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一位值得纪念的希腊人

2006-02-06 00:00

A Greek to Remember

  Diogenes was a famous Greek philosopher of the fourth century B.C., who established the philosophy of cynicism. He 14 often walked about in the daytime holding a lighted lantern, peering around as if he were looking for something. When questioned about his odd behavior, he would reply, "I am searching for an honest man." Diogenes held that the good man was self-sufficient and did not require material comforts or wealth. He believed that wealth and possessions constrained humanity's natural state of freedom. In keeping with his philosophy, he was perfectly satisfied with making his home in a large tub discarded from the temple of Cybele, the goddess of nature. This earthen tub, called a pithos, and formerly been used for holding wine or oil for the sacrifices at the temple. One day, Alexander the Great, conqueror of half the civilized world, saw Diogenes sitting in this tub in the sunshine. So the king, surrounded by his countries, approached Diogenes and said, "I am Alexander the Great." The philosopher replied rather contemptuously, "I am Diogenes, the Cynic." Alexander then asked him if he could help him in any way. "Yes," shot back Diogenes, "don't stand between me and the sun." A surprised Alexander then replied quickly, "If I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes."

  提奥奇尼斯是公元前四世纪一位著名的希腊哲学家,他创立了犬儒派哲学。他经常在白天点着灯笼四处走动、张望,像是在找什么东西似的。人们问起他这古怪行为时,他会回答说:“我正在寻找正人君子。” 提奥奇尼斯认为好人是自给自足的,不需要物质享受和财富。他认为财富、财产束缚了人们天生的自由状态。与他的哲学相一致,他拿一个自然之母庙里丢弃的大坛作为自己的家,还对此万分满意。这个陶制的大坛叫做圣坛,过去在庙里是用来盛装祭祀用的酒和油的。一天,征服了半个文明世界的亚历山大大帝看见提奥奇尼斯坐在大坛里晒太阳。于是这位君主在大臣们的簇拥下走过去,对提奥奇尼斯说:“我是亚历山大大帝。”哲学家相当傲慢地回答说:“我是提奥奇尼斯——犬儒学者。”然后亚历山大问他是否需要任何帮助。“是的”,提奥奇尼斯回道,“别挡着我晒太阳。”大吃一惊的亚历山大继而迅速回答道:“假如我不是亚历山大,我就会是提奥奇尼斯。”

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