CERP: Day 12- To the Thessalians, the Athenians, the same, the same, Hipparchia, the same

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XXIV. To the Thessalians (p. 75)
Again, we have a pseudo-Stoic sounding introduction, that horses were created for the sake of men.  I’m not sure Diogenes would agree with this statement.  I think it would be more clear to him that men were created for the sake of themselves, and that is where they ought to focus.

XXV. To the Athenians (p. 75)
Crates shouts across the century directly to my fellow citizens.  A small political side, my country is currently in the midst of a mass delusion, in which they believe they can make certain things ‘free’ which can only be gotten by the labor of others.  Unless there’s a slave caste of doctors, nurses, construction workers, electric workers, facilities managers, educators, etc, then certain things in society which must be paid for will continue to be paid for.

Nevertheless, Crates suggests that they simply vote themselves wealthy, vote themselves the recipients of “free” things, and all manner of voting will solve the problems which yesteryear’s voting brought about!

XXVI. To the Same (p. 77)
The less that we might not own things, but merely lease them or posses them for a time is a useful one.  I’m not sure that I’m willing to extend that Diogenes, or any of the Wise, then, own all things being that they are friends of the gods, the gods own everything, and friends share all things.

That seems as conspicuously useful to the Cynic as plenary indulgences were for the Catholic Church…

XXVII. To the Same (p. 77)
I didn’t mean to anticipate the moral of this letter in the last… but i did.  So just read that one again.

XXVIII. To Hipparchia (p. 79)
I have a hard time imagining Hipparchia sitting at home weaving and embroidering robes for Crates.  This smacks of latter revisionism to appeal to the traditional roles of Roman women, rather than the feisty firebrand that was Hipparchia.

XIX. To the Same (p. 79)
This seems more along the lines of the philosophical admonitions I can imagine Hipparchia and Crates sharing with each other.

 


This is part of the Cynic Epistles Reading Plan.

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