The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers

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The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers is the work by which Diogenes Laertius is known and synonymous with. It is written in Greek and professes to give an account of the lives and sayings of the Greek philosophers, although it is at best an uncritical and unphilosophical compilation.

The subject in treated two divisions which he describes as the Ionian and the Italian schools; the division is somewhat dubious and appears to be drawn from the lost doxography of Sotion.

The whole of the last book is devoted to Epicurus, and preserves the Letter to Herodotus, Letter to Pythocles, Letter to Menoeceus, and Epicurus' Principal Doctrines.

Laertius' chief authorities were Diodes of Magnesia's Cursory Notice of Philosophers and Favorinus's Miscellaneous History and Memoirs. From the statements of Burlaeus (Walter Burley, a 14th-century monk) in his De vita et moribus philosophorum, the text of Diogenes seems to have been much fuller than that which we now possess.

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