"a dog has the soul of a philosopher"
Plato in his work 'ΠΟΛΙΤΕΙΑ [Η ΠΕΡΙ ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ, ΠΟΛΙΤΙΚΟΣ]' ; poorly translated as 'The Republic' - following Cicero's Latin translation-, but the Classical Greek title -in Plato's works- means the 'Governance of the City as one's soul'


Cynicism (Greek: κυνισμός), in its original form, refers to the beliefs of an ancient school of Greek philosophers known as the Cynics (Greek: Κυνικοί, Latin: Cynici). Their philosophy was that the purpose of life was to live a life of Virtue in agreement with Nature. This meant rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, health, and fame, and by living a simple life free from all possessions. As reasoning creatures, people could gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way which was natural for humans. They believed that the world belonged equally to everyone, and that suffering was caused by false judgments of what was valuable and by the worthless customs and conventions which surrounded society. Many of these thoughts were later absorbed into Stoicism.

The first philosopher to outline these themes was Antisthenes, who had been a pupil of Socrates in the late 5th century BCE. He was followed by Diogenes of Sinope, who lived in a tub on the streets of Athens. Diogenes took Cynicism to its logical extremes, and came to be seen as the archetypal Cynic philosopher. He was followed by Crates of Thebes who gave away a large fortune so he could live a life of Cynic poverty in Athens. Cynicism spread with the rise of Imperial Rome in the 1st century, and Cynics could be found begging and preaching throughout the cities of the Empire. It finally disappeared in the late 5th century, although many of its ascetic and rhetorical ideas were adopted by early Christianity.

The name Cynic derives from the Greek word κυνικός (kynikos), "dog-like" and that from κύων (kyôn), "dog" (genitive: kynos). One explanation offered in ancient times for why the Cynics were called dogs was because the first Cynic, Antisthenes, taught in the Cynosarges gymnasium at Athens. The word Cynosarges means the place of the white dog. It seems certain, however, that the word dog was also thrown at the first Cynics as an insult for their shameless rejection of conventional manners, and their decision to live on the streets. Diogenes, in particular, was referred to as the Dog, a distinction he seems to have revelled in, stating that "other dogs bite their enemies, I bite my friends to save them." ...

Antisthenes, disciple of Socrates, teacher of Diogenes of Sinope

Listen (in French) 'Diogène de Sinope, le chien royal'

I was very young when started
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