DIOGENES, di-oj'e-nez (Lat., from Gk. .1(0 (e.412-323 n.c.). A cynic philosopher. Ile was a native of Sinope, in Pontus. His father, Icesias, a banker, was convicted of debasing the coinage, and his son, being implieated in the matter, was obliged to leave Sinope. On coming to Athens he attached himself to Antisthenes, by whom, however, his first advances were re pelled. In spite of his inhospitable reception, Diogenes renewed the attempt to find favor with Antisthenes: but though driven away by blows, his perseverance at last prevailed, and Antis pieties. moved with compassion. consented to admit him as a pupil. Diogenes now plunged into the extreme of austerity and self-mortifica tion. His clothing was of the coarsest. his food of the plainest. and was provided hy the pity of the Athenians. His bed was the bare ground, wheth er in the open street or tinder the porticoes. On one occasion, in default of a better place, he took up his residence temporarily in a huge jar. irlOot, in the Mariam, that thereby he might show his contempt of ordinary men. His eccentric life did not, however, cost him the respect of the Athenians. who admired his contempt of com fort and allowed him a wide latitude of comment and rebuke. Practical good was the chief aim of his philosophy: for literature and the tine arts lie did not conceal his disdain. He laughed at men of letters for reading the sufferings of Odys seus while neglecting their own: at musicians who spent in stringing their lyres the time which would have been much better employed in making their own discordant natures harmonious: at savants for gazing at the heavenly bodies, while sublimely incognizant of earthly ones; and at orators who studied how to enforce truth but not how to practice it. He was seized by pirates on
a voyage to ;Egina, and carried to Crete, where he was sold as a slave. When asked what busi ness he was proficient in, he answered, "In com manding." Ile was purchased by a certain Xeni rides of Corinth, who recognized his worth, set him free, and made him tutor to his children. It is here that he is said to have had his famous, hut probably mythical, interview with Alex ander the Great. The Ring opened the conversa tion with, "I am Alexander the Great," to which the philosopher answered. "And I am Diogenes the Cynic." Alexander then asked him in what way he could serve him, to which Diogenes re joined, can stand out of the sunshine." Alexander is said to have been so struck with the Cyni•'s self-possession tliat he went away re marking. "If I were not Alexander, 1 should wish to be Diogenes." Diogenes died at Corinth in B.C. 323. according to tradition, on the same clay with Alexander the Great. Diogenes Was wholly concerned with practical wisdom, and established no system of phihis•iphy. Certain literary works were early attributed to him, hut were recognized as spurious even in antiquity. Consult Gesehichte tufa Kritik des Diogcnrs con tiinopc (Heilbronn. 1860) Zeller, Philosophic (if r Griee/cn, vol. i.