DIOGENES LAëRTIUS (/daɪˈɒdʒɪniːz leɪˈɜːrʃiəs/ ; Greek : Διογένης Λαέρτιος, Diogenēs Laertios; fl. c. 3rd century AD) was a biographer of the Greek philosophers . Nothing is definitively known about his life, but his surviving Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers is a principal source for the history of Greek philosophy . "Diogenes has acquired an importance out of all proportion to his merits because the loss of many primary sources and of the earlier secondary compilations has accidentally left him the chief continuous source for the history of Greek philosophy."
* 1 Life * 2 Writings * 3 Editions and translations * 4 Notes * 5 References * 6 Further reading * 7 External links
Although not definitive, Laërtius must have lived after Sextus
Empiricus (c. 200), whom he mentions, and before Stephanus of
Sopater of Apamea (c. 500), who quote him. His work
makes no mention of
The precise form of his name is uncertain. The ancient manuscripts
invariably refer to a "Laertius Diogenes", and this form of the name
is repeated by Sopater and the
The origin of the name "Laertius" is also uncertain. Stephanus of
Byzantium refers to him as "Διογένης ὁ Λαερτιεύς"
(Diogenes ho Laertieus), implying that he was the native of some
town, perhaps the Laerte in
His home town is unknown (at best uncertain, even according to a
hypothesis that Laertius refers to his origin). A disputed passage in
his writings has been used to suggest that it was
Main article: Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers
The work by which he is known, Lives and Opinions of Eminent
Philosophers, was written in Greek and professes to give an account of
the lives and sayings of the Greek philosophers. Although it is at
best an uncritical and unphilosophical compilation, its value, as
giving us an insight into the private lives of the Greek sages, led
Montaigne to exclaim that he wished that instead of one Laërtius
there had been a dozen. On the other hand, modern scholars advise
that we treat Diogenes's testimonia with care, especially when he
fails to cite his sources: "Diogenes has acquired an importance out of
all proportion to his merits because the loss of many primary sources
and of the earlier secondary compilations has accidentally left him
the chief continuous source for the history of Greek philosophy."
He is criticized primarily for being overly concerned with
superficial details of the philosophers' lives and lacking the
intellectual capacity to explore their actual philosophical works with
any penetration. However, according to statements of the 14th-century
Diogenes divides his subjects into two "schools" which he describes
as the Ionian/Ionic and the Italian/Italic; the division is somewhat
dubious and appears to be drawn from the lost doxography of
The biographies of the "Ionian school" begin with
It has been suggested that Diogenes was an
In addition to the Lives, Diogenes was the author of a work in verse on famous men, in various metres, which he called Epigrammata or Pammetros (Πάμμετρος).
EDITIONS AND TRANSLATIONS
* Diogenis Laertii Vitae philosophorum edidit Miroslav Marcovich , Stuttgart-Lipsia, Teubner, 1999–2002. Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana, vol. 1: Books I–X ISBN 9783598713163 ; vol. 2: Excerpta Byzantina; v. 3: Indices by Hans Gärtner. * Lives of Eminent Philosophers, edited by Tiziano Dorandi, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013 (Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries, vol. 50, new radically improved critical edition).
* Translation by R.D. Hicks :
Lives of the Eminent Philosophers
* ^ "Diogenes Laërtius",
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia ,
* ^ A B Long 1972 , p. xix.
* ^ Laërtius 1925a , § 47.
* ^ A B Chisholm1911 , p. 282.
* ^ Sopater, ap.
* Craig, Edward , ed. (1998). Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy . 4. p. 86. * Laërtius, Diogenes (1925a). "Plato". Lives of the Eminent Philosophers . 1:3. Translated by Hicks, Robert Drew (Two volume ed.). Loeb Classical Library. * Laërtius, Diogenes (1925b). "Others: Timon". Lives of the Eminent Philosophers . 2:9. Translated by Hicks, Robert Drew (Two volume ed.). Loeb Classical Library. * Laërtius, Diogenes (1925c). "Epicurus". Lives of the Eminent Philosophers . 2:10. Translated by Hicks, Robert Drew (Two volume ed.). Loeb Classical Library. * Long, Herbert S. (1972). Introduction. Lives of Eminent Philosophers. By Laërtius, Diogenes. 1 (reprint ed.). Loeb Classical Library. p. xvi. * Smith, William , ed. (1870). "Diogenes Laertius". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology . * Werner, Jaeger . Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture. III. p. 330 n.2.
* This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Diogenes Laërtius". Encyclopædia Britannica . 8 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 282.
* Barnes, Jonathan , "Diogenes Laertius IX 61–116: the philosophy of Pyrrhonism" in W. Haase and H. Temporini (ed.) Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, II 36.6 (de Gruyter: Berlin/New York, 1992): pp. 4241–4301. * Dorandi, Tiziano, Laertiana: Capitoli sulla tradizione manoscritta e sulla storia del testo delle Vite dei filosofi di Diogene Laerzio. Berlin; New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2009 (Beiträge zur Altertumskunde, 264). * Mansfeld, Jaap, Diogenes Laertius on Stoic philosophy Elenchos, 1986, VII: 295–382. * Mejer, Jørgen, Diogenes Laertius and his Hellenistic background. Wiesbaden, Steiner, 1978. * Mejer, Jørgen Diogenes Laertius and the transmission of Greek philosophy in W. Haase and H. Temporini (ed.) Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, II 36.5 (de Gruyter: Berlin/New York, 1992): pp. 3556–3662. * Sollenberger, Michael The lives of the Peripatetics: an analysis of the contents and structure of Diogenes Laertius' Vitae philosophorum Book 5 in W. Haase and H. Temporini (ed.) Aufstieg und Niedergang der