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On this page: Bio Genes Apolloniates – Diogenes



BIO GENES APOLLONIATES (Aioy^s 6 ATroAAcoi/iaTTjs), an eminent natural philosopher, who lived in the fifth century b. c. He was a native of Apollonia in Crete, his father's name was Apollothemis, and he was a pupil of Anaximenes. Nothing is known of the events of his life, except that he was once at Athens, and there got into trouble from some unknown cause, which is con­jectured to have been the supposition that his philo­sophical opinions were dangerous to the religion of the state. (Diog. Laert. ix. § 57.) He wrote a work in the Ionic dialect, entitled Tlepl t&i/crecus, " On Nature," which consisted of at least two books, and in which he appears to have treated of physical science in the largest sense of the words. Of this work only a few short fragments remain, preserved by Aristotle, Diogenes Laertius, and Simplicius. The longest of these is that which is inserted by Aristotle in the third book of his His­tory of Animals, and which contains an interesting description of the origin and distribution of the veins. The following is the account of his philoso­phical opinions given by Diogenes Laertius :—" He maintained that air was the primal element of all things ; that there was an infinite number of worlds, and an infinite void ; that air, densified and ratified, produced the different members of the universe ; that nothing was produced from nothing, or was reduced to nothing; that the earth was round, supported in the middle, and had received its shape from the whirling round of the warm vapours, and its concretion and hardening from cold." The last paragraph, which is extremely ob­scure in the original, has been translated according to Panzerbeiter's explanation, not as being entirely satisfactory, but as being the best that has hitherto been proposed. Diogenes also imputed to air an intellectual energy, though without recognizing any distinction between mind and matter. The frag­ments of Diogenes have been collected and pub­lished, with those of Anaxagoras, by Schorn, Bonn, 1829, Svo ; and alone by Pan/erbeiter, Lips. 1830, 8vo, with a copious dissertation on his philosophy. Further information concerning him may be found in Harles'o edition of Fabricii, B'Mioth. Graeca, vol. ii. ; Bayle's'Z>zcif. Grit.; Schleiermacher, in the Memoirs of the Berlin Academy for 1815 ; and in the different Histories of Philosophy. Some notices of his date by Mr. Clinton are given in an article "On the Early Ionic Philosophers,"in the first vo­lume of the Philological Museum. [W. A. G.]

DIOGENES (Ai07^7?s), a cynic of Sinope in Pontus, born about b. c. 412. His father was a banker named Icesias or Icetas, who was convicted of some swindling transaction, in consequence of which Diogenes quitted Sinope and went to Athens. His youth is said to have been spent in dissolute extravagance; but at Athens his attention was arrested by the character of Antisthenes, who at first drove him away, as he did all others who offered themselves as his pupils. [ antisthenes, ] Diogenes, however, could not be prevented from attending him even by blows, but told him that he would find no stick hard enough to keep him away. Antisthenes at last relented, and his pupil soon plunged into the most frantic excesses of austerity and moroseness, and into practices not unlike those of the modern Trappists, or Indian gymuosophists. In summer he used to roll in hot sand, and in winter to embrace statues covered with biiow; he wore coarse clothing, lived on the


plainest food, and sometimes on raw meat (comp. Julian, Orat. vi.), slept in porticoes or in the street, and finally, according to the common story, took up his residence in a tub belonging to the Metroum, or temple of the Mother of the Gods. The truth of this latter tale has, however, been reasonably disputed. The chief direct authorities for it are Seneca (Ep. 99), Lucian (Quomodo Conscr. Hist. ii. p. 364), Diogenes Laertius (vi. 23), and the incidental allusion to it in Juvenal (xiv. 308, &c.), who says, Alexander testa vidit in ilia magnum habitatorem, and Dolia nudi non ardent Cynici. Besides these, Aristophanes (JEquit. 789), speaks of the Athenian poor as living, during the stress of the Peloponnesian war, in cellars, tubs (Tnflcs/o'cus), and similar dwellings. To these arguments is op­posed the fact, that Plutarch, Arrian, Cicero, ami Valerius Maximus, though they speak of Diogenes basking in the sun, do not allude at all to the tub; but more particularly that Epictetus (ap. Arrian. iii. 24), in giving a long and careful account of his mode of life, says nothing about it. The great combatants on this subject in modern times are, against the tub, Heumann (Act. Philosoph. vol. ii. p. 58), and for it, Hase, whose dissertation de

Doliari Halritatione Diogenis Cynici, was published by his rival. (Paecil. vol. i. lib. iv. p. 586.) The story of the tub goes on to say that the Athenians voted the repair of this earthenware habitation when it was broken by a mischievous urchin. Lucian, in telling this anecdote, appeals to certain spurious epistles, falsely attributed to Diogenes. In spite of his strange eccentricities, Diogenes ap­pears to have been much respected at Athens, and to have been privileged to rebuke anything of which he disapproved with the utmost possible licence of expression. He seems to have ridiculed and despised all intellectual pursuits which did not directly and obviously tend to some immediate practical good. He abused literary men for read­ing about the evils of Ulysses, and neglecting their own ; musicians for stringing the lyre harmoniously while they left their minds discordant; men of science for troubling themselves about the moon and stars, while they neglected what lay immedi­ately before them ; orators for learning to say what was right, but not to practise it. Various sarcastic sayings of the same kind are handed down as his, generally shewing that unwise con­tempt for the common opinions and pursuits of men, which is so unlikely to reform them.

The removal of Diogenes from Athens was the result of a voyage to Aegina, in the course of which the ship was taken by pirates, and Diogenes carried to Crete to be sold as a slave. Here when he was asked what business he understood, he answered " How to command men," and he begged to be sold to some one who needed a ruler. Such a purchaser was found in the person of Xeniades of Corinth, over whom he acquired such unbounded influence, that he soon received from him his free­dom, was entrusted with the care of his children, and passed his old age in his house. During his residence among them his celebrated interview with Alexander the Great is said to have taken place. The conversation between them is reported to have begun by the king's saying, " I am Alex­ander the Great," to which the philosopher replied, "And I am Diogenes the Cynic." Alexander then asked whether he could oblige him in any way, and received no ansv/er except " Yes, you

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