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Diogenes Laertius between tradition and innovation: philosophers and θεῖοι ἄνδρες
Grau Guijarro, Sergi
It has become commonplace for scholars to point out the similarities, as well as the vast differences —despite both works belonging to the literary genre of philosophical biography—between Diogenes Laertius’ The Lives of Eminent Philosophers and Eunapius of Sardis’ Lives of the Philosophers and Sophists, which were in all likelihood written in the space of less than a century. It is particularly salient that, although this phenomenon is often backed up by archaeological evidence, the heroisation or even deification of some ancient Greek philosophers in Laertius’ Lives tends only to be dealt with in the epigrams dedicated to them by the author – the place where Laertius usually expresses his own personal stance and his judgement on the lives and deaths of the philosophers in question. There are scarce few references to this typically Greek religious process in the body of Laertius’ narrative, except, tellingly, where this is to condemn it as fraud. As such, this short article looks to explore the somewhat ambiguous mentality, which can be seen to undergo a transformation of sorts, which emerges in Laertius’ Lives regarding the cult of the philosophers and their divine character. This is presented against a particularly significant historical backdrop immediately preceding the popularisation of the figure of the θεῖος ἀνήρ and Christian hagiography, a viewpoint which brings into focus a number of changes and continuities.
90 - Arqueologia. Prehistòria
Filosofia antiga
Filòsofs -- Grècia
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