercise, and made imps fata acbjuarot; a prominent part of the 
day's duty. . . . Later on, we see that Timaeus regards bad bodily 
condition, inherent or deprived from improper rgdyr], as a chief 
source of mental defects, (b) natdevmg must come to the aid of dgdrj 
Tg6(prj. In the section on the diseases of the soul we are expressly 
told that the two ways of avoiding badness are correct on the one 
hand, and moral and intellectual education on the other ngodv/uqreov 
. . . ctt did TQO(prj$ Kal <5t* emrridev^arcov juaOijjuarcov <pevyeiv 
Vy rotivavrlov d 



To return to the passage of Diogenes Laertius : von Fritz, 2 from 
the fact that it contains an unusually large number of termini 
technici, supposes it to be taken from one of the Stoic works foisted 
on to Diogenes. Of these technical terms he enumerates * die 
bezeichnendste ' as follows : (a) daxqais, tfdovrj, novos, tteherri, 
(b) (pavraatai, drehris, rd nQoarixovra xarogOovcrOai, rd xard <pvaw 
alqelodai. Of these group (a) is * aus Antisthenes und die xvvfopoG 
auch sonst bekannt. Die ubrigen sind spezifische Schulausdrucke 
der Stoa.' To (a) may be added euef/a, tcr#vg, gfavOeQia and a 
reference to Heracles. As for (b) yavraaia has been dealt with, 
dreArjg was in common use in fourth-century prose before it became 
a Stoic technical term. 3 The phrase rd nQoafaovra xaroQQovaQai as 
such I do not find in the passage ; rd nQoatfxovra and xarogOovodat, 
occur separately, but the same remark applies to them as to dreA?fc. 4 
Nor does rd xard yvaiv aiQelaBai occur expressis verbis ; the exact 
phrase is ddov o$v dvrl r&v d%Qtf<ncov n6vcov roi)Q xard yvoiv algel(f- 
Oai ; the distinction between * natural * and * unnatural ' n6voi 

1 p. 273. 2 op. cit., p. 58 seqq. 

8 cf. Plato, Phaedrus 2486 ; Andoc, 30. 12. 
4 cf. Xen., Gyr., 3. 3. i ; Plato, Cratyl., 413(1 ; Xen., Mem., 3. 
i. 3 ; Thuc. vi. 12. 



APPENDIX II 219 

probably was a contemporary Cynic doctrine, as we shall shortly 
see. Von Fritz* argument that the passage * best fits * the treatise 
yieQi dQerfjg, that this work is only known in the catalogue of Sotion, 
which was compiled under Stoic influence, and that hence we have 
an additional reason for assigning the theory contained in the 
passage to the Stoics rather than to Diogenes is decidedly arbitrary 
in the first link. The piece of Anaxagorean physics used by 
Diogenes to justify cannibalism and the ' sophism ' by which he 
showed the reasonableness of breakfasting in the market-place, 
suggest that he would borrow from science or dialectic when it 
suited his argument. And that this was true of contemporary 
Cynics is to be inferred from a reference of Menander to Diogenes' 
follower Monimus * ; that he pronounced all suppositions to be 
illusions (r6 ydg fijioArj(pOv rvyov elvai nav e(prf) tfnohqipis as a technical 
term for * supposition ' occurs not only in Aristotle, 2 but also in 
the epistemology of Epicurus. 8 

We do in fact possess evidence that the circle of Diogenes held 
the view * abeunt studia (gymnastica) in mores ' ; I mean the 
curious and interesting fragments of Onesicratus of Astypalaea or 
Aegina, preserved in Strabo, xv. i. 63. 64. Onesicratus was the 
Xenophon of the circle of Diogenes, * for as Xenophon joined the 
expedition of Cyrus, so did Onesicratus that of Alexander ' (D.L., 
vi. 84). During Alexander's campaigns in India Onesicratus came 
into contact with a sect of ascetics, the Gymnosophists, whom, 
true to Greek habit, he portrays as so many Cynics. He tells us 
the names of two of them, Calanus and Mandanis ; and attributes 
to them doctrines which bear a close reference to those ascribed to 
Diogenes, particularly in our present passage. Calanus says : ' In 
the beginning the world was full of barley-meal and wheat . . . 
and the fountains flowed with honey and milk, with wine and olive 
oil. But by reason of luxury and gluttony man fell into fifois ' 
(cf. the dictum of Diogenes that the gods had given to men the 
means of living easily, but by reason of the search after honeyed 
cakes and unguents and the like, this had been lost sight of). 4 
Zeus, seeing this state of affairs, appointed for men a life of toil 
(novos). But when self-control and other virtues reappeared, then 
there was again an abundance of blessings (cf. in our passage . . . 
' instead of useless toils men should choose those in accordance 
with nature, when they could live happily '). Still more relevant 
is the speech of Mandanis. 

1 D.L., vi. 83 : The passage is quoted from Menander's Hippo- 
comus. 

2 Magn. Mor. i. 35. 13 ; Rhet. 3. 15. i. 

8 D.L., x. 34 ; Epic. Epist. iii, apud D.L., x. 123. 
* D.L., vi. 44. 



220 A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 

He said that the best form of discipline (Adyog), was that which 
removed from the mind rjdovrj and Awn?. Also that toil (ndvog) and 
pain (Atfo??) differ for pain is hostile (nohefAtov), but toil beneficial 
(9?d/m>). For they exercise their bodies in toil to strengthen their 
intelligence : by these means they put down discord and are present 
as advisers naaiv dyadcov xai uoivfi xal Idlq. 

(Cf. in our passage, 

Diogenes would adduce indisputable evidence to show how easily 
from gymnastic training we arrive at virtue. For . . . take the case 
of athletes : what surpassing skill they acquire by their own incessant 
toil : if they had transferred their efforts to the training of the mind, 
how certainly their labours would not have been unprofitable or 
ineffective.) 

After saying this Mandanis asked whether such doctrines were to 
be found among the Greeks. Onesicratus answered that such were 
taught by Pythagoras and Socrates and Diogenes * and I was a 
pupil of his '. 

We see, then, that the theory of sensation and the dependent 
theory of education contained in the passage were familiar in the 
fourth century ; that the interdependence of mental and gymnastic 
training was a doctrine current in the circle of Diogenes ; that 
Diogenes and the contemporary Cynics would borrow scientific 
terms when convenient. The inference is, that though the theories 
in the passage cannot have been the invention of Diogenes, they 
may well have been expounded in the * germana Diogenis Scripta '. 



APPENDIX III 
TEXTS RELATING TO HIPPARCHIA 

SEE Diels, Frag. Poet. Phil. Crates ; Testimonia vitae, fr. i, 2, 3, 
and add. 

i. Menander, Didumi (fr. nyK). 

Gv^neqinairiaei^ yap TQlpcov 9 %ovo* efiol 
tiansQ Kgdrrin ra> KWM& noO' tf ywrj, 
KOI OwyardQ' sdda)x' Ixetvog, ax; lyr\ 
ai5rog, em neigq dodq TQidxovO' 



2. Antipater of Sidon, Anth., vii. 413. 

9 Ov%l paQvaroA/MJw f Inndgxia eQya ywaix&v 

i&v d Kw&v ihonav Q 
ovdi ftol afjLne%6vai nQovr)Tide$, ov 
c;, ov fanocov e&ade 

incovt awejurjOQoi;, & re 
f, xal xofaas pAfjp 

MaivaMai; xdQQcov j" juvdfta j* ' 
roaaov, Saaov aocpia xQelaaov 



3. Epictetus iVi., xxii. 76 especially. 

dAAd Kgdrrjs eyrj/uev neQiaraaiv juoi A^yetg HQCDTOQ yevojuevrjv nol 
yvvalxa rlQsu; aAAov Kqarrfia. tf]Lii<; d negl i&v xowa>v ydjucov xal 
dneQKttdrcor r)Tov{iev t xal oflrcoc; ^TOVVTEQ ov% Ivglaxofiev Iv ravrfi rfj 
xaTaardaei nQoyyov/jievov rep KVVIKW to 



221 



INDEX 



Agathoboulos, 175 f. 
Albigenses, 210 
Alcibiades, 11 

Alexander the Great, 35, 39, 99 
Alexandria, Cynics in, 176 
Alexarchus, 35 
Anabaptists, 211 
Anarchism, 37, 212 
Antigonus Doson, 77 
Antigonus Gonatas, 63, 69 
Antisthenes, 1-16, 23, 27, 28 
Antoninus Pius, 177 
Apollodorus, of Seleucia, 103 
Aratus, of Sicyon, 75 f. 
Arcesilaus, 101, 102 
Aristippus, of Cyrene, 46, 103 
Ariston, of Chios, 100-3, 108, 109 
Aristotle, 2, 14, 29, 34, 45, 57, 

216, 217 
Asterius, Bishop of Amasea, 207 

Bion, of Borysthenes, 62-9, 89-92 
Blake, 37 

Cercidas, 5, 74-84, 93 f. 
Christianity, and Cynicism, 172- 

175, 204-7 

Chrysippus, 56, 102, 169 
Cleanthes, 102 
Cleomenes, the Cynic, 60 
Cleomenes III, of Sparta, 75, 76, 

78,80 
Colophon, shrine of Apollo at, 

i66ff. 

Colotes, 107 

Cosmopolitanism, 35, 68 
Crates, 2, 42~53> 5-8 
Cyrenaics, and Cynics, 1 0^3 f. 
Cyrus, the Great, 13 

Demetrius, of Alexandria, 60 
Demetrius, Cynic phil., ist cent. 
A.D., 125-8, 136, 142 



Demonax, 158-62, 178 

Diatribe, 38, in 

Dio Chrysostom, 32, 57, 148-58 

Diocles, of Magnesia, 122 

Diodorus, of Aspendus, 6, 7 

Diogenes Laertius, 1-7, 33, 54, 
&c. 

Diogenes, of Sinope, i, 2, 7, 8, 17- 
42,60,68, 81,86,91,92, 97, 
103, no, 117, 119, 122, 123, 
146, 151, 159, 173, 179, 189, 
192, 196, 199, 205, 216-20 

Diogenes, the Stoic, 91 

Dominicans, 210 f. 

Domitian, i37ff. i52f. 

Egnatius Celer, 133, 197 
Epictetus, 50, 139, 1 60, 190-8 
Epicureans, and Cynics, 106, 107 
* Epistles of the Cynics ', 123 f. 
Eprius Marcellus, 133 ff. 
Eratosthenes, 52, 68, 101 
Eubulus, 38, 87 
Euripides, 81 

Favonius, Marcus, 120 f. 

Favorinus, 199 f. 

Francis, St., of Assisi, 28, 194, 

211 

Getae, 151 

Gregory Nazianzen, 204 ff. 

Hedonists, and Cynics, 103 f. 
Hegesias, 28, 38 
Helvidius Priscus, 132-6 
Heracles, 13, 21, 43, 57, 155, 180, 

l82, 200 

Hicesias, 20, 21, 54 f. 
Hipparchia, 49-52, 221 
Hippias, of Elis, 15 
Hippobotus, 7 
Hipponax, 113 



223 



224 



A HISTORY OF CYNICISM 



Hobbes, 217 
Horace, 68, 119, 120 

Indian ' Philosophers ', and Cyni- 
cism, 39, 40, 178, 179, 209, 219 
Ireland, Asceticism in, 209 f. 

Julian, the Emperor, 7, 8, 202 ff. 
Justin, 174 

Leonidas, of Tarentum, 115 
Lucian, and Menippus, 70-4 ; 
Fugitivi, 144 f. ; Vita Demo- 
nactis, 158 f. ; De Morte 
Peregrini, 170, 171 
Lydiades, 92, 93 

Macedonia, 38, 73-8, 80 
Marcus Aurelius, 198 
Maximus, the Cynic, 204 ff. 
Maximus, of Tyre, 201 
Megalopolis, politics of, 74-8, 

92 f. 
Megarian School, and Cynicism, 

45, 57, 95, 96 

Meleager, of Gadara, 19, 121 f. 
Menander, 6, 50, 52, 92 
Menedemus, the Cynic, 61, 107 
Menedemus, of Eretria, 45, 96 
Menippus, 69-74 
Metrocles, of Maroneia, 47, 48 
Monimus, 40 f. 
Mucianus, 135 f. 
Musonius Rufus, 129, 132, 189 f., 

196 

Neo-Eleatics, logic of, i, 14 
Neo-Pythagoreans, and Cynicism, 

179, 180, 198, 208 
Nero, 1 30 ff . 
Nerva, 141 

Oenomaus, of Gadara, 162-70, 

184 

Onesicratus, 39, 219, 220 
Oracles, criticism of, 162-70 

Panaetius, 91, 103, 118 
Papyri : 

Berlin, No. 13044 : 123 

Bouriant, No. i : 53 



Papyri contd. : 

Hercul., Nos. 155, 339 : 53 
Heidelberg, No. 210 : 88, 89 
Londinensis, No. 155 : 88, 89 
Hibeh., i., i. : 113 

Philiscus, of Aegina, 25, 38 

Philo Judaeus, 186, 187 

Philodemus, 36, 65, 103 

Phoenix, of Colophon, 89, 1 14 

Plato, 6, 10, ii, 12, 14, 15*23, 27, 
34, 36, 216, 217 

Prodicus, 14, 58 

Rome, Cynicism in, 117-21, 
128-41, 143, 154-6, 188, 
190, 196 

Sallustius, 207 ff. 

Seneca, 125, 129 

Sinope, currency of, 21, 54, 55 

Socrates, 8 ff., 11-13, 15, 22, 27, 

28, 64, 97, 215 
Sostratus, 182 
Sotades, 114 
Sotion, 4 

Sparta, 33, 34, 87, 88 
Sphaerus, of Bosporus, 82, 93 f. 
Stilpo, of Megara, 37, 57, 96 
Stoicism, and Cynicism, 2, 4, 25, 

69, 99~i03, 120, 187-99 

Tatian, 174, 178 
Teles, 45-8, 4 9, 84-7 
Theagenes, 177, 183 
Theodorus, of Cyrene, 63, 65, 

104-7 

Theognis, 112 

Theophrastus, 3, 19, 24, 47, 52, 92 
Thrasea Paetus, 128 ff. 
Timon, of Phlius, 107, 108 
Trajan, i54f. 

Varro, 115, 119, 120 
Vespasian, 133 f. 

Xenocrates, 47, 89, 90 
Xenophon, 8, 10, 15, 50, no 

Zeno, of Citieum, 3, 4, 96-9, 101 
108, 109 



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