CRATES OF THEBES

Thebes
4th century B.C.





BIOGRAPHY

A well known cynical philosopher, son of Ascondas, a follower of Diogenes, whom he followed constantly. His prime time was around 330BC, he came from a wealthy family, however he led a poor life. Some say this happened after he gave away his wealth to the poor, while some others that he threw it to the sea. It has also been said that he deposited all his treasures to a banker of his time, under a term, if his children didnt follow the life of a philosopher, they should have it, if they did, it should be given to the people.

Crates believed that philosophers have no need for money. Him being ugly and deaf did not stop Ipparche, a daughter of an noble family from Thrace to fall in love with him. Her brother Metrokles, after studying next to Xenocrates and Theofrastus, became a Cynic thanks to Crates. It was him that made his sister fall in love with the philosopher after presenting him with vivid colors, and she agreed to follow her new husbands way of life. Crates wedding was opposite to the Cynical teachings, however he called this union Cynogamy.

There are many anecdotes concerning Crates. In his attempt to agree with the dogma of cynicism he considered wedding as a relationship that does not oppose the independence of the individual, since there are two free spirits agreeing to this union. He used to enter houses uninvited thats why he was called the Door Opener. When Demetrius of Faliron was sent to exile, Crates comforted him in such a friendly manner that Demetrius cursed his previous way of life did not let him to get to know a man like Crates better. His works, under the general title Games are of ethical character.