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Monimus of Syracuse

Diogenes Laertius, Book 6 §82-83

82. Monimus of Syracuse was a pupil of Diogenes; and, according to Sosicrates, he was in the service of a certain Corinthian banker, to whom Xeniades, the purchaser of Diogenes, made frequent visits, and by the account which he gave of his goodness in word and deed, excited in Monimus a passionate admiration of Diogenes. For he forthwith pretended to be mad and proceeded to fling away the small change and all the money on the banker's table, until at length his master dismissed him; and he then straightway devoted himself to Diogenes. He often followed Crates the Cynic as well, and embraced the like pursuits; whereupon his master, seeing him do this, was all the more persuaded that he was mad.

83. He came to be a distinguished man; so much so that he is even mentioned by the comic poet Menander. At any rate in one of his plays, The Groom, his words are:

One Monimus there was, a wise man, Philo, But not so very famous. a. He, you mean, Who carried the scrip? b. Nay, not one scrip, but three. Yet never a word, so help me Zeus, spake he To match the saying, Know thyself, nor such Famed watchwords. Far beyond all these he went, Your dusty mendicant, pronouncing wholly vain All man's supposings.

Monimus indeed showed himself a very grave moralist, so that he ever despised mere opinion and sought only truth.

He has left us, besides some trifles blended with covert earnestness, two books, On Impulses and an Exhortation to Philosophy.

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