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Diodorus of Aspendus

Athenaeus, Book 4 163.d-f

“As I was saying, Cynulcus: Archestratus, whom you worship, for your belly's sake, on a par with Homer — 'and there is nothing more voracious than that,' to quote your friend Timon — writes as follows an account of the shark: 'Nay, not many mortals know of this heavenly viand or consent to eat it — all those mortals, that is, who possess the puny soul of the booby-bird and are smitten with palsy because, as they say, the creature is a man-eater. But every fish loves human flesh if it can get it. Wherefore it is the simple duty of all who talk such foolishness to betake themselves to vegetables, and going over to the philosopher Diodorus, to live abstemiously like Pythagoreans in his company.' Now this Diodorus was an Aspendian by birth, and though he was reputed to be a Pythagorean, he lived in the manner of you Cynics, wearing his hair long, and going dirty and bare-footed. Hence some have even thought that this habit of wearing long hair was Pythagorean, having been promulgated by Diodorus, as Hermippus says. And Timaeus of Tauromenium, in the ninth book of his Histories, writes about him thus: 'Diodorus, the Aspendian by birth, introduced the eccentric mode of life, and pretended that he had consorted as a disciple with the Pythagoreans; to him Stratonicus dispatched a messenger, bidding the man as he departed to report his commands “to that henchman of Pythagoras who keeps the Porch crowded with people marvelling at his beast-robed madness and insolence.” ' Sosicrates, too, in the third book of The Succession of Philosophers, records that Diodorus adopted the wearing of a long beard, put on a worn cloak, and grew long hair, introducing this practice as an innovation in order to gratify a kind of vanity, since the Pythagoreans before his time always dressed in white clothing and made use of baths, ointments, and the customary mode of hair-cut. Now if, my philosophers, you really love independence and cheap things to eat, why do you come here where you have not even been invited? Is it as though you had come into a prodigal's house to learn how to make a list of cooking utensils? Or to recite the Cephalion of Diogenes? For, in the words of the Cedalion of Sophocles, ye are 'rogues from the whipping-post and the rack, devourers of other men's goods.'

cynics/diodorus_of_aspendus.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/14 23:20 (external edit)