The Ancient Library
 

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ATTIC PERIOD. 327

intellectual pursuits, which did not directly and obviously tend to some immediate practical good. He abused literary men for reading about the evils of Ulysses, and neglecting their own ; musicians for stringing the lyre harmoniously, while they left their minds discordant ; men of sci­ence for troubling themselves about the moon and stars, while they neg­lected what lay immediately before them ; orators for learning to say what was right, but not to practise it. Various sarcastic sayings of the same kind are handed down to us as his, generally showing that unwise contempt for the common opinions and pursuits of men which is so un­likely to reform them. On a voyage to ^Egina, he was taken prisoner by pirates, and carried to Crete, to be sold as a slave. Here, when he was asked what business he understood, he answered, " How to command men." He was purchased by Xeniades of Corinth, over whom he ac­quired such influence that he soon received from him his freedom, and was intrusted with the care of his children, and passed his old age in his house. During his residence at Corinth, his celebrated interview with Alexander the Great is said to have taken place. Diogenes died at Cor­inth, at the age of nearly ninety, B.C. 323.

With regard to the philosophy of Diogenes there is little to say, as he was utterly without any scientific object whatsoever. His system, if it deserve the name, was purely practical, and consisted merely in teach­ing men to dispense with the simplest and most necessary wants ;x and his whole style of teaching was a kind of caricature upon that of Socra­tes, whom he imitated in imparting instruction to persons whom he cas­ually met, and with a still more supreme contempt for time, place, and circumstances. Hence he was sometimes called "the mad Socrates." He did not commit his opinions to writing, and therefore those attributed to him can not be certainly relied on. The most peculiar, if correctly stated, was, that all minds are air, exactly alike, and composed of similar particles, but that in the irrational animals and in idiots they are hindered from properly developing themselves by the arrangement and various humors of their bodies. This resembles the Ionic doctrine, and has been referred by Brucker2 to Diogenes of Apollonia.

Diugenes died in the same year with Alexander, and, as Plutarch tells us, both died on the same day. If so, this was probably the 6th of Thar-gelion,

IX. PERIPATETIC SCHOOL.

I. aristoteles ('Apio-Tore^s),3 the celebrated founder of this school, was born at Stagira, a town in Chalcidice, in Macedonia, B.C. 384. His father, Nicomachus, was physician in ordinary to Amyntas II., king of Macedonia, and the author of several treatises on subjects connected with natural science. His mother, Phaestis (or Phsestias), was descended from a Chalcidian family.* The studies and occupation of his father ac­count for the early inclination manifested by Aristotle for the investiga­tion of nature, an inclination which is perceived throughout his whole life.

1 Diog. Laert.,vi., 70. 2 Hist. Grit. Phil., ii., 2, 1, $ 21. 3 Smith, Diet. Biogr., s. v. 4 DLonys., De Demosth. et Arist., 5.

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