CERP: Day 17 – Introduction: The Epistles of Diogenes Part 2 (p. 17-18)


Introduction: The Epistles of Diogenes Part 2 (p. 17-18)
The main thrust of this second part to the introduction sums up what we read yesterday, that the letters span a time period and were composed by three or four authors.  That the letters may have been a tool during a sort of proselytizing for the mode of life of the Cynic philosopher.

Looking forward to the coming letters.

I. To the Sinopians (p. 93)
Diogenes’ barb at the Sinopians is that while they sent him away, they are stuck with each other.  There does seem to be a hint of some sour grapes.  Diogenes should rather thank the Sinopians, as without his exile, would he have ever found philosophy?  Certainly not Antisthenes.

II. To Antisthenes (p. 93)
It’s a funny thing that calling someone a beet (τεῦτλον) might convert them to philosophy.  I am surprised to see that they might draw “their capes around themselves decently.”  That hardly smacks of the Diogenes who would do “manual labor,” as it were, in the agora.  More Roman revisionism, a more Stoic moral.

This is part of the Cynic Epistles Reading Plan.

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