53 - Beware of the Philosopher: the Cynics

In this episode we unleash the most outrageous ancient philosophers, Diogenes and the Cynics, and their quest to “deface the currency” by exposing the hypocrisy of Greek society.

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Further Reading: 

• R. Bracht Branham and M.-O. Goulet-Cazé, The Cynics (London: 1996).

• W. Desmond, Cynics (Stocksfield: 2008).

• D.R. Dudley, A History of Cynicism from Diogenes to the Sixth Century AD (London: 1937).

• G. Giannantoni, Socratis et Socraticorum Reliquiae, vol.2 (Naples: 1900). [Collection of fragments and testimonies about the early Cynics.]

Ron's picture


Hi Peter,

I wonder if you could suggest a collection of fragments and testimonies about the Greek or Roman Cynics in English. I'd like to read their own writings or their contemporaries' writings about them if possible. I'd be interested to read either Greek or Latin fragments but I am afriad I can't read these languages directly.



Peter Adamson's picture

Cynics in English

Hi Ron,

Unfortunately as far as I know that doesn't exist, though I may be wrong -- there are such volumes in French and German. Probably you're best off getting either the English version of Diogenes Laertius who is the source for much of the Cynic information anyway (D.L. is available online in English translation here). Failing that a book like Desmond's includes most of the well-known fragments in translation along the way.



Aron T's picture

Diogenes Laertius

You can download an ePub version of DL here

Jerry's picture

Hunger and Overeating

Who was it that said something along the lines of "the discomfort of overeating is worse than being hungry"? Diogenes of Sinope?
Also, if you have the correct saying please let me know.

Thank you!

Peter Adamson's picture


It sounds more like Epicurus, though off the top of my head I couldn't give you an exact quote. As I discuss in episode 56 though he talks about avoiding pleasures that are counterproductive from a hedonist perspective in the long run - overeating would certainly be an example.