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  • POEM: An Ode To Dr Hitesh Sheth by Sidi J. Mahtrow (1/23/2013 12:30:00 AM)

    Diogenes of Sinope (Greek: ???????? ? S???pe??, Diogenes ho Sinopeus) was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. Also known as Diogenes the Cynic (Ancient Greek: ???????? ? ???????, Diogenes ho Kunikos) , he was born in Sinope (modern-day Sinop, Turkey) , an Ionian colony on the Black Sea, [1] in 412 or 404 BC and died at Corinth in 323 BC.[2]

    Diogenes of Sinope was a controversial figure. His father minted coins for a living, and when Diogenes took to defacement of the currency, he was banished from Sinope.[1] After being exiled, he moved to Athens to debunk cultural conventions. Diogenes modelled himself on the example of Hercules. He believed that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory. He used his simple lifestyle and behaviour to criticise the social values and institutions of what he saw as a corrupt society. He declared himself a cosmopolitan. There are many tales about him dogging Antisthenes' footsteps and becoming his faithful hound, [3] but it is by no means certain that the two men ever met. Diogenes made a virtue of poverty. He begged for a living and slept in a large ceramic jar[4] in the marketplace. He became notorious for his philosophical stunts such as carrying a lamp in the daytime, claiming to be looking for an honest man. He embarrassed Plato, disputed his interpretation of Socrates and sabotaged his lectures. Diogenes was also responsible for publicly mocking Alexander the Great.

    After being captured by pirates and sold into slavery, Diogenes eventually settled in Corinth. There he passed his philosophy of Cynicism to Crates, who taught it to Zeno of Citium, who fashioned it into the school of Stoicism, one of the most enduring schools of Greek philosophy. None of Diogenes’ many writings has survived, but details of his life come in the form of anecdotes (chreia) , especially from Diogenes Laërtius, in his book Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. All we have is a number of anecdotes concerning his life and sayings attributed to him in a number of scattered classical sources, none of them definitive.[5]

  • POEM: An Ode To Dr Hitesh Sheth by Sidi J. Mahtrow (1/23/2013 12:23:00 AM)

    Diogenes and Alexander
    Alexander the Great visits Diogenes at Corinth by W. Matthews (1914)
    Main article: Diogenes and Alexander

    It was in Corinth that a meeting between Alexander the Great and Diogenes is supposed to have taken place.[26] The accounts of Plutarch and Diogenes Laërtius recount that they exchanged only a few words: while Diogenes was relaxing in the sunlight in the morning, Alexander, thrilled to meet the famous philosopher, asked if there was any favour he might do for him. Diogenes replied, Yes, stand out of my sunlight. Alexander then declared, If I were not Alexander, then I should wish to be Diogenes.[27] In another account of the conversation, Alexander found the philosopher looking attentively at a pile of human bones. Diogenes explained, I am searching for the bones of your father but cannot distinguish them from those of a slave.[28]

  • POEM: An Ode To Dr Hitesh Sheth by Sidi J. Mahtrow (1/23/2013 12:22:00 AM)

    Alexander and Diogenes by Caspar de Crayer (c.1650)

    Both in ancient and in modern times, Diogenes' personality has appealed strongly to sculptors and to painters. Ancient busts exist in the museums of the Vatican, the Louvre, and the Capitol. The interview between Diogenes and Alexander is represented in an ancient marble bas-relief found in the Villa Albani.

    Among artists who have painted the famous encounter of Diogenes with Alexander there are works by de Crayer, de Vos, Assereto, Langetti, Sevin, Sebastiano Ricci, Gandolfi, Wink, Abildgaard, Monsiau, Martin, and Daumier. The famous story of Diogenes searching for an honest man has been depicted by Jordaens, van Everdingen, van der Werff, Pannini, and Corinth. Others who have painted him with his famous lantern include de Ribera, Castiglione, Petrini, Gérôme, Bastien-Lepage, and Waterhouse. The scene in which Diogenes discards his cup has been painted by Poussin, Rosa, and Martin; and the story of Diogenes begging from a statue has been depicted by Restout. In Raphael's fresco The School of Athens, a lone reclining figure in the foreground represents Diogenes.[52]

    Diogenes has also been the subject of sculptures, with famous bas-relief images by Puget and Pajou.

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