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The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers

The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers
Title: The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers
Release Date: 2018-06-16
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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[i]

BOHN’S CLASSICAL LIBRARY

DIOGENES LAËRTIUS


[ii]

G. BELL AND SONS, LTD.

LONDON: PORTUGAL ST., KINGSWAY

CAMBRIDGE: DEIGHTON, BELL AND CO.

NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN CO.

BOMBAY: A. H. WHEELER AND CO.


[iii]

THE LIVES AND OPINIONS OF
EMINENT PHILOSOPHERS

BY
DIOGENES LAËRTIUS.

LITERALLY TRANSLATED
By C. D. YONGE, M.A.,
Fellow of the Royal University of London; Regius Professor of English
Literature and Modern History, Queen’s College, Belfast.

Imprimatur of G. Bell and Sons, Ltd

LONDON
G. BELL AND SONS, LTD
1915

[iv]

[Reprinted from Stereotype plates.]


[v]

CONTENTS.

PAGE.
Preface 1
BOOK I.
Introduction 3
Thales 14
Solon 23
Chilo 32
Pittacus 35
Bias 38
Cleobulus 41
Periander 43
Anacharsis, the Scythian 46
Myson 49
Epimenides 50
Pherecydes 53
BOOK II.
Anaximander 57
[vi]Anaximenes 57
Archelaus 62
Socrates 63
Xenophon 75
Æschines 79
Aristippus 81
Phædo 96
Euclides 97
Stilpo 100
Crito 103
Simon 104
Glauco 104
Simias 105
Cebes 105
Menedemus 105
BOOK III.
Plato 113
BOOK IV.
Speusippus 152
Xenocrates 154
Polemo 158
Crates 160
Crantor 161
Arcesilaus 163
Bion 171
Lacydes 176
Carneades 177
[vii]Clitomachus 178
BOOK V.
Aristotle 181
Theophrastus 194
Strato 202
Lycon 205
Demetrius 209
Heraclides 213
BOOK VI.
Antisthenes 217
Diogenes 224
Monimus 248
Onesicritus 249
Crates 249
Metrocles 253
Hipparchia 254
Menippus 256
Menedemus 257
BOOK VII.
Zeno 259
Ariston 318
Herillus 320
Dionysius 321
Cleanthes 322
Sphærus 326
[viii]Chrysippus 327
BOOK VIII.
Pythagoras 338
Empedocles 359
Epicharmus 368
Archytas 369
Alcmæon 371
Hippasus 371
Philolaus 372
Eudoxus 372
BOOK IX.
Heraclitus 376
Xenophanes 382
Parmenides 384
Melissus 386
Zeno, the Eleatic 386
Leucippus 388
Democritus 390
Protagoras 397
Diogenes, of Apollonia 400
Anaxarchus 400
Pyrrho 402
Timon 420
BOOK X.
Epicurus 424

[1]

PREFACE.

Diogenes, the author of the following work, was a native(as is generally believed) of Laërte, in Cilicia, from whichcircumstance he derived the cognomen of Laërtius. Little isknown of him personally, nor is even the age in which he livedvery clearly ascertained. But as Plutarch, Sextus Empiricus,and Saturninus are among the writers whom he quotes, he isgenerally believed to have lived near the end of the secondcentury of our era: although some place him in the timeof Alexander Severus, and others as late as Constantine. Hiswork consists of ten books, variously called: The Lives ofPhilosophers, A History of Philosophy, and The Lives ofSophists. From internal evidence (iii. 47, 29), we learnthat he wrote it for a noble lady (according to some,Arria; according to others, Julia, the Empress of Severus),who occupied herself with the study of philosophy, and especiallyof Plato.

Diogenes Laërtius divides the philosophy of the Greeks intothe Ionic, beginning with Anaximander, and ending withTheophrastus (in which class, he includes the Socratic philosophyand all its various ramifications); and the Italian,beginning with Pythagoras, and ending with Epicurus, inwhich he includes the Eleatics, as also Heraclitus and theSceptics. From the minute consideration which he devotesto Epicurus and his system, it has been supposed that hehimself belonged to that school.

His work is the chief source of information we possess[2]concerning the history of Greek philosophy, and is thefoundation of nearly all the modern treatises on that subject;some of the most important of which are little morethan translations or amplifications of it. It is valuable,as containing a copious collection of anecdotes illustrative ofthe life and manners of the Greeks; but he has not alwaysbeen very careful in his selection, and in some parts thereis a confusion in his statements that makes them scarcelyintelligible. These faults have led some critics to considerthe work as it now exists merely a mutilated abridgment of theoriginal. Breslæus, who in the thirteenth century, wrote aTreatise on the Lives and Manners of the Philosophers,quotes many anecdotes and sayings, which seem to be derivedfrom Diogenes, but which are not to be found in ourpresent text; whence Schneider concludes that he had a verydifferent and far more complete copy than has come downto us.

The text used in the following translation is chiefly that ofHuebner, as published at Leipsic, A.D. 1828.


[3]

LIVES AND OPINIONS OF EMINENT PHILOSOPHERS.

BOOK I.

INTRODUCTION.

I. Some say that the study of philosophy originated withthe barbarians. In that among the Persians there existedthe Magi,[1] and among the Babylonians or Assyrians theChaldæi,[2] among the Indians the Gymnosophistæ,[3] and amongthe Celts and Gauls men who were called Druids[4] and[4]Semnothei, as Aristotle relates in his book on Magic, andSotion in the twenty-third book of his Succession of Philosophers.Besides those men there

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