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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Crates of Thebes

a Cynic philosopher, son of Ascondus, flourished in the 4th century B.C. He went to Athens, where he became a disciple of Diogenes, and subsequently one of the most distinguished of the Cynics. He was at Thebes in 307 B.C. Crates was heir to a large fortune, which he bestowed upon his native city, or, according to one account, he placed in the hands of a banker, with instructions to give it to his sons in case they should become fools, but if they became philosophers, to bestow it upon the poor. He was in the habit of visiting every house in Athens and rebuking its inmates, from which circumstance he acquired the name of the "door- opener." In spite of the poverty to which he had reduced himself, and notwithstanding his ugly and deformed figure, he gained the affections of Hipparchia, the daughter of a family of distinction. She refused many wealthy suitors, and because of the opposition of her parents threatened to commit suicide. She finally gained the consent of her parents and was married to Crates. He wrote a book of fourteen letters on philosophical subjects, and some tragedies of an earnest and philosophical character, all of which have been lost. See Smith, Dict. of Greek and Roman Biog. and Myth. s.v.; Encyclop. Brit. (9th ed.) s.v.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Crates of Thebes'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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