Diogenes and a misnomer

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dean
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Diogenes and a misnomer

Post by dean »

Hi,

Been quite a while due to work but now surprise surprise I have quite a bit of time on my hands.

Missing a lot of the other users that I used to see regularly here guess you know who you are.

Anyways to the point.

Finished a book which had nothing to do with Alexander- well pretty much nothing.
It was a book on minimalisim about half way through, the writer mentioned Diogenes and an episode where he saw a boy eating without plate or anything but hands and instantly broke the only plate he owned. The book I was reading had one intention just to persuade us to get rid of the clutter and unnecesary objects in our lives. Diogenes seemed to be the precursor of the movement.

I was confused because a few years earlier I had viewed a house whose previous owner had suffered from Diogenes syndrome and the real estate had spent lots of money and time clearning the place.
So yesterday realised misnomer regarding Diogenes- he was the antithesis of a person with the syndrome as it is currently known.

Second, always loved Alexander's encounter with Diogenes where he asks if there is anything he can do for him and gets mocked for his trouble asking to move the way out of the sun.

This meeting took place in Corinth- and as Alexander leaves he is reported to have said that if he weren't Alexander then he would prefer to be Diogenes.

All cool stuff also learned in a little bit of research that Diogenes of Sinope was in exile for debasement of currency and of course one of the founder of cynic school of philosophy but have to find out a little bit more about the history of this philosophy.

Alexander's comment regarding Diogenes is curious, on the one hand we have a king warrior but on the other we have a "philosopher" living homeless and begging for a living and Alexander with future aspirations of divinity should make such a comment,

Guess he envied Diogenes perceived freedom from all obligation.
Best regards,
Dean
carpe diem
Alexias
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Re: Diogenes and a misnomer

Post by Alexias »

Guess he envied Diogenes perceived freedom from all obligation.

You reckon? I'd always thought it was a sort of publicity answer to show he wasn't offended by Diogenes' frankness and that he admired his guts for not trying to flatter Alexander who, at this point, probably had everyone falling over themselves not to provoke a war with him. Disrespect, even if Alexander did actually make the comment, might have struck him as amusing.
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dean
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Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:31 pm
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Re: Diogenes and a misnomer

Post by dean »

Hey there!
Thanks for the reply.

Yeah I can see where you are coming with this although the reply
"I would wish to be Diogenes" to my mind, kind of implies more than just having an attitude that he admires.

Anyways, as you say the whole incident is doubtful, it was likely to be in 336 when Alexander was in Corinth and also, it is necessary to take into the whole context that the Alexander who supposedly visited Diogenes was the young 20 year old Alexander the obscure.

We are told that the story was probably relayed via Onesicritus, a disciple of Diogenes.

Nevertheless I would imagine that Alexander would have found Diogenes's reply extremely refreshing.
Have a good day
carpe diem
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