This rich compendium of the lives and doctrines of philosophers ranges over three centuries, from Thales to Epicurus (to whom the entire tenth book is devoted), portraying 45 significant figures of Greek philosophy. Diogenes Laertius, who carefully compiled his information from hundreds of sources, enriches his accounts with important quotations from his subjects. Little is known about the ancestry or birthplace of the great biographer; however, his Lives of Eminent Philosophers remains a superior source of information for students and scholars.
The 10-book history is loosely divided into two sections: “Ionian,” describing Anaximander, Socrates, Plato, Zeno, Chrysippus, and others; and “Italian,” describing Pythagoras, Epicurus, the Eleatics, the Skeptics, and others. Full of facts and quotations from a range of Hellenistic philosophers, this collection is a perfect starting point or everyday reference tool for those interested in history, philosophy, or the classics.
Each text includes the original Greek and an English translation for easy side-by-side comparison. Logos Bible Software tools allow you to go deeper into the Greek text and explore Laertius’ language and the thinkers he describes. Use the dictionary lookup tool to examine difficult English words used by the translator, or quickly find information on a specific philosopher or school of thought by searching the entire collection for keywords.
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These volumes will be downloaded as two resources: English text and Greek text.
Though Mr. Hicks does not pretend to have given us a new text of Diogenes, he has made so much improvement in the existing text that for the present, a scholar will be ill-advised, except in sections which have been separately edited, if he cites Diogenes without consulting the Loeb editions.
—The Classical Review, vol. 40
Diogenes Laertius was a third-century biographer of Greek philosophers.
R. D. Hicks (1850–1929) was a classical scholar and fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He lectured and wrote on Greek philosophy and compiled a concise Latin dictionary in Braille.