Diogenes of Sinope – Life and Legend


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Text was inspired by the webpage dedicated to the Cynics on The Lucian of Samosata Project.


Diogenes of Sinope is undoubtedly the most well-known Cynic philosopher from antiquity. We possess no direct writings from Diogenes himself, thus his legacy has been left for others to construct and discuss over the centuries. Over time, Diogenes’ legacy became intermingled with legends about his life which makes it difficult for the scholar to reconstruct who exactly the “real” Diogenes was. We possess a faint idea of who the man was, and this book is meant to provide the raw material for the study of Diogenes and how his life and legacy shifted throughout the centuries. Using actual primary sources, this book allows the student and the scholar to use open-source texts to reconstruct the personhood of Diogenes of Sinope.

The excerpts are a little longer than given in most similar books. The objective is to provide as much background information on the excerpts as possible.

Sources: Aelian, Aesop, Aulus Gellius, Apuleius, Athenaeus, Augustine, Basil of Caesarea, Clement, Cicero, Dio Chrysostom, Diogenes Laertius, Epictetus, Greek Anthology, Julian, Lucian, Marcus Aurelius, Origen, Philostratus, Plutarch, Seneca, Socrates Scholasticus, Strabo, Tertullian