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Diogenes (dĪŏjˈənēz) [key], c.412–323 B.C., Greek Cynic philosopher; pupil of Antisthenes. He was born in Sinope and lived in Athens. He taught that the virtuous life is the simple life, and he dramatically discarded conventional comforts, living in a tub. He is said to have thrown away his last utensil, a cup, when he saw a peasant drink from his hands. When Alexander the Great asked what he might do for him, Diogenes said, "Only step out of my sunlight." His daylight quest with a lantern "for an honest man" was probably the most striking expression of his contempt for his generation.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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