Because we only have one tongue but two ears, we should focus more on listening and less on talking.
Diogenes was a Greek philosopher who is credited with being one of the founding fathers of the Cynic mode of philosophy. He is also known by his nickname, Diogenes the Cynic. He was born in 412 or 404 BC in Sinope, which was an Ionian colony on the Black Sea coast of Anatolia. He died in 323 BC in Corinth, which was located in Greece. Diogenes was a character who sparked debate and disagreement.
|c. 412 BC
(modern-day Sinop, Turkey)
|10 or 11 June 323 BC (aged roughly 89)
|Ancient Greek philosophy
Diogenes Quotes Images
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Whoever is happiest with the fewest possessions is the one who has the most.
When others mocked at him because he went backward under the portico, he confronted them with the following statement: “Aren’t you ashamed, you who travel backward down the entire route of existence, and criticise me for going backward along the path of the promenade?
Once, he looked over and saw the officials of a temple sending away a person who had stolen a bowl that belonged to the treasurers, and he said, “The large thieves are leading away the tiny thief.”
I am neither an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the globe.
The goal of every slave should be to exert dominance over their master.
I don’t have anything to ask of you other than to go over to the other side so that you won’t be able to steal the sunlight from me and offer me something that you don’t have.~ Diogenes to Alexander the Great
There is nowhere else to spit in a wealthy man’s home other than on his own face.
Feats of Diogenes
Diogenes criticised Plato, disputed his interpretation of Socrates, and sabotaged his lectures. He would sometimes bring food into the lectures and eat during the discussions, which distracted the audience.
When Alexander the Great came to Corinth in 336 BC, Diogenes made fun of him in front of the crowd and also directly to his face. This earned him a lot of notoriety.
The education of a nation’s young people is the bedrock upon which any state is built.
It is a luxury reserved only for the gods to desire nothing, whereas men who are godlike may get away with wanting very little.
Please move over a little bit so that I may get some sun.
The difference between a smart man and a fool might be as little as the tip of your finger.
The wine that does not belong to me is the kind that I like drinking the best.
If a student is misbehaving, why shouldn’t the instructor get a spanking?
The human being is both the most clever and the most ridiculous of all the creatures.
Where is the value in a philosopher who never offends anyone’s sensibilities?
When I observed a child drinking from his hands at the trough, I tossed away my cup in disgust and did the same.
The larger criminals steer the little thief away from the scene.
The vast majority of males are dangerously close to losing their minds.
To ensure his own survival, a man needs either trustworthy allies or fervent adversaries, since the former can teach him, while the latter can hold him accountable for his actions.
I am completely ignorant, which is the only thing I am aware of about myself.
The mob is the progenitor of all despots and dictators.
To me, man is the smartest of all creatures when I consider seamen, scientists, and philosophers; nevertheless, when I consider priests and prophets, I realise that man is the most disgusting of all species.
The most good is done by dogs and philosophers, yet they get the least amount of praise for it.
Those individuals who constantly talk about virtue but fail to put it into action are like to a harp, which produces a sound that is appealing to others but is unaware of the melody that it is producing for itself.
The hue of virtue is that of modesty.
The hue of all virtuous people is blush.
To find another wise man depends on the experience of a wise man.
Intelligent rulers often have wise advisers, and the one who is capable of discriminating between the two must be a wise man in his own right.
No one can hurt another person but themselves.
Even though it travels through privies, the sun is not tainted by the filth it encounters there.
The first sort of grapes the vine bears are those that provide pleasure, the second kind bring intoxication, and the third kind bring disgust.
Even when it is shining into a cesspool, the sun does not get tainted.
Calumny is merely the noise of madmen.
It was a popular phrase of Theophrastus that time was the most precious item that a man could spend.
A friend is one soul dwelling in two bodies.
I do not know if there are gods, but there ought to be.
Smart leaders typically have wise advisors since it takes a wise person themselves to identify them.
The one who infers the insult dishonours himself, not the person who receives it.
Diogenes Quotes Funny and Mocking
When it was brought to his attention that the citizens of Sinope had sentenced him to life in exile, he responded by saying, “And I sentenced them to remain at home.”
When someone inquired as to the appropriate time for lunch, he responded by saying, “If a wealthy man, when you will; if a poor man, when you can.”
It is because I fawn on those who offer me anything, howl at those who reject, and set my teeth in rascals that people call me a dog.
Diogenes Quotes on Alexander The Socrates
The philosopher was discovered by Alexander the Great gazing intently at a collection of human bones. Diogenes clarified: “I’m looking for your father’s bones, but I can’t tell them apart from those of a slave.
Not because I’m crazy, but because my brain is different from yours.
It is believed that Alexander the Great and Diogenes met at Corinth at some point during Alexander’s reign.
It’s possible that these tales are apocryphal. Plutarch and Diogenes Laertius recount in their biographies that the two men only spoke a few words to one another:
While Diogenes was basking in the morning sunlight, Alexander, who was overjoyed to finally meet the famous philosopher, inquired as to whether or not there was any favour that he could do for him.
The reply that Diogenes gave was, “Yes, get out of my sunshine.” Then Alexander said, “If I were not Alexander, then I would aspire to be Diogenes.” Diogenes was a Greek philosopher. Diogenes responded by saying, “Even if I were not already you, I would still desire to be Diogenes.”
According to another version of the encounter, Alexander came into the philosopher while he was intently observing a collection of human skeletons.
Diogenes provided the following explanation: “I am hunting for the bones of your father but cannot tell them apart from those of a slave.”
Diogenes and Aristippus
Aristippus, a philosopher who had gladly bowed down to Dionysus to secure a place in his court, saw Diogenes preparing lentils for a supper. You wouldn’t have to subsist on lentils if you could only learn to praise Dionysus.
Diogenes answered: “But you wouldn’t need to flatter Dionysus if you could just learn to survive on lentils.
Curious about how did diogenes died? There are several stories about his death, no one knows what exactly happened but these are the possible incidents in the history that we found.
It has been said that he committed suicide by suffocating himself by holding his breath, that he got rabies from a dog bite, or that he got severe food illness from eating a raw ox’s foot.
And finally, after becoming a complete misanthrope, he used to live by spending his time walking around the mountains; feeding on grasses and plants, and as a consequence of these habits, he was attacked by the dropsy, and so then he returned to the city, and asked the physicians, in the form of a riddle, whether they were able to produce a drought after wet weather. And since they did not comprehend what he was saying, he locked himself in a stall for oxen and covered himself with cow manure in the hopes that the warmth that this would create would allow the moisture on his body to evaporate. And because of the damage that he caused to himself in this manner, he passed away after a life span of seventy years;
Diogenes the Cynic (Dog)
Diogenes is the subject of several stories, many of which extol the dog-like qualities he had and describe how he behaved.
It is unknown whether Diogenes was insulted with the epithet “doggish” and made a virtue out of it, or whether he first took up the dog theme himself.
It is possible that he did both. When asked why he was dubbed a dog, he responded with the following: “I fawn on those who offer me anything, I howl at those who reject, and I set my teeth in rascals.”
According to Diogenes, human people lead an artificial and hypocritical lifestyle, and they would be wise to learn from the dog’s example.
A dog is able to perform its natural body functions in public with ease, will eat anything, and is not picky about where it sleeps. In addition, a dog will not make a fuss about where it sleeps.
Dogs are content to exist in the now without worrying about the future or the past and have no need for the pretences of abstract philosophy.
In addition to these admirable qualities, it is widely believed that dogs have an innate understanding of who their friends and foes are.
Dogs, in contrast to human people, will offer an honest bark at the truth rather than either deceiving others or being deceived themselves.
According to Diogenes, “some dogs attack their adversaries, however I bite my friends in order to rescue them.”
The word “cynic” originates from the Greek word “v,” which means “dog-like,” and “kynikos,” which comes from the word “kyôn,” which means “dog” (genitive: kynos).
Antisthenes was a teacher at the Cynosarges gymnasium in Athens, which was one of the possible explanations that were presented in ancient times for why the Cynics were referred to as dogs. The name Cynosarges comes from the ancient Greek phrase “the site of the white dog.”
Life of Diogenes
Diogenes was a person who caused much controversy in his day. It is said that he was exiled from Sinope or left the city because of his role in the debasement of coinage.
He was the son of the mintmaster of Sinope, and there is considerable disagreement as to whether or not he was the only one who devalued the Sinopian currency, whether or not his father was the one who did this, or whether or not both of them were responsible. After a quick escape from Sinope, he travelled to Athens, where he continued to critique a large number of the cultural practises that were prevalent in Athens during that time period.
He felt that virtue was better displayed in action than in philosophy, therefore he patterned himself after Heracles and tried to emulate his heroic deeds.
He criticised the social standards and structures of what he perceived as a corrupt and complex society by living a straightforward lifestyle and behaving in an uncomplicated manner.
He was known for sleeping and eating wherever he pleased, in a manner that was extremely unconventional, and he often toughened himself up to face the elements.
His reputation preceded him. Instead of declaring loyalty to a single location, he identified himself as a cosmopolitan and a citizen of the globe. There are a number of stories that describe how he followed in Antisthenes’ footsteps and became known as his “loyal hound.”
Diogenes made the most of his little resources. He lived off of beggary and spent many nights in the marketplace sleeping in a huge ceramic jar (known as a pithos).
He gained notoriety for his philosophical antics, such as walking about during the day with a lantern in his hand and pretending to be on the hunt for a guy (often rendered in English as “looking for an honest man”).
Pirates kidnapped Diogenes
Pirates kidnapped Diogenes, sold him into slavery, and brought him to Corinth, where he finally made his home.
There, he passed on his philosophy of cynicism to Crates, who in turn taught it to Zeno of Citium, who developed it into the school of stoicism, which is considered to be one of the most influential schools of Greek philosophy.
There are no works by Diogenes that have been preserved, but there are certain aspects of his life that have been gleaned through stories (chreia), most notably from the book Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Lartius and a few other sources.