Diogenes was a Greek philosopher. He was one of the oddest of all of them. He was the chief of a group called the “cynics” or “growlers”. He was said to have been the pupil of a man who had been the pupil of Socrates. He was said to have lived in a tub out in the streets. Many funny stories are told about what he did.
One time he was caught carrying a lighted lantern through the town square – in broad daylight! When asked what he was doing, he answered “Looking for an honest man.”
Another time, when he had conquered the city, Alexander the Great asked Diogenes if there was any thing that he could do for him. Diogenes just growled “Yes, get out of my sunlight.” Alexander’s men wanted to punish him, but Alexander told them that “If I could not be Alexander, I would be Diogenes.”
Another time, when on a voyage, he was captured by pirates and sold as a slave. When asked what he could do, he answered, “I can rule men, sell me to some one who desires a master.” He was sold to be the tutor over his new master’s two sons.
He had, at one time, a slave named Manes. Then Manes ran away. Diogenes didn’t pursue him. Instead he said, “If Manes can live without Diogenes, then Diogenes can live without Manes.” When he saw a young boy drinking out of his hands. At this, he threw his one cup away.
One day he came out into the square and cried “Men, Men!” When the crowd gathered, he looked intently at each one at each person then turned away muttering, “I was hoping for Men.”
One of his students once asked him why he lost so many students to others, while none lost students to him. Diogenes answered, “You can make Eunuchs out of men, but you can’t make men out of eunuchs.”
According to tradition, he died the same day as Alexander.