Wikiquote:Transwiki/Anecdotes about Diogenes preserved by Jerome

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  • “Plato, moreover, himself, when Diogenes trampled on his couches with muddy feet[n 1] (he being a rich man), chose a house called Academia at some distance from the city, in a spot not only lonely but unhealthy, so that he might have leisure for philosophy.” — Jerome, Adversus Jovinianum, ii. 9

  • “Diogenes maintains that tyrants do not bring about revolutions in cities, and foment wars civil or foreign for the sake of a simple diet of vegetables and fruits, but for costly meats and the delicacies of the table.” — Jerome, Adversus Jovinianum, ii. 11

  • “His most famous follower was the great Diogenes, who was mightier than King Alexander in that he conquered human nature. For Antisthenes would not take a single pupil, and when he could not get rid of the persistent Diogenes he threatened him with a stick if he did not depart. The latter is said to have laid down his head and said, "No stick will be hard enough to prevent me from following you."[n 2]” — Jerome, Adversus Jovinianum, ii. 14

  • “Satyrus, the biographer of illustrious men, relates that Diogenes to guard himself against the cold, folded his cloak double: his scrip was his pantry: and when aged he carried a stick to support his feeble frame, and was commonly called "Old Hand-to-mouth," because to that very hour he begged and received food from any one. His home was the gateways and city arcades. And when he wriggled into his tub, he would joke about his movable house that adapted itself to the seasons. For when the weather was cold he used to turn the mouth of the tub towards the south: in summer towards the north; and whatever the direction of the sun might be, that way the palace of Diogenes was turned. He had a wooden dish for drinking; but on one occasion seeing a boy drinking with the hollow of his hand he is related to have dashed the cup to the ground, saying that he did not know nature provided a cup. His virtue and self-restraint were proved even by his death. It is said that, now an old man, he was on his way to the Olympic games, which used to be attended by a great concourse of people from all parts of Greece, when he was overtaken by fever and lay down upon the bank by the road-side. And when his friends wished to place him on a beast or in a conveyance, he did not assent, but crossing to the shade of a tree said, "Go your way, I pray you, and see the games: this night will prove me either conquered or conqueror. If I conquer the fever, I shall go to the games: if the fever conquers me, I shall enter the unseen world." There through the night he lay gasping for breath and did not, as we are told, so much die as banish the fever by death.” — Jerome, Adversus Jovinianum, ii. 14

Footnotes Edit

  1. Cf. Diogenes Laërtius, vi. 26; Tertullian, Apology, 46
  2. Cf. Diogenes Laërtius, vi. 21; Aelian, Varia Historia, x. 16