Diogene di Apollonia e le Nuvole di Aristofane: nota intorno alle origini di un problema storiografico
| AEVUM ANTIQUUM - 2009 - 9
The article belongs to a broader project of a wide ranging reconsideration of the Pre-Socratic philosopher Diogenes of Apollonia. We challenge here Diels' view according to which Diogenes acts in the frame of Aristophanes' Clouds as a kind of a ghost thinker, hidden in the shadow of "Socrates"' character. Such a view, which is usually accepted, comes out to misrepresent Diogenes as a thinker, putting him in the worse possible light in the eyes of scholars in history of philosophy. For our sake, we focus on the water-crescent passage, probably the best supposed argument in favour of Diels' claim. We thus contrast "Socrates" ' alleged lächerliche Theorie, as Diels calls it, with Diogenes' fragments (collected by Laks 1983, 2008). In the whole, we find much more differences than similarities. This is hardly a surprising. In spite of his prominent role in Aristotle's corpus, Diogenes is never mentioned in Athens' fifth century literature, and it is even not sure that he could have been a significant target there. We thus confirm Kahn's 1997 assessment: "the influence of Diogenes on Athenian thought of the fifth century seems to be a figment of modern scholarship without basis in the text".