History of Europe

Chrysippus de Soli or how to "die laughing"

Last updated:2022-07-25

Chrysippus of Soli , called «Column of the Portico «, was a Greek philosopher of the third century BC. who was influenced by the New Academy and became one of the main figures of Stoicism . A slightly arrogant scholar –"if I thought there was someone better than me, I would have gone to be taught" -, a master of dialectics and a prolific writer -it is said that he did not go to bed any day without having written 500 lines-. He wrote more than 705 treatises, of which none have survived except for some fragments cited in the works of later authors, such as Cicero, Seneca, Galen or Plutarch.

This thinker had the brilliant idea of ​​giving a donkey some kind of alcoholic beverage to drink. The consequences were that the poor animal got drunk and tried to eat some figs. This bizarre situation caused Chrysippus such an attack of laughter that it caused his death. He personalized the phrase " die of laughter «.

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