Menippus one of the most noted Cynic philosophers, was born at Gadara, in Coele- Syria, in the first century BC. He was originally a slave, but afterwards became one of the pupils of Diogenes. He satirized the philosophers of his time in such severe terms that the most bitter satires were afterwards denominated Menippean. Lucian pronounces him " the greatest snarler and snapper among the old dogs" (the Cynics), and in his "Dialogues of the Dead" makes Diogenes describe him as an old bald-headed man, in a tattered cloak, incessantly ridiculing the pedantry of his brother philosophers. He was the author of thirteen treatises, which contained, we are told, nothing serious, but were filled with cutting sarcasms. These works are all lost, but we have fragments of Varro's Saturce Menippece, written in imitation of Menippus. According to Diogenes (vi. 101), these works were entitled as follows: Νεκυία, Διαθῆκαι, Ε᾿πιστολαί, etc. He amassed great wealth as a usurer, but, having been cheated out of all of it, was so mortified that he strangled himself.

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