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Crates of Thebes | Apuleius, Florida - On the Virtues of Crates 22

22. Crates, the well-known disciple of Diogenes, was honoured at Athens by the men of his own day as though he had been a household god. No house was ever closed to him, no head of a family had ever so close a secret as to regard Crates as an unseasonable intruder: he was always welcome; there was never a quarrel, never a lawsuit between kinsfolk, but he was accepted as mediator and his word was law. The poets tell that Hercules of old by his valour subdued all the wild monsters of legend, beast or man, and purged all the world of them. Even so our philosopher was a very Hercules in the conquest of anger, envy, avarice, lust, and all the other monstrous sins that beset the human soul. He expelled all these pests from their minds, purged households, and tamed vice. Nay, he too went half-naked and was distinguished by the club he carried, aye, and he sprang from that same Thebes, where Hercules, men say, was born. Even before he became Crates pure and simple, he was accounted one of the chief men in Thebes: his family was noble, his establishment numerous, his house had a fair and ample porch: his lands were rich and his clothing sumptuous. But later, when he understood that the wealth which had been transmitted to him, carried with it no safeguard whereon he might lean as on a staff in the ways of life, but that all was fragile and transitory, that all the wealth that is in all the world was of no assistance to a virtuous life….
Source: The Apologia and Florida of Apuleius of Madaura, H. E. Butler, translator, Oxford Press (1909)

crates_of_thebes/apuleius_florida_-_on_the_virtues_of_crates_22.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/14 23:19 (external edit)