Freitag, 16. April 2010


The philosopher Aristippus was basically known as a hedonistic, arrogant snob. He came from one of the wealthiest and noblest families of the Greek colony Cyrene in Libya. Later, he travelled to Athens to meet Socrates and one day visited the public bath at the same time as Diogenes who was famed for his social criticism and his dirty and neglected clothes (a predecessor of the Hippies, one might say).

Aristippus finished first with his ablutions and allowed himself the pleasantry of putting on the dirty rags of Diogenes. Latter, it is said, rather preferred to leave naked than to put on the luxurious purple chlamys of the Cyrenaic philosopher. Thereby Aristippus demonstrated his freedom of choice and showed that Diogenes was still caught up in the mainstream's restrictive social thinking, only in a negative way. Also Q. Horatius Flaccus agrees when he writes in a letter to Scaeva: "I rather prefer Aristippus who wears both coats with the same nonchalence!" (Epistulae, I, XVII, 25).

Diogenes Laertius and a few others like Plutarch have related some funny and inspiring anecdotes of Aristippus that are worth looking into, if you have some time.

1 Kommentar:

Laguna Beach Trad hat gesagt…

Our Fathers have much to teach us, still.