Κράτης Ἀσκώνδου Θηβαῖος. καὶ οὗτος τῶν ἐλλογίμων τοῦ κυνὸς μαθητῶν. Ἱππόβοτος δέ φησιν οὐ Διογένους αὐτὸν μαθητὴν γεγονέναι, ἀλλὰ Βρύσωνος τοῦ Ἀχαιοῦ. τούτου Παίγνια φέρεται τάδε·
“Πήρη τις πόλις ἐστὶ μέσῳ ἐνὶ οἴνοπι τύφῳ
καλὴ καὶ πίειρα, περίρρυπος, οὐδὲν ἔχουσα,
εἰς ἣν οὔτε τις εἰσπλεῖ ἀνὴρ μωρὸς παράσιτος,
οὔτε λίχνος πόρνης ἐπαγαλλόμενος πυγῇσιν·
ἀλλὰ θύμον καὶ σκόρδα φέρει καὶ σῦκα καὶ ἄρτους.
ἐξ ὧν οὐ πολεμοῦσι πρὸς ἀλλήλους περὶ τούτων,
οὐχ ὅπλα κέκτηνται περὶ κέρματος, οὐ περὶ δόξης.” [Crates, fr. 4]
(Diogenes Laertius, Bioi kai Gnōmai 6.85)
Crates, son of Ascondas, was a Theban. He too was one of the Cynic’s* distinguished students. Hippobotus, however, says that Crates was not a student of Diogenes, but of Bryson the Achaean. These playful verses are attributed to Crates:
There is a city, Pera**, in the middle of a wine-dark mist,
Lovely and fertile, rich in dirt, possessing nothing,
Into which sails neither stupid parasite,
Nor glutton exulting in the buttocks of a harlot;
Instead it bears thyme and garlic and figs and loaves,
For the sake of which men do not fight each other,
Nor take up arms for fame or fortune.
* Meaning Diogenes of Sinope, discussed at 6.20-81.
** Crates’ imaginary city is named after the knapsack often carried by Cynics as a sign of their disdain for the material goods. The paradisical description that follows is written in Homeric meter and style.
(tr. Pamela Mensch, with her notes)