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Cynics (Ancient Philosophies)

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Once regarded as a minor Socratic school, Cynicism is now admired as one of the more creative and influential philosophical movements in antiquity. First arising in the city-states of late classical Greece, Cynicism thrived through the Hellenistic and Roman periods, until the triumph of Christianity and the very end of pagan antiquity. In every age down to the present, its ideals of radical simplicity and freedom have alternately inspired and disturbed onlookers.This book offers a survey of Cynicism, its varied representatives and ideas, and the many contexts in which it operated. William Desmond introduces important ancient Cynics and their times, from Diogenes 'the Dog' in the fourth century BC to Sallustius in the fifth century AD. He details the Cynics' rejection of various traditional customs and the rebellious life-style for which they are notorious. The central chapters locate major Cynic themes (nature and the natural life, Fortune, self-sufficiency, cosmopolitanism) within the rich matrix of ideas debated by the ancient schools. The final chapter reviews some moments in the diverse legacy of Cynicism, from Jesus to Nietzsche.

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Review:

"A clear and readily accessible introduction to Cynicism" --Margarethe Billerbeck, University of Fribourg"

"Desmond's Cynics succeeds in making the key ideas accessible and intelligible to the introductory reader. Desmond's knowledge of and fluency in the literature of ancient Cynicism is unquestionable. The book is a treasure trove of information on the various ways the Cynics and the idea of Cynicism have appeared in history and literature from antiquity to contemporary times." --Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"Another fine addition to Acumen's excellent Ancient Philosophies series . . . an ideal entry-level text to this particular branch of Greek philosophy." --Yearbook of the Irish Philosophical Society

About the Author:

William Desmond is a Lecturer in the Department of Ancient Classics at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

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9780520258617: Cynics, 3 (Ancient Philosophies)

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ISBN 10: 0520258614 ISBN 13: 9780520258617
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9781844651283: Cynics (Ancient Philosophies)

Routledge, 2008
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9780520258358: Cynics (Ancient Philosophies)

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