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THE LIVES AND OPINIONS OF EMINENT PHILOSOPHERS

BY DIOGENES LAERTIUS, TRANSLATED BY C.D. YONGE

LIFE OF CRATES



I. CRATES was the son of Antigenes, and of the Thriasian burgh, and a pupil and attached friend of Polemo. He was also his successor as president of his school.

II. And they benefited one another so much, that not only did they delight while alive in the same pursuits, but almost to their latest breath did they resemble one another, and even after they were both dead they shared the same tomb. In reference to which circumstance Antagoras has written an epigram on the pair, in which he expresses himself thus:--

Stranger, who passest by, relate that here
        The God-like Crates lies, and Polemo;
Two men of kindred nobleness of mind;
        Out of whose holy mouths pure wisdom flowed,
And they with upright lives did well display,
        The strength of all their principles and teaching.

And they say too that it was in reference to this that Arcesilaus, when he came over to them from Theophrastus, said that they were some gods, or else a remnant of the golden race; for they were not very fond of courting the people, but had a disposition in accordance with the saying of Dionysodorus the flute player, who is reported to have said, with great exultation and pride, that no one had ever heard his music in a trireme or at a fountain as they had heard Ismenius.

III. Antigonus relates that he used to be a messmate of Crantor, and that these philosophers and Arcesilaus lived together; and that Arcesilaus lived in Crantor's house, but that Polemo and Crates lived in the house of one of the citizens, named Lysicles; and he says that Crates was, as I have already mentioned, greatly attached to Polemo, and so was Arcesilaus to Crantor.

IV. But when Crates died, as Apollodorus relates in the third book of his Chronicles, he left behind him compositions, some on philosophical subjects and some on comedy, and some which were speeches addressed to assemblies of the people, or delivered on the occasion of embassies.

V. He also left behind him some eminent disciples, among whom were Arcesilaus, about whom we shall speak presently, for he too was a pupil of his, and Bion of the Borysthenes, who was afterwards called a Theodorean, from the sect which he espoused, and we shall speak of him immediately after Arcesilaus.

VI. But there were ten people of the name of Crates. The first was a poet of the old comedy; the second was an orator of Tralles, a pupil of Isocrates; the third was an engineer who served under Alexander; the fourth a Cynic, whom we shall mention hereafter; the fifth a Peripatetic philosopher; the sixth the Academic philosopher, of whom we are speaking; the seventh a grammarian of Malos; the eighth a writer in geometry; the ninth an epigrammatic poet; the tenth was an Academic philosopher, a native of Tarsus.










Scanned and edited for Peithô's Web from The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, by Diogenes Laertius, Literally translated by C.D. Yonge. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1853. Footnotes have been converted to endnotes. Some, but not all, of Yonge's spellings of ancient names have been updated.

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