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THE LIVES AND OPINIONS OF EMINENT PHILOSOPHERS

BY DIOGENES LAERTIUS, TRANSLATED BY C.D. YONGE

LIFE OF STRATO



I. THEOPHRASTUS was succeeded in the presidency of his school by Strato of Lampsacus, the son of Arcesilaus, of whom he had made mention in his will.

II. He was a man of great eminence, surnamed the Natural Philosopher, from his surpassing all men in the diligence with which he applied himself to the investigation of matters of that nature.

III. He was also the preceptor of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and received from him, as it is said, eighty talents; and he began to preside over the school, as Apollodorus tells us in his Chronicles, in the hundred and twenty-third Olympiad, and continued in that post for eighteen years.

IV. There are extant three books of his on Kingly Power; three on Justice; three on the Gods; three on Beginnings; and one on each of the subjects of Happiness, Philosophy, Manly Courage, the Vacuum, Heaven, Spirit, Human Nature, the Generation of Animals, Mixtures, Sleep, Dreams, Sight, Perception, Pleasure, Colours, Diseases, Judgments, Powers, Metallic Works, Hunger, and Dimness of Sight, Lightness and Heaviness, Enthusiasm, Pain, Nourishment and Growth, Animals whose Existence is Doubted, Fabulous Animals, Causes, a Solution of Doubts, a preface to Topics; there are, also, treatises on Contingencies, on the Definition, on the More and Less, on Injustice, on Former and Later, on the Prior Genus, on Property, on the Future. There are, also, two books called the Examination of Inventions; the Genuineness of the Commentaries attributed to him, is doubted. There is a volume of Epistles, which begins thus: "Strato wishes Arsinoe prosperity."

V. They say that he became so thin and weak, that he died without its being perceived. And there is an epigram of ours upon him in the following terms:

The man was thin, believe me, from the use
Of frequent unguents; Strato was his name,
A citizen of Lampsacus; he struggled long
With fell disease, and died at last unnoticed.

VI. There were eight people of the name of Strato. The first was a pupil of Isocrates; the second was the man of whom we have been speaking; the third was a physician, a pupil of Erasistratus, or, as some assert, a foster-child of his; the fourth was an historian, who wrote a history of the Achievements of Philip and Perses in their wars against the Romans . . . . . The sixth was an epigrammatic poet; the seventh was an ancient physician, as Aristotle tells us; the eighth was a Peripatetic philosopher, who lived in Alexandria.

VII. But the will, too, of this natural philosopher is extant, and it is couched in the following language:- "If anything happens to me, I make this disposition of my property. I leave all my property in my house to Lampyrion and Arcesilaus; and with the money which I have at Athens, in the first place, let my executors provide for my funeral and for all other customary expenses; without doing anything extravagant, or, on the other hand, anything mean. And the following shall be my executors, according to this my will: Olympichus, Aristides, Mnesigenes, Hippocrates, Epicrates, Gorgylus, Diocles, Lycon, and Athanes. And my school I leave to Lycon, since of the others some are too old, and others too busy. And the rest will do well, if they ratify this arrangement of mine. I also bequeath to him all my books, except such as we have written ourselves; and all my furniture in the dining-room, and the couches, and the drinking cups. And let my executors give Epicrates five hundred drachmas, and one of my slaves, according to the choice made by Arcesilaus. And first of all, let Lampyrion and Arcesilaus cancel the engagements which Daippus has entered into for Iraeus. And let him be acquitted of all obligation to Lampyrion or the heirs of Lampyrion; and let him also be discharged from any bond or note of hand he may have given. And let my executors give him five hundred drachmas of silver, and one of my slaves, whichever Arcesilaus may approve, in order that, as he has done me great service, and co-operated with me in many things, he may have a competency, and be enabled to live decently. And I give their freedom to Diophantus, and Diocles and Abus. Simias I give to Arcesilaus. I also give his freedom to Dromo. And when Arcesilaus arrives, let Iraeus calculate with Olympicus and Epicrates, and the rest of my executors, the amount that has been expended on my funeral and on other customary expenses. And let the money that remains, be paid over to Arcesilaus by Olympichus, who shall give him no trouble, as to the time or manner of payment. And Arcesilaus shall discharge the engagements which Strato has entered into with Olympichus and Ausinias which are preserved in writing in the care of Philocrates, the son of Tisamenus. And with respect to my monument, let them do whatever seems good to Arcesilaus, and Olympichus, and Lycon.

This is his will, which is still extant, as Aristo, the Chian, has collected and published it.

VIII. And this Strato was a man, as has been shown above, of deservedly great popularity; having devoted himself to the study of every kind of philosophy, and especially of that branch of it called natural philosophy, which is one of the most ancient and important branches of the whole.










Scanned and edited for Peithô's Web from The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, by Diogenes Laertius, Literally translated by C.D. Yonge. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1853. Footnotes have been converted to endnotes. Some, but not all, of Yonge's spellings of ancient names have been updated.

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