Greek Cynics- by Farrand Sayre - PDF ebook

 Greek Cynics by Farrand Sayre

Greek Cynics by Farrand Sayre
Except

This work was begun as a revision of a former work entitled, " Diogenes of Sinope, a Study of Greek Cynicism."

 But since there have been some changes in the point of view and some additional matter has been included, it is thought more appropriate to regard it as new work on the same subject. Diogenes of Sinope was a semi-mythical character whose connection with Cynicism is doubtful.


There are several versions of Cynicism; for instance, there is that of Epictetus, that of Julian, that of Theodor Gomperz, and that of D. R. Dudley. In this work, an attempt has been made to show the Greek Cynics as they were and to explain their philosophy.

The Cynics had no canon or authoritative writing, such as the Epicureans had in the writings of Epicurus. They were illiterates and wrote nothing. Julian said; " If the Cynics had composed treatises with any serious purposes ... it would have been proper for my opponent to be guided by them . . . but nothing of that sort exists 
Our knowledge of them is derived from observers who were not Cynics, but these were not all antagonistic. The Stoics regarded their origin as connected with that of the Cynics and were inclined to take a favorable view of them.

 The Letters of Diogenes and Crates were probably written by Stoics who endeavored to present Cynicism in a favorable light. Lucian in his Cynicus, Tertullian in his De Palio, and Maximus Tyrius in his 36th Dissertation presented the Cynic point of view, though they were not Cynics. Dio Chrysostom showed interest in traditions of Diogenes and gave considerable space to them; but he expressed scorn for the Cynics of his time, as Epictetus and Julian also did. Epictetus and Julian believed that earlier Cynics were superior and must have had a different philosophy; they exerted their imaginations to supply this philosophy. 

Their belief may be partially explained by the fact that the earlier men whom they had in mind were not Cynics. Cynicism was a philosophy that took form after their time. The Cynic traditions were oral and consisted for the most part of stories of Diogenes, a semi-mythical character; since little was known about him, he was a convenient vehicle on which the Cynics could locate stories expressing their ideas. It is believed that there were a vast number of these stories and that only a small proportion of them has been preserved. Some of these stories express ideas incompatible with Cynicism and show that non- Cynics sometimes took a hand in producing Diogenes stories.

Contents of the book
Greek Cynicism 1 
The Sources of Cynicism 28
 Diogenes of Sinope 50 
The Diogenes Legend 68
 Antisthenes the Socratic 84 
Appendix I, Crates of Thebes 97
Appendix II, Bion of Borysthenes 102 
Index 110

Author: Farrand Sayre
Publication date:1946

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