September 13, 1860 A Harmless old Crank

Today in History

Plato called him, “Socrates gone mad”. 21st century historians have likened his life to a never-ending Monty Python sketch. He’s one of the founders of the ancient philosophy of Cynicism, who lived with a pack of stray dogs in a barrel outside the Temple of Cybele and famously wandered the land with a lantern, searching “for an honest man”.

Diogenes of Sinope lived in the 4th century BC, haranguing shoppers in the marketplace and tormenting the upper crust, of Greek society. The philosopher renounced all physical possessions and delighted in performing in public, that which should be performed in private. And I do mean, everything.

It was taboo to eat in the marketplace but not for Diogenes who explained, “I did, for it was in the market-place that I was hungry.” Plato once referred to a human being as “a featherless biped animal“. Diogenes…

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