Wikiquote:Transwiki/Anecdotes about Diogenes preserved by Stobaeus

  • “An astronomer was displaying a complex map of the stars in a public square, and pointing out, "These are wandering stars." "It is not the stars that are wandering," said Diogenes, "but your audience."” — Stobaeus, ii. 1. 23.[1]

  • “Diogenes said that he thought he saw Fortune attacking him and saying, I cannot hit this mad dog.[n 1]” — Stobaeus, ii. 8. 21.[2]

  • “Being demanded what was the heaviest burden the Earth bears, he answered, "An ignorant person."” — Stobaeus, ii. 31. 75.[3]

  • “Diogenes compared education to a gold crown that conferred highest honor upon the wearer.[n 2]” — Stobaeus, ii. 31. 92.[4]

  • “Being reproached for his ignorance of geometry, he replied that it was permitted to be ignorant of a subject which not even Chiron taught to Achilles.” — Stobaeus, ii. 31. 118.[5]

  • “To one that asked him how he might teach himself best. "By finding fault with," he said, "those things in yourself which you blame in others."” — Stobaeus, iii. 1. 55.[3]

  • “Some one told Diogenes that he had no sense. "I have sense," he replied, "but perhaps my sense is different from yours."” — Stobaeus, iii. 3. 51.[6]

  • “The same Diogenes, on being sold as a slave at Corinth, was asked by the auctioneer what he could do. "Rule men," he replied. "Do you suppose," asked the other, "that people want to buy masters?"[n 3]” — Stobaeus, iii. 3. 52.[6]

  • “He went backwards in the portico, whereat some laughing, "Are you ashamed," he said, "to do that in the whole course of you life, for which you deride me in walking?"[n 4]” — Stobaeus, iii. 4. 83.[3]

  • “He said, "People provide for their living, but not for their well-living."” — Stobaeus, iii. 4. 85.[3]

  • “He said, "It was a shame to see wrestlers and singing-masters, observe temperate diet, and moderate their pleasures, one for exercise, the other for his voice, and yet no man would do so much for virtue's sake."” — Stobaeus, iii. 5. 39.[3]

  • “Diogenes used to say, that many persons make beasts of themselves in order to destroy their lives, and yet desire to be embalmed in order to preserve their dead bodies.” — Stobaeus, iii. 6. 36.[7]

  • “He said, "As houses where there is plenty of food are full of mice, so the bodies of such as eat much, are full of diseases."” — Stobaeus, iii. 6. 37.[3]

  • “He told a dressy young fellow, whom he saw at great pains in sprucing himself up, "If you dress for the men, you waste your labour; if for the women, you don't play right."” — Stobaeus, iii. 6. 38.[8]

  • “Diogenes said "People eat so much for pleasure's sake, and yet for the same pleasure do not give-up eating."” — Stobaeus, iii. 6. 40.[9]

  • “"See the high walls of Megara," he said, "unhappy people, mind not the height of your walls, but the height of the courage of those who are to stand on the walls."” — Stobaeus, iii. 7. 46.[3]

  • “He compared greedy people to such as have dropsy, those are full of money, yet desire more, these have water, yet thirst are more: passions grow more intense by enjoyment of what they desire.” — Stobaeus, iii. 10. 45.[3]

  • “Diogenes the Cynic, observing a person pretending to be in love with a rich old woman, said, "He has not got his eye on her, but his tooth."” — Stobaeus, iii. 10. 60.[7]

  • “Diogenes, when blamed by an inhabitant of Attica for praising the Lacedemonians,[n 5] was asked why he did not rather take up his abode there. "A physician," he replied, "studies other people's health, but does not reside among the healthy."” — Stobaeus, iii. 13. 43.[10]

  • “Diogenes said, "The other dogs bite their enemies, but I my friends in order to save them."” — Stobaeus, iii. 13. 44.[11]

  • “He asked Plato if he were writing Laws: Plato affirmed he was. "Did you not write a Republic before," said Diogenes? "I did," Plato answered. "And had not that Republic Laws, he said?" the other answering it had; "To what end replied Diogenes, do you write new Laws?"” — Stobaeus, iii. 13. 45.[3]

  • “From Themistius, On the Soul:[n 6] Diogenes said of Plato: "What has he to boast of, who has been a philosopher so long, and yet never gave pain to anyone?"” — Stobaeus, iii. 13. 68.[12]

  • “He compared Flattery to an empty tomb, on which Friendship was inscribed.” — Stobaeus, iii. 14. 14.[3]

  • “Diogenes asked a spendthrift to give him a Mina. "Why so much," he inquired, "when you ask others for a triobol only?" "Because," was the reply, "I hope to get something out of them again, which is more than I can hope from you."[n 7]” — Stobaeus, iii. 15. 9.[13]

  • “Diogenes, receiving a clean loaf of bread, threw wheat out of his wallet, saying, "Friend, make way for the rulers."[n 8]” — Stobaeus, iii. 17. 15.[14]

  • “Diogenes said, "Boasting, like gilded armour, is very different inside from outside."[n 2]” — Stobaeus, iii. 22. 40.[15]

  • “He said: "Pride, like a shepherd, drives people where it pleases."” — Stobaeus, iii. 22. 41[3]

  • “Diogenes said that Medea was a wise woman, 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.” — Stobaeus, iii. 29. 92.[16]

  • “To one that professed himself a philosopher, but argued litigiously, he said, "Why do you spoil the best part of philosophy, yet would be thought a philosopher?"” — Stobaeus, iii. 33. 14.[3]

  • “Questioning one of those young men that followed him, he was silent, whereupon Diogenes, "Do you not think," he said, "it belongs to the same man to know when to speak, and when to hold his peace?"” — Stobaeus, iii. 34. 16.[3]

  • “Plato sent a large present of figs to Diogenes, who had asked only for three, which drew from the Cynic the sarcastic answer, instead of thanks: "Thus it is, that when you are asked a plain question in philosophy, which might be answered in three words, you reply to the inquirer in ten thousand."[n 9]” — Stobaeus, iii. 36. 21.[17]

  • “When a slave ran away from Diogenes he would not pursue him, but observed, that it would be a frightful thing if Diogenes could not do without the slave, since the slave could do without Diogenes.[n 10]” — Stobaeus, iv. 19. 47.[18]

  • “Diogenes, being asked who were the noblest people, said, "Those despising wealth, learning, pleasure and life; esteeming above them poverty, ignorance, hardship and death"” — Stobaeus, iv. 29a. 19.[19]

  • “He would say "That such as riotously wasted their substance upon cooks, prodigals, whores, and flatters, were like trees that grew upon precipices, whose fruit no man was ever the better for, but would be devoured by crows and vultures."[n 11]” — Stobaeus, iv. 31b. 48.[20]

  • “Diogenes said that virtue could not dwell with wealth either in a city or in a house.” — Stobaeus, iv. 31c. 88.[21]

  • “Diogenes said that self-taught poverty was a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice.” — Stobaeus, iv. 32a. 11.[21]

  • “To a wicked man reproaching him for his poverty: "I have never known anyone to be put to the torture on account of his poverty, but on account of their evil conduct many."” — Stobaeus, iv. 32a. 12.[3][22]

  • “Diogenes said: "Poverty is a virtue which one can teach oneself."” — Stobaeus, iv. 32a. 19.[3]

  • “To one that reproached him about his poverty: "What mean you?" said he, "Poverty never made a tyrant, riches many."[n 12]” — Stobaeus, iv. 33. 26.[3]

  • “Diogenes said, "We say it is true happiness when the mind and the soul are peaceful and cheerful"” — Stobaeus, iv. 39. 21.[23]

  • “When Diogenes had fallen into certain troubles, he exclaimed, "Well done, O Fortune! You have treated me like a man," and he sang and rejoiced.” — Stobaeus, iv. 44. 71.[24]

  • “Diogenes hearing somebody say that life was a perfect misery, said, "No, but to live a bad life is perfect misery."” — Stobaeus, iv. 53. 26.[25]

From Dio Chrysostom Edit

The following four entries are quoted by Stobaeus as being from the "Diogenes discourses". They are taken from the orations of Dio Chysostom, who, in five of his orations (4, 6, 8, 9, and 10), uses Diogenes as a mouth-piece for his own (Cynic/Stoic) views.

  • “From the Diogenes discourses:[n 13] All calamities are naturally more alarming in anticipation than they are grievous in experience. This fear, however, is so intense that many have anticipated the event. People on a storm-tossed ship have not waited for it to go down but have taken their own lives first; others have done the same when surrounded by the enemy, although they well knew that nothing worse than death awaited them.” — Stobaeus, iii. 8. 15.[26]

  • “From the Diogenes discourses:[n 14] Accordingly, just as those who know nothing of the Pontic honey try a taste of it and then quickly spit it out because it is bitter and unpleasant in taste, so people in their idle curiosity wished to make trial of Diogenes, but on being put to confusion by him would turn on their heels and flee. They were amused, of course, when others were railed at, but on their own account they were afraid and so would withdraw out of his way. Again, when he jested and joked, as was his wont at times, they were pleased beyond measure; but when he warmed up and became serious, they could not stand his frankness.” — Stobaeus, iii. 13. 37.[27]

  • “From the Diogenes discourses:[n 15] For when he contrasted the man Antisthenes with his words, he sometimes made this criticism, that the man himself was much weaker; and so in reproach he would call him a trumpet because he could not hear his own self, no matter how much noise he made. Antisthenes tolerated this banter of his since he greatly admired the man's character; and so, in requital for being called a trumpet, he used to say that Diogenes was like the wasps, the buzz of whose wings is slight but the sting very sharp. Therefore he took delight in the outspokenness of Diogenes.” — Stobaeus, iii. 13. 38.[28]

  • “From the Diogenes discourses:[n 16] To the prosperous, life seems more worth living and death correspondingly more bitter, while those in adversity seem to find life harder to endure and to welcome death more gladly. But for tyrants both are harder than for others, since in life they have far less happiness than those who eagerly long to die, and yet they fear death as if they were getting the greatest enjoyment out of life.” — Stobaeus, iv. 8. 27.[29]

Footnotes Edit

  1. Diogenes quotes here the words of Teucer, who tried in vain to kill Hector with his arrows, Iliad, viii. 299).
  2. a b This saying also appears in the collection of Pythagorean maxims known as the Similitudes of Demophilus.
  3. Cf. Diogenes Laërtius, vi. 29
  4. Cf. Diogenes Laërtius, vi. 64
  5. Cf. Diogenes Laërtius, vi. 27, 59
  6. Copied by Stobaeus from Themistius' On the Soul, who in turn drew upon Plutarch On Moral Virtue, 12, (Moralia, 452CD).
  7. Cf. Diogenes Laërtius, vi. 67
  8. Quoting, Euripides, Phoenissae, v. 40. Cf. Diogenes Laërtius, vi. 55
  9. Cf. Diogenes Laërtius, vi. 26
  10. Cf. Diogenes Laërtius, vi. 55; Seneca, On Tranquility of Mind, 8; Aelian, Varia Historia, xiii. 28
  11. Cf. Galen, Exhortation to Study the Arts, 7
  12. Cf. Julian, Orations, vi. 199a.
  13. From Dio Chrysostom, Orations, vi. 41-2
  14. From Dio Chrysostom, Orations, ix. 6-7
  15. From Dio Chrysostom, Orations, viii. 2-3
  16. From Dio Chrysostom, Orations, vi. 46-7

Citations Edit

  1. Paley 1881, p. 39
  2. Livingstone 1928, p. 28
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Stanley 1655, p. 289
  4. Willmann 1921, p. 36
  5. Lewis 1862, p. 76
  6. a b Paley 1881, p. 28
  7. a b Paley 1881, p. 30
  8. Erasmus 1753, p. 174
  9. Taylor 1833, pp. 75-6
  10. Paley 1881, p. 31
  11. Fiske 1920, p. 279
  12. Shilleto 1888, p. 118
  13. Paley 1881, p. 35
  14. Sayre 1938, p. 80
  15. Harbottle 1906, p. 504
  16. Dudley 1937, p. 33
  17. Wordsworth 1844, p. 121
  18. St. John 1842, p. 20
  19. Sayre 1938, p. 20
  20. Erasmus 1753, p. 179
  21. a b Sayre 1938, p. 24
  22. Harbottle 1906, p. 351
  23. Sayre 1938, p. 15
  24. Hurst 1877, p. 210
  25. Erasmus 1753, p. 177
  26. Cohoon 1932, p. 273
  27. Cohoon 1932, p. 405-7
  28. Cohoon 1932, p. 377
  29. Cohoon 1932, p. 275

References Edit