Antisthenes of Athens (c. 445-365 BCE) was a famous ancient disciple of Socrates, senior to Plato by fifteen years and inspirational to Xenophon. He is relevant to two of the greatest turning points in ancient intellectual history, from pre-Socraticism to Socraticism, and from classical Athens to the Hellenistic period. A better understanding of Antisthenes leads to a better understanding of the intellectual culture of Athens that shaped Plato and laid the foundations for Hellenistic philosophy and literature as well. Antisthenes wrote prolifically, but little of this text remains today. Susan Prince has collected all the surviving passages that pertain most closely to Antisthenes’ ancient reputation and literary production, translates them into English for the first time, and sets out the parameters for their interpretation, with close attention to the role Antisthenes likely played in the literary agenda of each ancient author who cited him.
This is the first translation of Antisthenes’ remains into English. Chapters present the ancient source, the original Greek passage, and necessary critical apparatus. The author then adds the modern English translation and notes on the context of the preservation, the significance of the testimonium, and on the Greek. Several new readings are proposed.
Antisthenes of Athens will be of interest to anyone seeking to understand Antisthenes and his intellectual context, as well as his contributions to ancient literary criticism, views on discourse, and ethics.