Interesting facts about Diogenes

In his youth, Diogenes was expelled from his hometown along with his father for counterfeiting money. The reason for this was the oracle, who, when Diogenes asked whether it was worth taking on counterfeiting, answered: "overestimate the values." After this incident, Diogenes became a philosopher, becoming a follower of Antisthenes. Having settled in Athens and preaching an ascetic way of life, he despised luxury, being content with the clothes of a vagabond, and behaved quite marginal, at times causing the residents to shock and then admiration.

Some surviving facts from the life of Diogenes:

Diogenes did not actually live in a barrel, as many believe, but in pithos - an earthen vessel for storing grain. The wooden barrel was invented by the Romans 5 centuries after the death of Diogenes.

When Alexander the Great conquered Attica, he decided to personally meet Diogenes and came to him with a proposal to fulfill any desire. Diagen asked to move away so as not to obscure the sun. To which the commander remarked that if he had not been Alexander the Great, he would have become Diogenes. Ironically, Alexander died on the same day as Diogenes on June 10, 323 BC. e.

After Plato defined man as an animal walking on two legs and devoid of hair and feathers, Diogenes brought a plucked rooster to his school and let him go, solemnly proclaiming: "Now you are a man!" Plato had to add to the definition the phrase "... and with flat nails."

Seeing the son of a prostitute throwing stones into the crowd, Diogenes said: "Beware of hitting your father!"

When the Athenians were busy preparing for a war with Philip the Great and there was vanity and excitement around, Diogenes began to roll his pithos through the streets. Many asked him why he was doing this, to which Diogenes replied: "Everyone is busy, and so am I."

Once a very rich man invited Diogenes to his luxurious house and warned him: "Look how clean my house is, don't try to spit somewhere." After examining the dwelling and marveling at its beauty, Diogenes went up to the owner and spat in his face, claiming that this was the dirtiest place he had found.

One day, returning from Olympia, when asked if there were many people there, Diogenes said: "There are plenty of people, but there are almost no people." And once, leaving the square, he began to shout: "Hey, people, people!", But when the people came running, he began to chase them away with a stick, saying: "I called people, not scoundrels."

Diogenes often had to beg, but he did not ask for alms, but demanded: "Fools, give it to the philosopher, because he teaches you to live!"

During his lifetime, Diogenes was often called a dog for his behavior, and this animal became a symbol of the Cynics (followers of Diogenes). At his grave in Corinth, a monument was erected in the form of a dog standing on a column.