World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Crantor (Greek: Κράντωρ, gen.: Κράντορος; died 276/5 BC[1]) was a Greek philosopher, of the Old Academy, probably born around the middle of the 4th century BC, at Soli in Cilicia.


  • Life 1
  • Writings 2
  • Notes 3
  • Sources 4
  • External links 5


Crantor moved to Athens in order to study philosophy,[2] where he became a pupil of Xenocrates and a friend of Polemo, and one of the most distinguished supporters of the philosophy of the older Academy. As Xenocrates died 314/3 BC, Crantor must have come to Athens previous to that year, but we do not know the date of his birth. He died before Polemo and Crates, and the dropsy was the cause of his death.[3] He left his fortune, which amounted to twelve talents, to Arcesilaus.[4]


His works were very numerous. Diogenes Laërtius says that he left behind Commentaries, which consisted of 30,000 lines;[2] but of these only fragments have been preserved. They appear to have related principally to moral subjects, and, accordingly, Horace[5] classes him with Chrysippus as a moral philosopher, and speaks of him in a manner which proves that the writings of Crantor were much read and generally known in Rome at that time.

The most popular of Crantor's works in Rome seems to have been that "On Grief" (Latin: De Luctu, Greek: Περὶ Πένθους), which was addressed to his friend Hippocles on the death of his son, and from which Cicero seems to have taken almost the whole of the third book of his Tusculan Disputations. The philosopher Panaetius called it a "golden" work, which deserved to be learnt by heart word for word.[6]

Cicero also made great use of it while writing his celebrated Consolatio on the death of his daughter, Tullia; and several extracts from it are preserved in Plutarch's treatise on Consolation addressed to Apollonius, which has come down to us. Crantor paid especial attention to ethics, and arranged "good" things in the following order - virtue, health, pleasure, riches.

Crantor was the first of Plato's followers who wrote commentaries on the works of his master. He also made some attempts in poetry; and Diogenes Laërtius relates, that, after sealing up a collection of his poems, he deposited them in the temple of Athena in his native city, Soli. He is accordingly called by the poet Theaetetus, in an epitaph which he composed upon him, the friend of the Muses; and we are told, that his chief favourites among the poets were Homer and Euripides.[7]


  1. ^ Tiziano Dorandi, Chapter 2: Chronology, in Algra et al. (1999) The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy, page 48. Cambridge.
  2. ^ a b Diogenes Laërtius, iv. 24
  3. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, iv. 27
  4. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, iv. 25
  5. ^ Horace, Ep. i. 2. 4
  6. ^ Cicero, Acad, ii. 44.
  7. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, iv.


External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.