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I. Dionysius, the Deserter, as he was called, asserted that pleasure was the chief good, from the circumstance of his being afflicted with a complaint in his eyes. For, as he suffered severely, he could not pronounce pain a thing indifferent.
II. He was the son of Theophantus, and a native of Heraclea.
III. He was a pupil, as we are told by Diocles, first of all of Heraclides, his fellow citizen; after that of Alexinus, and Menedemus; and last of all of Zeno. And at first, as he was very devoted to learning, he tried his hand at all kinds of poetry. Afterwards, he attached himself to Aratus, whom he took for his model. Having left Zeno, he turned to the Cyrenaics, and became a frequenter of brothels, and in other respects indulged in luxury without disguise.
IV. When he had lived near eighty years, he died of starvation.
V. The following books are attributed to him. Two books on Apathy; two on Exercise; four on Pleasure; one on Riches, and Favours, and Revenge; one on the Use of Men; one on Good Fortune; one on Ancient Kings; one on Things which are Praised; one on Barbarian Customs.
These now are the chief men who differed from the Stoics. But the man who succeeded Zeno in his school was Cleanthes, whom we must now speak of.
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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