Bion of Borysthenes (c. 325 – c. 250 BC) was a Greek philosopher closely allied to the Cynic school, who was famous in the ancient world for his witty remarks.
Born: 325 BCE
Died: 250 BCE
Quotes: 14 sourced quotes total
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Once when Bion was at sea in the company of some wicked men, he fell into the hands of pirates; and when the rest said, "We are undone if we are known," – "But I," said he, "am undone if we are not known."
Referring to a wealthy miser he said, "He has not acquired a fortune; the fortune has acquired him."
Old age is the harbor of all ills.
Boys throw stones at frogs in fun, but the frogs do not die in fun, but in earnest.
The road to Hades is easy to travel; at any rate men pass away with their eyes shut.
Wealth is the sinews of success.
Self-conceit is the enemy of progress.
Love of money is the mother-city (metropolis) of all evils.
Bion insisted on the principle that "The property of friends is common."
Good slaves are free, but bad free men are slaves of many passions.
It hurts the bald-head just as much as the thatched-head to have his hairs plucked.
How stupid it was for the king to tear out his hair in grief, as if baldness were a cure for sorrow.
Just as the good actor perform well whatever role the poet assigns, so too must the good man perform whatever Fortune assigns. For she, says Bion, just like a poet, sometimes assigns the leading role, sometimes that of the supporting role; sometimes that of a king, sometimes that of a beggar. Do not, therefore, being a supporting actor, desire the role of the lead.
Therefore we should not try to alter circumstances but to adapt ourselves to them as they really are, just as sailors do. They don't try to change the winds or the sea but ensure that they are always ready to adapt themselves to conditions. In a flat calm they use the oars; with a following breeze they hoist full sail; in a head wind they shorten sail or heave to. Adapt yourself to circumstances in the same way.