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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.
If you find a mistake though,
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(Vol. II) Diogenes Laërtius
Lives of the Eminent Philosophers

Book VI

 p97  Chapter 6
Metrocles (c. 300 B.C.)

[link to original Greek text] 94 Metrocles of Maroneia was the brother of Hipparchia. He had been formerly a pupil of Theophrastus the Peripatetic, and had been so far corrupted by weakness that, when he made a breach of good manners​a1 in the course of rehearsing a speech, it drove him to despair, and he shut himself up at home, intending to starve himself to death. On learning this Crates came to visit him as he had been asked to do, and after advisedly making a meal of lupins, he tried to persuade him by argument as well that he had committed no crime, for a prodigy would have happened if he had not taken the natural means of relieving  p99 himself. At last by reproducing the action​a2 he succeeded in lifting him from his dejection, using for his consolation the likeness of the occurrences. From that time forward Metrocles was his pupil, and became proficient in philosophy.

[link to original Greek text] 95 Hecato in the first book of his Anecdotes tells us he burned his compositions with the words:1

Phantoms are these of dreams o' the world below.

Others say that when he set fire to his notes of Theophrastus's lectures, he added the line:

Come hither, Hephaestus, Thetis now needeth thee.

He divided things into such as are procurable for money, like a house, and such as can be procured by time and trouble, like education. Wealth, he said, is harmful, unless we put it to a worthy use.

He died of old age, having choked himself.

His disciples were Theombrotus and Cleomenes: Theombrotus had for his pupil Demetrius of Alexandria, while Cleomenes instructed Timarchus of Alexandria and Echecles of Ephesus. Not but what Echecles also heard Theombrotus, whose lectures were attended by Menedemus, of whom we shall speak presently. Menippus of Sinope also became renowned amongst them.

The Loeb Editor's Note:

1 Nauck, T. G. F.2, Adesp. 285.

Thayer's Note:

a1 a2 ἀποπαρδὼν: he broke wind.

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Page updated: 15 Feb 18