, a Greek philosopher, and founder of the sect of the Cynics, was born at Athens in 423 B. C. His father was of the same name with him, and his mother was either a Thracian or a Phrygian, but he appears to have despised the honours of family, and made them the topics of ridicule, a practice not uncommon with those whose origin is mean or doubtful. He appears to have served in the army, and behaved with great courage in the battle of Tanagra. His first preceptor was Gorgias the orator, from whom he imbibed a florid and showy manner, but attained afterwards much eminence under Socrates, and advised his scholars to become his fellow-disciples in | the school of that celebrated philosopher. Laertius informs us that there were ten volumes of his works; but a collection of apophthegms only remain, some of which are excellent. Modern wit perhaps affords few better hits than what he bestowed on the Athenians, when he advised them to elect asses to be horses. This they said was absurd; “and yet,” he replied, “you chuse those for generals who have nothing to recommend them but your votes.” Antisthencs is said to have been a man of great austerity, and a most rigid disciplinarian. Some of his contemporaries give him a very high character in other respects, and his life, upon the whole, appears to have escaped the imputation of the sensual vices practised by many of the ancient philosophers. 1


Gen. Dict. Diog. Laertius. Stanley. Fenelon. Brucker.