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A36037 The lives, opinions, and remarkable sayings of the most famous ancient philosophers. The first volume written in Greek, by Diogenes Laertius ; made English by several hands ...; De vitis philosophorum. English Diogenes Laertius. 1688 (1688) Wing D1516; ESTC R35548 235,742 604

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them were Servants to them For that fear was the Property of 〈…〉 Servant but wild Beasts kept men in ●…ear He had in him a very strange ●a●ulty of persuasion insomuch that he would take whom he would with his Conversation It is related how one O●esicritus an Aeginese having two Sons sent the younger of them by name Androsthenes unto Athens who when he had heard Diogenes Discourse tarried there with him And that thereupon he sent his elder Son also being the before named Philiscus and that Philiscus also was detained there And yet in the third place the Father himself went and was also joyned in Philosophy with his Children So great ● Charm there was in the Discourses of Diogenes There heard him also Pho●… Sirnamed the Good and Stilpon of Meg●… and many other Persons of great Quality He is said to have died at abo●● ninety years of Age But there are different accounts of his Death For s●… say that upon eating a raw Pour●●●trel he was taken with the Griping of the Guts and so died But others say he 〈…〉 in his Breath until he died of which number is Kerkidas the Megapolitan or Cr●… as others call him saying in his Meli●… bicks thus That Sinopese is no more what he was Feeding abroad with Staff and folded P●… He clapt his Lips to 's Teeth and bit his Bre●… And flew to Jove So now Diogenes Thou art Joves Son indeed and Heavens D●… Others say that as he went to share a Pourcontrel among the Dogs they bit him by the Ligament of his Leg whereof he dyed But his familiar followers as Antisthenes relates in his Successions were of the opinion that he dyed by holding in his Breath For he then passed his time in the Craneon which is a place for publick Exercises before Corinth where his Disciples according to their Custom coming unto him found him closely wrapt up in his Mantle and not believing him to be asleep for he was not of a sleepy nor drowsie Temper they opened his Mantle and found him expired And they believed he had done this from a great desire he had now to steal privately out of the World. Whereupon they say there arose a strong Contest among his Followers who should have the burying of him Yea that it went so high as to come to blows But that at last their Parents and Governours coming in he was by them interred by the Gate that leads to the Isthmus They also set a Pillar upon his Grave and upon that a Dog of Parian Marble And afterwards his Citizens honoured him with Statues of Copper and wrote upon them thus Copper decays with time but thy Renown Diogenes no age shall e're take down For thou alone hast taught us not to need By thinking that we do'nt And hast us freed From eares and shew'd the casy way to Life There is also this of my own upon him in the Prokeleusmatick Measure Diogenes what made thee take thy flight To th' Netherlands It was a mad Dogs bite But some others say that as he was dying he gave a great Charge to those about him to cast him out unburyed that every Beast might have part of him Or else to throw him into a Ditch and cover him with a little dust But others that he desired to be flung into the River Ilissus that he might benefit his Brethren there Demetrius in his Treatise of Name-sakes saith that Alexander dyed at Babylon and Diogenes at Corinth upon the very same day He was an Old man in the Hundred and Fourteenth Olympiad And there go about these Books of his His Dialogues His Kephalion His Fishes His Jay His Leopard His Commons of Athens His Republick His Art of Morality His Treatise of Riches His Love Discourse His Theodore His Hypsias His Aristarchus His Treatise of Death His Letters His seven Tragedies viz. His Semele His Thyestes His Hercules His Achilles His Medea His Chrysippus His Oedipus But Sosicrates in the First Book of his Successions and Satyrus in the Fourth of his Lives say there is nothing of Diogenes's extant And Satyrus adds further that those trifling Tragedies were written by Philiscus of Aegina Diogenes's Follower But Sotion in his seventh Book saith that these following were the only things Diogenes ever wrote Of Vertue Of Good A Discourse of Love The Beggar Tolmaeus The Leopard Casander Kephalion Philiscus Aristarchus Sisyphus Ganymedes His sayings His Letters There have been in all five Diogeneses The First was Diogenes of Apollonia the Naturalist His Book began thus Now I am to begin my whole Discourse I think it my Duty to render the beginning of it indisputable The Second was he of Sicyon who wrote of the Affairs of Peloponnesus The Third was this Diogenes The Fourth was a Stoick born at Selencia but named the Babylonian by reason of the Vicinity The Fifth of Tarsus who wrote about Questions in Poetry which he attempts to resolve But the Philosopher Diogenes Athenodorus saith in the eighth Book of his Walks to have always appeared with a Shining Countenance by reason he used to anoint himself often The LIFE of MONIMVS MONIMVS was born at Syracuse he was a Disciple of Diogenes and a Servant of a certain Banker of Corinth as Sosicrates relates Xeniades who had bought Diogenes coming very often to see him and telling him of his rare Perfections as well in Conversation as Behaviour brought Monimus at last to be passionately in Love with the Man. For he presently began to feign himself Mad and flung about the Change Money and all the Silver that was on the Board Insomuch that his Master was glad to part with him Upon which he presently betook himself to Diogenes He also often followed Crates the Cynick and kept much Company with such kind of Men which help'd to confirm his Master in his Opinion that he was Mad. And he afterwards became a Man of good account insomuch that Menander the famous Comoedian made mention of his Name for in one of his Drama's called Hippocomus he spoke thus O Philo Monimus was very wise Although of small esteem few such can prize Not Master of one Scrip for he had three A rich Philosopher indeed yet he Vtter'd no Sentence grave like a deep fellow Like KNOW THY SELF which Vulgar sages bellow But was above such toys For he said that Concoited thoughts begot conceited Chat. This Man was of a Genius so ponderous that he slighted Praise and wholly made after Truth He composed certain Ludiorous Tracts in which he privately couched very serious things He wrote also two Treatises of the Inclinations and one Perswasive The LIFE of ONESCRITVS SOme say that he was of Aegina But Demetrius of Magnesia saith he was an Astypelaecan He also was one of Diogenes's Prime Disciples And he seemed to have something in him that made him very much to resemble Xenophon For Xenophon followed Cyrus into the Wars and he Alexander Xenophon wrote the
concerning the Soul one of Sleeping and Waking one of Labours one of old Age one of Thoughts four of the Sight one of things that change their Colour one of Tears entituled Callisthenes two of hearing one of the Diversity of the volces of Animals of the same sort one of Odours two of Torment one of Folly one of the Palsi● one of the Epilepsie one of the Vertigo and dazling of the Sight one of the fainting of the Heart one of Suffocation one of Sweat one of the Pestilence Mathematics A Book of Numbers one of Indivisible Lines one of Measures one of Harmony three of Music another of Music one of Great and Small one of Images one of Twi-lights and Meridionals one of Seasons one of ●●thmetical Histories according to Augmentation four of Geometrical Histories ●●● Astrological Histories one of Democritus's Astrology Discourse A Book of the Art of Rhetoric one of Precepts for the Art of Rhetoric seven sorts of the Art of Rhetoric one of the Art of Poetry one of Solo●cisins one of a Word one of proper Orations of judicial Orations one of Proposition and Narration one of the Exemplar one of the Collection of Words one of Proverbs one of Sentences one of Favour one of Provocation to Laughter one of Beauty of Praise of Injuries of Flattery of Tumult of Comedy one of History six Books of the History of things spoken of God of the Praises of the Gods three of Lives one of Solemnities one of Confabulations a Collection of Diogenes's Propositions one of Calumny two of things invented Of Reason One how many ways a a Man may understand one of true and false three of false two of terms one of differences one of Signs five containing a Collection of Problems one of the Judgment upon Syllogisms one of the solution of Syllogisms one of Enthymemes two of Epicheremes Eighteen Epicheremes one of Affirmation and Negation one of Occasions or Contradictions an Epitome of Definitions two of Divisions one of Causes an Epitome of Analytics three of the first Analytics seven of the latter a Preamble of Topics two of the deducation of Places one of the Speculation of things that belong to contentious Discourse two of Sophisms one of Solutions one of simple doubts three of Controversies three Questions Twenty four other Questions one of the Collections of Metrodorus one of Zenocratic Questions Of Manners Of divine Felicity another of human Felicity of Voluntary of the Passions of Vertue of the differences of the Vertues one of Pleasure as well as Aristotle of Choice of Counsel of Wise Men of Faith reposed without cunning three of Friendship one entituled Amatorious another of Love two of Liberallity one of Pleasure Men take in Lying of Dissimulation of Moral Figures of Moral Schools Of Otconomics Of Piety of the means to instruct Children of Vertue of Discipline of Frugality of what it is to give of Experience three Books of Epistles more Epistles to Astycreon Ph●●ias and Nicanor Of Commonwealths Two Abstracts of Pla●●'s Common-wealth of the Condition of a good Republic three Books of Civil things four of Civil Customs two of Government four of Politics for the time three of Legislators An Epitome of the Laws in ten Books one of Laws twenty four of Laws disposed according to Order and Alphabet one of unjust Laws one of an Oath one to shew how Cities may be peopl'd Of Kingdoms One of a Kingdom two more of a Kingdom one of the Education of a King one of Tyranny one of Kingdom to Cassander one of Riches All these Books and Treatises were composed by Theophrastus I also met with his Will in these words My will shall be well and duly performed ●● I hope if when I come to dye it be no otherwise executed than I have enjoyned it by this my Testament First I give to Melanthus and Pancreon the Sons of Leo all my Moveables that belong to ●ly House For what Hipparchus obliged me withal I would have it expended upon the Reparations of the School and for adorning the Theatre much be●… it be possible than it was before and ●et the Statue of Aristotle be set up in the Oratory of the said School with all the sacred Jewels that were there before I would have also rebuilt the Portico adjoyning to the same School in the same condition it was before or better if possible and that the Map of the World be set up a● the lower End and that an Altar be ● rected not far from it the same in form●… the other whether for Decency or Perfection Moreover my Will is That the Statue of Nicomachus be finished a●… gave order to Praxiteles but as for the Expences of setting it up let him defray that charge himself and let it be set up where my Executors shall think mo●… Convenient whom I have for that purpose named in my Will. Thus much in reference to the Oratory and its sacred Jewels Moreover I bequeath to my friends who are specially nominated in this my Will and to those that will spend their time with them in Learning and Philosophy my Garden Walk and H●●ses adjoyning upon condition however that none of them shall claim any particular property therein nor go about to alienate 'em from their proper use but that they shall be enjoyed in Common by 'em all as a sacred place where they may similiarily visit one another and discourse together like good friends And these are they to whom I bequeath this Common Possession viz. Hipparchus Nel●●● Callio Demoticus Demaratus Calli●th●ues Melantus Pan●reo● and Ni●●ppus to whom I add Aristotle the Son of Midias and Pythias who if he please to addict himself to Philosophy may enjoy equal Privileges with the rest I recommend him to his most ancient Friends to take care that he be instructed in Philosophy For my part I desire to be buried in any part of the Garden where they shall think most convenient charging them not to be at any superfluous Expence either upon my Funeral or upon my Tomb. Which being done my Will is That Pompylus who lives in the House take care of every thing as he did before To which purpose I recommend him to all that shall enjoy the forementioned Privileges and that it be as much to his profit as may be Moreover it is my Will as I have formerly testified to Melantus and Pancreon That there be an Assignation of two thousand Drachma's to Pompylus and Threptes my free'd Bondmen who have served me faithfully and That this Assignation be made upon Hipparchus besides those other Emoluments which they have received at my hands and that the said Assignation be made over to them firmly in their own Names Moreover I give them Sotomales and a Servant Maid As for my Boys it is my Will that Molo Cymo and Parmeno be forthwith set at Liberty As for Manes and Callias I will not have them enfranchized till they have laboured four years longer in the Garden so that there
cannot be lost contrary to Cleanthes They also affirm That Justice is Justice by Nature and not by Constitution of Law as Love it self and right Reason are according to the Opinion of Chrysippus in his Treatise De Honesto They also hold that Discord it self is not contrary to Phylosophy For if this were not true there would be a Deficiency in Life it self as Possidonius affirms Chrysippus also asserts the Liberal Sciences to be of great Use in his Treatise of Justice And Possidonius maintains the same Opinion in his Book De Officiis The same Authors aver That we are not just to other Creatures because of the Dissimilitude that is between us and them They allow a Wise man to be in Love with young Lads that carry in their more beautiful Aspects the Marks of Ingenuity and a Propensity to Virtue as Zeno in his Common-Wealth and Chrysippus in his Lives and Apollodorus in his Ethics declare For Love say they is an Endeavour to gain Friendship for the sake of appearing Beauty nor is it for the sake of Coition but of Friendship Therefore Thraso having his Mistress wholly at his Command abstain'd from her for fear of being hated So then Love is a Tie of Friendship not to be blam'd as Chrysippus acknowledges in his Treatise of Love. Beauty they define to be the Flower of Love. Now there being Three Sorts of Lives the Speculative the Practical and the Rational Life they say The Third is to be preferr'd For that a Rational Creature was created by Nature sufficient for Contemplation and Practice Farther they say That a Wise man will readily surrender his Life for his Country and his Friend though he suffer Torment Mutilation of Members or the most incurable Diseases 'T is their Opinion also That Wives should be in common so that a man might make Use of the first he met by accident for thus Zeno and Chrysippus both ordain'd in their Common-Wealths for that they will all have the same Charity and Affection for their Offspring and by that means Adultery and Jealousie will be remov'd out of the World. They affirm that Common wealth to be the best which is a mixture of Regal and Popular Power And this is a Brief Accompt of their Morality though they have asserted many other Opinions not without probable Grounds As for their Natural Philosophy it is comprehended under the Places of Bodies Principles Elements Deities the End Place and Vacuum Thus specifically But generally they divide it into Three Places Of the World of the Elements and of Causes The Place of the World they divide into two Parts For by the means of one Consideration they associate to themselves the Mathematics which teach 'em to enquire into the Nature of the wandring and fix'd Stars and the like As Whether the Sun be as big as he seems to be And the same concerning the Moon the Rising and Setting of the Stars and the like By means of the other Speculation which is only proper for Naturalists they enquire What is the Substance of Natural Philosophy what the Sun is and what the Stars are as to Matter and Form whether Created or not whether Living Bodies or no whether corruptible or not whether govern'd by Providence and so of the rest The Place of Causes also they distinguish into two Parts Under one Consideration falls the Question common to Physicians concerning the Dominion of the Soul what things are existent in the Soul of the Seed c. What remains is common also to the Mathematics as How we see what 's the Cause of the Optic Fancy what the Cause of Clouds Thunder Rainbows Halo's Comets and the like They assert two Principles of all Things the Active and Passive The Passive that same lazy and feneant Substance call'd Matter The Active God which is the Reason contain'd in it Who being Sempiternal was the Architect of the whole Structure and of all things contain'd in it This is the Opinion of Zeno the Cittian in his Treatise of Substance With whom agree Cleanthes in his Book of Atoms and Chrysiyppus in his First Book of Physics toward the End Archedemus in his Treatise of the Elements and Possidonius in his Second Book of Natural Philosophy However they make a Distinction between Principles and Elements for the one they hold to be without beginning the other Corruption that the Elements shall perish by Fire for that the Elements are corporeal but the Principles incorporeal and incorruptible A Body as Apollodorus defines it is that which consists of Longitude Latitude and Depth and this he calls a Solid Body The Supersicies is the Termination of a Body or that which has only Length and Latitude but no Depth And this falls as well under Thoughts as Substance A Line is the End of a Supersicies or Length without Breadth or having only Length A Point is the Termination of a Line and is the smallest Mark that can be They hold but one God to whom they give the Names of Intelligence Fate Jove and sundry other Appellations This God at the Beginning when he was alone by himself turn'd all Substance into Water having rarify'd it first into Ayr. And as the Sperm is contain'd in the Birth thus this Spermatic Reason of the World remain'd in the Water preparing the Matter for the Generation of external Beings and then the four Principles were created Fire Water Ayr and Earth This is the Discourse of Zeno in his Book of the World of Chrysippus in his first Book of Physics and of Archedemus in a certain Book of Elements An Element is that out of which all things were at first produc'd and into which they are to be dissolv'd again That all the Elements together at first compos'd that motionless Substance Matter That Fire is hot Ayr cold Water liquid and Earth dry and that the same Part still remains in the Ayr That the Fire is uppermost which they call the Sky where the Sphere of the Planets was first created next to that the Ayr below that the Water and the Earth the Foundation of all as being in the middle They affirm the World to be God three manner of ways First The peculiar Quality of the whole Substance incorruptible and without Beginning the Architect of the whole adorn'd Structure after some Periods of Time consuming and swallowing up the whole Substance into Himself and then restoring it out of Himself again In the next Place they affirm the Ornamental Order of the Stars to be the World. And Thirdly A Being consisting of both Possidonius defines the World to be the peculiar Quality of the whole Substance compos'd of Heaven and Earth and the Nature of the things therein contain'd Or a Systeme of Gods and Men and of those things created for their sakes That the Heaven is the outermost Periphery or Superficies upon which all that which they call 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 or the Divine Nature was fix'd Moreover That the World was
DIOGENES LAERTIUS THE LIVES OPINIONS AND REMARKABLE SAYINGS Of the Most Famous Ancient Philosophers Written in GREEK by DIOGENES LAERTIUS Made English by Several Hands The First Volume LONDON Printed for Edward Brewster at the Crane in St. Paul's Church-Yard 1688. The LIFE of DIOGENES LAERTIUS SInce our Author Diogenes Laertius has so highly oblig'd Posterity by the Pains which he has taken in collecting the Lives of the most Famous Phylosophers without which Assistance we could never have attain'd the Knowledg of so many remarkable Discourses and Means to understand their Learning my Opinion is that it is but reasonable to do him the same Justice to publish whatever we have found as well in Ancient as in Modern Authors in reference to his own Life Nevertheless because there are but very few who have made mention of him we must be forc'd to do as they do who not daring to stare impudently in the Face of any Lady for that they never had the opportunity of Access to speak to her are constrain'd to fix their Eyes upon her Hands in like manner shall I ground my Discourse for the greater Confirmation of the Reasons which I bring upon his Book of Lives from which we shall endeavour to collect his own as we do the Cause from the Effect not being able to compass more ample Testimonies of his Qualities by reason of the great Distance between the Age he liv'd in and our Times and the Negligence of those who have writ the Lives of Remarkable Persons without making mention of His. In the first place then to remove all Disputes concerning the Time wherein he flourish'd most certain it is that it could not be but very few Years that he preceded the more Modern Philosophers of whom he makes mention in certain Places of his Lives that is to say Simon Apollonides who liv'd in the Reign of the Emperor Tiberius Plutarch and Sextus Empiricus who liv'd in the Time of Marcus Antoninus Nevertheless 't is very probable that he might survive a long time after them seeing that Eunapius the Sardian who liv'd under the Reign of Julian the Emperor makes no mention of him in the Catalogue of Authors who have collected the History of the Ancient Philosophers which makes me question Whether the same Accident did not befal Eunapius Diogenes as befel Sotion Porphyrius the Elder whereof wrote the Lives of the Philosophers who liv'd nearest to his Time and the Younger the Lives of such as were most remote from the Age wherein he liv'd So that there is no Faith to be giv'n to Suidas who asserts that our Historian liv'd both before and after the Death of Augustus As for the Place of his Birth I am not of their Opinion who will have it to be a Village of Cilicia call'd Laertes grounding their Opinion upon his Additional Sirname for their Conjecture is fallacious in regard there is no reason to think but that it ought to be either his Proper Name or given him by reason of some Accident without deriving it from the Place of his Nativity nay though they might have some reason to derive his Name from the Place of his Birth yet there will another doubt arise whether there might not be some other Village in Greece that bore the same Name to prevent his being a Cilician for had they but read with Consideration the Life of Timon the Phliasian they might there observe by his own Testimony that he was of Nice in Macedonia of the same Country with Timon Apolloniates as is manifestly apparent by that Expression of his 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 our Countryman which Words cannot be understood in any other Sence as the Learned Reader may judge by the Greek Text in the same Place for there is no Credit to be giv'n to the Latin Version If it be a thing possible to judge of the Manners of a Person by his Physiognomy and of the Cause by the Effect what should hinder us to make a shrewd Conjecture of the Manners of Diogenes in regard that Books much more manifestly discover the Inclinations of those that wrote them then Words and Words more clearly then the Countenance It is impossible to understand the Discourse of a Man by his Face unless he speaks nor whether he can play on the Lute or no unless you hear him touch the Strings But we may apparently discover his Manners in his Works as we may his Face in a Mirror in regard that by his faithful setting down in Writing what Men have done and said we find that he never approves their Vicious Acts but on the other side censures them by some Explication or other As when he tells us that Bion entertain'd his Friends with lewd Discourse which he had learn'd in the School of Prophane Theodorus Or by some Epigram of his own making as when in the same place he laughs at the Folly of Bion who had all along liv'd an impious Life yet dy'd at length in the height of Superstition In the next place we may observe his Humanity or rather true Morality in other places while he overthrows the Impostures of Backbiters and Slanderers and makes it his Business to defend the Virtue of others as we maysee in the Life of Epicurus His Justice is also remarkable in this that he never dissembles what is truly good nor the Errors of any Person which is observable in the Life of Zeno the Cittean and Chrysippus and in this That in all his Writings he is never observ'd to be a rigid Affecter or Favourer of any Sect. Moreover he shews himself so much an Abhorrer of all manner of Venereal Excess that he never lets any Person escape unbranded who was guilty of that Vice yet in Terms so modest as not to offend the Reader as we may observe in the Life of Crates and several others As to the Sects then in Being it is more easie for us to tell of which he was not then to make him a Follower of any one for that he shews himself a Neuter in all his Writings Nevertheless if we may speak by Conjecture our own Sentiments we have some Reason to believe him a Follower of Potamon of Alexandria who after all the rest and a little before his Time set up a Sect of those that were call'd Choosers or Eclectics and bore the Title also of Lovers of Truth because they made Choice out of every Sect of that which they thought was best to stick to Which was the Reason that Clement Potamon's Countryman says in one Place We ought neither to be Zenonians nor Platonics nor Epicureans nor Aristotelics but rather Eclectics chusing out of every Sect that is most Noble and nearest approaching to the Truth His Learning appears by his Writings For if we observe his Style we shall find it concise and full of Efficacy his Words well chosen and his Discourse eloquent Yet is he not altogether exempt from blame as to the Disposal
Superfluity or Defect of Matter which some excuse by laying the Fault upon his Memory others upon his Multiplicity of Business which would not permit him to take a Review of what he had written Nevertheless he keeps his Station among those that may be thought most accomplish'd in all manner of Learning so that if I may speak my own Thoughts neither the Life of Plato nor the Epitome of the Zenonian Dogma's nor the three Epistles of Epicurus seem to be of his weaving Certain it is he wrote his Pammeter before his Lives which is nothing else but a Volume of Poems and Epigrams in all sorts of Meter in the Praise of several Persons which was divided as he testifies himself in the Life of Thales into several Books Some time after he had publisht it he collected out of several Authors the Lives of the most Illustrious Philosophers and dedicated them to a certain Lady as appears in the Life of Plato where he has this Expression Since you are so great an Admirer of Plato and a Lover of his Doctrine above any other c. Besides these Works of his we have no Authentic Testimony to confirm that he ever wrote any Thing more I also find several Remarkable Persons who bear the Name of Diogenes The First was a Sporadic Philosopher a Native of Apollonia and a Disciple of Anaximenes in the Seventieth Olympiad whose Life is recorded in the Ninth Book of this History and of whom Cicero makes mention in his First Book of the Nature of the Gods where he says But what kind of Thing can that Ayr be which Diogenes Apolloniates will have to be a God What Sence can it have or what Form The Second was the Cynic who was in his Declension about the 113th Olympiad whose Life is related at large in the Sixth Book of this History The Third was an Epicuredn born at Tarsus and a Disciple of Epicuriis who wrote a Treatise of the Most Famous Schools The Fourth a Stoic Sirnam'd the Babylonian though he were of Seleucia he flourish'd some Years before Cicero who testifies in the Fourth Book of his Tusculane Questions that he was sent with Carneades by the Athenians Ambassador to Rome You may see his Opinions in the Third Book De Finibus and the First De Natura Deorum the Second Of Divination the Third De Officiis and the Fourth De Oratore The last was our Laertius whose Life we here conclude The Names of the Translators THe First Book Translated from the Greek by T. Fetherstone D. D. The Second Book Translated from the Greek by Sam. White M. D. The Third Book Translated from the Greek by E. Smith M. A. The Fourth Book Translated from the Greek by J. Philips Gent. The Fifth Book Translated from the Greek by R. Kippax M. A. The Sixth Book Translated from the Greek by William Baxter Gent. The Seventh Book Translated from the Greek by R. M. Gent. Diogenes Laertius OF THE LIVES and SENTENCES of such Persons as were Famous in PHILOSOPHY The First Book Translated from the Greek by T. Fetherstone D. D. The Prooeme SOme there are who affirm That the study of Philosophy deriv'd its first Original from among the Barbariàns For that among the Persians there were the Magi among the Babylonians or Assyrians the Chaldaeans and the Gymnosophists among the Indians Among the Gauls were another sort that went by the name of Druids or Semnotheans as Aristotle reports in his Magic and Sotion in his Thirteenth Book of Succession Among the Phoenicians flourish'd Ochus Zamolxes grew famous among the Thracians and Atlas among the Lybians Add to this That the Egyptians asserted Vulcan to be the Son of Nilus from whom among them Philosophy first commenc'd and over which they who presided as Presidents and Guardians were both Priests and Prophets From whence to the Time of Alexander the Macedonian were to be numbred Forty Eight Thousand Eight Hundred Sixty three Years In all which space of Time there appeared Eclipses of the Sun no less than Three hundred seventy three of the Moon Eight hundred thirty two From the Magi of whom the chiefwas Zoroastres the Persian by the computation of Hermodorus the Platonic in his Book of the Sciences to the Taking and Destruction of Troy were five thousand years though Xanthus the Lydian reck'ns from Zoroastres to the Descent of Xerxes not above six hundred years To which Zoroastres afterwards succeeded several other Magi under the various names of Ostanes Astrapsychi Gobryae and Pazatae till the total subversion of the Persian Monarchy by Alexander But they are grosly mistak'n while they attribute to the Barbarians the famous Acts and Inventions of the Grecians from whom not only Philosophy but even the Race of Mankind had its first Beginning For among the Athenians we behold the Ancient Musaeus among the Thebans Linus Ofwhich two the former reported to be the Son of Eumolpus is said to have first made out the Pedigree of the Gods to have invented the Sphere and first to have taught the World that All things were created of one Matter and should again be dissolv'd into the same This great Person ended his days at Phalerae where the following Elegy was ingrav'd upon his Tomb Here in Phalerian Dust beneath this stone Sleeps lov'd Musaeus once Eumolpus Son. Also from the Father of Musaeus the Eumolpidae among the Athenians deriv'd their Name As for Linus he was the Son of Mercury and the Muse Urania He wrote of the Creation of the World discovered the course of the Sun and Moon and from whence all Plants and Animals had their first Being Which lofty Poem of his began after this manner Once was the time when Nature's God display'd All things in Order and together made Whence Anaxagoras borrowing affirms that All things appear'd at first without shape together and at the same instant at what time the high Intelligence coming embellish'd and adorn'd the several Compositions This Linus ended his Life in Euboea being shot with an Arrow by Apollo After which accident this Epitaph was inscrib'd upon his Monument Here Theban Linus rests in Sacred Ground Vrania's Son with honour'd Garlands Crown'd And thus Philosophy had its Beginning among the Greeks which is also the more apparent from hence That in the very name it self there is not the least of barbarous Sound or Etymology True it is they who ascribe the Invention of it to the Barbarians produce the Thracian Orpheus to make good their Assertion whom they averr to have been a Philosopher and of great Antiquity But for my part I cannot understand how we can think him to be a Philosopher who utters such things as he does concerning the Gods while he asperses the Deities as guilty of all humane Passions and loads 'em with those Vices which are seldom discours'd of less frequently committed by the worst of Men. And therefore though the Fable reports him to have perish'd by the fury of enrag'd Women yet the Epigram
Dionysius of whom he makes mention in his Anterastae and he perform'd his Wrestling Exercises under Aristo of Argos by whom for his lovely Shape and Proportion he was called Plato whereas before he had been nam'd Aristocles from the name of his Grandfather as Alexander relates in his Successions Though ●thers will have him to be so call'd from his broad manner of Pronunciation or else from the breadth of his fore-head according to Neanthes Others report him to have been a great Wrestler at the Isthmian Games among whom was Dicaearchus in his Book of Lives also that he was addicted to Painting and Poetry and that first he wrote Dithyrambies afterwards Odes and Tragedies His voice was but shrill and somewhat effeminate as Timotheus the Athenian relates of him in his Book of Lives It is reported that Socrates should dream that a Cygnet newly hatch'd came and sate down upon his knees and that the wings of the Bird growing out of a sudden she flew away sweetly singing in her flight The next day Plato being brought to him by his Father he cry'd out This is the Bird which I dreamt of He began to divulge his Philosophy first in the Academy then in the Garden adjoyning to Colonus as Alexander relates from the Testimony of Heraclitus Then resolving a contest in Tragedy before the Dionysian Theatre after he had heard Socrates he threw his Poems in the fire crying out Hast Vulcan hith●● Plato wants thy aid And from that time forward being then twenty years of age he became a Hearer of Socrates After whose decease he stuck to Cratylus the Disciple of Heraclitus and Hermogenes who maintain'd the Philosophy of Parmenides When he arriv'd at eight and twenty years of age according to Hermodorus together with some other Socratics he betook himself to Megara where he admir'd and follow'd Euclid from whence he departed for Cyrene to hear Theodorus the Mathematician and from thence he travell'd into Italy to the Pythagoreans Philolaus and Eurytus Thence into Aegypt where he associated with the Priests and Prophets whither it is also reported that Enripides accompany'd him and falling sick was by the Priests cured with a Salt-water Medicine which occasion'd that verse of his The briny Ocean scoures away All the Distempers that on Mortals prey Moreover with Homer he affirm'd that all the Egyptians were Physicians Plato had also design'd to have visited the Magi but the Wars breaking forth in Asia forc'd him to desist from his purpose Returning therefore to Athens he continu'd in the Academy This was a pleasant place in the Suburbs shaded with Trees and so call'd from a certain Hero whose name was Academus of whom Eupolis makes mention in his Astrateuti In those delightful shades the sweet abode Of Academus now a Semi-God And Timon also speaking of Plato thus writes But above all was Plato still allow'd To be the Captain of the Charming Croud Upon his Lips the Charms of Eloquence In Clusters hung sweet words and sublime Sence More tunef●l notes ne'er chirp'd the Grass-hoppers In Hecademian Groves to list'ning Ears For in those Groves was Plato wont to sing Out-charming all the Music of the Spring For formerly the same place was call'd Hecademia with an Epsilon That our Philosopher was a friend to Isocrates appears also from hence for that Polyxenus has committed to writing a certain discourse concerning the Poets that happen'd while Isocrates continu'd with Plato at his Country-House And Aristoxenus farther asserts that he was three times a Souldier once in the Expedition to Tanagra a second time in the War with Corinth and lastly at the Delian Conflict when he won the Victory He made a mixture of the Opinions of the Heraclitans the Pythagoreans and the Socratics and as to those things which appertain'd to the sense he held with Heraclitus where the understanding was concern'd he adher'd to Pythagoras but in Ethics and Politics he follow'd Socrates Some there are and among the rest Satyrus who affirm that he sent into Sicily to Dio a hundred Minas to purchase of Philolaus three Pythagorical Books for his own use For he was then full of money having receiv'd from Dionysius above fourscore Talents as Onetor testifies in his Treatise entitl'd Whether a Wise Man should be Rich. For many other things he was also beholding to Epicharmus the Comedian most of whose Writings he transcrib'd as Alcimus assures us in his Books that he wrote to Amyntas which are four in number In the first of which he runs on in these words It is apparent says he that Plato took many things out of Epicharmus As for Example Sensible says Plato is that which never continues permanent either in Quality or Quantity but is also perpetually flowing and lyable to the inconstancy of Change. As if we should substract Number out of those things which are neither equal nor such nor subjected to Quantity or Quality And these are such things of which there is a continual Generation but never any Substance Intelligible is that which neither encreases or diminishes And this is the nature of things Sempiternal as being always alike and ever the same That the Soul did apprehend some things by the Help of the Body as it happen'd in Seeing and Hearing but that for the understanding of other things she needed no assistance of Corporeal Organs as being endu'd with a sufficient Penetration of her self Which is the reason that Plato from Epicharmus affirms That they who have a desire to collect the Beginnings and Principles of the Whole must first make a distribution of the several Ideas by themselves as Likeness Vnity Multitude Magnitude Rest and Motion In the next place he ought to consider Honest Good and Just every one by themselves Thirdly It behoves him to compare the Ideas one with another and observe which have the truest Agreement and Correspondence one with another as Knowledge Magnitude and Dominion ● As likewise whether those things which are existing in our selves in regard that we partake of their Qualities are Homonymous to those other things For example just things are those that partake of Justice honest that partake of Honesty Now every Species is Eternal and the understanding in reference to these things is void of all Perturbation And therefore the Ideas subsist in Nature like so many Exemplars But as for those other things which are like to these they subsist according to their nearest resemblance to the other And therefore Epicharmus discourses of Good and of Ideas in this manner Can playing on the Flute be said to be any thing Most surely Why then playing upon the Flute is a Man. Not so neither Go too then Dost not thou think a player upon a Flute to be a Man Most certainly And does not the same Argument hold concerning Good This is Good that is the Thing which he who studies by it self shall become Good. For as he that pipes is call'd a Piper he that dances a Dancer so whoever he be that
of various Names to preserve his Writings from being thumbed by rude and illiterate Readers For he said that Wisdom was properly the knowledg of those things which were apprehended by the Understanding and were truly existent which was separated from the Body in the Contemplation of God and the Soul. Moreover he defin'd Wisdom and Philosphy to be an inbred desire of Divine or Heavenly Wisdom But generally he took it for all sort of Skill and Knowledg as when we call an Artificer a Knowing Man. He also makes use of the same words to signifie several things Thus he makes use of the word 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 to signify Plain or Simple as in Euripides thus speaking of Hercules in his Lysimnius Careless and Plain but for the most part honest Who measured Wisdom still by Deeds not words What e're he said he meant The same word 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 〈◊〉 Plato frequently uses sometimes for Honest sometimes for Small tho' at other times he makes use of different words to signify one and the same thing Thus he calls Idea sometimes Genus sometimes Species as also the Beginning the Exemplar and the Cause Sometimes he expresses the same