Demonax | Hellenic Library
Buy me a cup of coffee
Instead of confining himself to a single philosophic school, he laid them all under contribution, without showing clearly which of them he preferred; but perhaps he was nearest akin to Socrates; for, though he had leanings as regards externals and plain living to Diogenes, he never studied effect or lived for the applause and admiration of the multitude; his ways were like other people’s; he mounted no high horse; he was just a man and a citizen. He indulged in no Socratic irony; but his discourse was full of Attic grace; those who heard it went away neither disgusted by servility nor repelled by ill-tempered censure, but on the contrary lifted out of themselves by charity, and encouraged to more orderly, contented, hopeful lives.
He waged constant warfare against all whose philosophy was not practical, but for show. So when he saw a cynic, with threadbare cloak and wallet, but a braying-pestle instead of a staff, proclaiming himself loudly as a follower of Antisthenes, Crates, and Diogenes, he said: ‘Tell us no lies; your master is the professor of braying.’
On the occasion of his visiting Olympia, the Eleans voted a bronze statue to him. But he remonstrated: ‘It will imply a reproach to your ancestors, men of Elis, who set up no statue to Socrates or Diogenes.’
Asked which of the philosophers was most to his taste, he said: ‘I admire them all; Socrates I revere, Diogenes I admire, Aristippus I love.’