| Famous Men of Greece|
|by John H. Haaren|
|Attractive biographical sketches of thirty-five of the most prominent characters in the history of ancient Greece, from legendary times to its fall in 146 B.C. Each story is told in a clear, simple manner, and is well calculated to awaken and stimulate the youthful imagination. Ages 9-12 |
ARISTOTLE, ZENO, DIOGENES AND APELLES
 WHILE Alexander was conquering the world, there lived in Athens a
man whose work survived hundreds of years after the
conqueror's empire fell to pieces. Indeed, it exists to-day.
This man was Aristotle, the great philosopher, at one time
After Alexander became king Aristotle went to Athens and
established a school of philosophy. His fame grew and he
was called "the man of wisdom." He spent much of his time
in writing, and wrote about almost everything that men
thought of in his time. Some of his works are studied in
our colleges to-day.
ARISTOTLE TEACHING ALEXANDER
Like all other great men of Greece, Aristotle had enemies.
Some of them accused him of not having respect for the gods.
He, therefore, fled from Athens in order, as he said, to
keep the Athenians from sinning against philosophy by
banishing him. He died in exile.
 It is said that for about two hundred years after his death
people did not know what had become of his writings. The
men to whom they were left had buried them in an underground
chamber for fear the king of Pergamos, who was very proud of
his library, would get hold of them. When the manuscripts
were at last found they could still be read.
For hundreds of years after that Aristotle's writings were
more widely studied in Europe than almost any other books.
 ANOTHER great philosopher who lived during the time of Alexander was
Zeno. He was born in Cyprus, but came to Athens in his
He gave his lectures in a porch, called in Greek a
Stoa, from which he and his followers are called Stoics. He
taught that men should live simply, and learn to be neither
fond of pleasure nor cast down by sorrow. To-day we call
people stoics who endure pain and misfortune without
PHILOSOPHERS OF ATHENS
One of Zeno's rivals was a philosopher
named Epicurus. He founded a school in Athens and
 taught there for thirty-six years. His enemies accused him
of teaching that pleasure was the only thing to live for,
and many people still have this idea. We call a man an
"epicure" who is very fond of high living. Epicurus,
however, really used the word pleasure to
mean peace of mind, not the mere satisfaction of eating and drinking. Both
he and his pupils lived in a very simple way.
One of the oddest of the Greek philosophers was
Diogenes. He used to stand in the public places of the
city and ridicule the follies of his fellow-citizens.
Because of this habit he and his disciples were called
cynics, or growlers, from a Greek word which means dog. It
is said that he lived in a tub.
DIOGENES IN HIS TUB
Many stories are told of the curious doings and sayings of
Diogenes. Once in broad daylight he walked through the
streets of Athens carrying a lighted lantern.
"What are you about now, Diogenes?" asked one who met him.
"I am looking for a man," sneered Diogenes.
DIOGENES LOOKING FOR A MAN
Once, when he was on a voyage, the ship in which he was
sailing was captured by pirates. The passengers and crew
were taken to Crete and sold as slaves. The auctioneer who
was selling them asked Diogenes what he could do. "I can
 men," was the answer. "Sell me to some one who wishes a
When the great Council of the States of Greece honored
Alexander by asking him to lead their forces against Persia,
the young conqueror visited Diogenes. The philosopher was
then living at Corinth, in the house of the man who had
bought him as a slave. He was in the garden basking in the
sun when Alexander visited him.
"Can I do anything to help you, Diogenes?" asked Alexander.
"Nothing, but get out of my sunshine," replied Diogenes.
As Alexander was leaving this man of few wants,
 he said, "If I were not Alexander, I should wish to be
Diogenes." It was as though he had said, "If I were not
going to conquer the world, I should like to have the power
which Diogenes has to conquer self."
A NUMBER of celebrated painters lived during the reign of
Alexander. The most famous was Apelles. Alexander would
allow no one else to paint his portrait. Apelles had
talent, but he became a great artist as much by his patient
industry as by his talent. His motto was "Never a day
without a line."
Once he painted a horse and exhibited it in a contest with
some of his rivals who also had painted pictures of horses.
He saw that the judges were not going to give the prize to
his picture, so he requested that all the pictures should be
shown to some horses. This was done, and the animals paid
no more attention to the pictures of Apelles' rivals than
they would have paid to blank boards, but when Apelles'
horse was shown to them they neighed as though they had seen
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