Diogenes

Diogenes

Diogenes of Sinope, d. c.320 BC, was a Greek philosopher, perhaps the most noted of the Cynics. He pursued the Cynic ideal of self-sufficiency, a life that was natural and not dependent upon the nonessential luxuries of civilization. A student of Antisthenes, he is credited with the development of the chreia (moral epigram), with a scandalous attack of convention entitled Republic (which influenced Zeno of Citium), and with tragedies illustrative of the human predicament. Because Diogenes believed that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory, he made his life a protest against what he thought of as a corrupt society. He is said to have lived in a large tub, rather than house, and to have gone about Athens with a lantern in the daytime, claiming to be looking for an honest man–but never finding one. In later art, Diogenes is often depicted in a torn cloak, with a dog, carrying a lantern.