68 Thought-Provoking Diogenes Quotes from Ancient Greek Philosopher

Diogenes was a Greek philosopher who founded the Cynic philosophy which valued simple living and rejected luxury.

He learned from Antisthenes and taught through his actions rather than writings.

He is known for several stories including his search for an honest man with a lantern and being sold into slavery where he became a tutor.

Diogenes Quotes

Diogenes believed in living simply disregarding laws and customs and valuing independence and happiness despite circumstances.

His teachings included self-sufficiency shamelessness in the face of societal conventions outspokenness against vice and achieving moral excellence through training.

Some of his writings are lost but they included dialogues plays and a description of a utopian society where people lived naturally.

I have made a list of the best quotes by Diogenes.

Thought-Provoking Diogenes Quotes

Virtue cannot dwell with wealth either in a city or in a house. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

I do not know whether there are gods, but there ought to be. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

You will become a teacher of yourself when for the same things that you blame others, you also blame yourself. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.


The most beautiful thing in the world is freedom of speech. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Other dogs bite only their enemies, whereas I also bite my friends in order to save them. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Even if I am but a pretender to wisdom, that in itself is philosophy. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Poverty is a virtue which one can teach oneself. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Most men are within a finger’s breadth of being mad. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Young men ought not to marry yet, and old men never ought to marry at all. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

If your cloak was a gift, I appreciate it; if it was a loan, I’m not through with it yet. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

It is not that I am mad, it is only that my head is different from yours. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

It takes a wise man to discover a wise man. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Top Diogenes Quotes

The foundation of every state is the education of its youth. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

As a matter of self-preservation, a man needs good friends or ardent enemies, for the former instructs him and the latter takes him to task. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

What I like to drink most is wine that belongs to others. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

The sun too penetrates into privies, but is not polluted by them. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

He has the most who is most content with the least. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

We are more curious about the meaning of dreams than about things we see when awake. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

No man is hurt but by himself. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

I am looking for a human. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Stand a little less between me and the sun. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Lust is a strong tower of mischief, and has in it many defenders, as neediness, anger, paleness, discord, love, and longing. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

The great thieves lead away the little thief. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Popular Diogenes Quotes

We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

There is only a finger’s difference between a wise man and a fool. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Calumny is only the noise of madmen. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Wise kings generally have wise counselors; and he must be a wise man himself who is capable of distinguishing one. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

The vine bears three kinds of grapes – the first of pleasure, the second of intoxication, the third of disgust. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.


Ability in man is an apt good, if it be applied to good ends. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

The health and vigor necessary for the practice of what is good, depend equally on both mind and body. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

We come into the world alone and we die alone. Why, in life, should we be any less alone? ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

A friend is one soul abiding in two bodies. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Famous Diogenes Quotes

Dogs and philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

The mob is the mother of tyrants. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Boasting, like gilded armour, is very different inside from outside. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

People who talk well but do nothing are like musical instruments; the sound is all they have to offer. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

We have complicated every simple gift of the gods. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Behold! I’ve brought you a man. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

The art of being a slave is to rule one’s master. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Of what use is a philosopher who doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings? ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

You are a simpleton, Hegesias; you do not choose painted figs, but real ones; and yet you pass over the true training and would apply yourself to written rules. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

If I gained one thing from philosophy, it is that at the very least, I am well prepared to confront any change in fortune. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Great Diogenes Quotes

The noblest people are those despising wealth, learning, pleasure, and life; esteeming above them poverty, ignorance, hardship, and death. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

All things are in common among friends. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Education gives sobriety to the young, comfort to the old, riches to the poor, and is an ornament to the rich. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

I threw my cup away when I saw a child drinking from his hands at the trough. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

To become self-educated, you should condemn yourself for all those things that you would criticize others. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Good men nowhere, but good boys at Sparta. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Antisthenes used to say that envious people were devoured by their own disposition, just as iron is by rust. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Why not whip the teacher when the pupil misbehaves? ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Philosophical Diogenes Quotes

Let us not unlearn what we have already learned. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

I am looking for an honest man. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Love comes with hunger. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Man is the most intelligent of the animals – and the most silly. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

It is the privilege of the gods to want nothing, and of godlike men to want little. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Modest is the color of virtue. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

I have nothing to ask but that you would remove to the other side – that you may not, by intercepting the sunshine, take from me what you cannot give. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

It was a favorite expression of Theophrastus that time was the most valuable thing that a man could spend. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

If I lack awareness, then why should I care what happens to me when I am dead? ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

Wise Diogenes Quotes

Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves. Whistle and dance the shimmy, and you’ve got an audience. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

I am searching for the bones of your father, but cannot distinguish them from those of a slave. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.


Nothing can be produced out of nothing. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

The insult dishonors the one who infers it, not the one who receives it. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

The only way to gall and fret effectively is for yourself to be a good and honest man. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

In a rich man’s house, there is no place to spit but his face. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

If I gained one thing from philosophy is that at the very least, I am well prepared to confront any change in fortune. ~ Diogenes of Sinope.

So these were the 68 top Diogenes quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Harriet Tubman quotes and Morgan Harper Nichols quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar