Diogenes of Sinope

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Such as take lodgings in a head that's to be let unfurnished.
Samuel Butler
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I am a citizen of the world.

Diogenes of Sinope or Diogenes the Cynic (c. 412 BC323 BC) was the most famous of the Cynic philosophers of ancient Greece. No writings of his survive, but his sayings are recorded by Diogenes Laërtius and others.


Stand a little out of my sunshine.

Diogenes Laërtius Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, Book 6

Quotations are taken from the translation by R. D. Hicks (London: Heinemann, 1970-72) vol. 2, to which the page-numbers also refer.

  • Here is Plato's man.
    • Page 43
    • Producing a plucked chicken in response to Plato's definition of a man: "A featherless biped."

  • If a rich man, when you will; if a poor man, when you can.
    • Page 43
    • On the proper time for having lunch.

I am looking for an honest man.
  • I am looking for a man.
    • Page 43
    • When asked why he was carrying a lamp in full daylight. Sometimes translated as "I am looking for an honest man."

  • That for which other people pay.
    • Page 57
    • On being asked what wine he found pleasant to drink.

  • I am a citizen of the world.
    • Page 65
    • On being asked where he came from.

About Diogenes of Sinope

  • A Socrates gone mad.
    • Plato, in Diogenes Laërtius (trans. R. D. Hicks) Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers (London: Heinemann, 1970-72) vol. 2, p. 55.

  • If I were not Alexander, I should wish to be Diogenes.
    • Alexander the Great, in John Langhorne and William Langhorne (trans.) Plutarch's Lives (New York: Harper, 1859) p. 469.

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