[1950. In Collier’s Encyclopedia. New York: P.F. Collier and Son.]
DIOGENES (c. 412-323 B.C.), Greek philosopher, was born in Sinope. Exiled from his native state for counterfeiting, he came to Athens about 350 B.C. As the most picturesque of the Cynics, many stories have clustered about his name. The story that he lit a lamp in broad daylight and went about looking for a man (a modern version says an honest man) is also told of other persons. Probably more authentic is the story that by watching a mouse he discovered that property is not necessary for happiness. A snail carrying its shell taught him that an empty jar or tub could serve as a house. Alexander the Great, who came to view him as a curiosity, asked him if he wanted anything; Diogenes, who was sunning himself, replied, “Yes, I would have you stand from between me and the sun.” G.H.Cl.