Inquiring minds: Who, in Greek mythology, wandered around looking for an honest man?

Each week the staff at the Roseville Library answers more than 2,500 questions on every subject under the sun. Here are some of the most interesting ones they’ve gotten lately.

Q.    Who was the guy in Greek mythology who wandered around with a lantern looking for an honest man?

A.     You’re probably thinking of Diogenes, a Greek philosopher who lived from about 412 to 323 B.C.  According to legend, Diogenes walked barefoot through the streets, carrying a lamp in broad daylight, proclaiming himself in search of an honest man. The legend provides no answer to the question of whether Diogenes ever found what he was looking for, but since he belonged to the Cynic school of Greek philosophy, the odds are not good. Diogenes taught that wealth and high position did not help a person lead a good life.  He preferred to take his ethical models from the animal kingdom. The word Cynic, in fact, comes from the Greek word for “dog.”
(World Book Encyclopedia and Internet resources.)

Do you have a question for the staff at the Roseville Library? You can call them at 628-6803 or ask your question in person at the Information Desk, Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. Library hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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