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This webpage reproduces one of the
Lives of the Eminent Philosophers

Diogenes Laërtius

published in the Loeb Classical Library, 1925

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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(Vol. I) Diogenes Laërtius
Lives of the Eminent Philosophers

Book IV

 p399  Chapter 4
Crates (of Athens)
(Head of the Academy in third century B.C.)

[link to original Greek text] 21 Crates, whose father was Antigenes, was an Athenian belonging to the deme of Thria. He was a pupil and at the same time a favourite of Polemo, whom he succeeded in the headship of the school. The two were so much attached to each other that they not only shared the same pursuits in life but grew more and more alike to their latest breath, and, dying, shared the same tomb. Hence Antagoras, writing of both, employed this figure:1

Passing stranger, say that in this tomb rest godlike Crates and Polemo, men magnanimous in concord, from whose inspired lips flowed sacred speech, and whose pure life of wisdom, in accordance with unswerving tenets, decked them for a bright immortality.

[link to original Greek text] 22 Hence Arcesilaus, who had quitted Theophrastus and gone over to their school, said of them that they were gods or a remnant of the Golden Age. They did not side with the popular party, but were such as Dionysodorus the flute-player is said to have claimed to be, when he boasted that no one ever heard his melodies, as those of Ismenias were heard, either on shipboard or at the fountain. According to Antigonus, their common table was in the house of Crantor; and these two and Arcesilaus lived in harmony together. Arcesilaus and Crantor shared the same house, while Polemo and Crates lived with  p401 Lysicles, one of the citizens. Crates, as already stated, was the favourite of Polemo and Arcesilaus of Crantor.

[link to original Greek text] 23 According to Apollodorus in the third book of his Chronology, Crates at his death left behind him works, some of a philosophical kind, others on comedy, others again speeches delivered in the assembly or when he was envoy. He also left distinguished pupils; among them Arcesilaus, of whom we shall speak presently — for he was also a pupil of Crates; another was Bion of Borysthenes, who was afterwards known as the Theodorean, from the school which he joined; of him we shall have occasion to speak next after Arcesilaus.

There have been ten men who bore the name of Crates: (1) the poet of the Old Comedy; (2) a rhetorician of Tralles, a pupil of Isocrates; (3) a sapper and miner who accompanied Alexander; (4) the Cynic, of whom more hereafter; (5) a Peripatetic philosopher; (6) the Academic philosopher described above; (7) a grammarian of Malos; (8) the author of a geometrical work; (9) a composer of epigrams; (10) an Academic philosopher of Tarsus.

The Loeb Editor's Note:

1 Anth. Pal. VII.103.

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Page updated: 5 Mar 18