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65 Aristippus was by birth a citizen of Cyrene and, as Aeschines informs us, was drawn to Athens by the fame of Socrates. Having come forward as a lecturer or sophist, as Phanias of Eresus, the Peripatetic, informs us, he was the first of the followers of Socrates to charge fees and to send money to his master. And on one occasion the sum of twenty minae which he had sent was returned to him, Socrates declaring that the supernatural sign would not let him take it; the very offer, in fact, annoyed him. Xenophon was no friend to Aristippus; and for this reason he has made Socrates direct against Aristippus the discourse in which he denounces pleasure.1 Not but what Theodorus in his work On Sects abuses him, and so does Plato in the dialogue On the Soul,2 as has been shown elsewhere.
66 He was capable of adapting himself to place, time and person, and of playing his part appropriately under whatever circumstances. Hence he found more favour than anybody with Dionysius, because he could always turn the situation to good account. He derived pleasure from what was present, and did not toil to procure the enjoyment of something not present. Hence Diogenes called him the king's poodle.3 Timon, too, sneered at him for luxury in these words:4
p197 Such was the delicate nature of Aristippus, who groped after error by touch.5
He is said to have ordered a partridge to be brought at a cost of fifty drachmae, and, when someone censured him, he inquired, "Would not you have given an obol for it?" and, being answered in the affirmative, rejoined, "Fifteen drachmae are no more to me." 67 And when Dionysius gave him his choice of three courtesans, he carried off all three, saying, "Paris paid dearly for giving the preference to one out of three." And when he had brought them as far as the porch, he let them go. To such lengths did he go both in choosing and in disdaining. Hence the remark of Strato, or by some accounts of Plato, "You alone are endowed with the gift to flaunt in robes or go in rags." He bore with Dionysius when he spat on him, and to one who took him to task he replied, "If the fishermen let themselves be drenched with sea‑water in order to catch a gudgeon, ought I not to endure to be wetted with negus in order to take a blenny?"
68 Diogenes, washing the dirt from his vegetables, saw him passing and jeered at him in these terms, "If you had learnt to make these your diet, you would not have paid court to kings," to which his rejoinder was, "And if you knew how to associate with men, you would not be washing vegetables." Being asked what he had gained from philosophy, he replied, "The ability to feel at ease in any society." Being reproached for his extravagance, he said, "If it were wrong to be extravagant, it would not be in vogue at the festivals of the gods." p199 Being once asked what advantage philosophers have, he replied, "Should all laws be repealed, we shall go on living as we do now." 69 When Dionysius inquired what was the reason that philosophers go to rich men's houses, while rich men no longer visit philosophers, his reply was that "the one know what they need while the other do not." When he was reproached by Plato for his extravagance, he inquired, "Do you think Dionysius a good man?" and the reply being in the affirmative, "And yet," said he, "he lives more extravagantly than I do. So that there is nothing to hinder a man living extravagantly and well." To the question how the educated differ from the uneducated, he replied, "Exactly as horses that have been trained differ from untrained horses." One day, as he entered the house of a courtesan, one of the lads with him blushed, whereupon he remarked, "It is not going in that is dangerous, but being unable to go out."
70 Some one brought him a knotty problem with the request that he would untie the knot. "Why, you simpleton," said he, "do you want it untied, seeing that it causes trouble enough as it is?" "It is better," said he, "to be a beggar than to be uneducated; the one needs money, the others need to be humanized." One day that he was reviled, he tried to slip away; the other pursued him, asking, "Why do you run away?" "Because," said he, "as it is your privilege to use foul language, so it is my privilege not to listen." In answer to one who remarked that he always saw philosophers at rich men's doors, he said, "So, too, physicians are in attendance on those who are sick, but no one for that reason would prefer being sick to being a physician."
p201 71 It happened once that he set sail for Corinth and, being overtaken by a storm, he was in great consternation. Some one said, "We plain men are not alarmed, and are you philosophers turned cowards?" To this he replied, "The lives at stake in the two cases are not comparable." When some one gave himself airs for his wide learning, this is what he said: "As those who eat most and take the most exercise are not better in health than those who restrict themselves to what they require, so too it is not wide reading but useful reading that tends to excellence." An advocate, having pleaded for him and won the case, thereupon put the question, "What good did Socrates do you?" "Thus much," was the reply, "that what you said of me in your speech was true."
72 He gave his daughter Arete the very best advice, training her up to despise excess. He was asked by some one in what way his son would be the better for being educated. He replied, "If nothing more than this, at all events, when in the theatre he will not sit down like a stone upon stone." When some one brought his son as a pupil, he asked a fee of 500 drachmae. The father objected. "For that sum I can buy a slave." "Then do so," was the reply, "and you will have two." He said that he did not take money from his friends for his own use, but to teach them upon what objects their money should be spent. When he was reproached for employing a rhetorician to conduct his case, he made reply, "Well, if I give a dinner, I hire a cook."
73 Being once compelled by Dionysius to enunciate some doctrine of philosophy, "It would be ludicrous," he said, "that you should learn from me what to p203 say, and yet instruct me when to say it." At this, they say, Dionysius was offended and made him recline at the end of the table. And Aristippus said, "You must have wished to confer distinction on the last place." To some one who boasted of his diving, "Are you not ashamed," said he, "to brag of that which a dolphin can do?" Being asked on one occasion what is the difference between the wise man and the unwise, "Strip them both," said he, "and send them among strangers and you will know." To one who boasted that he could drink a great deal without getting drunk, his rejoinder was, "And so can a mule."
74 To one who accused him of living with a courtesan, he put the question, "Why, is there any difference between taking a house in which many people have lived before and taking one in which nobody has ever lived?" The answer being "No," he continued, "Or again, between sailing in a ship in which ten thousand persons have sailed before and in one in which nobody has ever sailed?" There is no difference." "Then it makes no difference," said he, "whether the woman you live with has lived with many or with nobody." To the accusation that, although he was a pupil of Socrates, he took fees, his rejoinder was, "Most certainly I do, for Socrates, too, when certain people sent him cornº and wine, used to take a little and return all the rest; and he had the foremost men in Athens for his stewards, whereas mine is my slave Eutychides." He enjoyed the favours of Laïs, as Sotion states in the second book of his Successions of Philosophers. 75 To those who censured him his defence was, "I have Laïs, not she me; and it is not abstinence from p205 pleasures that is best, but mastery over them without ever being worsted." To one who reproached him extravagance in catering, he replied, "Wouldn't you have bought this if you could have got it from three obols?" The answer being in the affirmative, "Very well, then," said Aristippus, "I am no longer a lover of pleasure, it is you who are a lover of money." One day Simus, the steward of Dionysius, a Phrygian by birth and a rascally fellow, was showing him costly houses with tesselated pavements, when Aristippus coughed up phlegm and spat in his face. And on his resenting this he replied, "I could not find any place more suitable."
76 When Charondas (or, as others say, Phaedo) inquired, "Who is this who reeks with unguents?" he replied, "It is I, unlucky wight, and the still more unlucky Persian king. But, as none of the other animals are at any disadvantage on that account, consider whether it be not the same with man. Confound the effeminates who spoil for us the use of good perfume." Being asked how Socrates died, he answered, "As I would wish to die myself." Polyxenus the sophist once paid him a visit and, after having seen ladies present and expensive entertainment, reproached him with it later. After an interval Aristippus asked him, "Can you join us today?" 77 On the other accepting the invitation, Aristippus inquired, "Why, then, did you find fault? For you appear to blame the cost and not the entertainment." When his servant was carrying money and found the load too heavya — the story is told by Bion in his Lectures — Aristippus cried, "Pour away the greater part, and carry no more than you can manage." Being once on a voyage, as soon as he p207 discovered the vessel to be manned by pirates, he took out his money and began to count it, and then, as if by inadvertence, he let the money fall into the sea, and naturally broke out into lamentation. Another version of the story attributes to him the further remark that it was better for the money to perish on account of Aristippus than for Aristippus to perish on account of the money. Dionysius once asked him what he was come for, and he said it was to impart what he had and obtain what he had not. 78 But some make his answer to have been, "When I needed wisdom, I went to Socrates; now that I am in need of money, I come to you." He used to complain of mankind that in purchasing earthenware they made trial whether it rang true, but had no regular standard by which to judge life. Others attribute this remark to Diogenes. One day Dionysius over the wine commanded everybody to put on purple and dance. Plato declined, quoting the line:6
I could not stoop to put on women's robes.
Aristippus, however, put on the dress and, as he was about to dance, was ready with the repartee:
Even amid the Bacchic revelry
True modesty will not be put to shame.7
79 He made a request to Dionysius on behalf of a friend and, failing to obtain it, fell down at his feet. And when some one jeered at him, he made reply, "It is not I who am to blame, but Dionysius who had his ears in his feet." He was once staying in Asia and was taken prisoner by Artaphernes, the satrap. "Can you be cheerful under these circumstances?" p209 some one asked. "Yes, you simpleton," was the reply, "for when should I be more cheerful than now that I am about to converse with Artaphernes?" Those who went through the ordinary curriculum, but in their studies stopped short at philosophy, he used to compare to the suitors of Penelope. For the suitors won Melantho, Polydora and the rest of the handmaidens, but were anything but successful in their wooing of the mistress. 80 A similar remark is ascribed to Ariston. For, he said, when Odysseus went down into the under-world, he saw nearly all the dead and made their acquaintance, but he never set eyes upon their queen herself.
Again, when Aristippus was asked what are the subjects which handsome boys ought to learn, his reply was, "Those which will be useful to them when they are grown up." To the critic who censured him for leaving Socrates to go to Dionysius, his rejoinder was, "Yes, but I came to Socrates for education and to Dionysius for recreation." When he had made some money by teaching, Socrates asked him, "Where did you get so much?" to which he replied, "Where you got so little."
81 A courtesan having told him that she was with child by him, he replied, "You are no more sure of this than if, after running through coarse rushes, you were to say you had been pricked by one in particular." Someone accused him of exposing his son as if it was not his offspring. Wood he replied, "Phlegm, too, and vermin we know to be of our own begetting, but for all that, because they are useless, we cast them as far from us as possible." He received a sum of money from Dionysius at the same time that Plato carried off a book and, when p211 he was twitted with this, his reply was, "Well, I want money, Plato wants books." Some one asked him why he let himself be refuted by Dionysius. "For the same reason," said he, "as the others refute him."
82 met a request of his for money with the words, "Nay, but you told me that the wise man would never be in want." To which he retorted, "Pay! Pay! and then let us discuss the question;" and when he was paid, "Now you see, do you not," said he, "that I was not found wanting?" Dionysius having repeated to him the lines:
Whoso betakes him to a prince's court
Becomes his slave, albeit of free birth,8
If a free man he come, no slave is he.9
This is stated by Diocles in his work On the Lives of Philosophers; other writers refer the anecdotes to Plato. After getting in a rage with Aeschines, he presently addressed him thus: "Are we not to make it up and desist from vapouring, or will you wait for some one to reconcile us over the wine-bowl?" To which he replied, "Agreed." 83 "Then remember," Aristippus went on, "that, though I am your senior, I made the first approaches." Thereupon Aeschines said, "Well done, by Hera, you are quite right; you are a much better man than I am. For the quarrel was of my beginning, you make the first move to friendship." Such are the repartees which are attributed to him.
There have been four men called Aristippus, (1) our present subject, (2) the author of a book about p213 Arcadia, (3) the grandchild by a daughter of the first Aristippus, who was known as his mother's pupil, (4) a philosopher of the New Academy.
The following books by the Cyrenaic philosopher are in circulation: a history of Libya in three Books, sent to Dionysius; one work containing twenty-five dialogues, some written in Attic, some in Doric, as follows:
To the shipwrecked.
To the Exiles.
To a Beggar.
To Laïs, On the Mirror.
To the Master of the Revels.
To his Friends.
To those who blame him for his love of old wine and of women.
To those who blame him for extravagant living.
Letter to his daughter Arete.
To one in training for Olympia.
An Occasional Piece to Dionysius.
Another, On the Statue.
Another, On the daughter of Dionysius.
To one who considered himself slighted.
To one who essayed to be a counsellor.
Some also maintain that he wrote six Books of p215 Essays; others, and among them Sosicrates of Rhodes, that he wrote none at all.
85 According to Sotion in his second book, and Panaetius, the following treatises are his:
Introduction to Philosophy.
Six books of Essays.
Three books of Occasional Writings (χρεῖαι).
He laid down as the end the smooth motion resulting in sensation.
Having written his life, let me now proceed to pass in review the philosophers of the Cyrenaic school which sprang from him, although some call themselves followers of Hegesias, others followers of Anniceris, others again of Theodorus.10 Not but what we shall notice further the pupils of Phaedo, the chief of whom were called the school of Eretria. 86 The case stands thus. The disciples of Aristippus were his daughter Arete, Aethiops of Ptolemaïs,11 p217 and Antipater of Cyrene. The pupil of Arete was Aristippus, who went by the name of mother-taught, and his pupil was Theodorus, known as the atheist, subsequently as "god." Antipater's pupil was Epitimides of Cyrene, his was Paraebates, and he had as pupils Hegesias, the advocate of suicide, and Anniceris, who ransomed Plato.
Those then who adhered to the teaching of Aristippus and were known as Cyrenaics held the following opinions. They laid down that there are two states, pleasure and pain, the former a smooth, the latter a rough motion, 87 and that pleasure does not differ from pleasure nor is one pleasure more pleasant than another. The one state is agreeable and the other repellent to all living things. However, the bodily pleasure which is the end is, according to Panaetius in his work On the Sects, not the settled pleasure following the removal of pains, or the sort of freedom from discomfort which Epicurus accepts and maintains to be the end. They also hold that there is a difference between "end" and "happiness." Our end is particular pleasure, whereas happiness is the sum total of all particular pleasures, in which are included both past and future pleasures.
88 Particular pleasure is desirable for its own sake, whereas happiness is desirable not for its own sake but for the sake of particular pleasures. That pleasure is the end is proved by the fact that from our youth up we are instinctively attracted to it, and when we obtain it, seek for nothing more, and shun nothing so much as its opposite, pain. Pleasure is good even if it proceed from the most unseemly conduct, as Hippobotus says in his work On the Sects. For even if the action be irregular, p219 still, at any rate, the resultant pleasure is desirable for its own sake and is good. 89 The removal of pain, however, which is put forward in Epicurus, seems to them not to be pleasure at all, any more than the absence of pleasure is pain. For both pleasure and pain they hold to consist in motion, whereas absence of pleasure like absence of pain is not motion, since painlessness is the condition of one who is, as it were, asleep. They assert that some people may fail to choose pleasure because their minds are perverted; not all mental pleasures and pains, however, are derived from bodily counterparts. For instance, we take disinterested delight in the prosperity of our country which is as real as our delight in our own prosperity. Nor again do they admit that pleasure is derived from the memory or expectation of good, which was a doctrine of Epicurus. 90 For they assert that the movement affecting the mind is exhausted in course of time. Again they hold that pleasure is not derived from sight or from hearing alone. At all events, we listen with pleasure to imitation of mourning, while the reality causes pain. They gave the names of absence of pleasure and absence of pain to the intermediate conditions. However, they insist that bodily pleasures are far better than mental pleasures, and bodily pains far worse than mental pains, and that this is the reason why offenders are punished with the former. For they assumed pain to be more repellent, pleasure more congenial. For these reasons they paid more attention to the body than to the mind. Hence, although pleasure is in itself desirable, yet they hold that the things which are productive of certain pleasures are often of a painful nature, the very p221 opposite of pleasure; so that to accumulate the pleasures which are productive of happiness appears to them a most irksome business.
91 They do not accept the doctrine that every wise man lives pleasantly and every fool painfully, but regard it as true for the most part only. It is sufficient even if we enjoy but each single pleasure as it comes. They say that prudence is a good, though desirable not in itself but on account of its consequences; that we make friends from interested motives, just as we cherish any part of the body so long as we have it; that some of the virtues are found even in the foolish; that bodily training contributes to the acquisition of virtue; that the sage will not give way to envy or love or superstition, since these weaknesses are due to mere empty opinion; he will, however, feel pain and fear, these being natural affections; 92 and that wealth too is productive of pleasure, though not desirable for its own sake.
They affirm that mental affections can be known, but not the objects from which they come; and they abandoned the study of nature because of its apparent uncertainty, but fastened on logical inquiries because of their utility. But Meleager in his second book On Philosophical Opinions, and Clitomachus in his first book On the Sects, affirm that they maintain Dialectic as well as Physics to be useless, since, when one has learnt the theory of good and evil, it is possible to speak with propriety, to be free from superstition, and to escape the fear of death. 93 They also held that nothing is just or honourable or base by nature, but only by convention and custom. Nevertheless the good man will be deterred from p223 wrong-doing by the penalties imposed and the prejudices that it would arouse. Further that the wise man really exists. They allow progress to be attainable in philosophy as well as in other matters. They maintain that the pain of one man exceeds that of another, and that the senses are not always true and trustworthy.
The school of Hegesias, as it is called, adopted the same ends, namely pleasure and pain. In their view there is no such thing as gratitude or friendship or beneficence, because it is not for themselves that we choose to do these things but simply from motives of interest, apart from which such conduct is nowhere found. 94 They denied the possibility of happiness, for the body is infected with much suffering, while the soul shares in the sufferings of the body and is a prey to disturbance, and fortune often disappoints. From all this it follows that happiness cannot be realized. Moreover, life and death are each desirable in turn. But that there is anything naturally pleasant or unpleasant they deny; when some men are pleased and others pained by the same objects, this is owing to the lack or rarity or surfeit of such objects. Poverty and riches have no relevance to pleasure; for neither the rich nor the poor as such have any special share in pleasure. Slavery and freedom, nobility and low birth, honour and dishonour, are alike indifferent in a calculation of pleasure. 95 To the fool life is advantageous, while to the wise it is a matter of indifference. The wise man will be guided in all he does by his own interests, for there is none other whom he regards as equally deserving. For supposing him to reap the greatest advantages from another, they would not be equal to p225 what he contributes himself. They also disallow the claims of the senses, because they do not lead to accurate knowledge. Whatever appears rational should be done. They affirmed that allowance should be made for errors, for no man errs voluntarily, but under constraint of some suffering; that we should not hate men, but rather teach them better. The wise man will not have so much advantage over others in the choice of goods as in the avoidance of evils, making it his end to live without pain of body or mind. 96 This then, they say, is the advantage accruing to those who make no distinction between any of the objects which produce pleasure.
The school of Anniceris in other respects agreed with them, but admitted that friendship and gratitude and respect for parents do exist in real life, and that a good man will sometimes act out of patriotic motives. Hence, if the wise man receive annoyance, he will be none the less happy even if few pleasures accrue to him. The happiness of a friend is not in itself desirable, for it is not felt by his neighbour. Instruction is not sufficient in itself to inspire us with confidence and to make us rise superior to the opinion of the multitude. Habits must be formed because of the bad disposition which has grown up in us from the first. 97 A friend should be cherished not merely for his utility — for, if that fails, we should then no longer associate with him — but for the good feeling for the sake of which we shall even endure hardships. Nay, though we make pleasure the end and are annoyed when deprived of it, we shall nevertheless cheerfully endure this because of our love to our friend.
The Theodoreans derived their name from Theodorus, p227 who has already been mentioned, and adopted his doctrines. Theodorus was a man who utterly rejected the current belief in the gods. And I have come across a book of his entitled Of the Gods which is not contemptible. From that book, they say, Epicurus borrowed most of what he wrote on the subject.
98 Theodorus was also a pupil of Anniceris and of Dionysius the dialectician, as Antisthenes mentions in his Successions of Philosophers. He considered joy and grief to be the supreme good and evil, the one brought about by wisdom, the other by folly. Wisdom and justice he called goods, and their opposites evils, pleasure and pain being intermediate to good and evil. Friendship he rejected because it did not exist between the unwise nor between the wise; with the former, when the want is removed, the friendship disappears, whereas the wise are self-sufficient and have no need of friends. It was reasonable, as he thought, for the good man not to risk his life in the defence of his country, for he would never throw wisdom away to benefit the unwise.
99 He said the world was his country. Theft, adultery, and sacrilege would be allowable upon occasion, since none of these acts is by nature base, if once you have removed the prejudice against them, which is kept up in order to hold the foolish multitude together. The wise man would indulge his passions openly without the least regard to circumstances. Hence he would use such arguments as this. "Is a woman who is skilled in grammar useful in so far as she is skilled in grammar?" "Yes." "And is a boy or a youth skilled in grammar useful in so far as he is skilled in grammar?" "Yes." "Again, p229 is a woman who is beautiful useful in so far as she is beautiful, and is a boy or a young man who is beautiful useful in so far as he is beautiful?" "Yes." "So a beautiful boy or young man is useful for what he is beautiful for?" "Yes."b 100 "And the use of beauty is to be enjoyed?" "Yes." When this was admitted, he would press the argument to the conclusion, namely, that he who uses anything for the purpose for which it is useful does no wrong. And by some such interrogatories he would carry his point.
He appears to have been called θεός (god) in consequence of the following argument addressed to him by Stilpo. "Are you, Theodorus, who you declare yourself to be?" To this he assented, and Stilpo continued, "And do you say you are god?" To this he agreed. "Then it follows that you are god." Theodorus accepted this, and Stilpo said with a smile, "But, you rascal, at this rate you would allow yourself to be a jackdaw and ten thousand other things."
101 However, Theodorus, sitting on one occasion beside Euryclides, the hierophant, began, "Tell me, Euryclides, who they are who violate the mysteries?" Euryclides replied, "Those who disclose them to the uninitiated." "Then you violate them," said Theodorus, "when you explain them to the uninitiated." Yet he would hardly have escaped from being brought before the Areopagus if Demetrius of Phalerum had not rescued him. And Amphicrates in his book Upon Illustrious Men says he was condemned to drink the hemlock.
102 For a while he stayed at the court of Ptolemy the son of Lagus, and was once sent by him as ambassador to Lysimachus. And on this occasion his language was so bold that Lysimachus said, "Tell me, are you not the Theodorus who was banished from Athens?" To which he replied, "Your information p231 is correct, for, when Athens could not bear me any more than Semele could Dionysus, she cast me out."c And upon Lysimachus adding, "Take care you do not come here again," "I never will," said he, "unless Ptolemy sends me." Mithras, the king's minister, standing by and saying, "It seems that you can ignore not only gods but kings as well," Theodorus replied, "How can you say that I ignore the gods when I regard you as hateful to the gods?" He is said on one occasion in Corinth to have walked abroad with a numerous train of pupils, and Metrocles the Cynic, who was washing chervil, remarked, "You, sophist that you are, would not have wanted all these pupils if you had washed vegetables." Thereupon Theodorus retorted, "And you, if you had known how to associate with men, would have had no use for these vegetables." 103 A similar anecdote is told of Diogenes and Aristippus, as mentioned above.12
Such was the character of Theodorus and his surroundings. At last he retired to Cyrene, where he lived with Magas and continued to be held in high honour. The first time that he was expelled from Cyrene he is credited with a witty remark: "Many thanks,13 men of Cyrene," said he, "for driving me from Libya into Greece."
Some twenty persons have borne the name of Theodorus: (1) a Samian, the son of Rhoecus. He it was who advised laying charcoal embers under the foundations of the temple in Ephesus; for, as the ground was very damp, the ashes, being free from woody fibre, would retain a solidity which is actually proof against moisture. (2) A Cyrenaean geometer, p233 whose lectures Plato attended. (3) The philosopher above referred to. (4) The author of a fine work on practising the voice. 104 (5) An authority upon musical composers from Terpander onwards. (6) A Stoic. (7) A writer upon the Romans. (8) A Syracusan who wrote upon Tactics. (9) A Byzantine, famous for his political speeches. (10) Another, equally famous, mentioned by Aristotle in his Epitome of Orators. (11) A Theban sculptor. (12) A painter, mentioned by Polemo. (13) An Athenian painter, of whom Menodotus writes. (14) An Ephesian painter, who is mentioned by Theophanes in his work upon painting. (15) A poet who wrote epigrams. (16) A writer on poets. (17) A physician, pupil of Athenaeus. (18) A Stoic philosopher of Chios. (19) A Milesian, also a Stoic philosopher. (20) A tragic poet.
1 Mem. II.1.
2 In the Introduction to the Phaedo, 59C, Aristippus is said to have been in Aegina on the day when Socrates drank the hemlock. How little this justifies the use of the terms ἐκάκισεν and διαβάλλων may be seen from the previous statement in the Phaedo that Plato himself is said to have been absent through illness on that occasion. Notice that Diogenes Laertius refers to the Life of Plato as already written: see III.36.
3 Or "royal cynic." It is impossible to preserve the double entendre here, for κύων, dog, also means "cynic"; in fact the very name of that sect proclaims that they gloried in their dog‑like attributes, especially in snarling and biting.
4 Fr. 27 D.
5 This alludes to his doctrine of sensation, sometimes called "internal touch." Compare infra § 92, and more fully Sext. Emp. Adv. mathem. VII.191. It has been paraphrased thus: "quae potuit tactu a falso discernere verum."
6 Eur. Bacch. 836.
7 ib. 317.
10 This sentence is a sort of preface to the valuable summary of Hedonistic tenets which occupies §86‑99 under four heads, Aristippus (86‑93), Hegesias (93‑96), Anniceris (96, 97), and Theodorus (97‑99). Cf. note on I.19 and Epiphanius (Diels, Dox. Gr. 591). It seems as if the sentence τέλος δὲ . . . ἀναδιδομένην ought to follow, not to precede, this preface. But before the doctrines comes a list of disciples, including Hegesias, Anniceris, and Theodorus, whose divergencies from Aristippus are noted below. The intrusion of Phaedo and the Eretrians at this stage is certainly strange: it looks as if Diogenes Laertius jotted down a direction for his own future guidance.
11 If the city was so named after a Ptolemy, it is impossible that one of its citizens could have been contemporary with the first Aristippus, the companion of Socrates. Even if Aristippus II was the teacher of Aethiops the difficulty is not removed.
13 Or, if κακῶς is the reading, "It is unkind of you." καλῶς is Stephanus's conjecture.
a I found it interesting to try to determine how much money Aristippus' servant might have been carrying.
The first step is simple: money can only have meant coin, and logic and efficiency suggest that if it were enough money to be noticeably heavy, it must have been high-value coin, silver rather than bronze. (Gold seems out of the question, because enough gold coin to be heavy would have been a sizable fortune, enough to travel in style rather than on foot; and gold coin was pretty rare before the time of Alexander.)
The next step is much iffier: how much would the coins have to weigh for the servant to complain about the burden? As a very rough estimate, a mule, according to an expert in the matter — (see my note on the coin-carrying mules in Lucullus' triumph of 63 B.C.) can carry about a third of his weight: extrapolated, somewhat diffidently of course, to a human being weighing 80 kilograms, we can arrive at a figure of 27 kg. This is anecdotally confirmed by a recent shopping expedition of mine, in which I wound up carrying 18 kilograms for about two kilometers: I found it heavy, and had I been someone's servant, I might have complained. I'm an old man of nearly seventy, however, so we can increase that figure a bit, but probably not by much, since the very fact of carrying a large sum of money suggests a long trip, not just a shopping outing: say, then, 20 kg; which would be, taking one of the commonest of Greek coins, the 17¼‑gram Attic silver tetradrachm, about 1160 coins. In case you're wondering, given the specific gravity of silver (10.5), that would fit in two 1‑liter milk cartons with a little bit to spare.
The final step is to determine the value of such an amount of coin — yet another iffy proposition. Taking my cue from CoinWeek's page "What Were They Worth? The Purchasing Power of Ancient Coins", the bullion-equivalent value (in March 2018 when I made these rough calculations and the spot price of silver was around $530/kg — data from Money Metals Exchange LLC), the servant was carrying about $10,000; and the labor-equivalent value was about three years' wages for a common laborer — which, using modern American minimum wage as a guide (in the ballpark of $10/hour, 8‑hour days for 260 working days a year), pans out to about $60,000.
Aristippus' servant, then, by my lights, was carrying between $10,000 and $60,000.
b The Loeb editor omits the translation of a fair amount of Greek — clearly by choice; I've supplied mine. Then when he resumed, he papered over the bowdlerizing with the translation you read above, "And the use of beauty is to be enjoyed?" The Greek actually has "He is useful for consorting with."
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Page updated: 9 Mar 18