Is it not better to do this than to engage in politics with you?

Some anecdotes of Heraclitus:

Diog. Laert. 9.12

They say that when he was asked why he kept silent, he said, “So that you can chatter.”

φασὶ δὲ αὐτὸν ἐρωτηθέντα διὰ τί σιωπᾷ, φάναι “ἵν᾽ ὑμεῖς λαλῆτε.”


Diog. Laert. 9.2–3

When he was asked by them [i.e. the Ephesians] to give them laws, he scorned to do so, since the city was already dominated by its bad constitution. And he withdrew into the temple of Artemis, where he spent his time playing dice with the children; when the Ephesians gathered around him he asked, “Why are you surprised, you wretches? Is it not better to do this than to engage in politics with you?”

ἀξιούμενος δὲ καὶ νόμους θεῖναι πρὸς αὐτῶν ὑπερεῖδε διὰ τὸ ἤδη κεκρατῆσθαι τῇ πονηρᾷ πολιτείᾳ τὴν πόλιν. ἀναχωρήσας δὲ εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν τῆς Ἀρτέμιδος μετὰ τῶν παίδων ἠστραγάλιζε· περιστάντων δ᾽ αὐτὸν τῶν Ἐφεσίων, “τί, ὦ κάκιστοι, θαυμάζετε;” εἶπεν· “ἢ οὐ κρεῖττον τοῦτο ποιεῖν ἢ μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν πολιτεύεσθαι;”

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