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THE LIVES AND OPINIONS OF EMINENT PHILOSOPHERS

BY DIOGENES LAERTIUS, TRANSLATED BY C.D. YONGE

LIFE OF HERILLUS



I. HERILLUS, a native of Carthage, said that the chief good was knowledge; that is to say, the always conducting one's self in such a way as to refer everything to the principle of living according to knowledge, and not been misled by ignorance. He also said that knowledge was a habit not departing from reason in the reception of perceptions.

On one occasion, he said that there was no such thing as a chief good, but that circumstances and events changed it, just as the same piece of brass might become a statue either of Alexander or of Socrates. And that besides the chief good or end (telos) there was a subordinate end (hypotelis) (1) different from it. And that those who were not wise aimed at the latter; but that only the wise man directed his views to the former. And all the things between virtue and vice, he pronounced indifferent.

II. His books contain but few lines, but they are full of power, and contain arguments in opposition to Zeno.

III. It is said, that when he was a boy, many people were attached to him; and as Zeno wished to drive them away, he persuaded him to have his head shaved, which disgusted them all.

IV. His books are these. One on Exercise; one on the Passions; one on Opinion; the Lawgiver; the Skilful Midwife; the Contradictory Teacher; the Preparer; the Director; the Mercury; the Medea; a book of Dialogues; a book of Ethical Propositions.



1. "Hypotelis, a name given by Herillus in Diogenes Laertius to a man's natural talents, &c., which ought all to be subordinate to the attainment of the chief good." - L. E. S. in voc.










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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