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3 The Beasts at Ephesus

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Chapter Summary

Paul's statement in 1 Cor 15:32 that he had fought with beasts at Ephesus has long been a notorious crux interpretum. This chapter determines whether the idea of fighting with beasts in a figurative sense is indeed as unusual as has been maintained. Diogenes fought with these beasts and was compared to Heracles. For Diogenes the struggle against pleasures was fiercer and greater than that against other hardships. The Cynic's struggle was not conceived of as only an inward one. Men who live shameful lives, especially those who dishonor philosophy by their lives, are shameless beasts, and Heracles was supposed to have been sent to exterminate them. Plutarch represents the widespread antipathy of the period to the Epicureans.

Keywords: Diogenes; Ephesus; shameless beasts



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