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Agathobulus of Alexandria. 2nd Century AD.

Lucian, Demonax 3

[Demonax] came of a Cyprian family which enjoyed considerable property and political influence. But his views soared above such things as these; he claimed nothing less than the highest, and devoted himself to philosophy. This was not due to any exhortations of Agathobulus, his predecessor Demetrius, or Epictetus. He did indeed enjoy the converse of all these, as well as of Timocrates of Heraclea, that wise man whose gifts of expression and of understanding were equal. It was not, however, to the exhortations of any of these, but to a natural impulse towards the good, an innate yearning for philosophy which manifested itself in childish years, that he owed his superiority to all the things that ordinary men pursue. He took independence and candour for his guiding principles, lived himself an upright, wholesome, irreproachable life, and exhibited to all who saw or heard him the model of his own disposition and philosophic sincerity.

Source: The Works of Lucian of Samosata. Translated by Fowler, H W and F G. Oxford: The Clarendon Press. 1905.

Lucian, Death of Peregrinus Proteus 16 - 18

'Proteus now set out again on his wanderings. The Christians were meat and drink to him; under their protection he lacked nothing, and this luxurious state of things went on for some time. At last he got into trouble even with them; I suppose they caught him partaking of some of their forbidden meats. They would have nothing more to do with him, and he thought the best way out of his difficulties would be, to change his mind about that property, and try and get it back. He accordingly sent in a petition to the emperor, suing for its restitution. But as the people of Parium sent up a deputation to remonstrate, nothing came of it all; he was told that as he had been under no compulsion in making his dispositions, he must abide by them.

'Pilgrimage number three, to Egypt, to see Agathobulus. Here he went through a most interesting course of discipline: shaved half his head bare; anointed his face with mud; grossly exposed himself before a large concourse of spectators, as a practical illustration of “Stoic indifference”; received castigation with a birch rod; administered the same; and mystified the public with a number of still more extravagant follies. Thus prepared, he took ship to Italy, and was scarcely on dry land again when he began abusing everybody, especially the Emperor, on whose indulgence and good nature he knew that he could safely rely. The Emperor, as you may suppose, was not greatly concerned at his invectives; and it was his theory that no one in the garb of philosophy should be called to account for his words, least of all a specialist in scandal. Proteus's reputation throve upon neglect. The crack-brained philosopher became the cynosure of unsophisticated eyes; and he grew at last to be so unbearable that the city prefect judiciously expelled him: “we do not require philosophers of your school,” he explained. Even this made for his notoriety: he was in every one's mouth as the philosopher who was banished for being too outspoken, and saying what he thought. He took rank with Musonius, Dion, Epictetus, and others who have been in the same predicament.'

Source: The Works of Lucian of Samosata. Translated by Fowler, H W and F G. Oxford: The Clarendon Press. 1905.

Jerome, Chronicle 224th Olympiad

Plutarch of Chaeronea, Sextus, Agathabolus, and Oenomaus are considered notable philosophers.

Source: Jerome, Chronicle (2005).

cynics/agathobulus_of_alexandria.txt · Last modified: 2014/03/02 13:17 by frank