Lives of the Eminent Philosophers: by Diogenes Laertius

First compiled in the 3rd century AD by Diogenes Laertius, this is a crucial source for much of what we know about the origins and practice of philosophy in ancient Greece, from Pythagoras and Socrates to Aristotle and Epicurus. I picked this up in my quest for more detail about that weirdo, Diogenes the Cynic, and it did not disappoint, brimming with supposed quotes from the Dog. The book is beautiful, translated text from Pamela Mensch interspersed with images depicting those figures within. I also hoovered up bits on Socrates, Zeno, Epicurus.

Diogenes the Cynic composed a dialog titled Pordalus, typical of his bawdy humor because it derives its name from farts. According to this, he often remarked that to get through life “one needed either reason (logon) or a noose (brochon).”  When someone hit him with a beam and then said, “Look out!” Diogenes asked, “Why? Are you going to hit me again?”