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Diogenes Laertius

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Κεφ, α΄. ΣΠΕΥΣΙΠΠΟΣ

1Τὰ μὲν περὶ Πλάτωνος τοσαῦτα ἦν ἐς τὸ δυνατὸν ἡμῖν συναγαγεῖν, φιλοπόνως διειλήσασι τὰ λεγόμενα περὶ τἀνδρός. διεδέξατο δ᾿ αὐτὸν Σπεύσιππος Εὐρυμέδοντος Ἀθηναῖος, τῶν μὲν δήμων Μυρρινούσιος, υἱὸς δὲ τῆς ἀδελφῆς αὐτοῦ Πωτώνης. καὶ ἐσχολάρχησεν ἔτη ὀκτώ, ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ τῆς ὀγδόης καὶ ἑκατοστῆς Ὀλυμπιάδος· Χαρίτων τ᾿ ἀγάλματ᾿ ἀνέθηκεν ἐν τῷ μουσείῳ τῷ ὑπὸ Πλάτωνος ἐν Ἀκαδημείᾳ ἱδρυθέντι. καὶ ἔμεινε μὲν ἐπὶ τῶν αὐτῶν Πλάτωνι δογμάτων· οὐ μὴν τό γ᾿ ἦθος διέμεινε τοιοῦτος. καὶ γὰρ ὀργίλος καὶ ἡδονῶν ἥττων ἦν. φασὶ γοῦν αὐτὸν ὑπὸ θυμοῦ τὸ κυνίδιον εἰς τὸ φρέαρ ῥῖψαι καὶ ὑφ᾿ ἡδονῆς ἐλθεῖν εἰς Μακεδονίαν ἐπὶ τὸν Κασάνδρου γάμον.

2Ἐλέγοντο δὲ αὐτοῦ καὶ αἱ Πλάτωνος ἀκούειν μαθήτριαι, Λασθένειά τε ἡ Μαντινικὴ καὶ Ἀξιοθέα ἡ Φλιασία. ὅτε καὶ Διονύσιος πρὸς αὐτὸν γράφων τωθαστικῶς φησι· “καὶ ἐκ τῆς Ἀρκαδικῆς σου μαθητρίας ἔστι καταμαθεῖν τὴν σοφίαν. καὶ Πλάτων μὲν ἀτελεῖς φόρων τοὺς παρ᾿ αὐτὸν φοιτῶντας

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Speusippus

Book IV

Chapter 1. Speusippus (circa 407–339 b.c.) (Head of the Academy, 347–339 b.c.)

The foregoing is the best account of Plato that we were able to compile after a diligent examination of the authorities. He was succeeded by Speusippus, an Athenian and son of Eurymedon, who belonged to the deme of Myrrhinus, and was the son of Plato’s sister Potone. He was head of the school for eight years beginning in the 108th Olympiad.a He set up statues of the Graces in the shrine of the Muses erected by Plato in the Academy. He adhered faithfully to Plato’s doctrines. In character, however, he was unlike him, being prone to anger and easily overcome by pleasures. At any rate there is a story that in a fit of passion he flung his favourite dog into the well, and that pleasure was the sole motive for his journey to Macedonia to be present at the wedding-feast of Casander.

It was said that among those who attended his lectures were the two women who had been pupils of Plato, Lastheneia of Mantinea and Axiothea of Phlius. And at the time Dionysius in a letter says derisively, “We may judge of your wisdom by the Arcadian girl who is your pupil. And, whereas Plato exempted from fees all who came to him, you

  • a348–344 b.c.
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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.diogenes_laertius-lives_eminent_philosophers_book_iv_chapter_1_speusippus.1925