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THE LIVES AND OPINIONS OF EMINENT PHILOSOPHERS

BY DIOGENES LAERTIUS, TRANSLATED BY C.D. YONGE

LIFE OF MONIMUS



I. MONIMUS was a Syracusan, and a pupil of Diogenes, but also a slave of some Corinthian money-changer, as Sosicrates tells us. Xeniades, who bought Diogenes, used often to come to him, extolling the excellency of Diogenes both in actions and words till he excited a great affection for the man in the mind of Monimus. For he immediately feigned madness, and threw about all the money and all the coins that were on the table, until his master discarded him, and then he straightway went to Diogenes and became his pupil. He also followed Crates the Cynic a good deal, and devoted himself to the same studies as he did; and the sight of this conduct of his made his master all the more think him mad.

II. And he was a very eminent man, so that even Menander, the comic poet, speaks of him; accordingly, in one of his plays, namely in the Hippocomus, he mentions him thus:

There is a man, O Philo, named Monimus,
A wise man, though but little known, and one
Who bears a wallet at his back and is not
Content with one but three. He never spoke
A single sentence by great Jove I swear,
Like this one, "Know thyself," or any other
Of the oft-quoted proverbs: all such sayings
He scorned, as he did beg his way through dirt;
Teaching that all opinion is but vanity.

But he was a man of such gravity that he despised glory, and sought only for truth.

III. He wrote some jests mingled with serious treatises, and two essays on the Appetites, and an Exhortation.










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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