ΙΟΥΛΙΑΝΟΥ ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΟΡΟΣ ΕΙΣ ΤΟΥΣ ΑΠΑΙΔΕΥΤΟΥΣ ΚΥΝΑΣ
Ἄνω ποταμῶν, τοῦτο δὴ τὸ τῆς παροιμίας. ἀνὴρ Κυνικὸς Διογένη φησὶ κενόδοξον, καὶ ψυχρολουτεῖν οὐ βούλεται, σφόδρα ἐρρωμένος τὸ σῶμα καὶ σφριγῶν καὶ τὴν ἡλικίαν ἀκμάζων, ὡς ἂν μή τι181 κακὸν λάβῃ, καὶ ταῦτα τοῦ θεοῦ ταῖς θεριναῖς τροπαῖς ἤδη προσιόντος. ἀλλὰ καὶ τὴν ἐδωδὴν τοῦ πολύποδος κωμῳδεῖ καί φησι τὸν Διογένη τῆς ἀνοίας καὶ κενοδοξίας ἐκτετικέναι ἱκανὰς1 δίκας ὥσπερ ὑπὸ κωνείου τῆς τροφῆς διαφθαρέντα. οὕτω πόρρω που σοφίας ἐλαύνει, ὥστε ἐπίσταται σαφῶς ὅτι κακὸν ὁ θάνατος. τοῦτο δὲ ἀγνοεῖν ὑπελάμβανεν ὁ σοφὸς Σωκράτης, ἀλλὰ καὶ μετ᾿ ἐκεῖνον Διογένης. ἀρρωστοῦντι γοῦν, φασίν, Ἀντισθένει μακρὰν καὶ δυσανάληπτον ἀρρωστίαν ξιφίδιον ἐπέδωκεν ὁ Διογένης εἰπών· εἰ φίλουB χρῄζεις ὑπουργίας. οὕτως οὐδὲν ᾤετο δεινὸν
To the Uneducated Cynics
Behold the rivers are flowing backwards,1 as the proverb says! Here is a Cynic who says that Diogenes2 was conceited, and who refuses to take cold baths for fear they may injure him, though he has a very strong constitution and is lusty and in the prime of life, and this too though the Sun-god is now nearing the summer solstice. Moreover he even ridicules the eating of octopus and says that Diogenes paid a sufficient penalty for his folly and vanity in that he perished of this diet3 as though by a draught of hemlock. So far indeed is he advanced in wisdom that he knows for certain that death is an evil. Yet this even the wise Socrates thought he did not know, yes and after him Diogenes as well. At any rate when Antisthenes4 was suffering from a long and incurable illness Diogenes handed him a dagger with these words, “In case you need the aid of
- 1A proverb signifying that all is topsy-turvy: cf. Euripides, Medea 413 ἄνω ποταμῶν ἱερῶν χωροῦσι παγαί.
- 2Of Sinope: he was the pupil of Antisthenes and is said to have lived in a jar in the Metroum, the temple of the Mother of the Gods at Athens; he died 323 b.c.
- 3For the tradition that Diogenes died of eating a raw octopus cf. Lucian, Sale of Creeds 10.
- 4A pupil of Socrates and founder of the Cynic sect.