Cynic satire

So-called Menippean satire was invented by an ancient Cynic philosopher. And it has influenced us for millennia

by Massimo Pigliucci

Menippus of Gadara (modern day Jordan) was a slave. He was also a Cynic philosopher and a satirist. We don’t know much about him, except the fact that he was a Greek, likely of Phoenician descent. When he obtained his freedom he moved to Thebes. Even more unfortunately, all his works have been lost. Which makes Menippus one of the most influential figures of antiquity you probably never heard of. According to the commentator Diogenes Laertius, Menippus wrote books with titles like Necromancy, Letters Artificially Composed as If by the Gods, and The Birth of Epicurus, among others. They were works of satire of a new kind, which is nowadays referred to as Menippean. … (continue at Medium)

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