Stoic Six Pack 5 – The Cynics by Diogenes Laërtius

Stoic Six Pack 5 – The Cynics

byDiogenes Laërtius, John MacCunn, Publius Syrus

Kobo ebook | August 29, 2015

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"I would rather go mad than feel pleasure."

- Antisthenes.

For Cynics the secret to happiness was living a life of virtue in harmony with Nature with only the bare essentials necessary for survival. They rejected materialism and were free of belongings. Many were homeless and proud of it. The Cynics emphasized the value of self-sufficiency, or autarkeia. They ate one (vegetarian) meal a day and made a habit of walking vast distances to stay in shape. The school extolled the virtue of perseverance, or karteria.

The founder of Cynicism was Antisthenes (c. 445 – c. 365 BC), a former student of Socrates.  He was followed by Diogenes of Sinope, who famously lived in a tub on the streets of Athens. The third key figure was Crates of Thebes (360 - 280 BC), a rich man who gave away his money to live a life of pious poverty. Crates wed the like-minded Hipparchia of Maroneia and they became one of the few known philosopher couples in antiquity.

Stoic Six Pack 5 – The Cynics presents the key primary sources for our understanding of this ancient philosophy, as well as secondary material to provide insight and understanding:

  • An Introduction to Cynic Philosophy by John MacCunn.  
  • The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus, a Roman Slave by Publius Syrus.  
  • Life of Antisthenes by Diogenes Laërtius.  
  • Book IV of The Symposium by Xenophon.  
  • Life of Diogenes by Diogenes Laërtius.  
  • Life of Crates by Diogenes Laërtius.  


With the rise of Stoicism in the 3rd Century B.C., the Cynic movement stalled. But there was renewed interest in the 1st Century A.D. when bedraggled Cynics could be found on the streets of Rome in large numbers, preaching their creed of anti-materialism and a simple life. The philosophy struck a chord with certain elements of Roman society and Cynics flourished into the 4th Century A.D., unlike Stoicism, which had long since faded by that time.  

“It is not that I am mad, it is only that my head is different from yours.”


-Diogenes of Sinope.

Title:Stoic Six Pack 5 – The CynicsFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:August 29, 2015Publisher:Enhanced E-BooksLanguage:English

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommended The more things change, the more they remain the same. Here we are over two thousand years later and the concepts of the Cynics are still relevant. On the one hand, the fact that this important historic work has withstood the test of time is a tribute to humankind. But on the other hand, it doesn’t appear that the human race has evolved much in thousands of years. Humankind is still consumed by greed. If I lived during Antisthenes’ time, I may not have had the courage to join him, but I surely would have admired him, as I do now after reading this extraordinary preserved masterpiece. The Cynics rejected greed in all its forms; lust of wealth, sex, stature and all material things. I assumed before reading this that the Cynics were wealthy aristocrats that sat around philosophizing, but I was completely wrong. The Cynics lived sometimes in poverty and were indifferent to the criticism of the rest of society. It is important to note that the translation of the five documents was expertly done. I highly recommend Stoic Six Pack 5. It’s an easy, fun read and you will learn a lot about this important period of ancient Greek philosophy. My favorite section of the book is the sayings. These are one-line philosophical sayings which I recommend reading slowly so you can think about each line. Amazing! “When the bad imitate the good, there is no knowing what mischief is intended.” “It is only the ignorant who despise education.”
Date published: 2015-10-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great philosophy An Introduction to Cynic Philosophy. I Love learning about this type of philosophy. Ever since I took philosophy courses in college I've been reading everything I can about it. This is a great collection Philosophy writings.
Date published: 2015-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not To Be Missed! While I've always known that the word "cynic" was based on ancient philosophy, it was an area I really didn't know much about. Thanks to this set of books, I was able to learn a lot. I can't recommend these fine sets enough. They are simply invaluable!
Date published: 2015-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Gem of a Collection Not to Miss! I was thrilled to find another one of these historical packs available. I guess I was not such a great history student as I somehow missed the whole movement of Cynic Philosophy. What a great collection from some of the most remarkable philosophers of our time and how and why they led the life they did. Included is Philosophy by John MacCunn, The Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus, a Roman Slave by Publius Syrus, Life of Antisthenes by Diogenes Laërtius, Book IV of The Symposium by Xenophon, Life of Diogenes by Diogenes Laërtius and Life of Crates by Diogenes Laërtius. It really had me thinking about the deeper messages of lifestyles and how much resonated with modern times. This pack is a gem and not to miss!
Date published: 2015-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classical Six Pack This is an amazing set of books containing some of the ideas of the greatest Cynics. During a time of materialism and greed in the Roman Empire, these philosophers lectured about anti-materialism. They sought a simple life. This collection is an interesting look at a movement that influenced both past and present societies. In the introduction, the idea that the Cynics weren’t always serious was a revelation to me: “The Cynics were philosophers; but they were also satirists and humorists.”
Date published: 2015-10-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome set This is a great set of wonderfully priced 'packs'. Stoic Six Pack 5 – The Cynics. This is all about the stoic cynics throughout history. Each author reveals their secrets for happiness in varying ways. If you like classics of the historical kind, and possibly learn a lesson or two, you will enjoy. I give it high marks!
Date published: 2015-10-05