Λέγεται δὲ καὶ πρῶτος κρέασιν ἀσκῆσαι ἀθλητάς, καὶ πρῶτόν γ’ Εὐρυμένην, καθά φησι Φαβωρῖνος ἐν τρίτῳ τῶν Ἀπομνημονευμάτων, τῶν πρότερον ἰσχάσι ξηραῖς καὶ τυροῖς ὑγροῖς, ἀλλὰ καὶ πυροῖς σωμασκούντων αὐτούς, καθάπερ ὁ αὐτὸς Φαβωρῖνος ἐν ὀγδόῃ Παντοδαπῆς ἱστορίας φησίν. οἱ δὲ Πυθαγόραν ἀλείπτην τινὰ τοῦτον σιτίσαι τὸν τρόπον, μὴ τοῦτον. τοῦτον γὰρ καὶ τὸ φονεύειν ἀπαγορεύειν, μὴ ὅτι γε ἅπτεσθαι τῶν ζῴων κοινὸν δίκαιον ἡμῖν ἐχόντων ψυχῆς. καὶ τόδε μὲν ἦν τὸ πρόσχημα· τὸ δ’ ἀληθὲς τῶν ἐμψύχων ἀπηγόρευεν ἅπτεσθαι συνασκῶν καὶ συνεθίζων εἰς εὐκολίαν βίου τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, ὥστε εὐπορίστους αὐτοῖς εἶναι τὰς τροφὰς ἄπυρα προσφερομένοις καὶ λιτὸν ὕδωρ πίνουσιν· ἐντεῦθεν γὰρ καὶ σώματος ὑγίειαν καὶ ψυχῆς ὀξύτητα περιγίνεσθαι. ἀμέλει καὶ βωμὸν προσκυνῆσαι μόνον ἐν Δήλῳ τὸν Ἀπόλλωνος τοῦ γενέτορος, ὅς ἐστιν ὄπισθεν τοῦ Κερατίνου, διὰ τὸ πυροὺς καὶ κριθὰς καὶ πόπανα μόνα τίθεσθαι ἐπ’ αὐτοῦ ἄνευ πυρός, ἱερεῖον δὲ μηδέν, ὥς φησιν Ἀριστοτέλης ἐν Δηλίων πολιτείᾳ.
(Diogenes Laertius, Bioi kai Gnōmai 8.12-13)
He is also said to have been the first to diet athletes on meat, trying first with Eurymenes—so we learn from Favorinus in the third book of his Memorabilia—whereas in former times they had trained on dried figs, on butter, and even on wheat-meal, as we are told by the same Favorinus in the eighth book of his Miscellaneous History. Some say it was a certain trainer named Pythagoras who instituted this diet, and not our Pythagoras, who forbade even the killing, let alone the eating, of animals which share with us the privilege of having a soul. This was the excuse put forward; but his real reason for forbidding animal diet was to practise people and accustom them to simplicity of life, so that they could live on things easily procurable, spreading their tables with uncooked foods and drinking pure water only, for this was the way to a healthy body and a keen mind. Of course the only altar at which he worshipped was that of Apollo the Giver of Life, behind the Altar of Horns at Delos, for thereon were occurred flour and meal and cakes, without the use of fire, and there was no animal victim, as we are told by Aristotle in his Constitution of Delos. (tr. Robert Drew Hicks)
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)
Οὗτος* παρὰ Πτολεμαίῳ τῷ Σωτῆρι διατρίβων λόγους τινὰς διαλεκτικοὺς ἠρωτήθη πρὸς Στίλπωνος· καὶ μὴ δυνάμενος παραχρῆμα διαλύσασθαι, ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως τά τε ἄλλα ἐπετιμήθη καὶ δὴ καὶ Κρόνος ἤκουσεν ἐν σκώμματος μέρει. ἐξελθὼν δὴ τοῦ συμποσίου καὶ λόγον γράψας περὶ τοῦ προβλήματος ἀθυμίᾳ τὸν βίον κατέστρεψε. καὶ ἔστιν ἡμῶν εἰς αὐτόν·
Κρόνε Διόδωρε, τίς σε δαιμόνων κακῇ
ἵν’ αὐτὸς αὑτὸν ἐμβάλῃς εἰς Τάρταρον
Στίλπωνος οὐ λύσας ἔπη
αἰνιγματώδη; τοιγὰρ εὑρέθης Κρόνος
ἔξωθε τοῦ ῥῶ κάππα τε.
* i.e. Διόδωρος Κρόνος
(Diogenes Laertius, Bioi kai Gnōmai 2.112)
When he was staying with Ptolemy Soter, he had certain dialectical questions addressed to him by Stilpo, and, not being able to solve them on the spot, he was reproached by the king and, among other slights, the nickname Cronus was applied to him by way of derision. He left the banquet and, after writing a pamphlet upon the logical problem, ended his days in despondency. Upon him too I have written lines:
Diodorus Cronus, what sad fate
Buried you in despair,
So that you hastened to the shades below,
Perplexed by Stilpo’s quibbles?
You would deserve your name of Cronus better
If C and R were gone.*
* Leaving ὄνος = “ass.”
(tr. Robert Drew Hicks, with his note)
Καὶ ἄλλο τι περὶ Πυθαγόρου φησὶν ὁ Ἕρμιππος. λέγει γὰρ ὡς γενόμενος ἐν Ἰταλίᾳ κατὰ γῆς οἰκίσκον ποιήσαι καὶ τῇ μητρὶ ἐντείλαιτο τὰ γινόμενα εἰς δέλτον γράφειν σημειουμένην καὶ τὸν χρόνον, ἔπειτα καθιέναι αὐτῷ ἔστ’ ἂν ἀνέλθῃ. τοῦτο ποιῆσαι τὴν μητέρα. τὸν δὲ Πυθαγόραν μετὰ χρόνον ἀνελθεῖν ἰσχνὸν καὶ κατεσκελετευμένον· εἰσελθόντα τ’ εἰς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν φάσκειν ὡς ἀφῖκται ἐξ ᾅδου· καὶ δὴ καὶ ἀνεγίνωσκεν αὐτοῖς τὰ συμβεβηκότα. οἱ δὲ σαινόμενοι τοῖς λεγομένοις ἐδάκρυόν τε καὶ ᾤμωζον καὶ ἐπίστευον εἶναι τὸν Πυθαγόραν θεῖόν τινα, ὥστε καὶ τὰς γυναῖκας αὐτῷ παραδοῦναι, ὡς καὶ μαθησομένας τι τῶν αὐτοῦ· ἃς καὶ Πυθαγορικὰς κληθῆναι. καὶ ταῦτα μὲν ὁ Ἕρμιππος.
(Diogenes Laertius, Bioi kai Gnōmai 8.41)
Hermippus gives another anecdote. Pythagoras, on coming to Italy, made a subterranean dwelling and enjoined on his mother to mark and record all that passed, and at what hour, and to send her notes down to him until he should ascend. She did so. Pythagoras some time afterwards came up withered and looking like a skeleton, then went into the assembly and declared he had been down to Hades, and even read out his experiences to them. They were so affected that they wept and wailed and looked upon him as divine, going so far as to send their wives to him in hopes that they would learn some of his doctrines; and so they were called Pythagorean women. Thus far Hermippus. (tr. Robert Drew Hicks)